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Unreserved Wine Talk

English, Arts, 1 season, 288 episodes, 13 hours, 25 minutes
About
The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery, the zany tactics of a winemaker who hosted a funeral for cork, and more. Nestled in these colourful stories are practical tips on how to choose wine from a restaurant list, pair it with food and spot great values in the liquor store. Every second episode, Natalie goes solo with an unfiltered, personal reflection on wine. She'll share with you how it feels to be a woman in what is still a largely male-dominated field, her gut reaction to the latest health study that says no amount of alcohol consumption is safe and her journey in writing her next book. She'll reveal these vulnerable, sometimes embarrassing, stories with tipsy wit and wisdom that she's soaked up from 20 years of writing about wine. This podcast is for wine lovers from novices to well-cellared aficionados.
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286: Mixing Business and Pleasure; Authenticity and Forgery in Art and Wine with Bianca Bosker

How are innovators making art and wine more engaging and accessible? What is it about the art and wine worlds that makes business and pleasure often one and the same? Is authenticity in art important? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author Bianca Bosker. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a copy of Bianca Bosker's terrific new book Get the Picture: A Mind-Bending Journey among the Inspired Artists and Obsessive Art Fiends Who Taught Me How to See. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights Are the art and wine worlds still ruled by gatekeepers? How are innovators bringing in new voices and making art and wine more engaging and accessible? What’s the role of the social grapevine in the art and wine industries? Why is mentorship a critical aspect of moving up the ladder in these industries? What is it about the art and wine worlds that makes business and pleasure often one and the same? What are some creative ways to develop your taste and understanding of art and wine? Is authenticity in art important? How do forgeries and fakes impact the art world? What can the art and wine worlds learn from each other? Why was it important to Bianca to be in the action in the art world when writing Get in the Picture? Which wines would Bianca pair with iconic artists and artwork? Why would Joan Didion be Bianca’s ideal companion for sharing a bottle of wine?   Key Takeaways Bianca says, “With art and wine, some people say there are no rules, you can engage with it any way you want." She found that advice really frustrating. She thinks that it is important to give people the tools to think for themselves to engage with art or with wine on their own terms. Bianca observes that mixing business and pleasure is part of getting ahead in these different worlds, but it can be unfair for up-and-coming artists. It's hard to spend all of your time bopping around openings and networking. With art, the idea of a forgery is actually a relatively recent invention, Bianca notes. We haven't always cared what was original and what was a forgery or what was a fake.     About Bianca Bosker Bianca Bosker is the author of the New York Times bestselling books Get the Picture: A Mind-Bending Journey among the Inspired Artists and Obsessive Art Fiends Who Taught Me How to See and Cork Dork. A contributing writer at The Atlantic, she has also written for publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Her work has been recognized with awards from the New York Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, and more, and has been included in The Best American Travel Writing.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/286.
5/22/202440 minutes, 29 seconds
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285: The Obsessive Passions and Parallels Between Art & Wine with Bianca Bosker, Author of Get the Picture and Cork Dork

Why are people with obsessive natures often drawn to both wine and art? How does strategic snobbery create deliberate barriers to entry into the art and wine worlds? What does it mean to stay in the work or to stay with the wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author Bianca Bosker. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a copy of Bianca Bosker's terrific new book Get the Picture: A Mind-Bending Journey among the Inspired Artists and Obsessive Art Fiends Who Taught Me How to See. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights Which cities has Bianca visited so far on her book tour? What has Bianca found to be the top marketing strategies for her book? Are art-world people more or less obsessive than wine-world people? Why are people with obsessive natures drawn to art and wine? How did getting into artists’ studios transform the way Bianca looks at art? What does it mean to “stay in the work”? How does strategic snobbery create deliberate barriers to entry into the art and wine industries? Is there really a need for complex terminology and flowery language in describing wine? How has art speak evolved to become less descriptive and more exclusionary? Why does Bianca differentiate between the logic behind wine descriptions and art speak? What’s behind the art world’s suspicion of beautiful things and are there parallels in the wine world? How do art and wine help us to discover and appreciate beauty in the everyday?   Key Takeaways Bianca observed an all-consuming passion and intensity in both worlds. As she says: "I'd never met a group of people willing to sacrifice so much for something of so little obvious practical value." They are both in their own way, hedonistic. They really sort of involve all of us - our minds, and our bodies. Strategic snobbery creates deliberate barriers to entry into the art and wine worlds. Bianca explains that it exists to keep out the "Joe Schmoes." The language is one of these constructions that exists to distinguish you as someone that does or does not get it. Bianca advises to slow down and absorb your experiences. It's also what I teach my online wine and food pairing students. Think about what you're experiencing and what you're tasting.   About Bianca Bosker Bianca Bosker is the author of the New York Times bestselling books Get the Picture: A Mind-Bending Journey among the Inspired Artists and Obsessive Art Fiends Who Taught Me How to See and Cork Dork. A contributing writer at The Atlantic, she has also written for publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Her work has been recognized with awards from the New York Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, and more, and has been included in The Best American Travel Writing.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/285.
5/15/202442 minutes, 20 seconds
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284: Spanish Wine Pairings + Cookbook Creation Secrets with Barbara Scott-Goodman

Why do Spanish wines pair well with earthy, savoury dishes? How does food photography affect the cost of a cookbook? How can you set yourself up for success as an aspiring food or drink writer? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author Barbara Scott-Goodman. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a copy of Barbara Scott-Goodman's terrific book Wine Time: 70+ Recipes for Simple Bites That Pair Perfectly with Wine. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights What are Barbara’s three favourite wine pairings? Why is food photography so expensive and how does it affect the cost of a cookbook? Do photographs of the dishes enhance or detract from restaurant menus? What are Barbara’s favourite cookbooks and why? How has the cookbook market evolved over the past 10 years and what are some of the trends Barbara sees now? What were some of the most interesting cocktails Barbara came across while writing Brooklyn Bar Bites? Which marketing channels were the most successful for Wine Bites and Wine Time? How can you set yourself up for success as an aspiring food or drink writer? Which chef and musician would Barbara like to share a bottle of wine with? What makes a summer afternoon outdoors the perfect setting to enjoy a glass of wine? Which simple high-low food pairing should you try next?   About Barbara Scott-Goodman Barbara Scott-Goodman is an author, art director, and designer of cookbooks for many publishers. Her most recent book is Wine Time ((Chronicle Books, 2021). Other books include Cake (Penguin Press, 2018), a collaboration with writer and illustrator Maira Kalman, Delicious Dessert Cocktails (Bluestreak Books, 2018), Brooklyn Bar Bites (Rizzoli, 2016), Happy Hour at Home (Running Press, 2013), and Wine Bites (Chronicle Books, 2011). Her work has been featured in publications in print and online, including Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Publishers Weekly, Food52, and Sweet Paul. Her books always emphasize the importance of warm and intimate gatherings and eating, drinking, and living well in this era of non-ostentatious, casual entertaining.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/284.
5/8/202432 minutes, 34 seconds
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283: Challenging Wine Matches with Barbara Scott-Goodman, Author of Wine Time: 70+ Recipes for Simple Bites That Pair Perfectly with Wine

Can you pair pickled foods with wine, or will their vinegarized flavours ruin the wine? Which wines pair best with soft-shell crab? What goes into great food photography, whether in a magazine or cookbook? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author Barbara Scott-Goodman. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a copy of Barbara Scott-Goodman's terrific book Wine Time: 70+ Recipes for Simple Bites That Pair Perfectly with Wine. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights How did Barbara’s passion for creating recipes develop? Which are the best wines to pair with soft-shell crab? What was Barbara’s most memorable wine moment? When did Barbara realize she wanted to transition into a writing career? Why are book covers often like a political landmine? What are the key elements of a good cookbook cover? How did Barbara decide on the cover design for her book, Wine Time? What makes great food photography? How did the art of pickling surprise Barbara while researching Wine Time? Can you pair pickled foods with wine?   Key Takeaways Can you pair pickled foods with wine? As Barbara observed, contrary to popular belief, these vinegarized foods don’t always wreak havoc on wine. Riesling actually works very well with its own natural acidity, as do other acidic wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Gruner Veltliner. Which wines pair best with soft-shell crab? Barbara would go with a chilled pinot grigio, or if she’s feeling extravagant, a white burgundy, which is an opulent French chardonnay. What goes into great food photography, whether it’s in a magazine or cookbook? Barbara says there's a lot going on behind the scenes. You need to have a good food stylist and a good prop stylist. Most of us don't realize that there are people who get paid to shop for the right linen, the right glass, the right cup, and it's very subtle, but you look at it, you go, wow, that photograph is so good. It's because this team is thinking about it. And that's the magic of food photography.   About Barbara Scott-Goodman Barbara Scott-Goodman is an author, art director, and designer of cookbooks for many publishers. Her most recent book is Wine Time ((Chronicle Books, 2021). Other books include Cake (Penguin Press, 2018), a collaboration with writer and illustrator Maira Kalman, Delicious Dessert Cocktails (Bluestreak Books, 2018), Brooklyn Bar Bites (Rizzoli, 2016), Happy Hour at Home (Running Press, 2013), and Wine Bites (Chronicle Books, 2011). Her work has been featured in publications in print and online, including Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Publishers Weekly, Food52, and Sweet Paul. Her books always emphasize the importance of warm and intimate gatherings and eating, drinking, and living well in this era of non-ostentatious, casual entertaining.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/283.
5/1/202428 minutes, 59 seconds
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282: Wine Sulphites, Mindful Drinking and Marketing Alcohol on The Erica Diamond Podcast

Should you avoid wine with sulphites? What are some of the important differences in the way wine is marketed to men versus women? How can you practice mindful drinking without giving up the wine you love? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Erica Diamond on The Erica Diamond Podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why did I choose to write a completely different genre for my third book, Wine Witch On Fire? How did I first realize my drinking was sliding away from healthy? Why do I say wine today is like Virginia Slims were in the 1960s? What are some of the stark differences in how wine is marketed to men versus women? What are some of the red flags that your drinking might be problematic? Why did I decide to focus on harm-reduction techniques instead of going sober? How do I now practice mindful drinking, considering that wine is integral to my career? Should you avoid wine with sulphites? What signs should you be aware of that suggest your drinking habits might be becoming unhealthy? What words of wisdom would I offer my younger self if I could?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Erica Diamond & The Erica Diamond Podcast The Erica Diamond Podcast is getting you motivated and inspired by conversations with today’s thought leaders and coolest people. Each episode, get up close and personal with compelling guests who share stories and tips that empower you to live your best life. Erica Diamond is a Certified Life and Career Coach and certified Yoga and Meditation Teacher who helps women completely transform their days to vibrate at a high energy frequency and feel calm at the same time. She's the definition of multi-passionate and also can be seen as the Lifestyle & Parenting Correspondent on Global TV, on stage as a Professional Speaker, hosting The Erica Diamond Podcast, teaching Busy To Bliss and trying her hand in the kitchen (to many blunders!).       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/282.  
4/24/202438 minutes, 13 seconds
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281: Splendid Vin Jaune, Jura Wine 's Wild Variety and Mysterious Grapes of the French Alps with Wink Lorch

What makes Vin Jaune from France's Jura region so special? What can you discover about the diversity of wine coming out of Jura and the French Alps? What are some insider tips for planning a journey to the French Alps? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author Wink Lorch. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you will win a copy of Wink Lorch's terrific book about the wines of Jura and the French Alps. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights What exactly goes into the winemaking process for Vin Jaune that sets it apart from other wines? Why does Wink describe the taste of Vin Jaune as a “shock to the palate”? What are some great food pairings for Vin Jaune, and how should they be stored and served? How does using the méthode ancestrale influence Bugey Cerdon sparkling wine? Which traditional dishes from the Jura region are a must-try, and how do they pair with Bugey Cerdon? What are the best tips for having great wine-tasting experiences in the picturesque French Alps? What inspired Wink to turn to Kickstarter for crowdfunding her books and other wine-related projects? Why was there a need for a book on Jura alone and what challenges come with self-publishing and crowdfunding such a project? What can you discover about diversity when you explore wine from Jura and the French Alps?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Wink Lorch British wine writer, author and educator Wink Lorch has always worked in the world of wine: writing, editing, teaching and presenting tastings having started her career working for British wine importers. Based between London and the French Alps, over the past 20 years, she has become known as the English-language specialist of the wines of Jura and Savoie.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/281.
4/17/202443 minutes, 21 seconds
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280: Wines of Jura and the French Alps with Wink Lorch: From Ski Resorts to Worldwide Sensation

What is it about wines from the French Alps and Jura that makes them so different from any other wine region in the world? How has climate change impacted wines in the region? How did their perception as “ski resort wines” negatively impact Jura and Savoie wineries? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author Wink Lorch. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you will win a copy of Wink Lorch's terrific book about the wines of Jura and the French Alps. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights What sparked Wink’s interest in the French Alps and Jura? Why is it important to distinguish between the French Alps and Prealps? What’s the connection between Jura and Savoie? Where exactly are Jura and the French Alps located, and what does the landscape look like? How does Jura's terroir compare to Burgundy's, and what does this mean for their wines? How did the historic Mont Granier landslide impact the region? What was Louis Pasteur’s influence on the wine industry, and where can you visit to learn more about him while visiting the Jura region? How do the mountains in the region impact the vineyards in Savoie and Jura? How has climate change impacted the wine industry in the region, and should we be concerned? What unique challenges face Jura and Savoie wine producers, considering their small production and export rates? How did the historical association of Savoie wines with ski resorts affect their perception? Why have Jura wines become popular with sommeliers in some trendy Manhattan restaurants? What makes Jura wines so distinctive, and what challenges are they currently experiencing?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Wink Lorch British wine writer, author and educator Wink Lorch has always worked in the world of wine: writing, editing, teaching and presenting tastings having started her career working for British wine importers. Based between London and the French Alps, over the past 20 years, she has become known as the English-language specialist of the wines of Jura and Savoie.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/280.
4/10/202449 minutes, 36 seconds
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279: Dazzling Beaujolais Food Pairings and Wild Indigenous Yeast Flavours with Natasha Hughes

Why are Beaujolais wines so versatile when it comes to food pairing? How are younger producers bringing renewed optimism to Beaujolais? What is indigenous fermentation, and how does it contribute to the complexity of Beaujolais wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Master of Wine and author, Natasha Hughes. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you will win a copy of a terrific, new book to which Natasha Hughes is a contributor- On Burgundy: From Maddening to Marvellous in 59 Tales. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights What’s behind the increasing alcohol levels in Beaujolais wines? Why are Beaujolais wines so versatile when it comes to food pairing? How do carbonic maceration and other techniques often used in Beaujolais winemaking work? How did Beaujolais develop a reputation for “bubblegum and banana” aromas? How are younger producers and innovative approaches driving the current vibrant and dynamic atmosphere in Beaujolais? What is indigenous fermentation, and how does it contribute to the complexity of Beaujolais wines? Why are stories the best way to share your love of wine? How would Natasha pair wine and snails? Who’s on the guest list for Natasha’s dream dinner party and why? What’s Natasha’s top temperature-based wine tip?   Key Takeaways Why are Beaujolais wines so versatile when it comes to food pairing? As Natasha observes, these are crunchy wines, you take them on a picnic, you open them with charcuterie and salads and don't take them too seriously. How are younger producers bringing renewed optimism to Beaujolais? Natasha says they’re revitalizing the region with new approaches and experimenting with indigenous yeasts. How does indigenous fermentation contribute to the complexity of Beaujolais wines? Yeast populations in the winery and on grape skins are allowed to take over the fermentation process, resulting in more complex wines.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Natasha Hughes Natasha Hughes MW graduated as a Master of Wine in 2014, winning four out of the seven prizes awarded that year, including the Outstanding Achievement Award. Natasha began her wine trade career as deputy editor for Decanter’s website but left in 2001 to begin freelancing as a journalist, specialising in wine and food. Natasha has contributed material for a number of books, and is currently working on her first solo effort, a book on Beaujolais, for the Wine Library series.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/279.
4/3/202438 minutes, 22 seconds
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278: The Surprising Complexity of Beaujolais with Natasha Hughes, Contributor to On Burgundy: From Maddening to Marvellous in 59 Tales

What’s behind the surprising complexity and variety of Beaujolais wines? How has Beaujolais Nouveau distorted the public perception of Beaujolais? What makes Beaujolais such a good value wine? In this Unreserved Wine Talk podcast episode, I'm chatting with Master of Wine and author, Natasha Hughes. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you will win a copy of a terrific, new book to which Natasha Hughes is a contributor- On Burgundy: From Maddening to Marvellous in 59 Tales. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights What might surprise you about the complexity of the Beaujolais region and wine? How has Beaujolais Nouveau somewhat distorted the public perception of Beaujolais? Where is Beaujolais connected to Burgundy? How does soil greatly influence the quality of wine produced from Gamay grapes? When was Beaujolais Nouveau introduced to the world and how did it affect the quality of wine produced in the region? What was behind the declining popularity of Beaujolais in the 80s and 90s? Which are Beaujolais’ top 10 crus? Why are Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, and Morgon the most structured of the cru wines? How is the geological complexity of Beaujolais reflected in the wines produced in the region? What’s behind the elevating prices for Beaujolais wines? How can a vineyard gain Premier Cru status?   Key Takeaways What’s behind the surprising complexity and variety of Beaujolais wines? There’s a lot of geographical complexity, despite it being such a small region. How has Beaujolais Nouveau distorted the public perception of Beaujolais? Nouveau introduced the world to cheap and cheerful wines, but the quality of wine suffered in the race to compete with new, easy-drinking New World wines. What makes Beaujolais such a good value wine? Despite increasing quality and correspondingly increasing prices, Beaujolais represents a good value compared to bordering regions.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Natasha Hughes Natasha Hughes MW graduated as a Master of Wine in 2014, winning four out of the seven prizes awarded that year, including the Outstanding Achievement Award. Natasha began her wine trade career as deputy editor for Decanter’s website but left in 2001 to begin freelancing as a journalist, specialising in wine and food. Natasha has contributed material for a number of books, and is currently working on her first solo effort, a book on Beaujolais, for the Wine Library series.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/278.
3/27/202446 minutes, 28 seconds
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277: Will AI Replace Writers and Winemakers? Conversation with Ellen Clifford of The Wine Situation Podcast

Why don’t I think that artificial intelligence (AI) will replace human writers any time soon? What are some tips you can use for maintaining a healthy relationship with wine? What are some of the challenges women in the wine industry still face? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Ellen Clifford on The Wine Situation podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Was wine part of my family’s culture growing up? When did I start learning about wine, and why did I decide to make the career transition? When did I introduce my son to wine, and what is his relationship with alcohol like as an adult? How do I account for different tastes and preferences when I’m writing wine reviews? Is there a place for AI in writing? Why don’t I think AI will replace human writers any time soon? What was the inspiration for using the metaphor of witch trials in Wine Witch on Fire? What are some of the challenges women in the wine industry are still facing? Why is it often a complex issue figuring out how to present yourself at after-work wine industry events? What are some tips for maintaining a healthy relationship with wine? Why should you try Southbrook Vineyard’s orange wine? What makes Rosé and ketchup chips a perfect pairing? If not wine, what are my favourite beverages? Why do I find so much joy in the connections I make with readers?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Ellen Clifford & The Wine Situation The Wine Situation hosts everyone from winemakers to writers to find out what a person’s situation is…with wine. It’s the solo season with host Ellen Clifford, but listen in with a glass, and nobody is drinking alone! At the end of every action-packed episode, Ellen is phoning a friend with her Final Five questions. Ellen also contributes to Delectable, The Wine Situation, Salon, Food52, Hello Giggles, MassLive.com, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Independent Living.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/277.
3/20/202445 minutes, 7 seconds
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276: Delicious Vegan Wine Pairings with Jennifer Huether and Priya Rao, Authors of The Social Herbivore

Which wineries are leading the way with vegan wines? How are some restaurants expanding into innovative vegan or vegetarian menus? What makes Riesling so versatile, especially with vegan dishes? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jennifer Huether and Priya Rao, authors of The Social Herbivore: Perfect Pairings For Plant-Based Cuisine. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you is going to win a copy of Priya Rao & Jennifer Huether's terrific book, The Social Herbivore: Perfect Pairings For Plant-Based Cuisine - the first book ever on plant-based food and wine matching. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights What surprised Jen about Riesling’s versatility? What is Priya’s favourite unexpected and daring pairing? Which recent advancements in the world of plant-based foods would Priya and Jen include in an updated edition of the Social Herbivore? How are some restaurants expanding into innovative vegan or vegetarian offerings? Which wineries are leading the way in producing vegan wines? What goes into vegan charcuterie and cheese? What is carbonic maceration, and how does it impact the taste and aroma of a wine? What were Priya and Jen’s favourite vegan food and wine pairings? How do the differences between animal and plant proteins and fats affect wine pairings? How can you create a fun tasting experience to figure out the best wine pairings for spicy foods? What can you do to extend the shelf life of an opened bottle of wine?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Priya Rao A foodie and wine lover, Priya switched to a vegetarian diet in 1995 and then to a vegan one in 2011. She had previously hosted vegan food and wine events, appearing on Breakfast Television as a guest wine expert on 640AM and Rogers Daytime, and writing articles for Prince Edward County’s Grapevine Magazine, and more. She is currently a contributor for Vineroutes.com on all things vegan food & wine.   About Jennifer Huether Jennifer’s love affair and studies in wine started in her early twenties with taking an interest course at George Brown college. From there, she immediately leapt into the Sommelier Certification from ISG graduating top of class, then Diploma of Wine from WSET, followed by the Advanced Sommelier passing in 2005 and finally the Master Sommelier Exams-becoming Canada’s first female Master Sommelier in 2011 graduating in Dallas Texas. Jennifer is one of thirty women Master Sommeliers in the world.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/276.
3/13/202438 minutes, 44 seconds
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275: What Are Vegan Wines & Are They Better for You with Jennifer Huether and Priya Rao

Are vegan wines better for our health? What three aspects of a wine determine whether it’s vegan or not? How can you identify whether or not a wine is vegan by looking at the label? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jennifer Huether and Priya Rao, authors of The Social Herbivore: Perfect Pairings For Plant-Based Cuisine. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you is going to win a copy of Priya Rao & Jennifer Huether's terrific book, The Social Herbivore: Perfect Pairings For Plant-Based Cuisine - the first book ever on plant-based food and wine matching. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights How did Priya end up tasting an 1812 Madeira, and what was that experience like? Which Burgundy wine was responsible for Jennifer’s most memorable wine moment? How has the plant-based movement influenced the wine industry’s interest in vegan wine? What are the three aspects of wine that determine whether it’s considered vegan? How are animals and animal products used in winemaking? What animal-free alternatives are used by vegan winemakers? How do vegetarian and vegan diets differ? Are there official symbols on a wine label that indicate whether it’s vegan? Is there a connection between vegan wines and organic/ biodynamic wines? Are vegan wines better for our health? What’s the difference between a plant-based and vegan diet? How does the book approach wine pairings? Which wines have the most versatility when paired with vegan dishes?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Priya Rao A foodie and wine lover, Priya switched to a vegetarian diet in 1995 and then to a vegan one in 2011. She had previously hosted vegan food and wine events, appearing on Breakfast Television as a guest wine expert on 640AM and Rogers Daytime, and writing articles for Prince Edward County’s Grapevine Magazine, and more. She is currently a contributor for Vineroutes.com on all things vegan food & wine.   About Jennifer Huether Jennifer’s love affair and studies in wine started in her early twenties with taking an interest course at George Brown college. From there, she immediately leapt into the Sommelier Certification from ISG graduating top of class, then Diploma of Wine from WSET, followed by the Advanced Sommelier passing in 2005 and finally the Master Sommelier Exams-becoming Canada’s first female Master Sommelier in 2011 graduating in Dallas Texas. Jennifer is one of thirty women Master Sommeliers in the world.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/275.
3/6/202443 minutes, 10 seconds
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274: The Golden Rule to Buy Burgundy & Avoid High Prices with Raymond Blake, Author of Côte d’Or

How did the French region of Burgundy come to the world’s attention as a wine region in the first place? What’s the golden rule for buying Burgundy, especially Pinot Noir? What’s behind the sometimes eye-watering stratospheric prices of Burgundian wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with one of Ireland’s leading wine writers, Raymond Blake. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you is going to win a copy of On Burgundy: From Maddening to Marvellous in 59 Wine Tales and two of you will win a copy of Wine Talk – An Enthusiast’s Take on the People, the Places, the Grapes, and the Styles. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights What will you experience as you go through Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune in Burgundy? How did Burgundy come to the world’s attention as a wine region in the first place? How did the Napoleonic code and inheritance laws in Burgundy complicate the region even further? What’s behind the sometimes eye-watering pricing of Burgundy wines? Are there affordable options when it comes to Burgundy wines? What are some of the characteristics of Burgundy wines produced through the challenges that came with the 2021 vintage? What tasting notes will you experience from Jean-Marc Vincent Bourgogne Blanc 2021 and Jean-Claude Ramonet Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2021? What are some of Raymond’s more unconventional wine-drinking habits that often raise an eyebrow? Why shouldn’t you serve your red wines at room temperature? Which are Raymond’s favourite versatile wines for food pairing? What are some of Raymond’s favourite wine gadgets?   Key Takeaways How did Burgundy come to the world’s attention in the first place? 1 The influence of Benedictine and Cistercian monks; 2 Geography as a trade route; 3 High quality of the wine. What’s the golden rule for buying Burgundy, especially Pinot Noir? Start with the producer who made the wine. What’s behind the sometimes eye-watering stratospheric prices of Burgundian wines? Fashion/market trends and the rise (and fall) of secondary markets.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Raymond Blake Raymond Blake is one of Ireland’s leading wine writers and has been writing about wine and related topics for over 25 years. Raymond is the Burgundy correspondent for Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book and a regular contributor to The World of Fine Wine magazine. He is the author of four critically acclaimed books, including Breakfast in Burgundy and Côte d’Or.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/274.
2/28/202443 minutes, 46 seconds
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273: Changes in Burgundy and Untangling a Complicated Region with Raymond Blake, Author Breakfast in Burgundy

Why is Pinot Noir considered the holy grail of wine? What makes the French region Burgundy so complicated, and how can we untangle it? What would surprise and delight you about how both the wine and the region have changed in the past five years? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with one of Ireland’s leading wine writers, Raymond Blake. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you is going to win a copy of On Burgundy: From Maddening to Marvellous in 59 Wine Tales and two of you will win a copy of Wine Talk – An Enthusiast’s Take on the People, the Places, the Grapes, and the Styles. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights How did Raymond transition into a career in wine writing? What inspired the title of Raymond’s first wine book, Breakfast in Burgundy? What does it mean to do a tasting of the world? Why is Raymond so passionate about spreading the wine gospel? How can we make learning about wine more approachable and fun? What are some of the geological and human factors that contribute to the complexity of Burgundy? How are viticulture practices changing in response to climate change? How are some of the more recent innovations in winemaking - like glass globes - being used? Why is Pinot Noir considered the holy grail for winemakers in Burgundy?   Key Takeaways Pinot Noir is considered the holy grail of wine because it’s so difficult to make and not easy to disguise with oak or other winemaking modifications if things don’t go well during the vintage. As a region, Burgundy can be difficult to understand since, geologically, if you cross from one side of the road to the other, things change completely, and that's reflected in the wine. Add in the human element and different naming conventions, and no wonder we’re confused. Burgundians are now training the vines differently and using fewer oak barrels. Instead, they’re using new types of vessels, eg. glass globes and stainless steel "barrels." All of this has a profound impact on the wine and its taste.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Raymond Blake Raymond Blake is one of Ireland’s leading wine writers and has been writing about wine and related topics for over 25 years. Raymond is the Burgundy correspondent for Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book and a regular contributor to The World of Fine Wine magazine. He is the author of four critically acclaimed books, including Breakfast in Burgundy and Côte d’Or.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/273.
2/21/202444 minutes, 20 seconds
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272: Candid Wine Conversations with Scott Sexsmith of Up Close & Personal and Matt Cundill of You May Also Like

How do you choose the best wine pairings for dessert? When should you summon the sommelier? How can you improve your smell vocabulary and learn to distinguish between different aromas? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Scott Sexsmith of Up Close & Personal and Matt Cundill on You May Also Like. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Is it normal to find it difficult to detect the tastes and aromas from wine tasting notes? How can you improve your smell vocabulary and learn to distinguish between different aromas? Does my alcohol consumption concern me, considering my family history of alcoholism? How did wine mom culture contribute to the massive increase in women drinking during the pandemic? What does it mean to pair the wine with the diner, not the dinner? Can thinking more deeply about wine and food pairing increase your enjoyment of both? What are some of my go-to wine pairings you can try? Can you get a good bottle of wine without spending a fortune? Which bargain wines should you try on your next trip to the wine store? Is the enjoyment of food the gateway drug to wine? How can you find new wines to experiment with? What three aspects of wine make it a unique experience compared to other drinks or food? Which aspects of wine lead to more sensual enjoyment versus other alcoholic beverages? Why does Chianti work with tomato-based foods? Why do I prefer to think of myself as an enthusiastic amateur, rather than an expert? Are we making any progress in breaking down the elitism and snobbery that have historically been associated with the wine industry? How has my taste in wine changed over the years? Why do some wines leave you with a headache the next day while others don’t? When should you summon the sommelier? How does the LCBO’s purchasing power impact the wines that are available in the regions they serve? Does your palate change as you age? Which wines and regions have flourished in Nova Scotia? Which type of wine pairs best with spicy Indian curries? Why did I start the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Scott Sexsmith and Matt Cundill Scott Sexsmith has worked in media for over 30 years, having spent the bulk of his career in radio. In addition to Up Close & Personal, Scott also hosts a podcast with Michael Friscolanti called Inside the Village. Matt Cundill's voice has been on radio, television and online since the 90's. More recently, he has taken on films and worked with e-learning companies to train employees and podcast companies to deliver the perfect host-read ad.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/272.
2/14/202443 minutes, 56 seconds
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271: Best Sommelier Questions and How the Shape of Wine Acidity is Revealing with Vanessa Price

Why do the wines change when you’re pairing them with kale versus other greens? Why should you avoid storing wine in the fridge? What’s the best question you can ask a sommelier in a restaurant? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Vanessa Price, the author of Big Macs and Burgundy: Wine Pairings for the Real World and the wine expert for The TODAY Show. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What inspired Vanessa to pair wine with classic McDonald’s foods? How did Vanessa pair pastrami sandwich (with a dill pickle) with wine? What gives Chilean Carmenère a bell pepper taste? How do the characteristics of different greens lend themselves to different types of wine? What is meant by the “shape of acidity” and how can it help you to learn more about a wine? Why shouldn’t we leave bubbly in the fridge for more than one to two weeks? What were some of the challenges Vanessa encountered when writing her book? How was Big Macs and Burgundy received by the wine industry? How is Vanessa localizing Big Macs and Burgundy with each new translation? What was Vanessa’s approach to curating the wine list at Mavericks? Which rare and special wines have been included in Mavericks wine list? Why did Vanessa create a skin contact section on the wine list and which types of wine are included? What’s the best question you can ask a sommelier for a wine recommendation? What is Vanessa’s favourite wine book? What’s Vanessa’s favourite wine gadget?   Key Takeaways Vanessa’s advice wasn’t focused only on fast food and candy. She also shared great tips about healthier foods. We should avoid storing wine in a food fridge because the low humidity can dry out the cork, causing shrinkage, etc. I also liked her advice that if you pay more attention to the shape of the acidity and the shape of the impression of the tannin, you can probably learn a lot more about a wine. The best question you can ask a sommelier in a restaurant is sharing information about what you like already, even if that’s simply showing them a picture on your phone of a label from a wine you like.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Vanessa Price Vanessa has spent almost two decades in the wine industry as a trained sommelier and is the author of best selling book Big Macs and Burgundy: Wine Pairings for the Real World. Vanessa is a certified Level 4 sommelier, resident sommelier for The TODAY Show and the Wine Director of Wildflower Farms, an Auberge Resort Hotel. She has also taught classes for The Wine & Spirit Education Trust and has written for and been featured in New York Magazine, Vogue, and many others.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/271.
2/7/202433 minutes, 31 seconds
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270: Creative Wine Pairings with Circus Peanuts, Cheetos and Twinkies with Vanessa Price, Author of Big Macs and Burgundy

Have you ever wondered which wine pairs best with your favourite guilty pleasure snack? Why are Cheetos and Twinkies great for learning about food and wine pairing? How can everyday foods encourage you to try wines you may have otherwise avoided? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Vanessa Price, the author of Big Macs and Burgundy: Wine Pairings for the Real World and the wine expert for The TODAY Show. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What was it like for Vanessa to introduce her non-drinking grandparents to wine in their 80s? How did wine culture inspire Vanessa to pursue a career in the industry? What did Vanessa discover about publishing after writing her first book? What was Vanessa’s journey to starting her column in New York Magazine? How did Vanessa choose which food and wine pairings to include in Big Macs and Burgundy? What was the idea behind pairing wine with 100 different candies? Why did Vanessa choose Sancerre as the best wine to pair with Cheetos? How can you best pair licorice, twinkies, s’mores, and cronuts with wine? What was it about circus peanuts that inspired someone to try a new type of wine?   Key Takeaways I like the creative and fun way that Vanessa has explored the concept of high-low pairings, including which wines go with our favourite guilty pleasure snacks. She makes a great point that snacks like Cheetos and Twinkies are great for learning about food and wine pairing because they are simpler in flavour and texture, so it's easier to understand what will pair well with them. I liked her examples of how everyday foods encourage you to try wines you may have otherwise avoided. She talked about circus peanuts helped her discover orange Muscat for the first time.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Vanessa Price Vanessa has spent almost two decades in the wine industry as a trained sommelier and is the author of best selling book Big Macs and Burgundy: Wine Pairings for the Real World. Vanessa is a certified Level 4 sommelier, resident sommelier for The TODAY Show and the Wine Director of Wildflower Farms, an Auberge Resort Hotel. She has also taught classes for The Wine & Spirit Education Trust and has written for and been featured in New York Magazine, Vogue, and many others.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/270.
1/31/202432 minutes, 19 seconds
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269: Defining Musty Attics, Band-Aids and Rotten Eggs with Keith Grainger, Author of Wine Faults & Flaws

When it comes to wine, what do descriptors like the musty attic, rotten eggs and Band-Aids mean? How does a wine's packaging make it more susceptible to faults? Are there ways you can fix a faulted wine at home rather than throwing out the bottle or returning it? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Keith Grainger, author of Wine Faults & Flaws: A Practical Guide. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you is going to win a personally signed copy of Keith Grainger's terrific book, Wine Faults and Flaws: A Practical Guide. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights Why is it helpful to smell your wine glass before pouring? How can you gracefully handle receiving corked wine in a restaurant? Why is cork taint more detectable in sparkling wine? Which simple test can you do at home to confirm if your wine is really corked? How can you identify oxidized wine, and why does this occur? What is the difference between the beneficial oxidation in Sherry and oxidation in other types of wine? What are the causes and ways to prevent reduced wine? Should you be concerned about heat damage on wine? How does Brettanomyces impact wine aroma, and what’s behind the differing opinions on its desirability? Why are sulphites used in wine production, and should you be concerned about consuming them? How can the histamines present in wine impact wine consumers? What’s behind the increasing prevalence of lightstrike, and how does it impact wine? How can you identify different types of pyrazines in wine? Should you invest in a wine fault kit to learn more about wine faults? Which simple tricks can you use to improve the taste of a reduced or corked wine? Why would Keith love to share a bottle of wine with composer and conductor Ennio Morricone?   Key Takeaways Different wine faults have different characteristic odours and flavours, which can tip you off to their presence. A wine's packaging can make it more susceptible to faults. His suggestions on ways you can fix a faulted wine at home rather than throwing out the bottle or returning it were clever. Any oxygen that comes into the wine was in the cork in the first place and it's slowly released into the wine.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Keith Grainger Keith Grainger is an award-winning wine writer, educator and consultant to the wine industry. He is the author of ‘Wine Faults and Flaws: A Practical Guide’, which won the coveted 2022 Prix de l’OIV.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/269.
1/24/202445 minutes, 17 seconds
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268: Identifying Wine Faults and Flaws with Author Keith Grainger

How can you tell when a wine is mildly corked versus you just don’t like it? Which main types of wine faults and how can you identify them? Why are inexpensive wines actually less prone to faults? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Keith Grainger, author of Wine Faults and Flaws: A Practical Guide, which won the coveted 2022 Prix de l’OIV. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you is going to win a personally signed copy of Keith Grainger's terrific book, Wine Faults and Flaws: A Practical Guide. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose one person randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights What is Keith’s latest book, Wine Faults and Flaws: A Practical Guide, about? What was Keith’s motivation to explore wine faults in such depth and ultimately to write his book? What’s the difference between a fault and a taint? Why does Keith describe it as a “soft boundary” between good and faulty wines? How can technically faulty wines still be considered excellent? Which weird wine fault might surprise you to learn about? How can you differentiate between the three main types of wine faults? Why are inexpensive wines less prone to faults? How have changes in the cork industry significantly reduced the incidence of cork taint? What causes cork taint? How do wine faults cost the industry up to 10 billion euros? What might surprise you about the minuscule amount of cork taint that can ruin a wine? How can you tell when a wine is mildly corked?   Key Takeaways Keith was very helpful in his discussion of one of the main flaws of wine - when it’s corked - especially when it’s only mildly so. As he mentioned, if it affects a wine at a very low level, you don't get the mustiness and mushrooms or dry rot. Keith had a terrific way of not only describing the main faults of wine but also how you identify them. He summarized them as falling under three categories: microbiological, chemical and physical faults. I was surprised to learn that inexpensive wines are actually less prone to faults, but Keith’s explanation makes sense as to why that’s so. They’re produced in a more factory-type manner as opposed to artisan wines and natural wines.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Keith Grainger Keith Grainger is an award-winning wine writer, educator and consultant to the wine industry. He is the author of ‘Wine Faults and Flaws: A Practical Guide’, which won the coveted 2022 Prix de l’OIV.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/268.
1/17/202446 minutes, 40 seconds
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267: How to Savour Wine Over Time with Molly Watts of the Alcohol Minimalist Podcast

What does a healthy relationship with wine look like? Which tricks can you use to lower the alcohol content of your wine? How have my thoughts on overdrinking changed over the years and over three books? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by author Molly Watts of the Alcohol Minimalist Podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How has my position on overdrinking changed over the years between writing my three books? What did I do to better understand and manage overdrinking? What does a healthy relationship with wine look like? Why did I choose to be more mindful of my drinking rather than getting sober completely? Why is the way wine is marketed to women problematic, and what has my role been in perpetuating these narratives? How did the pandemic influence our collective drinking habits? Why is it important to embrace a mindset of progress over perfection? What are some strategies you can use to start drinking more mindfully? How can you find great wines that with low or no alcohol? Which tricks can you use to lower the alcohol content of your wine? What benefits have I experienced from mindful drinking? Why do I advocate for planning and moderation in alcohol consumption?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Molly Watts Molly Watts is an author, podcast host and coach from Portland Oregon. She hosts the top-rated Alcohol Minimalist podcast where she shares science and strategies to help people change their drinking habits. She is the author of Breaking the Bottle Legacy, a book dedicated to daily habit drinkers and adult children of alcoholics who want to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/267.
1/10/202450 minutes, 21 seconds
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266: From Andes to Amazon: A Wine Lover's Guide to South America's Hidden Vineyards with Amanda Barnes

Which types of global dishes can you pair with South American wines? What’s one of the best but little-known Chilean wine regions you need to try? Which types of wine do they make in other South American countries, such as Uruguay, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Amanda Barnes, author of The South America Wine Guide. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you is going to win a copy of Amanda's beautiful hardcover book, The South America Wine Guide. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose two people randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights How did Argentina’s flagship white wine, Torrontés, develop and where is it grown? Which types of food pair best with Torrontés and Malbec? How does the iconic Argentinian empanada vary across different regions? What is unique about how Fernet is consumed in Argentina? How did the pandemic contribute to the craft gin and craft vermouth movement in Argentina? How do the wine production volume and cultural attitudes towards wine vary between Argentina and Chile? What were the main challenges that were uncovered by the discovery of Carmenère in Chile? How did Tannat become the signature grape of Uraguay, and what’s unique about its growing requirements? How did Peru become the first wine country in South America, and what’s behind the current wine renaissance? Which wines from Bolivia should you try, and what’s behind their unique characteristics? How has the Brazilian wine industry evolved over the years? What does Amanda love about mountain white wines like Altos Las Hormigas Blanco? What is it about Viñedos de Alcohuaz that gives it a beautiful tasting experience? Why is an ice bag Amanda’s favourite wine gadget?   Key Takeaways I enjoyed hearing Amanda’s recommendations for which types of global dishes you can pair with South American wines. The highly aromatic Torrontes can handle equally flavourful dishes. Amanda has inspired me to try more wines from Chile’s Elqui Valley. It’s amazing that some vineyards are planted at 2,200 metres above sea level. I was interested to learn more about the types of wine they make in other South American countries, such as Uruguay, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. I didn’t realize that Peru was the first wine region in South America.   About Amanda Barnes Amanda Barnes is an award-winning British journalist and editor who specializes in wine and travel writing. She is an expert in South American wine and regions and a regular correspondent for international wine and travel publications (including Decanter, Fodor’s, SevenFifty, The Guardian & The Telegraph). She is currently studying to become a Master of Wine and is the author of The South America Wine Guide.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/266.
1/3/202446 minutes, 39 seconds
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265: Malbec Magic: Argentina's Bold Twist on a Classic with Amanda Barnes, Author of The South America Wine Guide

How did the South American wine industry develop? What might surprise you about the variety of wines produced in South America? How has Argentina's flagship red wine, Malbec, changed over the past five years? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Amanda Barnes, author of The South America Wine Guide. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One of you is going to win a copy of Amanda's beautiful hardcover book, The South America Wine Guide. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose two people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights When did Amanda realize she wanted to become a writer? What was the motivation behind Amanda’s move from England to Argentina? Why did Amanda decide to write The South America Wine Guide? What will you learn from The South America Wine Guide? Why did Amanda decide to self-publish? How did the South American wine industry develop? Why don’t we hear more about Chilean Malbec and how did Cabernet Sauvignon become the champion grape of Chile? How has the style of Malbec evolved over the last 10 years? What is meant by “graphite tannins”? How do terroir and soil influence a wine’s flavour profile? What percentage of Argentinian vineyards today are planted with Malbec? How does elevation influence the characteristics of Malbec from different regions? How do climatic factors like solar radiation and ozone influence the intensity and brightness of fruit in Chilean and Argentinian wines?   Key Takeaways I loved that literature inspired Amanda to move to South America and then her fascination with the wines kept her there. She shares some terrific insights about how the South American wine industry developed, including the wild diversity of wines produced in the region. She also opens up the world of Malbec, Argentina's flagship red wine, to us and how it’s changed over the past five years. As she notes, Malbec is planted in almost every wine region in the country so it’s an unparalleled opportunity to taste different terroirs. Some are made in the style of Pinot Noir rather than in the style of Cabernet Sauvignon. She also observes that even though trends have taken over the population of vines in different periods, diversity still remains in the old vines. I loved her story about going into the soil pits, especially since that’s where all great wine starts.   About Amanda Barnes Amanda Barnes is an award-winning British journalist and editor who specializes in wine and travel writing. She is an expert in South American wine and regions and a regular correspondent for international wine and travel publications (including Decanter, Fodor’s, SevenFifty, The Guardian & The Telegraph). She is currently studying to become a Master of Wine and is the author of The South America Wine Guide.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/265.
12/27/202342 minutes, 3 seconds
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264: Beer versus Wine Tasting, Cicerones versus Sommeliers with Mandy Naglich, Author of How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life

What’s the difference between tasting wine and beer when you want to identify specific aromas and flavours? What are some of the similarities and differences between a Cicerone or beer sommelier and a wine sommelier? How do retronasal aromas give you a different, deeper sense of the aromas of both beer and wine? In this Unreserved Wine Talk podcast episode, I'm chatting with author Mandy Naglich. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Two of you are going to win a personally signed copy of Mandy's new book, How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose two people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What are some of the similarities and differences between a Cicerone and a sommelier? What was it like to win a national homebrew competition? How did Mandy become interested in homebrewing? Should your sense of smell be tested as part of your annual physical? What does Mandy love about Pommery Pop Champagne? Why should you consider using a Champagne tulip glass instead of a flute? How does Allagash White bring together the beer and wine worlds? What causes beer to hold its head longer compared to other beverages? How does beer’s head affect the tasting experience? What’s Mandy’s seven-step method for tasting beer? When should you cover your glass before swirling? How can you best utilize your retronasal smell pathway? What types of food would pair well with Allagash White versus Pommery Pop Champagne? How can a food pairing create a whole new flavour sensation? Why does speaking aloud help you to solidify your tasting knowledge? How can you challenge your perceptions of your taste? What’s Mandy’s favourite wine gadget? Why would Mandy love to share a bottle of wine with Oprah? What message would Mandy share with the world on a billboard in downtown Manhattan?   Key Takeaways I was fascinated with Mandy’s explanation and demonstration of the differences between tasting wine and beer. I had assumed the process would be the same and was surprised to find that it’s not. I also found her explanation of the similarities and differences between a Cicerone and a sommelier helpful. I didn’t realize that the world of beer is so diverse (yes, my little wine-snob eyes have been opened) or that Cicerones are more involved in maintaining complex equipment than sommeliers. I fully support her focus on how retronasal aromas reintroduce you to the richer, deeper aromas of both beer and wine and enable you to discover something new when you’re playing it backward as she says. I also agree about using a tulip glass rather than a traditional champagne flute to better swirl and smell the wine.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Mandy Naglich Mandy Naglich is one of fewer than 100 Advanced Cicerones in the world, one of the highest certifications in beer expertise. She’s also a Certified Cider Professional and has her WSET in spirits. Mandy’s writing has been published in Vice, Taste of Home, Vine Pair, and Wine Enthusiast. She started her career in journalism at the Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/264.
12/20/202337 minutes, 29 seconds
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263: Tasting Bliss Points & Making Wines Memorable with Mandy Naglich, Author of How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life

You love to eat, but do you know how to taste? What is a bliss point when it comes to food or tasting? What makes our most memorable meals and wines delicious? How can you make sure to bring home the best experiences from a wine trip? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author Mandy Naglich who has just published How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Two of you are going to win a personally signed copy of Mandy's new book, How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What did Mandy learn about hospitality through your first wine-pairing experience at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Belgium? Why did Mandy write about Rick Bayless’ blind tasting experience in her book? What made San Diego wine country so memorable for Mandy? How can you make sure to bring home the best experiences from a wine trip? Why did Mandy decide to write How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life? What was the most unusual insight Mandy gained while writing her book? Which feedback surprised Mandy the most from readers of her book? How can we judge the acidity of anything from a cup of tea and wine to a square of dark chocolate? Why does salt make foods taste less bitter? How do our tastebuds respond to food temperature? What might surprise you about your mouth’s sensitivity to texture? What is a bliss point when it comes to food or tasting? How can you distinguish between pomme fruit and stone fruit? What are the hallmarks of different categories of aromas? Why would you not want to open an expensive bottle of wine while playing loud music?   Key Takeaways I found Mandy’s explanation of the difference between eating and tasting fascinating, as well as her discussion about the bliss point and how individual it is. Her tips on how to make the most of your experiences in wine country were helpful. I agree with her that your environment really affects your enjoyment of whatever you're drinking. It’s the 360 degrees of flavour and contributes to our most memorable meals. It was interesting how losing your sense of sight can obscure what you’re tasting.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Mandy Naglich Mandy Naglich is one of fewer than 100 Advanced Cicerones in the world, one of the highest certifications in beer expertise. She’s also a Certified Cider Professional and has her WSET in spirits. Mandy’s writing has been published in Vice, Taste of Home, Vine Pair, and Wine Enthusiast. She started her career in journalism at the Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/263.
12/13/202335 minutes, 23 seconds
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262: Sonoma Wines + the Dangers of Drinking for a Living with Marcy Gordon and Beth Costa of the Wine Road Podcast & Jeff Sammut of Canada Now

