What’s the tradeoff between flavour and alcohol? How does Chardonnay lend itself to unusual food pairings? Where do you find great value in California wine?
In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Chuck Cramer, host of On The Road With Mr CA Wine.
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- Who were Chuck’s most memorable podcast guests and why?
- Who would be Chuck’s dream guests for his podcast?
- Why does Chuck consider Lodi to be the most underrated California wine region?
- How does the style of The Federalist Chardonnay differ from Sanford Chardonnay?
- Which non-traditional food pairings could you try with The Federalist Chardonnay?
- What’s the weirdest wine and food pairing Chuck ever had?
- Which classic childhood food would Chuck pair with The Federalist Chardonnay?
- What’s Chuck’s controversial take on the natural wine movement?
- Why are low-alcohol wines less flavourful?
- Why is The American Vintage Chuck’s favourite wine book?
- How can you keep your wine fresh when you don’t want to finish the bottle?
- Which unlikely celebrity trio would Chuck like to share a bottle of wine with?
- If Chuck could have a billboard in California, what would it say?
- What wine would Chuck want to be served at his funeral?
- Chuck gives a great explanation for the tradeoff between flavour and alcohol.
- I love Chuck’s unusual pairings for Chardonnay.
- Chuck gives some great tips about finding excellent value in California wine.
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About Chuck Cramer
Chuck Cramer is a 4th generation Los Angeleno, living in London for the past 22 years. In addition to hosting a wine podcast dedicated to CA wine, On The Road With Mr CA Wine, Chuck is the director of European sales & marketing for Terlato Wines, managing a gorgeous portfolio of CA wines across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He’s also the proud dad of two beautiful women, plays tennis four times a week and bleeds Dodger Blue!
- Connect with Chuck Cramer
- Terlato Wines
- On The Road With Mr CA Wine
- Season 2 Episode 17: A world class Zinfandel, an old school tasting & barrel room, and interview with Shelly Rafanelli, winemaker, A. Rafanelli Winery
- Season 3 Episode 15: Fridays are Loubud days, taco time, it’s all in a name and interview with Laura Roach, Loubud Wines
- Season 2 Episode 41: Put me in coach, starting out as a wine hobby, a National Football League coach and interview with Coach Dick Vermeil
- Season 1 Episode 21: The emperor’s new clothes, natural & orange wine, and interview with Dr Jamie Goode
- Wines We Tasted:
- Paul Lukacs’ Book American Vintage: The Rise Of American Wine
- Coravin Wine Preservation Systems
- Diary of a Book Launch: An Insider Peek from Idea to Publication
- My Books:
- Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines
- Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass
- My new class The 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner And How To Fix Them Forever
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- Sign up for my free online wine video class where I’ll walk you through The 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner (and how to fix them forever!)
- You’ll find my books here, including Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines and Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass.
- The new audio edition of Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass is now available on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com and other country-specific Amazon sites; iTunes.ca, iTunes.com and other country-specific iTunes sites; Audible.ca and Audible.com.
