I'm not sure why it took me so long to check out the podcast craze. I think part of the problem was that I just didn't believe I could get internet radio/video downloads at no cost! I'm a skeptic at heart. Now that I'm addicted, I thought I'd share a few of the gems I've come across in my voracious hunt for free entertainment peppered with a nice dose of knowledge.
Karl recently got me watching one of National Geographic's video podcasts called Wild Chronicles. The podcast consists of short (5-7 minutes), informative videos about a certain species or phenomenon in the animal kingdom. Really cool stuff! And so I was welcomed into the world of the podcast.
I quickly started looking around on my own through my iTunes account, simply by entering a simple keyword searches in the podcast section, looking for subjects in which I am particularly interested (e.g., wine, beer, environment). By pure luck (and by Gary's immense popularity), I stumbled almost immediately upon Gary Vaynerchuk's Wine Library TV (aka the Thunder Show). See the previous post for a reminder of how much I truly adore GV and his video podcasts!
I also found a wine podcast that I can listen to on my non-video iPod (chalk one more thing down for the Christmas list...) while I'm commuting to and from school: Winecast. This one is a bit heavier on the reverent tone in its discussion of wine. I prefer Gary, but this podcast offers some really valuable background about wine regions and varietals that I find wonderful. Each session (10-30 minutes) discusses one type of grape/region, and the host, Tim Elliot, offers comparisons, tasting notes, and personal ratings of about three different wines of that grape varietal.
My second video podcast subscription was to Food Science, an On Network podcast with Dr. Kiki, a bubbly scientist who describes the chemical reactions, and general science behind one of the more commonplace activities in our day: cooking! One of my favorite episodes is one in which she makes ice cream using liquid nitrogen. The podcasts usually last 3-10 minutes and are packed full of interesting tips and tricks (although many of the tricks involve ingredients or equipment you won't find outside of a chem lab).
Another radio podcast I've begun subscribing to is the Behind the Bar Show, a show about cocktails: recipes, history, myths, bartending tips/tricks, and origins. There's not too much more to say about it, other than the host, Mr. Martini himself, is really quite knowledgeable and seems like the kind of guy that you'd want to have as a friend. This is a really approachable podcast that deals with subject matter that could quickly get overwhelming, and I really like it!
I'm sure you're beginning to see a pattern in my interests!
So far, I have yet to find a good beer podcast, so any suggestions would be welcome! Perhaps at a later date I'll review a few podcasts I've tried and rejected.