Off the Record Podcast – Eps 1

Welcome to the very first episode of Off the Record Podcast with The Sporting Chef and Michelle! Celebrate the art of cooking and wine pairings with The Sporting Chef Scott Leysath and Outdoor Insider Michelle Scheuermann. Michelle visits Scott at his home in Northern California just before COVID-19 hits us hard. So its good we got to drink this wine!

Scroll way down for the entire transcript for those who'd rather read it, rather than listen, or for the hearing impaired.

Wines drank during the podcast:

Michael David Winery Freakshow Chardonnay $18:

Michael David Chardonnay $24


Buena Vista Winery for "Winemaker for a Day" & visit the Bubble Lounge!

Scott's fav oyster place in Napa:

Scott's fav place to eat in Vegas:

Miles drank a 1961 Chateau Cheval Blanc in the movie Sideways

Visit Scott:

Visit Michelle

Off the Record Podcast - Episode 1 - Transcript

Michelle Scheuermann: Should we tell people exactly why we're doing a podcast or just let them figure it out?

Scott Leysath: Sure, go ahead.

(Drinking Wine)

Michelle: This is good.

Scott: This is good.

Michelle: This is really good.

Scott: This is the Freakshow.


Intro: Good day and welcome to Off The Record. You'll find us at the intersection of interesting ideas and great pairings. It all tastes good when these two cook it up, so let's listen in to The Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath and outdoor industry insider, Michelle Scheuermann, as they talk wild game, wine, and anything else that comes to mind. Time to sample and sip our way through the best part of the day as we go off the record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

Scott: Welcome to Off The Record with Scott and Michelle. So this, this is what we would call a very unstructured podcast, we're not really sure where it's gonna go. My name is Scott Leysath, I host a couple of shows on Sportsman Channel, The Sporting Chef, and Dead Meat. I am the cooking editor for Ducks Unlimited Magazine, got a few cookbooks out, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... But my deal is, I travel around the country and I cook stuff, as well as do it on TV. Michelle... Michelle, what do you do?

Michelle: Stuff. I don't know.

Scott: Michelle does stuff.


Scott: The world's shortest intro.

Michelle: I hate talking about myself.

Scott: I know, but you have a podcast and you kinda have to do that now.

Michelle: Yeah. Well, thank you for that lovely introduction Scott.

Scott: Sure.

Michelle: The podcast was actually my idea, and I'm actually forcing Scott to do this. He doesn't really want to do this. [laughter]

Scott: But we'll see. We'll see how this works out.

Michelle: We'll see how this works out, but yes. My name is Michelle Scheuermann. I have a company called Bulletproof Communications. You can find me as @ladysportsman on the Instagrams, you can find Scott on Instagram, @sportingchef, follow us. I'm assuming we say interesting things, but yeah. And we just hope that... We called it Off The Record because there will be swearing by me, Scott says he will not swear, so we'll see what happens. Maybe that's the goal of the podcast, to get Scott, actually, to swear. [laughter]

Scott: Well, you know, I have to maintain a reasonable persona for TV, you see? So, if I...

Michelle: And I don't. [laughter]

Scott: Right. And what Michelle does, Michelle does, for The Sporting Chef and Dead Meat show, she is Publicist, Marketing Director, Web Developer, everything.

Michelle: Customer service. [laughter]

Scott: Customer service, yes. She wears a lot of hats, she's taken on a lot of responsibility, and she's highly underpaid.

Michelle: Yeah. No. No. Well, I get paid in wine. So...


Michelle: It's good.

Scott: Right. Right.

Michelle: As long as it's from Michael David Winery, which is what we're drinking right now. So every podcast, we hope to be drinking wine, whether if it's at 10:30 in the morning, which is what's happening right now... Which, technically, in my time zone, it's afternoon.

Scott: You're fine, you're your afternoon.

Michelle: Yeah. So we're good. I'm okay, it's just you that is the lush...

Scott: I don't have a problem. I can drink wine any time of the day.

Michelle: All day?

Scott: You know, if you have to, you gotta pace yourself. You'll get a headache eventually, I think.

Michelle: You're gonna take a nap or?

Scott: Nothing wrong with taking a nap. So on the podcast... Well, I'm not gonna say every week 'cause I don't know how often we're gonna do it...


Scott: But we're gonna be talking about different kinds of wine, we're always on the lookout for a great deal. Michelle is firmly convinced that there's no such thing as a good wine under $25, which I think is a load of crap. And I'm gonna... I'm the food guy. I don't just cook fish and game, so we'll get into some other areas too, but fish and game for sure is my strength. So if anybody has any questions about what to do with fish and game, well, you can get ahold of us. How do they get ahold of us if they wanna ask a question?