Chuck Cramer 0:00
What I like about the Chardonnay you can think traditionally along the lines of like, say a Caesar salad, a white fish roast chicken, but because of its creaminess and its texture, this Chardonnay will stand up to a cheeseburger or say a steak with a bit of fat on it. Seafood oysters would be pretty amazing. Crayfish among fish, I would leave off the sauce, and maybe even some fried chicken. Oh,
Natalie MacLean 0:23
sounds good. Yeah, the buttery nests of the wine and the good juicy brightness of the chicken would be great. But I have found Chardonnay is a wine especially a robust one that can definitely stand up to red meats especially if there’s a bit of carmelization or there’s some fat in the meat which makes the meat juicy or and tastier. could definitely go with Chardonnays. It’s a good pairing
Natalie MacLean 0:51
Do you have a thirst to learn about wine, the love stories about wonderfully obsessive people, hauntingly beautiful places and amusingly awkward social situations. Oh, that’s the blend here on the unreserved wine talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie Maclean. And each week, I share with you unfiltered conversations with celebrities in the wine world, as well as confessions from my own tipsy journey as I write my third book on this subject. I’m so glad you’re here. Now pass me that bottle please. And let’s get started. Welcome to Episode 216. What’s the trade off between flavour and alcohol? How does Chardonnay lend itself to some unusual food pairings? And where do you find great value in California wine. You’ll hear those tips and stories in part two of our chat with Chuck Kramer, host of the podcast on the road with Mr. Ca wine. You don’t need to have listened to part one from last week first. But I hope you’ll go back and take a listen if you missed it after you finish this one. Now a quick update on my upcoming memoir wine which on fire rising from the ashes of divorce defamation and drinking too much. Last week, I mentioned the TV show younger that I’m binge watching. I wanted to share two more observations about how the publishing industry is portrayed in this series versus real life. The first is that the publishing deadlines are whack. One book is pushed through the process in a matter of weeks. In reality, the acquisition process of selling the book can take several weeks to several months after a publisher buys the book and assuming you’ve already written it fully. There are usually months if not a year or more of various levels of editing, developmental copy and line. Then there’s the creation of a marketing and publicity plan printing and getting the book listed on online retailers as well as the selling process to various bookstores. All of which can easily take another year. On average, it’s a two year timeline sometimes longer. But I do love fantasy TV. The other aspirational element is all the glamorous parties the publishing staff attends. The days of the book tour are over. But it’s great to watch this call back to another era. Personally I hope to host events in Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara, Picton, Halifax, and possibly Montreal, Vancouver. But these will be on my own dime. And I’ll try to break even with a modest ticket fee. There will be wine involved, of course, so I hope you’ll come out to meet me and raise a glass or two together. Here’s a review from Kate Gooding a beta reader from Ottawa. I would say this book is a triumph of the human spirit, heart and intellect. If I were younger, it certainly would have fueled the courage needed to reach out and explore all of life’s possibilities to live my best life and more fully achieve my own potential. I’ve always been curious about what attracts people to wine, and how they draw pleasure and comfort from it. The intimate descriptions of Natalie’s relationship with wine gives me insight into such an experience. I also learned a lot about the wine industry and how it works in Canada and around the world. And her story certainly represents a microcosm of the societal changes that have been occurring in the last decade. I really enjoyed her lighthearted sense of wordplay, and I’m anxious to taste some of the lively wines that were described in the book. I’d like to develop a more discerning palate and learn to appreciate the flavour notes that Natalie points out. I give this memoir five stars because reading this book is like having a conversation with her. I felt tuned in to the lens through which she views life. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you, Natalie. Thank you Kate. I’ve posted a link to a blog post called Diary of a book launch in the show notes at Natalie maclean.com. Forward slash 216. This is where I share more behind the scenes stories about the journey of taking this memoir from idea to publication. If you want a more intimate insider seat beside me on this journey, please let me know you’d like to become a beta reader and get a sneak peek at the manuscript. Email me at Natalie, at Natalie maclean.com. Okay, on with the show.
Natalie MacLean 5:35
So, tell us about your most memorable guests that you’ve had on the podcast.
Chuck Cramer 5:40
Oh, again, put me on the spot here. Natalie. They’re all memorable. I’m gonna throw out a couple of one. Shelly Rafanelli a Rafanelli winery in Dry Creek Valley. I love their Zinfandels. They’ve been making them for 40 years. Never met her before been to the winery about 810 times met the sister met the dad still haven’t met Shelly but for some reason, we just hit it off on the podcast. Laura Roach associate winemaker at Sanford got to know Laura. I know a little better. But I interviewed her early on without having met her yet. And I liked that connection there. But probably most memorable would be coach dick for meal. He coached the UCLA Bruins the Philadelphia Eagles, and then he took the St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl. Now I grew up in LA and I’m an LA Rams fan. I wasn’t happy when they moved to St. Louis. But you know, Coach for mele has a tasting room in nap on first really. He purchases fruit from a couple of vineyards in Napa. And I had him on the podcast and he was just elected into the National Football League Hall of Fame.
Natalie MacLean 6:46
Oh, wow. So does he have his own winery?
Chuck Cramer 6:49
He doesn’t have a winery. He uses a custom press facility. But you know he makes for meal wines. He makes a delicious Cabernet Franc and the cap Frank is gorgeous. He makes a really good Chardonnay. And so just having coach for meal on the podcast and he just said yes. He doesn’t know who I am. And now he’s a Hall of Fame out. So that was really cool.
