This week on the “VinePair Podcast,” hosts Adam Teeter, Joanna Sciarrino, and Zach Geballe discuss the perils of celebrity culture in the beverage alcohol industry. After listing what they have been drinking recently — including a Jungle Bird and a Japanese whisky — our hosts dive into a discussion about celebrity culture in light of the shocking arrest of Caleb Ganzer, wine director at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels.

Teeter begins by questioning whether or not celebrities even exist in the drinks industry, and gives his two cents about why glorifying drinks pros can become problematic. Sciarrino explains how putting these “celebrities” in the spotlight can result in questionable — and even illegal — behaviors. Geballe discusses how the beverage industry is changing by slowly realizing that it is not exempt from society’s rules and guidelines. In the end, our hosts agree that the media needs to change its approach to how they talk about popular industry professionals.

If you have any thoughts on “celebrity” culture in drinks, please send your ideas to [email protected].

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Adam Teeter: From VinePair’s New York City headquarters, I’m Adam Teeter.

Joanna Sciarrino: And I’m Joanna Sciarrino.

Zach Geballe: And in Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.

A: And this is the “VinePair Podcast.” Joanna, what’s going on? Zach, hi. What have you both been up to? What are you drinking and what are you doing?

J: I can jump in.

A: Of course, you need to.

J: I’ve tried another local bottled cocktail brand called Wandering Barman.

A: Interesting.

J: I had their La Niña Margarita, which is very good. Also, I made a cocktail recipe from our website called the Summer Sunset.

A: Nice.

J: It has reposado tequila, dry vermouth, Cointreau, and orange bitters, and that was really nice.

A: That’s awesome.

Z: Very cool.

A: Zach, what about you?

Z: Well, the thing that was most exciting in the last week or so was that I’m an adopted Milwaukee Bucks fan. My wife is from Wisconsin, and as there is no basketball team in Seattle anymore, I have been over the last few years on the bandwagon. As many of you listening know, they won the NBA championship recently.

A: The Greek Freak?

Z: Yes, indeed. Also, I actually have been drinking Greek wine, although not because of that. We recently had a podcast about Greek wine, and I’ve always loved Greek wine. It spurred my interest in revisiting some bottles that I have and all that. Actually, the thing I opened that I had bought my wife, as you all know, is pregnant so we didn’t drink very much to celebrate. Yet, I did open a very special bottle of single malt from Nikka in Japan, which is their Taketsuru 17 year, which was really awesome. We have talked, Adam, about some of the really aged whiskeys and whether some of the high end of the category is really worth it. I think it’s totally reasonable to feel like a whiskey at that price point isn’t worth it, but it was really beautiful. I think the thing I’d love and we’ve talked about it, and I’ve talked about it in some “Next Round” episodes, is the thing I love about single malt whiskey is it’s been such an interesting diffusion of technology and distilling approach. You see these really distinct styles and approaches to it and types of single malt whiskey now from, of course, Scotland and Ireland, but also Japan, India, Indonesia, the United States, and lots of other places. It’s so cool to see that flourishing because it’s a category that has an incredible potential to showcase differences. I don’t want to talk about terroir and everything, but there are definitely some real distinctions there and especially in some places. It’s very cool to see it, especially because in Japan, it’s very much something where the broad strokes of the technology were imported, but in a lot of ways, they’ve taken things in their own direction. The spirits are often identifiably single malt whiskey, but not intended to be Scotch analogs, which is very cool. I think it’s much more exciting to say we’re going to use this approach to making whiskey, but using what we have here as opposed to we’re going to try and make something that tastes indistinguishable from Scotch, which unfortunately has happened some other places, including here in the U.S. in some cases. What about you, Adam? What have you been having?

A: I got to have some tasty stuff last week, but the coolest thing I did is I got to taste a 43-year-old Talisker.

Z: Oh, well, talk about Scotch.

A: It was pretty awesome, but even cooler was I got to meet Matthew Rhys. Sorry, Joanna.

J: I’m so jealous.