Michelle: They can direct message you on Instagram.

Scott: There you go.

Michelle: And they can email you at

Scott: Right? There you go.

Scott: And what about you? What if they wanna ask you a wine question?


Michelle: Well, I'm not a sommelier, but I do drink a lot of wine, and I do a lot of wine tastings, and I listen to wine podcasts.

Scott: Really?

Michelle: And I have a wine room. [laughter]

Scott: Really? I don't have any of those things.

Michelle: And we have an app, so we can keep track of the wine in our wine room. [laughter]

Scott: Wow.

Michelle: Yeah. We've really come a long way since you first met me, how many years ago, when I was drinking Muscat.

Scott: 15-ish. How long has Sportsman Channel been around?

Michelle: 2004.

Scott: There we go, 16 years. Yeah.

Michelle: That's how long we've known each other, yeah. Yeah, Wayne and I are very much into... I've thought about getting... Doing that Sommelier test, but it seems pretty intense, so...

Scott: Yeah. [chuckle] Okay. And so Michelle likes more cooked meats, and I am the person that... My mantra is, "Don't overcook it."

Michelle: Right.

Scott: So we've got that. So somewhere along the line, my goal is to get Michelle to appreciate wines under $25 and less cooked meat. Now, is there anything you wanna train me to do? Because I'm really virtually untrainable.


Michelle: You're right. You really are. You really are.

Scott: I'm pretty set in my ways.

Michelle: Yeah. I could think about it, that's a good one.


Scott: Maybe you could teach me to appreciate a well-done steak and a loaded baked potato.


Michelle: Yeah. I don't know, it's a good question, I'll have to think about that. If anyone wants to message us what the... We should train Scott to do, that would be good. Yeah.

Scott: And I know some of you are gonna want to train me to do all sorts of things, I'm not gonna do...

Michelle: Like touch your dogs on-set?

Scott: Whatever. [laughter]

Scott: Yeah. That is another thing, people have actually sent in and complained that I pet my dogs while I'm cooking on TV. Now, they're my dogs, I'm the...

Michelle: And you're cooking for yourself.

Scott: I'm the only person here. I've also had people complain that I double-dipped my tuna on my show, when it was just me.


Scott: So, for those of you that are out there looking to find people doing something that you're uncomfortable with, eat shit. Oh, I cussed already.


Michelle: Yay!


Scott: Alright. Enough of this drivel.

Michelle: We're not blurring it out either.

Scott: Enough of this drivel. Let's talk about Chardonnay.

Michelle: Yes. We have two in front of us that you have poured, from Michael David Winery, which you are... You should maybe share the history of Michael David, it's a good history.

Scott: So Michael David in Lodi, they were tomato farmers and they had a fruit stand and a cafe on Highway 12 in Lodi, and much like a lot of the people that I know down in that area that used to grow tomatoes and things. Well, the canaries went away and anywhere you look now, it's wine. So I don't...

Michelle: In Lodi?

Scott: Anywhere, Lodi... Anywhere between Sacramento and Stockton, out in the foothills they used to all be cow pasture, it's all wine for as far as you can see. And I don't know who's buying all this wine, but obviously somebody is. And the Michael David guys are very cool. They hunt and fish, they're my kind of people. I've dove hunted with them, we duck hunt. We do all of those things, and they're maybe 45 minutes to my house. I live in Folsom, California. So they're really good guys and they're very creative with the Freakshow labels, and if you go down there, they have an incredible back patio.

Michelle: That they just built recently.

Scott: It's crazy, crazy. I mean, it looks like... Anywhere is...

Michelle: It's like a resort.

Scott: It could be anywhere in... Yeah. It's so cool. And it's right there in Lodi. Their wines are reasonably priced, their cafe is great, if you wanna go there and make a day out of it, or just hang out on the patio.

Michelle: I feel like we need to go there now. I feel like we need to go. [laughter]

Scott: Well, we've been there, but we're gonna need a driver.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scott: Because you know.

Michelle: Can we call your wife home from work?

Scott:  Yeah. Let me call Janelle and see if she'd like to join us.

Michelle: Yeah. I'm pretty sure the answer is yes.

Scott: Right.


Scott: So you may remember Michael David by The 7 Deadly Zins.

Michelle: Wonderful wine.

Scott: Which they sold a year and a half ago to somebody else.