Natalie MacLean 7:12
Wow, that’s cool. Did you talk about the intersection of football and wine? Like was there any pairings or anything cross tangents? Well,
Chuck Cramer 7:20
you know, we didn’t talk about pairings but he did talk about how he brought his motivational skills as a head football coach. You know, directing his winemaking team? I think, you know, I get just chatting with them. I think he’s a player’s coach. I think you could chat to he’s not one of these guys who’s gonna go nuts and just bark and F bomb you the whole time. But I think you know, obviously he’s transitioned while from a very successful coaching career to making a really good wines in Napa. That was a fun chat. That was good. Sounds like
Natalie MacLean 7:51
fun. And he mentioned Sanford they produce really beautiful cool climate pinos, don’t they?
Chuck Cramer 7:57
Yes, they do. Yeah. I mean, the family owns two vineyards there, la Rinconada and Sanford and Benedict and they both surround this beautiful winery in the Santa Rita hills. And yeah, I mean, these wines would just get better every year, you know, the pianos and the Chardonnays get better with each vintage hands down
Natalie MacLean 8:14
and situate where Santa Rita Hills is for us in relation to all the other regions we spoke about.
Chuck Cramer 8:19
Yeah, Santa Barbara. I mean, there are six sub regions within Santa Barbara County. So if you go say north of La three hour drive, I mean, you can’t get anywhere now in California within an hour, but say three hour drive north of Los Angeles highway 101. You hit Santa Barbara, drive another 4045 minutes towards Lompoc, and you’re in the Santa Rita hills and the winery sits within say 10 miles of the Pacific Ocean.
Natalie MacLean 8:46
Okay. So who would be your dream guest or guests that you’d love to interview on your podcast?
Chuck Cramer 8:52
Oh, boy. You know, I thought about this because I asked this question as well. Do you okay. Yeah, I would say yeah, I have two. Can I give you two? Absolutely. Okay, so one, I love his movies. It’s got to be Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yeah, I just love his movies, I would say Arnold, steak cigar and a big cab or Zinfandel, something like that and just talk about movies in his careers from like, becoming a bodybuilder to actor to Governor of California success story. And the other one would be Jimmy Connors. I love tennis. He was my idol as a kid. You know, he lives up in Santa Barbara. He’s just the competitor just throwing threw looked up to him growing up, you know, tried to style my game after him a little bit, but just love his tenacity. And him and his son have their own podcast called The advantage Connors and I listen to that one as well. But you know Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jimmy Connors, if I can have them on the show. Those would be my two guests.
Natalie MacLean 9:55
Awesome. That sounds great. Do you think you’ll ever approach them, email them? Give it a shot Do
Chuck Cramer 10:00
you know what? As Yeah, I’m not scared about asking anybody, right? All they can say is, you know, when you sell why Natalie, you know, you get like 80% of the responses are Yes. Yeah. So, I think, you know, you build up a successful programme. I think that you know, it’s the podcast is just going from strength to strength. I think, you know, as the numbers build up, probably reach out. Yeah, maybe get blank. But yeah, they’re definitely on my hitless whether it happens or not, who knows?
Natalie MacLean 10:28
Well, you know, especially Jimmy Connors, because you’re a tennis fan. You can talk tennis and wine. But the fastest way to grow a podcast you’ve probably heard this chuck is to be on somebody else’s podcast because you’ve already got an audience of podcast listeners who are more apt to go find another podcast and add it to their playlist, then trying to convince someone who doesn’t even know what a podcast is. So I would sell that angle to to especially getting Jimmy Connors that’s a good Yeah, thanks. Absolutely. You know, we got to keep these sales tips go in here. So what region do you think is most undervalued in California, undervalued
Chuck Cramer 11:06
region in California. I would say I’d have to go with Lodi. You think of that old you know Creedence Clearwater Revival song stuck in Lodi. You got 6/7 generation farmers their family owned winemaking look at if you’re in the business your farmers right? I mean absolutely farmers but I would have to say Lodi real workhorse Lodi produces 22% of all the wind coming out of California they consider themselves to be the Zen capital of the world. I think if you look on the historical vineyard Society website, I’d say there’s 150 of them almost half our good portion are from Lodi and in Lodi, besides cab, gin, Chardonnay. I mean they’re growing, you know, Tokai. They’re growing Alboreto they’re growing Sangiovese SA. There’s a lot of variety there. So yeah, undervalued. I mean, not forgotten. I mean, they’re a big player on the map. But I think if you’re looking for fruit forward, you know wine that’s going to maybe set you back 10 to $20. I go to Lodi every day of the week, great
Natalie MacLean 12:12
values. They are well priced here in the Canadian market as well. So, of course all the wine talks making me thirsty. So tell me what wines you have there with you check, please. Do you want us to hold them up to the camera but also for those who are just listening to the podcast, we will have links in the show notes to these wines. So okay, too. All right.