A: He was… I mean, so dreamy, very handsome. He recorded a video for Naomi because she couldn’t come. It was the best. Also, over the weekend, I had an interesting experience that I’m curious how the both of you would react to. Basically, we went to the new Fotografiska museum in New York, which is awesome. I totally encourage everyone to go. It’s on 22nd and Park Ave. It has this amazing photography, and it’s the only museum that has come over from Sweden. It’s another location and they had really cool exhibits. Then, we were going to go to dinner and I was looking for a place and I found this restaurant that I had not been to in a while. I remember this place is really well known for its burgers. On their website, it said free corkage fee on Wednesdays, and this was a Friday. I decided to email and say, “Hey, I saw that you do free corkage on Wednesdays, I’m assuming that means you have a corkage fee the rest of the week. If you do, what is it?” The owner wrote back and he said, “Yeah, we do corkage fees. It is $45 for 750 milliliters and $65 for a magnum, so not bad. I had this bottle that I brought back from Napa that I wanted to share with her. We went to dinner. I brought the incredible bottle. It was Louis Martini Howell Mountain, it was really cool. I pull out the bottle and say, “Hi, I just want to be clear that we’re going to order some cocktails first, but we want to have this bottle of wine with dinner.” The waitress said, “I’m really sorry. We don’t allow people to bring their wine.” I said, “Oh, I actually emailed the owner, and he told me you guys do corkage fee, and this is the price.” She goes and I see her talking to the owner. She comes back over, and she says, “Oh, well, he says that we actually do not allow corkage on Friday or Saturdays, but since you’ve already brought the wine, he’ll make the exception.” He made me feel really icky. Meanwhile, my email to him says I was coming on Friday night, and he wrote back that this was the price. I literally pulled the email out for her, not to be a d**k, but to show that this is why I’m here. It was so weird. Also, I said, “By the way, can you decant this? It was just the weirdest feeling because then Naomi asked, “Well, what are we supposed to do?” I said, “Honestly, I’m all for wanting to buy one off the wine list, especially in these times but that is why I emailed ahead.”

Z: It wasn’t some random person who responded, it was the owner. The owner should get on the same page with the staff.

A: It was so weird, and then also, the whole experience was bad. I have a whole editorial pitch. The food was good and the wine was great, but just the whole staff and everything. Again, we’ve been talking about staffing issues and I also think some owners are not giving a shit anymore. I believe we’re going to start seeing a lot of backlash against restaurants in the next few weeks from consumers who are just over it. It was a great experience with the wine but really weird with the maître d’ or with the owner. However, on Saturday, I batched a bunch of Jungle Birds and took them to a party I was invited to with Naomi’s colleagues. I was invited because they knew I’d make the cocktails. It was pretty fun, though. I was very proud of myself.

Z: That’s a great cocktail. I love that cocktail.

A: It is such a good cocktail. I had never batched it before, but yeah, that was what I was drinking this weekend.

Z: Anyway, I want to make one more comment about your story. That is also a good reminder of the economics of scale. When we closed Dahlia Lounge, our corkage fee was $25, and we got grief from people about that price, which is not the highest in Seattle by far but befitting the stature of the restaurant. Any of my diners there who complained about the corkage fee, it could be a lot worse. It could be going to some restaurant in the East Village where they charge you $45 and then give you a hard time.

J: Yeah, some burger joint that charges you $45 for a corkage fee.

A: The restaurant is called Virginia’s. I wasn’t going to name it, but yeah, this is where it was.

Z: Gotcha.

A: Again, it was a very weird experience. Anyways, I have some interesting news to talk about this week that, I think, allows us to talk about a deeper discussion. We’re recording this on a Thursday, July 29. News broke on The Daily Beast first and then in The New York Times after, and some other publications that Caleb Ganzer, who’s a well-known sommelier in New York, was arrested for having committed arson. He’s the owner and the beverage director of La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. It turns out that over the past few months, late at night, he had been setting fires to the outdoor seating areas of other restaurants in the area and was finally caught when he was caught on video doing this a few weeks ago. I want to start by saying that we don’t know why he did these things. Obviously, if there’s a mental health issue there, we encourage anyone who knows anyone that’s having mental health issues to please go talk to someone. This has been a really challenging time for everyone, especially people in the restaurant industry. One of the things we did want to talk about with this situation is that in the breaking of this news, a lot of people referred to Caleb in their headlines, including The New York Times and The Daily Beast as a “celebrity sommelier.” We talked about this a bunch internally, Joanna and Zach, and I have talked about this privately, that this idea of celebrities in the drinks business is really problematic. It’s problematic for a lot of reasons. It doesn’t do the people who are named celebrities any favors and it doesn’t do the drinking public any favors. There really is no basis for it.

