May 26, 2020
Seoul: Is K-pop the Soul of Seoul?
Play • 50 min

Unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard about K-pop by now. South Korea's homegrown popular music is huge. Like, really huge - BTS, the world’s most popular K-pop band, are basically the new Beatles. And it’s not just Korean music that’s blowing up - this year a Korean movie won the most exclusive award in film - Best Picture at the Oscars. All this popular pop culture is drawing fans and curious onlookers to Seoul - South Korea's hi-tech capital and Korean culture’s epicenter.

How did we get here? How did a little Asian country on a divided peninsula, which has been pummeled by centuries of war and dictatorship, manage to cultivate the world's most exciting new music trend? And can the country's pop music tell us anything about the soul of its biggest city? This week we’re jetting off to Seoul to find out.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit:

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Wine for Normal People
Wine for Normal People
Wine for Normal People
Ep 363: The Personal Side of Loire with Serge Dore Importer
Serge Doré, importer of French wine (and American via Quebec…he’s a man of many identities and a worldliness we can only aspire to!) and popular podcast regular, joins us to talk about the Loire Valley. Serge has been visiting the Loire since 1985 and has seen its evolution over the decades. He joins to give us the world of Loire from his perspective, humanize it with stories of producers he imports and some he has just met, and tell us what we can expect from this sometime confusing but wonderfully beautiful and diverse French wine region (for those of you interested in tariffs and how they are affecting business, the last 5 minutes of the pod is also devoted to that topic!). Here are the notes: * Serge takes us through the main Loire regions. We being in Muscadet/the Pay Nantais. We discuss how far the wine has come in the last 20 years, and what good quality it is now. Serge says it reminds him of a ripe honeydew melon, so the grape name is fitting (the grape is called Melon de Bourgogne). He mentions Domaine Bouchaud whose wines he imports. I mention Domaine Louvetrie as an example of a very rocky, flinty Muscadet. * We talk about Anjou and the lovely Chenin Blanc here. We focus first on Savennières, and then discuss the sweet wines of Quarts de Chaume, Coteaux de Layon, and others in the area. Serge talks about his early experiences with these stunning, yet rare wines. * We take a side trip to Sancerre. Serge confirms my hypothesis that Sancerre can sell all day long, but that Pouilly-Fumé has no takers! I mention the great Didier Dageneau and his Silex wine. * We discuss the marketing issue for Loire – namely that they don’t know how to do it! I fell that Anjou blanc and rouge, as well as Saumur blanc and rouge are generally generic and don’t taste great. Serge explains that most growers sell to negociants and co-ops who make seas of blah wines that aren’t from specific areas. The result: Rouge and Blanc from these parts are hard to pin down from a style perspective. * Serge loves Saumur- Champigny – a Cabernet Franc that is light, fruity, lower in alcohol but has great earthy notes. Thierry Germain is the master and is imported by Kermit Lynch. I say I have found it to be hit or miss. Serge reminds me: it’s all about producer. * Serge talks about why Touraine is the upcoming region of France and has been for a few years. He cites climate change as making a big difference for the ripeness levels and flavors for Touraine. 2015 was the big shift in the wines. We mention my new favorite Chinon and St. Nicholas de Bourgueil: Pascal et Alain Lourieux (available on Wine Access). Serge tells us stories about how absolutely focused these brothers are on the vineyard to get the results they do. The story is funny and amazing. * Ahhh, Vouvray! It’s a frustrating topic. Serge tells us about how hard it is to sell because of its many styles and we return to one of the themes of the Loire: superb wines, no marketing savvy. The wine of Serge’s that I love is Domaine Bourillon Dorléans “La Coulee d’Argent”. It had some age (which I think Vouvray really needs) and was very flinty, with lemon curd and vanilla notes – tasty! Serge tells us stories of Fred Bourillon, his family and his wine. We briefly discuss the top dog of Vouvray, Domain Huet who makes outstanding, consistent Vouvray. Source: jamesonf- Vouvray AOC moelleux Domaine Huet 1985 * Serge tells us about the terroir of Sancerre and the three soil types that make it stunning: * Les Caillottes * Flint/Silex * Terre Blanche – Clay * We discuss the importance of climate and how the two different climates, which switch off at Amboise from maritime influenced to continental, divide the Loire. Slope, breezes, river effects – all the dorkiness is in this section of the conversation. * Serge and I muse about how natural wine may be a bit overhyped by the media where the Loire is concerned. Low intervention/traditional winemaking is the order of the day with the reds and Chenin however, Serge doesn’t hear producers talk about it. * Finally, we discuss the issues around tariffs and why they are so destructive for the wine industry in the US. I love Serge,having him on is such a pleasure. Check out his site to see his selection of wines. ___________________________________________________________ Thanks to our sponsors: Wine Access Visit: and for a limited time get $20 off your first order of $50 or more! Wine Access is a web site that has exclusive wines that overdeliver for the price (of which they have a range). * They offer top quality wines by selecting diverse, interesting, quality bottles you may not have access to at local shops. * Wine Access provides extensive tasting notes, stories about the wine and a really cool bottle hanger with pairings, flavor profile, and serving temps. * Wines are warehoused in perfect conditions and shipped in temperature safe packs. Satisfaction is guaranteed! Check it out today! Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
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