Chuck Cramer 12:34
So you know, we’ve been enjoying a warm summer here in the United Kingdom. Hopefully this is going to lead to an Indian summer. So I have two short days here. I have the Federalist Chardonnay. But it’s a brand that’s owned by terlato. The winemaker is Brian Parker, and then we’re talking about sanfur. I have well the Federalist Chardonnay. 2018. I think we’re on the 90 now. And the Sanford Chardonnay 2018 made by Trey Fletcher and Laura Roche over at Sanford. So, you know, just stylistically when you were talking about CHARNY earlier, Natalie just two different styles federal Desharnais a bit heavier in the mouth, great creamy texture. vanilla notes, American oak, Sanford a bit more refined, sophisticated, nice texture, but great minerality difference Federalists. It’s purchased from Mendocino California. So your north is Sonoma? Sanford. It’s all a state coming from our two vineyards, la Rinconada and Sanford and Benedict. So just great. minerality. And, yeah, just stylistically two different wines, but just gorgeous to enjoy
Natalie MacLean 13:37
the Federalist. I’ve tasted the red one before. And is it Franklin on the label like the mug shot? Okay.
Chuck Cramer 13:44
Yes. That’s a Cabernet Sauvignon. So we’ve taken images off US currency and we put them on the label. So George Washington is on the Zinfandel. $1 Bill, Benjamin Franklin, the $100 bill is on the cab, but we have honest Abraham Lincoln, who’s on the $5 bill on our honest red blend. So there’s a play there. So it’s like staring at a Ford Mustang right when you’re looking at these wines. 100% American but the juice is from California.
Natalie MacLean 14:10
No, that’s great. I’ve just got a couple of wines. I chose one California. This is the Palisades from I believe it’s got wines. Joel got wine. Yeah.
Chuck Cramer 14:20
Nice producer. Yeah.
Natalie MacLean 14:21
And well I’ve got two reds, you’ve got two whites. But my backlog of wines ready to be tasted is building up so I wanted to open something. Get this going, but lots of mocha and dark fruit on the nose for Palisades, which is a red wine blend. And then I’ve got popcorn, which is a brand from Bordeaux, not traditional at all. mirlo from Bordeaux, more of a I guess a consumer friendly label. And a movie wine. Yeah, exactly. Pair it with some Arnold Schwarzenegger should get involved I guess. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, very different. But two good wines. I’ll link those in the show notes as well. But what would you pair with your wines?
Chuck Cramer 15:10
Well, you know what both wines are made to be enjoyed on their own you know, we sell both by the glass. I would say the Federalist Chardonnay what I like about the Federalist Chardonnay, I mean, you know, you can think traditionally along the lines of like, say a Caesar salad, a white fish roast chicken, but because of its creaminess and its texture, I guarantee you this federally, Chardonnay will stand up to a cheeseburger or say a steak with a bit of fat on ice. Okay, and so, you know, a lot of people for whatever reasons, kind of like ABC don’t want to drink red wine. Well listen, you know, you eat steak. Federally Chardonnay is a nice option for like, say red meat. Barbecued ribs. Sanford Germany’s more restrained, more sophisticated. So again, on its own, again, you know, more along the lines, like I would say definitely seafood oysters would be pretty amazing. Crayfish along those lines among fish, I would leave off the sauce, and maybe even some fried chicken.
