On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” hosts Adam Teeter, Joanna Sciarrino, and Zach Geballe discuss whether sake will ever enjoy a moment in the spotlight. The traditional Japanese spirit has long been anticipating a surge in popularity, but could lack of education among consumers become a challenge? Will the arrival of sake-based canned beverages and bottles designed for clubs push forward the category as a whole? Tune in to learn more.
Or Check Out the Conversation Here
Joanna Sciarrino: From VinePair’s New York City headquarters, I’m Joanna Sciarrino.
Zach Geballe: In Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.
Adam Teeter: And from the PÁTRON Hacienda in Jalisca, Mexico, I’m Adam Teeter. And this is the “VinePair Podcast.” What’s going on, guys?
Z: It’s an international pod.
A: It’s an international pod. I’m sitting here at the Hacienda. Well, actually, the Casona. Let’s be clear.
J: Very exclusive.
Z: I think I want to be very clear that I am pleased, but also kind of depressed that you are in beautiful Jalisco and you’re wasting your time doing this podcast.
J: No, it’s important.
Z: That’s dedication, listeners. That’s the Adam Teeter way.
A: This is how I do it. Also because I think both of you were like, “Hey, you’re going to be there. Can you travel with all the audio equipment? It’d be really cool if you go there.” I got you guys. I got you guys. Next week will be the same. I’ll be remote again.
J: From a different venue.
A: That’s all we do here at VinePair, it’s travel.
Z: That’s all you do?
A: But yeah, I’m here judging the Pátron Perfectionists Cocktail Competition, which is 15 or 20 bartenders from around the world. You win your region, your country, or your region of countries. Smaller countries all go into one region. So Germany and Austria are combined. Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are combined. And then if you won that national competition, you were flown down here to beautiful Mexico to present your cocktail to me, the master distiller, and the winner from last year. So there’s a lot of pressure.
Z: Yeah, a lot of pressure on you.
A: Yeah. It should be a lot of fun, though. The bartenders are really awesome from all over the world from their perspectives and talking about what’s happening in their regions is really cool. And they all came down here with the brand ambassadors from their country as well. It becomes their coach, which is really interesting. Other cocktail competitions I have judged in the past aren’t like this. Basically what happens is if you win your country, the brand ambassador literally becomes your coach and practices with you. Talking to the United States winner, his name is Fabio, and he’s the head bartender at the Park Hyatt in Manhattan. He was saying that his brand ambassador in NYC literally would come to the Park Hyatt starting, I guess it was like three months ago, every single Monday. And they would run his cocktail presentation every Monday now for two hours.
J: Like a cheer competition.
Z: Are you speaking from experience, Joanna?
J: No, no, absolutely not.
A: She just watched “Cheer” on Netflix.
J: What was that movie back in the day?
A: “Bring It On.”
J: That’s what I know.
A: I just thought that, because you’re such a “Drive to Survive” fan, you’re obsessed with all of the competition shows now on Netflix.
J: Just “Drive to Survive.”
A: Anyways, what have you both been drinking?
J: I’m going to go first. So this past weekend, which was Memorial Day long weekend, I actually met up with Adam and some other folks at Long Island Bar and drank all the drinks there, which was a wonderful experience. And if you’ve never been, you should go. But I think the standout drink for me was the Improved Pendennis Club cocktail. It was a gin-based cocktail with apricot, I assume liqueur, lime juice, and Peychaud’s bitters. It was very good.
A: It was my favorite.
J: Yeah. So, so good. Yeah. And then otherwise, I think that was pretty much the highlight of the past week. What about you, Zach?
