Episode 40: Cheers! Let’s drink to Swiss wine, beer and spirits
Podcast Episodes

Episode 40: Cheers! Let’s drink to Swiss wine, beer and spirits

February 23, 2022 Last Updated on September 20, 2022

Interview with Andie Pilot of Helvetic Kitchen

Today I’m welcoming back Andie Pilot from HelveticKitchen.com. Andie is a pastry chef and cookbook author and she was the special guest on episode 31. 

In that episode, Andie shared her knowledge of Swiss cuisine and told us all the must-try dishes to order when we’re visiting Switzerland.  She had some fascinating stories to tell about the history of the different Swiss dishes – including fondue and raclette – as well as some very delicious desserts.

I had such great feedback about what Andie had to share with us that I invited her back to talk about another topic she knows quite a lot about – Swiss drinks. And yes, she has published a book about Swiss drinks, too! It’s called “Drink like the Swiss”.

Swiss wine and beer are rarely seen outside of Switzerland and Andie is going to tell us why that is.  She’s also got some great tips on where to see wine, beer and spirits being produced, and where you can visit to try these drinks yourself.

I can’t think of anything better than enjoying a glass of Swiss wine at the top of a mountain summit whilst enjoying the peace and quiet around me.

If you need quiet, please  – you need Switzerland.

Thanks again to Switzerland Tourism for sponsoring the podcast. Their website myswitzerland.com is packed with practical information and ideas to help you plan your trip to Switzerland.

Click the green button below to listen:

[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]

Show Notes

In this episode, Andie discusses:

  • Her background and her career as a pastry chef and author of books on Swiss food and drinks
  • Swiss wine
  • Swiss spirits
  • Swiss beer
  • Other popular Swiss drinks
  • Drinking etiquette in Switzerland
  • Her favourite Swiss wine, beer and spirits

Places and drinks mentioned in this episode include:

>> Pinot Noir – also known as Blauburgunder, is Switzerland’s most popular red wine

>> Chasselas – Switzerland’s most popular white wine, also called Fendant

>> Merlot – a red grape variety grown in the canton of Ticino and served in a small ceramic mug called a boccolino

>> Gamay – another popular red wine variety. In the canton of Valais it is often blended with Pinot Noir to make an aromatic wine called Dole.

>> Petit Arvine – a white wine from the canton of Valais.

>> Cornalin and Humagne Rouge – two more red varieties from Valais.

>> The six main wine regions of Switzerland are – Valais, Vaud, Geneva, Ticino, 3 Lakes Region (Neuchatel, Fribourg and parts of Bern), and German speaking Switzerland (including Schaffhausen, Thurgau, canton Zurich and canton Graubunden).

>> Lavaux – a UNESCO World Heritage listed site, the terraced vineyards of the Lavaux region overlook Lake Geneva.

>> Absinthe – a spirit which comes from Val-de-Travers in the canton of Neuchatel. It was banned for many years. You can visit the Absinthe Museum at Motiers – details here.

>> Distillery Studer – based in Escholzmatt, the distillery produces a range of drinks including fruit brandies, rum, gin and vodka. More info here.

>> Turicum Gin – gin making workshops are available at this Zurich distillery which also produces vodka. Full details their website.

>> Röteli – a liquer from Graubunden made with dried cherries and spices.

>> Brasserie de Franches Montagnes – a brewery in the Jura region famous for its sour beers. Tours are available – details here.

>> White Frontier – a craft brewery in Martigny in the Valais. Find out more here.

>> Most – apple cider.

>> Schorle– apple juice mixed with sparkling water.

>> Bschorle – a beer mixed with apple and pear juice and produced by Appenzeller Bier.

>> Rivella – Switzerland’s most popular soft drink. It is made with whey, a by-product of cheese production.

Swiss wine. © Switzerland Tourism
Andie Pilot
Andie Pilot
Monstein Huusbier is made in Monstein in Graubunden.

If you’d prefer to read the transcript of this episode you can download a PDF version of the transcript here or read the full transcript on our website here.

Useful Resources

Find out more about Andie, and see all her delicious Swiss recipes, on her website Helvetic Kitchen.

You can also follow Andie on Instagram and Facebook.

Her books are available from her publisher Bergli Books or through Amazon or Book Depository (no international shipping fee).

You can hear Andie chat about Swiss food – including fondue and raclette – in episode 31 of the podcast – click here to listen.

To learn more about some of the wine regions mentioned in this episode, check out these articles:

There are also podcast episodes on Graubunden, Schaffhausen, Fribourg, Montreux and Ticino.

You can also read more about Swiss wine here.

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This episode is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism.

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