How did I come up with the wine pairings mentioned throughout Wine Witch on Fire? Why is wine marketed so differently to men versus women? What can you do to support your mental health in an era where you have to be online? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Marcy Gordon and Beth Costa on the Wine Road Podcast and Jeff Sammut on Canada Now. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Could an online pile-on like I experienced in 2012 happen today? What can you do to support your mental health in an era where you have to be online? Why did I use real people’s names in my memoir? How did I come up with the wine pairings mentioned throughout Wine Witch on Fire? Why is wine marketed so differently to men versus women? How do I manage the different aspects of an online-based career? Which Sonoma wineries must you visit on your next trip? Which wine pairs best with catharsis? What was it like when I realized my husband of 20 years wanted a divorce? Looking back, were there signs that I missed? How did I communicate with my son about the difficult situation that was my divorce? Why did feeling alone lead me to reexamine my whole life? Why is it important to me that we have more conversations about overdrinking? How did I manage to curb my overdrinking after the year from hell? What is it about podcasting that makes it great for connecting with people?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About The Wine Road Podcast and Marcy Gordon and Beth Costa Marcy Gordon and Beth Costa bring a wealth of knowledge and personal experience regarding, food, wine, events, and travel in and around Northern Sonoma County. Dubbed the Click and Clack of Wine—their snappy banter and laugh filled show provides insider tips on wine tasting and advice for listeners planning everything from a day trip to a two week stay in Wine Country. Marcy Gordon is a freelance wine and travel writer. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Wine Enthusiast, Forbes Travel Guide, Sonoma Discoveries, and The San Francisco Chronicle. In 2017 she was awarded a fellowship to the prestigious Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. Her blog Come for the Wine was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Wine Blogs in 2015. Beth Costa is the Executive Director of the Wine Road. Beth has been at the helm of Wine Road for the past 17 years. Prior that she managed the tasting rooms for Kendall-Jackson Winery. Beth has lived in Sonoma County for the past 30 years and loves to get out and explore – rivers, redwoods and the ocean are big draws!   About Canada Now and Jeff Sammut Canada Now shares the stories that matter to Canadians, going beyond the headlines to shine a spotlight on the cities, towns and people that motivate and inspire us each and every day. Host Jeff Sammut goes coast to coast across the country talking to Canadians about Canadians and the stories that affect us all, big and small.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/262.
12/6/202335 minutes
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261: Mood & Wine Pairings + British Columbia's Best Wine Regions with Luke Whittall, Author of 50 Must-Try Wines from BC and Ontario

Why should you consider mood and experience when pairing wines? What is a lustful wine? What do you need to know about British Columbia’s wine regions? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author and host of The Sipsters Wine Podcast, Luke Whittall. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to win a personally signed copy of Luke's new book, The Sipster's Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try Ontario Wines. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me.  Good luck!   Highlights What makes the Golden Mile Bench so special? Which wineries on the Golden Mile Bench should not be missed? Why should you consider mood and experience when pairing wines? What is a lustful wine? Why does Luke describe Vancouver Island as the Italy of BC? Which labels should you look for from Vancouver Island? What makes the red wines of the Similkameen Valley unique? What do you need to know about the other BC wine regions including Fraser Valley, Gulf islands, Kootenays, Lillooet, Shuswap, and Thompson Valley? What does BC need to do in order to thrive as a wine region for the next five to ten years? How do Luke’s The Sipster’s Pocket Guides differ from other wine guides?   Key Takeaways I love that Luke likes to pair wines to moods rather than simply food. I think our emotional state and occasion are often far better predictors of a great match than whether your asparagus was oven-roasted or steamed. I especially like his description of a lustful wine. Luke continues to share surprising insights about British Columbia’s wine regions and wines. I’m intrigued with the way Golden Mile Bench wines retain their acidity and structure, and am motivated to visit that area again.  I enjoyed his notion that there are times when you can tell that the wine really likes you.    Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Luke Whittall Luke Whittall has worked in cellars, vineyards, and wine shops since 2005. He has authored or co-authored 4 books on wine and is currently a wine instructor at Okanagan College. His most recent book, The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines follows up on the success of The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines, and continues to mark a new direction in wine writing.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/261.
11/29/202339 minutes, 36 seconds
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260: BC's Wild Diversity, Deep Lake Effect and Promising Future with Luke Whittall, Author of 50 Must-Try Wines in BC and Ontario

What are five things that will surprise you about the wine regions and wines of British Columbia? What are some top tips to help you get the most from your visit to BC? Which challenges does this west coast wine industry face going forward? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author and host of The Sipsters Wine Podcast, Luke Whittall. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to win a personally signed copy of Luke's new book, The Sipster's Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try Ontario Wines. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and let me know that you've posted a review of the podcast. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What was Luke’s inspiration for writing Valleys of Wine: A Taste of British Columbia’s Wine History? Why did John Schreiner choose Luke to help him write the sixth edition of his Okanagan Wine Tour Guide? Why are authentic stories important for a winery and how can impact their success? How does the wine industry in British Columbia compare to Ontario? What are some of the geographical limitations of wine production BC? Why is the growth of the BC wine industry slowing? How is climate change changing the profile of the wine industry? How has the increasing frequency and severity of wildfires impacted British Columbia? What’s the difference between a smoky flavour in wine versus smoke taint? How do the production levels of BC and Ontario compare? What makes up the unique climate of the BC wine regions? What might surprise you about the Okanagan region? What are Luke’s top travel tips for visiting the Okanagan?   Key Takeaways There were so many fascinating nuggets about BC that Luke shared, from the profound influence of the lake to how embers from wildfires were able to traverse across it. The range of wine styles and grapes is both a blessing in its diversity and experimentation and a curse in the optimization that still needs to happen as BC matures as a wine region. Luke’s tips for visiting the region were helpful, particularly breaking up your journey into a few days and several wineries that have restaurants.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Luke Whittall Luke Whittall has worked in cellars, vineyards, and wine shops since 2005. He has authored or co-authored 4 books on wine and is currently a wine instructor at Okanagan College. His most recent book, The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines follows up on the success of The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines, and continues to mark a new direction in wine writing.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/260.
11/22/202345 minutes, 16 seconds
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259: Proactive Wine Farming and Wine Tourism with Anna Brittain of Napa Green

How can we, as wine consumers, support environmental change in the wine industry? What is proactive farming as it relates to growing vines for wine? Does wine tourism have a positive or negative impact on the environment? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with sustainability expert Anna Brittain. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why is good soil health foundational to vineyards, both from the wine and sustainability perspectives? What is proactive farming? How can the wine industry increase its emphasis on social justice and diversity and inclusion? Why do climate action and regenerative agriculture make the ultimate umbrella for sustainability efforts in the wine industry? What is the environmental impact of wine tourism? What can we do as consumers to advocate for or induce change in the wine industry? Are there commonalities between different wine regions and the climate challenges they face? What is Domaine Carneros doing differently as a dedicated sustainability leader? What does Anna love about Domaine Carneros Taittinger and what foods would it be best paired with? Which breakfast foods could you pair with the classic St. Supéry Cabernet Sauvignon? Why does Anna believe we need to focus on improving quality and sustainable practices in the wine industry rather than expanding? What are Anna’s favourite childhood foods to pair with wine? What is Anna’s favourite wine book? Why would Anna love to share a glass of wine with Brené Brown? Why is it crucial to take action on climate change in the here and now?   Key Takeaways Anna has some concrete steps for how we, as wine consumers, support environmental change in the wine industry. Every bit helps, and the need is urgent. We all have purchasing power - we vote with our dollars, and they send strong signals to the industry to advocate for change. I found her concept of proactive farming as it relates to growing vines for wine fascinating. She also has an interesting take on wine tourism’s impact on the environment.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Anna Brittain Anna Brittain has worked locally, nationally and internationally on environmental management and policy with organizations ranging from the environmental economics think tank Resources for the Future in Washington, DC to the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Hanoi, Vietnam. She has spent over 12 years facilitating and growing sustainability in the wine industry, with expertise in communications and certification standards.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/259.
11/15/202333 minutes, 8 seconds
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258: Why Sustainable Winegrowing Matters with Anna Brittain of Napa Green

Which aspect of winemaking has the greatest impact on the environment? Are you curious about the difference between sustainable and organic winemaking? What are the six pillars of sustainable winegrowing leadership? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with sustainability expert Anna Brittain. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How did Anna realize she wanted to dedicate her career to environmental work? What drives Anna to work in climate action and sustainability within the wine industry? What does it mean to be voted as “the most intriguing environmentalist”? How did the global pandemic contribute to the worst moment in Anna’s wine career? What was the impact of COVID-19 on consumer investment in sustainability and climate action? What was it like to put together the first climate and wine symposium? Is wine production bad for the environment? What does it mean for the wine industry to be a leader in soil-to-bottle sustainability? What are the biggest misconceptions about sustainability? Why did Anna create the six pillars of sustainable winegrowing leadership? How can you distinguish between sustainability, organic, and biodynamic practices? Why are there so many different organic certifications in the US? How can vineyards optimize irrigation systems and water use? What does it take to start dry farming? How can energy efficiency potentially produce cost savings for vineyards? What do wineries need to think about when it comes to waste management and supply chain emissions? Is it irresponsible for wineries to continue to use extremely heavy-weight bottles?   Key Takeaways Anna provides an excellent global view of wine’s impact on the environment rather than just focusing narrowly or organic winemaking or sustainability. She gave us a clear definition on the differences between sustainable and organic winemaking. I think most people might assume that wine made organically is also farmed sustainably, but that’s not always the case. She also presents clear and compelling facts such as that 40-50% of the emissions from a winery operation come from packaging and distribution alone.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Anna Brittain Anna Brittain has worked locally, nationally and internationally on environmental management and policy with organizations ranging from the environmental economics think tank Resources for the Future in Washington, DC to the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Hanoi, Vietnam. She has spent over 12 years facilitating and growing sustainability in the wine industry, with expertise in communications and certification standards.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/258.
11/8/202343 minutes, 31 seconds
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257: How Much is Too Much Wine, Old Rosé and Hard-Won Wisdom with the Women of Ill Repute, Wendy Mesley & Maureen Holloway

What might surprise you about Rosé wine? Is being a supertaster an advantage in the wine industry? Do you feel you’re drinking too much wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Wendy Mesley and Maureen Holloway for their podcast, Women of Ill Repute. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why didn’t I apologize after being called out for using other people’s reviews on my website? How does the herd mentality bring out the worst in people online? What is it about the wine industry that continues to feed into the deeply-rooted sexism? How does wine marketing perpetuate stereotypes and negatively impact women? What does it mean to be a super taster? How do I review so many bottles of wine? Why is it important for a wine reviewer to expectorate? What is it about artichokes that makes them hard to pair with alcohol? What might surprise you about Rosé wine? What are the five aspects of tasting wine? How has the vocabulary of wine evolved over time? What can you do to develop your smell vocabulary?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621     About Women of Ill Repute Women of Ill Repute is a compliment. And not just for women! Wendy Mesley and Maureen Holloway have left CBC and CHFI to chat with sassy women about sex, family, politics, and media. Lots of secrets and no room for shame. Is it journalism or comedy? It’s both. Smart talk with tv and radio stars, comedians, authors, lawyers, politicos, restaurant icons and more. All of them brave, fierce and funny.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/257.  
11/1/202338 minutes, 19 seconds
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256: How to Spot a Fake Wine and Defining Wine Authenticity with Rebecca Gibb

How can you avoid buying a fake bottle of wine? What makes a wine truly authentic? How did Rudy Kurniawan get so far in his fraudulent schemes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and why did it ultimately unravel? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Rebecca Gibb, author of Vintage Crime: A Short History of Wine Fraud. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to be the lucky recipients of a copy of Rebecca Gibb's book, Vintage Crime: A Short History of Wine Fraud. To enter, email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What caused the wine scandal in the 1980s, which devastated the Austrian wine scene? How did the Austrian wine industry turn around its image and recover? What was the story behind the famous Thomas Jefferson wine fraud scandal? How did Rudy Kurniawan get so far in his fraudulent schemes and why did it ultimately unravel? What makes a wine truly authentic? How is modern technology being used to detect fraud? Why is Don & Petie Kladstrup’s book, Wine and War, one of Rebecca’s favourites? What is it about food and wine pairing that Rebecca doesn’t like? Which famous person would Rebecca love to share a bottle of wine with?   Key Takeaways Rebecca shared some great tips on how we can avoid buying a fake bottle of wine. I found her larger discussion of what makes a wine truly authentic fascinating. The story of Rudy Kurniawan and his fraudulent schemes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars sounds like the script of a movie or Netflix special.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Rebecca Gibb Rebecca Gibb is an editor for the online wine publication Vinous, covering the wines of New Zealand and the Loire Valley. In addition, she owns a wine and spirit jigsaw business, Puzzle Cru. Rebecca is one of only 416 Masters of Wine in the world and was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award and the Bollinger Medal in recognition of her superb tasting ability.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/256.
10/25/202338 minutes, 17 seconds
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255: Wine Crime & Con Artists with Rebecca Gibb, Author of Vintage Crime: A Short History of Wine Fraud

Are you curious about the greatest con artists in the world of wine? What creative but illegal ingredients have been added to wine to cut costs and boost profits? What is it about tales of crime and greed that draw us in? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Rebecca Gibb, author of Vintage Crime: A Short History of Wine Fraud. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to be the lucky recipients of a copy of Rebecca Gibb's book, Vintage Crime: A Short History of Wine Fraud. To enter, email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What was it like to represent Great Britain as an athlete at the age of 19? Where did Rebecca’s interest in the cello come from? Why has Rebecca decided to donate a portion of her book’s royalties to finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy? Why did Rebecca decide to write about the riots in Champagne in 1911? What is it about tales of crime and greed that draw us in? What’s the meaning of the MICE acronym used to describe the motivations behind committing fraud? How have coercion and ego played a role in wine fraud over the years? Do you have to be a wine person to appreciate Rebecca’s book, Vintage Crime? What was the most popular method of wine fraud in Ancient Rome? Which unusual methods did vintners try in an effort to restore vineyards after the phylloxera epidemic in the late 1800s? How did it come to be that there was more Champagne being sold than produced during World War I?   Key Takeaways I enjoyed Rebecca’s stories about the greatest con artists in the world of wine. I think we all love a juicy story about people trying to get one over on others. Call it whatever the wine version is of schadenfreude. I agree that part of what helps con artists get away with what they do is that people don't want to admit they have been duped. That’s pride and human nature. I was intrigued by the creative but illegal ingredients that have been added to wine to cut costs and boost profits. There's a fine line between what's adulteration and what isn't.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Rebecca Gibb Rebecca Gibb is an editor for the online wine publication Vinous, covering the wines of New Zealand and the Loire Valley. In addition, she owns a wine and spirit jigsaw business, Puzzle Cru. Rebecca is one of only 416 Masters of Wine in the world and was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award and the Bollinger Medal in recognition of her superb tasting ability.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/255.
10/18/202339 minutes, 27 seconds
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254: New Australian Wines & Regions + Grenache's Resurgence with Jane Lopes, Author of How to Drink Australian

Are you curious about new Australian wine styles and regions? Why is Grenache experiencing a resurgence in Australia right now? What was the most devastating part of several Court of Master Sommelier scandals? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with sommelier and author Jane Lopes. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Two of you are going to be the lucky recipients of a copy of Jane Lopes' books. One of you will win Vignette: Stories Of Life And Wine In 100 Bottles, and another will win How To Drink Australian.  To enter, email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What’s it like to experience the journey of becoming a Master Sommelier? Do we need more outlets for education in the wine industry? What was it like being a woman experiencing the unfair and sexist consequences of several Master Sommelier scandals? How would the industry benefit from more transparency and an overhaul of the Court of Master Sommeliers certification process? How is How To Drink Australian different from other books about Australian wine? What was the motivation behind writing How To Drink Australian? What are some of the unique characteristics of Australian wine and wine regions? Why is Grenache experiencing a resurgence in Australia right now? What’s the tasting experience like for Ngeringa 2018 Summit Vineyard Chardonnay and Bird on a Wire 2015 Syrah? Why should you try a wider range of Australian wine?   Key Takeaways I loved Jane’s fresh take on new Australian wine styles and regions. I knew that Australia has plenty of warm regions and a number of cool areas, but I didn’t realize it also has some of the coldest wine regions in the world. Jane has put Australian grenache on my radar. I love this grape and wine from the Rhone and am keen to do more side-by-side comparison tastings with those from Australia. The Court of Master Sommelier exam scandal had a pretty devastating impact on candidates like Jane, who had studied for years and invested thousands of dollars to prepare for it only to have that hard-earned recognition taken away. Coupled with Master Sommelier sexual harassment scandal, I hope that serious reforms are underway with the organization.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jane Lopes Jane Lopes is a Nashville-based sommelier, author, and importer. In 2020, Jane and her husband Jonathan Ross co-founded their own Australian wine imports company: Legend. Jane’s second book, How to Drink Australian (co-authored with her husband), was published in 2023.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/254.
10/11/202341 minutes, 57 seconds
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253: An Emotional Guide to Wine + How to Get a Solid Wine Education with Jane Lopes

Which physical aspects of working in a restaurant might surprise you? Why is it hard to get a good wine education? How can an emotional guide to wine deepen your pleasure in it? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with sommelier and author, Jane Lopes. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Two of you are going to be the lucky recipients of a copy of Jane Lopes' books. One of you will win Vignette: Stories Of Life And Wine In 100 Bottles, and another will win How To Drink Australian.  To enter, email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights Why did Jane decide to study Renaissance literature at the University of Chicago? How did Jane transition from academia to the wine industry? What were the sensory and social aspects of wine that initially attracted Jane? Why is it hard to get a good wine education? Which physical aspects of working in a restaurant might surprise you? How did Jane incorporate creative wine pairings and experimentation in her time as wine director? What was the inspiration for the name of Jane’s first book, Vignette? Why did Jane include resources for alcohol use disorder in her book? What was the most surprising insight that Jane discovered while writing Vignette? Why did Jane agree to be a part of Esquire's television series Uncorked, despite her anxiety? What happened to Jane before her advanced sommelier exam?   Key Takeaways Working in a restaurant is incredibly grueling both physically and emotionally. Thos in it are prime to excessive drinking and that’s why the hospitality industry, which includes both restaurants and wineries, has the highest rate of substance abuse among any profession. Jane makes some excellent points about why it’s hard to get a good wine education, both in terms of cost and the variety of wines you need to taste, especially if you want to make it your profession. I love her approach in her first book as an emotional guide to wine to deepen your pleasure in it.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jane Lopes Jane Lopes is a Nashville-based sommelier, author, and importer. In September of 2019, Jane finally put her University of Chicago literature degree to good use in publishing her first book, a personal and educational guide to wine called Vignette: Stories of Life and Wine in 100 Bottles. In 2020, Jane and her husband Jonathan Ross co-founded their own Australian wine imports company: Legend. Jane’s second book, How to Drink Australian (co-authored with her husband), will publish in September 2023.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/253.
10/4/202347 minutes, 40 seconds
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252: Taboo Wine Topics: The Alcoholic Buzz of Wine + Shaming Sweet Wines with Calla Bischoff & Kara Ferreira

Why does it seem taboo to talk about the intoxicating effects of wine? What’s prompting so much wine shaming of those who enjoy easy-drinking commercial wines that have residual sugar, and why do these wines play an important role in the wine market? How can memoirs have more emotional impact than biographies, and what’s the difference between the two? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Calla Bischoff and Kara Ferreira on their Boozy Biddies Talk Wine podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why did I dedicate Wine Witch on Fire to my mother? What makes memoirs often more emotionally impactful than biographies? Why is it taboo to talk about the intoxicating effects of wine? What is it about wine that feeds into the perception of sophistication and elegance compared to other alcoholic beverages? How can you integrate the intellectual aspect of wine with the buzz? Why do I believe commercial wines serve an important role in the industry? How did I decide which wines to include in Wine Witch on Fire? What are some of the challenges still being faced by women and people of color in the industry?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Calla Bischoff and Kara Ferreira Calla Bischoff is an east coast kid at heart who has made her way out west where she worked as a wine supplier for seven years. She’s pivoted in the industry, now focusing on selling corks and oak barrels to distilleries around North America, but is physically incapable of staying away from wine even if her sales focus on the harder stuff. Kara Ferreira is still an East Coast kid – despite being born in California – who grew up drinking Italian wine at home with her Italian family (which, thanks to Ancestry.com, we now know is only about 6% Italian). She also took a course on Italian wine while studying abroad, so naturally this makes her an expert. Together they created Boozy Biddies Talk Wine, a fun and irreverent exploration of wine for people who love drinking it and want to know just a bit more about it.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/252.
9/27/202337 minutes, 40 seconds
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251: Pinot Noir, the Nervous Breakdown Grape + Navigating Bad Life Vintages with the Boozy Biddies

How do bad vintages in life help us to thrive? Why is Pinot Noir the grape that teeters on the edge of a nervous breakdown? How can moderation help to preserve our passion for wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Calla Bischoff and Kara Ferreira on their Boozy Biddies Talk Wine podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What makes Wine Witch on Fire different from my first two books? How do bad vintages in life help us to thrive? Why is Pinot Noir my favourite grape? How did the process of writing my memoir help me to heal and connect with others? Has the wine industry changed in recent years when it comes to women and people of colour? Why was it important to me to openly share my mental health struggles? Are there parallels between my experiences in the tech and wine industries? How can moderation help to preserve your passion for wine? What types of moderation tips will you find in Wine Witch on Fire? What do wine professionals need to be aware of when it comes to drinking on the job? Why is it tricky for many women in the wine industry to navigate professional social situations? What is it like to go up against stereotypes while trying to build your career in the wine industry? How has misogyny been threaded throughout wine writing? Which surprising Rosé food pairing is my guilty pleasure?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Calla Bischoff and Kara Ferreira Calla Bischoff is an east coast kid at heart who has made her way out west where she worked as a wine supplier for seven years. She’s pivoted in the industry, now focusing on selling corks and oak barrels to distilleries around North America, but is physically incapable of staying away from wine even if her sales focus on the harder stuff. Kara Ferreira is still an East Coast kid – despite being born in California – who grew up drinking Italian wine at home with her Italian family (which, thanks to Ancestry.com, we now know is only about 6% Italian). She also took a course on Italian wine while studying abroad, so naturally this makes her an expert. Together they created Boozy Biddies Talk Wine, a fun and irreverent exploration of wine for people who love drinking it and want to know just a bit more about it.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/251.
9/20/202334 minutes, 47 seconds
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250: The Secrets of Barbaresco, Barolo and Mourvedre with Andy James, Author of Bandol Wine and the Magic of Mourvedre

Why is Bandol the only appellation to lead with Mourvèdre? What would surprise you about the northern Italian grape and wine Barbaresco? What would it be like to spend half a day picking grapes in a Sauvignon Blanc vineyard? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Andy James, author of Bandol Wine and the Magic of Mourvèdre. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to win a personally signed copy of Andy James' terrific new book, Bandol Wine and the Magic of Mourvèdre. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights Why is Bandol the only appellation to lead with Mourvèdre? What are Andy’s favourite pairings for Mourvèdre Rosé? What was it like to spend half a day picking in a Sauvignon Blanc vineyard? Who are some of the famous past residents of Bandol? What did Andy learn from interviewing famous Italian winemaker Angelo Gaja? How have Barbaresco and Barolo wines changed over the decades? What can you expect from Domaine Le Galantin Bandol Rosé? Why does Andy like Lehmann’s Synergie and RIEDEL’s Winewings glasses? What’s the tasting experience like for G.D. Vajra Barolo Ravera? How can you pair G.D. Vajra Barolo Ravera with food? What controversial take does Andy have on decanting? Which fascinating book can you read to learn about the history of Burgundy? Why is a thermometer Andy’s favourite wine gadget? Which English writer would Andy love to share a bottle of breakfast Champagne with?   Key Takeaways Andy’s explanation of why Bandol is the only wine region to lead with Mourvèdre was fascinating. As he said, there’s a salinity and freshness in the wines, good Mourvedre has to see the sea. I enjoyed his description of the northern Italian grape and wine Barbaresco and the changes it’s experiencing. He painted a terrific picture of what it’s like to spend a day picking grapes in a Sauvignon Blanc vineyard.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Andy James Andrew James is a Canadian who received a doctorate in 20th century English literature from Ulster University. He is currently a professor in the School of Commerce at Meiji University in Tokyo. He is the author of a monograph on Kingsley Amis and numerous essays on literature, biography and literary theory, but he is also a wine lover.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/250.
9/13/202338 minutes, 25 seconds
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249: Bandol Wine and the Magic of Mourvèdre with Author Dr. Andy James

How does Mourvèdre taste different from other southern French grapes that also produce full-bodied red wines? Did you know that Mourvèdre can age for up to 40 years but has stages where it shuts down completely? What would a 20-year-old Rosé taste like? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Andy James, author of Bandol Wine and the Magic of Mourvèdre. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to win a personally signed copy of Andy James' terrific new book, Bandol Wine and the Magic of Mourvèdre. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What was it that drew Andy to make the move to Japan? Why did Andy write books about Kingsley Amis and Graham Greene? Why might you enjoy visiting the southern French town of Bandol for your next wine holiday? What inspired Andy to write about Bandol wines? What’s the format of Andy’s latest book, Bandol Wine and the Magic of Mourvèdre, and how does it differ from previous books about Bandol wines? What’s it like to taste a 20-year-old Rosé? Do Rosés have good aging capacity? How much of the Bandol wine industry is attributed to Rosé production? What surprising results came out of a blind tasting of €3 and €23 Bandol wines? Which characteristics can you expect from the Mourvèdre grape in its youth? What changes will you notice as Mourvèdre ages? Why should you take the cork out of your Mourvèdre a day or two before drinking?   Key Takeaways Andy gave a great description of how Mourvèdre tastes different from other full-bodied southern French red wines. I understand why it also often needs a blending partner. I found it interesting that Mourvèdre can age for up to 40 years but has stages where it shuts down completely. I’m also going to try his suggestion of removing the cork for a day or two next time I open a bottle to see if it makes a difference. I would have never thought a 20-year-old Rosé would even be drinkable let alone have some interesting taste components and contrasts.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Andy James Andrew James is a Canadian who received a doctorate in 20th century English literature from Ulster University. He is currently a professor in the School of Commerce at Meiji University in Tokyo. He is the author of a monograph on Kingsley Amis and numerous essays on literature, biography and literary theory, but he is also a wine lover.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/249.
9/6/202337 minutes, 11 seconds
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248: Austrian Grüner Veltliner's Versatility & the Magic of Minerality with Terry Theise

Is minerality a taste, a texture, or something else when it comes to wine? Why is Austrian Gruner Veltliner more versatile than Riesling? How do you find a great grower Champagne? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Terry Theise, a much-respected expert on and importer of boutique wines from Germany, Austria, and Champagne. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to win a personally signed copy of Terry Theise's terrific book, Reading Between the Vines. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What do people misunderstand about Riesling? Which questions can you ask retailers to better explore the world of Riesling? What are some of the best and worst Riesling pairings that Terry has had? How can you best pair Riesling with food? Why was it difficult to change people’s opinion of Austrian wine? What is it about German and Austrian wines that keeps them from being on top of the wine world? Why does Terry say Sauvignon Blanc can sometimes be described as vulgar? What makes grower Champagnes different? What prompted Terry to write his first book, Reading Between The Wines? Why did Terry want to make the case for What Makes a Wine Worth Drinking in his second book?   Key Takeaways I agree with Terry that minerality is an incredibly useful metaphor to refer to a wine’s texture and something more. Riesling is one of the greatest and most fundamental wines when it comes to minerality. I love Terry’s description of petrichor, the smell of pent-up, super-charged air just before a thunderstorm. It makes wines smell and taste super vivid. Austrian Gruner Veltliner is more flexible than Riesling when it comes to food pairings. It’s such a lovely, undervalued wine worth exploring. Great grower Champagne is also worth seeking out, though far more of a challenge as these producers are so small and scattered throughout the region. I love Terry’s phrase that wine is an important glide path into the world of beauty.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Terry Theise Terry Theise is a much-respected expert on and importer of boutique wines from Germany, Austria, and Champagne. He has published two bestselling books—Reading Between the Wines and What Makes a Wine Worth Drinking: In Praise of the Sublime. His articles have appeared in The World of Fine Wine and other magazines. Terry has also won the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, Wine & Spirits Man of the Year Award and Food and Wine magazine’s Importer of the Year Award.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/248.
8/30/202343 minutes, 49 seconds
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247: Soul-Searching German Riesling with Terry Theise, Author of What Makes a Wine Worth Drinking

Are you curious about the soul-searching nature of German Riesling? Why is Riesling the best wine for tasters to train themselves to improve their skills? Why shouldn’t you approach a new glass of wine with anticipation? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Terry Theise, a much-respected expert on and importer of boutique wines from Germany, Austria, and Champagne. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to win a personally signed copy of Terry Theise's terrific book, Reading Between the Vines. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights Why is it important to find a passion outside of your work? What are some of Terry’s most memorable moments from his childhood years in India? When did Terry rediscover his passion for beautiful writing? What is the relationship between wine and language? How did Riesling become Terry’s North Star? Why is Riesling the best way for an amateur wine taster to train themself? How does Terry differentiate between petrichor and minerality? What does it mean to “arrive at the rim of wine without expectations”? How does the dynamic interaction between taster and wine enhance the experience? Why does Terry say that wine keeps him humble? What kind of mistakes are often made in wine tasting? What are some of the tricks of the trade for guessing how long a wine will last?   Key Takeaways Terry’s passion for German Riesling reignites my own: it is both under-valued and sublime He makes some excellent points on why Riesling is the best wine for tasters to train themselves to improve their skills. He makes a wise point that those of us who are passionate about our work need to have other things for which we have an equal passion to maintain balance. I like his mindset when approaching a new glass of wine without anticipation or expectations to allow room for surprise and delight. If only we did that with people, too.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Terry Theise Terry Theise is a much respected expert on and importer of boutique wines from Germany, Austria, and Champagne. He has published two bestselling books—Reading Between the Wines and What Makes a Wine Worth Drinking: In Praise of the Sublime. His articles have appeared in The World of Fine Wine and other magazines. Terry has also won the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, Wine & Spirits Man of the Year Award and Food and Wine magazine’s Importer of the Year Award.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/247.
8/23/202340 minutes, 44 seconds
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246: What is a Wine Witch and Why Use it in a Book Title? I Share Why on The Wonderful World of Wine Podcast

Which Canadian wine regions should you add to your must-try and must-visit lists? What makes some of the wine designations and certifications problematic? Why do stories about witches run through my new book Wine Witch on Fire? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Mark Lenzi and Kim Simone, hosts of The Wonderful World of Wine Podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why do I identify with the witch theme in Wine Witch on Fire? What was the inciting incident that kicked off the worst year of my life? Looking back, would I have handled the situation differently? Was it difficult for me to write this book and why bother? Why did I choose to approach my writing with an entertaining, conversational style? How did I work wine writing into Wine Witch on Fire, with it being a memoir? Which Canadian wine regions should you add to your must-try and must-visit lists? What was it like to lose my sense of smell and why is it so powerful? Why are some of the wine designations and certifications problematic? What are some of the things I do to remain intentional about how much I’m drinking? Who can benefit from the Wine Witch on Fire Book Club Guide?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Mark Lenzi & Kim Simone Kim Simone is passionate about wine and making it accessible, engaging, and fun. With a career of almost two decades in the wine business she most recently was the Corporate Sommelier for the Legal Sea Foods restaurant group where she assisted Master of Wine Sandy Block curate the wine lists for multiple restaurant concepts and developed educational materials for their staff. Her winding career path has included a stint selling wine wholesale for Ruby Wines, hosting an AIRBNB Experience focusing on the beverage culture of Colonial Boston, and teaching at Boston University. Mark Lenzi is the owner of Franklin Liquors and founder of The Franklin Wine Club. Mark is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and Spirits (CSS) by the Society of Wine Educators. The first in MA to hold a California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) title from the San Francisco Wine School, Mark holds several designations as a French Wine Scholar(FWS)/instructor,  Spanish Wine Scholar (SWS) by the Wine Scholar Guild, Italian Wine Specialist (IWS) by the North American Sommelier Association, Oregon Wine Expert (OWE) by the Napa Valley Wine Academy, Italian Wine Maestro (IWM) Vinitaly International (First USA Class), and Italian Wine Scholar (IWS*) by The Wine Scholar Guild. Kim and Mark currently co-host the radio program and podcast The Wonderful World of Wine.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/246.
8/16/202347 minutes, 14 seconds
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245: New South African Wines and Pinotage Misconceptions with Dr. Winnie Bowman

Are you curious about new South African wine styles and regions to try? What do most people misunderstand about Pinotage wine? Is it really necessary to spit when doing a wine tasting? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with international wine and spirit judge Dr. Winnie Bowman. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How can you distinguish between competition medal values and avoid misleading wine labels? What was it like for Winnie to teach hotel students who were reluctant to spit during wine tasting? Which aspects of the South African wine industry would probably surprise you? How did certain wine regions in South Africa transform their reputations and become highly sought-after? Where did some of the misconceptions around Pinotage originate and what are the facts? What does Winnie love about Creation Glenn’s Chardonnay and what can you expect when tasting? Why should South Africa be on your must-visit list of wine regions?   Key Takeaways I loved listening to Winnie talk about new South African wine styles and regions to try as well as the fact that the country gets so many sunshine hours for ripening and deepening flavour. I appreciated her background on the Pinotage grape and that it’s not the robust wine that many people assume it is, and can be quite elegant. Her story about the fellow judge not spitting was delightful.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Dr. Winnie Bowman Dr. Winnie Bowman is a physiotherapist, biomedical scientist and holds a PhD in Education, specializing in Didactics. She is an international wine and spirit judge as well as a Cape Master. Winnie writes about wine, teaches, presents corporate tastings and appears regularly on radio and television wine shows.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/245.
8/9/202342 minutes, 11 seconds
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244: Should You Buy Wines Based on Competition Medals? Dr. Winnie Bowman, Cape Wine Master, Has Thoughts

What is a Cape Wine Master? Should you buy wines based on medals won from competitions? What does the future of wine recommendations look like? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with international wine and spirit judge, Dr. Winnie Bowman. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why did Winnie transition out of her previous careers and into the wine industry? What is a Cape Wine Master, and how is it different from a Master of Wine? How costly is it to become a Cape Wine Master? What are some of Winnie’s earliest memories of wine? Which types of sweet wines is South Africa known for? What are some challenges faced by women working to make a name for themselves in the wine industry? How did a vertical tasting in Rome feature in Winnie’s best moment of her wine career so far? How did Super Tuscan winemakers defy traditional wine regulations and come out on top? What interesting notes did Winnie notice in tasting 50 years of Sassicaia wines? How does tasting technique help you avoid palate fatigue? What have been some of the most interesting wine competitions to judge? Which hard-to-find grapes has Winnie encountered while judging wine competitions? How do wine competitions and the medals they award impact consumer decisions?   Key Takeaways I was interested to learn what a Cape Wine Master is and how that differs from Master of Wine. Winnie also had some great insights into whether we should buy wines based on medals won from competitions and how those competitions themselves are run. I loved her story about tasting through 50 years of the cult Tuscan wine Sassicaia and that 1950s vintage still had power and grace - it wasn’t tired.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Dr. Winnie Bowman Dr. Winnie Bowman is a physiotherapist, biomedical scientist and holds a PhD in Education, specializing in Didactics. She is an international wine and spirit judge as well as a Cape Master. Winnie writes about wine, teaches, presents corporate tastings and appears regularly on radio and television wine shows.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/244.
8/2/202343 minutes, 49 seconds
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243: Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) Give Good Wine & Food Pairing Tips? Dina Blikshteyn Shares Surprising Insights

How can you use AI to get wine and food pairing advice? Will using AI make wine styles and flavours less diverse? Will AI replace wine writers? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Dina Blikshteyn, a lawyer who specializes in how artificial intelligence and machine learning is changing the wine world. Note: Our discussion is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice and is for informational purposes only. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Is there a risk that using AI tools will make wine taste more uniform? How can AI-enabled machines help to vineyards to go organic? What’s involved in making AI models more accurate in wine analysis? How can AI be utilized to identify anomalies and potential fraud in the wine industry? Can AI make appropriate wine and food pairing recommendations? What are the copyright implications of AI-generated content? Is there a role for AI in the world of wine critics? How can trade secrets be used to protect AI models, specifically around wine recommendations? How will AI be used in tasting rooms of the future?   Key Takeaways I was interested to learn about the ways AI can give wine and food pairing tips, but I am immensely relieved that AI won’t be replacing me any time soon. Used the right way, AI won’t make wine styles and flavours less diverse. Rather it should expand them if the tool is used to make wine better. I was fascinated with her description of how AI is being used to grow grapes and all aspects of the process. It’ll be interesting to see if drones become a common sight over the vineyards… maybe they’ll invent one to chase away annoying tourists - just the pesky ones, of course.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Dina Blikshteyn Dina Blikshteyn is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the New York law office of Haynes Boone. Dina focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud computing, cyber security, web applications, algorithms, multimedia and video streaming, among other technologies. She is also a co-chair of the artificial intelligence practice at the firm. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Dina developed high-frequency trading systems that traded financial instruments on domestic and international exchanges.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/243.
7/26/202333 minutes, 6 seconds
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242: How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Change the Wines Your Drink with Dina Blikshteyn

Are you curious how artificial intelligence will change the wines you drink? What’s the difference between AI-based technology and existing automated machines? Will AI eventually replace most people working in the vineyard? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Dina Blikshteyn, a lawyer who specializes in how artificial intelligence and machine learning is changing the wine world. Note: Our discussion is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice and is for informational purposes only. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What was Dina’s first memory of drinking wine as a poor college student? What’s the difference between automation and artificial intelligence? How is AI improving grape growing and winemaking systems? What’s the difference between newer AI-enabled machines and existing automated farming machines? Which types of technology are used with AI in the wine industry? Is there a risk of AI replacing human intervention in vineyards? Who owns the data associated with machine learning, and what are the risks with data privacy? What are the legal implications around the fair use of data obtained from the internet for AI training?   Key Takeaways I was fascinated to learn how artificial intelligence will change the wines you drink. AI can determine whether the grapes are getting enough water in the growing stage and other factors to optimize ripeness and avoid disease. That, in turn, will make for better quality wine related to those factors. Dina’s clarification of the difference between AI-based technology and existing automated machines was helpful. AI is a subset of automation that involves training models on data. It eventually makes new decisions and outputs, whereas traditional automation sticks to the rules you set for it. I’m glad to hear that AI will not eventually replace most people working in the vineyard. Dina makes a great analogy that when the calculator was invented, we still needed to know how to do math. It's the same thing with AI; it’s just a tool.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Dina Blikshteyn Dina Blikshteyn is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the New York law office of Haynes Boone. Dina focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud computing, cyber security, web applications, algorithms, multimedia and video streaming, among other technologies. She is also a co-chair of the artificial intelligence practice at the firm. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Dina developed high-frequency trading systems that traded financial instruments on domestic and international exchanges.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/242.  
7/19/202332 minutes, 49 seconds
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241: Why I Don't Review Bad Wines with Luke Whittall of the Sipster's Wine Podcast

Why do I not review bad wines? What’s the difference between sexist, sexy and sensual writing, whether it’s in wine tasting notes or beyond? What are the big differences between wine reviews and articles, and what value does each form give to readers? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Luke Whittall, host of The Sipster's Wine Podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What’s the difference between sexist, sexy and sensual writing? Why does getting divorced often force us to reevaluate all facets of our lives? How is the general style of wine writing changing, and what’s behind the shift? Why is it essential to be intentional about making space for new voices in the wine world? How has hosting the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast helped me to grow as a writer? What do I love most about podcasting? What does it look like to get to know someone before rushing to judgment on social media? Why don’t I review bad wines?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Luke Whittall Luke Whittall has worked in cellars, vineyards, and wine shops since 2005. He has authored or co-authored 4 books on wine and is currently a wine instructor at Okanagan College. HIs most recent book, The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines, Volume 2 (Touchwood Editions 2023) follows up on the success of volume 1 of The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines, and continues to mark a new direction in wine writing. It features more of the most amazing wines ever produced in British Columbia. His first book, Valleys of Wine: A Taste of British Columbia’s Wine History was published in 2019 and he co-authored the 6th edition of The Okanagan Wine Tour Guide with John Schreiner in 2020.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/241.
7/12/202338 minutes
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240: Online Mobbing, Dark Humour and Change in the Wine Industry with Luke Whittall of the Sipster's Wine Podcast

How do you deal with the mob mentality of social media when it's a part of your work? How can you find the humour in the dark moments of life? What has changed in the past ten years in the wine industry when it comes to inequality and discrimination? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Luke Whittall, host of The Sipster's Wine Podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What makes Wine Witch on Fire closer to fiction than nonfiction, despite being a memoir? Which series of events in 2012 ended up as the worst vintage of my life? What was it about that initial incident in 2012 that caused the issue to escalate so much? What are some of the challenges of working on social media and balancing your personal values? Does social media encourage a mob mentality? What has changed in awareness and the responses to harassment on social media in the past 10 years? Has my writing changed as a result of my experiences? How am I able to inject humour into the darkest moments of my life?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Luke Whittall Luke Whittall has worked in cellars, vineyards, and wine shops since 2005. He has authored or co-authored 4 books on wine and is currently a wine instructor at Okanagan College. HIs most recent book, The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines, Volume 2 (Touchwood Editions 2023) follows up on the success of volume 1 of The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines, and continues to mark a new direction in wine writing. It features more of the most amazing wines ever produced in British Columbia. His first book, Valleys of Wine: A Taste of British Columbia’s Wine History was published in 2019 and he co-authored the 6th edition of The Okanagan Wine Tour Guide with John Schreiner in 2020.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/240.
7/5/202325 minutes, 29 seconds
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239: Wild Yeast and Wine Temperature's Impact on Wine Taste with Carolyn Hurst of Westcott Vineyards

How do wild yeasts help to bring out unique qualities in wine? What’s involved in farming and making wine sustainably? How does changing the temperature of your wine impact the tasting experience? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with winemaker Carolyn Hurst. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you in Canada will win a bottle of one of Carolyn's fabulous wines. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights How do Canadian shipping regulations impact winemakers? What can wine lovers do to help with changing overly-restrictive policies? Which types of wine can you get from Westcott Vineyards? Why does Carolyn prefer using wild yeast to ferment Westcott wines? What is it about Lilias Ahearn Massey that inspired Carolyn to name a wine after her? Who is the inspiration behind Westcott’s Violette wine? What’s involved in farming and making wine sustainably? How did Westcott make their wines vegan and vegetarian-friendly? Which unpopular wine opinion does Carolyn hold? Why would Carolyn want to share a bottle of wine with a stoic? Which fun wine tip can you try this week?   Key Takeaways I was fascinated to hear how wild yeasts help to bring out unique qualities in wine and what’s involved in farming and making wine sustainably. I agree with Carolyn about how profoundly changing the temperature of wine impacts the tasting experience. I also agree that liquor monopolies and licensing based on prohibition-era legislation are preventing Canadian winemakers from being able to legally ship their wines across the country. That needs to change, especially for an industry where each producer is so small that they often don’t produce enough to fulfill large liquor store chain orders and so they depend on direct orders from customers.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Carolyn Hurst Carolyn Hurst is president of Westcott Vineyards in Niagara, Ontario, which she founded with her husband Grant Westcott in 2006. Since 2017, she has been the Chair of the Board at Ontario Craft Wineries, representing more than 100 wineries in the province. Previously, she has been the president of three successful technology companies. She also has significant experience in the restaurant/hospitality industry earlier on in her career. She is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/239.
6/28/202340 minutes, 2 seconds
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238: Old Vines, Land Stewardship and the Future of Ontario Wine with Carolyn Hurst, Westcott Vineyards

Why is it a good idea for winemakers to invest in old vines? What does it mean to be a good steward of the land? What unique challenges does the Ontario wine industry face in the next five years? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with winemaker Carolyn Hurst. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you in Canada will win a bottle of one of Carolyn's fabulous wines. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights Which entrepreneurial game did Carolyn love to play as a child? How did summer school in France change Carolyn’s life? What made Carolyn want to get involved in the wine business? Which special moment was the most memorable for Carolyn in her wine career so far? Why is it a good idea to invest in old vines? How does Carolyn’s motivation to be a good steward of the land inform her business decisions? What is the Niagara Escarpment, and how does its unique features influence its wine? Why does limestone soil impart a specific taste to wines? What’s holding Ontario wines back from increasing local market share? Which basic facts should you be aware of when it comes to the Ontario wine industry? Which challenges are being faced by Ontario wineries, and what is needed to achieve economic sustainability?   Key Takeaways Carolyn’s explanation of why old vines are precious and important to the quality of the wine makes a solid case for winemakers to invest in them. I like how Carolyn describes being a good steward of the land for the next generation and making that a big part of her consciousness in terms of how she operates. I was intrigued by Carolyn’s description of the unique challenges the Ontario wine industry faces in the next five years and was surprised at both its economic impact and that the wines still aren’t well represented on many wine lists.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Carolyn Hurst Carolyn Hurst is president of Westcott Vineyards in Niagara, Ontario, which she founded with her husband Grant Westcott in 2006. Since 2017, she has been the Chair of the Board at Ontario Craft Wineries, representing more than 100 wineries in the province. Previously, she has been the president of three successful technology companies. She also has significant experience in the restaurant/hospitality industry earlier on in her career. She is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario.         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/238.  
6/21/202341 minutes, 1 second
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237: New Vision for Beautiful Vineyards and Regenerative Viticulture with Mark Gudgel

What does regenerative viticulture mean? How do healthy vineyards today look dramatically different from those five years ago? How did the Wine Olympics make the results of the Judgement of Paris undeniable? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author Mark Gudgel. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks     Giveaway Three of you will win a copy of Mark's new book, Rise of Napa Valley Wineries: How the Judgment of Paris Put California Wine on the Map. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights How did the Wine Olympics make the results of the Judgement of Paris undeniable? What did the people of Napa do to preserve the beauty of the valley? What does regenerative viticulture mean? How is climate change impacting the California wine industry? What surprised Mark the most when researching the book? What needs to change to improve the terribly low levels of diversity in the wine industry? Which aspects of The Rise of Napa Valley Wineries would Mark change in a new edition? What's Mark’s greatest satisfaction having written this book? Where’s the ideal place to have a glass of wine with friends and why? Why does Mark describe the 2017 Smith-Madrone Riesling as the perfect Riesling? What did Mark love about Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run? Which controversial wine opinion does Mark feel strongly about? What does Mark want you to know about Oakville, Napa Valley?   Key Takeaways Mark’s definition of regenerative viticulture was helpful. I especially like his observation that the new vision for a beautiful vineyard is rows of well-maintained grapevines with a tremendous diversity of life living within it. I agree with him that if we resign ourselves to merely sustaining where we are, we have resigned ourselves to a long, slow death. I enjoyed his story about how the Wine Olympics made the results of the Judgement of Paris undeniable. It’s also undeniable that the wine industry has a long way to go, with only four African-American Master Sommeliers, and only 10% of Master Sommeliers being women.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Mark Gudgel Dr. Mark Gudgel is an eighteen-year veteran of teaching high school English and presently serves as assistant professor of education at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha. His book, The Rise of Napa Valley Wineries: How the Judgment of Paris put California wine on the map, focuses on the wine industry and issues that surround it, and was released from History Press in May of 2023.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/237.
6/14/202339 minutes, 46 seconds
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236: The Paris Tasting that Changed the Fate of California Wines with Mark Gudgel, Author of The Rise of Napa Valley Wineries

Are you curious about the most important historic tasting that put California wines on the map? What unique challenges did pioneer winemakers face in California? What would surprise you about how the California wine industry developed? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author Mark Gudgel. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a copy of Mark's new book, Rise of Napa Valley Wineries: How the Judgment of Paris Put California Wine on the Map. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights When did Mark realize he wanted to write about wine? How did Mark develop his professional interest and expertise in genocide education? What has been the worst moment of Mark’s writing career so far and what did he learn from it? Which moments have created the best memories in Mark’s writing career? What’s the significance of the “Judgement of Paris” and why was Mark drawn to the story? What will you learn in Mark’s new book, Rise of Napa Valley Wineries? Who were some of the early pioneers of Napa Valley wineries? How were the Judgement of Paris reenactments done? What are aged California wines like? What are some of the inaccuracies in the movie Bottle Shock? Why was Robert Mondavi instrumental in transforming the California wine industry?   Key Takeaways I didn't realize how pivotal the 1976 Paris tasting was not only for California wines but also for other New World wines around the globe. With Mark’s explanation, I can see how its ramifications spread. What was so amazing was that these wines were tasted blind. No one knew the identity of the wines, and they were judged by French experts. It was the French experts saying California at the top. It was fascinating to hear about the unique challenges pioneer winemakers faced in California. It’s a wonder that they persevered in the face of such huge obstacles. I also enjoyed hearing about the surprising way the California wine industry developed.   About Mark Gudgel Dr. Mark Gudgel is an eighteen-year veteran of teaching high school English and presently serves as assistant professor of education at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha. After honeymooning in Wine Country, Mark and his wife, Sonja, began a wine blog and soon after he was recruited as a regular correspondent for American Winery Guide. From there, Gudgel went on to write for Food & Spirits, Dine, Edible Omaha, and numerous other publications. His book, The Rise of Napa Valley Wineries: How the Judgment of Paris put California wine on the map, focuses on the wine industry and issues that surround it, and was released from History Press in May of 2023.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/236.
6/7/202340 minutes, 58 seconds
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235: Technology Will Transform Tasting Rooms of the Future with Jessica Kogan

