Episode 344 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently. It features Bianca Miraglia of Uncouth Vermouth in a return to the show, this time to discuss her new project Sensitive Cleaners in addition to vermouth and amaro.
Bianca Miraglia was a guest on the I’ll Drink to That! podcast previously for episode 104, and that interview stands out as one of the most personal and emotionally raw that has come out of the show. On this return visit the focus is more on the production side of her output, the actual making of things. That was an aspect that was a little lost inside the sheer amount of feelings expressed before. Bianca has a series of new projects, as well as several more vermouth in her lineup, and this discussion gives some sense of what the day to day is like for someone who forages local ingredients that bloom at the same time of the year, and then combines them in unique combinations that have a lot more to do with instinct than with recipes. It turns out that Bianca never works from pre-set ingredient listings, and she declines to do so partly because she has a rebellious ingredient of her own, but also because the intensity of flavors to each component varies with the year. That is one of the takeaways of this interview, that many of the aspects we think of a givens for grape production – ripeness curves, terroir, vintage variation, and concentration, for instance – also apply to raspberries and all manner of other ingredients that grow. And there is plenty to consider about handling the particularities of each item, whether it be spiky cardoons or the leaves from rhubarb. Bianca judges each flavor combination by feel as she trials potential blends by eating them together first, long before anything goes into liquid. This is not so far off from winemakers who sample grapes by chewing on them, so as to make harvest decisions. Indeed, this interview will likely have you thinking a lot about the world that grows beyond grapes.
Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine