Popping Bubbly with The Grape Nation

As we all prepare to wish 2020 farewell and toast to the new year, The Grape Nation has the perfect episodes to help you master your knowledge of the champagne you’ll be imbibing. This year Sam Benrubi’s weekly wine journey has included entertaining, informative, and “un-snobby” conversations with experts on this bubbly beverage.

Enjoy interviews with the so-called “champagne queen” and author of Better with Bubbles, Ariel Arce; Zach and Jen Pelka, the sibling duo behind Un Femme champagne; and Chef Du Cave at Champagne Leclerc Briant, Herve Jestin.

Jot down the wine lists these guests suggest and you’ll be sipping delectable bubbly in no time. On behalf of Sam Benrubi and Heritage Radio Network, Happy New Years!

Episode 163: Ariel Arce, Niche Nice, Air’s Champagne Parlor, Tokyo Record Bar and Special Club: New York City’s own Ariel Arce is the proprietor of Niche Niche, Airs Champagne Parlor, Tokyo Record Bar, and Special Club. Ariel is a thought leader, tastemaker, influencer and has been tagged as “The New Guard of New York Dining.” She has created a convivial, laid back and affordable neighborhood hang with a focus on wine, Champagne, education, music, and creative food. Ariel Arce has been referred to as the Champagne Queen or Empress and has a new book “Better with Bubbles”. We’ll talk about the new book and life during the pandemic.  


Episode 142: Zach & Jen Pelka: Siblings Jen and Zach Pelka would make any parent proud graduating respectively from Stanford and Wharton. Zach with a background in finance and startups is now a consultant and the CEO/Founder of Champagne Campaign. Jen started in the kitchen as a stage with Daniel Boulud. She worked her way out of the kitchen to do research for Daniel, worked with Daniel and Thomas Keller on the Bocuse d’Or, did stints at Open Table, Gilt Taste, and Tumbler before starting her own PR and marketing firm Magnum PR, aimed at the hospitality industry. Jen still had a hospitality itch to be scratched and opened The Riddler, an award-winning Champagne bar in SF and recently opened a Riddler in NYC. Jen and Zach are about to release their own Champagne, Un Femme.


Episode 137: Herve Jestin, Chef De Cave, Leclerc Briant Champagne: Herve Jestin is the Chef du Cave at Champagne Leclerc Briant, overseeing all production since 2008. Herve is a practitioner and expert in organic and biodynamic farming and is a forefather of bioenergetics, bringing the energy of nature to the finished wine.

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