Skip to main content

Straight Talk Episode 20: The Blocking and Tackling of Wine with Dan Petroski

Winemaker Dan Petroski made news when he sold his boutique California white wine brand Massican to Gallo late last year. But that was just the latest step on a wine journey that started ignominiously as a Columbia University football player and began in earnest a decade later after an eye-opening dinner at Le Bernardin in New York.

Petroski went on to become cellarmaster at Larkmead, where he worked until 2021 while also building his own brand. “I started Massican because my mother couldn’t afford Larkmead,” Petroski tells host James Molesworth in the newest episode of Wine Spectator‘s Straight Talk podcast. “I wanted to do something that would bring more people great wine.”

Now available on Apple, Google, Spotify and more, including at, episode 20 of Straight Talk also welcomes back Wine Spectator’s beloved advice and education columnist Dr. Vinny.

Straight Talk debuted in October 2022 and has attracted some of the wine industry’s biggest stars for honest, probing, revelatory and sometimes hilarious conversations. Season 1 guests included winemakers Aubert de Villaine, Tim Mondavi, Tony Soter, Mark Aubert, Helen Keplinger, Thomas Rivers Brown, Greg Brewer and many more, as well as chefs Thomas Keller and Marcus Samuelsson, NBA Hall of Famer and winery investor Tony Parker and film, TV and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc star Sarah Jessica Parker.

“The Straight Talk podcast is a must-listen for anyone in the wine industry, and gives consumers a personal connection with our expert staff of tasters that no other format—or podcast—can offer,” said Wine Spectator editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken, who himself made several guest appearances in Straight Talk’s first season.

Wine Spectator‘s Straight Talk podcast is available for free on all major podcasting platforms, as well as at, and listeners can email their questions and comments to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.