Z: Right.

A: There truly aren’t any celebrities in the drinks space. For me, the way I define a celebrity is if I see them walking down the street, would I recognize them and then would I potentially want to go up and talk to them or take a picture with them? À la, Matthew Rhys.

Z: Yes, I was just about to say if they are Matthew Rhys.

A: That’s exactly the question. Do I recognize them or just someone that I know recognize them? Then, are they a big enough deal that I really want to go up and talk to them? The only people that really exist as celebrities in our industry are chefs. I would argue that only chefs on TV. You can be a chef at a really well-known restaurant and I still don’t think you’re a celebrity. Yet, Éric Ripert is a celebrity. If I saw him, I would feel like I had seen a celebrity. He’s on TV and is 100 percent the definition of what a celebrity is. Do I think that a chef at the trendiest restaurant in New York City right now is a “celebrity”? Probably not. They may be well regarded, but they’re not a celebrity. Someone who makes the 40 under 40 list in the legal profession and gets a lot of great accolades in their industry is still not a celebrity. They may be well regarded in their industry, but they’re not a celebrity. My take — and I want to hear what both of you think about all this — is when we label people celebrities, I actually think it damages the way we come at the entire industry because those people wind up, first of all, getting an overinflated sense of self worth. Secondly, they become the only ones that people use for specific campaigns. Zach, I was actually thinking about this morning, going through Covid, I was thinking back at the brands and regions that were using spokespeople. There were four or five people in the wine industry that I think were used over and over again. There are a lot more well-qualified people in wine than that. The same thing was happening in cocktails, because I want to make this a discussion — obviously, we’re using the hook of Caleb — but I think this is all-beverage. Joanna, you and I talked about how I went to a restaurant recently and the bartender said, “A celebrity bartender owns this place.” A celebrity bartender? What do you mean?

J: Who?

A: I don’t even know who this person is. I don’t even know how to say their name. I think all of this is really bad, and we just need to stop. Media, like us, probably needs to stop. We’re going to obviously do awards and things. Everyone does that. We have the Next Wave Awards coming up in October, but as best we can, we want to shine light on people to give them great recognition, but we need to be very careful about trying to create celebrities. I think it’s just not good, and I’m going to stop talking and let you guys talk.

J: I agree that it’s important to, as you said, spotlight people for their contributions or for the things that they’re doing for the industry or to propel the industry forward, innovations, etc. However, I think that the problem lies with publications calling them “celebrities” or other words that inflate their sense of self worth. Then, it also gives them more power to wield in the name of fame. Ultimately, and we’ve certainly seen this in the food world, it gives them power to exploit. Then, exploiting other individuals with that power, too. I think that’s the issue or one of the issues, I suppose.

Z: I think that you’re right, Joanna. The power dynamic and imbalance create one real negative to these accolades. It’s not just the media. To some extent, it’s the public, too. I think the difference between the comparison of someone in the legal profession or something that’s not as public-facing is, there can be people who can be viewed in their own industry as leaders or pioneers. To me, a largely positive but with some negative things that has happened culturally is we care a lot more about the food we eat and the things we drink, and we care about the quality of them. We care about who made them, in some cases, societally. Of course, that means some people are going to be much more famous. There’s a long history of celebrity chefs in France and in other places where dining has long been considered a cultural pursuit. It is not just the thing you do because you’re hungry. Here, it’s taken a lot longer to get to that point, and we’ve done it quickly and in a slapdash fashion. Obviously, we can name many people — almost exclusively men, but not entirely — who have become famed. After their fame has grown, either the shit they did before they were famous or the shit they’ve done since they were famous or both have proven to be pretty horrible. The same is true with drinks, obviously, whatever those things might be. I think it is a little unavoidable to say that there’s always going to be some higher-profile people in these professions when the public’s eye is on it. We don’t just do this podcast for us. We don’t just do this podcast for people who work in the trade. We have lots of people who are just interested in drinks who listen, so there’s obviously an audience for this. I mean, that’s why VinePair exists. I think it’s important that we think about two things here. One is that some amount of this is just unavoidable. If Caleb Ganzer was a civil engineer who happened to light some fires, none of us would know. I don’t know that it’s necessarily the case that it’s always easy to say — and I don’t think this is what we were saying, I want to be clear — but I think it’s tempting for some people to say, “Oh, it’s because he was in the public eye or was famous.” That may be true, but it sometimes lets those individuals off the hook a little bit for their own behavior. It’s also true that, as I said, I think it is to some extent unavoidable. For us to talk about the drinks industry, to write about the drinks industry, we have to talk to people who work in the industry. Some of those people are going to be people at more prominent restaurants. They are people who are going to be people who are more successful in certain ways. Obviously, it’s important — and I think we do a really good job of this, both on the podcast and on the site in general — to talk to a wide range of voices. People who are not famous, people who are all over the country, all over the world, people who’ve had a great deal of success, and people who are hoping to have success. Yet, there is an inescapable nature to the fact that some people, because of this category rising in public prominence, those people will rise in prominence along with it. What’s important — and I think we are doing a better job of this, slowly and painfully — is that we do not let that prominence and success cover up for all of the bad things that they might do. In fact, it is more incumbent upon us to pay attention to what these people are doing and to watch them closely. To make sure that if the people we are holding up in this industry are gaining stature and elevated positions because of that attention, that they live up to it. I mean, that’s what I think it comes down to.