Z: Well, I was away on my own little trip to Walla Walla over Memorial Day weekend. The weather didn’t cooperate, but I drank a lot of really nice wine, which was great. A couple of things that stood out. I had an older vintage 2014 white from Tranche Cellars out there, which they call their Pape Blanc. It’s kind of modeled on a Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. In this case, I think it’s mostly Grenache Blanc with some Roussanne and Clairette if I remember correctly. As longtime listeners know, I’m quite enamored with older white wine. So that was a lot of fun. And then the other thing is I went to another winery, Double Back. I’ve been around it for 15 or so years. It’s actually owned by former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who’s from Walla Walla. And his winemaker is another Walla Walla lifelong resident. And they make really excellent wines. It’s one of those things that’s happened in the wine world in a lot of different places that might be worth talking about some time or writing about or something. You have all these labels that were started in one era of wine. In this case, the early Doubleback wines would be correctly described as really full-bodied in a lot of oak and in that mid-2000s Cabernet-style and without a whole lot of fanfare. The style has definitely evolved. Now their estate vineyards are all biodynamic. They’re still making Cabernet Sauvignon, let’s be clear. But it’s the elegance of the wines and the subtlety of the wines that have been increased, and their in-your-face nature of them has been decreased, which I personally appreciate. But it’s been fun to see that happen and to wonder, for people who got into the wines in the early days, is that cool with them? Or do they still pine for those much more full-bodied, intense styles that they first got interested in? So that was really cool. And then I actually got to go have a cocktail with Caitlin for our anniversary, which was a rare treat. Also in Walla Walla at a really cool new place called Kinglet, which is in that historic building there. It used to be a lumber mill. They actually share it with a winery, the space. And then the chef is from Seattle, operates a couple of restaurants in Seattle, and then opened up out there. And I had a cocktail called Session 41, which was a Scotch and Drambuie cocktail. It was a play on a Rusty Nail.
J: Rusty Nail.
Z: Yeah, but it was really good. And the next night we just went out for drinks and dessert, which is great. And I mean, it’s something we don’t get to do very often, so a nice treat there. How about you, Adam? I assume lots of tequila lately, but what else were you drinking?
A: Yes, some tequila lately, but only a little bit because I just got here.
A: But then over the weekend, I met up with Joanna and others at Long Island Bar. I had the Gimlet, for which Mr. Cecchini is well known and has been on the “Cocktail College” podcast to talk about. And that was just an absolutely delicious cocktail. The third cocktail I had was one that, like Tim tells me, is the secret cocktail everyone gets there. It’s the cocktail that writers and bartenders know, and that was the Boulevardier, which was really good. And then I had a really interesting experience.
A: I didn’t ask. But served up.
A: Oh, certainly. It was made with rye and served up.
J: Fact-checking here.
A: The way it should be made. And served up.
Z: That’s what I said. You told me it’s supposed to be a bourbon cocktail.
A: I thought I said it was a rye cocktail.
Z: Now I’ll pull the audio.
A: Maybe, you could be right.
Z: The archives never lie.
A: I do like the receipts. And then I had a really interesting experience with some friends at dinner one of the other nights that I’m curious what you both think. We went to this new restaurant in Brooklyn that was amazing called Ingas Bar. I was asking the server about some of the wines. And again, it’s gotten some great reviews and things like that. But just like we’re seeing with most of these upscale casual restaurants and upscale taverns post-Covid, there are no more somms on the floor. And the service staff is trained in wine. They know the list, but they don’t know it’s super, super well. We knew we wanted to have two bottles, a bottle of white to start, and then a bottle of red. I knew a bunch of red producers, but I didn’t know any of the whites. I’d been told that the list can lean on the natty side, that there was some cleaner stuff. So I asked between a Chenin Blanc and a Chardonnay. And the server was really very persuasive. “Oh, the Chenin’s amazing.” I was like, “OK, is it clean? I’m looking for fruit, not funk.” And he was like, “Oh yeah, that’s one of our favorite wines here.” And he brought the bottle and had already opened it. When he put the bottle on the table to serve it, I saw the importer and I was like, “Nope, I know this is going to be super natural.” We’d already gotten it. And it was basically like drinking cider, which was fine.
J: You kept it?
A: Yeah, we kept it because it had been opened. He poured it into your glasses and I was like, “This is cider.” I’m not going to complain about it. It’s been opened. It was a relatively affordable bottle, it was $53 bucks. I didn’t want to be that dude. But then one of our friends was like, “Do you think there’s like an article to be written about how if you see the importer, you know?” And I was like, “Yeah, but I don’t want to write it in a negative way.” If you see this importer, you also know. But it was really interesting how the second I saw the name, I knew that the book is just very, very, very funky natural. There are other natural wine importers in New York where maybe this could be one of the wines that are natural but that are cleaner. I just knew the second I saw the name, I was like, “Yep, this is going to be funky.”What would either of you have done? Because I didn’t want to be the asshole to say to the server as well, “Oh, sorry, sorry. I actually see who this importer is. And I know that their book is really natural, so you might not think it is, but I know it’s going to be. So let’s just pass on this.” It was a very interesting situation. Then our friends were like, “You guys should write articles about how you can buy based on the importer.” Zach, what do you think?