Natalie MacLean 16:07
Sounds good. Yeah, the buttery nests of the wine and the good juicy frankness of the chicken would be great. But I have found Chardonnay is a wine especially a robust one that can definitely stand up to red meats, especially if there’s a bit of carmelization or there’s some fat in the meat which makes the meat juicy or and tastier. can definitely go with Chardonnays. It’s a good pairing
Chuck Cramer 16:28
100% Yeah, surprises a lot of people. It
Natalie MacLean 16:32
does. It does, because we always think red wine, red meat and so on. But what’s the weirdest wine and food pairing you’ve ever had?
Chuck Cramer 16:39
I had to think about this. I was out with a buddy of mine. And this goes back maybe 15 years. And we were at the Westport in Notting Hill here in London. They do great oysters. Oysters are amazing. And I think you know, we ordered a dozen oysters and I kicked off with a beer and he ordered a glass of Australian Sharan Wow. Yeah. And I like seriously do you know? And I think you know, you shouldn’t be afraid to try anything with anything. And you know, experimentation is great, but I just thought you’re not and it wasn’t even chilled down. I just thought, you know, Australian Shiraz and oysters was really, really weird. And I asked him never did.
Natalie MacLean 17:24
You well. I don’t know what it is iodine or something that will make red wine tastes kind of metallic or tinny. When they combine? Yeah, something isn’t. Yeah,
Chuck Cramer 17:34
exactly. And he said, You got to try it. You got to try. And I said they said, Absolutely not. I just you know, I was what do you been doing? I didn’t want to ruin the oysters are the ones.
Natalie MacLean 17:43
Well, I can understand that. How about a favourite childhood food that you’ve had? And what would you pair it with today as an adult with wine?
Chuck Cramer 17:53
Oh, boy, it would have to be awesome. Childhood This is childhood food. It would have to be sale like an Oscar Meyer wiener hotdog. And a can of spaghetti. Oh, yeah. I drink this federally Chardonnay with it all day long,
Natalie MacLean 18:10
because it’s turning out to be a very versatile Chardonnay they’ve got there. Yeah, it is. It is. Is there something about wine? That you believe that some people would strongly disagree with you about it?
Chuck Cramer 18:22
Well, yeah, I mean, if I do, it’s just I cannot wrap my head around this whole natural wine movement. All wines natural. All wine comes from the ground. It’s not like any winemakers you know, adding artificial flavours to the wine, whether it’s a $6 bottle of wine, or two and $50 A bottle of wine. It’s
Natalie MacLean 18:42
true. And if they are, it’s not called wine, it’s called flavoured beverage or something. So,
Chuck Cramer 18:47
exactly. So yeah, this whole natural wine movement. I think it was season one, I interviewed Dr. Jamie Goode. And we talked about this natural wine movement. And the caption I wrote for this was the emperor’s new clothes. And look at whether you like natural wine or not, it creates excitement for the category, it brings something new to the category, and I’m all for that. But at the end of the day, it’s just a marketing gimmick. It’s kind of like low alcohol or no alcohol wine. You really have to struggle to say this is enjoyable because if it’s a no alcohol wine, for example, enough change subjects, you know, where’s the fruit? You know, both with the natural wine movement, going back to touch wine movement, all wines natural. So you know what, come up with another term. Right? Right. I’ll leave it at that low
Natalie MacLean 19:37
intervention may be but there’s also no official definition as far as I know, no laws in terms of what exactly is a natural wine or a raw wine or whatever. And then with low alcohol wines, alcohol, as we know is a carrier of flavour. So when you do alcohol eyes wines, especially in the winery, as opposed to just picking grapes or really, I think you are removing some flavour as well. So there is a trade off, you know, definitely a marketing angle, but there’s always a trade off, I think with flavour when you get into very low or no alcohol wines.
Chuck Cramer 20:12
Exactly. And if you like it fantastic. I just think it’s more marketing than it is anything else. I think you can be healthy. And I think you know, everything in moderation. I think it’d be healthy enjoy a nice, you know, bottle or glass of wine without cutting five years off your life.
Natalie MacLean 20:27
Yes, everything in moderation, including moderation. Exactly. Do you have a favourite wine book?