A: I agree somewhat with what you’re saying in terms of the prominence, but I would argue in terms of why this was covered. It was covered because at the end of the day, he’s a restaurant owner, and it’s a restaurant owner lighting other restaurant owners’ property on fire. Literally doing damage.

Z: Oh, for sure.

A: Especially when he was a restaurant owner that was very vocal early on in the pandemic about how restaurants were not getting any support and how no one was helping. Then, to see someone do that, we would cover the person who did this regardless. If they are the local sandwich shop or the bodega, we would cover it. Yet, in the idea of celebrity, what’s problematic for me is that I completely understand what you’re saying about chefs. I did say earlier that there are celebrity chefs, and I really only think you’re a celebrity if you’re on TV. I guess it’s not totally true if you go back and you look at, as you’re saying, the culture in France and Italy that has somewhat come here. There are some pretty prominent chefs who’ve really never been on television that I would still consider celebrities. I would still say I probably wouldn’t recognize them or be intimidated by them. If I met Éric Ripert, I’d be a little intimidated in the same way that I was with Matthew Rhys. I think if I got to meet someone who is highly regarded but he doesn’t have a personality that I’ve ever encountered, I might be a bit more chill. Now, my issue with the drink space is that I really don’t think there’s a lot of consumers that know who these people are.

Z: Oh, I agree.

A: I think it’s a prominent inside of a small bubble, but the way that bubble reinforces these people makes them think that everyone outside the bubble also knows who they are and makes them act like everyone outside the bubble also knows who they are. That’s what I think is problematic. Actually, no. No one knows who you are. At the end of the day, to most people, if you are still working on the floor or whatever, when you come to the table, you’re just the person that’s going to help them have a better time at dinner.

J: The only thing that is problematic is if you’re a jerk as a result or you do bad things as a result of this feeling.

A: Exactly, and that’s where it bothers me.