How can wineries use technology to better connect with customers online? What can you expect from the tasting rooms of the future? What matters most when you taste wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jessica Kogan, a digital brand marketing executive who has successfully launched brands such as Gucci, Prada, Charles Schwab, Cameron Hughes, and now Vintage Wine Estates. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a special bottle of wine from one of the wineries in Jessica Kogan's portfolio. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What's unique about the way Cameron Hughes wines are made? What was the most satisfying part of launching Cameron Hughes Wine online? Why does Jessica particularly love connecting directly with her customers? How is wine significant to social settings and special moments? How did Jessica’s experience with the president of Vintage Wine Estates empower her as a woman leader? Which technology can help to connect tasting room employees with customers online? How have virtual tastings become a big part of the winery experience since COVID-19? What can you expect from a virtual tasting experience? What’s Jessica’s vision of the tasting room of the future? What makes Cherry Pie Pinot Noir an excellent wine-tasting experience? Which dishes would pair well with Baillie-Grohman Gewürztraminer? What is it about Winemaker's Cut Muscat Canelli that brings renewal and hope to mind? What does Jessica love about Cameron Hughes Lot 894 | 2020 Columbia Valley Merlot? Which bottle of wine would Jessica love to be able to share with Ruth Bader Ginsberg?   Key Takeaways Jessica is so visionary in how she sees wineries using technology to better connect with customers online rather than making the experience less personal. I also enjoyed her insights into how tasting rooms of the future will change to better tailor the in-person experience for visitors. And she’s absolutely right that what matters most when you taste wine is whether or not it suits your taste.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jessica Kogan Jessica Kogan is a brand marketing and digital transformation executive with a seriously successful track record of launching CPG brands and DTC businesses that scale. As the Chief Growth & Experience Officer at Vintage Wine Estates (NASDAQ: VWE) her role is to drive the VWE digital transformation roadmap, unifying DTC, eGrocery and Supply Chain enabling customer satisfaction and employee empowerment. Most recently as the Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, Jessica led DTC division growth from $30 million to $100 million in less than 3 years.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/235.
5/31/202345 minutes, 52 seconds
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234: Wine and Fashion Share Aspirational Marketing and Self-Identification with Jessica Kogan of Vintage Wine Estates

How will new technology affect the way you buy and learn about wine in the future? What does it take to launch a winery into the digital space? Which aspects of the fashion industry could the wine industry benefit from emulating? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jessica Kogan, a digital brand marketing executive who has successfully launched brands such as Gucci, Prada, Charles Schwab, Cameron Hughes, and now Vintage Wine Estates. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a special bottle of wine from one of the wineries in Jessica Kogan's portfolio. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What drew Jess to a career in the fashion industry? What were the challenges of bringing a fashion brand online in the early days of the internet? Are there similarities between the fashion and wine industries? How does the wine industry tap into our aspirations and fantasies? What are the major differences between the fashion and wine industries? Why does the wine industry need to do a better job of delivering wine to customers? Why is it important to have transparent ingredient labeling for wine? How did Jess get into the world of wine?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jessica Kogan Jessica Kogan is a brand marketing and digital transformation executive with a seriously successful track record of launching CPG brands and DTC businesses that scale. As the Chief Growth & Experience Officer at Vintage Wine Estates (NASDAQ: VWE) her role is to drive the VWE digital transformation roadmap, unifying DTC, eGrocery and Supply Chain enabling customer satisfaction and employee empowerment. Most recently as the Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, Jessica led DTC division growth from $30 million to $100 million in less than 3 years.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/234.
5/24/202342 minutes, 52 seconds
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233: Best Wine & Food Pairing Tips + California Wines with Chuck Cramer

Which California wine should be at the top of your must-try list? Which simple tips can you use to identify successful food and wine pairings? What should you know before starting a podcast? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Chuck Cramer, host of On The Road With Mr CA Wine. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why did I start the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast? What was the motivation behind Chuck creating On The Road With Mr CA Wine? Why was time the biggest challenge in producing my podcast? How do you keep content fresh over hundreds of episodes? What are my favourite wine tips? How can you use the butter/lemon test to help with food and wine pairing? What’s the weirdest successful food pairing I’ve had with Rosé How can food alter your perception of a wine’s taste? What makes asparagus and artichoke difficult to pair with wine? What do you need to know about the Canadian wine industry? Which Canadian wines should be on your must-try list? Are California wines popular in Canada? How has my perception of California wines changed over the past 10 years? Why is Paso Robles at the top of my list of California wine regions to visit? What's the best-value California wine I’ve tasted recently? What advice would I give to someone thinking of starting a podcast? As a child, what did I want to be when I grew up? If I could have any celebrity guest on my podcast, who would it be? If money’s no object, which bottle of California wine would I open with dinner tonight?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Chuck Cramer Chuck Cramer is a 4th generation Los Angeleno, living in London for the past 22 years. In addition to hosting a wine podcast dedicated to CA wine, On The Road With Mr CA Wine, Chuck is the director of European sales & marketing for Terlato Wines, managing a gorgeous portfolio of CA wines across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He’s also the proud dad of two beautiful women, plays tennis four times a week and bleeds Dodger Blue!         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/233.
5/17/202337 minutes, 4 seconds
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232: Wine Marketing that Encourages Overdrinking + Sexism in Wine Tasting Tasting Notes

How does slick wine marketing encourage us to drink too much? Has anything really changed in the wine industry in the last ten years since the incidents in the book took place? How is sexism still embedded in wine tasting notes today? What would I advise young women and men entering the wine business today? I’ll be sharing those stories and more in this special episode of my podcast. My new memoir Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much just launched yesterday, May 9th in Canada. It will launch in the US and around the world June 6th, and it’s also available for pre-order now. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why was it particularly difficult to face the challenges of divorce and defamation as the caregiver of a teenage son and an elderly mother? While this book deals with serious issues, there’s lots of humour. How do you strike a balance between the two? Do you approach things differently now than before? Has anything really changed in the wine industry since that time? What would you say to young women and men who want to enter the wine business? What does that world without misogyny or sexism look like? Can you share an example of how sexism is embedded in wine tasting notes? What’s the difference between sexist, sexy, and sensual writing? In the book, your partner calls you “princess,” and another writer calls you “sweetheart.” Are you bothered by these? Throughout your memoir, you describe the slick marketing that encourages women to drink too much. Can you elaborate on this? Why include stories of women behind wine labels? You're a supertaster. What does that mean? If you could be a wine, which one would it be? What was your most interesting wine experience? Which wines do you enjoy drinking on your own time these days? What does terroir mean to you? What is a guilty pleasure when it comes to pairing wine and food? What’s in your wine guide for book clubs, wine groups and individual readers, and where can we get it? How can we find out more about the $397 Bonus Bundle with pre-orders and where to buy the book? Are there any book launch events coming up? For those who may be going through difficult times themselves, what advice do you have? What’s next for you?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/232.
5/10/202342 minutes, 45 seconds
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231: Dark Side of the Wine World + Tips for Moderate Drinking

How did I first fall in love with wine? Do I feel more exposed now for having written this third book? What are my best tips for moderate drinking? I’ll be sharing those stories and more in this special episode of my podcast as we get closer to the May 9th launch of my new memoir Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Join me for my Toronto Launch Party Save your spot now for this invite-only book launch event and tasting. Treat yourself to a private book launch party and wine tasting in Toronto on Wednesday, May 10th at 6 p.m.! * Enjoy access to the (very) swanky private club, Clio, in downtown Toronto * Savour three outstanding Creekside wines as I guide you in a wine tasting * Enjoy my hilarious and heartfelt stories about working in the world of wine * Learn about the professional challenges when drinking is your day job * Discover how to become a savvier wine buyer with my insider tips * Ask me anything about wine, writing a book, or rediscovering joy in your personal and professional life Tickets are on sale here for ONE WEEK ONLY, so get yours today before they sell out! Save your seat here: https://trk.cp20.com/click/365b-2oeeqm-cirtts-6q8qco5/ Please share this event with friends, family, and colleagues who might also be interested in attending the Toronto launch or tasting events in these other cities.   Highlights What is the book about? How did you come up with the title? How did you approach this narrative? Who is the book dedicated to? At what age did you start writing? When did you fall in love with wine? What's the story behind your worst hangover? What was your inspiration to start writing about wine? Where do you write? Who is one of your favourite authors? What was the inciting incident for this story? What was the inspiration for this book? Why write this book now? Was it difficult to write this book? Do you feel more exposed for having written this memoir? Was it difficult to write with such openness and vulnerability? How have you moderated your alcohol consumption? What are some of the reader stories that have moved you deeply? What do you expect readers to take away from this book? How has writing this memoir changed you? What’s in your wine guide for book clubs, wine groups and individual readers, and where can we get it? How can we find out more about the $397 Bonus Bundle with pre-orders and where to buy the book? Are there any book launch events coming up?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/231.
5/3/202346 minutes, 25 seconds
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230: Behind-the-Scenes of the Wine Industry + Slick Wine Marketing with Chuck Cramer

What's it like to work as a sommelier in a five-diamond French restaurant? How do you make the jump from writing magazine columns to becoming a regular guest on radio and television shows? How does it feel to write a book about the most difficult moments in your life? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Chuck Cramer, host of On The Road With Mr CA Wine. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Was there one wild moment that got Natalie hooked on the world of wine? How did I go from working in the tech industry to becoming a full-time wine writer? What was the path from writing magazine columns to the multi-faceted brand today? Why does my approach to writing help my books to stand out from other wine books? What was it like working for one night as a sommelier in a Five Diamond French restaurant? What surprised Natalie the most about California wines? How is my upcoming memoir different from my previous books? Why did I decide to write such a different book the third time around? What was my highest high and lowest low while writing Wine Witch on Fire?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Chuck Cramer Chuck Cramer is a 4th generation Los Angeleno, living in London for the past 22 years. In addition to hosting a wine podcast dedicated to CA wine, On The Road With Mr CA Wine, Chuck is the director of European sales & marketing for Terlato Wines, managing a gorgeous portfolio of CA wines across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He’s also the proud dad of two beautiful women, plays tennis four times a week and bleeds Dodger Blue!         To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/230.
4/26/202331 minutes, 8 seconds
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229: Toasting Etiquette + How Instagram & TikTok Have Changed Wine Education with Dr. Clinton Lee author of Master the Art of Manners

Did you know that there’s a polite way and a rude way to clink wine glasses when toasting in some cultures? Are you curious about great pairings for truffles or caviar? Why have Instagram and TikTok exploded in popularity as a way to learn about wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Dr. Clinton Lee, Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Wine and Spirit Institute. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What’s the most common misconception about wine etiquette? Is there a “right” way to toast with wine? Which particular wine customs would you observe in different cultures around the world? How have globalization and technology impacted the world of etiquette and manners? Why does Dr. Lee view his content as a bridge between people? Which videos have elicited the biggest responses from Dr. Lee’s audience? Wine tasting order Breaking bread Why does Dr. Lee swirl his wine eight times before tasting? Which aspects of Vinoscenti Vineyards Alla Famiglia make it particularly interesting? How can you pair Gewürztraminer with food? What can you expect from the tasting experience of Kacaba Vineyards Susan's Sauvignon Blanc and Bocale Montefalco Rosso? What do you need to know about pairing wine with truffles and caviar? Why does shellfish clash with red wine? Which philosophers would Dr. Lee want to share a bottle of wine with?   Key Takeaways I found it fascinating that there’s a polite way and a rude way to clink wine glasses when toasting in some cultures. Also, in certain places, it’s bad manners to pour your own wine. I enjoyed hearing Dr. Lee’s pairings for truffles and caviar. It’s amazing how Instagram and TikTok have exploded in popularity as a way to learn about wine.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Dr. Clinton Lee Clinton Lee is the Executive Director at Asia Pacific Wine and Spirit Institute, a WSET Diploma Graduate & Wine Educator & Speaker. He is the author of Master the Art of Manners, which will be published later this year. He is an internationally recognized intercultural etiquette expert, wine and spirit educator and judge. Dr. Lee has been featured in the media around the world and is recognized as a social media influencer with over two million followers on several platforms. He is also the host of the Wine Buzz podcast.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/229.
4/19/202343 minutes, 26 seconds
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228: Wine Etiquette in Different Cultures and at Festivals with Dr. Clinton Lee

How can wine help you to broaden your understanding of different cultures? Which stark differences in culture and decorum will you see in various wine regions? What's the right way, etiquette-wise, to receive your tasting sample at a wine festival or show? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Dr. Clinton Lee, Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Wine and Spirit Institute. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What will wine lovers find fascinating about Mendoza, Argentina? How did Dr. Lee communicate with Argentinian winemakers with no languages in common? What was it like to participate in a blindfolded wine tasting in China? What made Dr. Lee’s visit to Ducasse au Château de Versailles heartwarming? How was the art of decorum on perfect display at a Vinitaly tasting in Verona, Italy? What’s the right protocol to observe when receiving a pour at a tasting? When did Dr. Lee develop his interest in wine and culture? How did Dr. Lee become an expert in manners and culture? What influences can you see across cultures? How can you become more culturally aware?   Key Takeaways I wholeheartedly agree with him that wine helps you to broaden your understanding of different cultures. It reminds me of when I was a highland dancer as a child and traveled to different countries with my mother. We experienced the culture more deeply than would most tourists as we got to know families who lived there and often stayed with them. He makes several interesting points that there are stark differences in culture and decorum in various wine regions. I also agree with him that it's good etiquette and sound practice to slide away to the side after you receive your wine sample at a festival or show to allow others to get theirs. It’s always tempting to stay and chat with those pouring the wine, and that’s fine if no one is behind you, but rarely is that the case.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Dr. Clinton Lee Clinton Lee is the Executive Director at Asia Pacific Wine and Spirit Institute, a WSET Diploma Graduate & Wine Educator & Speaker. He is the author of Master the Art of Manners, which will be published later this year. He is an internationally recognized intercultural etiquette expert, wine and spirit educator and judge. Dr. Lee has been featured in the media around the world and is recognized as a social media influencer with over two million followers on several platforms. He is also the host of the Wine Buzz podcast.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/228.
4/12/202337 minutes, 49 seconds
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227: Diversity in the Wine Industry + Vermentino Food Pairings with Sommelier Tonya Pitts

Why is Vermentino such a great wine to pair with food, and which dishes pair best with it? What are the markers and nuances in wine that are tied to a specific place? How is the wine industry changing when it comes to diversity, and what still needs to be done? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Sommelier of the Year, Tonya Pitts. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why is mentoring so important to Tonya and which organizations is she involved with? How is the wine industry changing when it comes to diversity? Why did Tonya create Women in Wine? How can each of us help to move the wine industry forward with diversity and inclusion? What makes Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc so refreshing? Why does Tonya especially love Vermentino? Which types of wine pair best with food? How do zesty whites stimulate the tastebuds? Which controversial opinion does Tonya have about terroir and tasting? Which unexpected red wine pairings pleasantly surprised Tonya?   Key Takeaways I have so much respect for Tonya’s leadership in the wine industry on so many dimensions from diversity to mentorship. She walks her talk. It’s surprising that women still comprise only 20% of winemakers in the industry. Tonya has some great suggestions on how the industry needs to continue its efforts for inclusion. I can’t wait to try Tonya’s suggested pairings for Vermentino, my mouth is already watering thinking of this zesty white Italian wine.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Tonya Pitts Tonya Pitts is the Sommelier and Wine Director at One Market Restaurant in San Francisco and she has been crowned 2022 Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Sommelier of the Year. Tonya has been a notable mogul within the wine industry for over 30 years. Outside of her Wine Enthusiast recognition, she was recently inducted into the Hall of Femmes (an award that requires being nominated by other women), awarded membership for Les Dames D’Escouffier, added to the advisory board of Women in Wine’s Leadership Symposium, and has become an integral contributor to Wine Unify.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/227.
4/5/202337 minutes, 5 seconds
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226: Navigating Big Restaurant Wine Lists + Sommelier's Key Role with Tonya Pitts

Are you curious about what it takes to manage a list of 500 different wine labels at one of America’s best restaurants? Why is wine so powerful in creating memories? What is the most important role of the sommelier? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Sommelier of the Year, Tonya Pitts. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How did art play a major role in Tonya’s life growing up? Why is wine so powerful in creating memories? What motivated Tonya to switch from pursuing a career in law to becoming a sommelier? What was Tonya’s introduction to working in restaurants? Why is smell such a significant part of Tonya’s tasting process? What’s in Tonya’s mental wine Rolodex? What was it like to taste a 1900 Rothschild? How did a tasting of the 1976 Chateau Lafite compare to the 1900 Rothschild? What makes older wines so special? What does it take to manage a list of 500 different wine labels at one of America’s best restaurants? Why is it even more powerful to visit the place wine comes from? How did Italy win Tonya’s heart? What does Tonya love about the service aspect of being a sommelier?   Key Takeaways I found Tonya’s insights into what it takes to manage a list of 500 different wine labels at one of America’s best restaurants fascinating. She also shares some great behind-the-scenes observations on the role of the sommelier. My favourite part is when she talks lyrically about how she’s transitioned from the artist’s canvas to using a plate of food and wine to tell a story and paint a picture for someone. I also think she’s bang on when she says, “Wine takes you on a journey, you can go anywhere in the world, with a bottle of wine. The reason I still do what I do, and why it means so much to me, is that I can actually smell a glass, it transports me right back to that time and place when I originally had that bottle of wine. It's amazing.”   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Tonya Pitts Tonya Pitts is the Sommelier and Wine Director at One Market Restaurant in San Francisco and she has been crowned 2022 Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Sommelier of the Year. Tonya has been a notable mogul within the wine industry for over 30 years. Outside of her Wine Enthusiast recognition, she was recently inducted into the Hall of Femmes (an award that requires being nominated by other women), awarded membership for Les Dames D’Escouffier, added to the advisory board of Women in Wine’s Leadership Symposium, and has become an integral contributor to Wine Unify.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/226.
3/29/202343 minutes, 47 seconds
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225: Pinot Noir's Heartbreaking Beauty and Moderation Tips with Wines to Find

Which aspects of the Beamsville Bench make it particularly suited for growing grapes for wine? Why is Pinot Noir called the heartbreak grape? What are some ways for wine professionals and wine lovers to moderate their consumption? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Sandy Dawkins and Michelle Lester, hosts of the Wines To Find podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What makes podcasting such a powerful medium? Which aspects of the Beamsville Bench make it particularly suited for growing grapes for wine? What does Thirty Bench Small Lot Pinot Noir taste like and which food pairings work well? How does Trader Joe's Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir stack up as a $10 wine? Why is Pinot Noir my heartbreak grape? How did my taste in wine evolve over the years? How does climate impact the acidity of grapes? What will you learn in my free wine and food pairing class? How can you pair foods with wine according to the texture? What intrigued Sandy about the Oregon Wine Company's Rascal Pinot Noir label? How could all wine lovers benefit if wine labels had ingredient/nutrition labels? What are the benefits of QR codes on wine labels? What can you expect from Oregon Wine Company's Rascal Pinot Noir? What do you need to consider when tasting multiple wines? How did I use a “do the thing” approach when writing my first two wine books? Which simple tip can you use to find excellent wine at bargain prices? What can you expect from my upcoming memoir centered on the worst vintage of my life? How is wine marketed differently to men versus women? Why is it important to me to take a closer look at my consumption and participation in the negative aspects of wine culture?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Sandy Dawkins and Michelle Lester The Wines To Find Podcast was created after the two hosts, sisters Sandy and Michelle, travelled together to France and Italy in 2019. Both sisters are wine enthusiasts that have tracked their wine purchases, palates and pairings for years. As a way to continue the thrill of their European trip and to document their wine journey, they created the Wines To Find Podcast with the goal of spending time together, further growing their palates, and sharing wine stories from guests. Wines To Find features two new wines tasted for the first time by the sisters & guests, who span the spectrum of the wine industry from winemakers, owners, growers, sommeliers, fellow enthusiasts and more.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/225.
3/22/202355 minutes, 25 seconds
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224: Synthetic Wine, Alcohol-Free Wine and Sabering Champagne with Dragonvine's Steven Laine

Can you imagine a world where there’s only synthetic wine? And what is synthetic wine anyway? How does removing alcohol impact the tasting experience? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Steven Laine, award-winning restaurateur, hotelier, and author. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Can you imagine a world where there’s only synthetic wine? What can you expect from Steven’s upcoming books, Jupiter’s Blood and The Somm? How did Steven end up working at two fantastic wineries during the pandemic? Which surprising insights did Steven learn from working the harvest? Why is a vineyard the ideal setting for enjoying a glass of wine? What is it about Torres Natureo Syrah that makes it a great non-alcoholic option? How does removing alcohol impact the tasting profile of wine? What makes English sparkling wine a great alternative to Champagne? Why should you add Quails' Gate Estate Winery Dry Riesling to your “wines to try” list? Which unpopular wine belief does Steven hold? Which wine would Steven pair with his childhood favourite, lasagna? What are some of Steven’s favourite wine books? Which writers would Steven like to share a bottle of wine with? Why has travelling been a boon to Steven’s writing? What wine message would Steven put on a billboard? Which wine would Steven want to be served at his funeral, and why? Why does Steven believe it’s important to drink what you enjoy drinking? What’s on the horizon for Steven’s writing?   Key Takeaways I enjoyed more nightmare scenarios from Steven this week. I can’t imagine a world where there’s only synthetic wine. Wine is both art and science, but it’s also natural and an extension of the earth. His insights into how removing alcohol impacts the tasting experience were interesting. I have to agree, given the sheer labour intensity of producing wine, much of it is underpriced.     Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Steven Laine Kirkus Reviews called Steven Laine’s first wine thriller, Root Cause, “An entertaining, wine-soaked mystery.” The Washington Post wrote; “If Michael Pollan and Dan Brown sat down over a bottle of Barolo and brainstormed a novel based on the neuroses of the natural wine movement, they might have come up with something like Root Cause.” As an award-winning restaurateur and hotelier, Steven has travelled the world working in luxury hotels such as The Ritz, Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, and Pan Pacific. He developed his passion for wine as a Sommelier and Beverage Director in London, England. Since then, he has visited hundreds of wineries around the world.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/224.
3/15/202334 minutes, 22 seconds
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223: Thriller Novel Asks: "Can You Imagine a World Without Wine?" with Steven Laine, author of Root Cause

Can you imagine a world without wine? How did an author create a new genre of wine thriller based on a winemaker’s worst nightmare? What if the root louse phylloxera that destroyed most of the European vineyards in the 1850s returned but was even more destructive? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Steven Laine, award-winning restaurateur, hotelier, and author. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What about the experience of travelling that motivated Steven to live in nine different countries? How did Steven become involved in the wine industry? Where did Steven’s inspiration to write thrillers come from? How did the root louse Grape phylloxera impact European vineyards in the 1800s? Which surprising facts did Steven learn about phylloxera while researching Root Cause? What’s the best moment of Steven’s writing career so far? Do beta readers play a role in Steven’s writing process? What can you expect from Steven’s book Root Cause? Who are Steven’s favourite mystery writers? Why are stuck fermentations a winemaker's worst nightmare? Why does Steven love to read widely? What was the inspiration for Steven’s second book, Dragon Vine?   Key Takeaways The premise of Steven’s novel, can you imagine a world without wine, hooked me from the beginning. I can’t imagine erasing all those great times I’ve shared with friends and family over a glass or two, let alone not doing the work I love in this field. I love how he takes a winemaker’s worst nightmare and up the ante by having the root louse phylloxera come back as even more destructive. This doesn’t seem to be an impossibility with today’s climate change as well as the mutation of viruses that spread around the world quickly. I enjoyed Steven’s insights into how travel changed his perspective. I think each trip, each location brings out a different piece of us.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Steven Laine Kirkus Reviews called Steven Laine’s first wine thriller, Root Cause, “An entertaining, wine-soaked mystery.” The Washington Post wrote; “If Michael Pollan and Dan Brown sat down over a bottle of Barolo and brainstormed a novel based on the neuroses of the natural wine movement, they might have come up with something like Root Cause.” As an award-winning restaurateur and hotelier, Steven has travelled the world working in luxury hotels such as The Ritz, Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, and Pan Pacific. He developed his passion for wine as a Sommelier and Beverage Director in London, England. Since then, he has visited hundreds of wineries around the world.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/223.
3/8/202329 minutes, 28 seconds
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222: Wine and Religion + Santa Ynez Valley with Adam McHugh

What did John the Baptist, Dom Perignon and Saint Vincent have in common when it comes to wine? What makes the vineyard of Clos de Vougeot in Burgundy so fascinating? Why should you consider visiting the wine region Santa Ynez in Santa Barbara County? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Adam McHugh, author of Blood from Stone: A Memoir of How Wine Brought Me Back from the Dead. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a personally signed copy of Adam McHugh's terrific book, Blood from Stone: A Memoir of How Wine Brought Me Back from the Dead. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights Why do French and American oak impart different notes? Historically, why were more Catholics than Protestants involved in winemaking? What makes the 100+ acres of Clos de Vougeot so interesting? Why was the wine négociant system created? Which major contributions did the Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon make to the wine world? How did John the Baptist become the patron saint of cellar masters? What’s Adam’s take on the ongoing debate between geologists and sommeliers? Why should you consider visiting the wine region Santa Ynez in Santa Barbara County? What are Adam’s top tips for getting the most out of a visit to Santa Ynez? What was Adam’s hope in writing Blood From Stone? Which unpopular wine belief does Adam hold? What’s Adam’s favourite wine book? Why is the Coravin Adam’s favourite wine gadget? Which disastrous Shiraz wine pairing did Adam serve at a dinner party? What’s the best way to pair a very tannic wine with food? Which Julia Child recipe is at the heart of Adam’s current favourite food and wine pairing? How has John Steinbeck inspired Adam as a writer? What coffee message would Adam put on a billboard? What can you expect from Adam’s book Blood From A Stone?   Key Takeaways I loved how Adam wove in the stories of John the Baptist, Dom Perignon and Saint Vincent as they relate to wine. I agree with him that wine can be a spiritual thing apart from its religious associations. Clos de Vougeot in Burgundy is such a storied vineyard. I’m glad he included it in his book. The Santa Ynez wine region in Santa Barbara County is on my radar to visit next. It’s incredible that over 80% of the wines from Santa Ynez are made by family-owned wineries that make less than 10,000 cases yearly.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Adam McHugh Adam McHugh is a wine tour guide, sommelier, and Certified Specialist of Wine. He is the author of The Listening Life and Introverts in the Church and a regular contributor to Edible Santa Barbara & Wine Country. He lives in California's Santa Ynez Valley.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/222.
3/1/202336 minutes, 24 seconds
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221: Châteauneuf-du-Pape Makes Wine from Stone with Blood From A Stone's Adam McHugh

How did one man make a complete career pivot from working with dying in hospice care to living among the vines and writing about them? Why is French oak so treasured and so expensive? Which historical events led to the development of what we now know as the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Adam McHugh, author of Blood from Stone: A Memoir of How Wine Brought Me Back from the Dead. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a personally signed copy of Adam McHugh's terrific book, Blood from Stone: A Memoir of How Wine Brought Me Back from the Dead. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy. I'll choose three people randomly from those who contact me. Good luck!   Highlights What’s it like being a hospice chaplain? How did wine help Adam to connect and become more grounded? How did Adam find the balance to lighten - but not trivialize - the serious topics he covers in Blood from Stone? What was it like to transition out of being a hospice chaplain? Why is grieving an essential part of many life transitions? What’s the difference between change and transition? How did a trip to France inspire Adam to turn his love for wine into a career? What’s behind the book’s title, Blood from Stone? How were the iconic rounded stones found in the Rhone region formed? Which historical events led to the development of what we now know as Châteauneuf-du-Pape? What are the multiple meanings behind the term “blood of the vine”? Why is Adam fascinated by the process of fermentation? Why did France plant the forests that have now become the source of some of the most prestigious oak barrels? Why is French oak so treasured and expensive?   Key Takeaways I loved hearing how Adam made a complete career pivot from working with dying in hospice care to living among the vines and writing about them, especially his insight into the renewal and the miracle in the phrase “blood from stone.” The ancient connection between blood and wine was interesting as was his observation that grief is not just about big losses like death. We grieve lots of smaller things throughout the course of our lives. I also found his discussion of why oak from different forests in France creates different seasonings for wine. The tighter the grain in the oak, the more subtle the impact in the resulting wine. Then fermentation unlocks a lot of aromatics we revel in with wine. The history of the popes and the development of the Chateuneuf-du-Pape region were also intriguing.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Adam McHugh Adam McHugh is a wine tour guide, sommelier, and Certified Specialist of Wine. He is the author of The Listening Life and Introverts in the Church and a regular contributor to Edible Santa Barbara & Wine Country. He lives in California's Santa Ynez Valley.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/221.
2/22/202339 minutes, 5 seconds
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220: Food & Wine Pairing Without Intimidation with the Interpreting Wine Podcast's Lawrence Francis

How can you learn more about food and wine without the intimidation factor? Why does exploring outside of your arena often drive inspiration and innovation? Why is writing a memoir like living your life twice? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Lawrence Francis, host of the Interpreting Wine podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why do wine podcasts attract an international audience? Why do I focus mostly on wine in my content? How did I get started with TV appearances, and how has that evolved? What trends and strategies have been used in wine communication since the start of the pandemic? What kind of feedback have I gotten on my courses from beginners and industry professionals? How have I incorporated elements into my online courses to help students feel more comfortable in an environment that can often be intimidating? Which podcasts are currently on my list of favourites? Why does exploring outside of your arena often drive inspiration and innovation? Why did I write a memoir after publishing two very different books? What can you expect from my upcoming third book?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Lawrence Francis Lawrence Francis spent 10 years as a Psychologist and Coach before entering the wine industry. He’s been the host of the Interpreting Wine podcast since 2017; helping winemakers with underpriced, undersold or unknown wines address these challenges with compelling storytelling that engages wine consumers. Four years later, he’s now published more than 430 episodes, with more than 300,000 downloads in 150 countries.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/220.
2/15/202341 minutes, 29 seconds
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219: Powerful Wine Storytelling and Hooks with Lawrence Francis of the Interpreting Wine Podcast

What’s behind the power of podcasts and how they evoke the theater of the mind? How can you use a hook to improve your communication skills? Why do stories help us remember what we learn about wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Lawrence Francis, host of the Interpreting Wine podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Which bottle kickstarted my passion for wine? How did I find the confidence to write about wine? Why do stories make it easier to learn about wine? How has my wine career evolved since my first freelance article submission? Why did I shift my mindset on being a wine educator? What’s behind the power of podcasting for connecting people? How do podcasts help people learn about wine in the best way for them? Why is communication such a valuable skill for wine lovers? How can you improve your communication skills?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Lawrence Francis Lawrence Francis spent 10 years as a Psychologist and Coach before entering the wine industry. He’s been the host of the Interpreting Wine podcast since 2017; helping winemakers with underpriced, undersold or unknown wines address these challenges with compelling storytelling that engages wine consumers. Four years later, he’s now published more than 430 episodes, with more than 300,000 downloads in 150 countries.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/219.
2/8/202341 minutes, 19 seconds
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218: Music Changes Wine's Taste + Restaurant Table Shape & How Much We Eat with Nell McShane Wulfhart

How does the shape of a restaurant table impact how much you eat? How can you use your music playlist to complement your menu? Which types of songs can make your wine taste more acidic? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with journalist Nell McShane Wulfhart. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a copy of Nell McShane Wulfhart's terrific book, Off Menu. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the book. I’ll select the winners randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights How can you help guests to feel more comfortable at a gathering? What simple tips can you use to avoid lingering guests at your next dinner party? How can you use lighting throughout a party to influence guests’ experiences? Which types of songs can make your Pinot Noir or other wines tastes more acidic? Why does music have a bigger impact on complex beverages like coffee and wine? How can you use your music playlist to complement your menu? Why do our palate and preferences change when we’re on a plane? Can we hear the difference between various types of beverages just from the sound of the pour? Why are white wine glasses better than flutes for drinking bubbly? How does the shape of the table in a restaurant affect our dining experience? How do the shape and texture of food affect how satisfied you feel? Which wine bottle characteristics make the most impact on wine buyers? How does the choice of bottle and packaging affect the environmental footprint of wine? How do health claims on food and wine packaging influence our perception? How is scent marketing being used outside of the food and beverage industry?   Key Takeaways I loved finding out how the shape of a restaurant table impacts how much we eat and how long we stay in a restaurant. I also found it interesting how I can use my music playlist to complement my menu. I like knowing which types of songs can make my wine taste more acidic.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Nell McShane Wulfhart Nell McShane Wulfhart is a decision coach and author. She has written for The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, The Guardian, and many other outlets. Her most recent book, The Great Stewardess Rebellion - about how flight attendants in the 1960s and 70s staged a revolution for working women everywhere. The Wall Street Journal described it as exhilarating and wrote that “Wulfhart is a vivid storyteller who writes with energy and style.” Nell’s audiobook, Off Menu, is about the secret science of food, drinks, and the dining experience.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/218.
2/1/202347 minutes, 55 seconds
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217: Flavour versus Taste Plus Uruguay Wines with Nell McShane Wulfhart

How does telling your dinner party guests a few details about the wine you're serving dramatically change their perception of its taste? Should you add wines from Uruguay to your must-taste list? What’s the difference between flavour and taste? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author and journalist Nell McShane Wulfhart. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you will win a copy of Nell McShane Wulfhart's terrific book, Off Menu. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the book. I’ll select the winners randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights Which shocking discoveries did Nell make while researching The Great Stewardess Rebellion? What do you need to know about wines from Uruguay? How can our other senses impact our perception of the taste of food and beverages? What’s the difference between taste and flavour? How does sound affect our perception of what we’re tasting? What do we know about how supertasters experience taste and flavour differently from others? Why should you use the retronasal smell? What simple trick can you use to amplify your experience of dark chocolate? What impact does our knowledge of a specific wine have on the tasting experience? What simple strategy can we use to improve our dinner party guests’ experience? How do extrasensory cues impact flavour and enjoyment? Why should you add a squeeze of limes or lemons to your food? Why do ice cream companies add certain scents to their packaging? What effect does loud music or noise have on your sense of taste? Should you serve your best wine first or last at a dinner party?   Key Takeaways I love Nell’s advice to share a few details about a wine with your dinner party guests as it will dramatically change their perception of its taste. I’m more keen now to taste more wines from Uruguay, especially Tannat. I found Nell’s explanation of the difference between flavour and taste fascinating.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Nell McShane Wulfhart Nell McShane Wulfhart is a decision coach and author. She has written for The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, The Guardian, and many other outlets. Her most recent book, The Great Stewardess Rebellion - about how flight attendants in the 1960s and 70s staged a revolution for working women everywhere. The Wall Street Journal described it as exhilarating and wrote that “Wulfhart is a vivid storyteller who writes with energy and style.” Nell’s audiobook, Off Menu, is about the secret science of food, drinks, and the dining experience.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/217.
1/25/202343 minutes, 4 seconds
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216: Tradeoff Between Taste & Alcohol, Chardonnay, California Wine Values with Chuck Cramer

What’s the tradeoff between flavour and alcohol? How does Chardonnay lend itself to unusual food pairings? Where do you find great value in California wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Chuck Cramer, host of On The Road With Mr CA Wine. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Who were Chuck’s most memorable podcast guests and why? Who would be Chuck’s dream guests for his podcast? Why does Chuck consider Lodi to be the most underrated California wine region? How does the style of The Federalist Chardonnay differ from Sanford Chardonnay? Which non-traditional food pairings could you try with The Federalist Chardonnay? What’s the weirdest wine and food pairing Chuck ever had? Which classic childhood food would Chuck pair with The Federalist Chardonnay? What’s Chuck’s controversial take on the natural wine movement? Why are low-alcohol wines less flavourful? Why is The American Vintage Chuck’s favourite wine book? How can you keep your wine fresh when you don’t want to finish the bottle? Which unlikely celebrity trio would Chuck like to share a bottle of wine with? If Chuck could have a billboard in California, what would it say? What wine would Chuck want to be served at his funeral?   Key Takeaways Chuck gives a great explanation for the tradeoff between flavour and alcohol. I love Chuck’s unusual pairings for Chardonnay. Chuck gives some great tips about finding excellent value in California wine.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Chuck Cramer Chuck Cramer is a 4th generation Los Angeleno, living in London for the past 22 years. In addition to hosting a wine podcast dedicated to CA wine, On The Road With Mr CA Wine, Chuck is the director of European sales & marketing for Terlato Wines, managing a gorgeous portfolio of CA wines across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He’s also the proud dad of two beautiful women, plays tennis four times a week and bleeds Dodger Blue!     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/216.
1/18/202330 minutes, 41 seconds
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215: California's Diverse Regions and Wines with Chuck Cramer, Host of On the Road with Mr CA Wine

Are you curious about California wine, especially the differences between the various regions? What big trends have changed the California wines you drink for the past 5 years? What would surprise you most about the Napa wine region? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Chuck Cramer, host of On The Road With Mr CA Wine.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What was it like for Chuck to do stand-up comedy for the first time in London? How does California’s Terlato Wines gain access to small European markets that can’t ship directly from California? Why does Chuck love changing people’s minds when it comes to Chardonnay? Why Chuck did start his podcast, On The Road With Mr CA Wine? How did Chuck integrate a signature California vibe into his podcast? What’s behind the huge value and opportunity created by having a podcast? What do you need to know about the California wine industry? Which California wine regions should you be aware of? Which California wine trends have emerged over the last 5-10 years?   Key Takeaways California has an incredible number of wine regions that exhibit a diverse range of climates and soils. Several big trends, such as more regional specificity and lower alcohol wines, among others, have changed the California wines we drink over the past 5 years. Although the Napa wine region is renowned, it represents only 4% of all California wine produced. Now that’s great brand marketing and quality.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Chuck Cramer Chuck Cramer is a 4th generation Los Angeleno, living in London for the past 22 years. In addition to hosting a wine podcast dedicated to CA wine, On The Road With Mr CA Wine, Chuck is the director of European sales & marketing for Terlato Wines, managing a gorgeous portfolio of CA wines across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He’s also the proud dad of two beautiful women, plays tennis four times a week and bleeds Dodger Blue!     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/215.
1/11/202328 minutes, 6 seconds
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214: Tips to Moderate Your Wine Consumption with Consumed Podcast Host, Jaime Lewis

How does deepening your understanding of wine help you maintain a healthy relationship with it? Why do memoirs help us to connect with characters even more deeply than fiction? Which moderation tools and techniques can you use when drinking wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by journalist Jaime Lewis for her podcast, CONSUMED.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What does “day in the life” writing look like? How does deepening your understanding of wine help you maintain a healthy relationship with it? How will my third book, Wine Witch on Fire, differ from my first two? Why is a well-written book able to change your life? What do I love about memoirs and the reader’s ability to transition the characters into the real world? Which moderation tools and techniques do I use when drinking wine? How did a combination of therapy and medication help me to manage my depression? What steps did I take to build my own platform with intention? Who can benefit from my Wine Smart online food and wine pairing course? What do I do to take care of myself daily? How do I define being an introvert? What would I eat and drink, and who would I invite if it was my last day on Earth?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jaime Lewis Jaime writes, speaks and podcasts about the good life. After an arts management career that included employment with Architecture New York Magazine, the San Francisco Symphony and the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Jaime chose to follow her nose (and palate) into the wine industry. Jaime has participated in nearly every moment of a wine’s life, from planting and bottling to selling. In addition to blogging about her personal year-long journey through the world, Jaime has written product, promotional and web copy for acclaimed wineries including Robert Mondavi, Firestone, Tantara, Herman Story, Laetitia, and Sans Liege.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/214.
1/4/202339 minutes, 57 seconds
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213: Tasting Room Tips to Learn about Wine with Jaime Lewis, Host of the Consumed Podcast

How can tasting rooms help you enjoyably expand your knowledge of wine? Which experiences led me to perfect the art of the outsider at a young age? Why does capturing our experiences in words have such a profound impact on us? What can you learn from side-by-side tastings?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by journalist Jaime Lewis for her podcast, CONSUMED.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Which experiences led me to perfect the art of the outsider at a young age? How did my mother influence my love for writing? What was Jaime’s inspiration for becoming a wine writer? Where do writing and computer programming have a lot of parallels? What role did California play in my love for wine? How can tasting rooms help you enjoyably expand your knowledge of wine? What can you learn from side-by-side tastings? How did a bottle of Brunello transform my perception of wine? Why is it so powerful to capture our experiences in words? What it means to “call up” and how did that help me to kick-start my writing career? How has the freelance writing landscape changed in the years since I started?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jaime Lewis Jaime writes, speaks and podcasts about the good life. After an arts management career that included employment with Architecture New York Magazine, the San Francisco Symphony and the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Jaime chose to follow her nose (and palate) into the wine industry. Jaime has participated in nearly every moment of a wine’s life, from planting and bottling to selling. In addition to blogging about her personal year-long journey through the world, Jaime has written product, promotional and web copy for acclaimed wineries including Robert Mondavi, Firestone, Tantara, Herman Story, Laetitia, and Sans Liege.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/213.
12/28/202237 minutes, 29 seconds
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212: Time Travel via Wine with Dani Shapiro, Bestselling Author of Signal Fires

How do food and wine play a role in Dabi Shapiro's latest bestselling novel, Signal Fires? As a writer, what’s it like to encounter others experiencing your work? Why do certain wines seem to transport us back to a specific moment in time?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Dani Shapiro, bestselling author and host of the Family Secrets podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you in the U.S. will win a copy of Dani Shapiro's fabulous new book, Signal Fires.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the book. I’ll select the winners randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights What can you expect from Dani's latest book, Signal Fires? What makes Dani’s style particularly interesting? How did the story develop, and what inspired Dani to pick back up where she left off in 2020? Why was patience such an integral part of Signal Fires becoming successful? What’s the story behind the real-life CT restaurant that inspired Theo’s restaurant in Signal Fires? As a writer, what’s it like to experience others reading and being moved by your work? How do the unconscious connections threaded throughout a work of fiction create opportunities for readers to co-create with the author? How does Virginia Woolf’s influence show up in Signal Fires? Why do certain wines seem to transport us back to a specific moment? What does Dani love most about having her podcast, Family Secrets?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Dani Shapiro Dani Shapiro is the author of eleven books, and the host and creator of the hit podcast Family Secrets. Her most recent novel, Signal Fires, was named a best book of 2022 by Time Magazine, Washington Post, Amazon, and others, and is a national bestseller. Her most recent memoir, Inheritance, was an instant New York Times Bestseller, and named a best book of 2019 by Elle, Vanity Fair, Wired, and Real Simple. Dani’s work has been published in fourteen languages and she’s currently developing Signal Fires for its television adaptation. Dani’s book on the process and craft of writing, Still Writing, is being reissued on the occasion of its tenth anniversary in 2023. She occasionally teaches workshops and retreats, and is the co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/212.
12/21/202239 minutes, 40 seconds
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211: Food, Wine and Family Secrets with Dani Shapiro, Bestselling Author of Signal Fires

How can wine and food back memories of more than just the food and drink themselves? Why are so many family secrets associated with food and drink? How has the publishing world changed, and what does it mean for up-and-coming writers?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Dani Shapiro, bestselling author and host of the Family Secrets podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you in the U.S. will win a copy of Dani Shapiro's fabulous new book, Signal Fires.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the book. I’ll select the winners randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights What are Dani’s strongest childhood memories of gathering for family meals? Why did Dani especially love her mother’s brisket? Which important life lesson did Dani learn via a bottle of olive oil from Provence? How does biodynamic winemaking bring an extra layer of care to the process? What’s Dani’s ideal setting for having a glass of wine? Why did Dani fall in love with California’s Thumbprint Cellars’ Cabernet? What makes the sense of smell unique compared to our other senses? Which types of food would Dani pair with Thumbprint Cellars’ Cabernet? How did Dani end up on the path of a writing career? Why does Dani urge young writers to slow down? How has the publishing world changed, and what does it mean for up-and-coming writers? What was the most embarrassing moment of Dani’s writing career? How can you build a successful career in a creative field? What has been the best moment of Dani’s writing career so far? Why did Dani move away from fiction and into the genre of memoir?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621     About Dani Shapiro Dani Shapiro is the author of eleven books, and the host and creator of the hit podcast Family Secrets. Her most recent novel, Signal Fires, was named a best book of 2022 by Time Magazine, Washington Post, Amazon, and others, and is a national bestseller. Her most recent memoir, Inheritance, was an instant New York Times Bestseller, and named a best book of 2019 by Elle, Vanity Fair, Wired, and Real Simple. Dani’s work has been published in fourteen languages and she’s currently developing Signal Fires for its television adaptation. Dani’s book on the process and craft of writing, Still Writing, is being reissued on the occasion of its tenth anniversary in 2023. She occasionally teaches workshops and retreats, and is the co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/211.
12/14/202248 minutes, 9 seconds
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210: Why Pay More for Wine, British Bubbly and Glassware with The Wine Bible's Karen MacNeil

Which new and emerging wine regions should be on your radar to try soon? Why should you pay more for wine? How does glassware change the taste of your wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you who are based in the U.S. are going to win a personally signed copy of Karen MacNeil's terrific new book, The Wine Bible.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the book. I’ll select the winners randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights Which new regions and eras did Karen include in this new edition of The Wine Bible, and why? After the first edition, what important lesson did Karen take away about planning her writing? Why was Greece the most difficult region for Karen to research? How did shipping restrictions make it almost impossible for Karen to sample Canadian wines? What tragic outcome awaits Vitis vinifera if climate change continues on its current trajectory? What can we do as wine buyers to help mitigate the impact of climate change? Why should you pay more for wine? Which historic food and wine pairings did Karen discover? What's Karen’s favourite weird wine and food pairing? Why did Karen create her Flavor First™ Wine Glasses? Which controversial take does Karen have on wine glasses and food pairing? Why does Karen have a glass of Champagne every night? How does Karen ensure she’s drinking and tasting mindfully? Which political figures would Karen love to share a bottle of wine with?   Key Takeaways I love the new and emerging wine regions Karen puts on your radar to try, like sparkling wine from England. She makes a great case for paying more for wine, especially when you do an apples-to-apples comparison between the cost of that overpriced latte and a glass of wine. She’s right that we can’t want to drink super inexpensively and want our wine to be organic, biodynamic, and as natural as it can be at the same time. It doesn't compute financially. I’m intrigued to try her line of glassware based on flavour rather than grape.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Karen MacNeil One of the foremost wine experts in the United States, Karen MacNeil is the only American to have won every major wine award given in the English Language. In a full-page profile on her, Time magazine called Karen, “America’s Missionary of the Vine.” Karen is the author of the award-winning book THE WINE BIBLE, the single bestselling wine book in the United States, with more than 800,000 copies sold.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/210.
12/7/202245 minutes, 59 seconds
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209: Creating The Wine Bible: Behind-the-Scenes with Author Karen MacNeil

What did it take to create The Wine Bible, a 700-page masterwork on wine? What makes The Wine Bible so different from other popular wine tomes? How did the pandemic make it much harder to research and write this latest edition of this book and what creative methods did the author use to overcome those obstacles?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you who are based in the U.S. are going to win a personally signed copy of Karen MacNeil's terrific new book, The Wine Bible.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the book. I’ll select the winners randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights Why did school become an oasis for Karen in her childhood? When did Karen have her first introduction to wine? What drew Karen to make the move to New York City at 19? How did Karen’s passion for writing keep her motivated through hundreds of rejections? How did Karen make her way into the closed-off, male-dominated world of wine in the 1970s? How did the quest to be a better wine writer lead Karen to move across the country to Napa? Where did the idea for The Wine Bible originate? Why was Karen initially against the name “The Wine Bible”? Why does it take Karen years to publish each new edition of The Wine Bible? What makes The Wine Bible different and more relatable than other popular wine books? What was the hardest thing for Karen to leave out of The Wine Bible? How did COVID make it much harder for Karen to reach the people and wines she needed while working on the third edition of The Wine Bible?   Key Takeaways I loved hearing the behind-the-scenes stories of what it took to create The Wine Bible, especially with so many entries, maps, and illustrations. I know from personal experience that it’s a much different read from other popular wine tomes, more conversational and engaging. Karen is no stranger to overcoming obstacles, and she used that scrappy tenacity to press through the pandemic and complete this major work.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Karen MacNeil One of the foremost wine experts in the United States, Karen MacNeil is the only American to have won every major wine award given in the English Language. In a full-page profile on her, Time magazine called Karen, “America’s Missionary of the Vine.” Karen is the author of the award-winning book THE WINE BIBLE, the single bestselling wine book in the United States, with more than 800,000 copies sold.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/209.
11/30/202245 minutes, 13 seconds
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208: Digital Corks, Tasting Tokens and the Future of Wine Drinking with David Garrett