Michelle: Constellation Brands.

Scott: So now their big push is with the Freakshow, and with the Freakshow line, they've got a Chard, a Red, a Cab and a Zin. We're gonna be tasting the Freakshow Chard and the Michael David Chard. Two very different styles, and I'm curious to see what you think about it.

Michelle: Yeah. And I have not had these.

Scott: Right.

Michelle: So, yeah. I'm looking forward to it. This is good. This is really good.

Scott: It is good. This is the Freakshow. And you know it's not $25.

Michelle: No. It's like 18, I think, or something.

Scott: I think it's... This one...

Michelle: Should we Google it?

Scott: Well, this one, the other one is 18, I know.

Michelle: $14.84 at Total Wine.

Scott: Right.

Michelle: And that's a good wine. It could be colder, you just put them in, I know, but it could be colder, but yeah. That's really nice.

Scott: And how much for the other?

Michelle: What do I call it?

Scott: The Michael David Chardonnay.

Michelle: It's Michael David.

Scott: It might not be on there, I think it's pretty new.

Michelle: Yeah. Let's see if I can just Google it. Why don't you text him?

Scott: Why don't you go to Michael David's site?

Michelle: I am, yeah. This might be it. Yeah, okay, 24.

Scott: For this one?

Michelle: Yeah.

Scott: Where?

Michelle: It's $10 more.

Scott: Where?

Michelle: On their website.

Scott: Okay. And how much does it show this for in the website, 'cause they're gonna show high retail.

Michelle: Oh, okay. Okay. You know what, hang on, let me keep that up. 18.

Scott: Right. 'Cause they don't wanna undercut their retailers, so they go high retail. So on their site, this is 18, that's 24.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scott: Have you tried the other one?

10:56 MS: Yeah. So this is mine.

10:57 SL: There are two very different styles.

11:00 MS: Oh, wow. Did you smell it?

11:02 SL: Mm-hmm.

11:04 MS: Wow.

11:06 SL: Big difference, right?

11:06 MS: It is. What is that smell though? It's like...

11:10 SL: I don't know, you have it.

11:12 MS: My grandma's attic and...

11:14 SL: Underpants?

11:14 MS: No. Jesus. [chuckle]

11:15 SL: Is this what your grandma's underpants smell like?


11:21 MS: Like an old attic, and you went in, and you found the wardrobe, and you opened it up, and...

11:26 SL: Mildewy musty?

11:28 MS: Yeah. Let's read what it says on the website. Handcrafted from our family's vineyard, from grandma, our Chardonnay is a fusion of style from numerous hand pickings throughout the ripening period, our winemakers produce three distinct Chardonnays that are later blended into a final wine just prior to bottling. From a crisp, fruit driven style, fermented and aged in stainless steel, to a softer, more round French oak barrel fermented Chardonnay, our Chardonnay captures the best qualities of each style. Tasting notes. Primarily barrel fermented and aged sur-lee. I don't even know what that means.

12:09 SL: Well, I don't either. You're the wine person.

12:11 MS: The wine is golden straw in color with a bouquet of vanilla, pear, white peach, light cedar and ripe honeydew melon. Medium bodied with flavors of apple, apricot, and tropical citrus fruit that carry the wine's buttery and soft oak undertones. But it's not too buttery. It's not...

12:25 SL: No.

12:25 MS: I would not call it buttery Chardonnay.

12:27 SL: I wouldn't either. But I also know when you read the description, about apricots and notes of whatever, I don't usually taste those things.

12:38 MS: What do you taste?

12:40 SL: Wine.

12:41 MS: You don't even think about it, do you?


12:43 SL: I really don't.

12:44 MS: Yeah.

12:45 SL: What I think more about is what kind of food it would pair with.

12:48 MS: Yeah. Yeah.

12:48 SL: Right? As opposed to...

12:50 MS: And I don't think that way.

12:52 SL: Only has subtle nuances of whatever the hell it is. And see, I've never gone to one of those classes where they make you lick the...

12:58 MS: No. Don't even, you've gone to how many wine tastings?

13:04 SL: I don't. I have to tell you, I don't pay attention. I'm there to drink the wine. So when somebody says, "Hey, we're gonna go on a wine tour and tasting and all that," and I'm going, "Can we just pass on the tour and go straight to the tasting?" That's what I do.

13:20 MS: But you take it in?

13:21 SL: I do. But I'm thinking what food, what style of food would go well with this particular wine.

