211 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
    • 4.2 • 32 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.

    Creating The Wine Bible: Behind-the-Scenes with Author Karen MacNeil

    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 natalie@nataliemaclean.com 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.

    • 45 min
    Digital Corks, Tasting Tokens and the Future of Wine Drinking with David Garrett

    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 natalie@nataliemaclean.com 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.

    • 38 min
    How Blockchain and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) Will Change How You Buy Wine with David Garrett

    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.

    • 38 min
    Minerality in Wine, Great Hybrid Grapes & What Jimi Hendrix Can Teach Winemakers with Aleks Zecevic

    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.

    • 39 min
    Wine Spectator and Sotheby's Auction House Dream Jobs with Aleks Zecevic

    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.

    • 47 min
    Canadian Wines, Grapes & Styles with Drink Adventures' James Atkinson

    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.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

The Rose Bush ,

Love the Podcast!

Enjoyed hearing stories & tips. Thanks!

Alexstrath1 ,

Natalie is the best!

I love Natalie’s hosting style! She’s so much fun to listen to. I can’t believe she doesn’t have more reviews on here as she’s got a HUGE following

TheNue504 ,

Very Informative

One of my favorite wine podcasts, it’s always a must listen. I’ve learned so much from Natalie and various guests.

Top Podcasts In Arts

Avery Trufelman
NPR
Blind Nil Audio and Pod People
The Moth
Roman Mars
LeVar Burton and Stitcher

You Might Also Like

Susie and Peter, Masters of Wine
Wine for Normal People
Wine Enthusiast Magazine
VinePair
SOMM TV
GuildSomm