How do digital corks allow winemakers to participate in the resale of their wines among collectors? What are tasting tokens, and what exciting new experiences do they offer both winemakers and consumers? What new trends and technologies will impact the wines you drink in the future?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing David Garrett, the co-founder of a global non-fungible token (NFT) wine club, Club dVIN.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to win a personally signed copy of David Garrett's gorgeous book, The Winemakers of Paso Robles. This Californian wine region produces amazing wines.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the book. I’ll select the winners randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights How does NFC technology increase the detailed provenance data available for wine? How do digital corks allow winemakers to participate in value creation in the aftermarket? What are tasting tokens, and what exciting new opportunities do they provide for connecting winemakers and consumers? How does NFT technology make it significantly easier to track down wine counterfeiters? What makes Club dVIN’s process more environmentally friendly? How have NFTs been used to raise millions for charity in collaboration with renowned wine critic Robert Parker? Why is 2019 Château Cos D'estournel David’s go-to wine?   Key Takeaways I love the idea that winemakers can participate in the profit from reselling their wines via digital corks. It’s very similar to painters and other artists who should be able to accrue some of the value in secondary markets like auctions. Tasting tokens provide some exciting new experiences for winemakers and consumers to connect more deeply. I enjoyed David’s discussion of other new trends and technologies that will impact the wines we drink in the future.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About David Garrett Since graduating from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, David Garrett has spent more than 25 years in the fields of tech, wine and finance. In 1994, he co-founded IntraACTIVE, a software company that built the original Intranet for the US Navy. After he sold his company in 2004, he co-founded The Vines of Mendoza, developing more than 1,500 acres of vineyard land in Argentina as well as a five -star resort and restaurant. In 2013, he led a group of investors to buy the largest vineyard in Priorat, Spain. Today, he’s the co-founder of Club dVIN, a global non-fungible token (NFT) wine club.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/208.
11/23/202238 minutes, 29 seconds
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207: How Blockchain and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) Will Change How You Buy Wine with David Garrett

Are you curious about how blockchain technology will transform how you buy and collect wine? How do non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, play a role? How can blockchain technology help to prevent counterfeit wines?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing David Garrett, the co-founder of a global non-fungible token (NFT) wine club, Club dVIN.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Why did David make the move from tech to wine? How did meeting Santiago Achával transform David’s understanding of wine? What was it like building a vineyard on virgin land in the Uco Valley in Argentina? Which big lessons did David learn in the 10 years it took to start producing wine at his vineyard? How did David bring a data-oriented approach to winemaking? How did the unique private vineyard estate program at the Vines of Mendoza operate? Where does the biggest problem with counterfeit wine lie? How does blockchain technology help to disincentivize counterfeit wines? What is a blockchain and how does it help to clarify provenance? What’s the relationship between cryptocurrency and a blockchain? What are non-fungible tokens (NFTs)? How do you create an NFT for a bottle of wine? What are the benefits of NFTs for wine?   Key Takeaways David had such a clear and concrete way of explaining how blockchain technology will transform how you buy and collect wine? I also liked his comparisons to buying land or a house with non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. I was glad to hear that blockchain technology may help prevent counterfeit wines.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About David Garrett Since graduating from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, David Garrett has spent more than 25 years in the fields of tech, wine and finance. In 1994, he co-founded IntraACTIVE, a software company that built the original Intranet for the US Navy. After he sold his company in 2004, he co-founded The Vines of Mendoza, developing more than 1,500 acres of vineyard land in Argentina as well as a five -star resort and restaurant. In 2013, he led a group of investors to buy the largest vineyard in Priorat, Spain. Today, he’s the co-founder of Club dVIN, a global non-fungible token (NFT) wine club.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/207.
11/16/202238 minutes, 8 seconds
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206: Minerality in Wine, Great Hybrid Grapes & What Jimi Hendrix Can Teach Winemakers with Aleks Zecevic

Is minerality a flavour or a texture? What does it feel or taste like? Why do wines made from hybrid grapes deserve your attention? What can winemakers learn from Jimi Hendrix?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing Aleks Zecevic, wine writer and host of the Vintners podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How does Ewald Tscheppe of Werlitsch get a unique texture to his wines? How did carrots help Aleks improve his understanding of and appreciation for biodynamic wine? What distinguishes Werlitsch Ex Vero I, II, and III? Which common characteristics will you taste in most wines from Styria, Austria? What will you experience when tasting Werlitsch Ex Vero III? Is minerality a flavour or a texture? What do I especially love about the mouthfeel of Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Syrah? How does Slovenian influence show up in the wines of north east Italy? What is the Carso? How does the terroir come through in Zidarich Vitovska 2017? Why are some grapes called hybrids while other crossed varieties are not? Why are hybrid grapes increasing in popularity? What makes Vitis vinifera more susceptible to disease and environmental damage? Why are hybrid grapes more environmentally friendly and better suited for climate change? What can winemakers learn from Jimi Hendrix? Why does Aleks connect with vinyl records more than digital music? What’s the mission behind the Vintners platform?   Key Takeaways I thought Aleks’ explanation of how minerality affects both flavour and texture helpful. Wines made from hybrid grapes will increasingly become part of our drinking menu both due to climate change as well as their improved taste and diversity of flavours. I loved his tip on what winemakers can learn from Jimi Hendrix.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Aleks Zecevic Aleks Zecevic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and emigrated to New York City to study journalism at New York University. After graduating, he completed WSET courses and worked at the Wine Spectator, becoming one of the lead tasters at the magazine. He joined the renowned auction house Sotheby’s as a fine wine specialist. Currently, he reviews Austrian wines for Wine Enthusiast and is part of the newly founded Vintners platform, where he creates content and hosts the Vintner’s podcast.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/206.
11/9/202239 minutes, 23 seconds
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205: Wine Spectator and Sotheby's Auction House Dream Jobs with Aleks Zecevic

What's it like to work at the prestigious Wine Spectator magazine and Sotheby’s fine wine auction house? How can you distinguish real wine from fakes? What’s the secret to putting together the perfect wine flight?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing Aleks Zecevic, wine writer and host of the Vintners podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What is Vouvray, France, famous for in the world of wine? What was it like to taste the “Victory Vintage” at François Pinon with the winemaker who made the wine in 1945? How did Aleks realize he wanted to be a wine writer? What’s the secret to putting together the perfect wine flight? What’s it like to work at the prestigious Wine Spectator magazine? What does it take to go from tasting coordinator to a reviewer at Wine Spectator? How did Aleks hone his wine-tasting skills before he became a reviewer? Which aspects of the vineyards make Premier Cru different from Grand Cru? What was the reaction from the wine industry once Aleks was the lead reviewer for several wine regions? Why did Aleks leave Wine Spectator to become a fine wine specialist at Sotheby’s? What did Aleks look for when examining high-end wine collections as a fine wine inspector? How high do auction sales go for rare wines from wineries like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti? Why do regulatory bodies create region-specific wine rules through wine-of-origin laws? Why don’t some newer wines qualify to get their designation of origin? How do these wine-of-origin laws put some high-quality producers at a disadvantage?   Key Takeaways I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at Alek’s wine dream jobs with the Wine Spectator magazine and Sotheby’s fine wine auction. He had some helpful tips on distinguishing real wine from fakes. I agree with his tips on putting together flights of wine, from lightest to heaviest. I thought it was interesting that Grand Cru vineyards don’t have a lot of topsoil and thus, the berries have more concentration and the wine has more complexity.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Aleks Zecevic Aleks Zecevic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and emigrated to New York City to study journalism at New York University. After graduating, he completed WSET courses and worked at the Wine Spectator, becoming one of the lead tasters at the magazine. He joined the renowned auction house Sotheby’s as a fine wine specialist. Currently, he reviews Austrian wines for Wine Enthusiast and is part of the newly founded Vintners platform, where he creates content and hosts the Vintner’s podcast.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/205.
11/2/202247 minutes, 35 seconds
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204: Canadian Wines, Grapes & Styles with Drink Adventures' James Atkinson

Is Icewine the major part of Canada’s wine industry? How does Icewine compare to other dessert wines like Sauternes? How has climate change impacted Canadian winemaking?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by James Atkinson, drinks journalist and host of the Drinks Adventures podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Is Icewine still a major part of Canada’s wine industry? What makes the process of harvesting grapes for Icewine so unique? How does Icewine compare to other dessert wines like Sauternes? How has the Canadian wine industry evolved over the years since the opening of our first commercial winery in the late 70s? Where are the most established wine regions and varieties in Canada? Which unique Canadian signature elements will you recognize compared to Old World wines? How has climate change impacted Canadian winemaking? Why did I start Unreserved Wine Talk? What have been some of my highlights from the past four years of conversations on the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast? How is my upcoming memoir different from my first two books? Which darker aspects of the wine industry do I explore in my memoir? Are Australian wines popular in Canada?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About James Atkinson James Atkinson is the creator of the Drinks Adventures podcast and winner of Best Podcast at the Australian Wine Communicator Awards 2021. A lover of all fine drinks, James was previously editor of Australian Brews News and drinks industry publication TheShout. A Certified Cicerone® (beer sommelier) and two-time winner of the Australian International Beer Awards prize for Best Media, James has judged at several prestigious beer competitions. As a journalist, he has contributed to publications including The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Halliday, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Good Food, Selector and more.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/204.
10/26/202226 minutes, 4 seconds
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203: Wine & Global Weirding, Canadian Wine and New Regions with Brian Freedman

As a wine lover, what can you do to help mitigate the impact of climate change? Why do many experts consider the phrase “global warming” a big marketing mistake? How is climate change pushing the boundaries of where great wine comes from?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing Brian Freedman, wine and spirits educator and author of Crushed: How a Changing Climate Is Altering the Way We Drink.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to win a personally signed copy of Brian Freedman's terrific new book, Crushed: How a Changing Climate Is Altering the Way We Drink. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the bottle. I’ll select the winners randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights What surprised Brian about the impact of climate change on the world of spirits? Why do many experts consider the phrase “global warming” a big marketing mistake? How does climate change disproportionately impact those who can least afford it? Why is a long-term planning horizon essential in the wine industry? What does it mean for a wine to “channel the ineffable truth of a vineyard”? Which rich, complex aromas and flavour notes can you expect from Kutch Pinot Noir 2016? Why do I especially love Sperling Vineyards Speritz Pet-Nat of the various Pet-Nats I’ve tried? What fascinating long wine history exists in the Judean Hills, Israel? How does Shiloh Secret Reserve Petit Verdot 2018 highlight the diversity and range of the Israeli wine industry? Why is it so important to keep an open mind about wine? How is climate change pushing the boundaries of where great wine comes from? How will Crushed help you to broaden your palate? What impact has Brian seen with climate change on Canadian wine? What’s Brian’s prognosis for the future of the wine industry? Who are the two people Brian would most want to be able to share a bottle of wine with? Which inspirational wine message would Brian put on a billboard?   Key Takeaways I loved Brian’s practical tips for what we can do, as wine lovers, to help mitigate the impact of climate change. I agree with him that the phrase “global warming” is a big marketing mistake. Global weirding is much better in describing the extreme weather events we’re experiencing around the planet. I found Brian’s insights into how climate change is pushing the boundaries of where great wine comes from fascinating.   About Brian Freedman Brian Freedman is a wine, spirits, travel, and food writer, restaurant and beverage consultant, and wine and spirits educator. He regularly contributes to Food & Wine, Forbes.com, Whisky Advocate, and SevenFifty Daily, and has contributed to Travel + Leisure, The Bourbon Review, and more. He also hosted wine and spirit pairing segments on the CNN Airport Network. Freedman has traveled extensively throughout the world and the United States to experience the food, drink, and culture for his work. He lives outside of Philadelphia.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/203.
10/19/202242 minutes, 59 seconds
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202: "Crushed: How a Changing Climate Is Altering the Way We Drink" with Brian Freedman

Are you curious about the deeper, less obvious impacts of climate change on wine? How is it different from the impact on our food? What are Israeli winemakers doing to bring back a whole ecosystem approach?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing Brian Freedman, wine and spirits educator and author of Crushed: How a Changing Climate Is Altering the Way We Drink.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three of you are going to win a personally signed copy of Brian Freedman's terrific new book, Crushed: How a Changing Climate Is Altering the Way We Drink. To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the bottle. I’ll select the winners randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights What are Brian’s top tips for moving a large wine collection? How did Brian’s father help him learn to appreciate wine's nuances? Which favourite childhood dish would Brian now pair with a Napa Cabernet? Which wine jump-started my wine journey? When did Brian realize he wanted to make wine his career? What embarrassing story did Brian’s daughter share with her class on the first day of preschool? How does Brian’s wife perceive favour differently from most people? What can you expect from Brian’s new book, Crushed: How a Changing Climate Is Altering the Way We Drink? How do you continue to make world-class wines in increasingly desert-like conditions? What are Israeli winemakers doing to bring back the whole ecosystem approach? Why did Brian want to write about the issue of climate change?   Key Takeaways I appreciated how Brian dug into the less obvious impact of climate change or global weirding on wine from freak spring frosts to a persistent wildfire season. He also helped us understand how those changes are different from what’s happening to our food system, especially when winemakers get just once chance each year to get it right. I was fascinated to learn how Israeli winemakers are bringing back a whole ecosystem approach.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Brian Freedman Brian Freedman is a wine, spirits, travel, and food writer, restaurant and beverage consultant, and wine and spirits educator. He regularly contributes to Food & Wine, Forbes.com, Whisky Advocate, and SevenFifty Daily, and has contributed to Travel + Leisure, The Bourbon Review, and more. He also hosted wine and spirit pairing segments on the CNN Airport Network. Freedman has traveled extensively throughout the world and the United States to experience the food, drink, and culture for his work. He lives outside of Philadelphia.       To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/202.
10/12/202242 minutes, 29 seconds
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201: Riesling, the Four-Octave Diva + Austrian Wine Revival with Valerie Kathawala

Why should we change the way we talk about Riesling? How have Austrian and German wines transformed in recent years? How can you pair German-speaking wines with food?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing journalist and co-founder of TRINK magazine, Valerie Kathawala.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How is Skinny Pablo recontextualizing Riesling for younger generations? What happened in Austria’s antifreeze scandal in the mid-80s? How has Austria’s wine industry transformed for the better since that scandal? Has the Blue Nun brand hurt or helped the German wine industry? Why do we need to change how we talk about Riesling? What makes Riesling the perfect deserted island wine? Which unique characteristics will you experience from Beuerer wines? How do the qualities of the Beamsville Bench make it particularly well-suited for growing Riesling? What makes Weingut Bianka und Daniel Schmitt’s Frei.Körper.Kultur Rosé the perfect summer sipper? What controversial opinion does Valerie hold on wine experts? Which defining aromas does Valerie associate with her childhood? How would Valerie now pair one of her favourite childhood food with wine? Why are wine glasses Valerie's favourite wine gadgets? What are Valerie’s favourite wine books? What was the vision behind creating TRINK Magazine?   Key Takeaways I agree with Valerie that we need to change the way we talk about Riesling. It’s so versatile in style, taste, and food pairing potential. It doesn’t deserve to be pigeonholed into outdated stereotypes. I was interested in her insights on how Austrian and German wines have transformed in recent years. I love her tips on how German-speaking wines, especially with their acidity and salinity, give energy to their taste and help them pair well with food.     Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Valerie Kathawala Valerie Kathawala is a freelance journalist focused on the wines of Germany, Austria, South Tyrol, and Switzerland, with a particular interest in biodynamics. She’s a lifelong student of German culture and language and has lived and worked in both Germany and Austria. She crossed over from translation and editorial work at the United Nations to writing about “German-speaking wines” and hasn’t looked back since.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/201.
10/5/202239 minutes, 41 seconds
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200: German-Speaking Wines and Biodynamic Winemaking with Valerie Kathawala

Are you curious about German-speaking wines and which ones you should try? Why is biodynamic winemaking particularly important for viticulture? What’s the real difference between natural wine and biodynamic wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing journalist and co-founder of TRINK magazine, Valerie Kathawala.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What was it like to be a German translator at the UN in the time of the Iraq War? How did Valerie’s interest in language - German in particular - develop? What was the catalyst for Valerie to start her wine journey? How did Valerie’s lifelong love of storytelling and writing show up before her wine career? What made a writing trip to visit Rudi Tossen in the Mosel region of Germany the highlight of Valerie’s wine career so far? What was the most painful mistake of Valerie’s wine career so far? How does Valerie find the balance between connecting with people to get the story while asking the hard questions? What is biodynamic winemaking and why is it particularly important for viticulture? How do biodynamic practices offer some protection against climate change? What are some common misconceptions about biodynamics? Why is biodynamic farming an empowering tool for growers? Where did biodynamic viticulture come from? What are the characteristics of German-speaking wines? How do you know when you have a great story? What was Valerie surprised to learn about the natural wine scene in the Mosel? What’s the difference between natural wine and biodynamic wine? Which German estate played an important role in the resistance movement during World War II? How did a labour scandal spotlight poor practices in the natural wine industry?   Key Takeaways I loved how she described German-speaking wines as sharing a certain mindset, tradition and values, grape varieties, winemaking approaches, geography, and climate. I agree with her that biodynamic winemaking provides an excellent framework for wine growers to keep vines in equilibrium to stay healthy. Her explanation of the differences between natural wine and biodynamic wine was insightful.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Valerie Kathawala Valerie Kathawala is a freelance journalist focused on the wines of Germany, Austria, South Tyrol, and Switzerland, with a particular interest in biodynamics. She’s a lifelong student of German culture and language and has lived and worked in both Germany and Austria. She crossed over from translation and editorial work at the United Nations to writing about “German-speaking wines” and hasn’t looked back since.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/200.
9/28/202244 minutes, 12 seconds
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199: Wine Temperatures and Tasting Tricks with Wines to Find Sandy Dawkins and Michelle Lester

Are you drinking your wine at the wrong temperature? Which wine gadgets will help you explore new wines without overindulging? Why should you breathe out through your nose after sipping wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing by Sandy Dawkins and Michelle Lester, hosts of the Wines To Find podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Which dishes do Sandy and Michelle love to cook and which wines make great pairings? What are the sisters’ all-time favourite wine and food pairings? Where are Sandy and Michelle’s favourite places to enjoy a glass of wine? What makes the tasting experience of Kinero Cellars Alice Grenache Blanc particularly enjoyable? What’s the flavour profile of Sperling Vineyards Pinto Gris? Which foods can you pair with Kinero Cellars Alice Grenache Blanc? Which wine gadgets are Sandy and Michelle’s favourite? What controversial wine opinions do the sisters hold? What were the memorable smells from Sandy and Michelle’s childhood? Which favourite childhood food would Sandy and Michelle now pair with wine? What are Sandy and Michelle’s favourite wine books? How can you choose the right wine to gift? In a dream world, who would Sandy and Michelle want to share a bottle of wine with? Which red wine warning would Sandy and Michelle want to put on a downtown billboard? What are Sandy and Michelle’s top tips for improving your wine enjoyment?   Key Takeaways I loved their tips on drinking wine at the right temperature and breathing out through your nose after you sip it for maximum pleasure. They also had some great suggestions for gadgets will help you explore new wines without overindulging. And I couldn’t agree more that sparkling wine is the perfect wine for gifting as well as pairing with fries.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Sandy Dawkins and Michelle Lester The Wines To Find Podcast was created after the two hosts, sisters Sandy and Michelle, travelled together to France and Italy in 2019. Both sisters are wine enthusiasts that have tracked their wine purchases, palates and pairings for years. As a way to continue the thrill of their European trip and to document their wine journey, they created the Wines To Find Podcast with the goal of spending time together, further growing their palates, and sharing wine stories from guests. Wines To Find features two new wines tasted for the first time by the sisters & guests, who span the spectrum of the wine industry from winemakers, owners, growers, sommeliers, fellow enthusiasts and more.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/199.
9/21/202237 minutes, 17 seconds
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198: Horizontal and Vertical Tastings with Wines to Find Sandy Dawkins and Michelle Lester

What’s the single best thing you can do to improve your tasting skills? How can you discover some unusual but delicious food and wine pairings? How does music change the taste of wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing by Sandy Dawkins and Michelle Lester, hosts of the Wines To Find podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights When did Sandy and Michelle discover their love of wine? How did a trip to European wine country inspire Sandy and Michelle to start the Wines To Find Podcast? How do the sisters use YouTube to give their audience added value? Where did the name “Wines To Find” come from? How do Sandy and Michelle choose new wines to try in each podcast episode? How does the Wines to Find scoring system work? Which online systems does Michelle use to find new wines and wineries she might like? Is there a grape style over which the sisters disagree? Who have been Sandy and Michelle’s favourite Wines To Find guests so far? Can music affect our perception of wine?   Key Takeaways I love their approach to learning about wine through vertical and horizontal tastings, whether that’s picking maybe one grape, but it's grown in different countries, or perhaps go with one region. It's that side-by-side comparison that is so illustrative of the differences between wines. They share some interesting tips on how you discover some unusual but delicious food and wine pairings. I found their insights into how music can change the taste of wine fascinating.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Sandy Dawkins and Michelle Lester The Wines To Find Podcast was created after the two hosts, sisters Sandy and Michelle, travelled together to France and Italy in 2019. Both sisters are wine enthusiasts that have tracked their wine purchases, palates and pairings for years. As a way to continue the thrill of their European trip and to document their wine journey, they created the Wines To Find Podcast with the goal of spending time together, further growing their palates, and sharing wine stories from guests. Wines To Find features two new wines tasted for the first time by the sisters & guests, who span the spectrum of the wine industry from winemakers, owners, growers, sommeliers, fellow enthusiasts and more.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/198.
9/14/202231 minutes, 51 seconds
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197: Detecting Wine Aromas with Candy + Go South for Value with Lori Budd

Which candy-based trick can you use to teach yourself new flavors and aromas? What makes discovering a bargain wine more exciting than luxury wine? What does the tip “go south” mean when it comes to hidden values in wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Lori Budd, winemaker, writer and host of the Exploring The Wine Glass podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What makes finding an amazing bargain wine even more exciting than an expensive wine? Why you should consider going south on your search for a new great wine to try? How do food and wine elevate each other when paired well? Why do I prefer to pair food with wine versus the other way around? What is my favourite food and wine pairing? Which candy-based trick can you use to teach yourself new flavours and aromas? How can you pair wine and chocolate without ending in disaster? What makes technology and wine a perfect pairing? How do my website wine tools and mobile apps make choosing and pairing wine easy? Which luxury wine would I wish to have if I were stranded on a desert island? Why do I love podcasting? Lori’s Opposites Game   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Lori Budd Lori Budd began her career as a microbiologist, but her need for excitement led her into Adventure Education, teaching students how to rock climb, zip line and tie those all important survival knots. Along the way, she fell in love with wine and graduated from the prestigious UC Davis enology program, along with certifications from a number of other wine programs. She and her husband, Michael, own Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles. She’s consumed by the stories that unfold as each glass is poured, and shares those in her award-winning blog and podcast called Exploring the Glass.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/197.
9/7/202241 minutes, 20 seconds
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196: Romantic Poets & Wine and Why Champagne on Ordinary Days with Lori Budd

How does John Keats connect the romantic poets to wine? Why should you consider Champagne for other occasions outside of big celebrations? How do you handle the sting of rejection as an up-and-coming writer?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Lori Budd, winemaker, writer and host of the Exploring The Wine Glass podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How does John Keats connect my studies of romantic poets with my career in wine? What unexpected beauty can you find in cemeteries across the world? Which enduring traits do I attribute to my years of Highland dancing? How did I find my way to wine? What makes wine such a great medium for building connections? Which wine memory stands out the most in my career so far? Why is my love for writing central in everything I do in my career? How do you handle the sting of rejection as an up-and-coming writer? What was it like to be awarded World’s Best Wine Writer? Which unforgettable experiences did I have while researching Red, White, and Drunk All Over? Why is listening to audiobooks now my favourite way to “read”?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Lori Budd Lori Budd began her career as a microbiologist, but her need for excitement led her into Adventure Education, teaching students how to rock climb, zip line and tie those all important survival knots. Along the way, she fell in love with wine and graduated from the prestigious UC Davis enology program, along with certifications from a number of other wine programs. She and her husband, Michael, own Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles. She’s consumed by the stories that unfold as each glass is poured, and shares those in her award-winning blog and podcast called Exploring the Glass.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/196.
8/31/202239 minutes, 26 seconds
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195: Differences Between Aroma and Bouquet and California Pinot Noir with Kerith Overstreet

What’s the difference between aroma and bouquet in wine? How does "bright acidity" taste? Why does Pinot Noir from different regions in California taste dramatically different?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Kerith Overstreet, the winemaker at Bruliam Wines in Sonoma, California and a former medical doctor.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One listener in the U.S. will win a bottle of Bruliam's gorgeous Pinot Noir.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the bottle. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights How do different areas in Sonoma and Monterey counties express themselves in Bruliam Pinot Noir? Which decisions can winemakers make to influence how a Pinot Noir ends up? Where is the Petaluma Gap AVA and how does the climate impact grapes? What does bright acidity mean for your tasting experience? How does the topography of the Mayacamas Mountain Range impact the weather pattern in surrounding grape-growing regions? Why is oxygenation desirable but oxidation to be avoided when it comes to winemaking? What’s the difference between aromas and bouquet in wine? How does Kerith use humour to bring a human element to her wine writing? Which embarrassing encounter led to Kerith’s sourcing her dream Santa Lucia Highlands fruit? What characteristics does Kerith look for when tasting wines? What’s the tasting experience like with 2019 Torrey Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir? Which foods should you try with your next glass of Pinot Noir? How would you describe tasting 2018 Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir? What’s Kerith’s favourite childhood scent memory? Which childhood favourite would Kerith pair with Champagne as an adult? What are Kerith’s favourite wine book and wine gadget? Which wine world celebrities would Kerith love to share a glass of wine with?   Key Takeaways Kerith’s distinction of the differences between aroma and bouquet in wine was helpful, especially that bouquet is anything beyond the grape varietal character. I liked her definition of how "bright acidity" tastes. She gave us a great overview of how and why Pinot Noir from different regions in California taste dramatically different.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Kerith Overstreet Kerith Overstreet is the winemaker at Bruliam Wines. When she was small, her dad used to say, “You can be whatever you want after medical school.” So she did. After completing medical school (U. of Rochester), residency, and two fellowships (UCSD), she thought winemaking sounded more fun.   To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/195.
8/24/202245 minutes, 13 seconds
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194: Zinfandel Pairings, Magical AVAs and Yeast Secrets with Winemaker Kerith Overstreet

Would you like to discover some weird but wonderful food pairings for zinfandel? How can American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) help you find new wines to love? How does yeast have a profound impact on wine’s taste?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Kerith Overstreet, the winemaker at Bruliam Wines in Sonoma, California and a former medical doctor.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway One listener in the U.S. will win a bottle of Bruliam's gorgeous Pinot Noir.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win the bottle. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights Who is Chewie the Marketing Collie? As a student of literature, who are Kerith’s favourite authors? How did Kerith bring her love of the humanities into her medical studies? When did Kerith develop her passion for wine? How did Kerith realize she wanted to shift from being a medical doctor to a winemaker? Are there intersections between Kerith’s science background and her approach as a winemaker? What lessons has winemaking taught Kerith when it comes to her Type A personality? How has the support of fellow winemakers impacted Kerith’s journey? Why does Kerith love experimenting with yeast? What is the inoculation process in winemaking? What types of experiments does Kerith do in the winemaking process? How did the name “Bruliam” come about? What roles do Kerith and her husband, Brian, have at Bruliam? Which features of Rockpile make the biggest impact in their wines? Which creative route did Kerith take to getting access to Rockpile Zinfandel? Which delicious treat should you try dunked in a glass of Zinfandel? Which unusual but simple wine and food pairings should you try next? How do customers feature as the highlight of Kerith’s career so far?   Key Takeaways I loved Kerith’s pairing suggestions for zinfandel. They’re on my list to try this week. She shares a great overview of how American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)can help us find the particular styles of wine we love. Kerith even manages to make yeast interesting as she lets us know its profound impact on wine’s taste.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Kerith Overstreet Kerith Overstreet is the winemaker at Bruliam Wines. When she was small, her dad used to say, “You can be whatever you want after medical school.” So she did. After completing medical school (U. of Rochester), residency, and two fellowships (UCSD), she thought winemaking sounded more fun.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/194.
8/17/202243 minutes, 45 seconds
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193: Iconic Wisconsin Cheeses, Wine & Beta Readers with Author Joy Ribar

Why is Wisconsin the most famous state in the US for its cheeses and what do they produce? Which iconic, delicious Wisconsin cheeses should you try? What is a beta reader and why would you want to become one?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Joy Ann Ribar, author of the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three listeners are going to win a personally signed copy of Joy Ann Ribar's fabulous mystery books set in wine country.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy.. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights What’s Frankie Champagne’s favourite type of wine? Which surprising insights has Joy discovered in her wine research? Why should you consider Wisconsin for your next visit to wine country? How did Joy end up doing over 80 events online and in person to promote her Deep Lakes series? How big is the Wisconsin cheese industry and why are the number of dairy farms on the decline? Which iconic and innovative Wisconsin cheeses should you try? What are some of the fun celebrations you can participate in around Wisconsin during Dairy Month? What’s a beta reader and why are they important? Why are beta readers still essential when you have a professional editor? What’s behind the recent rise in reading and popularity of book clubs? Why are stories such a catalyst for deep conversation? Which aspects of my upcoming memoir did Joy connect with the most as a beta reader? What can beta readers do beyond reading?   Key Takeaways I had no idea just how much cheese Wisconsin produces and the range and variety of cheeses. Seven thousand dairy farms, wow. I love Joy’s suggestions for which cheeses we should try from the state. I’d love to try the cave cheddar with its earthy notes and compare it to traditional British cheddar. I’d pair the cheeses with a firm cabernet or vintage port. I hope our beta reader discussion will encourage you to become one. Just let me know.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Joy Ann Ribar Joy Ann Ribar pens the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series at home in central Wisconsin. Joy’s life history is a cocktail of careers, including news reporter, paralegal, English educator, and college writing instructor. Her hobbies include baking, exploring the outdoors, and wine research. Joy infuses this mixture into her main character, Frankie Champagne, adding a special blend of sass and humour. Her writing is inspired by Wisconsin’s four distinct seasons, natural beauty, and kind-hearted, but sometimes quirky, people. Joy holds a BA in Journalism from UW-Madison and an MS in Education from UW-Oshkosh..She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Blackbird Writers, and Wisconsin Writers Association. Joy and her husband, John, someday plan to sell their house, buy an RV, and travel around the U.S. spreading good cheer and hygge! Joy is currently working on the next mystery in the Deep Lakes Cozy series: Deep Dire Harvest, coming in 2022.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/193.  
8/10/202247 minutes, 31 seconds
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192: Cozy Mysteries in Wine Country + Wisconsin Wines with Author Joy Ribar

Would you like to hear about some fabulous mystery books that are set in wine country? What is it about books that encourage deep connections with readers? Are you curious about Wisconsin wines? Why are the state's wine region a beautiful place to visit?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Joy Ann Ribar, author of the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway Three listeners are going to win a personally signed copy of Joy Ann Ribar's fabulous mystery books set in wine country.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you’d like to win a copy.. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. Good luck!   Highlights Why did Joy decide to start writing mystery novels after retiring from teaching? What have been the best and worst moments of Joy’s writing career so far? What is it about books that encourage deep connections with readers? How did community theatre lead to Joy’s love for the wine world? What is a cozy mystery? Why are small towns the perfect setting for a cozy mystery? How did Agatha Christie pave the way for the next generation of women writers? How does Joy navigate the dark world of mystery writing research? What wine-themed murders might Joy include in her upcoming books? What is Joy’s Deep Lakes cozy mystery series about? How does the lead character, Frankie Champagne’s, winery evolve over the series? What’s the climate like in Wisconsin? What are the key hallmarks of Wisconsin winemaking? Which innovative ways have winemakers found for dealing with troublesome starlings?   Key Takeaways I loved learning about what differentiates a cozy mystery from other types of mysteries. Who knew there were so many sub-genres? I love that Joy’s novels are set in wine country. I didn’t know much about Wisconsin wines until I spoke to Joy. Now I’m curious to try them, and more so to visit such a beautiful state.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Joy Ann Ribar Joy Ann Ribar pens the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series at home in central Wisconsin. Joy’s life history is a cocktail of careers, including news reporter, paralegal, English educator, and college writing instructor. Her hobbies include baking, exploring the outdoors, and wine research. Joy infuses this mixture into her main character, Frankie Champagne, adding a special blend of sass and humour. Her writing is inspired by Wisconsin’s four distinct seasons, natural beauty, and kind-hearted, but sometimes quirky, people. Joy holds a BA in Journalism from UW-Madison and an MS in Education from UW-Oshkosh. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Blackbird Writers, and Wisconsin Writers Association. Joy and her husband, John, someday plan to sell their house, buy an RV, and travel around the U.S. spreading good cheer and hygge! Joy is currently working on the next mystery in the Deep Lakes Cozy series: Deep Dire Harvest, coming in 2022.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/192.
8/3/202241 minutes, 48 seconds
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191: Why Open That Special Bottle Tonight + Smell's Role in a Full Life with Jim Duane

Why should you open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving? What makes Icewine such a difficult and expensive wine to produce? Why is the sense of smell such an important part of living a full life?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Jim Duane, winemaker and host of the Inside Winemaking Podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Where are the major wine regions in Canada? What makes Icewine such a tricky wine to produce? Why is there so little Canadian wine in the US? What’s the response to US wine in Canada? How can you learn more about food and wine pairing with my free material? Which dishes pair well with California Grenache? What are the most common questions I get from wine newcomers? Why should you open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving? What are the most memorable aromas from my childhood?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jim Duane Jim Duane studied biology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington then worked at Brancott Vineyards in New Zealand. Hauling rocks in the vineyard, he says, helped him get ready for graduate school at the renowned University of California at Davis oenology program. In 2004, he moved to Napa where he’s been ever since. Jim is now the winemaker at Seavey Vineyard in California's Napa Valley. Prior to that, he worked at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Robert Mondavi Winery. In 2014, he launched a podcast called Inside Winemaking, which is ranked one of the most popular wine podcasts. In 2021, he launched Terratorium Wines as a direct result of his podcast and winemaking classes. Jim and his wife Erin have two daughters that keep them busy. Recently, he notes, they logged four pulled-teeth in a 36-hour period.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/191.
7/27/202233 minutes, 47 seconds
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190: Wine Stories, Food Pairings, and Canadian Wines with Inside Winemaking's Jim Duane

What is it really like to be a wine industry insider? How can stories help you to learn? What makes Riesling one of the most food-friendly wines?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Jim Duane, winemaker and host of the Inside Winemaking Podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What was my path from high-tech marketer to wine writer? How can you find out what it’s really like to be on the inside of the wine industry? What can you expect from my upcoming third book? How can novices and experts benefit from my online food and wine pairing classes? Which types of food can you best pair with an off-dry Riesling? How can you use the food and wine matching tool on my website to plan your next wine-paired dinner? What do you need to know about Canadian wine?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jim Duane Jim Duane studied biology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington then worked at Brancott Vineyards in New Zealand. Hauling rocks in the vineyard, he says, helped him get ready for graduate school at the renowned University of California at Davis oenology program. In 2004, he moved to Napa where he’s been ever since. Jim is now the winemaker at Seavey Vineyard in California's Napa Valley. Prior to that, he worked at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Robert Mondavi Winery. In 2014, he launched a podcast called Inside Winemaking, which is ranked one of the most popular wine podcasts. In 2021, he launched Terratorium Wines as a direct result of his podcast and winemaking classes. Jim and his wife Erin have two daughters that keep them busy. Recently, he notes, they logged four pulled-teeth in a 36-hour period.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/190.
7/20/202229 minutes, 58 seconds
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189: Cracking the DaVino Code with Wine Economist, Mike Veseth

Did you know there’s a triple crisis in the battle for the soul of wine right now? Why do you need to master the DaVino Code? What makes some of the claims on “better for you” wines misleading?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author and editor of The Wine Economist newsletter, Mike Veseth.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What happened during “wine’s lost decade”? Which main factors have contributed to the declining global wine market? What might surprise you about the brand behind White Claw Hard Seltzer? Which environmental and social factors have led to a triple crisis in the wine industry? How did Mike imagine the wine wars playing out in Wine Wars II? What’s the story behind Bellissima by Christie Brinkley? What makes some of the claims on “better for you” wines misleading? Which lessons can wine producers learn from the deconstruction of the soul of milk? What’s the tasting experience like for Bellissima wines? Why should you consider trying Creekside Cabernet Merlot? What is the DaVino code? How does the DaVino code keep out potential new wine buyers? What do you need to know about the battle between Martians and Wagnerians? Which wine would Mike love to be able to share with Mark Twain? Why is Mike a big advocate for drinking locally? Which wine would Mike want to be served at his funeral and why?   Key Takeaways Mike illuminates the triple crisis in the battle for the soul of wine right now with great examples. I love his concept of the DaVino Code for better understanding wine. He makes a great point about why some of the claims on “better for you” wines are so misleading.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Mike Veseth Mike Veseth is editor of The Wine Economist newsletter (WineEconomist.com) and author of more than a dozen books including Wine Wars (2011), Around the World in Eighty Wines (2018) and Wine Wars II: The Global Battle for the Soul of Wine (2022). He is a sought-after speaker at wine industry meetings both in the United States and around the world. Veseth’s writings on wine and globalization have been widely praised. Globaloney was selected as a Best Business Book of 2005. Wine Wars was chosen a Best Wine Book of 2011. The Wine Economist was named Best Wine Blog by Gourmand International in 2015. Money, Taste, and Wine: It’s Complicated received the 2016 Gourmand International award for Best Wine Writing. Around the World in Eighty Wines was named one of the 100 best wine books of all time by BookAuthority.org.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/189.
7/13/202236 minutes, 21 seconds
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188: The 3 Biggest Forces Changing Your Wine Now with Mike Veseth, author of Wine Wars II: The Global Battle for the Soul of Wine

Which three forces have shaped the evolution of the modern wine market more than any others? What is a wine economist? How have the wine industry and wine buyers evolved in the past 10 years? How does that impact the wines you drink?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author and editor of The Wine Economist newsletter, Mike Veseth.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What is a wine economist? How did a budget vacation start Mike on the path of becoming a wine economist? How do the three main forces outlined in Wine Wars shape global wine? How does the natural wine movement act as a push-back force in the industry? What is a terroirist? What fascinating new stories will you read about in Wine Wars II? Which wine buyer insights were uncovered through Project Genome and how did it impact the industry? Why is it a bad idea to paint all celebrity wine with a broad brush? Which wine brands have leaned heavily into their image and seen huge success? What did Mike learn about silk road terroirists in writing Wine Wars II? Why are there so many terroirists in the Republic of Georgia? Who is Chinese wine for? How has Chinese wine evolved and what impact did the pandemic have on domestic consumption?   Key Takeaways I found it interesting how globalization at one end of the spectrum and terrorists at the other end are having a profound impact on the style and type of wine we drink now. Mike gives us great insights into what a wine economist does. The wine industry and buyers changed so much in the past 10 years.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Mike Veseth Mike Veseth is editor of The Wine Economist newsletter (WineEconomist.com) and author of more than a dozen books including Wine Wars (2011), Around the World in Eighty Wines (2018) and Wine Wars II: The Global Battle for the Soul of Wine (2022). He is a sought-after speaker at wine industry meetings both in the United States and around the world. Veseth’s writings on wine and globalization have been widely praised. Globaloney was selected as a Best Business Book of 2005. Wine Wars was chosen a Best Wine Book of 2011. The Wine Economist was named Best Wine Blog by Gourmand International in 2015. Money, Taste, and Wine: It’s Complicated received the 2016 Gourmand International award for Best Wine Writing. Around the World in Eighty Wines was named one of the 100 best wine books of all time by BookAuthority.org.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/188.
7/6/202243 minutes, 11 seconds
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187: Oregon's Undiscovered White Wines & How Soil Changes Wine Taste with Eugenia Keegan

How has Oregon white wine evolved since it was first produced? Which elements make up the “classic Oregon” style of wine? How do different types of soil express themselves in wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with entrepreneur and winemaker, Eugenia Keegan.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How has Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve driven the growth of Jackson Family Wines? What’s the story behind Oregon’s white wine evolution? What makes WillaKenzie Estate like a little piece of Burgundy? Which elements make up the “classic Oregon” style? How do the two main types of soil at WillaKenzie Estate express themselves in the wine? What’s the tasting experience like for WillaKenzie Estate 2019 Pinot Noir? How does it compare to the Penner-Ash 2019 Pinot Noir? What does it mean for a wine to be full-bodied based on structure? Why do winemakers have to be careful not to over-manipulate? What’s the ideal setting for drinking wine? How can you find the right balance of wine when it comes to your health? What’s Eugenia’s relaxed perspective on wine and food pairing? Which wine books are Eugenia’s favourites? Which historical figures would Eugenia have loved to share a bottle of wine with?   Key Takeaways We hear so much about Oregon pinot noir, so I was fascinated with how Oregon white wine has evolved since it was first produced. Eugenia offers a great explanation of which elements make up the “classic Oregon” style of wine. I also enjoyed learning how different types of soil express themselves in wine.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Eugenia Keegan A fifth-generation Sonoma County native, Eugenia Keegan is recognized for her excellence in the wine industry as both a winemaker and a business executive. Today, she serves as General Manager and Vice President of Oregon Winery Operations and Business Development for Jackson Family Wines (JFW), leading a portfolio of prestigious Pinot Noir houses such as Penner-Ash, WillaKenzie, and Gran Moraine.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/187.
6/29/202244 minutes, 56 seconds
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186: Oregon Wines, History and Future with Eugenia Keegan of Jackson Family Wines

Are you curious about what makes Oregon unique from other wine regions? How could climate change impact winemaking? What can we learn from the youngest generation in the wine industry?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Eugenia Keegan, a winemaker and pioneering legend in the wine industry.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What was Eugenia’s most memorable moment growing up on a farm? Why does Eugenia prefer to start her mornings in the vineyard? Which wine would Eugenia pair with some of her favourite childhood foods? Why did Eugenia leave her career in the film industry? Where did Eugenia’s interest in wine come from? Why does Eugenia say we’ve been farming wrong for the last 100 years? What has been the best moment of Eugenia’s wine career so far? What worries Eugenia most as a winemaker? Which aspect of her career does Eugenia love most? What can we learn from the youngest generation in the wine industry?   Key Takeaways She really illustrates how Oregon is unique from other wine regions in its climate, geography, history and wine focus. Eugenia gets at the heart of how climate change may impact winemaking and wine styles. I love her take on what we can learn from younger generations in the wine industry.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Eugenia Keegan A fifth-generation Sonoma County native, Eugenia is recognized for her excellence in the wine industry as both a winemaker and a business executive. Today, she serves as General Manager and Vice President of Oregon Winery Operations and Business Development for Jackson Family Wines (JFW), leading a portfolio of prestigious Pinot Noir houses such as Penner-Ash, WillaKenzie, and Gran Moraine. Her path to Oregon may not have been conventional, but it’s certainly been remarkable. Along the way, Eugenia built a reputation for her keen business sense, advocacy, and dedication to mentorship and community. Eugenia Keegan joined Jackson Family Wines (JFW) in 2013 to head up the company’s fast-growing Oregon portfolio. As General Manager, Keegan oversees JFW’s holdings in the Willamette Valley: Gran Moraine, Zena Crown, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars and Willakenzie Estate wineries. She also supervises Willamette Valley winemaking for Sonoma-based Siduri and La Crema. Actively civic-minded, Keegan is the chair emerita of the board of directors of the Oregon Wine Board, and serves on the boards of the Oregon Winegrowers Association and the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, the Chemeketa Wine Advisory Committee, and the Linfield Wine Education Advisory Council.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/186.
6/22/202235 minutes, 37 seconds
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The Shape and Sound of Taste with Nell McShane Wulfhart

How does telling your dinner party guests a few details about the wine you're serving dramatically change their perception of its taste? How does the shape of a restaurant table impact how much you eat, and which types of songs can make your Pinot Noir or other wines tastes more acidic?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with journalist Nell McShane Wulfhart.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What’s the difference between taste and flavour? How do supertasters experience taste and flavour differently from others? What impact does our knowledge of a specific wine have on the tasting experience? What simple strategy can we use to improve our dinner party guests’ experience? How do extrasensory cues impact flavour and enjoyment? Why does Nell recommend adding a squeeze of limes or lemons to food or water? Why do ice cream companies add certain scents inside their packaging? What effect does loud music or noise have on your sense of taste? Should you serve your best wine first or last at a dinner party? Why should you consider serving two wines at the same time? How can you help guests to feel more comfortable at a gathering? How can you use lighting throughout a party to influence guests’ experiences? What fun activity can you try with wine tasting and different types of music? Why does music have a bigger impact on complex beverages like coffee and wine? How can you use your music playlist to complement your menu? Why do our palate and preferences change when we’re on a plane? Can we hear the difference between various types of beverages just from the sound of the pour? Why are white wine glasses better than flutes for drinking bubbly? How does the shape of the table in a restaurant affect our dining experience? What should you consider when selecting a glass for a particular beverage? How do the shape and texture of food affect how satisfied you feel? What’s the relationship between weight and perception of quality? Which wine bottle characteristics make the most impact on wine buyers? How do health claims on food and wine packaging influence our perception? How is scent marketing being used outside of the food and beverage industry?   About Nell McShane Wulfhart Nell McShane Wulfhart is a journalist from Philadelphia, currently based in Uruguay. She's a former New York Times columnist and frequent contributor. Nell also writes for Travel + Leisure, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, The Wall Street Journal, and T Magazine, to name just a few of many.     To learn more, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/blog/podcast/the-shape-and-sound-of-taste-with-nell-mcshane-wulfhart/.
6/16/202253 minutes, 17 seconds
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185: Inventive Food & Wine Pairing and Buying Tips with Guy Bower of The Good Life Show

What exactly makes the sense of smell so evocative? How can you play with food and wine pairing to discover new flavours? What can you do to de-risk your exploration of new wines?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Guy Bower, host of The Good Life podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights When did I discover my appreciation for wine? What makes the senses of smell and taste so evocative? Why do I love feeling like an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to wine? How has the wine world changed and why am I an unwavering advocate of making it feel more accessible? If I could only have one wine, what would it be? Which shabby-chic food and wine pairing should you try next? Which weird wine pairing surprised me with how good it is? How can you play with food and wine pairing? What can you do to de-risk your exploration of new wines?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wed at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Guy Bower & The Good Life The Good Life podcast is hosted by Guy Bower. Guy is a retired Air Force fighter pilot and recently retired Airbus A300 Captain for FedEx. Throughout his career in the military, which involved many years living and travelling in Europe, he has been a dedicated food and wine enthusiast and home chef. Associated with the radio program, Guy regularly attends major national wine events, seminars and tastings as an enthusiast, participant and judge. He has authored many articles on the enjoyment of Food, Wine and the “Good Life” – and is called on often to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with wine appreciation classes, wait-staff training, and educational tastings and seminars. Guy is a Level-1 Sommelier and teaches several wine appreciation classes at Wichita State University each semester. The Good Life radio program began in Miami in 1988, on WKAT 1360AM. In 1990, a military move to Kansas brought The Good Life to the Midwest. The program has been on KNSS 1330/98.7 – Saturdays, since the fall of 1991. The Good Life allows Guy to share his enjoyment of food, wine and travel from the “everyman” perspective. The emphasis is on wine and food enjoyment without snobbery. The program consists of live interviews with chefs, cookbook authors, winemakers and anyone involved with food, wine and the Good Life. In 1992, Guy was instrumental in starting the Wichita Chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food. He was the Chairman of the Chapter for the first 3 years and has served three other non-consecutive terms as chair. He was actively involved in starting the Midwest Winefest and the Midwest Beerfest here in Wichita.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/185.
6/15/202232 minutes, 23 seconds
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184: Prosecco's Success Story (and Snob Disdain) with Stevie Kim of Vinitaly

How did Prosecco lead the way for many people discovering Italian wines, and then why did it get so much hate? How can "Mamma Jumbo Shrimp" help you as a wine lover? Is food or wine the main protagonist of most meals?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with the founder of Vinitaly and host of the Italian Wine Podcast, Stevie Kim.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What’s the best way for you to find Italian wines you might love? Why does Prosecco get so much hate from wine snobs? What are the different types of Prosecco available now? Why are Etna DOC wines so popular right now? Where did the “Jumbo Shrimp” name come from? How does Stevie’s brand “Mamma Jumbo Shrimp” help wine lovers? What is Stevie’s controversial perspective on food and wine pairing? How would Stevie pair her favourite childhood food with wine? What’s Stevie’s top tip for wine lovers?   Key Takeaways The story of Prosecco’s success in helping many people discover Italian wines, and then its plunge into ridicule by snobs has so many parallels in the wine world (think Chardonnay and Merlot) and beyond (think of certain movie stars and singers). Fortunately, there’s incredible value in this sparkling wine and it will persist, or you could say my love for it will go on and on. I love the concept of "Mamma Jumbo Shrimp" to help wine lovers understand Italian wines. Despite Stevie making a strong case for food being the main protagonist of the meal, I remain a wine-first kinda gal just like I buy the earrings, then the outfit.   About Stevie Kim Stevie Kim was born in Korea and raised in the United States. Today, she lives in Verona, Italy. She attended the New York University – Leonard N. Stern School of Business. After settling in Italy, she obtained an MBA at Bocconi University, School of Economics and Management. Later, she achieved a postgraduate specialization in Wealth Management at the University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School. Stevie is currently studying for her WSET Diploma, from the Weinakademie Österreich in Rust, Austria. As Managing Director of Vinitaly International, Stevie Kim has launched and now coordinates a series of new initiatives connected to the Vinitaly brand. As a Professional Wine Groupie, Stevie is always seeking innovative ways to communicate Italian wine – with a strong creative emphasis on social media and educational platforms. In 2017, Stevie produced the Italian Wine Podcast, the first podcast in English dedicated exclusively to Italian wine and its personalities. She also carries out various editorial projects, one of the latest being The Jumbo Shrimp Guide to Italian Wine and The Jumbo Shrimp Guide to International Grape Varieties in Italy. The books are reference guides, designed to simplify the complex world of Italian wine. Last year, Stevie started her On The Road Edition travels to wineries and regions across Italy, airing every week on the Mamma Jumbo Shrimp YouTube channel.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/184.
6/8/202233 minutes, 18 seconds
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183: Italian Wines and Wine Competitions with Vinitaly's Stevie Kim

