Episode 13: Dune

Emma and Winston discuss the novel Dune by Frank Herbert, a seminal novel in the Science-fiction genre, and how it represents a Holy War on a cosmic scale. We talk about religion, mythology, the function of Sci-fi and fantasy in society, the hajj and the influence of Islam, Cistercian Monks & Chablis, and Winston recites beautiful poetry. Plus: desert (not dessert) wines, the American Southwest, the prayer of the Human Computer, diurnal shifts, the Crusades, cockamamie, and Sting.


Content warning: discussion of sexual assault and predatory behavior in the novel Dune by Frank Herbert. If you are looking for help or support please visit rainn.org or call 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-3673). If these subjects bother you, we recommend skipping minutes 33-38.

Episode 12: The Return of the King

Welcome to the last installment of our Middle-earth and Old World Wine Series! Almost as epic as The Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkien) itself, this episode is a raucous good time (and Emma gets audibly tipsy). Listen to find out which wines to pair with a king, with the dead, and with the pure of heart. Plus: Greek mythology, the veil between life and death, Scotch, the literal Deus Ex Machina, Cougar Juice, seafaring grapes, and DOOM!!!!

Episode 11: Dracula

Emma and Winston discuss one of their favorite novels, Dracula by Bram Stoker. We talk about what is sexy, what is subversive, and what is problematic in the book, and how its influence has subsisted through time, almost like Dracula himself! Also, we're drinking a wine from a winery that basically heralds the mission statement of this podcast, Villa Spinosa, a producer of Valpolicella in Italy. Listen to the episode to find out why Emma is a Vampire person, what "appassimento" means, and why corvina is a great grape for Dracula. Also: most books have page numbers, the Land of the Black Earth, androgyny, and love letters to Gary Oldman & Keanu Reeves.

Content warning: discussion of sexual assault and inclusion of potentially triggering language. If you are looking for help or support please visit rainn.org or call 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-3673).

Episode 10: Battlestar Galactica (with Sarah Shachat)

Emma is joined by the highly astute and talented writer Sarah Shachat (Wolf 359) to discuss one of their favorite shows, Battlestar Galactica. Sarah shares her insight on what it's like to write for a serialized Sci-fi show, and we talk about artistic integrity v. commercial accessibility, as it relates to both writing and wine. Listen to hear about religious tensions, diurnal shifts, and genetically modified grapes (and cylons). Plus: The Princess Bride Rules, music as main character, astrology, and laugh track/commentary by Zach Libresco. Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahshachat

Episode 9: The Two Towers, Part Two

This episode is one of our favorites so far, in which Emma and Winston primarily discuss the wine regions of Spain and Germany! This is the second part of our discussion of The Two Towers, which is the fifth installment of our Middle-earth and Old World Wine Series, wherein we pair every place in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien with different wine regions in Europe. Listen to the episode to learn about Ribera del Duero, the Spanish Civil War, and Julius Caesar. Plus: Christopher Lee's Chocolatey Voice, "dramatic-ness", Federico García Lorca, Angela Merkel: leader of the free world, pancakes, and the Daddy Issues grape.

Episode 8: The Two Towers, Part 1

We made it to The Two Towers! This is the fourth episode in our Middle-earth and Old World Wines Series, in which Emma pairs every place in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings with a different wine region in Europe. In this episode, Emma and Winston talk mostly about Austrian and German wine, including the weird, animal-themed classification of Austrian wine. Learn how to say "falconry" and "emerald lizard" in German, what a fiasco means in the wine world, where Ents came from, and what one of the oldest wines in the world is. Plus: Vikings, Éowyn's badassery, Karl Urban's amazing career, the most fun grape to say, and Tolkien's environmentalism.

Episode 7: Macbeth (with Zach Libresco)

This week Emma is joined by special guest Zach Libresco to discuss William Shakespeare's spookiest play, Macbeth. Zach and Emma reminisce about their time together performing Shakespeare in college and discuss Zach's most recent experience with the Scottish Play with the Humanist Project. There is much laughter, critical thought, and possibly a visit from the Weird Sisters during a discussion of moral ambiguity and deception, both in Shakespeare and in wine. Find out what oak-aging does to wine, the difference between reading a play and hearing a play, and the Corsican name for Sangiovese. Plus: Hamilton, travel plans, Patrick Stewart, and the land of a thousand grapes. Stay tuned after the episode for a *Easter Egg*. 

Episode 6: Women in Wine

Happy (Belated) International Women's Day! In honor of Women's History Month, Emma & Winston talk about some amazing, badass women in the world of wine, art, history, and pop culture. Learn about some of the rockstar women in the wine world including winemakers, winery owners/directors, and scholars, through a discussion of the representation of women in fine art, the Bible, Sci-Fi, and modern entertainment. Plus, the reasoning behind swishy, sniffy, sippy, Nestor & Bambi, how Emma & Winston met, intersectionality, and Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul. Content warning: discussion of sexual assault. If you are looking for help or support please visit rainn.org or call 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673).