New podcast - launched today!

Today is the launch of A Glass With ... the podcast that drinks with the stars! It's a new podcast that I'm producing with Olly Smith, and you can listen to episode one now using the player below.

We've been putting this together since May 2016, but I've been developing the idea for years, after it was suggested to me by a close friend. It's sort of based on Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee - each episode features a celebrity guest chatting to Olly about their love of wine as well as their life and work.

The first series features singer/songwriter P!nk, voice of Come Dine With Me Dave Lamb, England cricketer Stuart Broad, comedian Stephen K Amos, actor/winemaker Sam Neill and Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall. Celeb-tastic!

Olly and I recorded the episodes over the last six months, and will be releasing one episode every Thursday until 27 April. We are already working on series two, to be released later this year.

Olly and me on the road in California, en route to record P!nk

Olly and me on the road in California, en route to record P!nk

There are plenty of wine podcasts in the world already. Some are better than others, but they pretty much all follow the same format: one wine professional interviewing another. This is pretty niche and it risks becoming quite boring, even to those in the wine industry. We wanted to speak to non-wine people who have an outsider's perspective on wine - as well as an interesting life of their own in a different field. The idea is that it will appeal both to a wine audience and to the guest's own fanbase.

We also decided not to release a new episode every week. Traditionally, podcasts have always adhered to this schedule, but producing 52 episodes a year makes it hard to get a consistent calibre of guests. More recently, podcasts such as Serial and Revisionist History have adopted a season format, which we are replicating.

Another objective was decent production values. Podcasts often have a 'home-made' ethic which can be charming, but too often equates to poor sound quality and excessive length. Each episode of A Glass With is 30 to 40 minutes long, even though that has meant cutting up to 20 minutes of material in some cases. We also invested in professional standard recording equipment and pay a sound designer to master each episode.

To make all this happen required sponsorship, and we've got some lovely companies involved with series one. All of this has been a lot of work, but the results sound great, and we hope they will prove popular - so if you like it, please spread the word!