How can you learn more about the diverse regions and styles of Italian wine? What's the difference in impact between wine competitions and critic scores? And how do they influence the wines you buy and drink?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with the founder of Vinitaly and host of the Italian Wine Podcast, Stevie Kim.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How did Stevie end up living in Verona, Italy? Which rosé wine piqued Stevie’s interest in diving into Italian wines? What was the inspiration for creating Vinitaly? How did Stevie adapt her business during the pandemic? What is Vinitaly? Who is Vinitaly geared towards and what kind of experience should you expect? What is OperaWine? How do wine competitions compare to wine scoring by critics? What makes the OperaWine rating process so selective? How does the individualistic nature of Italians show up in Italian wine? Why are Italian wines sometimes confusing for consumers to navigate?   Key Takeaways I was fascinated with her points on the differences in impact between wine competitions and critic scores. The range and diversity of Italian regions and wine styles can seem overwhelming. I love Stevie’s approach to making them accessible and memorable. I’ve added several more obscure Italian wines to my list to try next.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Stevie Kim As Managing Director of Vinitaly International, Stevie Kim has launched and now coordinates a series of new initiatives connected to the Vinitaly brand. As a Professional Wine Groupie, Stevie is always seeking innovative ways to communicate Italian wine – with a strong creative emphasis on social media and educational platforms. In 2017, Stevie produced the Italian Wine Podcast, the first podcast in English dedicated exclusively to Italian wine and its personalities. Now in its fourth year of regular broadcasts, the show published its 770th episode on January 31, 2022. She also carries out various editorial projects, one of the latest being The Jumbo Shrimp Guide to Italian Wine and The Jumbo Shrimp Guide to International Grape Varieties in Italy. The books are reference guides, designed to simplify the complex world of Italian wine. Last year, Stevie started her On The Road Edition travels to wineries and regions across Italy, airing every week on the Mamma Jumbo Shrimp YouTube channel.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/183.
6/1/202235 minutes, 43 seconds
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182: Cabernet Franc, California's Paso Robles & High Acidity Wines with Lori Budd

Are you curious about why Cabernet Franc should have just as much respect from you as a wine lover, if not more than Cabernet Sauvignon? What makes wines from California's Paso Robles region unique? Why is it easy to fall in love with wines that have high acidity?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with winemaker, writer and podcast host, Lori Budd.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What does it mean to be an alternating proprietorship winery versus a crush pad? What was the inspiration behind the name Dracaena? Why did Lori and her husband choose Paso Robles for their winery? What is the geography of Paso Robles like? Which pleasant surprises did Lori find after starting the winery? Which unexpected difficulties came up when Lori and Michael started Dracaena? Why are Lori and Michael so passionate about Cabernet Franc and why did Lori start Cab Franc Day? How is Cab Franc Day celebrated around the world? What taste differences will you notice between a cool climate and a warm climate Cabernet Franc? Why did Lori and Michael choose Chenin Blanc as one of Dracaena’s flagship wines? Why is it easy to fall in love with high-acid wines? Which wines would Lori pair with her favourite childhood dish, ravioli? What are the most difficult food and wine pairings Lori has encountered? What’s Lori’s favourite wine gadget?   Key Takeaways I’m so glad Lori highlighted Cabernet Franc as it’s such an under-valued, but terrific wine. We all need to show it a little more respect. I’m looking forward to visiting California's Paso Robles region after listening to Lori describe the wines, the land and the people. I’ve always considered myself an acid head when it comes to wine: acidity gives wine its vibrancy and life. It also makes it so much more food friendly.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Lori Budd Lori Budd began her career as a microbiologist, but her need for excitement led her into Adventure Education, teaching students how to rock climb, zip line and tie those all important survival knots. Along the way, she fell in love with wine and graduated from the prestigious UC Davis enology program, along with certifications from a number of other wine programs. She and her husband, Michael, own Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles. She’s consumed by the stories that unfold as each glass is poured, and shares those in her award-winning blog and podcast called Exploring the Glass.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/182.
5/25/202243 minutes, 45 seconds
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181: Bordeaux Wines, Politics and Wine, Monastrell & Spanish Food Pairings with Lori Budd of Exploring the Glass

What is it like to participate in the coveted en premiere tasting of the new vintage of Bordeaux wines in France while they’re still in the barrels aging? Which Spanish foods should you pair with the fabulous red wine Monastrell? How does politics influence wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with winemaker, writer and podcast host, Lori Budd who graduated from the prestigious UC Davis enology program. She and her husband own Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles. She’s also the host of the podcast called Exploring the Glass.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Who are the Rothschilds and what is their association with banking and wine? What was it like to attend the Rothschild family’s ballet competition as their guest? What was Lori’s experience as a participant in an en premiere tasting in Bordeaux? How does the tasting experience differ for wines that are ready to drink versus still in the barrel? How is Portugal’s turbulent history reflected in its wine? What type of wine did Lori taste from the ungrafted vines of the Jumilla region in Spain? How are Jumilla winemakers adapting their styles to meet the changing taste of Monastrell consumers? Which Spanish foods should you try alongside Monastrell? What does Lori love about Spain and Spanish wines? What was Lori’s early career like, first as a microbiologist and then as an adventure educator? How did Lori first fall in love with wine? What was the journey like from wine lover to winemaker?   Key Takeaways I loved Lori’s story about attending the en premiere tasting of the new vintage in Bordeaux while it’s still in the barrels aging. It sounds exciting, terrifying and eye-opening. Lori had some terrific Spanish dishes to pair with the luscious Spanish red wine, Monastrell. I found Lori’s insights on how politics has influenced wine fascinating.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Lori Budd Lori Budd began her career as a microbiologist, but her need for excitement led her into Adventure Education, teaching students how to rock climb, zip line and tie those all important survival knots. Along the way, she fell in love with wine and graduated from the prestigious UC Davis enology program, along with certifications from a number of other wine programs. She and her husband, Michael, own Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles. She’s consumed by the stories that unfold as each glass is poured, and shares those in her award-winning blog and podcast called Exploring the Glass.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/181.  
5/18/202239 minutes, 37 seconds
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180: Extreme Winemaking, Ontario Wine Gems, Canada's Regions & Grapes

Why is icewine considered extreme winemaking, and what are some weird, but wonderful food pairings for this elixir? Which Canadian wine regions should you visit next? What unusual things can you do at Ontario wineries?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Janina Doyle, sommelier and host of the Eat Sleep Wine Repeat podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What are the major wine regions in Canada? How does Ontario’s weather impact the types of wine that are produced? What are the most important characteristics of Canadian Icewine? Which types of food pair best with Icewine? How does the late harvest time for Icewine present additional difficulties for winemakers? What are some of the main attractions of the Ontario wine regions and sub-regions? How do the Niagara River and Lake Ontario affect the climate in the sub-region around them? Which innovative and environmentally-friendly methods are the winemakers at Featherstone Estate Winery using to protect their vines? What are the top grape varieties grown in Ontario? Where do I think Canadian wine and wineries will go in the future?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Janina Doyle Janina Doyle started her wine career in several top-notch restaurants in London, UK, rising from waitress to head sommelier as she completed her WSET diploma. She has spent the last six years creating Eat Sleep Wine Repeat where she offers wine tastings, events and services. She also created the Bromley Wine Society, a local monthly wine group, and her podcast, Eat Sleep Wine Repeat. She is also Brand Ambassador for Ventisquero Wine Estates in Chile.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/180.
5/11/202244 minutes, 58 seconds
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179: Finding Bargain Wines and Regions with Janina Doyle of Eat Sleep Wine Repeat

Why does Italy make such a fantastic wine destination to visit? Which underpriced wines for their quality should you try next? How can you successfully navigate the walls of bottles in a wine shop? Which simple technique can you use to improve your tasting skills and learn more about wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Janina Doyle, host of the Eat Sleep Wine Repeat podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How did a trip to Italy introduce me to the wonderful world of wine? What does a typical day look like for me? What’s it like to be live on TV on Canada’s biggest morning show, The Social and CTV News? Where will you be taken and what will you learn in my first book, Red, White, And Drunk All Over? Why do I believe that you are the reason I’ve been able to get great access when writing my books and in my other wine endeavours? Which discovery did I make about finding incredible wine value in my second book, Unquenchable? Which bargain wines should you try next? Why does Italy make such a fantastic wine destination to visit? What has been the most beautiful moment of my wine career so far? What strategies can you use as a consumer to navigate the overwhelming walls of bottles in a wine shop? Which simple technique can you use to improve your tasting skills and learn more about wine? What’s our favourite type of wine glass? How can you go beyond the basic red wine and cheese pairings? Which perfect wine pairings can you try with these famous books?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Janina Doyle Janina Doyle started her wine career in several top-notch restaurants in London, UK, rising from waitress to head sommelier as she completed her WSET diploma. She has spent the last six years creating Eat Sleep Wine Repeat where she offers wine tastings, events and services. She also created the Bromley Wine Society, a local monthly wine group, and her podcast, Eat Sleep Wine Repeat. She is also Brand Ambassador for Ventisquero Wine Estates in Chile.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/179.
5/4/202252 minutes, 32 seconds
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178: Pandemic's Positive Impact on Wine + Buying Wine Online with Cathy Huyghe and Andrea Smalling

How has the pandemic positively impacted the wine industry? Why is the percentage of women buying online rising faster than men? How do consumers benefit when wine producers have access to more and better data?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Cathy Huyghe and Andrea Smalling, authors of the WineDirect x Enolytics 2021 Direct-To-Consumer Impact Report: What Wineries Need to Do Now.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Which interesting trends have been identified when it comes to Gen Z drinking habits? What can wine brands do to engage younger generations? Which positive trends stood out in the DTC report? How did the pandemic impact online DTC sales? Has the lifting of lockdown restrictions negatively impacted online DTC sales? Why should consumers be excited about the growth of the online side of the wine industry? What are the implications of the DTC report for the Canadian wine scene? How did Canadian wineries quickly adapt to the new environment of the pandemic? What would be the benefits of opening the borders to shipping wine across provinces in Canada? How does having more data and more granularity benefit everyone from wine consumers to producers? Why are more women purchasing wine online than men? What are Andrea & Cathy’s ideal settings for having a glass of wine? Which controversial wine opinions do Cathy & Andrea have? Which childhood foods would be fun to pair with wine today? What was Andrea’s worst food and wine pairing? Which great historical figures would Cathy & Andrea love to share a bottle of wine with? What message would Andrea & Cathay share if they could put up their own billboard downtown in a big city? Which wine would Cathy & Andrea want to be served at their funerals?   Key Takeaways At least there were some upsides to the pandemic on the wine industry in terms of moving it forward with selling online and tightening direct connections between those who make wine and those who drink it. I found it fascinating that the percentage of women buying online is rising faster than men. It makes sense though given women still buy most household items. Getting granular on the data means getting more personal with consumers in terms of their experience in buying the wine whether that’s in person at the winery or online.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Andrea Smalling & Cathy Huyghe Andrea Smalling & Cathy Huyghe have recently co-authored a ground-breaking report on the wine industry that will be of interest to those who make, sell and buy wine, from wineries to consumers.  Andrea Smalling is Chief Marketing Officer and Head of E-Commerce Sales of WineDirect, a U.S.-based company that helps wineries sell directly to consumers. Cathy Huyghe is an award-winning journalist with a regular column in Forbes and co-founder and CEO of Enolytics, a data-driven business intelligence company for the $970 billion wine and spirits industry.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/178.
4/27/202242 minutes, 56 seconds
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177: Ground-Breaking Report for Making, Buying & Selling Wine with Cathy Huyghe & Andrea Smalling

How have major events like the pandemic and the wildfires affected the way we buy wine online? Do younger generations, such as Gen Y, Gen Z and Millenials, have different criteria for buying wine? What impact does storytelling have on wine sales?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Cathy Huyghe and Andrea Smalling, authors of the WineDirect x Enolytics 2021 Direct-To-Consumer Impact Report: What Wineries Need to Do Now.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What did Andrea’s previous career with Proctor & Gamble involve? Why did Andrea decide to move into a career in the wine industry? What was the realization Andrea had about wine being an agricultural business? How did Cathy fall in love with wine and wine writing? Why does Cathy consider herself primarily an issues writer? What’s the mission behind A Balanced Glass? Which key advice does Cathy wish she could tell her younger self, early on in her wine career? What do we mean by DTC (Direct-To-Consumer) wine sales? How does WineDirect serve wineries? Why was the WineDirect x Enolytics 2021 Direct-To-Consumer Impact Report created? What was the founding mission of Enolytics? What type of data was analyzed for the DTC Impact Report? How did the report track the impact of the California wildfires on the wine industry? What did the DTC Impact Report show about the impact of those wildfires? Why is the story behind the wine important to younger drinkers? Did the report reveal any insights about wine and gender?   Key Takeaways I found it fascinating to learn how the pandemic, the wildfires and other major events have changed the way we buy wine online. It’s interesting that younger generations, such as Gen Y, Gen Z and Millenials, really want that in-person experience when buying wine. I would have assumed they’d be all about online only. We’re back to storytelling, whether it’s wine or books, it has a profound impact on sales and connection.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Andrea Smalling & Cathy Huyghe Andrea Smalling & Cathy Huyghe have recently co-authored a ground-breaking report on the wine industry that will be of interest to those who make, sell and buy wine, from wineries to consumers.  Andrea Smalling is Chief Marketing Officer and Head of E-Commerce Sales of WineDirect, a U.S.-based company that helps wineries sell directly to consumers. Cathy Huyghe is an award-winning journalist with a regular column in Forbes and co-founder and CEO of Enolytics, a data-driven business intelligence company for the $970 billion wine and spirits industry.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/177.
4/20/202239 minutes, 8 seconds
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176: Australian Wine Pairings, Tips and Trends with James Atkinson of Drinks Adventures

Are you curious about the Australian wine scene and the latest trends and changes? How about tips on buying terrific Australian wines? What are some iconic Australian food and wine pairings you should try?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with James Atkinson, drinks journalist and host of the Drinks Adventures podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights Are there any parallel trends in the beer and wine industries? Is natural wine gaining popularity in Australia? What is James’ controversial take on natural wine? What changes and trends have emerged recently in the Australian wine scene? How has Australian Chardonnay evolved and improved over the years? Which wine regions should you try for Australian cool-climate Chardonnay? What are some iconic Australian food and wine pairings? What are the biggest challenges facing the Australian wine industry? Which must-see site should you visit on a trip to Champagne? What did James love about his trip to Alsace? Which foods should you try on a visit to Alsace? Which wines does James like to pair with pizza? What barbecue and wine pairing surprised James? What’s James’ favourite wine book? Why is winesave James’ favourite wine gadget? Which vintage wine would James want to be served at his funeral? Which common red wine mistake can we easily avoid?   Key Takeaways His descriptions of Australian wines made me not only want to revisit the wine styles but also go back to Australia itself. It’s such a magical place. James makes some important points about cool-climate Australian wines and how elegant and balanced they are, to the point where they can easily be confused with Burgundian wines, especially when it comes to Chardonnay. I loved his iconic Australian food and wine pairing suggestions and can’t wait to try them.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About James Atkinson James Atkinson is the creator of the Drinks Adventures podcast and winner of Best Podcast at the Australian Wine Communicator Awards 2021. A lover of all fine drinks, James was previously editor of Australian Brews News and drinks industry publication TheShout. A Certified Cicerone® (beer sommelier) and two-time winner of the Australian International Beer Awards prize for Best Media, James has judged at several prestigious beer competitions. As a journalist, he has contributed to publications including The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Halliday, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Good Food, Selector and more.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/176.
4/13/202232 minutes, 47 seconds
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175: Wine Sommeliers v Beer Cicerones and Tasting Techniques with Drinks Adventures' James Atkinson

What's the difference between a wine sommelier and a beer sommelier or cicerone? Which glass is best for properly appreciating great beer? What can you expect from Arizona as an up-and-coming wine region?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with James Atkinson, drinks journalist and host of the Drinks Adventures podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How did James land the opportunity to host wine royalty, Jancis Robinson, at his house? What aspects of James’ interview with Jancis Robinson stood out the most? How did James create an opportunity to interview a childhood idol on his podcast? How has rockstar winemaker Maynard James Keenan been influenced by Australian wine? What can you expect from Arizona as an up-and-coming wine region? When did James know he wanted to be a professional drinks writer? What were the most difficult aspects of James’ pre-drinks writing career? Which aspect of James’ early career would he change if he had the chance? What are the differences between a wine sommelier and a beer sommelier (cicerone)? How long can you keep beer before it goes bad? What’s the process like to become a Certified Cicerone? Which type of glass is best to properly appreciate the nuances of your beer? What’s James’ favourite beer and food pairing?   Key Takeaways I enjoyed learning about the difference between a wine sommelier and a beer sommelier or cicerone. Even though I’m not a beer drinker, it’s good to know which glass is best for appreciating great beer. That tip will be handy for my partner Miles who loves local, craft beer. Arizona is an interesting up-and-coming wine region. I would not have thought viticulture would be possible in such a warm region. I look forward to trying the wines someday.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB26262   About James Atkinson James Atkinson is the creator of the Drinks Adventures podcast and winner of Best Podcast at the Australian Wine Communicator Awards 2021. A lover of all fine drinks, James was previously editor of Australian Brews News and drinks industry publication TheShout. A Certified Cicerone® (beer sommelier) and two-time winner of the Australian International Beer Awards prize for Best Media, James has judged at several prestigious beer competitions. As a journalist, he has contributed to publications including The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Halliday, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Good Food, Selector and more.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/175.  
4/6/202229 minutes, 22 seconds
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174: Retronasal Smell in Tasting Wine and Virtual Brands with Jim Duane of Inside Winemaking Podcast

How can tuning into the retronasal aspect of smell take your wine tasting skill to the next level? What makes the sense of smell so fascinating? What does it mean to be a virtual wine brand? What do grapes & M&Ms have in common?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jim Duane, winemaker and host of the Inside Winemaking Podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway If you live in the United States you can get 10% of Jim’s Terratorium wines using the code NATALIE.   Highlights What’s the story behind Seavey Vineyard having both grapes and livestock? Which unusual cow-specific winemaking tip does Jim follow every harvest? How did 15 tons of crushed Pinot Noir grapes go missing and end up in a parking lot? What’s it like to work a harvest without power? How did Jim go from totally avoiding Rosé to making three vintages by 2021? What makes Riesling the hardest wine to ferment? What led to the aha moment in high school when Jim first became intrigued by fermentation? How are off-dry, dry and sweet wines classified depending on their sugar levels? Why does Jim consider himself a gardener at heart? What’s unique about working with Seavey Vineyard? Why was Jim terrified about going into a career as a winemaker? What was Jim’s inspiration for creating his podcast, Inside Winemaking? How was working at Stags’ Leap winery was like a university of practical winemaking for Jim? Why is mastering logistics a critical part of becoming a successful winemaker? What were Jim’s biggest takeaways from working at Robert Mondavi Winery? Why was Jim excited to have access to the To Kalon vineyard?   Key Takeaways I enjoyed hearing about what winemaker wannabes and everyday wine drinkers can learn from Jim’s podcast. Even if you don’t want to become a winemaker, understanding the process can deepen your appreciation of what you’re drinking. The retronasal sense of smell is a game-changer when it comes to detecting specific aromas in wine. It’s a subset, of course, within the fascinating world of smell that we’ll continue to explore on this podcast in future episodes. Jim’s comparison of grapes with M&Ms was helpful in understanding texture and ripeness. I also was interested in Jim’s explanation of virtual wine brands.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jim Duane Jim Duane studied biology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington then worked at Brancott Vineyards in New Zealand. Hauling rocks in the vineyard, he says, helped him get ready for graduate school at the renowned University of California at Davis oenology program. In 2004, he moved to Napa where he’s been ever since. Jim is now the winemaker at Seavey Vineyard in California's Napa Valley. Prior to that, he worked at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Robert Mondavi Winery. In 2014, he launched a podcast called Inside Winemaking, which is ranked one of the most popular wine podcasts. In 2021, he launched Terratorium Wines as a direct result of his podcast and winemaking classes. Jim and his wife Erin have two daughters that keep them busy. Recently, he notes, they logged four pulled-teeth in a 36-hour period.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/174.
3/30/202244 minutes, 18 seconds
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173: What Being a Winemaker is Really Like with Inside Winemaking's Jim Duane

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a winemaker and wondered what it takes? What’s it like to work a wine harvest without power? What makes Riesling the most difficult grape to ferment?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jim Duane, winemaker and host of the Inside Winemaking Podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Giveaway If you live in the United States you can get 10% of Jim’s Terratorium wines using the code NATALIE.   Highlights What’s the story behind Seavey Vineyard having both grapes and livestock? Which unusual cow-specific winemaking tip does Jim follow every harvest? How did 15 tons of crushed Pinot Noir grapes go missing and end up in a parking lot? What’s it like to work a harvest without power? How did Jim go from totally avoiding Rosé to making three vintages by 2021? What makes Riesling the hardest wine to ferment? What led to the aha moment in high school when Jim first became intrigued by fermentation? How are off-dry, dry and sweet wines classified depending on their sugar levels? Why does Jim consider himself a gardener at heart? What’s unique about working with Seavey Vineyard? Why was Jim terrified about going into a career as a winemaker? What was Jim’s inspiration for creating his podcast, Inside Winemaking? How was working at Stags’ Leap winery was like a university of practical winemaking for Jim? Why is mastering logistics a critical part of becoming a successful winemaker? What were Jim’s biggest takeaways from working at Robert Mondavi Winery? Why was Jim excited to have access to the To Kalon vineyard?   Key Takeaways Jim gives us a taste for what it’s like being a winemaker, but his podcast and courses will help you take a deep dive if you’re so inclined. His story about working a harvest without power was incredible. Pure grit and determination. And I guess that’s how they did it in the old days every year. Hard to imagine. I’m fascinated with all aspects of Riesling as it’s so diverse in style and food pairings, but Jim really opened my eyes to how difficult it is to make.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jim Duane Jim Duane studied biology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington then worked at Brancott Vineyards in New Zealand. Hauling rocks in the vineyard, he says, helped him get ready for graduate school at the renowned University of California at Davis oenology program. In 2004, he moved to Napa where he’s been ever since. Jim is now the winemaker at Seavey Vineyard in California's Napa Valley. Prior to that, he worked at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Robert Mondavi Winery. In 2014, he launched a podcast called Inside Winemaking, which is ranked one of the most popular wine podcasts. In 2021, he launched Terratorium Wines as a direct result of his podcast and winemaking classes. Jim and his wife Erin have two daughters that keep them busy. Recently, he notes, they logged four pulled-teeth in a 36-hour period.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/173.
3/23/202236 minutes, 52 seconds
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172: Wine Supertasters, Food Pairings and Canadian Palates with XChateau's Robert Vernick & Peter Yeung

What does it mean to be a supertaster? How did wine consumption habits change during the pandemic? Do Canadians have different wine preferences compared to drinkers in other regions? Why is food and wine pairing such a great way to get into the world of wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung, co-hosts of the XChateau podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How did I get started in my wine career? What motivated me to go from wine enthusiast to wine writer? What does it mean to be a supertaster? How do I manage my time between all my wine endeavours from books, to TV appearances, to the podcast? Would wine experts benefit from my wine and food pairing course? Why are "day in the life" stories often a better way to learn? What features do wine lovers around the world enjoy with my mobile wine apps? Are American wines well received in Canada? How did wine consumption habits change during the pandemic? Is there a distinguishable Canadian palate when it comes to wine? Which Canadian wines should you try next, outside of the icewine category? Why is food and wine pairing such a great way for beginners to ease into the world of wine? What's unique about Tim Hanni's perspective on food and wine? How has my business and my focus within it changed over the years? Why are wine scores helpful despite lacking nuance? What value is shared with subscribers through my newsletter? Why is visiting vineyards one of my favourite ways to learn about wine? What's the best way to learn more about Canadian wines?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung co-host the XChateau podcast that features insights, analysis, and perspectives on news and trends in the wine industry beyond winemaking, such as marketing, finance, and consumer trends. Robert is a noted wine blogger who holds the WSET Diploma. Peter is a wine business consultant and the award-winning author of Luxury Wine Marketing published by Infinite Ideas in Oxford, U.K. He was named one of Wine Business Monthly's 2020 Wine Industry Leaders.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/172.
3/16/202249 minutes, 1 second
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171: Chilean Wine in the Driest Place on Earth & England's Storied Wine History with Janina Doyle

Are you curious about British wines and their history that dates back to King Henry VIII? How is wine made in the driest place on Earth and where is that exactly? Are stemless wine glasses better than traditional stemware?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Janina Doyle, sommelier and host of the Eat Sleep Wine Repeat podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights How are English wines connected to King Henry VIII and the Domesday Book? Which wine makes a great pairing with classic English fish and chips? What English wine brands should you look for on North American shelves? How do you use Coravin wine preservation systems? What does Janina love about Hush Heath Estate Balfour Luke's Pinot Noir? What are suitcase clones and where do they show up in the wine world? Which hallmarks should be present in a good quality Pinot Noir? Can you pair Pinot Noir with fish or chicken? What critical tip should you keep in mind when choosing a corkscrew? How can you open your wine like a professional? How did the Pais grape variety end up in Chile? What’s the tasting profile of Ventisquero País Moscatel like? Why shouldn’t you chill an oaked wine? How is viticulture possible in the driest desert on Earth? What features should you look for in a good wine glass? Why does Janina prefer stemless wine glasses? Which wine would Janina now pair with her favourite birthday cake from childhood? Which person outside of the wine world would Janina most want to share a bottle of wine with?   Key Takeaways British wines have a fascinating history dating back to King Henry VIII. Now that was a man who enjoyed his food and drink. It was interesting to hear how wine is made in the driest place on Earth in Chile. I look forward to trying some of those wines. The debate about stemless wine glasses versus traditional stemware continues.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   Giveaway You could win a 1-hour online masterclass with Janina Doyle. The class will be tailored to you, which wines you have access to, and what you want to learn about. You can have the class just for yourself, or gather a whole group together.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you heard about this giveaway on the podcast. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!   About Janina Doyle Janina Doyle started her wine career in several top-notch restaurants in London, UK, rising from waitress to head sommelier as she completed her WSET diploma. She has spent the last six years creating Eat Sleep Wine Repeat where she offers wine tastings, events and services. She also created the Bromley Wine Society, a local monthly wine group, and her podcast, Eat Sleep Wine Repeat. She is also Brand Ambassador for Ventisquero Wine Estates in Chile.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/171.
3/9/202243 minutes, 22 seconds
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170: English Sparkling Wine, Magical Blends & Harvest Secrets with Janina Doyle

What’s it really like to work at a winery during the harvest? What is the magic behind blended wines versus single grape or varietal wines? How does English sparkling wine compare to Champagne?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Janina Doyle, sommelier and host of the Eat Sleep Wine Repeat podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks   Highlights What’s it really like to work at a Chilean winery during the harvest? Why does Janina find it so fascinating to participate in the winemaking process? How did Janina nearly lose an eye while in a winery experimentation room? What hidden danger lies in bottles of bubbly? What’s it like to blend Malbec wines in Argentina? What makes Bodega Catena Zapata a must-visit winery for every wine lover? What made Janina’s trip with her father to Rioja, Spain one of her most memorable wine experiences? Which experiences should you try when visiting Rioja? Why did Janina’s first trade wine tasting end in disaster? What’s the difference between English and British wine? What do you need to know about English wine? Which English wine does Janina recommend for you to try if you’re new to the category? How does English sparkling wine compare to Champagne? What sort of tasting profile would you experience with Bacchus grapes? What is the “Nyetimber Effect”?   Key Takeaways I enjoyed Janina’s stories about what it’s really like to work at a winery during the harvest. As she mentioned, many people think winemaking is so glamorous and they have no idea how dirty it is and how many accidents happen and how hard it is. I call it fancied up farming. She made some great points about blended wines, including the fact that Malbec, though it’s a single variety, is often a blended wine. Janina shared some great insights into the differences and similarities between English sparkling wine and Champagne. I was surprised to hear that the English wine industry has grown by 70% in the last five years.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   Giveaway You could win a 1-hour online masterclass with Janina Doyle. The class will be tailored to you, which wines you have access to, and what you want to learn about. You can have the class just for yourself, or gather a whole group together.   How to Win To qualify, all you have to do is email me at [email protected] and tell me that you heard about this giveaway on the podcast. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!   About Janina Doyle Janina Doyle started her wine career in several top-notch restaurants in London, UK, rising from waitress to head sommelier as she completed her WSET diploma. She has spent the last six years creating Eat Sleep Wine Repeat where she offers wine tastings, events and services. She also created the Bromley Wine Society, a local monthly wine group, and her podcast, Eat Sleep Wine Repeat. She is also Brand Ambassador for Ventisquero Wine Estates in Chile.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/170.
3/2/202241 minutes, 49 seconds
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169: Santa Maria BBQ & Wines + Can You Earn a Living as a Wine Writer?

Why is Santa Maria BBQ different from other types and which wines pair well with it? What does it take to earn a living as a full-time wine writer? Why does grammar really matter? Why is passion not enough?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jaime Lewis, a fabulous food and wine writer, journalism professor and host of her own podcast, CONSUMED.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How can you become a full-time wine writer? What does it look like to focus on your strengths? Which unrealistically high standards are placed on wine writers? Why does Jaime distinctly separate her writing from her journalism? What are Jaime’s top tips for improving your writing? What makes Santa Maria-style barbecue unique? Why is Santa Maria-style barbecue important to California’s history? How did the Santa Maria Club get its start? Why has Pinot Noir become a popular accompaniment to Santa Maria barbecue? Which wine would Jaime pair with her childhood favourite dish? What’s Jaime’s favourite wine gadget? Which quick trick can you use to aerate a bottle of wine? What are Jaime’s favourite wine books?   Key Takeaways I was fascinated with Jaime’s description of how Santa Maria BBQ is different from other types, from the various cuts of meat to preparation and cooking, as well as, of course, the wines that pair well with it. She gives a realistic picture of what it takes to earn a living as a full-time wine writer. Gotta love that phrase, marry up. I love that she’s a grammar nerd like me and my mother and her mother. For me, a dangling participle is as disturbing as pouring wine into a dirty glass. Just don’t do it.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jaime Lewis Jaime writes, speaks and podcasts about the good life. After an arts management career that included employment with Architecture New York Magazine, the San Francisco Symphony and the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Jaime chose to follow her nose (and palate) into the wine industry. When not writing, Jaime podcasts at CONSUMED and teaches journalism at Cal Poly State University.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/169.
2/23/202233 minutes, 31 seconds
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168: Wine's Buzz, Italy's Food Culture and Audrey Hepburn's Influence with Jaime Lewis

Why does a lot of writing about wine ignore the alcoholic buzz? How did Audrey Hepburn kick start our guest’s relationship with wine? What effect can pregnancy have on your palate?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with journalist and podcaster, Jaime Lewis.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did visions of Audrey Hepburn kick start Jaime’s relationship with wine? When did Jaime start writing about wine? Why do wine connoisseurs often avoid talking about the buzz? Why is Jaime transitioning away from wine writing? What effect did pregnancy have on Jaime’s palate? What was the inspiration for Jaime’s podcast, CONSUMED? Which New Zealand wine left Jaime shocked and inspired? What makes working in a New Zealand tasting room so different from one in the US? Why is it so complicated to navigate the wine world as a woman?   Key Takeaways I like Jaime’s reality take on why the buzz of alcohol in wine is often not mentioned in a lot of wine writing. I, too, wish there was more acknowledgement of wine’s full-bodied sensory experience. I enjoyed her stories about Italian wine and food culture, with a nod to Audrey Hepburn. I’m fascinated with the impact pregnancy has on your palate, along with other physical and mental changes from depression to other diseases. It’s all so connected.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Jaime Lewis Jaime writes, speaks and podcasts about the good life. After an arts management career that included employment with Architecture New York Magazine, the San Francisco Symphony and the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Jaime chose to follow her nose (and palate) into the wine industry. When not writing, Jaime podcasts at CONSUMED and teaches journalism at Cal Poly State University.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/168.
2/16/202234 minutes, 39 seconds
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167: Marketing Wine to Women + The Power of Storytelling

How did my love of stories as a child bring me to the world of publishing and podcasting? What is the problem with the way some wines are marketed toward women? Why am I so insanely passionate about the message I share in my upcoming memoir?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Bridget Albert and Julie Milroy on their excellent podcast called Served Up.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did my love of stories bring me to the world of podcasting? How did I go from writing for magazines to publishing my first book? What wine-insider stories will you read about in Red, White & Drunk All Over and Unquenchable? How did great white sharks end up featuring in one of my adventures with a winemaker? What was it like travelling to vineyards around the world with my young son? What are some of my favourite wine-adjacent memories with my son? What have I learned about myself while building my career in the wine industry? How is my upcoming memoir different from my previous books? Why is there a gap in wine marketing when it comes to women? What progress is the wine world making in being more inclusive for women? How can we as women help to move the industry forward? Why am I so passionate about the messages I share in my upcoming memoir? Why is it important for us to show the real and vulnerable aspects of our journeys?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video   Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.   I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.   I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Served Up Served Up, hosted by Bridget Albert and Julie Milroy, is a podcast for beverage professionals to advance their skills, customer experiences, and work environments. Bridget Albert is Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits National Director of Education Beam Suntory and an advocate for upbeat education that makes an impact. Julie Milroy is Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits Vice President of On-Premise and an innovative change leader, sales & marketing executive, career coach, educator and podcast co-host.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/167.
2/9/202234 minutes, 50 seconds
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166: How Humor & High Tech Help Wine with Served Up Podcast's Julie Milroy & Bridget Albert

What makes high tech a great complement to wine? How does humour help when you're learning about wine? Why is the personal aspect of wine becoming so important?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Bridget Albert and Julie Milroy on their excellent podcast called Served Up.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights   How did I wind up in the non-traditional career of wine writing? Which behind-the-schenes stories of the wine world can you explore in my first book, Red, White & Drunk All Over? Has the pandemic changed the wine world and the hospitality industry at large? What makes high tech a perfect complement to wine? Why is messaging and storytelling so important in the world of wine? How are stories becoming more powerful than brand names? How can you elevate your home dining experience with wine? Why does the sensory experience of wine help us to connect and make memories? How can you build your confidence with wine when you’re just starting out? How does my wine and food pairing course help you to build your wine skills while you’re having fun? Why have I doubled down on food and wine pairing? How can you have fun with wine on special occasions? Which shocking snack and wine pairing do I especially enjoy? How does humour help when you’re learning about wine?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video   Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.   I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.   I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Served Up   Served Up, hosted by Bridget Albert and Julie Milroy, is a podcast for beverage professionals to advance their skills, customer experiences, and work environments. Bridget Albert is Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits National Director of Education Beam Suntory and an advocate for upbeat education that makes an impact. She has designed beverage programs and produced trainings for top national accounts that include the Hilton Worldwide Resorts Delta Airlines, American Airlines and Crystal Cruise Line. Bridget is also the co-author of “Market Fresh Mixology” and “Life, Love, Happiness & Cocktails.” Julie Milroy is Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits Vice President of On-Premise and an innovative change leader, sales & marketing executive, career coach, educator and podcast co-host. She has over 15 years of experience in the beverage alcohol industry, spanning various roles in Sales, Human Resources, Marketing, and Commercial Strategy. Julie uses her diverse experiential background to create impact and results that are customer centric and collaborative. As a proud Korean American, Julie is passionate about supporting the AAPI & marginalized communities and empowering women in their career journey.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/166.
2/2/202235 minutes, 9 seconds
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165: Volcanic Soils, Old Vines and Italian Wine Diversity with Wine Spectator Columnist Robert Camuto

What does drinking Italian mean today? How has globalization impacted the Italian wine you drink? Do volcanic soils really make a wine taste different?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author and journalist, Robert Camuto.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights   How does Emidio Pepe bring the past of southern Italy into the future? How is the way of life different in the Mezzogiorno? Why is lunch such an important part of the day in Italy? Which fascinating winemakers did Robert dine with at one of his most memorable Italian meals? Why does Robert love ​​Aglianico wine? How was star winemaker Elena Fucci inspired to become a first-generation winemaker? Do volcanic wines live up to the hype? What impact does volcanic activity have on terroir and ultimately wine? Are there distinct tasting notes common among volcanic wines? What makes Fiano wine special? What was it like to meet the renowned winemaker, Sabino Loffredo? What does drinking Italian mean today?   Key Takeaways   Robert’s insights into how globalization impacted the Italian wine we drink were fascinating, including his example of how the granddaughter of sharecroppers is able to communicate with other wine lovers around the globe to sell her traditional wines and she no longer has to sell just to the local cooperative. That ability to go global while you’re still a small producer adds to the diversity of the Italian wines we drink today. I loved his example of drinking a different Italian wine every night of the year without repeating yourself, such is the range of grapes and styles in the country. I agree with his take on how volcanic soils influence the taste of wine: it’s more about drainage than anything else, although a new eruption every century or so certainly changes the landscape and the soils, literally. Old vines have a more profound impact on a wine’s taste, wherever they grow, in volcanic or other soils around the world.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video   Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.   I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.   I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Robert Camuto Robert Camuto is an award-winning American journalist who has lived and worked in Europe for more than twenty years. He has authored three highly acclaimed books that focused on wine as a cultural and individual expression in the 21st century. His latest book, South of Somewhere: Wine, Food and the Soul of Italy is both a personal memoir of his Italian family ties and delicious travels to Italy over 50 years, as well as a portrait of Italy’s southern wine and food renaissance today. It was named among the best wine books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, JancisRobinson.com, TimAtkin.com and others. His previous books were Corkscrewed: Adventures in the New French Wine Country (2008) followed by Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey (2010). As an American in Europe, Camuto has written for some of the world’s best-known publications on food and wine culture and since 2008 he has worked as a contributing editor for Wine Spectator. In addition to serving as a key features writer responsible for many WS cover stories, Camuto writes a twice-monthly column for winespectator.com, called Robert Camuto Meets….which, like all his work, focuses on the human and cultural sides of wine. A graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism, Camuto worked as a news reporter, features editor and founding weekly newspaper publisher in Texas before moving to France in 2001. In 2015, he and his wife moved to their current home in Verona, Italy. In the Old World, he gravitated to wine as a way of exploring more than flavours—as a way to understand local histories, politics, agriculture, traditions and tastes told through colourful characters.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/165.
1/26/202236 minutes, 44 seconds
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164: Southern Italy's Wine, Food & Flavour in Robert Camuto's South of Somewhere Book

Are you curious about the hidden wine gems in southern Italy? Who are the colourful characters and winemakers who create them? What are the sumptuous flavours of the region and how well do they pair with wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with author and journalist, Robert Camuto.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video   Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.   I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.   I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   Highlights What was the inspiration behind Robert’s decision to become a writer? What was Robert’s worst moment in his writing career? What does Robert love most about travelling around Europe? Which celebrity wines are worth trying? Why did Robert choose the title "South of Somewhere”? How is Italy’s makeup different from other countries? What are some key facts to know about Southern Italy? What was the lethal “Methanol Scandal” about? Why does the south of Italy have more varieties of indigenous grapes? When did Robert fall in love with the Mediterranean? How has technology helped bring out the complexity that we find in modern wine? Which interesting Trebbiano innovation is Giampaolo Tabarrini responsible for?   Key Takeaways I loved listening to Robert describe the vivid flavours and people of southern Italy. It makes me want to return there. In my second book, Unquenchable, I devote one chapter to Sicily and talk about how the active volcano Mount Etna influences both the wines and mindsets of the island. I highly recommend you visit this magical place, as well as drink the wines here. I’m drawn to stories about specific people, and Robert has many of them. I think the specific tells more about the universal than generalizations do. His mouth-watering descriptions of the food there make me yearn to taste them, if only in my own kitchen for now.   About Robert Camuto Robert Camuto is an award-winning American journalist who has lived and worked in Europe for more than twenty years. He has authored three highly acclaimed books that focused on wine as a cultural and individual expression in the 21st century. His latest book, South of Somewhere: Wine, Food and the Soul of Italy is both a personal memoir of his Italian family ties and delicious travels to Italy over 50 years, as well as a portrait of Italy’s southern wine and food renaissance today. It was named among the best wine books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, JancisRobinson.com, TimAtkin.com and others. His previous books were Corkscrewed: Adventures in the New French Wine Country (2008) followed by Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey (2010).     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/164.
1/19/202237 minutes, 47 seconds
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163: Travel Tips for Austria & Washington Wine Regions with Interpreting Wine's Lawrence Francis

What's the smartest strategy you’ve never heard when it comes to visiting any wine region? More specifically, what’s the best way to explore the wineries of Washington state or Burgenland in Austria? Why is there such a variety in the complexity of Grüner Veltliners? What are the essential six stories about wine?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Lawrence Francis, host of the Interpreting Wine podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video   Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.   I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.   I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   Highlights Where would you find Burgenland in Austria? How does Burgenland’s most well-known wine, Blaufränkisch, compare to other well-known reds? What are Lawrence’s favourite food pairings for Blaufränkisch? Why is there such a variety in the complexity of Grüner Veltliners? What does aged Grüner Veltliner taste like? How are Lawrence’s best tips for planning a wine trip to Austria? Why is Lawrence excited about Austrian wine? Why does Washington state have diverse terroirs? How do the different soil types in Washington lend themselves to diverse wine styles? What are the wines of Washington’s Red Mountain AVA like? Which Washington Syrah was Lawrence’s most surprising wine ever? Why did Lawrence develop the six wine stories concept? How do the six stories fit into the bigger marketing picture for wine brands?   Key Takeaways I love the strategy of starting a wine trip in a base city and talking to sommeliers and restaurant owners about which wineries you should visit. You also get to taste the wines and determine which houses make the styles you like. I agree with Lawrence about the dazzling array of complexity and flavour in Grüner Veltliner, one of the most undervalued white wines in the world and one of the most food-friendly. I liked Lawrence’s essential six stories about wine, and especially how wine is not a spectator sport. You gotta get in there!   About Lawrence Francis Lawrence Francis spent 10 years as a Psychologist and Coach before entering the wine industry. He’s been the host of the Interpreting Wine podcast since 2017; helping winemakers with underpriced, undersold or unknown wines address these challenges with compelling storytelling that engages wine consumers. Four years later, he’s now published more than 430 episodes, with more than 300,000 downloads in 150 countries.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/163.
1/12/202242 minutes, 46 seconds
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162: Sherry, Rioja, Cava and Other Spanish Wine Gems with Interpreting Wine's Lawrence Francis

Why is Sherry one of the most complex wines on the planet and also one of the most misunderstood? What’s it like to visit the underground caves in Spain where the sparkling wine Cava is aged? How can you choose between Cava, Prosecco and Champagne for different occasions?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Lawrence Francis, host of the Interpreting Wine podcast.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video   Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.   I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.   I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   Highlights What was the inspiration behind Lawrence’s at-home podcast studio? How did Lawrence find his way from psychology to the wine industry? What is Hemingway’s connection to the wines of Spain? What’s it like to visit Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, where Cava is aged in caves under the city? What are some of the unique and interesting aspects of Cava and its production? How can you choose between Cava, Prosecco and Champagne for different occasions? What makes the Copa Jerez International Competition of Gastronomy and Sherry Pairing so exciting? Which sherry and food pairing was most memorable for Lawrence? Why does sherry pair so well with food? Why should producers share more about grapes and terroir when talking about sherry? What makes sherry so complex? How do the alcohol levels in sherry compare to Port? What was the goal behind creating sherry cocktails? Why does Lawrence think we should be paying more attention to Madrid wines? How are the younger generations of Rioja winemakers changing the landscape?   Key Takeaways Lawrence reminds us that sherry is one of the most complex, delicious wines on the planet, with its range from dry to sweet, and the myriad of nutty flavours and colours it creates. That also makes it so food-friendly, from tapas to seafood. It would be magical to visit the underground caves in Spain where the sparkling wine Cava is aged. I enjoyed how he gave us an underground tour of the city of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia in our minds. I can just imagine millions of resting bottles in those quiet caves. I found it helpful how he differentiated Prosecco, Cava and Champagne in terms of food pairing and occasion.   About Lawrence Francis Lawrence Francis spent 10 years as a Psychologist and Coach before entering the wine industry. He’s been the host of the Interpreting Wine podcast since 2017; helping winemakers with underpriced, undersold or unknown wines address these challenges with compelling storytelling that engages wine consumers. Four years later, he’s now published more than 430 episodes, with more than 300,000 downloads in 150 countries.       To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/162.
1/5/202240 minutes, 6 seconds
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161: Tech is Transforming Wine with the Wine School Dropout's Tanisha Townsend

What makes wine and technology such a perfect pairing? Why should you try online wine classes? How is technology empowering wine consumers?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Tanisha Townsend on her podcast, Wine School Dropout.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did I go from high tech to wine writing? Why do I find the pairing of wine and tech to be fascinating? What has changed about wine and the internet since my first article was published 20 years ago? Why are food and wine pairing classes so popular? What are some of the unexpected benefits of online wine courses? Which new creative intersections of wine and tech am I excited about How is technology empowering wine consumers? What advantages are there to using my mobile wine app? Why do I love podcasting? What makes a great podcast guest interview? What can you expect from my upcoming third book? Where do the concepts for my books start from? Which wine do I love to pair with my favourite snack?   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Tanisha Townsend Tanisha Townsend is Chief Wine Officer of lifestyle agency Girl Meets Glass. She leads wine classes and tours in Paris as well as online. She also hosts the podcast, Wine School Dropout. Her goal is to empower people with advanced knowledge of wine and spirits to build confidence in their tastes and make choices when buying wine.   Credit Wine School Dropout Music is by Makaih beats       To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/161.
12/29/202147 minutes, 19 seconds
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160: Longshot Wines Bet Big on Market Launch with Winemaker Beth Liston

Are you curious about how a wine brand breaks through in a new market? Why is the wine category one of the most difficult to offer a great price/quality ratio? What unique challenges do women winemakers face in the industry?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Beth Liston, a rebel winemaker from California who’s just launched a new wine called Longshot.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did Beth’s interest in restoring vintage cars get started? When did Beth realize she wanted to become a winemaker? Which valuable lessons did Beth learn from working a harvest in South Australia? What’s the most exciting aspect of being a winemaker? What does it mean to find your voice as a winemaker? What was the concept behind the creation of Longshot/Dark Horse wine? Why is it particularly difficult to maximize wine’s price-quality ratio? How do the techniques used in making Longshot/Dark Horse help them to stand out in their category? What has Beth learned from her experimentation with blending grapes? How does Beth translate inspiration from trends in cocktails and beer into winemaking? What are the biggest trends currently dominating the drink industry? How can you identify thiols when tasting wine? What tasting experience can you expect from Longshot/Dark Horse Pinot Noir and Chardonnay? Which food pairings should you try with Longshot/Dark Horse Pinot Noir? What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a winemaker? How does Beth navigate the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated field?   Key Takeaways My MBA brain loves the back story of how a new wine brand breaks into a new market. So many factors are at play from the product itself and packaging to getting consumers to try the wine and building loyalty through repeat purchases. The wine category is one of the most difficult to offer a great price/quality ratio given the vagaries of weather from year to year. As Beth notes, it’s an agricultural product, unlike say breakfast cereal where you can control production. It’s also capital intensive, from having to age wine so you're tying up your cash flow, to the substantial investment in equipment, from presses to bottling lines. And finally, I admire her approach to building credibility in the industry as a woman and as a winemaker, regardless of gender. It takes perseverance, a love of change and adaptability and a willingness to get down in the trenches, or should we say the cellar, and learn the job from the ground up.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Beth Liston Beth Liston discovered her interest in wine while growing up on California’s Central Coast. During college, she worked in a local tasting room, developing a fascination for both the art and science that goes into making great wines.   Beth earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in Wine and Viticulture from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. After graduating, she completed graduate work in oenology and worked in wine sales in Austin, Texas before setting her sights on winemaking.   With more than a decade of harvests behind her, Beth has acquired diverse winemaking experiences from the Limestone Coast of South Australia to Napa Valley.   She’s now the Director of Winemaking for Dark Horse wines in Modesto, in California’s Central Valley. Outside of work, Beth enjoys spending time with her husband, Daniel, and their two sons, relaxing with yoga and travelling to explore new cultures through food and wine. She joins us now from Modesto, California.       To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/160.
12/22/202145 minutes, 14 seconds
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159: Cosmo's Sex & the City, Champagne, Whisky Women in Mallory O’Meara's Girly Drinks