Z: There are so many things here that stand out. To me, the weirdest single thing in this is that this person brought you an open bottle of wine.
A: Isn’t that odd?
Z: It’s one thing if you’re at a restaurant, like a Michelin star restaurant with a small team and you order a 35-year-old bottle of wine, and they’re like, “Oh, we’ll just prove it to make sure it’s fine.” I mean, that is a thing that happens and it’s a part of a certain kind of wine service. But for any other restaurant to be like, “Yeah, we’re just going to bring you this open bottle and pour it without even giving you the chance.” You could have been like, “You know what? I actually don’t want this.” You don’t even have to get into why. “We talked about it after you walked away and we actually decided we’d prefer the Chardonnay or whatever, I’m sorry.” If you were like, “Hey, I don’t want a funky wine. I want a clean wine.” They’re like, “Oh, no, this is great,” and they bring you something that’s totally not what you want. I get that it’s always a little bit much to be the person who sends wine back. But to me, this is an absolutely clear-cut time that you should send a bottle back. They f*cked up in so many different ways. They give you a bad recommendation. They didn’t give you a chance to look at the bottle and make a decision. They poured for the whole table right away. The whole thing to me is that this is just bad service. And maybe it comes back to where you started this conversation, which is that there isn’t a wine service professional on the floor doing this, it’s just a server. As someone who spent some of their restaurant careers as a server, I understand that that’s a lot of what happens in a lot of restaurants. But regardless of who is providing the service for you, there are some basic tenets. And one of them is that you have to give someone the chance. If you’re going to vociferously advocate for wine and if someone has told you what they want and you bring them something that does not meet what they want, that’s on you. That’s on the servers, and on the restaurant. And if they can’t get that sh*t together correctly, it’s not on you as the customer to drink it in this case. Again, that’s the worst thing about this. Now you’ve come away with this bad experience that maybe you don’t hold against the restaurant as a whole, but you’re going to be hesitant to go there again, maybe can be hesitant to order from the list again. For any restaurant, that should not be their desired outcome. If it means bringing you a second bottle of something that you do want, that’s a very, very, very small price to pay.
J: Did the server ask you if you liked it, Adam?
A: When he came back like later, I was like, “It was definitely more on the funkier side. It tastes a lot more like cider than I would have expected.” And he was like, “Oh yeah, that’s why we love it.” Also, it’s new stuff. It’s a new restaurant. I didn’t want to be like, “OK, well, let me now educate you on why what I had said to you is what we were looking for, and this is not what we’re looking for. And then I saw a really great red producer and I was like, “We’re gonna have this for the red.” It’s a totally different experience. But it is interesting because I do think too, you are really noticing — at least in New York, and I’m curious if the same is happening in Seattle — at these places where the entrees are still quite not super pricey, but it’s priced to be a nicer night out. I definitely do think you’re feeling the absence of trained wine people on the floor. You’re feeling it. And I know we predicted this really early on in Covid, but it’s true. You definitely notice it and there are definitely restaurants where there are people who still are really passionate about the wine that is on the floor. And that’s amazing. Those people should take those passions and find careers in wine. But at other places, I really do think that you’re getting services that’s really restaurants, cocktails, and food, but may not be as into wine or as into wine as the people who are there buying the wine from them. And I do wonder if you’re going to see even more of a decrease in wine sales than we are already seeing because of that.
Z: I have so many thoughts. I almost think we need to make this a separate episode. I do want to just add one piece here. This is a part of this conversation we’ve had a number of different ways and times on the podcast. It comes back to this element that demographic preferences are shifting, and it’s hard to say what is causing it; the honest truth is that there might be a relatively small percentage of the people who walk through the door of that restaurant or any given restaurant that we’re describing, who are going to require the kind of wine service that someone who’s well-versed in wine, whether they’re technically sommeliers or not, can provide. And it may just be that the calculation that these places are making is, “We’re going to sell a lot of cocktails, we’re going to sell some beer, we’re going to sell a decent amount of wine.” But the vast majority of people who even come in and order wine are not going to ask the kind of questions wherein someone giving the wrong answer is going to be noticeable. I guess I’ll put it that way.