Z: But I think it’s important to note that the men who are featured in the “Somm” film, I don’t know that you would call them celebrities exactly, but they were in a movie that a fair number of people saw. I’m sure there are people who saw them on the street shortly after and stopped them. We’ve talked about the Court of Master Sommeliers and their many issues before on the podcast, and we can go there again if we want. Yes, there isn’t quite the same cachet with celebrity sommeliers or bartenders as there are with chefs in some cases. Again, as a recent podcast episode discussed, you don’t see a lot of drinks-focused television shows out there. That is true but what we’re talking about is both curating, but also stature and prominence within the industry. It’s not that Caleb was going to get stopped by people on the street saying, “Oh, my God, are you Caleb Ganzer? Can I get your autograph?” As you said at the beginning, Adam, here was a guy who came on our podcast as a representative of the Wines of Roussillon because he was a well-known and respected sommelier who could talk about the region knowledgeably and lend it some shine. That is not to knock anyone involved in that because it was an interesting conversation. I don’t doubt that Caleb knows a lot about the wines of Roussillon, but the point is where it becomes a reinforcing thing and the same people get put forward. Those people may not think of themselves as hot s**t broadly. Again, I don’t think they think that everyone in America knows who they are, but within an industry, I think they get very used to a level of acclaim, attention, deference, and special treatment. To me, that is the problem because it doesn’t have to be a broad societal thing for those people to take that power, that prominence, and wield it in a variety of unscrupulous to outright criminal ways. That is the thing that I think we have to be vigilant against. If we are going to hold up people as noteworthy for what they do professionally, that’s one thing. But often, that becomes not just about the job they do, but the person themselves. Where so many of these problems start, as Joanna said, is people having an inflated sense of themselves and then it becomes very difficult for the industry to check them because they’re prominent. I also wanted to ask you both something and then maybe I will share my thoughts, too. Adam, you mentioned before we started recording and I think is worth noting, which is the case with the quartermaster and master sommeliers who were accused of all types of sexual assault, harassment, etc. It was true with the two different chefs in the Seattle area who are both James Beard Award winners who were accused of similar things. It’s an open secret within the industry for some of this stuff whether it’s the specifics or one person has a drinking problem or behavior problems. This person yells at their cooks, they throw things, etc. It’s not until something like this happens that people start speaking out about it. I don’t know if there’s a good answer to what we can do to maybe get some of this stuff out before people get hurt or crimes are committed, per se. Joanna, what do you think about this? How do we keep some of this stuff from just being open secrets within the industry?

J: Yeah, I think that there are two options, especially for somebody in a publishing position and working for food publications in the past. There were certainly times where the publication heard that very prominent chefs badly behaved in the kitchen. This is not news anymore, but we would continue to work with them or publish stories about them because they were so prominent in food that if you didn’t, you were missing something. I think in this instance, as a publisher, if you hear these things about individuals — especially well-regarded ones in the industry — you can choose not to publish things about them and continue to advance their career in that way, or you can publish these things about them and report stories on it. Those are two obviously very different decisions to make and with different consequences as a brand. I agree that it is s****y to know after the fact or after things like this with Caleb come to light, to hear people saying they knew all these things about him before.

A: Right. Zach, you talked for a while. I tried to break in, but I wanted to say that I did agree with you. I actually think that the four people in the first “Somm” movie are maybe the only true celebrity somms. I think it was probably, as you said, the most watched thing ever.

J: I think my mom could probably identify them.

A: Yeah, if I asked a friend if they knew who Dustin Wilson was, they would say yes. I think in this regard, the media is really crazy because we obviously want to highlight as many people as possible who are new, young, fresh, and not even young, but just doing different things. Then, there also is a thing where if VinePair isn’t writing about the hot, new, natural wine bar run by someone like Caleb, then are we even relevant? I think every publication feels that for sure. I think that it’s hard on the media side. We try to know as much but also, in all honesty, we don’t know a lot of people. The reason you are one of the hosts of this podcast, besides your really great voice for radio, Zach, is you have an insight to the industry that Joanna and I don’t. We don’t know a lot of these people. My only interaction with most people in the industry is interviewing them for stories.

Z: I want to make one quick note on this, Adam. Your stories about horrific service experiences notwithstanding, when people are in front of the press, they behave one way. When they’re in front of who they consider their peers, they might behave in a different way.

A: Exactly. It’s very unlikely that, as journalists — and I want to be clear, we very much consider ourselves high-quality journalists — but we can do as much background checking as possible and we do. It’s still very difficult. Now, where this can be prevented is among the peers. It’s people who do know this, and that’s where I think in all of these, it sadly comes down after that. I’ve never heard a journalist say to me, “Oh, I knew about this already, because if they did, that’s a juicy f*****g story and they would have written it.” Let’s be clear, it’s all about the lead for us or about the story. If we knew, we’d write about it. Then, it is other sources that I’ve had in the past who will text me and say, “Oh, this person was a heavy drinker, or I’ve been at parties where this person blacks out a lot and that breaks things.” Again, I’m not saying this is the person that we’re talking about now, it’s not. These are just examples. I want to be clear about that, but it’s like, “Oh, man, I wish someone had told me that when I was reporting the piece.” I wish someone would have reached out and said, “Hey, I see you’re featuring so-and-so and just so you know, they’re a bad actor.” That doesn’t seem to happen. I don’t know if it’s out of fear because often the people that get covered are powerful. They run really amazing lists, restaurants, and places that people just are dying to get into. There’s a feeling in the industry that if we tell on them, and it comes out that we were the leak and it doesn’t get reported, all of a sudden we’re going to be blacklisted and not get access to all the stuff that they now have access to in the power position that they’re in. It would be great if it did happen more. It would be great if we were informed. It doesn’t have to be where you tip Joanna or me. If you are a peer, say something to them: “I think your drinking is getting a little out of hand, you might want to talk to someone, or you may regret this in a few years.” These late nights that happen when you’re in the service industry, as you know Zach, can only often bring trouble. There’s nothing wrong with just going home.