How did the Cosmopolitan become an iconic cocktail on the TV show Sex and the City? Did you know an illegal shipment of Champagne revolutionized the entire industry? Which women are responsible for America's increase in scotch and bourbon consumption after Prohibition?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Mallory O'Meara, the author of the just-published Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did the Cosmopolitan become the signature drink of Sex and the City? Which next-level Cosmo should you try for your next cocktail? What’s the connection between Carrie Bradshaw and the oversized wine glasses we now see everywhere on TV? What’s the strong female history behind the drinks we now think of as categorically masculine? How did Bessie Williamson and Margie Samuels revolutionize the scotch, whiskey and bourbon markets in America after Prohibition? What role did Veuve Clicquot’s kitchen play in transforming the way Champagne is made? How did Veuve Clicquot and Louise Pommery completely change the Champagne market? Which drink does Mallory prefer while writing? Why is a daiquiri Mallory’s favourite cocktail? What are Mallory’s least favourite drinks? How did Mallory first get into wine? What impact does Mallory hope Girly Drinks will have? How has book and author culture adapted to Covid? What’s the last great book Mallory read? Whose interesting story got left on the cutting room floor?   My Tips for Navigating Wine During the Holiday Season How should you think about which wines to pair with Christmas dinner? Which wines will make great additions to your cocktail party? How can you pick the right wines for every gifting occasion?   Key Takeaways I loved the story behind how the Cosmopolitan became an iconic cocktail on the TV show Sex and the City, especially since I loved that show when it first came out and am now gobbling up every episode of the new reboot. There are so many parallels in other industries: you may not be able to afford the multi-thousand dollar Versace outfit on the runway, but maybe you can buy the perfume. The Cosmo was and is an aspirational drink for many women and some men and non-binaries too. Veuve Clicquot is a classic kick-ass woman’s story, from getting through the Napoleonic blockades to selling her jewelry to fund the business. I loved hearing about swash-buckling women responsible for America's increase in scotch and bourbon consumption after Prohibition.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Mallory O'Meara Mallory is an award-winning and best-selling author and historian. She lives with her two cats in the mountains near Los Angeles, where she is at work on her next nonfiction book. Bourbon is her drink of choice.   Her first book, The Lady From The Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, is a Los Angeles Times bestseller. It won the 2019 SCIBA Award for Biography, the Rondo 2019 Book of the Year and was nominated for the Hugo and Locus awards. Her second book, Girly Drinks: A Feminist History of Women and Alcohol, was just released.   Every week, Mallory hosts the literary podcast Reading Glasses alongside filmmaker and writer Brea Grant. The show is hosted by Maximum Fun and focuses on book culture and reader life.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/159.
12/15/202140 minutes, 22 seconds
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158: Girly Drinks with Mallory O’Meara on the History of Women and Alcohol

Did you know that the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra has her own, private wine club and that it was used against her to bring down her empire? Are you curious about the first people to make beer? They were women called alewives, but the church didn’t like that. Did you know that the first bars were created for women?   In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Mallory O'Meara, the author of the just-published Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol.   You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did Mallory’s thirst for knowledge take her from filmmaker to writer? What has been the best moment in Mallory’s wine career so far? What was it like writing about world history during lockdowns and the pandemic? Why were libraries so important in Mallory’s research for Girly Drinks? What can you expect from Girly Drinks? How did Mallory’s curiosity lead her to write Girly Drinks? Why did Mallory decide to put so much research into the writing of Girly Drinks? What is a micro-history? How does Girly Drinks take you on a journey from the beginning of civilization to the present day? What was Cleopatra’s connection to wine and what surprising role did it play in her downfall? How did the social stigma associated with women who drink begin? What important role did alewives play for a significant time in our history? What role did the nun Hildegard of Bingen early church play in the shifting attitudes toward women and alcohol? How did the nun Hildegard of Bingen revolutionize the beer industry? How did Catherine the Great harness the people’s love of vodka in her rise to Empress? Why were bars originally a marker of feminized drinking? What made Gertrude "Cleo" Lythgoe the most successful bootlegger during Prohibition? What was Ada Coleman’s impact on cocktails as the first female celebrity bartender?   Key Takeaways I was surprised to learn that the first known depiction of someone drinking was a woman, but not so surprised that men thought she was playing a horn from the wrong end. I love the story about Cleopatra’s drinking club with Mark Antony called the inimitable livers and her intoxication ring. I need to get one of those. It’s fascinating how the gendered perceptions of alcohol consumption was used against her to bring down her empire. It was also interesting to discover that women made most of the alcohol back in the day from beer to wine as it was considered a domestic art. Again, not surprised that the church cast alewives cauldrons and brooms as symbols for witches.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Mallory O'Meara Mallory is an award-winning and best-selling author and historian. She lives with her two cats in the mountains near Los Angeles, where she is at work on her next nonfiction book. Bourbon is her drink of choice. Her first book, The Lady From The Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, is a Los Angeles Times bestseller. It won the 2019 SCIBA Award for Biography, the Rondo 2019 Book of the Year and was nominated for the Hugo and Locus awards. Her second book, Girly Drinks: A Feminist History of Women and Alcohol, was just released. Every week, Mallory hosts the literary podcast Reading Glasses alongside filmmaker and writer Brea Grant. The show is hosted by Maximum Fun and focuses on book culture and reader life.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/158.  
12/8/202133 minutes, 34 seconds
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157: Dom Perignon, Chateau Montelena and Wine for Your Zodiac Sign

What's it like to experience a piece of Dom Pérignon history? Has the legendary California Chardonnay Chateau Montelena 1973 Chardonnay held up in the years since the Judgement of Paris? How can you pair wine with your Zodiac sign? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with wine writer, Gina Birch and broadcaster Julie Glenn, hosts of the Grape Minds podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What makes Spain a great destination for wine lovers? How did Julie finally become a Lambrusco fan? Has the legendary Chateau Montelena 1973 Chardonnay held up in the years since the Judgement of Paris? What can you learn through comparative tastings? What was it like to experience the history of Dom Pérignon through St. Hilaire Abbey in Limoux? How can you pair wine with your zodiac sign? Which controversial Grape Minds interview almost didn’t make it to air? How has cancer affected Julie's experience with wine? What are my favourite Pinot Noirs? Why does Julie believe consolidation of the wine industry is bad for wine? How can you pair your favourite childhood foods with wine? What are Gina and Julie's go-to wine books? Which of Gina and Julie's favourite wine gadgets should you try? How long should you save "special" wines?   Key Takeaways I loved Gina’s story about experiencing a piece of Dom Pérignon history. That’s the magical connection between wine and place. I’m impressed that the legendary California Chardonnay Chateau Montelena 1973 Chardonnay held up in the years since the Judgement of Paris. I enjoyed Julie pairing wine with your Zodiac sign. It’s uncanny that she picked Pinot Noir for Libras even before we met. As you know, it’s my go-to vino.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Gina Birch and Julie Glenn Gina Birch grew up in Florida, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and public relations from Troy University, in Alabama. Her first job was in radio news, which eventually led her to Fort Myers, Florida, where she hosted a top-rated morning show for almost 15 years. She also started writing about food, wine, spirits and travel for USA Today, the Napa Register and the Fort Myers News-Press. Julie Glenn earned her Master’s degree in communication from the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy and is fluent in Italian. She also has an undergraduate degree in Mass Communication from the University of Missouri. She began her broadcasting career as a reporter/anchor/producer for both CBS and NBC affiliates. Before becoming the News Director at WGCU, the NPR affiliate for southwest Florida, Julie was the regular wine columnist for the Naples Daily News. Gina and Julie had been friends for years and together they created Grape Minds, a wine podcast that’s also broadcasted on NPR. They talk about the people, culture, and history behind the wines, as well as wine travel and food pairings. They’ve also interviewed some of the best-known people in the wine world and as they note, have only destroyed one soundboard while tasting in the studio.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/157.
12/1/202141 minutes, 45 seconds
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156: Italian Wines from Alto Adige, Portugal + Champagne with Grape Minds Julie Glenn & Gina Birch

Are you curious about slow food and wine? What's special about the Alto Adige region of Italy? Why should you consider Portugal and Dubai for your next wine-fueled trip? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with wine writer, Gina Birch and broadcaster Julie Glen, hosts of the Grape Minds podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did Gina and Julie first meet? What is it about Gina and Julie's styles that complement each other in their work? What is a "ride with" in the wine industry? What was Gina's most memorable "ride with" experience? Which California-based faux pas left Julie mortified on a "ride with" with an important producer? What's Julie's approach to talking about wines she doesn’t like? Which embarrassing lesson did Julie learn about Pinot Grigio while living in Italy? What makes the Naples Winter Wine Festival a unique and extraordinary experience? Who were some of Gina and Julie's favourite interviewees at the Naples Winter Wine Festival? What can you expect from a visit to the Alto Adige region in Italy? Which wines first tempted Julie and Gina to go deeper into the world of wine? What's the worst food and wine pairing that Gina has tried? Why did a seven-course Champagne dinner leave a lasting impression on Julie? What great, casual foods should you try pairing with Champagne? What brought Julie to her studies in Italy? Which chance encounter led to Julie meeting her husband in Italy? Why should you add Portugal to your must-visit list as a wine lover What was it like to attend the Expo 2020 World Expo in Dubai? Does Dubai have a big wine scene?   Key Takeaways I loved learning more about the Alto Adige region of Italy, and Julie's story about Pinot Grigio. I'm adding those wines to my shopping list. I'm fascinated with Dubai and what it would be like to visit that city. I'll put that one on my bucket list. I agree that wine is both subjective like art and at times embarrassing, and we can learn so much if we open ourselves up to those experiences.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I'll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What's your opinion of what we're discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar: https://www.addevent.com/calendar/CB262621   About Gina Birch and Julie Glenn Gina Birch grew up in Florida, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and public relations from Troy University, in Alabama. Her first job was in radio news, which eventually led her to Fort Myers, Florida, where she hosted a top-rated morning show for almost 15 years. She also started writing about food, wine, spirits and travel for USA Today, the Napa Register and the Fort Myers News-Press. Julie Glenn earned her Master's degree in communication from the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy and is fluent in Italian. She also has an undergraduate degree in Mass Communication from the University of Missouri. She began her broadcasting career as a reporter/anchor/producer for both CBS and NBC affiliates. Before becoming the News Director at WGCU, the NPR affiliate for southwest Florida, Julie was the regular wine columnist for the Naples Daily News. Gina and Julie had been friends for years and together they created Grape Minds, a wine podcast that’s also broadcasted on NPR. They talk about the people, culture, and history behind the wines, as well as wine travel and food pairings. They've also interviewed some of the best-known people in the wine world and as they note, have only destroyed one soundboard while tasting in the studio.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/156.
11/24/202140 minutes, 23 seconds
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155: Should You Celebrate (and Drink) Beaujolais Nouveau Wines This Year?

What’s all the fuss about Beaujolais Nouveau on the third Thursday of every November? Should you stay up until midnight to taste the new release? How is Beaujolais Nouveau different from the Beaujolais Cru wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm going solo to answer those questions and share more wine tips on Beaujolais Nouveau. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights When is Beaujolais Nouveau released? How has Beaujolais Nouveau’s popularity spread? Why did the Duke of Burgundy order a purge of Gamay grapes? Should you save a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau for your cellar? What do you need to know about the different types of Beaujolais Nouveau? Which Beaujolais Nouveau labels should you try? Are Nouveau-style wines produced outside of Beaujolais?   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/155.
11/17/202115 minutes, 41 seconds
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154: Pairing Books & Bottles, Organizing Wine Tastings

What do great books and great wine have in common? Why does it feel like the wine changes when you taste the same vintage years later, apart from it maturing (and possibly you as well)? How can you pair books and bottles? How can you organize an informal wine tasting with friends or your book club? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Sam Hiyate on his podcast, Agent Provocateur. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Which Niagara wine pairs well with haunting books that stay with you long after you finish them? Why don’t I recommend The Handmaid’s Tale wines? How can you pair Nasty Woman wines? Which bottle would I bring on a boat with a tiger? What can you learn from revisiting old bottles and books you loved? Why should you host a wine tasting party or wine club? How can you maximize your budget and selection for a wine tasting? What are my best tips for creating the guestlist for your wine tasting? How can you help your guests drink in moderation at a tasting party? What are horizontal and vertical tastings? What types of themes can you try at your wine tasting? What’s involved in a blind tasting? Which type of stemware works best for multiple types of wines? How can you prepare appropriately for expectoration? Which characteristics should you look for when tasting wine? What’s the best technique to use for tasting wine?   About Sam Hiyate Sam Hiyate worked at the literary magazines, Blood & Aphorisms and The Quarterly, in the 90s. He ran the edgy micropublisher, Gutter Press, from 1993 to 2002, as publisher. He launched the literary division of The Lavin Agency in 2003, where he built a list of clients and did his first deals. Sam’s projects for the agency have been in various categories, including memoir, literary and commercial fiction, narrative non-fiction and graphic novels. He’s looking for works of all categories with distinct and compelling voices. He loved to discover and help new writers prepare their works for the market, and to help them build a career with their talent.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/154.
11/10/202131 minutes, 52 seconds
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153: Restaurant Wine Lists, Poutine, Niagara & Pairing Tips

What are my top tips for choosing a bottle from a long restaurant wine list? What are the best wines to pair with extremely rich dishes like poutine? What would surprise you about the Niagara-on-the-Lake wine region and why should you visit? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Scott Greenberg, on his podcast, The Vine Guy. He also hosts the “Wine of the Week” show on WTOP radio in Washington, DC. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How have I incorporated my love of tech into my wine career? What are the advantages to you of learning about food and wine online? What will you learn in my online food and wine pairing classes? How has the pandemic impacted my food and wine pairing classes? How can you use my butter or lemon trick for each food and wine pairing? Why is food and wine pairing something you should pay attention to? How can you comfortably navigate intimidating restaurant wine lists? What’s the weirdest food and wine pairing I’ve ever had? Which wines should you try the next time you’re looking for a poutine pairing? How do the tasting experiences with La Crema Pinot Noir and Hidden Valley Pinot Noir compare? Why should you make a plan to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake? Why is the Veuve Clicquot at the top of my list of people across time that I’d like to share a bottle with?   About Scott Greenberg Scott Greenberg, also known as “The Vine Guy”, is the host of the “Wine of the Week” show on WTOP radio in Washington, DC and the Vine Guy Podcast. Scott started his career in wine journalism as the syndicated wine columnist for the Washington Journal Newspaper and continues to contribute to Tasting Panel Magazine. He’s also hosted numerous wine tastings, judged wine competitions and has taught a course on North American Wineries for the Smithsonian Associates program in Washington. Scott is To Kalon Vineyard Specialist and Italian Wine Scholar. He recently relocated from Maryland to Park City, Utah, where he lives with his wife, Cindy, and a rescue dog named Frankie.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/153.
11/3/202135 minutes, 42 seconds
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152: Field Blends, Pet-Nats and Memoir with Rachel Signer

What is it like to make wine totally by hand, without electricity? What is a field blend and why should you try one? What’s the most difficult part of writing a memoir? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Rachel Signer, who has just published a gripping, addictive memoir, You Had Me at Pet-Nat. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Why did Rachel start Pipette Magazine? How has the wine community responded to Pipette? How did Rachel stay eco-friendly while producing a print magazine? What is a Pet-Nat? What is the tasting experience like for Rachel’s 2020 Pet-Nat? What’s it like to make wine totally by hand? Which types of food pair well with Pet-Nats? What goes into a field blend? Are natural wines and raw wines one and the same? What can you expect to read about in Rachel’s memoir, You Had Me At Pet-Nat? Why is it hard to write a memoir compared to fiction? What lessons did Rachel learn through writing her book? How did Rachel find the process of finding a publisher for her book? What’s it like to promote a new book during a pandemic? Why is Rachel excited about Canlibero Pink Freud?   Key Takeaways I admire how Rachel and her husband have tried to be as low-intervention as possible when making wine, even to the point of working the press by hand and not with electricity. I’ve always loved the complexity and taste of field blends. I hope you’ll seek them out for your sipping pleasure. I so relate with Rachel that writing about those you love is the most difficult part of writing a memoir, as I continue to edit my own manuscript.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, November 24th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_tewg8-WtS12gq6YygSQ1lg. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You could win a one-year subscription to Pipette Magazine, a gorgeously illustrated magazine about natural wines.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on one of the posts on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn before 7 pm EDT on November 17th. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!   About Rachel Signer Rachel Signer is a wine writer originally from Virginia, now living in South Australia. She’s written for numerous publications, including The Guardian, Vogue and Eater. She’s also the publisher and founder of Pipette Magazine, an independent magazine about natural wines sold in over twenty countries. She makes natural wines with her husband in the Adelaide Hills under the labels Lucy M and Persephone Wines. Her fabulous memoir, You Had Me at Pet-Nat, has just been published by Hachette Books.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/152.
10/27/202140 minutes, 38 seconds
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151: You Had Me At Pét-Nat: Gripping Wine Memoir by Rachel Signer

How are natural wines different from raw or clean wines? Why do natural wines provoke furious debates in the wine world? Why will you want to read our guest’s new memoir that’s hot off the press (pun intended)? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Rachel Signer, who has just published a gripping, addictive memoir, You Had Me at Pet-Nat. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did a trip to the Loire Valley give Rachel the impetus to start her magazine? What was it like to meet one of the most famous natural winemakers, Nicolas Joly? What role does sulphur play in winemaking? How does ageing differ for a no-sulphur-added wine? Why was living in Spain a life-changing experience for Rachel? Do you need formal training to be a serious wine professional? What is Rachel’s approach to wine self-education? What are Rachel’s top tips for getting the most out of your visit to a wine region? Why does natural wine provoke such strong debates in the wine world? How is Rachel helping bring new people into the world the natural wine? What makes the natural wine world a movement and a culture? Which criteria does Rachel use for natural wine in her magazine? How did a wild bus ride on a Georgian wine trip lead to Rachel meeting her winemaker husband? Why aren’t Rachel’s wines certified organic? Why does Rachel always have her copy of Ernest Hemingway’s memoir with her?   Key Takeaways I usually summarize my take-aways, but today I’m going to share some reviews of Rachel’s new memoir with you as I recommend it highly: "From Paris to Australia, Signer takes us on a gripping journey to reclaim her sense of self through the medium of the natural wine she loves so much. You Had Me at Pét-Nat is a reminder of the importance of rebirth, the restorative power of love, and the invigorating gifts of nature. A must read for bon vivants and explorers alike." — Victoria James, author of Wine Girl: The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America's Youngest Sommelier "I lean more toward Champagne than Pét-Nat, but Rachel Signer’s addictive memoir drew me deep into the world of natural wine and into the company of its eccentric, obsessive and hedonistic citizens. Ultimately, though, it is Signer’s personal journey, her search for love and identity, which makes this such a compelling and moving book." —Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and Bacchus and Me: Adventures in the Wine Cellar “Signer… takes readers on a movable feast… In this love letter to not only natural wines but also the community and ethos that sustain them, Signer shares her wine experiences, from working in a restaurant and wine shop to wine journalism and harvesting grapes, emphasizing both the traditions and environmental impact of vineyards and wine production…Her extensive journalistic experience shines through, and readers will learn never to look at a glass of wine again without considering the people pouring their hearts into every bottle.” —Booklist "You Had Me at Pét-Nat was like my favorite bottle of wine; I consumed it in one sitting. Dive head-first into the natural wine world with Rachel Signer to discover why these wines will deepen your pleasure as you meet the witty oddballs who make them. This is also the story of how one woman found healing and love when she finally let go of who she thought she should be and started living fully, wildly alive, as much as the wine in her glass." —Natalie MacLean, author of Red, White, and Drunk All Over and Unquenchable!   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, November 17th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_DfbS5Q6zQNC8dKwd_6svuA. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You could win a one-year subscription to Pipette Magazine, a gorgeously illustrated magazine about natural wines.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on one of the posts on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn before 7 pm EDT on November 17th. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!   About Rachel Signer Rachel Signer is a wine writer originally from Virginia, now living in South Australia. She’s written for numerous publications, including The Guardian, Vogue and Eater. She’s also the publisher and founder of Pipette Magazine, an independent magazine about natural wines sold in over twenty countries. She makes natural wines with her husband in the Adelaide Hills under the labels Lucy M and Persephone Wines. Her fabulous memoir, You Had Me at Pet-Nat, has just been published by Hachette Books.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/151.
10/20/202147 minutes, 57 seconds
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150: Bottle of the Sexist: Marketing Wine to Women with Felicity Carter

What do fortune-telling and wine writing have in common? How does wine culture change when women are part of its founding? Should you believe the health claims about clean wines? Are they really better for you? What are the fairy tales we tell about wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with wine writer, Felicity Carter who is the Executive Editor at Pix.wine, a global wine discovery platform based in California. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, November 3rd at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Highlights How did Felicity’s journey from fortune teller to skeptic show up in her wine career? What was the most important lesson Felicity learned in her time as an astrologer? How can Pix help to simplify your wine buying process? What makes Pix different from other review sites? Why was it important to Felicity for Pix and The Drop to be completely independent? Which experience first gave Felicity confidence in her ability as a wine writer? How did Felicity get exposed by Gordon Ramsay? What gruelling assignment did Felicity have to complete for a food magazine? What’s Felicity’s involvement in the German Wine Queen competition? When did Felicity first feel the power of the press? What was it like being editor-in-chief of the prestigious Meiningers magazine for over 12 years? Why are wines marketed as gluten-free problematic? Are there health benefits offered by dry-farmed wines? Should you be concerned about the “goopification” of wine? Why are false advertising and fear-mongering in wine marketing so dangerous? What’s the problem with the gendered marketing of wine? What can wine retailers learn from the adult toy industry? Which terms, tropes and tales do we overuse as wine writers? Why is Felicity excited about audio for the future of wine communication? Is Amazon going to become a big player in the wine world? Why do so few women own and operate wineries? Why doesn’t the fast-food metaphor work for wine? What’s Felicity’s unpopular opinion about sulphur? Which grown-up wine would Felicity pair with her favourite dish from childhood? What was the weirdest wine pairing Felicity had? Who would Felicity love to share a bottle of wine with? If Felicity had a billboard in downtown San Francisco, what would it say? Which wine does Felicity feel a personal connection with? Why would Felicity want bad wine to be served at her funeral?   Key Takeaways The wine industry is long overdue for a shake-up in how we market wine to women, from treating them like cash cows who only enjoy cheap, mommy juice to a diverse group of people who have a range of tastes. Wine culture develops in a profoundly different way when women are part of its founding. My hope is that we can plant those seeds in other pockets of the industry, whether that’s new types of wines or ways to appreciate it. Felicity hits hard against the marketers who make spurious health claims about clean wines. She’s right that if the wine industry itself doesn’t clean up its act, the government will do it for them, the way they did with big tobacco. It’s a clarion call not to be ignored.   About Felicity Carter Felicity Carter is the Executive Editor at Pix.wine, a global wine discovery platform. She was previously Editor-in-Chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International magazine. Her work has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Guardian and Decanter, among others. Felicity has a delightfully wide range, having also written about astrology, oil and gas, the funeral industry, and skateboarding for boys. As a romance novel editor, her main editorial note was "this is not physically possible." Before becoming a journalist, Felicity worked as an advertising copywriter in blue-chip agencies, doing creative work for clients such as Qantas, Adobe, MasterCard and more.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/150.
10/13/202159 minutes, 37 seconds
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149: Promiscuous Wine Buying, Orange, Natural and Raw Wines

Why are orange wines appealing to beer drinkers? Why does it pay to be promiscuous when shopping for wine? Why is there so much confusion around natural and raw wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Elizabeth Schneider on the Wine For Normal People podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Why is there so much confusion around natural and raw wine? What is the natural wine movement about? What makes a good celebrity wine? What’s the problem with diet and alcohol-free wines? How is global warming affecting the wine world? Are prominent wine regions taking proactive steps to mitigate the effects of climate change? What makes orange wines great for beer drinkers? How has the wine industry evolved from celebrity-type critics to wine influencers and beyond? What do you need to know about finding a good bottle of wine? Is the wine industry dying? Why do Elizabeth and I love a good wine in a box?   About Elizabeth Schneider After graduating from Wesleyan University (CT) and starting my career in Boston, Elizabeth quickly realized that her heart was more in her hobby than in her high-tech job. Trips to the wine shop often yielded awesomely poor (but hilarious) results, so Elizabeth and her sister finally took a course at the Boston Center for Adult Education to learn how to taste and appreciate wine. And that kicked it all off. A stint in St. John in the Caribbean to wait tables and just unwind for 8 months (yes, she quit my high-tech corporate job, packed two bags, and hopped on a plane), was followed by a great two years completing my MBA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where she met M.C. Ice, her podcast partner, and husband) and since then her career has been solely about wine.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/149.
10/6/202135 minutes, 3 seconds
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148: Behind the Scenes of Wine Writing + Wine Trends with Elizabeth Schneider

What are the latest trends in wine, from blue wines to raw wines? And should you be drinking them? Why are high-tech and wine a perfect pairing? What's it like behind the scenes of the wine writing industry? How do you recover from devastating professional and personal attacks? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Elizabeth Schneider on the Wine For Normal People podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What happy accident introduced me to the world of great wines? How did I go from visiting wineries on the weekend to becoming a wine writer? Why do I think wine and tech are a perfect pairing? What was unusual about my journey to publishing my first book? How have I used storytelling as a common theme throughout my work? What’s the real story behind the challenges and attacks I faced in 2021? How do Canadian and American wine palates compare? Which Canadian wine region am I most excited about right now? Where can you find the best Canadian Pinot Noir? Why is it so difficult to access Canadian wine in Canada?   About Elizabeth Schneider After graduating from Wesleyan University (CT) and starting my career in Boston, Elizabeth quickly realized that her heart was more in her hobby than in her high-tech job. Trips to the wine shop often yielded awesomely poor (but hilarious) results, so Elizabeth and her sister finally took a course at the Boston Center for Adult Education to learn how to taste and appreciate wine. And that kicked it all off. A stint in St. John in the Caribbean to wait tables and just unwind for 8 months (yes, I quit my high-tech corporate job, packed two bags, and hopped on a plane), was followed by a great two years completing my MBA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where she met M.C. Ice, her podcast partner, and husband) and since then her career has been solely about wine.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/148.
9/29/202134 minutes, 26 seconds
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147: Pet-Nats, Piquettes, Croatia & Comfort Wines with Kate Dingwall

Are you curious about trendy new wines like pet-nats and piquettes? Which lesser-known Croatian wine should you try? What are comfort wines and what do you pair with them? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Kate Dingwall who writes about food and drink for Forbes, Toronto Life, The Toronto Star, Wine Enthusiast, among others. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How have restaurant wine lists been impacted by the pandemic? Why have many restaurants had to sell off their cellars? What does the increased consumer wine education mean for restaurants? What are pét-nat wines? Why are pét-nat wines a fun, casual option? Which North American pét-nats does Kate recommend? Why should you try Piquette? What’s Kate’s approach to wine tasting? How can you pair shrimp chips with wine? What’s the weirdest food and wine pairing Kate’s ever had? Which Croatian wine does Kate believe deserves more attention? What’s Kate’s favourite wine book? Why would Kate love to share a bottle of wine with Salvador Dali? Which type of wine does Kate identify with the most? What’s Kate’s top wine tip for you?   Key Takeaways Kate gave a great overview of trendy new wines like pet-nats and piquettes. I also enjoyed her take on Croatian wines to try. Restaurant lists and wine service are changing post-pandemic, from a reduced selection from having to sell off their cellars, to more educated consumers who know what they want. I loved her suggestions for weird wine pairings and look forward to trying shrimp chips.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, September 29th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PXuKYtdmToC7Kl4z3lLsEQ. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   About Kate Dingwall By day, Kate Dingwall is a seasoned writer and editor covering the intersection between spirits, business, culture and sustainability. By night Kate is a working wine professional. She's a food and beverage business contributor at Forbes.com, the drinks writer at Toronto Life and The Toronto Star, a columnist at The Whiskey Wash, wine writer at MAXIM, and a regular contributor to Liquor.com and The Spruce. Her work also appears in Elle InsideHook, The Spruce, Liquor.com, Toronto Life (print + online), Eater, MAXIM, Canada's 100 Best Restaurants (print + online), Porter Magazine, Wine Enthusiast, Foodism (print + online), VinePair, DuJour, CultureTrip, and The Bourbon Review (print). Outside of writing, she finished her Masters of Brand Management program with a thesis on innovation in the American wine world. She spent a large chunk of her career working in New York City and consulting with a variety of beverage and hospitality powerhouses in the realm of brand development. She is currently based in Toronto and is a wine server at one of Canada's top restaurants.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/147.
9/22/202133 minutes, 31 seconds
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146: Penedes, Spain, Croatia & Kosher Wines with Kate Dingwall

What’s it like biking through the Penedes wine region of Spain? How can you find great Georgian wines without leaving North America? What makes a wine kosher, and why should you try kosher wines even if you’re not of the Jewish faith? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Kate Dingwall, who writes about food and wine for Forbes, Toronto Life, The Toronto Star, Wine Enthusiast, among others. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What’s it like to spend a week biking through the Penedes region in Spain? What were some of Kate’s favourite Cava finds from her trip to Spain? Which important wine lesson did Kate learn in the Languedoc region of France? Which producer should you visit on a trip to the South of France? What types of Georgian dishes did Kate discover that pair well with amber wine? How can you try Georgian wine without leaving North America? Why has orange wine become so popular? How did Kate’s passion for wine and spirits organically start her food and drink writing career? Are there commonalities between the fashion and wine industries? What’s Kate's take on failure? What would Kate do differently if she were to start over her wine career? How have restaurant patrons' tastes changed since the pandemic?   Key Takeaways I loved listening to Kate’s adventures biking through the Penedes wine region of Spain, as well as her tips on favourite Cavas, such amazingly great sparkling wines for the price. She also had some great tips on finding Georgian wines in North America. These wines are experiencing such a huge revival. It’s worth seeking them out and pairing them with her suggestions. Kate also had some great insights from her trip to southern France as well as a great producer to visit, Gerard Bertrand.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, September 22nd at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_91B7vKhMSliq77btHvXZBA. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   About Kate Dingwall By day, Kate Dingwall is a seasoned writer and editor covering the intersection between spirits, business, culture and sustainability. By night Kate is a working wine professional. She's a food and beverage business contributor at Forbes.com, the drinks writer at Toronto Life and The Toronto Star, a columnist at The Whiskey Wash, wine writer at MAXIM, and a regular contributor to Liquor.com and The Spruce. Her work also appears in Elle InsideHook, The Spruce, Liquor.com, Toronto Life (print + online), Eater, MAXIM, Canada's 100 Best Restaurants (print + online), Porter Magazine, Wine Enthusiast, Foodism (print + online), VinePair, DuJour, CultureTrip, and The Bourbon Review (print). Outside of writing, she finished her Masters of Brand Management program with a thesis on innovation in the American wine world. She spent a large chunk of her career working in New York City and consulting with a variety of beverage and hospitality powerhouses in the realm of brand development. She is currently based in Toronto and is a wine server at one of Canada's top restaurants.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/146.
9/15/202134 minutes, 35 seconds
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145: Embarrassing Wine Moments, Oak as Ketchup & Powerful Stories

Why are sugar and oak often the ketchup of the wine world, used to hide bad grapes or poor winemaking? How did researching my first book lead to my most embarrassing wine moment? What’s the problem with biodynamic and natural wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Paul K on the Wine Talks with Paul K podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How can you navigate the shelves at the wine store when every bottle has a 90+ score? Why do I believe the individual experience is so important when it comes to wine? Why do many celebrity-backed wines seem to perform poorly? What flavours are often used to disguise low-quality wine? How did researching my first book lead to my most embarrassing wine moment? Why is storytelling so powerful? What’s the problem with biodynamic and natural wines? Why is food and wine pairing an important part of what we do as wine professionals?   About Paul Kalemkiarian Paul Kalemkiarian is the host of the podcast Wine Talks with Paul K on which he interviews wine industry royalty as well as Michelin starred chefs. He’s also the owner of America’s oldest wine club, the Original Wine of the Month Club. His expertise in the wine industry spans over 30 years. His father invented the idea of wine in the mail in 1972 and they have been serving wine enthusiasts ever since.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/145.
9/8/202132 minutes, 14 seconds
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144: Restaurant List Tips, Wine Courses & Buying Local Wines

Why are restaurant wine lists often tricky to navigate, even for wine professionals? Is it worth pursuing wine certifications and courses? Wine is the most value-added agricultural product we produce so why are there so many barriers for these small farmers who try to sell their wines across the country? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Paul K on the Wine Talks with Paul K podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What was my winding journey to sommelier certification like? What is it about wine that can feel so intimidating? Why are restaurant wine lists often tricky, even for professionals? How can you delicately navigate wine prices at restaurants? Should you pursue wine certifications? How can online wine classes help you become an expert on your own palette? Is it okay to throw away wine? How accessible are specialty wines in Canada? How did COVID act as an accelerant in the Canadian wine market?   About Paul Kalemkiarian Paul Kalemkiarian is the host of the podcast Wine Talks with Paul K on which he interviews wine industry royalty as well as Michelin starred chefs. He’s also the owner of America’s oldest wine club, the Original Wine of the Month Club. His expertise in the wine industry spans over 30 years. His father invented the idea of wine in the mail in 1972 and they have been serving wine enthusiasts ever since.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/144.
9/1/202134 minutes, 10 seconds
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143: Luxury Wine Marketing, Dom Pérignon, Must-Have Gadgets with Robert Vernick & Peter Yeung

What are the six key elements that define a luxury wine? What’ll surprise you about Dom Pérignon that makes it different from other luxury wines? Which two wine gadgets must you own as a wine lover? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung, co-hosts of the XChateau podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What are the six elements that define luxury wine? Which luxury wines are on Robert’s bucket list? What’s it like to have a wine tasting with the winemaker for Dom Pérignon? How is Dom Pérignon Plénitude even more luxurious than standard vintages? Which luxury wine would Peter give a score of 100 points? How does aging on the lees impact a wine’s taste and texture? What makes Dom Pérignon a distinctive luxury brand? Who was Dom Pérignon? What are the four categories of luxury wine buyers? What’s Robert’s approach to buying and collecting luxury wine? What does Peter love about the 2013 Oddero Barolo? Why should you add RAEN wines to your must-try list? How can you pair 2013 Oddero Barolo and RAEN Pinot Noir with food? What are Peter and Robert’s favourite wine gadgets?   Key Takeaways I found their discussion of the elements that make a wine a luxury brand fascinating, especially the psychological motives beyond simply drinking a fine wine. It’s quite a feat for Dom Pérignon to produce 5 million bottles almost every year and still have consumers believe in its rarity and scarcity. Brand stories are central no matter what you’re selling. People relate to people, not things. We remember the story of Dom Perignon even if we get some aspects of it confused like he tried to get the bubbles out of his wine, not in, though he was a master blender. I’ve since purchased a box of Repour closures and I think they are making a difference. I also bought the Durand Corkscrew, though I have yet to use it - hoping for a dried-out cork soon.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, September 1st at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HIjNiuE7R-OexJCsmoPGrg. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You could win a personally signed copy of Peter’s book, Luxury Wine Marketing published by Infinite Ideas in Oxford, U.K.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on my post on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn before 7 pm EDT on September 1st. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!   About Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung co-host the XChateau podcast that features insights, analysis, and perspectives on news and trends in the wine industry beyond winemaking, such as marketing, finance, and consumer trends. Robert is a noted wine blogger who holds the WSET Diploma. Peter is wine business consultant and the award-winning author of Luxury Wine Marketing published by Infinite Ideas in Oxford, U.K. He was named one of Wine Business Monthly's 2020 Wine Industry Leaders.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/143.
8/25/202131 minutes, 45 seconds
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142: Learn About Wine via Podcasts, Books, Influencers with Robert Vernick & Peter Yeung

How are podcasts a great way to learn about wine? Which wine books can jumpstart your education about wine and further it as you get more knowledgeable? What’s behind the backlash against wine influencers on social media? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung, co-hosts of the XChateau podcast. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What are Peter and Robert’s first memories of wine? Which scent brings Peter back to his first memorable bottle of wine? What made Robert’s first experience with an old Bordeaux wine memorable? How did Peter and Robert get the inspiration to start the XChateau podcast? Why were Peter and Robert drawn to podcasting in particular? How did a sabbatical from management consulting help to start Peter’s wine career? Which books made a big impact on Robert’s wine career? What did Peter learn about inclusivity in the wine space from his favourite podcast guest, Ikimi Dubose? How did Robert’s favourite guest, Maureen Downey, change his views on counterfeit wines? How is Chai Consulting using cutting-edge technology to combat wine fraud? What surprising facts did Peter and Robert learn about the Brazilian wine world? What does it mean to be a wine influencer? Why is there so much backlash from the traditional wine world against influencers/   Key Takeaways I enjoyed their insights about how podcasts are a great way to learn about wine. Of course, I’m biased, but I think the depth of information you can get from a podcast is unparalleled compared to social media. Each episode can be like one of those condensed summary books for when you don’t have the time or interest to read the whole thing. And finally, I thought they offered great insights as to what’s behind the backlash against wine influencers on social media. It really points to a changing of the guard in the wine industry, which in turn, affects how we learn about wine and new wines to drink. That said, I think wine books can jumpstart your education about wine and further it as you get more knowledgeable. Again, I admit my own bias having published two of them. However, I liked their recommendations for your wine library.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, August 25th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lSLxIw_ESMKpn7AQFXBrhQ. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You could win a personally signed copy of Peter’s book, Luxury Wine Marketing published by Infinite Ideas in Oxford, U.K.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on my post on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn before 7 pm EDT on August 18th. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!   About Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung co-host the XChateau podcast that features insights, analysis, and perspectives on news and trends in the wine industry beyond winemaking, such as marketing, finance, and consumer trends. Robert is a noted wine blogger who holds the WSET Diploma. Peter is wine business consultant and the award-winning author of Luxury Wine Marketing published by Infinite Ideas in Oxford, U.K. He was named one of Wine Business Monthly's 2020 Wine Industry Leaders.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/142.
8/18/202128 minutes, 54 seconds
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141: Fruit Wine, Pet-Nat Bubbly & Slovenian Wines with Nikki Goddard

Why are fruit wines becoming more popular and how do they differ from grape-based wines? What is Pét-Nat-style wine and which ones should you try? What are wines from Slovenia like, and which foods pair best with them? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with wine writer and educator, Nikki Goddard. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Why are fruit wines becoming more popular? Which incredible fruit wines should you try? Why do these newer styles of wine attract lovers of other artisanal beverages? What is Pét-Nat-style wine? How does Nikki put a unique spin on colour descriptors for wines? What’s it like to taste Kabaj Sivi Pinot? Which foods pair especially well with Kabaj Sivi Pinot? What do you need to know about Subject To Change "This is Not Wine"? How did Questions of Taste influence Nikki’s wine career? Why does Nikki love her RBT decanter? Why does Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery hold special meaning for Nikki? What unique way did Nikki permanently commemorate her love of wine? Why does Nikki prefer Napa Cabernets from the 80s and 90s? What was it like for Nikki to meet Jancis Robinson? What are Nikki’s top tips for getting comfortable with wine?   Key Takeaways Nikki gave us an excellent overview of why are fruit wines becoming more popular and how they differ from grape-based wines. She’s made me thirsty to seek these out more often. I also thought she did a great job explaining the Pét-Nat-style bubbly and why it’s so trendy these days. Adding that to my list as well. And finally, she sparked my interest in Slovenian wines. Even though I have tried several, and liked them immensely, I’m looking forward to drinking more of them and experimenting with food pairings.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, August 18th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xmiuNNKRSwm2xEsOaew6Sg. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You can win an exclusive online tasting with Nikki Goddard. Of course, you can invite friends or family to attend. She'll select a theme that suits you and let you know which wines you can buy in advance.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on my post on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn before 7 pm EDT on August 18th. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!   About Nikki Goddard Nikki Goddard is a Bay Area wine writer and educator. With over 14 years of wine industry experience, Nikki has written for a wide range of companies and publications including JancisRobinson.com, Vivino, Delectable, Wine Folly, SommSelect, The Spruce Eats, Dry Farm Wines, Liquor.com, Foley Family Wines, Edible East Bay, Beverage Industry News, and more. She is certified through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust at the Diploma level and has taught courses for levels 2 and 3. Nikki worked for several years as a wine buyer and previously co-owned The Barrel Room, a wine bar in San Francisco. Nikki fell in love with wine while studying Textiles and Apparel at Cornell University. Beguiled by the wines of the Finger Lakes and realizing that she had a greater affinity for the laid-back, epicurean lifestyle of an oenophile than for the cut-throat fashion industry, she decided to make wine her life’s career. The more Nikki shared her passion for wine with her friends, the more she became aware of a serious lack of approachable, engaging discussion around the subject—resulting in a lot of intimidation around what should be one of life's greatest pleasures. To make wine more accessible and fun for all, she has committed herself to bridging the gap between knowledge and enjoyment.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/141.
8/11/202134 minutes, 37 seconds
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140: Good Wine Faults, DRC, Misleading Wine Experts with Nikki Goddard

When can wine faults actually improve the taste of wine? Does learning about wine decrease your enjoyment of it? Can wine experts really distinguish between different types of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with wine writer and educator, Nikki Goddard. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did Nikki end up recommending a wine that was a little too close to home for a customer? Which unusual query about palm wine did Nikki receive while working with wine.com? Why should the infamous study showing that wine experts can’t distinguish between red and white wine be taken with a grain of salt? What did Nikki learn from a blind tasting experiment she did with her non-expert friends? Can learning about wine decrease your enjoyment of it? What makes the wine world seem so intimidating? When can wine faults actually improve the taste of wine? Which lesser-known wine regions should you try to experience?   Key Takeaways I like Nikki’s fresh take on how some wine faults may be desirable, and even improve the taste of a wine, or at least, be part of its character rather than a flaw. I love her story about tasting Domaine de la Romanee-Conti as a way of showing how much our expectations and knowledge of wine influence our taste and perception of it. I have to thank Nikki for finally debunking those super annoying studies that say wine experts are easily fooled when the methodology behind is as misleading as the clickbait headlines.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, August 11th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AifT0HiBS_inZ8L8NToJ3A. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You can win an exclusive online tasting with Nikki Goddard. Of course, you can invite friends or family to attend. She'll select a theme that suits you and let you know which wines you can buy in advance.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on my post on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn before 7 pm EDT on August 18th. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!   About Nikki Goddard Nikki Goddard is a Bay Area wine writer and educator. With over 14 years of wine industry experience, Nikki has written for a wide range of companies and publications including JancisRobinson.com, Vivino, Delectable, Wine Folly, SommSelect, The Spruce Eats, Dry Farm Wines, Liquor.com, Foley Family Wines, Edible East Bay, Beverage Industry News, and more. She is certified through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust at the Diploma level and has taught courses for levels 2 and 3. Nikki worked for several years as a wine buyer and previously co-owned The Barrel Room, a wine bar in San Francisco. Nikki fell in love with wine while studying Textiles and Apparel at Cornell University. Beguiled by the wines of the Finger Lakes and realizing that she had a greater affinity for the laid-back, epicurean lifestyle of an oenophile than for the cut-throat fashion industry, she decided to make wine her life’s career. The more Nikki shared her passion for wine with her friends, the more she became aware of a serious lack of approachable, engaging discussion around the subject—resulting in a lot of intimidation around what should be one of life's greatest pleasures. To make wine more accessible and fun for all, she has committed herself to bridging the gap between knowledge and enjoyment.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/140.
8/4/202134 minutes, 3 seconds
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139: Wine Scores, Pairings and Writing with Master of Wine Vanessa Conlin

Why did I resist scoring wines for the first three years I wrote about them? How do you go from submitting an article to a local publication to publishing your first book? Why aren't press trips to wine regions all they're cracked up to be? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Vanessa Conlin on the Wine Access Author Series. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did I go from writing an article for a local publication to publishing my first book? Why do stories make such a great medium for you to learn about wine? How did I get access to prestigious vineyards and wineries while researching my first book? What’s it like to interview A-listers in the wine world like Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson? How can you choose the right wine critic for you to follow? What’s it like working undercover in a wine store and as a restaurant sommelier? Which undercover moment transformed my understanding of service? Which wine regions am I looking forward to experiencing? Who are some of the most fun and interesting people I’ve interviewed so far? Why do I avoid going on press trips? What types of stories can you look forward to in my upcoming book? Which tip can you use to find great bargain wines? How can food and wine pairing help you to get more comfortable with wine? Which food is the most difficult to pair with wine? What type of wine is the easiest to pair with a wide range of foods? Do you need to be an expert to enjoy wine?   About Vanessa Conlin MW Vanessa Conlin MW is the Head of Wine for Wine Access, a national direct-to-consumer e-com wine retailer where she oversees all wine curation and wine content. Vanessa has served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for several of Napa’s most prestigious luxury estates including Arietta Wines and Dana Estates. Previously she was the wine buyer for two prominent Manhattan wine retailers and the Wine Director for a Manhattan-based wine bar. As an avid supporter of charitable causes, Vanessa is the President of the Board for Jameson Humane, a Napa Valley-based animal rescue and sanctuary, and has chaired the organization’s annual charity wine auction four times, raising over 7 million dollars. Prior to falling in love with wine, Vanessa worked as a professional musician, performing internationally and on Broadway, and holds a Master’s Degree in Music. She is an instructor for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and was the recipient of the Niki Singer Memorial Scholarship from the International Wine Center. Vanessa became a Master of Wine in 2020.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/139.
7/28/202132 minutes, 2 seconds
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138: How to Get the Most from Your Wine Bar Visit with Tanisha Townsend

What's it like to explore Paris by visiting different wine bars? How do you know which company to choose for guided tours? What do you need to know before buying wine from a wine list, whether you’re at a restaurant or a wine bar? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Tanisha Townsend, Chief Wine Officer of lifestyle agency Girl Meets Glass. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What’s it like taking a wine tour in Paris? How does Tanisha introduce her clients to hidden gems in Paris? What do you need to know before buying wine from a restaurant wine list? Why does Tanisha especially love the wines of the southern Rhône? What key features should you look for when choosing a tour guide/company? Which Paris-based TV shows and movies should you check out? What makes wine bars the perfect avenue for exploring a new city? How does the terroir impact the tasting profile of Jacques Lurton wines? Which wine books does Tanisha recommend?   Key Takeaways I love the idea of exploring Paris, or any city, by taking a walking tour of its wine bars. This allows you to sample so much more in terms of food, drink, neighbourhoods and conversation than committing to a three-hour restaurant meal. I thought Tanisha’s tips on how to choose a company to choose for guided tours were excellent. You want someone who can show you the hidden gems off the tourist track, the haunts that you wouldn’t discover for yourself. She also had great advice on how to choose from a wine list, whether you’re at a restaurant or a wine bar, as well as pairing French wines with food.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, July 28th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JrowE0owTjSiFfnZdQYORQ.. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   About Tanisha Townsend Tanisha Townsend is Chief Wine Officer of lifestyle agency Girl Meets Glass. She leads wine classes and tours in Paris as well as online. She also hosts the podcast, Wine School Dropout. Her goal is to empower people with an advanced knowledge of wine and spirits to build confidence in their tastes and make choices when buying wine.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/138.
7/21/202136 minutes, 26 seconds
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137: Paris for Wine Lovers with Tanisha Townsend Part 1

What's it like to uproot your life in North America and move to Paris? What’s the connection between forensic science and wine? What influence has hip-hop music had on wine culture? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Tanisha Townsend, Chief Wine Officer of lifestyle agency Girl Meets Glass. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Is milk a good alternative to wine? How did a trip to Burgundy change Tanisha’s life? What’s one thing Tanisha would do differently in her early career if she could go back? How did Tanisha gain her confidence as a wine professional? What about Tanisha’s background in computer forensics connected her to wine? What role are NFTs playing in the wine world? Why did Tanisha decide to uproot her life and move to Paris? What’s it like teaching French people about wine as an American woman? How has hip-hop music influenced the world of wine? What culture shifts did Tanisha have to adjust to with life in Paris?   Key Takeaways I loved listening to Tanisha’s story about uprooting her life in the US and moving to Paris. I think it’s a dream many of us have. She had such confidence and boldness though to make the move. I’m fascinated with the connection between forensic science and wine, and particularly how the new non-fungible tokens will soon play a role in detecting wine fraud. We’ll have to dive into that in more depth in a future episode. I thought Tanisha had great insights on the influence that hip-hop music has had on wine culture, particularly when it comes to celebrity wines.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, July 21st at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   About Tanisha Townsend Tanisha Townsend is Chief Wine Officer of lifestyle agency Girl Meets Glass. She leads wine classes and tours in Paris as well as online. She also hosts the podcast, Wine School Dropout. Her goal is to empower people with an advanced knowledge of wine and spirits to build confidence in their tastes and make choices when buying wine.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/137.
7/14/202134 minutes, 18 seconds
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136: Behind the Scenes of a Travel and Wine Writer's Life with Celine Bossart

