Pondering Podcasts: Jameson Fink, Wine Without Worry, Fiddle Faddle, and more …

Wine Without Worry – Ridge Vineyards: The Bottled Poetry of California’s Santa Cruz Mountains

Napa Valley may be the first place that comes to mind when you think of California wine, but there is no place like the Santa Cruz Mountains. That’s where you’ll find Ridge Vineyards, and one of the world’s most legendary wines: Monte Bello. Christopher Watkins, Manager of Retail Sales and Hospitality as well as the Author and Host of 4488: A Ridge Blog, discusses how the people and the place all combine to make bottled poetry. Speaking of poetry, Watkins has also published a book of his verse. You’ll find his unique perspective on art and language to be the perfect guide for this journey.

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How do you feel about podcasts? Do you listen to them? Are you a subscriber, or a casual drop-in? Do you follow just one, or many?

I’m pondering podcasts.

Somewhere in the past decade –decade-and-a-half maybe– the vitriol around wine took on a new and bizarre ardor. “Wine Snobbism”  seemed to have become a truly terrible personality affliction, and its alleged purveyors, practitioners, and carriers were earmarked for a stunning panoply of recriminations.

I have voiced opinions on this, and matters related, in a previous post (available here), so won’t redraw the argument again, but suffice it to say, the tangible backlash to the perceived pervasiveness of the purportedly rampant snobbism took on new intensity, whelping dizzying iterations of professedly antidotal solutions: Wine For Morons,Wine For Those Who Can’t Read, Wine For The Cheap, The Dolt’s Guide To Wine, The Gauche Grape, and other such condescending fare.

Fortunately, into this fray comes Jameson Fink, one of the most level-headed hosts ever to grace the educational stage.

May I present the following “mission statement,” the text of which comes from the description for Jameson’s new and excellent podcast series Wine Without Worry:

Does a leather-bound wine list send an icy chill up your spine? Does walking through a wine store feel like navigating a sinister labyrinth? Put aside your anxiety and join Jameson Fink on Wine Without Worry as he serves up a flight of experts to demystify wine. It’s a relaxed look at wine, with helpful tips and insight to bring your confidence level up, and keep the wine flowing.

Do you know why I like this? Because it acknowledges that one might be intimidated, but it does not condescend. It is clear, straightforward, and honest. It is kind.

Which is pretty much Jameson in a nutshell.

But add one more word: professional.

Jameson Fink is a pro.

In my life, for myriad and whatever reasons, it turns out that I have been interviewed many, many times, about many, many things. And interviews are tricky. At best, they are often perfunctory. At worst, they can be awkwardness and torture and misery and frustration and embarrassment and tedium and awfulness. But every once in a while, they’re not only enjoyable, but actually interesting, informative, and refreshing.

Such was the case when Jameson Fink interviewed me for his Wine Without Worry podcast. Jameson is intelligent, and he does his homework. He is quick on his verbal feet, and he runs deep with content. He is clever, and he knew well ahead the full scope of what he wanted to cover. He is funny and snarky in equal measure, but long on respect and devoid of hollow irony. In short, he was a consummate host, and an excellent interviewer.

For the answer to an 18-letter wine destination, a fully unexpected Fiddle Faddle reference, and a rich look into all things Ridge, Wine, and The Santa Cruz Mountains, I heartily encourage you to check out the following episode of Wine Without Worry, hosted by Jameson Fink, and humbly featuring yours truly:

Wine Without Worry – Ridge Vineyards: The Bottled Poetry of California’s Santa Cruz Mountains

Napa Valley may be the first place that comes to mind when you think of California wine, but there is no place like the Santa Cruz Mountains. That’s where you’ll find Ridge Vineyards, and one of the world’s most legendary wines: Monte Bello. Christopher Watkins, Manager of Retail Sales and Hospitality as well as the Author and Host of 4488: A Ridge Blog, discusses how the people and the place all combine to make bottled poetry. Speaking of poetry, Watkins has also published a book of his verse. You’ll find his unique perspective on art and language to be the perfect guide for this journey.



Categories: Wine Tales, Monte Bello, Wine & Poetry, Press Reviews, Wine and Jazz, Vineyards and Oenology, RIDGE Staff, Wine Blogs, Wine Quotes, Santa Cruz Mountains Estate, Social Media, Wine & Music, Wine & Art, Wine & Philosophy, Wine & Spirituality, Wine & Literature

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3 replies

  1. I’m a big fan of the original podcast and dying artform: AM radio.

    I absolutely listen to podcasts on various topics I’m researching or have interests in. I have interests in Santa Cruz Mountain wines and Ridge, so, yes, I’d listen.

    Watched the IPOB seminars just yesterday…

  2. Christopher,

    I’m really happy you made this post. I had no idea you were a man of so many talents – realized talents with actual published proof of them. Impressive!

  3. Thank you for this post. Having great guests like you makes it easy for the podcast to be a success.

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