Chuck Cramer 20:33
Yes, I do. And I have right here. It’s called the American Vintage, the rise of the American vine by Paul Lucas. Okay. And I don’t remember when it was published. It’s published a while back maybe 20 years ago. But it just gives you a great sense it just in terms of the beginnings of our California roots, you know, the immigrants coming over from say, Europe, and just, you know, laying a foundation here for the wine industry as we know it today. So yeah, the American Vintage the rise of the American wine to book about California, and it’s my favourite wine.
Natalie MacLean 21:09
Great. Sounds like there’d be lots of stories about the pioneers and early settlers and their struggles. And do you have a favourite wine gadget? I do. Okay. There it is. The core the core event? Yes. To preserve the wine the core of s? Yeah,
Chuck Cramer 21:23
yeah, know what, but also with work, you know, one of my biggest expenses is sample right. So this cuts down on waste. So I can go on with a bottle of wine to account say tastes are Sanford Chardonnay, or say Chimney Rock, cab and core van it. And then I could use that bottle for the next two weeks before the core van, you’d have to uncork the wine, pour it out, maybe the bottle, if you don’t leave it with the account, the bottle keeps for like three days. And if you don’t use it or drink it, it just goes to wait. So great, great wine preservation device here. So I use it a lot with work.
Natalie MacLean 22:01
And just for those who are not familiar with the device, it’s contraption again, we’ll put a link in the show notes, but it has a needle that pierces the cork and withdraws the wine. But in doing so it’s also still leaving a sort of tight vacuum seal, no oxygen gets into the bottle, the cork actually stays in the bottle. And you can pour these small samples out, as you’re saying. So it’s good for consumers to not just those in the trade, as you know, if you want to open like two or three different bottles, but maybe just have one glass of this tonight, maybe a glass of that tomorrow, but you want it all to preserve well, but have some more variety in your drinking.
Chuck Cramer 22:37
Yeah, exactly. And if you’re in a restaurant and want to serve a more expensive bottle of wine, yes, use the Corvair.
Natalie MacLean 22:43
Absolutely. So if you could share a bottle of wine with one person living or dead, who would that be? And which wine would you open?
Chuck Cramer 22:50
I think this is the one I asked him why I really liked this question. You know, tough. I mean, look at I’d love to sit around the table. I’m gonna give you three bars, please. I’d love to sit around the table with Babe Ruth. I mean, and just talk baseball. The guy was a boozer. I mean, I like to drink. Just talk baseball. I mean, this is a guy. This is a name that endures today. I mean, he’s the benchmark for every player who’s ever played the game. So Babe Ruth would be a one. In one chair around the table. I’d have Humphrey Bogart. Ah, I love his old movies. Again, another boozer so getting him in Bay together, we probably up to like five in the morning. Yeah. A lot of wine too. Exactly. Exactly. And then I probably want to have Robin Williams there. Oh, that’d be great. Just goes back to comedy. And I think that would be a fun night Babe Ruth Humphrey Bogart. So baseball movies and comedy with Robin Williams.
Natalie MacLean 23:47
Right discussion? Yeah, absolutely.
Chuck Cramer 23:51
I never leave the table. No.
Natalie MacLean 23:54
If you could put up a billboard in downtown San Francisco, what would it say?
Chuck Cramer 23:57
Oh, I tell you one thing. I’m glad you sent me some of these questions in advance because I would go blank on this. A billboard in San Francisco. Politics is a hot topic. But what I think I would put up a billboard just directed towards politicians in California and just say, you know, chill out, reach across the aisle and start doing some good for the citizens of California as opposed to just pat in your pockets and staying in power or something like that. reach across the aisle and get some work done because we’re in a roadblock right now. So that’s the billboard I take out.
Natalie MacLean 24:34
Yeah, absolutely. And maybe pour yourself a glass of wine and toast each other and relax.
Chuck Cramer 24:39
Exactly relaxed. Yes.
Natalie MacLean 24:42
Why would you like served at your funeral not to get all morbid, but we’re going there.
Chuck Cramer 24:47
We’re going there. And hopefully a few years out, right? Yes, of course. I would have to say it would have to be Zinfandel. Ah St. Fidelis, California signature grape variety. Federalist produces a tasty Zinfandel. from Lodi in terms of the grade since my favourites, it would have to be like a infidel from Alban vineyards or maybe rich. Okay. And then I don’t know the tagline would be you know, there goes chuck on the road for one last time or something like that. Everybody Everybody would tell us what’s the glasses in?