What would it be like to visit the most gorgeous wine regions around the world, and get paid to do it? How does the fast-paced schedule of a wine and travel writer impact physical and mental health? How can you pair sweet desserts with wine? What specific impact does sweetness in food have on wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with New York wine and spirits journalist, Céline Bossart. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What’s it like to visit exciting new destinations around the world on press trips? How does the fast-paced schedule of a wine and travel writer impact your physical and mental health? What was Céline’s best wine-related travel experience? How can you improve your wine tasting skills? What rule of thumb should you keep in mind when it comes to wine advice? How can you pair sweet desserts with wine? Why does Céline like to play around with liqueurs? What would Céline be doing if she wasn’t in the wine and spirits industry?   Key Takeaways I loved listening to Céline's stories about traveling to the most gorgeous wine regions around the world. She was so open both about the perks and the challenges of her life, particularly when it comes to physical and mental health. She had some great tips on pairing desserts with wine, based on the drying effect that sweetness in food has on wine. I also enjoyed her tasting tips including not making swirling wine a full-bodied motion.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, July 14th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   About Céline Bossart Céline Bossart is a New York-based freelance writer, editor, photographer, and digital media specialist in the wine and spirits spaces, and particularly their socio-political dynamics. She’s been published in Eater, Wine Enthusiast, Billboard, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, and many more. In her spare time, Céline enjoys drinking wine and binge-watching true crime shows.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/136.
7/7/202132 minutes, 58 seconds
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135: Wines from Jon Bon Jovi, Jay-Z, Kendall Jenner with Celine Bossart

Are you curious what it would be like to have lavish dinners and wine tastings with rockstars like Jon Bon Jovi and Fergie? How does music impact your perception of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with New York wine and spirits journalist, Céline Bossart. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Why was Céline at an impromptu wine dinner with Jon Bon Jovi How do celebrity/winemaker partnerships work? What socio-political issues were highlighted with Kendall Jenner’s tequila endorsement? What can we learn from Mario Lopez’s agave spirit endorsement? Why was Céline’s interview with Fergie one of her all-time favourites? What is the connection between music and wine? How did Céline end up cycling around vineyards in platform boots? How did New Zealand wine bring Céline to an awesome superyacht experience?   Key Takeaways No matter which celebrity endorses a wine, it’s the winemaker who makes it that matters most. I agree that the person or winery producing the wine should be on the label as well. In some cases like the Miraval brand from southern France, the celebs formerly behind the wine, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie aren’t on the label, but rather the much respected Perrin brothers are. I loved listening to Celine’s stories about meeting Jon Bon Jovi and Fergie. It’s nice to know that they’re decent people too. I’m fascinated with the impact music has on our perception and taste of wine. I plan to explore that more in future episodes.   About Céline Bossart Céline Bossart is a New York-based freelance writer, editor, photographer, and digital media specialist in the wine and spirits spaces, and particularly their socio-political dynamics. She’s been published in Eater, Wine Enthusiast, Billboard, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, and many more. In her spare time, Céline enjoys drinking wine and binge-watching true crime shows.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, July 7th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/135.
6/30/202132 minutes, 34 seconds
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134: Online Courses, Canadian Wine & Weird Pairings with Susie Barrie

What’s my advice for those considering a wine career? How did my biggest career regret happen before I became a wine writer? How has my father’s alcoholism influenced my relationship with wine? How has the pandemic impacted online wine classes? Can you pair ketchup chips with wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm sharing my interview on the Wine Blast podcast with Susie Barrie & Peter Richards. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Why does Rhône Syrah hold a special place in my memories? What’s my advice for people considering a wine career? How did my biggest career regret happen before I became a wine writer? When was the first major turning point of my career? What do you need to know about the Canadian wine industry? How is global warming affecting Canadian wine producers? Which types of Canadian wines should you try first? What should you expect from Canadian Rieslings? When did wine find its way into my life? How has my father’s alcoholism influenced my relationship with wine? How has the pandemic impacted online wine classes? What makes food and wine pairing so exciting? What’s my top tip for getting started with food and wine pairing? Can you pair ketchup chips with wine? How do you pair wine with your favourite activities? Why did I create the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast? What can you expect from my upcoming third book? How can you start getting more comfortable with wine?   About Susie Barrie and Peter Richards Susie and Peter are Masters of Wine who happen to be married to each other. It’s a strange old household, with a constant soundtrack of clinking bottles and glasses. As TV and radio presenters, event hosts, writers, podcasters, authors and consultants, the pair are renowned for their enthusiastic, thoughtful and articulate style, having been described as, ‘Legends: best in the business’ and ‘What a double act: two stars making a killer constellation.’     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/134.
6/23/202137 minutes, 47 seconds
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133: Weird Wine & Food Pairings that Work with the Vine Guy

Which weird food and wine pairings should you add to your must-try list? What makes wines from Oregon and California’s Sierra Foothills special? How can you make sure to do well at a wine auction? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Scott Greenberg, host of both “The Vine Guy” podcast and the “Wine of the Week” show on WTOP radio in Washington, DC. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What’s Scott’s go-to wine for pairing with lamb? Why are foie gras and Sauterne such a classic pairing? Which surprising and delicious Madeira pairing does Scott recommend? How did Scott end up almost trespassing on Domaine Romanée Conti? What did Scott find out on a hilarious cruise ship encounter? What distinguishing characteristics do you find in wines from the Sierra Foothills region? What do you need to know before entering a wine auction? Which aspects of Oregon Pinot Noir make it stand out among the best? Who has the pandemic inspired Scott to share a bottle of wine with?   Key Takeaways I enjoyed the unusual food and wine pairings Scott suggested, and I can’t wait to try several of them. I liked the way Scott differentiated the Pinot Noir from Oregon as well as reds from California’s Sierra Foothills. He also reminds me of the versatility of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. His tips on how to prepare for a wine auction are terrific.   About Scott Greenberg Scott Greenberg, also known as “The Vine Guy”, is the host of the “Wine of the Week” show on WTOP radio in Washington, DC and the Vine Guy Podcast. Scott started his career in wine journalism as the syndicated wine columnist for the Washington Journal Newspaper and continues to contribute to Tasting Panel Magazine. He’s also hosted numerous wine tastings, judged wine competitions and has taught a course on North American Wineries for the Smithsonian Associates program in Washington. Scott is To Kalon Vineyard Specialist and Italian Wine Scholar. He recently relocated from Maryland to Park City, Utah, where he lives with his wife, Cindy, and a rescue dog named Frankie.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, June 23rd at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zp-oZCKLRO27bZ-lrr5Z1A. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/133.
6/16/202130 minutes, 25 seconds
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132: Mature Champagne + Tasting with Robert Parker with Scott Greenberg

What's it like tasting wines with the legendary wine critic Robert Parker? How does food take wine to the next level? What's it like to have dinner with celebrities of the wine world? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with wine journalist and host of the Vine Guy Podcast, Scott Greenberg. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did a glass of wine at a dinner party change Scott’s life? What have been the top highlights of Scott’s wine career so far? How did a surprising phone call lead to Scott partnering up with Robert Parker? What is Robert Parker’s unique wine tasting process like? Where did the Vine Guy moniker come from? How did an old bottle of Champagne open Scott’s eyes to a whole new world of wine? What differences in taste would you experience in old versus young Champagne? In what ways has wine played a central role for Scott in meeting several fascinating friends? How did Scott’s radio voice get him the opportunity to meet French winemaker Christian Moueix? Why does Scott especially love food and wine pairing?   Key Takeaways Most of us remember a pivotal wine that changed our lives and drinking habits. I enjoyed hearing about Scott’s aha wine at a dinner party. I also liked Scott’s story about tasting with the legendary Robert Parker and a sneak peek at that critic’s unique tasting process. Mature Champagne is a treat worth trying if you haven’t yet.   About Scott Greenberg Scott Greenberg, also known as “The Vine Guy”, is the host of the “Wine of the Week” show on WTOP radio in Washington, DC and the Vine Guy Podcast. Scott started his career in wine journalism as the syndicated wine columnist for the Washington Journal Newspaper and continues to contribute to Tasting Panel Magazine. He’s also hosted numerous wine tastings, judged wine competitions and has taught a course on North American Wineries for the Smithsonian Associates program in Washington. Scott is To Kalon Vineyard Specialist and Italian Wine Scholar. He recently relocated from Maryland to Park City, Utah, where he lives with his wife, Cindy, and a rescue dog named Frankie.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, June 16th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/132.
6/9/202134 minutes, 36 seconds
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131: Salt in Wine, Oyster Pairings + Real Talk with Your Sommelier

Is food and wine pairing the ultimate goal of every dining experience? Is it okay to tell sommeliers if you don’t like the wine they recommended? What’s it like serving famous captains of industry like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Seattle-based wine writer, educator and sommelier, Zach Geballe. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How can sommeliers help patrons feel comfortable talking about wine? Is successful wine pairing the ultimate goal of every dining experience? Should you tell the sommelier if you don’t like the wine they recommended? What’s it like serving famous captains of industry like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates? How did Zach get started with his private wine classes? Which characteristics should you look for in a wine to pair with oysters? What does saltiness mean as a wine descriptor? What unique wedding ritual did Zach and his wife partake in instead of traditional cake? Which unusual wines did Zach select for an Amazon event he led? How did a trip to Moselle vineyards surpass Zach’s high expectations? What surprised Zach when visiting Parmesan producers in Italy?   Key Takeaways I thought Zach’s tips on pairing crisp, mineraly wines with oysters were spot on, and he should know coming from Seattle where oysters are popular and so very fresh. I agree with Zach that food and wine pairing doesn’t have to be the ultimate goal of every dining experience. Sometimes, you just want to enjoy a wine that you love and a dish that’s your favourite, and the two don’t necessarily go together. My suggestion, take a bit from a bun in between and relax. I was glad to hear Zach say that it’s perfectly fine to tell sommeliers if you don’t like the wine they recommended. They’ve got a personal stake in your enjoying your wine and meal and coming back again.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, June 9th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   About Zach Geballe Zach Geballe is a Seattle-based journalist and educator focused on the beverage alcohol industry. He is the co-host and producer of the VinePair podcast as well as the founder of Disgorged Wine, a wine education and events company in Seattle. He is a Certified Sommelier and has over 15 years of restaurant industry experience, most recently as the wine director for Tom Douglas Restaurants in Seattle, Washington.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/131.
6/2/202133 minutes, 23 seconds
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130: Restaurant Wine Lists Post-Pandemic with Vinepair's Zach Geballe Part 1

What was it like being a sommelier at one of Seattle’s most prestigious restaurants as the pandemic started to unfold? How have restaurants and wine lists changed to re-emerge in a post-pandemic world? How are sommeliers pivoting in the wake of the pandemic? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Zach Geballe, co-host and producer of the VinePair podcast as well as the founder of Disgorged Wine. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Why was Zach fascinated with restaurants and food as a child? What was Zach’s experience with Seattle’s Dahlia Lounge? How does Zach see restaurants and wine lists changing in a post-pandemic world? Which types of restaurant customers does Zach expect to decline because of the pandemic? When did Zach first realize that it wouldn’t be business as usual for 2020? How did Zach combine his twin loves of journalism and the restaurant industry? How did the Disgorged and Vinepair podcasts get started? Why has Zach’s multi-passionate nature been especially important in the past year? How are sommeliers pivoting in the wake of the pandemic? Why are wine jobs often the first to go in hard times?   Key Takeaways I also agree that we’ll see far fewer restaurants in the downtown cores and big cities that relied heavily on customers from business travel. I wonder what eateries will replace them, if any? I agree with Zach that counter-service is going to be a big part of the post-pandemic dining landscape. And maybe that’s the answer for the downtown cores. While this will help keep wine prices more reasonable and more restaurants above water financially, I’m concerned about what that means not only for servers and other staff, but also for sommeliers. Will we lose many of these experts who can help us discover so many terrific, new wines and new pairings? I hope that they’ll be able to pivot to new jobs in the hospitality world.   About Zach Geballe Zach Geballe is a Seattle-based journalist and educator focused on the beverage alcohol industry. He is the co-host and producer of the VinePair podcast as well as the founder of Disgorged Wine, a wine education and events company in Seattle. He is a Certified Sommelier and has over 15 years of restaurant industry experience, most recently as the wine director for Tom Douglas Restaurants in Seattle, Washington.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, June 2nd at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/130.
5/26/202135 minutes, 41 seconds
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129: Champagne Widows + Are Expensive Wines Worth It?

Are wines that cost hundreds of dollars per bottle ever worth the price? Does deepening your understanding of wine increase your enjoyment of wine? Who were the young widows who built the famous Champagne houses into top luxury brands? How can you use the butter/lemon test to help with food and wine pairing? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm sharing part two of my interview on the All About Wine podcast with Ron Hunt. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Are high-end wines like Domaine Romanée-Conti worth their price? When is it worth it to go for the $30 bottle of wine instead of the $500 bottle? How does deepening your understanding of wine improve your experience? How can you use the butter/lemon test to help with food and wine pairing? What fascinating stories are behind the Merry Widows of Mousse? How did I develop my interviewing skills? Why is storytelling so important? Why do I embrace the enthusiastic amateur mindset?   About All About Wine and Ron Hunt All About Wine is a weekly call-in talk show dedicated to the wine industry that's been on the air since 2009. Host Ron Hunt brings his experience and knowledge as a winemaker, cellar master, and vineyardist and tasting expert to the airwaves with special guests from around the world. Always informative and entertaining...it's All About Wine.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/129.
5/19/202136 minutes, 45 seconds
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128: All About Wine Stories with Ron Hunt Part 1

What is it about wine that makes it part of many TV shows and movies? How does approaching wine through food make it so much more accessible? What adventures did I go on as a part of writing my books? Why are origin stories so important when it comes to wine? What’s one rule of thumb you can use to find great value wines that taste expensive? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm sharing my interview on the All About Wine podcast with Ron Hunt. You can find the wines we discussed at https://www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What is it about wine that makes it so popular in the media and pop culture? Why does Ron say my mobile wine app is a must-have for your phone? How did Unreserved Wine Talk end up on a list of top podcasts of 2020? How do I select guests for Unreserved Wine Talk? Why are origin stories so important? Why does approaching wine through food make it so much more accessible? How can you benefit from online wine classes? What do wine lovers want more of as we go through this pandemic? Why should you experiment with wine? What type of journey can you share through reading Red, White, and Drunk All Over? How did I approach writing Unquenchable to help readers with the process of buying wine? What’s one rule of thumb you can use to find value wines that taste expensive? Why did I start my book’s adventures at Domaine Romanée-Conti?   About All About Wine and Ron Hunt All About Wine is a weekly call-in talk show dedicated to the wine industry that's been on the air since 2009. Host Ron Hunt brings his experience and knowledge as a winemaker, cellar master, and vineyardist and tasting expert to the airwaves with special guests from around the world. Always informative and entertaining...it's All About Wine.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/128.
5/12/202143 minutes, 12 seconds
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127: Wine Influencers + Drinking Too Much? Part 2 with Devin Parr

What makes someone a wine influencer? Why is there so much uproar in the wine industry about celebrity wines and influencers? How did heavy drinking become such an entrenched part of the wine industry? Do you sometimes feel you drink too much wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Devin Parr, Founder and Managing Partner of Devin Parr & Associates. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What makes someone a wine influencer? Why is there such frustration towards wine influencers from the traditional wine community? How can we bring a sense of inclusion to the wine community? What would Devin like to see from wine influencers? How can wine brands improve their relationships with influencers? Why is awareness such a critical part of marketing? Do we drink too much in the wine business? What's it like doing wine press tours? How did such a heavy drinking culture develop as “the way we do business”? What is Devin’s opinion on mommy wine memes?   Key Takeaways I agree with Devin that an influencer is anyone who actually influences opinion on wine, not just those with official certifications. There’s a role for many voices, particularly in the wine industry. She makes such a great point: we don't drink wine in a vacuum. Wine is part of our broader lifestyle. I just wish more media trips would incorporate that … it’s why I stopped going on them altogether. And yes there have been times when I know I’ve consumed too much wine, though usually, this has been at home not at an industry event, thank goodness. But I think it’s something the wine industry needs to address more openly as do we all who love wine and want to keep it a part of our lives.   About Devin Parr Devin Parr is the Founder and Managing Partner of Devin Parr & Associates, a PR, marketing and content agency for the beverage, travel, and tourism space. She holds a level 3 WSET certificate and in 2017, was named one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers. She's written for Bottlenotes, WineCountry.com, NapaValley.com, Sonoma.com, The Plum, The Gourmet Insider, and others, including her own popular blog. Devin earned her B.A. in Political Science and Economics at UC San Diego and she joins us now from her home in Southern California.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, May 5th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You can also win one of two tickets to an exclusive virtual wine tasting led by Devin Parr that also includes two bottles of premium California wines that’ll be shipped directly to your home. These tickets are priced at $135 each and enable up to 6 participants per household to participate. We’ll be giving away two tickets, one to each of two different winners.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on one of these posts before 7 pm EDT on May 5th: Instagram Facebook LinkedIn I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/127.
5/5/202141 minutes
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126: Cameron Diaz's Clean Wine + Wellness & Wine with Devin Parr Part 1

How did Cameron Diaz’s new clean wine brand cause an uproar in the wine world? Where does wine fit into the wellness world? Which low alcohol and alcohol-free wines are worth trying? Should wine labels have ingredient lists? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Devin Parr, Founder and Managing Partner of Devin Parr & Associates. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did a wine sales call end with Devin being mistaken for an FBI agent? Why did an embarrassing conversation with a customer renew Devin’s interest in geography? Why should you be fearless when tasting and talking about wine? What incredible experiences did Devin have while studying wine in Italy? How did Bill Buford inspire Devin to move to Italy? What is clean wine? How did Cameron Diaz’s wine brand cause an uproar in the wine world? How has the wine industry unwittingly given marketers an advantage? Where does wine fit into the wellness world? Which low alcohol and alcohol-free wines are worth trying? Should wine labels have ingredient lists? Why is the traditional wine industry so resistant to non-expert consumer opinions?   Key Takeaways I enjoyed Devin’s take on clean wine, and why Cameron Diaz’s new brand caused such an uproar in the wine world. I think a definition would help, but that’s probably difficult to do given how the definitions of organic and biodynamic wines differ so greatly. I think wine can fit with wellness and a blanched life, without becoming a gimmicky or misguided marketing tactic that positions it as some sort of health drink. I’m going to search for the low alcohol and alcohol-free wines that Devin thinks are worth trying. I think wines should be more transparent about ingredients, using a QR code on the label that can be scanned to more details on the winery’s website so that this can change from year to year and not become so burdensome on the winery with packaging changes every vintage.   About Devin Parr Devin Parr is the Founder and Managing Partner of Devin Parr & Associates, a PR, marketing and content agency for the beverage, travel, and tourism space. She holds a level 3 WSET certificate and in 2017, was named one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers. She's written for Bottlenotes, WineCountry.com, NapaValley.com, Sonoma.com, The Plum, The Gourmet Insider, and others, including her own popular blog. Devin earned her B.A. in Political Science and Economics at UC San Diego and she joins us now from her home in Southern California.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, April 28th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You can also win one of two tickets to an exclusive virtual wine tasting led by Devin Parr that also includes two bottles of premium California wines that’ll be shipped directly to your home. These tickets are priced at $135 each and enable up to 6 participants per household to participate. We’ll be giving away two tickets, one to each of two different winners.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on one of my giveaway posts on either Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn before 7 pm EDT on May 5th. I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/126.
4/28/202134 minutes, 34 seconds
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125: Inflated Wine Scores, Inside Tasting Tips with Paul K - Part 2

Have wine scores gotten out of control, with higher numbers across the board? Are we oversimplifying wine when we talk and write about it? Is it possible to determine your wine taste by taking an online quiz that asks you about coffee, tea and other things you consume? And should you trust the algorithm that recommends wine to you based on your quiz results? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Paul K, host of the podcast Wine Talks with Paul K. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What was Paul surprised to learn about Sideways from his interview with Rex Pickett? How did President Eisenhower inspire Paul’s father’s love for wine? How was Paul’s family connected to The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976? What led Paul’s father to the innovative idea to send wine through the mail? Why did Paul decide to join the family business? Which 15th-century piece of art inspired the Original Wine Club of the Month logo? How does Paul score wine differently? What type of conversations does Paul have on his podcast? Why shouldn’t you use online quizzes to select your wines? What do you miss by relying on algorithms to choose wine for you? How did Paul become fascinated with Burgundy wines? Why are grapes and wine deeply expressive of where they’re from? Which wine gadgets does Paul use and love? What should you be aware of when using a Coravin? Which wine gadgets should you be wary of? Why does Paul believe you shouldn’t try to simplify wine?   Key Takeaways Paul’s right that wine scores have got out of hand, with grade inflation across the board. I like the way he approaches tasting wines - it’s much more grounded for wine drinkers, especially when he factors in the price of the wine. I agree with Paul that there’s something so ethereal, so magical about the grape, among all agricultural products, that it does take you home, that can say this is who we are. To that end, I think there’s been an oversimplification of wine, as he says. It’s worth learning about. We don’t need to make it intimidating, but we do need to acknowledge its wonderful complexity and diversity.   About Paul Kalemkiarian Paul Kalemkiarian is the host of the podcast Wine Talks with Paul K on which he interviews wine industry royalty as well as Michelin starred chefs. He’s also the owner of America’s oldest wine club, the Original Wine of the Month Club. His expertise in the wine industry spans over 30 years. His father invented the idea of wine in the mail in 1972 and they have been serving wine enthusiasts ever since.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, April 21st at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway One of you is going to win a personally signed copy of Rex Pickett’s novel, Sideways, which was also made into a hit movie, as well as a bottle of Sideways Pinot Noir.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on one of these posts before 7 pm EDT on April 21st: Instagram Facebook LinkedIn I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/125.
4/21/202137 minutes, 44 seconds
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124: Wine Clubs, Wine Finds & Tasting Tips with Paul K - Part 1

Which wine regions, grapes and styles are under-valued and worth trying? Should you be skeptical about celebrity-endorsed wines? How do you choose a good wine club? What simple strategy can you use to improve your tasting vocabulary? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Paul K, host of the podcast Wine Talks with Paul K. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did an encounter with sulphur dioxide trigger the worst moment of Paul’s career? What’s the most exciting part of being in the wine business? Why is your local wine shop your best bet for getting out of a wine rut? How has Paul been able to blend his creative side with his wine business? Which bottles of wine did Paul recently sell for a whopping $13,000? Why does Paul mostly focus on affordable wines? What’s Paul’s system for tasting and scoring wines? How do you choose a good wine club? What might surprise you about wineries and estate bottling? Which simple tips does Paul have for developing your tasting vocabulary? Why should the Canary Islands be on your radar? How does volcanic soil impact wine? How has COVID dramatically changed the wine business? What has changed over the years about celebrity wines? Why was Paul disappointed by an SNL-branded wine? Which undervalued regions should you check out next? How do Georgian and Armenian wines differ? What’s Paul’s take on organic and biodynamic wines?   Key Takeaways Paul offered some great tips on how to choose a wine club, as well as a good local wine retailer. Both can help you with the curation process and get to know your palate. I agree with Paul on how to develop your wine vocabulary - smell and taste everything, well almost everything. It’s interesting to hear how COVID has dramatically changed the wine business, from the volume of business done online now to the popular styles, regions and price points. I also liked his suggestions for undervalued regions and vintages.   About Paul Kalemkiarian Paul Kalemkiarian is the host of the podcast Wine Talks with Paul K on which he interviews wine industry royalty as well as Michelin starred chefs. He’s also the owner of America’s oldest wine club, the Original Wine of the Month Club. His expertise in the wine industry spans over 30 years. His father invented the idea of wine in the mail in 1972 and they have been serving wine enthusiasts ever since.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, April 14th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway One of you is going to win a personally signed copy of Rex Pickett’s novel, Sideways, which was also made into a hit movie, as well as a bottle of Sideways Pinot Noir.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on one of these posts before 7 pm EDT on April 21st: Instagram Facebook LinkedIn I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/124.
4/14/202143 minutes, 40 seconds
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123: Wine, Politics and Diplomatic Entertaining with Washington Post Publisher, Fred Ryan - Part 2

Only one president made his own wine and it wasn’t Thomas Jefferson. So who was it? How did Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ love of France shape White House menus? Which famous California winemaker attended a White House celebration and as a result had a falling out with his brother and started his own winery? What would surprise you about what’s in the White House wine cellar? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Fred Ryan, publisher and CEO of the Washington Post and author of Wine and The White House. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ love of France shape White House menus? What influence did James Bond have on the wine served at one of JFK’s state dinners? How did Bill Clinton tie James Bond into his speech at an official dinner? What’s the story behind Jimmy Carter’s Toast of Insults? Which enduring change did Jimmy Carter bring to presidential toasts? Who did JFK one-up with Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1953? How did a White House event play a key role in the launch of Robert Mondavi’s winery? Which wine was served by Gerald Ford for the Queen’s visit at the US bicentennial? What does it mean to “pull a Nixon”? Did any presidents make their own wine? How did Ronald Reagan become so knowledgeable about wine? What role did wine play in Ronald Reagan’s celebrations? Which bottle of wine has Fred been saving for a special occasion? What diplomatic wine solution did Ronald Reagan find for Jacques Chirac’s 1987 visit to the White House? What influence did Michelle Obama have on wines served at the White House? What has Fred learned in his new research on Joe Biden’s toasts? How did Ben Franklin pave the way for Thomas Jefferson’s exploration of French wines? What might surprise you about the White House wine cellar? How did Ronald Reagan influence guests’ wine choices?   Key Takeaways I was surprised at just how small the White House wine cellar is. I had imagined it would be on the same scale of French president or the Queen’s with thousands of bottles. I love the story about how the White House gala played a key role in the launch of the Robert Mondavi winery. I’ve long admired the fashion sense of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, especially her love of French haute couture including those iconic Chanel suits and pearls. It’s interesting how her style also shaped White House menus and wine choices. I enjoyed the stories about famous toasts, including Jimmy Carter’s Toast of Insults to more diplomatic versions from Bill Clinton Ronald Regan and Joe Biden.   About Fred Ryan Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., publisher and CEO of the Washington Post, has been an aficionado of both wine and White House history for most of his life. Growing up in Italy and California, he developed an early interest in wine and its production, studied winemaking and its history, and now participates in a joint winemaking venture in Napa Valley. Ryan’s fascination with wine parallels his lifelong interest in the American presidency. He served in a senior staff position in the Ronald Reagan White House and as Reagan’s post-presidential chief of staff. Ryan currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors of the White House Historical Association, of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, and of the Wine Committee of the Metropolitan Club of Washington, D.C.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, April 7th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot for free right here. I'll also be live-streaming this chat on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be jumping into the comments on all four platforms as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway One of you will win a personally signed copy of Fred's gorgeous, new book Wine and The White House.   How to Win All you need to do is comment on one of these posts before 7 pm EDT on April 7th: Instagram Facebook LinkedIn I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories. Good luck!     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/123.
4/7/202140 minutes, 35 seconds
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122: Wine, the White House & Presidential Pours with Washington Post Publisher, Fred Ryan Part 1

Are you curious about how wine has played an essential role in politics? How did a bottle with Thomas Jefferson's initials become the center of a wine scandal in 1985? What does pulling a Nixon mean? Which wine connected John F. Kennedy and James Bond? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Fred Ryan, publisher and CEO of the Washington Post and author of Wine and The White House. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did Fred develop his fascination with presidential politics? When did Fred start to become interested in the world of wine? What role does wine play in politics? What’s the story behind Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote, “No nation is drunk when wine is freely available”? How did Thomas Jefferson revolutionize the American wine scene? Where in Bordeaux did Fred find a presidential wine request? How was Thomas Jefferson ahead of the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855? What insider elements did Fred include on the cover of Wine and The White House? What can we learn about wine in the White House from Thomas Jefferson’s meticulous records? Why was an FBI forensic team called in to investigate a bottle of Château Lafite wine? How did wine help to break up the drunken free-for-all that was Andrew Jackson’s inauguration? How did First Lady Lucy Hayes earn the nickname Lemonade Lucy? Why did Woodrow Wilson have to seek special approval to take his wines to his new home after leaving the White House? What instructions were the White House wait staff given for Winston Churchill’s visit? What was the US attitude towards wine after Prohibition ended? Which wine-filled events stood out in Roosevelt’s time in the White House? What happened to the wine in the White House cellar when it burned down?   Key Takeaways I loved how Fred’s stories illuminated how important a role wine has played in US and global politics, from diplomatic dinners and trade disputes. I also liked how handling wine revealed the personalities of the presidents, from pulling a Nixon to Regan birthday celebrations. The history of the US is also revealed through the stories about Jefferson and other early presidents. And the story about the forensic scientists involved in discovering the fake Jefferson bottle is worthy of a CSI episode.   About Fred Ryan Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., publisher and CEO of the Washington Post, has been an aficionado of both wine and White House history for most of his life. Growing up in Italy and California, he developed an early interest in wine and its production, studied winemaking and its history, and now participates in a joint winemaking venture in Napa Valley. Ryan’s fascination with wine parallels his lifelong interest in the American presidency. He served in a senior staff position in the Ronald Reagan White House and as Reagan’s post-presidential chief of staff. Ryan currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors of the White House Historical Association, of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, and of the Wine Committee of the Metropolitan Club of Washington, D.C.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video on Wednesday, April 7th at 7 pm eastern. Click on the "Interested" or "Going" buttons below so that you'll be notified when we go live: https://www.facebook.com/events/882152032606638 I’ll be jumping into the comments on all three platforms as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway One of you will win a personally signed copy of Fred's gorgeous, new book Wine and The White House.   How to Win All you have to do is just pick your favourite social media channel -- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn -- tag us and post a wine you love before April 7th. Make sure to use these handles and hashtags: Instagram - @NatalieMacLeanWine Twitter -  @NataliemMacLean Facebook - @NatDecants Hashtags: #natdecants   I’ll select the winner from those of you who participate before April 7th. I’ll also reshare your stories and posts with my followers whether you win or not so that you connect with more wine lovers. Good luck, and I can't wait to see (and share) what you post!     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/122.
3/31/202137 minutes, 1 second
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121: Online Wine Classes Bring the Future Forward with VinePair's Zach Geballe

Where do the worlds of wine and high tech collide? Why has the wine industry been so slow to embrace digital offerings? Should you join an online wine class? Are online wine events here to stay in a post-pandemic world? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm sharing my interview on VinePair Podcast with Zach Geballe. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights When did I start bringing my love for wine and tech together? How did my high-tech job give me an opportunity to explore Napa and Sonoma Valley? Is wine a part of the high-tech work culture? How has the pandemic forced the wine industry to embrace the internet and digital platforms? What was the state of wine education pre-COVID? Can you truly engage the senses and have a full experience with online wine classes? What are the advantages of online wine classes? What benefits could you experience from an online class over face-to-face? Is there a community aspect to online wine classes? Are online wine classes here to stay for the long-term? Why should brands and wineries include an online aspect in their offerings? Should you take an online wine class? What’s behind my belief in moderation through appreciation? Which wines have I been loving lately?   About Zach Geballe and VinePair Zach Geballe is a wine writer and educator based in Seattle. He is a podcast host/producer for VinePair Podcast and the founder/wine educator for Disgorged Wine. VinePair Podcast is hosted by VinePair co-founder Adam Teeter and sommelier and wine educator Zach Geballe. They discuss the latest news, trends, and happenings in the world of wine, beer, and spirits each week.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/121.
3/24/202129 minutes, 7 seconds
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120: Best Ways to Learn About Wine? Vanessa Conlin MW & Amanda McCrossin Part 2

Are trends like orange wine and natural wine here to stay? What are the benefits of joining a wine club? How do you get out of a wine rut? Have consumer wine choices changed during the pandemic? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Amanda McCrossin & Vanessa Conlin of the Wine Access Unfiltered Podcast for part 2 of our two-part conversation. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Why did Vanessa decide to pursue her MW qualification? What are the main differences between the MW and Master Sommelier qualifications? Why doesn’t Amanda think the orange wine trend is here to stay in the US? Why is there so much confusion for consumers when it comes to natural wines? How does Vanessa identify natural wines? Have consumer wine choices changed during the pandemic? What was the most expensive wine Amanda has ever sold? Why does Amanda have a special interest in unusual varieties of wine from the 1950s and 1960s? Where can you start when you want to try something new? What’s the experience like as a member of the Wine Access Wine Club? Does it matter where you buy your wine? Why did Vanessa do a tasting of high-altitude wines? Which type of wine glass does Amanda recommend for California wines? How is Wine Access working to help improve diversity in the wine industry?   Key Takeaways I loved the way Vanessa described the master of wine studies as a way to combine all of those pieces of her curiosity and feed her constant desire to keep learning. I feel that way when it comes to writing and researching guests and topics for this podcast. I agree with her that the wine community needs to do a better job of explaining what natural wine actually means and what people should look for. I love her advice to drink promiscuously! The people on the floor - whether it's a restaurant or retail - know better than anybody what's on that list or on the shelves. Talk to them and ask what's interesting. Take a risk, drink promiscuously. Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video on Wednesday, March 24th at 7 pm eastern. Click on the "Interested" or "Going" buttons below so that you'll be notified when we go live: https://www.facebook.com/events/483530695981204 I’ll be jumping into the comments on all three platforms as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You can win one of two signed copies of my books, "Red, White, and Drunk All Over" and "Unquenchable"   How to Win All you have to do is just pick your favourite social media channel -- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn -- tag us and post a wine you love before March 24th. Make sure to use these handles and hashtags: Instagram - @vanessaconlin @sommvivant @nataliemacleanwine @wineaccess @wineaccessunfiltered Twitter - @wineaccess @nataliemaclean Facebook - @hello.wine.access @natdecants Hashtags: #wineaccess #natdecants   I’ll select the winner from those of you who participate before March 24th. I’ll also reshare your stories and posts with my followers whether you win or not so that you connect with more wine lovers. Good luck, and I can't wait to see (and share) what you post!   About Amanda McCrossin & Vanessa Conlin MW Amanda McCrossin is a sommelier, media personality, wine educator, host of the Wine Access Unfiltered Podcast, & creator/host of the Instagram and YouTube channel “SOMMVIVANT.” As the former Wine Director at PRESS Restaurant in Napa Valley, Amanda worked with the world’s largest, deepest restaurant collection of all Napa Valley wines in the world. Prior to being named Wine Director in 2018, Amanda worked as a sommelier with her mentors and predecessors Kelli White (author, Napa Valley Then & Now) and Scott Brenner to become one of the world’s leading experts in California wine. Today, Amanda focuses her efforts on producing wine “edutainment” and digital media content for her social media platforms geared toward both consumers and professionals alike. A frequent speaker, personality, and contributing writer, in 2018 she was named a Wine Enthusiast ‘Wine Star’ Nominee for Sommelier of the Year and has been featured by numerous publications and media outlets including SOMM TV, Food Network, Wine Enthusiast, Somm Journal, Food & Wine, World of Fine Wine, & Wine Spectator. Vanessa Conlin MW is the Head of Wine for Wine Access, a national direct-to-consumer e-com wine retailer where she oversees all wine curation and wine content. Vanessa has served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for several of Napa’s most prestigious luxury estates including Arietta Wines and Dana Estates. Previously she was the wine buyer for two prominent Manhattan wine retailers and the Wine Director for a Manhattan-based wine bar. As an avid supporter of charitable causes, Vanessa is the President of the Board for Jameson Humane, a Napa Valley-based animal rescue and sanctuary, and has chaired the organization’s annual charity wine auction four times, raising over 7 million dollars. Prior to falling in love with wine, Vanessa worked as a professional musician, performing internationally and on Broadway, and holds a Master’s Degree in Music. She is an instructor for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and was the recipient of the Niki Singer Memorial Scholarship from the International Wine Center. Vanessa became a Master of Wine in 2020.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/120.
3/17/202135 minutes, 30 seconds
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119: Which Hot New Wine Regions & Styles Should You Try? Amanda McCrossin & Vanessa Conlin MW Part 1

Have you ever dreamed of ditching your day job and starting a career in wine? What do wine and music have in common? What's it like to share a bottle of wine with the famous wine critic Robert Parker? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Amanda McCrossin & Vanessa Conlin of the Wine Access Unfiltered Podcast for part 1 of our two-part conversation. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights When did Vanessa recognize she had found her place in the world of wine? Why was moving to Napa Valley the best moment in Amanda’s wine career so far? How was Amanda impacted by the California wildfires in 2017 and 2020? Are Napa Valley wineries open for visitors? How did a class shift Vanessa’s career path from opera to wine? Why was wine an infrequent part of Vanessa’s life during her career as an opera singer? How did Amanda make the transition from the stage into her wine career? How are wine and music more similar than you might think? What’s behind the perceived barrier to entry for both wine and opera? How are Amanda and Vanessa making wine more accessible? Why did Amanda make the move to Napa Valley from New York? How did Vanessa end up moving to California on a leap of faith? How does Vanessa combine her passion for wine with her love of animals? What was the moment that Amanda knew it was time for her to go all-in on her wine career? What aspects of Vanessa’s transition to her wine career were the hardest? Why was working at Press Restaurant such an interesting experience for Amanda? Which first wine experience did Amanda share with Robert Parker? What close call did Vanessa have with sparkling wine?   Key Takeaways I love the parallels that they draw between wine and music: both enjoyed individually and evoke all the senses. You can share the same bottle of wine with others but have a very different experience of it from them. What you bring to that wine influences what you take away from it. I love the point about wine, like music, being the sum of art and science. You start with technical foundations, but it’s the artistic flourish on top that makes the experience magical. It was great to get an update on Napa Valley and I’m looking forward to visiting the region again. I believe that you can enjoy wine without being an expert, but also believe that you can have a richer, more layered experience with knowledge. That’s always optional of course. I agree that a great way to learn about wine is to surround yourself with people who know more about it than you do, whether that’s through friends or online courses.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video on Wednesday, March 17th at 7 pm eastern. Click on the "Interested" or "Going" buttons below so that you'll be notified when we go live: https://www.facebook.com/events/465681857886314/ I’ll be jumping into the comments on all three platforms as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You can win one of two signed copies of my books, "Red, White, and Drunk All Over" and "Unquenchable"   How to Win All you have to do is just pick your favourite social media channel -- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn -- tag us and post a wine you love before March 24th. Make sure to use these handles and hashtags: Instagram - @vanessaconlin @sommvivant @nataliemacleanwine @wineaccess @wineaccessunfiltered Twitter - @wineaccess @nataliemaclean Facebook - @hello.wine.access @natdecants Hashtags: #wineaccess #natdecants   I’ll select the winner from those of you who participate before March 24th. I’ll also reshare your stories and posts with my followers whether you win or not so that you connect with more wine lovers. Good luck, and I can't wait to see (and share) what you post!   About Amanda McCrossin & Vanessa Conlin MW Amanda McCrossin is a sommelier, media personality, wine educator, host of the Wine Access Unfiltered Podcast, & creator/host of the Instagram and YouTube channel “SOMMVIVANT.” As the former Wine Director at PRESS Restaurant in Napa Valley, Amanda worked with the world’s largest, deepest restaurant collection of all Napa Valley wines in the world. Prior to being named Wine Director in 2018, Amanda worked as a sommelier with her mentors and predecessors Kelli White (author, Napa Valley Then & Now) and Scott Brenner to become one of the world’s leading experts in California wine. Today, Amanda focuses her efforts on producing wine “edutainment” and digital media content for her social media platforms geared toward both consumers and professionals alike. A frequent speaker, personality, and contributing writer, in 2018 she was named a Wine Enthusiast ‘Wine Star’ Nominee for Sommelier of the Year and has been featured by numerous publications and media outlets including SOMM TV, Food Network, Wine Enthusiast, Somm Journal, Food & Wine, World of Fine Wine, & Wine Spectator. Vanessa Conlin MW is the Head of Wine for Wine Access, a national direct-to-consumer e-com wine retailer where she oversees all wine curation and wine content. Vanessa has served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for several of Napa’s most prestigious luxury estates including Arietta Wines and Dana Estates. Previously she was the wine buyer for two prominent Manhattan wine retailers and the Wine Director for a Manhattan-based wine bar. As an avid supporter of charitable causes, Vanessa is the President of the Board for Jameson Humane, a Napa Valley-based animal rescue and sanctuary, and has chaired the organization’s annual charity wine auction four times, raising over 7 million dollars. Prior to falling in love with wine, Vanessa worked as a professional musician, performing internationally and on Broadway, and holds a Master’s Degree in Music. She is an instructor for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and was the recipient of the Niki Singer Memorial Scholarship from the International Wine Center. Vanessa became a Master of Wine in 2020.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/119.
3/10/202135 minutes, 41 seconds
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118: Dream Wine Careers with Susie Barrie & Peter Richards Part 2

Why are podcasts one of the best ways to learn about wine? How do English sparkling wines compare to Champagne, and should you seek them out? Why is the Master of Wine qualification valuable beyond the studies? What’s behind the low pass rate for the Master of Wine qualification? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Susie Barrie and Peter Richards, Masters of Wine for part two of our two-part conversation. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Why does Winchester make a great location for a wine festival? How did Susie and Peter adapt their Wine Festival Winchester during the pandemic? How can you get a taste of 2020’s Wine Festival Winchester masterclasses? What beautiful experience did Susie have when judging the 2020 WineGB awards? When did Susie and Peter launch their podcast, Wine Blast? What was it like launching their podcast during the pandemic? Why are podcasts such a good match for wine? Which aspects of podcasting are we most interested in? Why are Susie and Peter so excited about English wine? Can you find English wines in North America? What taste profile can you expect from English sparkling wine? Which types of English wine should you look out for? How are climate extremes impacting wine? How do English sparkling wines compare with Champagne? Why is the Master of Wine qualification valuable beyond the studies? What’s behind the low pass rate for the Master of Wine qualification?   Key Takeaways I love how Susie and Peter pivoted with Covid and hosted their popular wine festival online. You can watch the video recordings of the sessions they hosted. I so agree with them that podcasts are one of the best ways to learn about wine. I’m biased, of course, but it’s such an intimate medium that lends itself to more in-depth learning. I found their discussion about English sparkling wines helpful, and I’m determined to taste them when I can find them going forward. Susie and Peter made some excellent points on why the Master of Wine qualification is valuable beyond the studies to achieve the credential. Love that probative skill of asking the question beyond the question and challenging received wisdom.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video on Wednesday, February 24th at 7 pm eastern. Click on the "Interested" or "Going" buttons below so that you'll be notified when we go live: https://www.facebook.com/events/216760110179261 I’ll be jumping into the comments on all three platforms as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You could win a prize pack that includes a personally signed copy of their book on English wine, a lovely linen polishing cloth for your wine stemware and a cheeky chef’s apron that says on the front “Like it Fresh and Racy?”   How to Win All you have to do is just pick your favourite social media channel -- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn -- tag us and post a wine you love before March 10th... bonus points if you tag three wine-loving friends and you tell me why you picked that wine, how it tastes and suggested food pairings. Instagram @susieandpeter @nataliemacleanwine Facebook @natdecants Twitter @wineschools @susiebarrie @nataliemaclean LinkedIn @nataliemaclean Hashtags for all platforms: #wineblast #natdecants   I’ll also reshare your stories and posts with my followers whether you win or not so that you connect with more wine lovers. Good luck, and I can't wait to see (and share) what you post!   About Susie Barrie and Peter Richards Susie and Peter are Masters of Wine who happen to be married to each other. It’s a strange old household, with a constant soundtrack of clinking bottles and glasses. As TV and radio presenters, event hosts, writers, podcasters, authors and consultants, the pair are renowned for their enthusiastic, thoughtful and articulate style, having been described as, ‘Legends: best in the business’ and ‘What a double act: two stars making a killer constellation.’   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/118.
3/3/202138 minutes, 45 seconds
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117: Having a Wine Blast with Susie Barrie & Peter Richards

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a career in wine, whether as a TV or radio personality, writer, author, podcaster, event organizer, speaker or consultant? Well, our guests tonight have done it all and you’re in for a treat with colourful stories from their brilliant careers! In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Susie Barrie and Peter Richards, Masters of Wine for part one of our two-part conversation. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights When did Susie decide she wanted to change her career from acting to wine? When was Peter’s unorthodox introduction to wine writing? Why should you always keep a bottle of wine in your bag? What was the hardest moment in Susie’s journey as a wine expert? What did Peter learn about himself and his writing style from the low points in his career? Why is food such a great place for you to start learning about wine? What have been the highlights of Susie and Peter’s careers so far? How do Susie and Peter simplify wine by breaking it down into categories? How did Peter come to recognize the impact of their work? When did Susie develop her Michelin star-worthy cooking style? How has wine impacted Susie and Peter’s relationship? What effect does a career in wine have on your children? What has been Susie and Peter’s experience with wine-fueled marathons? Why should you wear fancy dress when running a marathon?   Key Takeaways I loved listening to the journeys that brought both Susie and Peter from such different backgrounds to the world of wine. I feel we all sort of stumble into this world, and then never want to leave it. I couldn’t agree more with their take that a great place to start learning about wine is through food pairing and to heck with those who scoff at the notion. That’s why my online Wine Smart Course focuses on pairings. I enjoyed hearing how wine has affected their relationship beyond the shared passion and the stories about running the Medoc marathon that were so amusing. Wine bridges so many cultures, regions and moments.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video on Wednesday, February 24th at 7 pm eastern. Click on the "Interested" or "Going" buttons below so that you'll be notified when we go live: https://www.facebook.com/events/715197649361153/ I’ll be jumping into the comments on all three platforms as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You could win a prize pack that includes a personally signed copy of their book on English wine, a lovely linen polishing cloth for your wine stemware and a cheeky chef’s apron that says on the front “Like it Fresh and Racy?”   How to Win All you have to do is just pick your favourite social media channel -- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn -- tag us and post a wine you love before March 10th... bonus points if you tag three wine-loving friends and you tell me why you picked that wine, how it tastes and suggested food pairings. Instagram @susieandpeter @nataliemacleanwine Facebook @natdecants Twitter @wineschools @susiebarrie @nataliemaclean LinkedIn @nataliemaclean Hashtags for all platforms: #wineblast #natdecants   I’ll also reshare your stories and posts with my followers whether you win or not so that you connect with more wine lovers. Good luck, and I can't wait to see (and share) what you post!   About Susie Barrie and Peter Richards Susie and Peter are Masters of Wine who happen to be married to each other. It’s a strange old household, with a constant soundtrack of clinking bottles and glasses. As TV and radio presenters, event hosts, writers, podcasters, authors and consultants, the pair are renowned for their enthusiastic, thoughtful and articulate style, having been described as, ‘Legends: best in the business’ and ‘What a double act: two stars making a killer constellation.’   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/117.
2/24/202149 minutes, 25 seconds
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116: Open That Bottle Night with Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher

Do you have a bottle of wine that you’ve been holding onto for a special occasion? Are you curious about how much an old bottle you’ve been keeping in your cellar is worth and whether you should open it soon? Would you like to take a peek behind-the-scenes at how two of the world’s most successful wine columnists taste wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, journalists, authors and wine columnists. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How did growing up in the segregated South inspire Dottie to become a journalist? What made John recognize the power of good journalism at a young age? What was the worst moment of Dottie and John’s writing careers? Which commencement address was a special honour for Dottie? Which important story made John’s proudest moment in his journalism career so far? What was it like becoming part of the Wine Writers Collection at UC Davis Library? What was Martha Stewart’s connection to Dottie and John’s Wall Street Journal column? Why did Dottie and John end up drinking Château Latour on The Today Show? How did Dottie and John meet? What was the first bottle of wine Dottie and John shared? How did their honeymoon experience of Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1968 lead to meeting renowned winemaker André Tchelistcheff? How did wine change Dottie and John’s lives? What is it about wine that makes us slow down and appreciate the present? Why should you visit winemakers? How did bottles of Taittinger Champagne end up in a birdbath? What role did wine play at the wedding of Dottie and John’s daughter, Media? Why should you seek out a wine merchant you can talk to? Why did Dottie and John make the switch from writing about news to wine? What was the unique approach Dottie and John took to their Wall Street Journal wine column? Why is Dottie excited about the proliferation of wine writers and bloggers? How did Oregon Pinot Noirs spur vehement disagreements between Dottie and John? Who are the wine jerks? How does the “exclusivity” of wine still show up today? What has been Dottie’s experience as a Black woman participating in industry tasting events? How can each of us play our part in making our worlds more equitable and inclusive? Where did the idea for Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) come from? What was the response to the first OTBN? Where is the most unusual place to have participated in OTBN? Why do we resist opening our special bottles of wine? Why should you do OTBN as often as you can? Which wine will Dottie, John and I open for OTBN 2021? How has OTBN been embraced widely in popular culture and across borders?   Key Takeaways I loved their stories about how they met and fell in love with each other and with wine. I also enjoyed going behind-the-scenes with their tasting and writing process. It’s as rigorous as their non-wine journalism. I admire how Dottie and John approached Tastings as a column about life, not simply wine. They connected with so many readers because of that and inspired a passion for wine by making it accessible without dumbing it down. I appreciated hearing Dottie’s experiences as a Black woman in the world of wine. I’m motivated to interview more people of colour on this podcast. I already have some in mind, but please let me know if you have suggestions. Love the motivation behind Open that Bottle Night! I’m so motivated to participate in OTBN this year! You’ll find out which two wines were my finalists for the decision, and why I chose the one I did during our Watch Party on February 24th. I want to know which wine you chose too!   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video on Wednesday, February 24th at 7 pm eastern. Click on the "Interested" or "Going" buttons below so that you'll be notified when we go live: https://www.facebook.com/events/199960218511080 I’ll be jumping into the comments on all three platforms as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?   Giveaway You could win a personally signed copy of Dottie and John's book, Love By The Glass, a beautifully written memoir and love story that also teaches you lots about wine. How to Win All you have to do is just pick your favourite social media channel -- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn -- and post about which bottle you’re going to open on Open That Bottle Night, before Saturday, February 27th. You'll get an additional entry for each social post you do, so feel free to post on all four social media platforms. You'll also get a bonus entry for each wine-loving friend you tag. I’ll re-share your stories and posts with my followers so that you get more followers! Use these tags and hashtags when you post on your fave social media channel: Instagram @dottieandjohn @nataliemacleanwine Facebook @winecouple @natdecants Twitter @winecouple @nataliemaclean LinkedIn @nataliemaclean Hashtags for all platforms: #otbn #natdecants   I’ll select the winner from those of you who participate before Saturday, February 27th! Good luck, and I can't wait to see (and share) what you post!   About Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher conceived and wrote The Wall Street Journal's wine column, "Tastings," from 1998 to 2010. They’ve published four best-selling wine books and created the annual, international "Open That Bottle Night" (OTBN), a celebration of wine and friendship. Their column for that first event was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. It’s coming up this Saturday, February 27th. We’ll dig into what it’s all about during our conversation. Before writing about wine, both Dorothy and John had distinguished careers in journalism as reporters and editors at The Miami Herald, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/116.
2/17/202159 minutes, 33 seconds
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115: Inside Bordeaux's Secret Underground with Jane Anson

Are you curious about Bordeaux wine? Would you love to learn about its secret underground history? What about the overlooked wines and vintages that are both affordable and delicious? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jane Anson, the world’s foremost authority on Bordeaux wine and the author of Inside Bordeaux. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Giveaway You could win a personally signed copy of Jane Anson's gorgeous, new book Inside Bordeaux if you post a Bordeaux wine that you’ve enjoyed on Instagram or Facebook, either as a Story or in your feed. Use the hashtags #insidebordeaux and #natdecants and tag me, Jane and her exclusive book distributor in Canada, the wine agency, All The Right Grapes: Instagram @jane.anson @nataliemacleanwine @alltherightgrapes @bordeauxwines @drinkbordeaux @vinsdumedoc Facebook @jane.anson.7 @natdecants @alltherightgrapes @bordeauxwine @CrusBourgeoisduMedocUS Twitter @newbordeaux @nataliemaclean @alltherightgrapes @BordeauxWines @BordeauxWinesUK @VisitFrenchWine LinkedIn @nataliemaclean #insidebordeaux #natdecants #BordeauxWine #CIVB #FrenchWines I’ll select the winner from those of you who participate before next Wednesday… bonus points if you tag three wine-loving friends and you tell me why you picked that wine, what it means to you, where you bought it, and suggested food pairings. I’ll also re-share your stories and posts with my followers and announce the winners during our chat next Wednesday.   Highlights When did Jane decide to become a writer? What editing mistake from 20 years ago still makes Jane's blood run cold? What is Jane's most memorable moment of her career so far? Which career would Jane choose if she wasn't a wine writer? Would your experience of Mouton Rothschild's 1945 Victory Vintage live up to the stories? How did Jane end up choosing to focus her writing on Bordeaux? What old English connection is responsible for the unique way you see Bordeaux being sold today? What caused Bordeaux to switch to the predominantly red wines you would be familiar with? How have foreign influences influenced the iconic Bordeaux wines you enjoy today? What was Bordeaux's involvement in the slave trade? Why was the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 created? What do you need to know about the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855? Where can you find Jane's informal Bordeaux ranking system? Why should always read tasting notes rather than relying solely on wine scores? How did Robert Parker influence your experiences with Bordeaux wine over the years? What has contributed to the general move away from big, fruity wines you can see in the industry? How has climate change impacted Bordeaux blends? Why is it important for you to look beyond the high-priced classified Bordeaux estate wines? How did Jane navigate the over 800 chateaux she researched for Inside Bordeaux? Which unusual publishing and distribution route did Jane take for Inside Bordeaux? What makes the maps included in Inside Bordeaux so unique? What green initiatives would you find winemakers undertaking in Bordeaux? Why should you be concerned about monoculture? Where should you look for bargains on Bordeaux? What are Jane's thoughts on the future of Bordeaux?   Key Takeaways Bordeaux is so much more diverse than those big, fancy chateaux that we imagine, what I call castle marketing. I love that Jane searched for undiscovered regions, especially those that are the satellites of more famous ones like Montagne de St Emilion and the Cotes. Jane reminds us how important soil is with her gorgeous maps that truly reveal the diverse unground layers of Bordeaux that in turn shape what we drink. I’m fascinated with the British influence on Bordeaux wine that dates back to 1152 when this region became part of a Duchy of the English crown. Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was French, who owned this part of France through her father. And she married her second husband, who quickly after their marriage became Henry the second of England. That helped establish Bordeaux as an exporting region, as well as the style of claret the Brits came to love. It’s interesting how the rise of wine critic Robert Parker influenced the style of Bordeaux wine toward a more fruit-forward expression and how that has since receded to greater balance and elegance. I was pleased to hear about the many green initiatives alive in Bordeaux from eco-forestry to biodynamics. In addition to caring for the environment, I believe it also requires greater attention to growing the vines and results in better wines.   About Jane Anson Jane Anson is the world’s foremost authority on Bordeaux wine. She’s lived in Bordeaux since 2003 and is author of the newly published Inside Bordeaux, which has received multiple glowing reviews and has been nominated for several awards already. She’s also the author of The Club of Nine, Angélus, Bordeaux Legends, a history of the 1855 First Growth wines, as well as co-author or translator of over a dozen wine and travel books. She’s Bordeaux correspondent and columnist for Decanter magazine and has won several awards for her writing, including Louis Roederer Wine Online Communicator of the Year 2020, and Born Digital Best Editorial 2020. She is a graduate of the DUAD tasting diploma with the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology and an accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux Ecole du Vin.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/115.
2/10/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 7 seconds
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114: Rising Alcohol in Wine: Too Hot to Handle?