J: That’s what I was going to say here. I feel like for most of the people who go to that restaurant, he sells that wine and they’re like, “This is great.” Because this is probably what they wanted, or they think that’s what they wanted. It’s very popular and you’re going to love this. I’ll open it before I even bring it to the table because I know you’re going to love it. Because maybe the people like you’re saying, Zach, they’re not asking those types of questions there. This isn’t to say that their palate isn’t discerning, but I think that they’re going into a place like that in a neighborhood like that, looking for a very specific thing or specific experience. That doesn’t necessarily require a wine professional.
A: Very interesting. Well, now that we’ve completed our mini-podcast for today, let’s move on to the actual subject. Which is, is sake going to blow up? We’ve seen a lot more sake brands coming onto the market in recent years, and it feels like even more in recent months. The question we all had when we were chatting about this episode was, do we think sake is on the cusp of having a moment? There are a lot of reasons why that could be true and a lot of reasons why that could be false. But to kick off first, are either of you sake drinkers, sake aficionados, sake fans?
J: I’m a sake fan, and I’m a sake drinker. I’m not an aficionado by any means. I think that my experiences with sake, though, typically happen in a specific setting. I’m guessing it’s true for many people who have sake, which is pairing it with Japanese food maybe at a sushi restaurant or other Japanese cuisine. Outside of that, I don’t have too much sake.
Z: I think that’s about an accurate summation of how I feel like I enjoy sake. I know a very, very, very small amount about it, enough to generally get to what I tend to prefer. But I also think that what Joanna said in terms of where I encountered it is quite true. One of the things I want to get to in this conversation I’m very curious about is, it suffers from being relegated to that experience and occasion of Japanese cuisine, sushi, etc., but I don’t see a lot of wine shops that have any kind of sake selection or maybe they have a couple of bottles. You don’t really see it in beer shops. Maybe you see it in certain kinds of larger package stores, like Total Wine or whatever. They probably carry some sake, I’m sure. In this country, at least in my experience, in most places, you don’t see a lot of retail settings with a robust sake selection. So if you are even someone who is like, “You know what? I want to have this at home with whatever cuisine I’m having,” it’s actually surprisingly hard to go find a selection. At least it’s been for me in Seattle to find a selection that isn’t five bottles.
J: Yeah, very basic.
Z: What about you, Adam?
A: I thought this was really interesting that you guys are bringing this up. I like sake, but my question for Joanna would be, do you understand sake? Because I feel like that for me, is something that’s very challenging. I think it depends on the setting, which is something that I think plagues sake. It’s the same thing that potentially plagues Greek wine. It’s a weird example, but if you’re not at a Greek restaurant, you’re not ordering Greek wine, right? If people aren’t in a Japanese restaurant, sushi bar, whatever, they’re not ordering sake. I enjoy having it, though. Outside of the context when I have, it’s very rare. Because again, I do think you’re both right. There are very few places where you find a great selection to buy it unless you’re in a few specific neighborhoods in New York where there happens to be a sake specialty store. I think it suffers as well because a lot of the people doing the buying of sake also don’t understand it that much. I’d be curious and obviously, he’s sitting on the board right now, but even someone like Keith, who owned a wine shop for 10 years. I know he sold some sake, but I wonder how much he understood sake. It’s just so different. All I know is that Junmai Daiginjo is what I should get for super-polished, pure sake. But I don’t know the differences. Then there’s the Junmai and the Ginjo. And I think it’s this world that is just so confusing and as confusing as wine. And I’m already trying to understand wine, so I think that for me is always going to be a barrier to it. But I don’t know. Joanna, how strong do you feel your grasp is on sake?
J: I think it’s the same. I have a very superficial understanding of sake and know those very, very basic differences that you mentioned, Adam. What I do know is that there’s a lot of not-great sake out there. But that’s the extent of it, and I think that is probably the case for most consumers.
Z: I think you have the bucket of consumers for whom it’s like, “Oh, let’s do sake bombs.”
J: Exactly. I think that’s why.