Natalie MacLean 25:18
Ah, I love that. I love that. Oh wow, this is flown by just like a convertible ride. As we wrap up, is there anything you want to mention that we didn’t cover?
Chuck Cramer 25:29
You know what I would just say think outside the box, quit drinking Sauvignon Blanc every day, try something different. You know, obviously drink more California wine but if it’s a boy, Jaya from Italy, you know, do something different. And then I got a great wine tip from Wilk Costello. He’s a master Somali a in Las Vegas. Okay. And he said, and when he said this, I thought wow, this is so cool. Drink your red wines cooler?
Natalie MacLean 25:53
Chuck Cramer 25:54
Ya know, whether it’s a Kabat Zinn, you know pinos you can chill down he goes because you know, you’re gonna taste it chilled. And then all of a sudden, it’s going to open up and get better and better. If you taste it at room temperature. He goes, That’s it. That’s how you’re gonna get out of it. So drink your red wines cooler when Will said that? I thought that was a great tip.
Natalie MacLean 26:14
Yeah, because our mouths are going to heat up the wine anyway. So it took a room temperature read and it’s going to get hotter in your mouth. Or often the Reds are served even hotter than room temperature. It’s just bizarre. But you’re right, a slight chill, just a few degrees would be refreshing because I find if you’ve tasted warmth or room temperature too. All you get is the oak and the alcohol up front with a red, especially a big red. Yeah. So yeah, no, it’s great tip. Chuck. Thank you. Well, this has been wonderful. I really appreciate this. I mean, the tips and stories you shared are fantastic. So thank you for joining us here and I’m looking forward to talking to you again, check on your podcast, but I will say goodbye for now and cheers say
Chuck Cramer 26:54
Natalie. Thanks for having me on your podcast. I’ve had a blast. Okay.
Natalie MacLean 26:59
All right, Jack. Take care. Bye for now. Bye.
Natalie MacLean 27:07
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my chat with Chuck. Here are my takeaways. Number one, Chuck gives a great explanation about the trade off between flavour and alcohol. Two, I love his unusual pairings for Chardonnay. And three Chuck have some great tips about finding excellent value in California wine. In the shownotes, you’ll find my email contact the full transcript of my conversation with Chuck links to his website and podcast. And where you can find the live stream video version of these conversations on Facebook and YouTube Live every Wednesday at 7pm. You will also find a link to my free Ultimate Guide to wine and food pairing. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie maclean.com forward slash 216. Email me if you have a sip tip question or would like to be a beta reader of my new memoir and Natalie and Natalie maclean.com. If you missed episode 23 go back and take a listen. I chat with winemaker Randall Graham, who is a California blend of wine wit and wisdom. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.
Unknown Speaker 28:20
The main room Ranger has been very catchy, and it’s been helpful my cause. The issue I have though is that we in California, ultimately somehow need to get out of the shadow of our European colleagues and somehow learn how to really define ourselves on our own terms rather than is something derivative or something referential to something else who wants to be the second best? Do you want to be your own thing? I think we in the new world have to get there somehow. I’m working on it. And I think the way to get there for me personally is trying to figure out what can we do in the new world that can’t be done in the old world that’s interesting and wonderful and pleasurable. But let’s do it and find the grapes that are uniquely suited to our sites. Rather than take something else and try to make burgundy and style Pinot Noir or quote roti like serraj or Barolo ish Nebbiolo. For example.
Natalie MacLean 29:24
If you liked this episode, please email or tell one friend about it this week, especially someone you know who’d be interested in the whines, tips and stories we shared. You won’t want to miss next week when I chat with Nell McShane wolf Hart, who has written for the New York Times The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and many other outlets. Nails audio book off menu is about the secret science of food drinks and the dining experience. She has some great stories to tell. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great isn’t Your class this week, perhaps a wine from the Lodi region
Natalie MacLean 30:10
you don’t want to miss one juicy episode of this podcast, especially the secret full body bonus episodes that I don’t announce on social media. So subscribe for free now at Natalie maclean.com forward slash subscribe, maybe here next week. Cheers