13:29 MS: Okay. Let me read... Let me read the other one then. And then you can tell me if you would pair them differently. So the 2018 Freakshow Chardonnay, which is listed on Michael David's website for $18, says step right up and marvel at the wonders of Freakshow Chardonnay. This goddess of the sea, 'cause there's a mermaid on the front, Wayne really likes that.

13:47 SL: Yeah. What's up with that?

13:49 MS: I don't know. Has been scouring the ocean depths and tempting pirates and sailors alike for centuries and now she has joined our show. The fourth act in our menagerie of freaks is none other than the daughter of Poseidon or Madison, as we have come to know her. Did they just make that shit up?

14:03 SL: You know, I don't know, I blame Kevin Phillips for whatever you're reading there.

14:08 MS: This is marketing, this is really a good marketing schtick right here. The grapes are sourced from the Phillips' family vineyard here in Lodi and are certified sustainable, which we should ask them what that means, making the Chardonnay the perfect addition to your table and our Freakshow family. Tasting notes, approachable, flirty and fun-loving.

14:29 SL: Did you get either one of those things out of that?

14:29 MS: No. No. I got approachable on the price, and I would serve this wine to anyone. I would serve that 2018 Freakshow Chardonnay to anybody.

14:43 SL: Okay.

14:44 MS: I don't know, if I would serve the 2018 Michael David Chardonnay to just anybody.

14:48 SL: Let's give it a minute to see if it opens up a little bit.

14:52 MS: Okay. So it's fruit forward, with a crisp mouthwatering aromas of juicy mango, summer stone fruit, cinnamon spice and buttered popcorn. Holy shit.

15:00 SL: Right.

15:00 MS: Enchanting flavors of nectarine stewed, golden, delicious apples. Not just regular apples but stewed golden delicious apples. [chuckle]

15:08 SL: Oh yeah, I taste that.

15:10 MS: Yeah. Butterscotch, hickory, and a hint of vanilla and coconut on the finish.

15:12 SL: You can't have all of those things in there.

15:15 MS: 13,5% alcohol on the Freakshow Chardonnay and the Michael David Chardonnay is also a 13,5% alcohol, these are gold Chardonnays.

15:22 SL: Are you tasting any hickory in there?

15:25 MS: You know, Wayne does it better than this...

15:27 SL: Popcorn?

15:27 MS: Wayne does it better than this than I do, I'll be honest with you.

15:30 SL: He probably pays more attention.

15:31 MS: I think he really... He gets really into it, it's kind of...

15:34 SL: So you've been to the classes where they... You sniff charcoal and you put a Q-tip in your nose...

15:39 MS: Yeah.

15:39 SL: Or do whatever it took to, so it brings out those flavors?

15:44 MS: Yeah. Well, you know who does that the best?

15:45 SL: Who?

15:45 MS: It's that Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma.

15:47 SL: Oh yeah.

15:48 MS: They have a, what they call a, experience room, where you go in and like you have the... Like, those old-time telephone... I am not describing this correctly, but anyway, you go in and they have a feel and smell sensory room.

16:03 SL: I like the sound of it.

16:04 MS: And you... One wall is like these old-time telephones where you touch the telephone and it pushes out a puff of air, and that's the smell.

16:17 SL: Okay.

16:18 MS: So you have everything from pepper to fruit, to kitty litter, to all of it. And you can just go through and like get these puffs of air in your face to smell it. And then you can go on the other side of the room and it's a sensory thing, where they have silks for you to touch, and they have lace, and then they have really harsh things and velvet. And so you're kind of getting... And then... 'Cause Wayne and I did this winemaker's experience.

16:42 SL: Right.

16:42 MS: So you do that first to kind of understand... You're using all of your senses to be a winemaker, I think is what they're trying to say. Anyway, so yes.

16:52 SL: See, I wouldn't do that. I could do that in...

16:55 MS: Oh, and they made us wear hats too which you would so not do. [laughter]

17:01 SL: See, I could do that... If they could do it in three minutes, I could do it.

17:05 MS: We did, we did because it was just us. So it was a private thing, which was nice. So you would like that. So it was just Wayne and I and our winemaker lady. And they made us wear hats, so Wayne had the old top hat on, and then I had like a little kitty hat, right, I know you wouldn't...

17:19 SL: Yeah, I'm out.

17:20 MS: And then we went into the room and then that's where they had all the different wines for you to blend to make your own wine.

17:27 SL: And I like the Bubbly Room. Do they still have the Bubbly room there?

17:30 MS: Yes, the Bubbly Room is the best.

17:31 SL: If you go to Buena Vista, go to the Bubbly room, and you don't have to smell anything...

