• D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves

  • By: John & Sara
  • Podcast
  • Summary

  • A riveting insider's look at the world of fine wine. Telling the stories of the people and the places that shape the world’s most compelling finds. John Szabo, Master Sommelier and Sara d’Amato, a jack of all wine trades, get to the root of the vine.
    © 2022 D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves
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  • May 6 2022

    Who doesn't love Beaujolais? This in-depth episode is all about this picturesque, hilly region and its geological and stylistic diversity. Recent cataloguing of the Beaujolais soils helped bring to light over 300 soil profiles that have been analyzed and described by geologists in tandem with growers, underscoring that diversity (be sure to check out the soil map,  published on  beaujolais.com.)

    The Thieves welcome Mee Goddard to the round table, one of the newer voices in Beaujolais, who launched her Domaine in 2013 with three special bottlings of Morgon: Corcelette, Grand Cras, and Côte du Py.  She focuses on “vins de garde”, wines meant to age, blending carbonic and non-carbonic techniques.

    Cyril Chirouze is also on the program,  Director of Winemaking and manager of Château des Jacques,  owned by the venerable Maison Louis Jabot. Cyril made wine in the Côte d'Or before making the move to Beaujolais, yielding to the "siren call" of gamay, and the vast, untapped potential of the region. Today Cyril makes wines in the crus of  Morgon and in Moulin-a-Vent.

    Mathieu Lapierre is our third star guest at the table. Matthieu's father Marcel Lapierre was a pivotal player in the revival of Beaujolais, one of the "gang of four" who moved towards making wines with a bare minimum of intervention, what are currently often called “natural” wines. Mathieu sets the record straight on what is "traditional" winemaking in the region (spoiler: it's probably not what you think), and explains why gamay languished in northern Burgundy but flourished in the south.

    John and Sara also attempt to sort out the status of the lieux-dits in Beaujolais and investigate the difference between a lieu-dit, a climat and a cru at the conclusion of the interview. 

    Join us as we dig beneath the multicoloured soils of Beaujolais to reveal the secrets of France's most affable wine. Santé!

    This episode was produced in collaboration with the interprofessional association of Beaujolais.

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    1 hr and 17 mins
  • Apr 27 2022

    The Wine Thieves venture out beyond wine (but not too far) to speak with Michelin starred chef-sommelier José González-Solla (Pepe to his friends) of the renowned Casa Solla, near Pontevedra in Galicia.  Once-known for its excellent, traditional, home cooking, when Solla took over from his parents he transformed the business through his inventive style of cooking that's  still firmly focused on the  authentic flavours of Galicia.

    Pepe believes that “Galicia is the best place in the world to be a chef!” thanks to the excellent quality of regional ingredients, and he lets us in on a few of his cooking secrets to get the most out of what's available. There is of course the bounty of the rías to draw from, where sweet and saltwater meet on the Spanish coast, which includes the world's best  razor clams, mussels, crab and pulpo (octopus), to name but a few.  But inland, Galicia also has a unique breed of pork , distinctive  from the Iberian pigs prevalent in the rest of Spain, as well as local cattle and native poultry breeds, abundant produce and a wealth of local cheeses made into unique shapes such as the mushroom-shaped cheese known as Cebreiro, the creamy Arzùa-Ulloa, the golden pear-shaped of San Simón da Costa and the cheese known as Tetilla . . . . 

     Solla was among the founders of an association called the Grupo Nove, a 100%-Galician gastronomic movement. Members include a couple dozen Galician chefs, champions of their regional cuisine and innovators in the realm, whose aim is to put Galicia firmly in the world spotlight of cuisine. 

    Salivating? Join us as we ask chef Pepe Solla  for tips on cooking at home and how best to enjoy the energetic wines of Rias Baixas.


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    50 mins
  • Apr 15 2022

    In Episode 4 in a five-part series on Rias Baixas,  the Wine Thieves speak with winemaker Emilio Rodriguez of the Terras Gauda winery in O Rosal, the largest privately owned winery in Rias Baixas. Emilio has been at Terras Gauda for longer than he can remember, and he is a big fan of some of the other native grapes of the region beyond Albariño, especially caiño blanco.  He speaks about the sweeping changes that occurred in the region, bringing Rias Baixas out of the middle ages of homespun winemaking and into the modern, quality-focused industry it is today. 

    O Rosal is in the spotlight, the third most important sub-zone of Rias Baixas in size after the Salnés Valley and Condado do Tea. A coastal region in the southwestern corner of Galicia, bordered by the Minho River and Portugal to the south, Condado do Tea to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. O Rosal accounts for about 11% of total plantings in Rias Baixas,  and sits in temperature between that of Condado do Tea, the warmest, and Val do Salnés, the coolest.

    Albariño is the main variety here, but complementary white varieties loureiro, treixadura, caiño and even godello have a role to play.  Terraced, south-facing vineyards along the north bank of the Minho enjoy excellent sun exposure, maximizing the nearly 2200 sunshine hours per year. Ripeness is nudged to a slightly higher degree than in the Salnés Valley, enabling even late varieties like caiño to deliver. Another distinguishing feature of Rosal is the band of schist bedrock that runs through the region, a variation on the otherwise granite-derived soils in most of the rest of the Rías Baixas D.O. You can expect the white wines of O Rosal to tilt more towards stone fruit flavours and relatively generous and rounded palate.

    Grab a glass of your prefered Atlantic white and join John & Sara on their continued journey across the misty terroir of Rias Baixas. 


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    52 mins

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