Z: Or let’s have the draft or whatever the equivalent of a glass-pour sake is when we’re out for sushi. And then, there’s a smaller subset that describes all of us that are like, “OK, I’m going to get a bottle of sake, or something a little bit spendier.” But we’re still looking at these really big categories that essentially have to do with how polished the rice is before it’s fermented. And then there’s obviously all the other facets which go into strains of rice, go into prefectures and where exactly the sake is made and the water source and the individual breweries. I know that that complexity exists. Don’t ask me to define any of it or explain any of it because I don’t know it. But it’s that step of getting people from where we are to the next step that feels incredibly challenging for the people who are really into sake, who really do wish it was a bigger part of American consumption. Or at least wasn’t put in one specific setting from almost everyone who drinks sake. One of the fascinating things to compare to isn’t so much wine, like Greek wine, but it’s to look at two things that we’ve talked about in reference to this. One is cider, which doesn’t have the issue of being confined to one specific category of restaurant, per se, but it does have the issue that to get into it, the complexity is kind of big and it doesn’t necessarily feel like a drink you’re going to have all that often unless you’re really into it. And the other one is looking at something like sherry. You and I talked about it relatively recently, Joanna. Because one of the places you’ve seen sake pop up more and more is in cocktails. You can look at that model and say, maybe in a restaurant that’s not a Japanese restaurant that’s going to feature a lot of different kinds of cuisine or different foods that’s going to have a robust cocktail program. Well, maybe the way to have sake be a part of that is to have it something that you can get by-the-glass equivalent, but also is part of the cocktail program to make it fit into a larger beverage program.
J: I think it has an image problem. People have a very specific perception of sake and when you’re supposed to drink it. That’s why I think it will always have that barrier for getting to that next level and investing more time and money in sake. You’re like, “Why would I spend more money when I’m doing sake bombs?” I think that’s really interesting. But why this was something I wanted to discuss today was because we’ve been seeing brands trying to take sake to the next level in different forms. So we recently had a tasting with a brand, and their sake is really meant to be a sake for the club and bottle service. And I thought that was really interesting because will that work? Does that work for people? Do you really want sake at the club? I don’t go to the club, so I don’t know. But do you really want a bottle of sake at the club? And then another form we’ve seen recently is a sake spritz. There was a canned drink, which I tried yesterday, which was very delicious. But again, that’s where I’m like, will consumers really reach for this? And I find it very interesting.
A: There are some reasons to point to that they could. What I found really interesting is when we were doing research on sake and we looked at trend data and sales data, etc. It’s much higher than categories like mezcal in terms of interest by consumer sales. If you talk to a bartender, etc., they would be shocked. Because mezcal, in certain bubbles, feels like it has this outsized influence. If you look at trend data, sake has a much larger awareness and interest among American consumers than soju, which people think is going to be the next really big spirit in the U.S., just given the emergence of K-Pop and its popularity and the Korean population continuing to grow and Korean food in the U.S. having a growth across the country. Korean culture is having a moment in the U.S. as well. Sake is still more popular in terms of what people are searching for and interested in, which is also really interesting. I think there are ways you could have an entry point. But then again, it’s almost like a preventative for itself. It’s a lower-alcohol drink. So for the club, if you’re trying to get a bang for your buck and you’re buying a bottle of sake. These bottles are designed to look like high-end vodka and tequila bottles. They don’t look like wine bottles where maybe then the club would get away with selling you a little bit of a cheaper bottle of rosé, assuming you’re going to buy three or four bottles of Whispering Angel, let’s say, as opposed to one bottle of vodka. They’re trying to position this to be the substitute for vodka, and the alcohol is lower. So you’re going to get a lot less bang for your buck as that consumer. It’s also not as mixable. People will tell you that it is. But I really don’t see people mixing it with soda water and orange juice and grapefruit juice and cranberry juice. These are the things I think are the traditional mixers that come out with the bottle service. So that means you have to assume your guests are willing to drink it straight, which some people are, especially when we go to Japanese restaurants, but maybe not in a club setting. Again, with the spritz, I see the idea. But there are so many spritzes out there on the market at this point, you’re going to first have to do the education and explain, why sake? That’s already a barrier in addition to just standing out as a spritz. I’m sure it does make a more delicious spritz, but I just think it’s going to be really tough. My answer is that I see why people think there’s an opportunity because you look at the trend data and it feels like it should be. But then when you think about it realistically, there are all these other reasons to stand in its way.
