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Whether you're a sommelier or a wine lover with an interest in grapes, wine podcasts give you the chance to immerse yourself into the nuances of growers and leaders in the wine industry.
The best wine podcasts offer something for every level of interest: learning about the process of winemaking, grape varietals, wine pairings, or just immersing yourself in the art of wine. They're best listened to while sipping a glass of wine, of course! Keep reading for our lineup of the best wine podcasts.
Best Wine Podcasts of 2021
Best Overall: Wine for Normal People
Why We Chose It: We selected Wine for Normal People because the majority of wine lovers aren’t sommeliers and need a learning outlet tailored for the everyday wine enthusiast.
What We Like: A laid-back introduction to wine; Two alternate voices of experience; Relatable terms for listeners; Wine information sprinkled with humor
What We Don’t Like: Not for someone seeking a higher level of learning
Not every wine enthusiast has the time or desire to invest in becoming a sommelier. The award-winning Wine for Normal People, as the title suggests, is for regular folks who have some level of interest in wine. The podcast dives into wine topics such as grapes, regions, industry topics, and what to try next. Although co-host Elizabeth Schneider is a sommelier, her husband (and fellow co-host) M.C. Ice is a typical wine lover (without the credential), and he brings a different point of view to the podcasts. Amateurs and experts alike will enjoy listening to them.
Schneider is a certified sommelier, certified specialist of wine, blogger, and a wine educator. She is the author of "Wine for Normal People: A Guide for Real People Who Like Wine, but Not the Snobbery That Goes With It."
Best Comprehensive: Napa Valley Academy: The Stories Behind Wine
Why We Chose It: Napa Valley Wine Academy’s podcast provides a thought-provoking range of stories about the wine industry.
What We Like: Interesting stories; Education from an esteemed school
What We Don’t Like: Not a lot of information available about the podcast
The Napa Valley Wine Academy bills itself as "America's Premier Wine School." Its Stories Behind Wine podcast series began in 2014 and gives a glimpse into how wine is made and the wine industry as a whole. Though the school offers sommelier classes, even novices will enjoy this perspective on wine.
Each episode features an expert in the wine industry who shares stories behind the wine. For example, in Episode 20, Michael Karam, the author of "Wines of Lebanon" and a contributor to the wine documentary "Wine and War," talks about the rich and often war-torn history of Lebanese wines.
Best for Wine Professionals: Guild of Sommeliers: GuildSomm Podcast
Why We Chose It: The Guild of Sommeliers is a respected organization that interviews leaders in the wine business. We chose it as best for wine professionals because of its curated look at the industry.
What We Like: Conversations with industry leaders; Broad coverage of topics; Networking resources
What We Don’t Like: May not be as relevant for the novice
The Guild of Sommeliers is a nonprofit educational and networking resource for wine industry professionals. In November 2012, it launched the GuildSomm Podcast to provide interviews with leading wine industry leaders, guided by the organization's president and master sommelier Geoff Kruth.
Grab your favorite vintage or order a wine tasting kit, and then sit down and listen to interviews about topics such as viticulture, the historic challenges of the wine industry, or regenerative farming practices. The quality of speakers is impressive and they provide smart answers on a variety of topics.
Best of Black Voices: The Swirl Suite
Why We Chose It: The Swirl Suite offers a much-needed dive into the Black voices in wine.
What We Like: Enriches Black voices in the wine industry; Discusses not only the industry but wine as a lifestyle; Fun and spirited conversations
What We Don’t Like: With four hosts plus guests, there are a lot of voices
Hosted by Sarita Cheaves, Tanisha Townsend, Leslie Frelow, and Glynis Hill, the focus of The Swirl Suite is to give a voice to people of color in the wine industry. The hosts mix serious conversations with witty camaraderie while discussing Black-owned wineries and wines, plus industry professionals.
The podcast highlights what’s involved in working in the wine industry as well as indulging in wine for novices and experts. Topics range from discussions about kosher wines to wine fraud, sparkling wine, and even wine politics.
Each host brings her own expertise to the discussion in this podcast that Cheaves began in 2015.
Best for California Wines: Sip Sip Hooray
Why We Chose It: We chose Sip, Sip, Hooray! for its exclusive focus on California wines.
What We Like: Entirely California wine-focused; Answers on-air questions; Fun without being snobby
What We Don’t Like: Irregular release schedule
Mary Orlin and Mary Babbitt take listeners on a journey of California wines. Each has an impressive background: Orlin is a James Beard- and Emmy Award-winning wine journalist, while Babbitt is a three-time Emmy Award-winning host. The pair created the Emmy- and James Beard award-winning series "In Wine Country" in 2002.
During the podcast, the seriousness of wine is taken out of the conversation in favor of a fun yet knowledgeable discussion of the people in the wine industry in Napa, Santa Cruz, and the Livermore Valley. In each episode, you’ll meet a winemaker, grower, sommelier, and others. You’ll learn travel tips and will have a chance to ask questions on the air. The hosts treat each episode as a chance to sit down for a glass of wine with friends.
Follow Sip Sip Hooray on social media to get announcements for its next podcast release. While you wait, check out its library of previous shows.
For anyone who loves wine, there’s a podcast to listen to. While some focus on professional industry standards, others are chatty and fun and discuss topics of interest to any wine lover. We can't choose only one from our list because they all offer something different. Our recommendation: Open up a bottle of wine and start listening.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Wine Podcast?
A wine podcast is a virtual show where hosts speak with leaders in the wine industry. Topics of discussion can range from how a grape becomes a glass of wine to the latest trends in winemaking. Most podcasts are around 45 minutes per episode.
Do I Have to Know a Lot of Wine Terms to Enjoy a Podcast?
No industry knowledge or lingo is necessary. Most podcasts are fun, lively conversations with wine-growers and others in the industry telling the stories behind wine and its creation. They are great for anyone interested in wine, regardless of their knowledge of the subject.
How We Chose the Best Wine Podcasts
We chose a variety of wine podcasts so there’s something for everyone. We listened to several podcasts to get a feel for how they are presented and which topics are covered. We also put ourselves in the shoes of wine industry professionals, wine lovers, and casual wine drinkers while evaluating the options.
For example, we chose Podcast for Wine Professionals and The Stories Behind Wine for those in the industry wanting to stay current on the industry trends and innovations. For the armchair wine enthusiast, we selected The Swirl Suite, Wine for Normal People, and Sip Sip Hooray for their easy listening and lively conversations about wine.