Z: For sure. And to add to that, I think one of the most challenging things for me as I’ve grown as a professional and seen more and worked with more people and experienced things is, the restaurant industry and the beverage alcohol industry, have generally been industries that are very permissive, largely without guidelines. And a lot of people who are in the space — whether they know it or not — is because of that is what attracts them in the first place. They can, frankly, get away with s**t that they might not be able to get away with in other industries. That isn’t to say that many of them aren’t deeply passionate, great, and skilled. Obviously, this is true. To be honest, when I was in my early 20s, that’s part of what attracted me to the industry was that ability to have a workplace where I could tell my coworkers to go f**k themselves when I was angry at them and not necessarily get in trouble for it. You maybe had to make it good later, but it wasn’t the end of the world. The biggest change that is happening in this industry is we are realizing, very slowly and painfully, that we are not exempt from the rules. One of the things I have seen a little bit more of and would strongly encourage anyone who listens to this who owns and operates a place or is a manager somewhere, is look really long and hard into third-party human resource options. One of the biggest problems we see in this space, in general, is sometimes someone does bring it up, right? They mention it to the person or they mention it to another manager or to the HR person, but in small and medium-sized restaurant companies and even in big restaurant companies, the PR person, if they’re internally maintained, sometimes their biggest focus is on protecting the company. It is what it is.

I think when you have third parties involved, it allows for people to feel a little bit freer to speak their mind, to talk about what they may or may not see or experience or feel. It allows for there to be a layer between the employee, the person whom they are reporting something about, and a buffer that you just need for these systems to really work. I think you’re right, both of you, that it needs to be on people within the space to speak out when it’s appropriate and to talk maybe privately to people when it’s appropriate, but it’s also about putting systems in place so that it no longer requires extraordinary action by people who have been victimized or witnesses so that these stories can get out.

J: And people feel safe doing that.

Z: Yeah, exactly.

A: It’s crazy, guys. Look, there’s a lot to unpack here. I think what we seem to all agree on is this idea of some people having more notoriety than others and therefore positioning them as one of the more important people in the industry is problematic in a lot of ways. The more we can do to try to limit that and to have more than a few people as spokespeople, especially in New York. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll talk to a brand and they’ll want to do an event with us. They would say, “Can you get this person?” And it’s always the same four or five people. Let’s try to expand who we’re having, who we think is important. It would just be beneficial to everyone. Then, on another level, try to be aware of people who seem to have mental health problems, those who seem to be struggling, and try to get them help. Then, also to speak out against people who exhibit bad behavior and seem to exhibit that behavior with no real feeling of regret or remorse. Those are things that we have to call out as much as possible.

Z: Absolutely.

A: Joanna, and Zach, this has been a really interesting conversation. Our thoughts are out to the restaurants that have been affected by what has happened, and I hope that they’re able to recover. It’s been a terrible year, and a lot of people are under a lot of strain and a lot of pressure. I think it’s a good reminder that the effects of Covid are not over. We need to be really aware of that and try to be as supportive as possible. Thank you both so much for a great conversation again. I’ll talk to you again next week.

J: Thanks.

Z: Sounds great.

Thanks so much for listening to the “VinePair Podcast.” If you love this show as much as we love making it, then please give us a rating or review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever it is you get your podcasts. It really helps everyone else discover the show.

Now for the credits. VinePair is produced and recorded in New York City and in Seattle, Wash., by myself and Zach Geballe. He does all the editing and loves to get the credit. Also, I would love to give a special shout-out to my VinePair co-founder, Josh Malin, for helping make all this possible and also to Keith Beavers, VinePair’s tastings director, who is additionally a producer on the show. I also want to, of course, thank every other member of the VinePair team who is instrumental in all of the ideas that go into making the show every week. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you again.

Ed. note: This episode has been edited for length and clarity.