17:36 MS: What was her name, Donna?

17:38 SL: I don't know. You don't have to smell anything, you just drink a bunch of champagne or a bunch of sparkling, and it's good.

17:43 MS: And they have furs, but you can't wear them, even though I tried after the fourth glass of champagne. But... [laughter]

17:52 SL: I didn't try and put on the fur or anything, I just... And in general, you know where I live, we've got a lot of wineries, right?

18:00 MS: Yeah.

18:00 SL: El Dorado, Amador, is where we like to go because it's 30 minutes away. We rarely go to Napa because Napa is Napa. And we hardly recommend...

18:10 MS: Although, I wouldn't poo-poo it.

18:12 SL: No, you should go there once.

18:14 MS: Right.

18:15 SL: But if you come back, go over to the other side, go over to the Sonoma side. It's a lot more laid back. And kinda work your way from Sonoma towards the coast, you can end up... And end up ideally at Hog Island Oyster on Tomales Bay.

18:32 MS: You never told me about this.

18:34 SL: Are you an oyster person?

18:35 MS: No.

18:36 SL: No, well, then maybe that's why.


18:42 SL: Maybe that explains it. Oysters happen to be my favorite food. And I mean, I can...

18:47 MS: And they're good to pair.

18:48 SL: I can eat seven dozen oysters, no problem.

18:53 MS: They're too slippery.

18:54 SL: No. I know. And you have a Midwest palate. And probably...

19:00 MS: I'm not even gonna be offended by that.

19:01 SL: Grew up on...

19:02 MS: I'm not gonna be offended.

19:03 SL: Okay, how was your steak cooked at home when you were growing up?

19:07 MS: Well.

19:07 SL: Well done, right?

19:08 MS: Yeah.

19:08 SL: Baked potato loaded?

19:11 MS: Well, definitely sour cream.

19:12 SL: And if you had a vegetable on your plate, did you get a salad too?

19:17 MS: Maybe.

19:18 SL: 'Cause normally it's one or the other for you people.

19:19 MS: Well yeah, I don't think we ate many salads in them. We don't eat many salads on the farm.

19:24 SL: Vegetables?

19:26 MS: Vegetables, but not...

19:26 SL: So you'd have fresh vegetables?

19:28 MS: Yeah, but not salads.

19:29 SL: You wouldn't eat canned vegetables on the farm, right?

19:32 MS: No, no.

19:32 SL: No, unless you canned them yourself.

19:33 MS: Right. Yeah, there... The fruit room, we called it the fruit room, with stock full of mason jars of a variety of objects. That was our bug out room.


19:46 SL: Okay, and when you order a steak now, how do you order a steak?

19:49 MS: Now I order it medium to medium-well.

19:52 SL: So you're still in the over-cooked deal?

19:54 MS: According to your palate, yes.

19:56 SL: What about if you have a piece of venison? Because...

20:00 MS: Medium.

20:01 SL: Because... You know that medium rare is still a little pink? Have you had it medium rare?

20:05 MS: No, never.

20:06 SL: Because... You haven't tried it, no, never, ain't no way. Why?

20:12 MS: If you cooked it, I would, but I don't trust people. I'm sorry, I don't trust people.

20:17 SL: What do you not trust them? What do you think is gonna happen if you've got a medium rare piece of meat? What, are you gonna get tapeworm, or what?

20:22 MS: Yeah, the handling of it.

20:24 SL: Okay. But medium rare, okay... How about tuna, do you eat raw tuna?

20:30 MS: Not really.

20:30 SL: Do you eat it seared?

20:32 MS: Yes.

20:32 SL: So it's still... What's in the center of that tuna?

20:35 MS: Very raw.

20:36 SL: Raw tuna.


20:37 SL: So you understand you haven't cured anything, nothing, you haven't killed anything.

20:42 MS: I'm better than I was.

20:43 SL: I'm not saying that you're better. That you're bad, good or whatever. I'm just making an observation.

20:48 MS: Okay.

20:49 SL: And here's where it comes from. People will call me and they'll say, "We want you to come to Minnesota to work, to do whatever it is you do." And I'll say, "How do you cook your steaks when you go to a restaurant?" If they say, "Medium well done, medium-well." I go, "I'm not your guy." Because...

21:10 MS: So you'll turn down business if they say they cook their steaks medium-well?

Scott: Yes.