Want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Forget the lingerie, lipstick and silk-tie handcuffs—just ensure that the object of your desire drinks a little wine. Over a few glasses of wine, love is blind, or at least it’s wearing rosé-coloured glasses.  Perhaps that’s why it’s one of the greatest social lubricants—wine has certainly done more to keep marriages together than beer. Wine embodies physical pleasure: With pheromones, its aromas are a heady mix and its velvet caress on the tongue both soothes and excites. What other drink is described as “voluptuous” and “curvaceous”? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with you about not only wine for Valentine's Day, but we’re also going to turn up the heat and talk about the rising levels of alcohol in wine. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What rule of thumb should you keep in mind when pairing wine with chocolate? Which wines can you choose when pairing with sweet desserts? Why does the alcohol in wine hit you harder now than in the past? What is fuelling the trend of wines having higher alcohol content? How does alcohol support wine and the tasting experience you enjoy? What can you determine from the tears coating your glass? Why does the alcohol in wine give you the impression of sweetness and texture? Does high alcohol really prove beneficial for New World wines? What traditional processes contribute to the high alcohol levels you might be accustomed to in wines like Amarone? Why do usually find lower alcohol wines coming from cool-climate regions? Where would you find most of the world's most alcoholic wines being produced? Which white wine myth should you dispel? Why should you care about the steadily increasing alcohol content in wine? How do winemakers test grapes for maturity? How does climate change influence ripeness? How do modern winemaking techniques boost alcohol levels? What influence did Robert Parker have on the tasting profile of the wines you've tasted? Why might big wines be spoiling your dinner parties? How can you enjoy different wines for different purposes? Why shouldn't you rely on alcohol levels reported on wine labels? What can you expect from the future of high-alcohol wines?       To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/114.
2/3/202141 minutes, 30 seconds
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113: Tasting and Pairing Grüner Veltliner with Austrian Winemaker Rudi Rabl

Why do sommeliers love Grüner Veltliner? How does this zesty white wine from Austria compare to Gewürztraminer and Riesling? Does it age well? What are the best food pairings? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Rudi Rabl, founder and winemaker at Austria’s Rabl Winery. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What makes Grüner Veltliner such a flexible type of wine? Which characteristic flavours will you taste in Grüner Veltliner? Which dishes should you try pairing with Grüner Veltliner? Can you pick up aromatic similarities between Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner? How is climate change affecting winemakers in Austria? Why is it harder for you to find Grüner Veltliner in North America? What should you look for when buying Grüner Veltliner? Which appetizers could you pair with Grüner Veltliner? How many different styles of Grüner Veltliner are available to you from Rabl? What can you expect from Rabl St. Laurent, as an Austrian red wine? What made the 2013 and 2015 vintages ones you'd particularly enjoy? Why is Grüner Veltliner a great candidate to add to your cellar? How did wild yeast lead to Rudi's favourite moment in his winemaking career so far? What is Rudi's most memorable wine moment?   Key Takeaways Austrian is a boutique wine producer, a country that makes less wine than the region of Bordeaux. It’s great to know that we get the best wines in North America, as these tend to be exported rather than the more ordinary vin de table, especially since the country produces less than what its citizens consume on average each year. Grüner Veltliner is such a versatile wine both stylistically and when it comes to food pairings. No wonder it’s a favourite of sommeliers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We shouldn't be afraid of acidity. What salt is to food, I find acidity is to wine. It brings forward the flavour of both the wine and the food. One of the preservatives of wine is good acidity and Grüner Veltliner has it in spades so yes these wines can age well, though they’re also so vibrant and fresh when young.   About Rudi Rabl Rudi Rabl is proud of the family tradition of his winery, dating back to 1750. The love for nature and grapes, the ecological work in the vineyard with herbal plants and the knowledge of the professional processing ensure an excellent quality of the different types of wine. In the cellar, modernity is combined with traditional values. Ecology is an important factor and the winery has been certified as "Sustainable Austria" since 2015. Among the highlights of the awards in recent years is the “White Wine Maker of the Year" 2019 at IWSC in London, the two Decanter Trophy Winners Grüner Veltliner Dechant and Riesling Steinhaus, as well as the 2017 regional winner in the Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc categories. In addition, the winery was awarded "Winery of the Year" in Kamptal.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/113.
1/27/202127 minutes, 37 seconds
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112: New Zealand Wine's Sacred Soils with Left Field's Richard Painter

How does the unique geography and climate of Hawke's Bay and Gimlet Gravels in New Zealand create wines unlike any others? How does New Zealand Syrah differ from those from other regions? Why do many winemakers seem to have a special love for Chardonnay? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Richard Painter, Winemaker for Te Awa Single Estate and Left Field wines. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights How does the geography of Gimblett Gravels impact the wines you get from Te Awa Wines? Which foods would make a good match for you to pair with the lighter style of Left Field Chardonnay? What prominent notes will you experience with Left Field Chardonnay? Which delicious pairings should you try with Left Field Sauvignon Blanc? What's the fascinating story behind the unique illustrations you'll find on Left Field wine labels? How does Chardonnay lend itself to the wide stylistic variations available to you? What particular style can you expect from Left Field Chardonnay versus Te Awa Estate Chardonnay? Why are goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc a pairing a perfect pairing you should try? What unique characteristics will you find in Left Field Rosé? Should you cellar your Rosé? What differences will you taste between a New Zealand versus Australian Syrah? What can you expect from a Left Field Pinot Noir and Left Field Merlot? Why would you find that wine is a natural progression after studying geography?   Key Takeaways I admire Richard’s love of geography and soil: it’s so fundamental to understanding and loving wine. This week, I’m trying his suggested pairing of fried snapper with lemon and a zesty cool-climate Chardonnay. He observed that Chardonnay is often considered a winemaker’s wine since it can express so many staples and variations depending on the winemaker’s decisions, and of course, the terroir.   About Richard Painter Richard studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geography at Otago. Whilst living in Dunedin, he spent four years managing the legendary Bath St. Nightclub. During this stint in hospitality, Richard began attending wine clubs and tastings. He soon realized that not only did he really enjoy drinking wine but also that the process of making wine was intrinsically linked to soil science and climatology and therefore appeared to be a practical application of what he studied in Physical Geography. This burgeoning interest in wine took him to Lincoln University in 2006, to complete a Graduate Diploma in Winemaking and Viticulture. Richard started off his career in the wine industry working in vineyards in Central Otago, Canterbury and Nelson. During a year working at Neudorf Vineyard’s in Nelson, he discovered an interest in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and wanted to learn more about these wines. This led him to travel to Oregon to work for Owen Roe Winery and as fate would have it, ended up working in their facility in Washington State. Again his curiosity with different varietals was piqued and he fell in love with making (and naturally drinking) bold red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot blends and Syrah. This love of red wine is what brought Richard to Hawkes Bay as he wanted to work with fruit from the famous Gimblett Gravels sub-region.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/112.
1/20/202139 minutes, 6 seconds
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111: Ontario Icewine: How to Drink It, Pair It and Love It with Karen King

How is Icewine different from other sweet wines? How does that change the way you drink it and pair with food? Which pairings work beyond dessert? How can you make delicious Icewine Slushies and pair them with chili chips and wasabi peas for an incredible flavour combination? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Karen King, co-owner of the Ice House Winery in Niagara. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What differences can you see in how different generations think about Icewine? Why shouldn't you save Icewine only for special occasions? How is the Ice House Winery Icewine different from others? How does Karen and Jaime's winemaking goal benefit you? What rule-breaking experience can you expect from the Ice House's Icewine Slushies? How can you make Icewine Slushies at home? What taste profile will you encounter when drinking Icewine Slushies? Why should try a pairing of Icewine with wasabi peas? Which surprising notes will you taste in the Ice House Riesling Icewine? What foods can you pair with Riesling Icewine? Which complex notes can you identify in Ice House Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine? Are there certain aspects of a wine that make it more suited for you to have at the end of a meal? How can Icewine make your other wines more interesting? How did being on The Big Decision catapult the Ice House Winery's popularity? Where can you find the Ice House Winery?   Key Takeaways Karen reveals some interesting stats: 20% of wine lovers drink dessert wine, but 80% are interested in them as cocktails, particularly younger people. I think it’s smart that she came up with a way to make icewine more accessible and have a broader reach with the slushies even though purists might be horrified. They lower the intensity of the flavour and sweetness making them more palatable. Her pairings of chilli chips and wasabi peas were simply brilliant with icewine. The combination of heat, salt, sweetness and acidity was a party for my mouth. Also try other chip flavours like chipotle, lime and jalapeno. I like her observation on high tone fruit like peach, pear, apricot in Vidal icewines versus the lower tone, more mellow fruit of a Cabernet-based icewine with notes of dark berries and cherries.   About Karen King Karen King and her husband, Jamie Macfarlane are the co-owners of the Ice House Winery in Niagara. Karen has applied her business and sensory expertise to support Jamie’s expertise as a master winemaker. He developed his unique award-winning Icewines through Karen's research that identified that consumers preferred a more balanced Icewine with a complex fruit-forward delivery that had a crisp rather than sweet finish.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/111.
1/13/202135 minutes, 39 seconds
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110: Drunken Adjectives: A Fuzzy Vine-acular

Are there really that many different descriptors for inebriation? What's the origin of drunken euphemisms like "three sheets to the wind"? Why does our language go from getting hammered at college dorm parties to more mature sentiments like "feeling no pain"? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm sharing the interesting and surprisingly vast vocabulary that describes the things we do, say and feel when we've had a little too much. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What descriptors for overindulgence might have you thinking of food instead? How does our drunken behaviour lend itself to immature and animal-like labels? Which more macabre adjectives might remind you of the excess that comes with college parties? What old-timey predecessors can you find for these drunken adjectives? How can you describe the more mellow inebriation you've matured into? Would you find different descriptors for intoxication when it comes to women versus men? What meaning do you find behind euphemisms from the past? Which colourful phrases do other cultures and languages use to refer to intoxication? What are some of the stories you'd find at the heart of our alcohol-rich language?     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/110.
1/6/202118 minutes, 49 seconds
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109: How to Pair Wine and Chocolate with Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning

Where can you find the best chocolate? What's the difference between candy and real chocolate? How can you pair wine and chocolate? What does Fair Trade mean and what should you look out for? Where can you find the best chocolate? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with New York Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights Why should you consider a trip to the Ecuadorian rainforest? What parallels can you find between wine and chocolate? In which regions can you find the best quality cacao? What is heirloom cacao? How can you identify real chocolate? Can you access artisanal chocolate from around the world? Why do you notice fruit-forward notes in real chocolate? What do you need to know about selecting and serving chocolate? How can you restore the taste of chocolate that wasn't properly tempered? What can you do to support fair wages and working conditions for cacao farmers? What health benefits can you enjoy from real chocolate? How can chocolate help you lose weight? Which wines can you pair with real chocolate? Why does texture play such an important role in your chocolate experience?   Key Takeaways Roxanne found several similarities between wine and chocolate, from the importance of terroir and they’re grown to not being overly manipulated when being made. Even the parallel between using sugar and dairy to mask poor cacao beans is similar to using oak and high alcohol to cover up poor grapes. Cacao beans are fruit, not legumes or vegetables because they grow on trees, and therefore also have varying degrees of acidity like wine. Roxanne gives great advice for serving chocolate like cheese - let it come up to room temperature to appreciate the aromas and flavours. Buy Direct Trade chocolate when you can to support farmers more fully.   About Roxanne Browning As an entrepreneur, Roxanne Browning merged two passions - chocolate and wine. Ultimately, a trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon rain forest, where she harvested cacao and witnessed first hand how the noble cacao pod transforms into a chocolate bar. By empowering cacao farmers to lift themselves out of poverty, they reinvest back into their land, communities, feed and educate their children. Founded in 2010, Exotic Chocolate Tasting, Inc. is a Certified WBENC Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and a Certified New York State Women-owned business. This original idea of terroir-driven chocolate paired with wine showcases Roxanne's knowledge and experience with guests while they enjoy their two favourite pleasures.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/109.  
12/30/202038 minutes, 26 seconds
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108: Holiday Movie Wines + Cool Chardonnay with Brian Schmidt

What exactly is a cool climate Chardonnay? Which dishes are delicious with this style of Chardonnay? What's the most important element for you to discover when tasting wine? Why did Chardonnay become so popular, then fall out of favour? What is the Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Brian Schmidt, Vice President and Winemaker at Vineland Estates Winery. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What are the hallmarks you would find in cool climate wine-producing regions? Why is "cool climate" being redefined? Which traditional cool climate wine regions would you be familiar with? Why shouldn't you compare Niagara and Burgundy wines? How did Chardonnay rise in popularity since the "Anything But Chardonnay" times? Would you experience a difference in Chardonnay styles in recent years? Why would you prefer to pair a light versus a buttery white wine with food? How can you identify minerality? Which element of wine is the most important for you to identify? What type of experiences can you have at the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration? Are there certain dishes that you should try with cool climate Chardonnay? What was Brian's most interesting cool climate Chardonnay experience?   Key Takeaways Brian gives us a great definition of cool climate Chardonnay being grown in wine regions that have 1000 to 1450 heat units during the growing season to give the freshest expression of the fruit. It’s also a combination of latitude and attitude. He draws some valid comparisons with Riesling, another cool-climate grape, that also undergoes a cool fermentation in stainless steel tanks rather than oak barrels. Chardonnay, much like Merlot, fell out of favour a decade ago with the Anything But Chardonnay backlash because it had become both too popular and too homogenous. But Chard is back baby, with a slim new profile and crisp style. Minerality in wine is more of a tingling texture than a taste, though it is often described as wet stone.   About Brian Schmidt For over two decades, winemaker, Brian Schmidt has faithfully served Vineland’s vineyards and cellars with a steady, farsighted view to promoting complete integration, natural synergies and reduced intervention. This holistic approach has resulted in specific tiers of wines that continue to voice a clear expression of time and place. Brian maintains, “It is critical to understand the soil and site where your grapes are grown while developing a defined, yet flexible frame to react to the curve balls that Mother Nature likes to throw.” Brian continues, “I do have an untamed passion for growing all cool climate varieties, but I must admit that I have a particular love for Riesling and Cabernet Franc.” On mentioning his recent award, he smiles broadly, locks eyes and says in a warm voice, “You do know that I have an entire team of creative and dedicated individuals behind me. The award is clearly the result of the efforts of a team of talented people at Vineland, all working towards a common goal. I was the fortunate one to be able to receive the award on their behalf.” Brian Schmidt was born in Kelowna, British Columbia and was raised on a vineyard that had been in the family for three generations. The Schmidt family was one of the founding families of the Okanagan wine industry and this was the bedrock of Brian’s interest in winemaking. Brian has experimented, researched and has travelled extensively throughout Europe’s cool climate regions studying winemaking and the specific connections to the land. It is this intensive experience that has resulted in the creation of a winemaking style that has become Vineland Estates Winery’s signature. Brian is most concerned with how the public receives and embraces Vineland’s wines but the wines have also garnered formal, national and international recognition. One notable achievement was the awarding of the 2003 VinItaly Grand Gold trophy as the highest-scoring winery in a field of over three thousand wines. This was the first time this trophy had ever been awarded outside of Europe. Brian humbly accepts the many honours but is quick to get back to the important business of building Vineland Estates’ reputation for wines that delight and engage by expressing the true essence of place.       To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/108.
12/23/202033 minutes, 52 seconds
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107: Wine Tasting and Pairing Tips from Master Sommelier Bruce Wallner

Is being a sommelier as glamourous as it seems? Why is it sometimes difficult to differentiate between certain New and Old World wines? How does terroir play a key role in a blind tasting? What's it like being in a sommelier competition? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Bruce Wallner, Master Sommelier at Sommelier Factory. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights What un-glamourous truth might you be surprised to learn about being a sommelier? What intangible joy can you get from being a sommelier? How should you view the role of a sommelier? Which areas would you see assessed in the Best Sommelier in Canada competition? How do you train for a sommelier competition? Why would you do a blind tasting? Is there a reasonable explanation why you might confuse certain regions in a blind tasting? Why should you pay close attention to terroir? What parallels can you find between the Quebec Best Sommelier competition and The Karate Kid? What underlying principle should you keep in mind when you're pairing food and wine? What does grenache add to your wine tasting experience? What tasting profile will you encounter with 2009 Clos De Caveau Fruit Sauvage? How can you match 2009 Clos De Caveau Fruit Sauvage with food? How did Bruce go from bartending to becoming a sommelier?   Key Takeaways Bruce defines a sommelier as being the one step between the person who makes the wine and the person who drinks it. Bruce takes a professional approach to training for the competition that includes mental conditioning as well as abstaining from wine the day before so that his palate is at peak perception for tasting during the event. I’m going to see if I can detect if my own palate perception is more acute when I’ve not had wine for a day. That does happen once in a while! The blind tasting component of the sommelier competition is more about describing the wine and its elements rather than nailing the exact name and vintage of the wine. The latter is a meaningless party trick like trying to balance a spoon on your nose.       To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/107.
12/16/202033 minutes, 11 seconds
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106: Pairing California Wine and Gourmet Burgers with Winemaker Joel Gott

How do you pair wine with burgers? What is it about California that gives us such a wide variety of wine? How is the Napa Valley food scene? What restaurant industry lessons help Joel make better wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Joel Gott, owner and winemaker at Joel Gott Wines. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks.   Highlights When will you see the most "action" at a winery? What facts might you be surprised to learn about Napa Valley? Which highly-acclaimed restaurants should you visit on your next trip to Napa Valley? How did in-bottle refermentation create the worst moment of Joel's career? What exciting moment did Joel experience while flying over the Pacific? What makes Three Thieves Wines unique? Who are the people you need to know behind Three Thieves Wines? How does the growing environment translate into what you taste in Three Thieves Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon? What tasting notes will you encounter with Three Thieves Wines? Why does Joel Gott describe his restaurants as "the low end of the high end or the high end of the low end"? Can you pair Three Thieves Cabernet Sauvignon with a burger? Which wine can you pair with a kimchi burger? Why is Zinfandel a safe bet to pair with many foods? Which of Joel Gott's wines would you find to be the most complicated? What French influence might you notice in Joel Gott Wines Unoaked Chardonnay? Which Gott's Roadside burgers should you pair with Joel Gott Wines Unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot? Is Joel Gott Wines Cabernet Sauvignon a good addition to your cellar? Why should you shop by vintage instead of by brands? What advantages do women winemakers bring to the table? Why do you find such a wide variety of wine styles out of California alone? What are Joel's top tips for improving your wine experience this week?   Key Takeaways Shop for great vintages first rather than brands. You can find so many gems this way, often underpriced too. The excitement of the harvest is often the spark that ignites a passion to make wine. So much of an entire year’s work depends on just a few weeks -- it’s nerve-wracking and exhilarating. Pairing ideas for gourmet burgers from Cabernet with a classic cheeseburger to Zinfandel for racier burgs like kimchi with pickled veggies and spicy aioli or green chili and jack cheese. The sweet fruit and spice of the zin is a great match for the spice and salt in the burgers and fixin's. Corked wine can ruin the reputation of a winery with a customer for good and a screw cap is able to seal a moment in time, especially the freshness of a sauvignon blanc.   About Joel Gott While running Palisades Market in Calistoga in the early 1990s, Joel Gott noticed a growing need for quality, value wines. Having worked at Kenwood Winery in Sonoma County, and with a family history in the business, Joel felt sure he could fill this void in the marketplace. In 1996, Joel purchased a few tons of Zinfandel from family friend and grape grower Tom Dillian. With the help of then-girlfriend—and winemaker at Joseph Phelps—Sarah, Joel produced his first vintage of Dillian Ranch Amador County Zinfandel. The wine received praise from Robert Parker and Wine Spectator, which was all the encouragement Joel needed to produce additional varietals. A Sauvignon Blanc followed in 1998, and the year after he and Sarah produced California appellation Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon by shopping the entire state for the best fruit, creating a wine shaped by various regions instead of a single estate. This style and commitment to quality wines blended from hand-selected vineyards helped guide the direction of Joel Gott Wines. In 2003, 815 was added to the California Cabernet Sauvignon label to celebrate the birth of Joel and his wife Sarah’s first daughter Lucy on August 15th. That same year, Alisa Jacobson was hired as the assistant winemaker, and the following year Sarah left her position as winemaker at Quintessa to focus on a growing family and winemaking at Joel Gott Wines.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/106.
12/9/202041 minutes, 46 seconds
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105: Wine and Cheese Pairings to Celebrate the Holidays with Janet Fletcher

Should you try a cheese-only cheese course? Why are cheese and bread not necessarily great matches for cheese? Which underappreciated wine and cheese pairing should you try today? How does sparkling wine stack up with your favourite cheeses? Have you been serving cheeses the wrong way? Should you eat the rinds on cheeses? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with award-winning journalist and author, Janet Fletcher. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights What shift can you see in the restaurant industry's approach to serving cheese? Which mindset shift did Janet want you to make when writing her first book about cheese? How did writing a weekly column create a space for Janet to deep dive into the culture, science and history of cheese? Why should you try a cheese-only cheese course? What extra consideration do you need to make when pairing wine and cheese? Is it a good idea to pair wine and cheese with grapes? Which problem might you encounter when pairing cheese with crackers? What creative bread and cheese pairing should you try? Which type of underappreciated wine does Janet recommend as a great pairing with cheese? Why is Gouda the perfect cheese to pair with your brandy? Why is sparkling wine Janet's "desert island wine"? What characteristics and flavours will you pick up on with Tomales Teleeka cheese? What do you need to know about double and triple cream cheeses? How are wine and cheese very similar? Which little-known, connoisseur-approved wine and cheese pairing should you try? What's the right way to serve Parmigiano-Reggiano? Why does Parmigiano-Reggiano make a great table cheese? Why do contrasting textures work so well with wine and cheese pairings? How can you tell which cheeses aren't meant to be sliced? What basic tips can you use when choosing a cheese knife? Should you eat the rinds on cheeses? Can you pair blue cheese with sparkling wine? How many cheeses should you serve at a dinner party? Can you use the horizontal tasting concept with cheese? What's the best way you can pair sparkling wine with goat cheese? Key Takeaways I love Janet’s advice that simplicity is often the key to a great cheese board -- let the cheese be the star both visually and flavour-wise rather than a lot of condiments. When it comes to condiments, many can clash with your wine whether they’re sweet, vinegary or pickled. The same goes with bread and crackers, best to stick to fairly neutral flavours. I can’t wait to experiment more with sherry and cheeses, especially an aged Gouda that has those nutty, butterscotch flavours. I found it interesting that triple cream cheeses are about 75% butterfat -- that’s the dry matter without any water versus 62% for double cream cheeses and 45% for average cheeses. It’s interesting how our perception of the salt in cheese increases as it ages and loses moisture. Janet has great advice for chipping rather than cutting hard cheeses to maintain their crunchy crystalize structure -- you can see the special knife she recommends in the video version of our conversation (https://www.nataliemaclean.com/blog/videos/janet-fletcher-wine-and-cheese-pairings-video/) About Janet Fletcher Janet Fletcher is the author or co-author of nearly 30 books on food and beverage, including Cheese & Wine, Cheese & Beer and Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Janet publishes the weekly Planet Cheese blog and is the cheese columnist for Specialty Food and Somm Journal magazines.   She teaches cooking and cheese-appreciation classes around the country. Her journalism has received three James Beard Awards and the IACP Bert Greene Award, and her food writing has appeared in numerous national publications, including The New York Times, Saveur, Fine Cooking and Food & Wine.     To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/105.
12/2/202048 minutes, 43 seconds
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104: Zinfandel Crusader Joel Peterson, Ravenswood Founding Winemaker

Do you know the rich and royal history behind Zinfandel? How does the air in a vineyard affect the flavours you taste in its wine? Why did Zinfandel become such a sensation in North America? What does mythology have to do with Ravenswood wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with the Godfather of Zin, Joel Peterson, founder and winemaker of Ravenswood Winery.   Highlights Why did Joel's father involve him in wine tastings as a child? What sort of colourful tasting notes would you read in Joel's father's wine club newsletters? What's the less-than-catchy name you'd use for the Zinfandel grape in it's home country of Croatia? When would you find the first historical reference to the Zinfandel grape? How is Zinfandel connected to Old World royalty? What makes Croatia a great grape-growing region? What do you need to know about "founder grapes"? How did Zinfandel come to the United States? What history can you taste in Ravenswood Vinters Blend Zinfandel? What unbelievable raven encounter led to Joel's connection to them as a totem? How did an opera inspire the name Ravenswood? In which areas of mythology would you find references to ravens? Why you will love a pairing of baby back ribs and Ravenswood Zinfandel blends? Which climatic features make Lodi an ideal grape-growing area? How does your tasting experience differ between Ravenswood Vintners Blend and Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel? Why do you often find higher alcohol content in Zinfandels? How do you find the "sweet spot" for wine which has the perfect balance? What do you taste differently with wines made with the punch down versus pump over techniques? How does "airroir" impact your experience with wine? What makes a field blend different from single grape wines? Which annual charity event will you find Joel at without fail? What influence does growing up with two superstar chemists as your parents have on you?   Key Takeaways The historical roots of Zinfandel and its links to Croatia when it was part of the Austria-Hungarian empire as well as Venetian courts is fascinating, as is the detective work to establish the grape’s true heritage and parentage. Zinfandel's history goes back to 1488, and it’s one of the 12 founding grapes of all wine grapes. Why Lodi makes such great Zinfandel with its deep, sandy soils that were once part of an ancient ocean bed. This produces larger grape clusters with smaller skin to flesh rations resulting in less harsh tannins, and a smoother, juicier, fruitier wine. How wine achieves sweet spots of different alcohol levels, where everything is in balance i.e. the fruit and acidity say at 13.8% alcohol but maybe not at 13.9%. The concept of "airroir" is fascinating and something I want to explore more in the wines I taste in terms of their influences. Joel’s story about tasting wines as a child and learning to identify aromas, not just apples, but the type of apples by smelling and eating them. That’s how we all can learn to be better sniffers and tasters. The story of Ravenswood name, including all of the raven folklore in Poe and Odin.   About Joel Peterson In 1976 Joel founded Ravenswood in partnership with fellow wine lover Reed Foster, a Harvard MBA who handled the green stuff while Joel oversaw the red stuff. In the ensuing years, Joel had dual careers, working nights and weekends in the lab as he built the winery during the daylight hours. In 1977, he’d left his job in San Francisco and moved to Sonoma to work in the clinical lab at Sonoma Valley Hospital. He didn’t quit that job until 1992, a few years after the winery turned its first profit and Robert Parker pronounced Ravenswood wines “first class – bold, dramatic and complex.” Today, Joel works with 100+ northern California growers who provide grapes for Ravenswood, consulting on irrigation methods, cultivation practices, cropping levels, and a slew of other vineyard management issues. This attention in the field, coupled with the fact that Ravenswood is one of the few wineries that has had the philosophical and winemaking skill of one winemaker for over 30 years, contributes to a consistency of quality and style rarely found in California. Joel is a current member and former president of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance (S.V.V.G.A.) and is on the Board of Directors for the Sonoma County Vintners. He is a founding Board member and former two-time President of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (Z.A.P.). Joel is also a Senior Vice President with Constellation Wines US. A rakish raconteur (and provocateur) whose erudition and down-to-earth enthusiasm make him an articulate spokesman for the winery (and sometime-heckler of the wine industry), Joel is a stylistic trendsetter who helped make Zinfandel the runaway phenomenon it is today. Along the way, the raven maven (dubbed “the Godfather of Zin” by one media wag) has built a legacy of enjoying wine with grins and gusto.           To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/104.
11/25/202052 minutes, 53 seconds
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103: The Connected Table with Melanie Young and David Ransom

How did my first sip of "fancy wine" jump-start my thirst for wine knowledge and experiences? Why is this a perfect time for you to take an online wine course? Why is it hard to pair certain vegetables, like asparagus, with wine? What juicy, behind-the-scenes insights will you read in my upcoming third book? What's it like being a woman in the wine world? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed on The Connected Table with Melanie Young and David Ransom.   Highlights Why did my first sip of "fancy wine" start my thirst for wine knowledge and experiences? How did I get started with Highland dancing? Which aspects of dancing have helped me to develop as a wine writer? Can wine help you to connect the various aspects of a liberal arts education? Why is this a perfect time for you to take an online wine course? Why will you find it hard to pair certain vegetables, like asparagus, with wine? Which wine should you choose to perfectly complement difficult to pair vegetables? How can my online food and wine pairing course help you to improve your wine skills? What juicy, behind-the-scenes insights will you read in my upcoming third book? What's it like being a woman in the wine world? Which amazing Canadian food and wine pairing do you have to try? Which iconic Canadian wineries should you visit on your next trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake? What wine regions would make the ultimate cross-border pairing in wine travel? About Melanie Young and David Ransom Melanie says her first wine education event was at the age of 15. “My dad was a wine educator in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for more than 30 years and taught me to taste and drink both well and responsibly. For a public speaking class at my high school, I decided to teach fellow students how to open and serve a bottle of wine. I came to school that day wearing my tastevin around my neck and carrying a bottle of wine. A lineup of teachers stood in the back of the classroom watching me with interest as I started to demonstrate my special skill. The thing is, being underage, they would not let me open the wine!” Melanie’s articles on wine, spirits, food and travel have been published in Wine4Food, The Epoch Times, Wine Enthusiast, Seven Fifty Daily, Jewish Week and several food industry trade outlets. Melanie is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, the Wine Media Guild. She has spoken and/or moderated panels on career reinvention, building your brand and women in the industry. David’s story in wine began with his father’s love of wine leading to the family buying a winery in New York State in the 1980s. “We all jumped in together and started Rivendell in 1987,” says David, “and I got to name it.” Rivendell, named after the House of the Elves in J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings, went on to become New York’s top award-winning winery while the Ransom family owned it, getting top honors from critics, as well. Outside the winery business, David has been involved in the education, promotion and marketing of wines and spirits across the country for over 30 years.           To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/103.
11/18/202032 minutes, 59 seconds
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102: Nova Scotia's Secret Star Wine Power with Benjamin Bridge's Jean Benoit Deslauriers

Where can you find one of the Canadian wine industry's best-kept secrets? How does the dynamic Bay of Fundy impact the flavours you taste in wines from the Gaspereau Valley? Which Benjamin Bridge wine will you find on Gordon Ramsey's restaurant wine list? Why do regional pairings of food and wine work? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jean Benoit Deslauriers, Head Winemaker at Benjamin Bridge.   Highlights Where can you find one of the Canadian wine industry's best-kept secrets? How does the climatic dynamic of the Bay of Fundy impact the flavours you'll taste in wines from the Gaspereau Valley? Which Benjamin Bridge wine would you find on Gordon Ramsey's restaurant wine list? What creates the bubbly effect you experience with sparkling wines? Is there a specific role that you'll see sommeliers play in the wine world? Which process is responsible for the consistent, signature style you expect from Champagne? Can you tap into some of Benjamin Bridge's oldest wines in an affordable way? What flavour profile can you expect from Benjamin Bridge Non Vintage Brut? Why should you aim for regional connections when pairing food and wine? Why is Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 a great choice for you to match with foods that are difficult to pair with wine? What makes the Benjamin Bridge Riesling a great example of their signature foundation of freshness? How do Nova Scotia wines achieve both the richness and freshness you taste in their wines? Why should you think of Nova Scotia as "the little wine region that could"? What makes Tidal Bay an appellation wine? What sort of profile should you expect from Benjamin Bridge Brut? Why should you join the BB Club? Which wine motivated Jean-Benoit to break his piggy bank as a fifth grader? When did Jean-Benoit realize he wanted to have a career in wine?   About Jean Benoit Deslauriers In 2008, Jean-Benoit joined the Benjamin Bridge winemaking team in time to release his first Canadian wine, Nova 7 by Benjamin Bridge. Since then he has crafted all of the winery’s classic method sparkling wines and its still wines, in consultation with Peter Gamble (the winery’s lead consultant) and the late Raphaël Brisbois (its sparkling wine specialist and former chef de cave of Piper-Heidseick). Originally from Québec, Jean-Benoit began his winemaking apprenticeship at VOE (Vinedos Organicos Emiliana), a biodynamic vineyard/winery in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, which was created by one of Chile’s largest producers, Vina Santa Emilina, to produce exceptional wines. Having mostly worked in California, he made wine at Casa Barranca (2004-2008), the first certified organic winery in Santa Barbara County. In California, his winemaking efforts garnered accolades and standout reviews from Robert Parker and Steven Tanzer (90+). Since 2008, Jean-Benoit’s winemaking has elevated Benjamin Bridge’s wine programs to new heights with consistent 90-95+ scores and unanimous high praise from the nation’s leading wine critics along with growing international recognition. About Benjamin Bridge In little more than a decade, Benjamin Bridge has distinguished itself by its dedication to time-proven techniques, expert guidance, and most importantly its acclaimed, distinctive wines. The Benjamin Bridge vineyards are located in the heart of the Gaspereau Valley on the Bay of Fundy, where the cool climate bears an uncanny affinity with the Champagne region of France. Our experienced winemakers work in collaboration with international experts to produce world-class Méthode Classique sparkling wines and limited edition luxury wines. Their innovative sparkling wines display the hallmarks of classic prestige cuvées from Champagne, but with a Nova Scotia signature. “They are, without question, the best sparkling wines I have tasted in Canada,” says Tony Aspler, Canada’s most renowned wine authority. Their collection of handcrafted fine wines, including perennial sell-out Nova 7, together with our sparkling wine program, have helped raise the profile of Nova Scotia terroir and its winemaking in Canada and internationally.         To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/102.
11/11/202051 minutes, 25 seconds
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101: Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries Adapt to Covid with Andrea Kaiser

What's it like harvesting grapes in sub-zero temperatures? Is there really any difference between a vineyard on one side of the road and a vineyard on the other? Is this a good time for you to visit a winery? What's changed with Covid? How does the Taste the Season at Home initiative allow you to support local wineries? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Andrea Kaiser, Chair for the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Director of Marketing at Reif Estate Winery. Highlights What's it like being part of an Icewine harvest without automation? Which harvest tradition did Andrea start while embracing the Great Indoors? How did Karl Kaiser's wine press end up breaking during a particularly cold harvest? As a wine consumer, how does the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) benefit you? Is there really much of a difference between geographically close appellations? How can Russian nesting dolls help you understand appellations? What's Andrea's earliest memory with wine? Why shouldn't you feel intimidated by wine? Why should you look forward to 2020 wines from Niagara-on-the-Lake? How have Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries evolved their customer experience during the pandemic? Is this a good time for you to visit a winery? What precautions are Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries taking to prioritize health and safety? Why should you make a reservation to enjoy holiday treats at Drea's Wine Co.? How has the demand for online sales changed in recent months? How can you take advantage of the wider selection of wines available online versus in the LCBO? How does the Taste the Season at Home initiative allow you to bring the winery experience into your home? What resources can you find on the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake website? How can you learn more about the story of winemaking in Niagara-on-the-Lake? What are the most famous wines you'd want to try from each of the sub-appellations of Niagara-on-the-Lake? How do the climatic and geological features you experience affect the growing potential of Niagara-on-the-Lake? Why should you be especially proud of the Canadian wine industry? What can you expect from Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries in 2021? About Andrea Kaiser Andrea Kaiser grew up in Niagara-on-the-Lake amidst a transformation ignited by her father’s vision in winemaking. Karl J. Kaiser was none other than co-founder and winemaker of Inniskillin Wines, that revolutionized an industry. He is considered by many to be the pioneer of modern winemaking in Canada. His pursuit of creating exceptional wine revolutionized local viticulture and grape growing sparking a transformation in winemaking. As the daughter of Karl, she had the unique opportunity to see first-hand the birth of an industry but also an iconic Canadian brand. His influence on her was also great. She was inspired by his vision and his absolute commitment to excellence in winemaking. Her father also understood the value of authenticity and taught her that above all else, it is the foundation of all things exceptional. While her father’s ultimate career path was born of his passion, like Andrea’s own, it began as a winding road that was cemented by serendipity along the way. Her father first intended to become a priest, was then a teacher and later found his true calling when he by accident, became a winemaker. Andrea’s career began as a restauranteur and along the way she has been a sommelier, politician, writer, teacher, marketer and now winemaker. She recently launched Drea’s Wine Co., making wines in memory of her father, who affectionately called her ‘Drea’. Andrea’s deep passion for local food and wine has been the common thread in her career path. Her incredible journey has provided her with an insight and a depth of understanding not only of her community and country but a global industry. You could say she was born into a life of food and wine and now shares this passion with others. About Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to some of the oldest and most established wine-producing vineyards in Canada. Our wineries have been growing and producing world-class wines from vinifera varietals for more than four decades. The efforts of pioneer winemakers in this region were instrumental in propelling Canada onto the world’s wine stage and positioning Niagara-on-the-Lake as a premium wine-growing region.         To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/101.
11/4/202042 minutes, 6 seconds
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100: Moms Sipping Sangria and Talking Wine with Sheila Walsh and Anita MacArthur

What’s the quickest way to chill a bottle of wine? How can the lemon and butter test help you pair wine with food? Which wines should you use for sangria? And why are online wine courses surging in popularity? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Sheila and Anita for the Moms Sipping Sangria podcast.   Highlights Which hilariously named Sangria recipe should you try today? How did an unintentional restaurant order spark my passion for wine? Which aspects of Pinot Noir will you find especially inviting? Why should you serve Pinot Noir in a big glass? What red wine components might give you a headache? What influences your buying decisions when shopping for wine? How can you safely expand your wine horizons the next time you go to a store or restaurant? Are there certain things you should consider before ordering the house wine? What do you need to know about low-cal wines? What's my take on homemade wine? Why should you consider giving canned and Tetra Pak wines a try? Should you always serve wine at room temperature? Are there advantages to you taking a wine and food pairing class online versus in person? What simple tip can you apply to improve your wine and food pairing today? How can you use the "wet t-shirt trick" to quickly cool a bottle of white wine? What are your best bets for choosing wine for Sangria? How should you drink Rosé?   About Moms Sipping Sangria Long-time friends Sheila Walsh and Anita Reynolds MacArthur are experts on parenting tweens, teens, and young adults. What makes them experts? For starters, they are each raising three children (yep, that’s SIX kids combined!) ranging in age from 11-21. Although they are in the trenches trying to raise good human beings while managing full-time careers, they appear to be surviving the teen years (knock on wood!). Anita is the former Senior Editor for Lifestyle & Parenting at Walmart.ca. She is a Digital/Print Content Specialist with extensive experience in Educational Publishing K-12. Sheila is a professional Broadcaster, voice talent and Media Professor at The Faculty of Media and Creative Arts at Humber College.         To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/100.
10/28/202041 minutes, 29 seconds
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99: Family-Run Wineries v Corporate-Owned? Henry of Pelham's Daniel Speck

What was it like being part of the budding Niagara wine scene? Why are wineries so well-suited to be family-owned? How does the terroir of the Niagara bench influence what you taste in Henry of Pelham wines? Why is Henry of Pelham so well-known for their Baco Noir? What hidden message can you find on the label of Henry of Pelham Family Tree wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Daniel Speck of Niagara's Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery.   Highlights How was Daniel's experience as a child and helping with the family winery? What was it like being an active part of the budding Niagara wine scene? How did a particularly long day with the vines shift Daniel's perspective on his work in the vineyard? What was Daniel's least favourite aspect of growing up at the family farm and winery? What differences can you find between family-owned and corporate wineries? Why would you find that wineries are well-suited for being family-owned? Are there aspects of a winery that you'd find a bad fit in the corporate world? How does the terroir of the Benches influence what you taste in the wines produced in the region? What can you expect in a tasting experience with Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay and Sibling Rivalry? What hidden message can you find on the label of Henry of Pelham Family Tree wine? What price point range will you find when shopping for Henry of Pelham wines? Why do you know Henry of Pelham for Baco Noir from Niagara? How does the evolution of Baco Noir translate to what you taste in the glass? Why should you try the Baco Noir version of a "tequila shooter"? What history is behind what you experience with the Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red?   About Daniel Speck Daniel is co-owner and one of three brothers who, as children, shovel planted the modern-day vineyards that became Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery in Niagara’s Short Hills Bench. The Speck brothers founded the winery with their parents, a family venture which began in 1984. Daniel spent the years from age 8 to 22 in the vineyards. He studied philosophy, math and science at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, then returned to work on the farm/winery upon graduation. After fourteen vineyard-years he migrated from the farm to the marketplace when a key salesperson left the company. Today he is Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Daniel actively promotes and sells his family’s wines while still participating in determining each wine’s final composition with his two older brothers and the winemakers. Daniel has received partnership awards from the LCBO; has sat on various sales and marketing committees with the Wine Council of Ontario, and is now a member of the CCOVI Outreach Committee at Brock University helping determine future educational needs for the wine industry. Daniel actively promotes and sells his family’s wines but determines each wines final composition with his two older brothers and the winemakers.         To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/99.
10/21/202043 minutes, 17 seconds
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98: The Shape of Wine Taste with Australia's Wakefield Wines

How can you visualize the taste of wine in a chart? How would those charts be different for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Shiraz? What makes the wines from Australia's Clare Valley unique? What is bâtonnage and what flavours and aromas will result in the wine? How does acidity improve your tasting experience? Why is balance one of the most critical aspects of a great wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Justin Taylor and Neil Hadley of Australia's Wakefield Wines.   Highlights What was it about Wakefield Wines 2011 vintage that brought Justin to tears? Which stunning Wakefield Wine was born from the 2011 disaster? How did Neil end up tasting Wakefield Wine with a buyer at a motorway stop? What gives the vineyard at Clare its x-factor? Why does the cool break at night improve the integrity of the grapes? How does the unique Clare Valley terroir show up when you're tasting Wakefield Wines? What properties will you notice in Wakefield Wines as a result of their terroir? What inspired the creation of the Wakefield Wines flavour charts? How can you use the Wakefield charts when tasting Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Shiraz? What would you notice when tasting a warm-climate Chardonnay which has been oaked? Which French influences can you find in Wakefield Chardonnay? What is bâtonnage and what flavours and aromas will you notice in wine made using this technique? What foods should you pair with Wakefield Chardonnay? Are there certain foods you should avoid pairing with Chardonnay? How does acidity improve your tasting experience? What distinguishing characteristics should you pick up in a high-quality dry Riesling? How does the maturation of a Riesling impact it's tasting profile? What is meant by a "long finish"? How can you differentiate between a cool climate and a warm climate Shiraz? What tricky flavours can you pick up with Wakefield Shiraz? What makes Wakefield Shiraz feel more elegant and refined to you versus other Australian Shiraz? Why is balance one of the most critical aspects of a great wine? Can you zero in on the nuances of the different types of wine? What tasting experience can you expect with Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon? Where do the notes of mint in Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon come from? How does the ageing of Wakefield Cabernet S