HHH031 Sommelier Ryan Hess | Vinoteque

In this podcast, I spoke with sommelier Ryan Hess (co-owner of Vinoteque on Melrose) to get some tips on how to taste wine: what’s the point of swirling it; how to smell it; checking out the “legs” what they can tell you. We go over some wine terminology so that we can all talk about wine and sound smart; find out the difference between natural sulfites and synthetic sulfites; and what modern wheat and grapes have in common. Ryan shares a radically surprising suggestion (really!!!) for your next cheese board and we also learn that many wines are not vegan! Who knew?!

Our wine tasting and discussion begins around 21 minutes. Starting at around 40 minutes, I ask Ryan a few questions from my listeners. Cheers!

Follow Ryan and Vinoteque on Instagram | Website | Vinoteque Wine List

You can listen to the episode below or on Soundcloud.

Show Notes:

  • Chateau de Campuget rosé
  • Doctor of Wine, Professor of Viticulture
  • Enology
  • The stomping of the grapes
  • Sunstone winery
  • New World wines vs Old World
  • Natural sulfites vs Synthetic sulfites
  • Malolactic fermentation
  • The purpose of aging wines
  • Lees – dead yeast
  • Clarifying wines with egg white (non-vegan wines!)
  • Isinglass
  • Organic wine
  • Phylloxera aphids
  • What wheat and grapes have in common
  • Root grafting
  • Terroir
  • Vertical tasting
  • Time to taste some wines! (21:24)
  • Chateau de Rey, Languedoc France
  • Aerating the wine
  • Wine decanters (wide base, like this)
  • What the color of wines can tell you
  • Legs, Tears, Stained Glass Windows
  • How to “read” the legs for sugar content of wine
  • W.A.A.F.
  • Aroma vs Bouquet
  • Why fatty cheeses go with wine
  • My video interview with Antonelli’s Cheese (lots of cheese plate tips!)
  • Vino Verde, Albariño, Vermentino, Trebiano, Chenin Blanc
  • Wine for Dummies book
  • An explanation of wine pricing
  • What’s the point of wine?
  • Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  • The “body” of a wine
  • Burgundy region grows mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
  • Bordeaux region: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot
  • Proclamation of 1855
  • Champagne is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier
  • Blanc du blanc; Blanc du noir
  • Red wine vs white wine
  • Proper serving temperatures for wines
  • Water in your whiskey, ice in your wine
  • Evan asks: Biodynamic wine – what is it? what is the point?
  • Tim asks: How to prevent acid stomach when drinking wine?
  • Jonathan asks: What are the impacts of climate change on grape cultivation?
  • Growing grapes on Mars
  • Autumn asks: What are questions to ask a sommelier in order to get a wine you like?
  • Brooke asks: Is it true that the rules for drinking red wine with meat and white wine with fish have changed?
  • Scott asks about making wine at home
  • Making fruit wines with Montrachet yeast



  1. Tom Byrnes on November 11, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Ryan is the Best!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.