The I’ll Drink to That podcast, has been around since 2012 and proven to be an indispensable resource for anybody who loves wine and is curious about the personalities and histories of wine producers, sommeliers and others in the trade.
These are not fly-by-night wine producers seizing marketing opportunities to promote mediocre bottles. It’s the custodians of some of the greatest vineyards and cellars in the world, people like Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy or Maria Teresa Mascarello of Bartolo Mascarello, whose voices are rarely heard except by the most privileged of visitors.
Through the podcast’s 442 episodes (and counting), Levi Dalton, the host and a former sommelier in New York, has talked to people of consequence in almost every corner and level of the business.
Some are well known, like writer Hugh Johnson and restaurateur Danny Meyer. Others are unrecognized outside the business, but their stories are so interesting that you want to learn a lot more about them.
People such as Elena Pantaleoni, who makes wonderful wines at La Stoppa in Emilia-Romagna, Italy; Becky Wasserman, an American who has lived in Burgundy for decades and has played a crucial role in identifying some of the most soulful wine producers in France; and Carole Meredith, a former grape genetics professor who discovered that zinfandel was identical to a Croatian variety, tribidrag, and now has a winery, Lagier Meredith, in California’s Napa Valley.
Wanted to take a moment to share this podcast. If you want to geek out on the wine world, Levi delivers interviews with some of the most interesting people in the wine business. #levidalton #winelearning #liquidlearning #illdrinktothat
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Wine is enjoyable enough if you know no more about what you are drinking than what’s in the glass. But the more context you add, the more fascinating it becomes. “I’ll Drink to That” provides the sort of background that helps to transform the notion of wine from a simple beverage to a complex culture.
The podcasts are bare-bones, largely free of sound effects, except for the occasional segments produced by Erin Scala, another former New York sommelier who now owns In Vino Veritas, a wine shop in Keswick, Virginia.
They may include thoughtful essays on issues that wine geeks, at least, debate frequently, like whether to include the grape stems in the fermentation process.
Otherwise, the podcasts are mostly recorded in Dalton’s unprepossessing studio apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where he lives with his wife, Ayako, a private chef, and their young son, Louie.
Listen to I'll Drink That here