Scott: Because they're gonna want me to cook their venison steak medium-well, and it's horrible. It's a really, really bad venison steak. So if you've had deer that's tough, livery, gamey, mutton-y, as you've heard me say a million times over the years, you've over-cooked it, you take that same piece of meat and you cook it less, wash it down with a good bottle of wine or glass of wine, and it's a whole different piece of meat. There's no fat in this, there's 3 grams of fat in 3 1/2 ounces of venison, as opposed to 30 grams of fat in 3 1/2 ounces of beef, so it's not very forgiving. So if somebody else cooks you a medium-rare deer steak, there's no worry about anything. If it's been cooked on the outside, that's gonna make... For a whole muscle meat like that, if you're worried about E. Coli or any of that other, you're good there. The ground meat is what you need to worry about if somebody has processed it improperly and got some faeces in there.

22:17 MS: That makes sense on a steak.

22:19 SL: Right.

22:19 MS: The outside is seared. You've got rid of anything...

22:21 SL: Anything...

22:22 MS: Where the chef may have scratched something and touched it and... Okay.

22:26 SL: Right. As opposed to wiping faeces somehow, when they were grinding the meat, where you're gonna get the E. Coli really whole muscle... Down the road, here's what we're gonna do on this podcast.


22:39 SL: I'm gonna start you with some lesser cooked meat. And what I've done over the years for people that say, "I don't like duck." I'll say, "Here, try this," and I'll put a dark sauce on it, some kinda Cabernet reduction or whatever. And they'll go, "Wow, this is really moist. What did you do to make it so tender?" And then I'll show them the piece that doesn't have the sauce on it, and it's cooked rare to medium-rare. I'm talking about 130 degree internal temperature.

23:07 MS: So they don't even see the color of the...

23:10 SL: They don't see the color.

23:11 MS: Of the duck, because you put the blackberry sauce on it or whatever, yeah.

23:14 SL: Right. And wild game in general, antler game and waterfall looks... The color... The color looks like liver.

23:21 MS: Yeah, it's not appetizing.

23:23 SL: And we think liver.

23:24 MS: Yeah. No, it doesn't look appetizing.

23:25 SL: But if you put a brine on it, like the Hi Mountain Brine has a little sodium nitrite in it, which scares people, but it shouldn't. Because if they eat any processed meat, bacon, blah blah blah blah blah, you get sodium nitrite. And what that does is it gives it a little reddish color, so it looks more like beef and less like game, but doesn't change the taste of it. It's a whole different ball game. So soon, we're gonna have... It'll be fear factor, and Michelle is gonna be eating lesser cooked meat.

23:54 MS: Fear factor. I am better. You know, I have a ways to go, sure, sure, sure.

24:02 SL: Well, you don't drink muscadine anymore, do you? [laughter] See, we've come a long way?

24:10 MS: We've come a long way, alright. I hope everyone knows, we literally have two full glasses of wine in front of us right now. [laughter]

24:16 SL: Not for long.

24:19 MS: As the podcast continuous, folks.

24:21 SL: So what I would do with a Chardonnay...

24:24 MS: Yeah, you were gonna tell me how you're gonna pair each of these.

24:26 SL: Either one of these wines would go well with any kind of upland game, quail, rabbit, wild turkey, chucker. I would do something with the Michael David Chardonnay, as opposed to the Freakshow Chardonnay. I think I would go with something a little bit more on the sweet side, it would be okay to pair it with a little fruit 'cause that's a little... Seems a little less fruity, less fruit forward than the Freakshow. Freakshow, I would tend to do something a little bit more acidic to balance the sweetness.

25:01 MS: This would be good with a nice charcuterie.

25:04 SL: Right. It would be good. It would be good.

25:06 MS: On a summer patio and...

25:08 SL: And some dried almonds, I mean apricots, and things like that would go really well with that. It would also be... Either of these would be great to do a reduction with. If you were to take a piece of fish, season it with salt and pepper, put it into a pan with half olive oil, half butter. Let that butter get just a little bit foamy, put the fish in, flip it over and just before it's done, if you add a big splash of that Freakshow, take the fish out, reduce the wine down, finish it with a little bit more butter, perfect sauce, easy, easy, easy. Nobody's gonna be offended. Now, what about your fish? Do you cook your fish all the way through?

25:47 MS: Oh, yeah.

25:47 SL: What about salmon? And salmon, you're all the way through?

25:53 MS: Yeah.

25:53 SL: 'Cause if you cook your salmon a little less, if you leave it medium rare in the center...

25:57 MS: Never gonna happen.

26:00 SL: Because... What is it you're worried about?

26:01 MS: Wayne won't eat it.