Z: That made me think about a couple of things. One is that an advantage that sake has — especially in the canned or RTD category — is it’s treated like a beer or wine by the government. And so it’s not subject to the same tax rate as some of these spirit-based seltzers and spritzers are. But it does connote a level of sophistication. I think people associate sake with a sophisticated experience when you think about how most of them drink it with sushi and a nice meal. It’s definitely not something that you think of as cheap. And so I think there’s a way, if you’re positioning yourself in that more premium category, maybe having it be sake-based gives that connotation. And I think the other piece of this is that there is this opportunity if the proper customer outreach and education are happening. So many trends in food right now are very advantageous for sake. You see all the popularity around the God-forsaken tinned fish trend and raw bars.
A: Oh, that’s a podcast upcoming.
Z: But a hot take on all this is that all of these places open and they’re like, “Oh, we have tin fish, we have raw fish with wine.” I actually think there’s relatively little wine that pairs really well with those kinds of foods. Spoiler, most white wines don’t, in my opinion. But sake does.
A: This is an upcoming podcast.
Z: OK, fantastic. We’ll come back to it.
A: I like that.
Z: The point is, I think there’s an opportunity for sake here to move into some of those spaces. It’s actually something that, before the restaurants in my company closed down before the pandemic, we were talking a lot about the places that had a lot of raw seafood. Did we need to really start looking at expanding our sake offerings or including them in the first place in some of the locations? Because it seemed like such a natural fit, in that people were occasionally asking about it. But it was also one of those things where we knew that if we put it there, it would do well. And then at our one restaurant where our executive chef was of Japanese descent, we had a fair bit of sake and we noticed that sake sales were definitely trending up in that one spot. Which obviously is not very good evidence for any larger trend. But it was something we were noticing. If we want to expand that, you enrich the challenge of educating guests and educating staff to come back to what we’re talking about in the open. Sake has that other challenge. It’s so unfamiliar to most people or at least its complexities are, even more than wine, perhaps. You really need someone on hand who can explain it if you’re going to offer more than a few bottles. Those are all big barriers, but they’re not insurmountable barriers, I don’t think.
J: Speaking about the clubs or bottle service sake in particular — Adam, you mentioned it being obviously lower ABV, 15 percent or so — if they’re trying to kind of capitalize on this lower ABV movement, maybe it’ll take hold as a result.
A: I think that that is what they’re trying to do. What they’re going to have to do to be successful, especially on this spirits side, is explain why their base not only creates lower ABV but then is also more delicious. We’re using sake not just because it’s lower ABV, especially depending on the kind of sake you use. As that polish level increases and the sake becomes cleaner and purer, why that then is a much better base for us to layer flavor on top of. That’s an interesting and compelling story. But for anyone who’s ever built brands before, they will tell you that is a hard story to tell. That is a very cost-prohibitive story. You need to have a budget and people to be out there. First of all, you need brand ambassadors to be on the street educating the restaurant and bar staff as to why they want to pick it up. You’re then going to need a secondary campaign that’s educating consumers to go in and ask for it. That’s a tough feat. Do I think that someone can do it? Sure. Especially if some of these larger companies see an opportunity, they will. Maybe it is a company that already has some sort of tie to sake in the first place. But then, I think it could play very well into what we’re seeing already happening in terms of drinks trends.
Z: It’s interesting. Maybe one of these times, we’ll get some interesting sake to taste on the podcast on a Friday episode because there is so much out there. The complexities are intriguing to me. I just decided a long time ago it’s kind of like other beverage alcohol categories or beverage categories. Wine is my area of relatively deep knowledge and deep interest. How many other drinks can I add to that? Maybe sake. I don’t know. It would be cool. Someday, I’ll go to Japan. That might help.
A: Yeah, I would love to go to Japan.
J: The sake spritz that I had was very delicious.
A: Well, I’m going to go drink some tequila cocktails now. I will speak to you both on Friday.
J: Talk to you then.
Z: Sounds great.
Thanks so much for listening to the “VinePair Podcast.” If you love this show as much as we love making it, please leave 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 Seattle, Washington, by myself and Zach Geballe, who 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 of 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 are 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.