When I decided to become more proactive about my interest in wine, I felt like I should do what I could to educate myself on the topic. I learned very quickly that this wasn't going to be easy - there is just so much to know and so very many wines to discover. I've mainly stuck with Ontario wines so far because of this - having a focus has been really helpful in ensuring that I wasn't just completely overwhelmed. I also love the idea of supporting local wineries and I am able to visit many of the places that create the wines I drink, this is immensely helpful in understanding those wines.
One step outside my Ontario comfort zone has been listening to Tasting Room Radio, a show that originates in British Columbia (and also airs in Alberta). I had heard about the show through Twitter, where host Terry David Mulligan's involvement in the Free My Grapes campaign to fight the ban on inter-provincial wine sales is very well-respected. I was curious and not aware of any other Canadian radio shows about wine (apparently there are several, but this was the first one I found), so I decided to tune in. I'm glad that I did.
As would be expected, the majority of the shows I've heard so far have focused on British Columbia wines. Many aren't available in Ontario (at least until those grapes are fully freed), but I still really enjoy listening. TDM is an unabashed fan of wine and I love his enthusiasm for the topic. I may not have access to all of the wines he discusses, but I enjoy hearing him talk about them. I like the guests that he chooses (more often than not local winery owners and winemakers) and the topics they choose to discuss. For example, I hadn't heard about the wine on tap idea until listening to the show and was surprised by how interesting that is to consider.
Like many teens in the '90s, I grew up with Terry David Mulligan on my TV screen, so it's also nice to rediscover him as an adult. I always respected him as a music reporter and I'm glad that we now share another interest where his opinion is one I can turn to.
Tasting Room Radio has also got me thinking about a trip to B.C. wine country. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never been that far west, but I'd certainly love to go. Shawn and I are already talking about making our next big vacation a trip to the Okanagan Valley and listing to the show is definitely encouraging this. On a recent episode, Coastal Black Estate Winery was talking about their blueberry mead and it sounded so good I was ready to book a flight then and there. The trip might actually have to wait awhile, but at least I can stockpile ideas and a list of where to visit through the show.
I'm admittedly not always around at 1pm on Saturdays to listen online, so I've recently subscribed to the podcast on iTunes and I'm enjoying listening that way when I can't tune in live. It's surprisingly good treadmill listening - perhaps the thought of the calories involved in trying the wines discussed is a subconscious reminder of why I'm actually on that treadmill! I look forward to continuing to listen and learn.
Tasting Room Radio airs Saturdays at 10am PST on Team 1410. You can listen online via Team 1410's website or through their podcast, which is available free on iTunes.