189 episodes

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.

Unreserved Wine Talk Natalie MacLean

    • Arts
    • 4.3 • 46 Ratings

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.

    The 3 Biggest Forces Changing Your Wine Now with Mike Veseth, author of Wine Wars II: The Global Battle for the Soul of Wine

    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.

    • 43 min
    Oregon's Undiscovered White Wines & How Soil Changes Wine Taste with Eugenia Keegan

    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.

    • 44 min
    Oregon Wines, History and Future with Eugenia Keegan of Jackson Family Wines

    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.

    • 35 min
    Inventive Food & Wine Pairing and Buying Tips with Guy Bower of The Good Life Show

    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.

    • 32 min
    Prosecco's Success Story (and Snob Disdain) with Stevie Kim of Vinitaly

    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.

    • 33 min
    Italian Wines and Wine Competitions with Vinitaly's Stevie Kim

    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.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
46 Ratings

46 Ratings

Jade Vin ,

Really Enjoyed

Really enjoyed this uplifting show — such happy people and so much enthusiasm!

CG Arch ,

I have so much to learn!

Great podcast for the ordinary wine lover. A thoroughly enjoyable and informative talk that is becoming part of my weekly routine. Cheers!

The 2 Mc's ,

Wine talk for the everyday person

Nathalie has a way to explain wine in an easy to understand manner while at the same time not talking down to you. Very expressive and fun to listen to. I like to listen to the podcasts on my way home from work. Maybe even stop at the liquor store and buy a bottle (or two) of the wines discussed. Cheers!

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