26:03 SL: Wayne's not eating them, I'm talking about you. [laughter] Wayne's not here, so why not try that piece of salmon that's just a little undercooked in the center?

26:13 MS: Yeah, just because of how we were raised, I mean, there's just...

26:17 SL: What if you were raised by a axe murderer and all your family did was kill people with axes, does that mean that that's what you have to do?

26:26 MS: I like a nice flaky well done, not well done, but a nice flaky salmon...

26:30 SL: I think that was a Freudian slip. I think you like your salmon well done.

26:35 MS: Not like overdone where it's dry, but like to the point where it's juicing up in the oven, I always put it in the oven, I don't really put it in the frying pan.

26:44 SL: Right. I think here's another taste test we need to do. Canned salmon versus the salmon that you cook, because the canned salmon is cooked all the way through. It's almost like canned tuna. And the same thing with tuna, if you order tuna, do you want your tuna cooked all the way through? 'Cause you can see by the way I'm looking at you, [laughter] that if you say yes, [laughter] something bad is gonna happen.

27:11 MS: Wrong answer. [laughter]

27:13 SL: Right 'cause if you're gonna take a beautiful piece of fresh yellow fin tuna and cook it all the way through, to me it tastes just like canned tuna, where... As opposed to having it rare in the center. So do you go to Sushi bars?

27:33 MS: Wayne likes sushi, yes.

27:35 SL: But Wayne likes sushi rolls?

27:37 MS: He eats sashimi, I don't.

27:40 SL: Okay, 'cause that's all I get. I get a little salad and sashimi.

27:44 MS: You know at Shot Show, I ate sushi three times.

27:47 SL: Yeah, good for you. But did you eat the cooked stuff, like with the fried shrimp?

27:53 MS: No, no, no, I had rolls, but three times.

27:56 SL: Yeah, sounds good to me.

27:57 MS: Because everyone I was with was like, "I love sushi."

28:00 SL: And where did you wanna go, have a well done steak? Go get a rubbery steak?

28:02 MS: I just wanted to go fun places. [laughter]

28:07 SL: You can't have fun sushi?

28:10 MS: Actually, so in Vegas, one of the places we went to was called Sushi Kyo, and it's in a strip mall, like I don't even know where, it's off-strip, strip mall, it looks like a hole in the wall. But it was really... It's all you can eat, and it's really, really good.

28:27 SL: My favorite restaurant in Las Vegas is Lotus of Siam. I went there with...

28:33 MS: It does sushi?

28:34 SL: It's Thai.

28:35 MS: Oh, okay.

28:36 SL: I went... But they do have some sushi there too, I went there with Steve McGrath and Brooks Hansen from Camp Chef, and we were doing a Shot Show there, which is when we all tend to end up in Vegas. You need to go to Lotus of Siam. They used to be in a little strip center and now they're in their own gigantic place, and it's really hard to get into, if you can sit at the bar, that's even better.

29:00 MS: We should do like a Shot Show of where to eat.

29:03 SL: Sure.

29:03 MS: Special.

29:04 SL: Sure.

29:05 MS: Special, special, special. Who knows what's gonna happen? No one's gonna be traveling anywhere after this, but... [laughter]

29:13 SL: That's right. We're... This is Coronavirus time for... If you happen to be listening to this, a year or two down the road and thinking, "What was that whole Coronavirus?"

29:23 MS: We're deep into it right now.

29:25 SL: So we'll see if it ends up being just another scary swine flu thing, or if it really matters, people...

29:32 MS: How is the coronavirus gonna affect the wine industry?

29:35 SL: I think, so far it's affecting everything.

29:37 MS: So obviously it will...

29:39 SL: It's gonna affect travel and consumption, maybe people will stay home and drink more wine now.

29:45 MS: Well, there is something to that. So after... My husband works for Andersen Windows, and so after the September 11 attacks, people stayed home...

29:55 SL: Right.

29:56 MS: But, so they didn't travel and they didn't go places or do anything, but they still wanted to spend money, so they looked at their home and said, "Well, let's improve our homes." So Andersen Windows did very well after September 11, because people were home and wanted to put money in their homes. So out of every bad thing does come good things, I'm not sure what's gonna happen to my IRA or your IRA after all this but...

30:25 SL: Whatever it is, it'll come back. These things happen, they always will happen. And so on 9/11, I was on the East Coast and I was doing a pharmaceutical dinner, and we actually did one that night, it was weird, it hadn't quite sunk in yet, but the speaker, the physician that was there, they limo-ed him back from Athens, Georgia to Houston, Texas.

30:53 MS: Limo-ed?

30:54 SL: Because there were no planes. I was grounded too, I had a gun with me, and I was gonna shoot the opening of Dubs' in over in Alabama, and I had to UPS my gun back to myself because I couldn't take it on the plane, it was all sorts of... I mean you couldn't fly for a few days anyway, so... Yeah, that was crazy. It was very, very surreal. I was watching the second tower get hit in real time from my hotel in Athens because it was that time zone. But things seemed to have calmed down now. I know for a long time, whenever I got on a plane, and I fly all the time, I was always looking around to look for suspicious people, now I just look for annoying people, and hopefully they're not gonna sit next to me.

31:37 MS: Yeah. And now with the coronavirus you just look for people that are coughing.

31:41 SL: [chuckle] If I clear my throat on a plane now, I feel... [laughter] I feel self-conscious about it. I feel like somebody's worried that I've got coronavirus or worse.

31:50 MS: To be honest with you, on the way here, I was coughing a little bit. And Wayne was like, "Why are you coughing? Why are you coughing?" And I'm like, "I don't know, like it's just really dry in Minnesota, I don't know what's going on." So I went and got a cough suppressive because I didn't want to be coughing in the airport or on the plane. And I'm not... I'm fine, like I don't... I just have this...

32:10 SL: Well, we don't know that, you could be incubating right now.

32:12 MS: [laughter] I could be incubating something, yeah. No, I think it's just from that sickness I had like a month ago.

32:20 SL: And I really think the cure for the coronavirus is to eat wild game and drink lots of wine.

32:25 MS: Drink more wine, drink more wine, yeah. I agree with you on that. That would kill everything. And there's enough alcohol in this wine, you could wash your hands with it.

32:32 SL: Right. This is... But I heard about the whole hand sanitizer thing that if you use that a lot, that it dries your skin out and it'll put cracks in your skin, which allows the virus to enter through your skin. So again, I think if you just rub duck fat on your hands, eat lots of wild game, and wash it down with wine, you'll get there. You'll be fine. And so my take on food and wine is, yes, certain wine really pairs well with certain types of food. If you've got a big peppery venison steak, you wanna have a bigger wine, like a big Zin or a cab as opposed to a rose. But if you're not bent that way, and you don't care, drink the wine you like with the food you like, and nobody's gonna think any less of you.

33:28 MS: No matter what the cost.

33:29 SL: No matter [chuckle] if it's a $5 wine. We're gonna do some blind tastings down the road with Michelle, and I'm gonna show her that a $7.50 wine is perfectly acceptable, as long as you choose the right $7.50 wine. We're gonna do some brown bag stuff. But really, drink the wine you like with the food you like.

33:54 MS: With the people you like. Let's be honest, it's about the company.

33:57 SL: It is, and...

33:58 MS: You don't wanna be on Sideways, where he's drinking a '62, whatever that was.

34:03 SL: I don't remember the movie, but yeah.


34:07 SL: That's where you got your Merlot deal though, isn't it? That's where you decide you hated all Merlots.

34:11 MS: Sideways ruined the Merlot industry. But you know what? For every negative thing, there was a positive, 'cause then people planted a lot of Zinfandel vine.

34:21 SL: Right.

34:22 MS: So, there you go.

34:23 SL: And the big Zins, by the way, I know we're trying to wrap this up, but the big Zins that Lodi was known for, it seems like they've toned that down somewhat. They're not quite so...

34:34 MS: Alcoholy?

34:34 SL: 15% alcohol, big jammy. They don't seem as chewy.

34:39 MS: Two glass of that and I was like, "Waaaaa."

34:40 SL: They don't seem quite as chewy as they used to be. I think they've toned down the style a bit.

34:44 MS: Yeah, yeah, which I appreciate. Alright, alright, so I hope you guys continue to listen to Scott and I ramble while we drink, 'cause it's gonna be just more and more interesting. Trust me, stick around.


Outro: Well, time sure flies when you're loading up on good food, good wine, and great conversation. Find more Scott Leysath at, where you can also nab a free Wild Game e-book and sign up for his two times a month newsletter, track him on social media, and see how to watch The Sporting Chef airing on Sportsman Channel, and Dead Meat on Sportsman Channel and My Outdoor TV. For more of Michelle, check out That's two M's on the first comm, one on the second, She runs her own marketing communications firm handling PR, social media and more for some of the biggest names in the outdoors. That's it for now. We'll see you next time when again, we go off the record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

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