Unreserved Wine Talk

Unreserved Wine Talk

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 abo... Show More

Episodes

June 12, 2019 14 min

This Sunday is Father’s Day, so I’m going to get downright practical on this episode with some terrific gift wines suggestions that you can buy dear old dad. So, how do you choose the perfect gift bottle? And is there such a thing as “man’s wine” versus a woman’s wine”? Of course, it’s all awash once you’re on to your third glass of Pinot or Cabernet. Let’s dig in, shall we?   Highlights Does the research show a difference in wine... Read more

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In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Esther Mobley, on the gripping stories that catapulted her to become the columnist for one of the most prestigious wine columns in North America, the San Francisco Chronicle, at just 24 years of age. Enjoy!   Highlights How did Esther’s college admissions essay end up in the New York Times? Should wine writers all experience winemaking? What has changed about... Read more

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Welcome back for Part Two of an audio essay to celebrate National Wine Day, this past Saturday, May 25. Most of what I’m going to share with you today is based on a magazine piece about wine and civility that I wrote two months after 9/11. On this episode we're looking at the role wine has played in some of the greatest conflicts our world has ever seen from French winemakers' fight against the Nazi wine trade, to the impact of 9/1... Read more

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In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Morgan Perry who pairs wine and yoga in her Vino Vinyasa classes. More than marketing or whimsy, it’s actually rooted in a holistic lifestyle philosophy. Enjoy!   Highlights What is a yoga vinyasa class experience like? What are vinyasa and shavasana? Why does Morgan believe yoga enhances the wine tasting experience? How does Morgan make her classes accessibl... Read more

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May 25 is National Wine Day and in honour of that, I think it’s worth exploring how wine, as a beverage, has influenced our culture. Wine has been an integral part of human history from ancient civilizations right through to the modern day. It has become deeply associated with culture, power and prestige in a way that no other beverage has. Most of what I’m going to share with you today is based on a magazine piece about wine and c... Read more

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In today’s episode, we’re chatting with the rockstar Californian winemaker Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon winery who blends wit and wisdom unlike any other person in the wine world. He’s brilliant both in his insights and his metaphors. That’s why I chose to help him with the fall harvest for my second book “Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Wines.” His wines are also often favourites of the students of my onli... Read more

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What role have books played in my exploration of wine regions around the world? What's it like tasting ultra high-end wine? How is wine portrayed in literature? Today we're talking about all that and more in a behind-the-scenes peek at Red, White and Drunk All Over. Today's show is a little different from the usual. I’m excited to share this episode from the Behind the Bookshelves podcast, where I was interviewed by Richard Davies.... Read more

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In today’s episode, we’re chatting with the author John Mahoney who has written several books on wine, but we’ll be focusing on his latest: Is Wine the Source of Civilization? Spoiler alert, the answer is yes. But the more interesting question is why? He has some fascinating answers, plus some of the best practical tips on enjoying wine that I’ve ever heard. One has to do with temperature … keep listening for that one towards the e... Read more

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Have you tried Malbec? Did you like it? Which ones are your favourites? From Argentina to France, Malbecs are not all created equal. For me, it was an Argentine Malbec that first piqued my curiosity, leading me to start buying more. I followed that curiosity down to Argentina itself in my second book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Bottles. On this episode, in honour of World Malbec Day, I'm taking you wi... Read more

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Arvid Rosengren is one of the most merited sommeliers in the world, holding a range of competition wins and titles, the crowning achievement being the 2016 A.S.I. Best Sommelier of the World, a competition held every three years for candidates representing sixty countries. It tests theoretical knowledge, blind tastings of various beverages and practical service skills Born and raised in the south of Sweden, Arvid initially studied ... Read more

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Does wine make you fat? Can you drink wine while you’re on a diet? What about diets like paleo, keto, South Beach, Atkins and gluten-free? In recent years some winemakers have started producing or re-labelling low-carb and low-calorie wines that cater to or many and varied special diets. Are they really worth it or is it just a fad? That’s exactly what we’re going to dive into this week as we explore how our bodies process alcohol,... Read more

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Thomas Bachelder is a Canadian winemaking superstar on a mission when it comes to cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After studying in France and having a successful winemaking career in Canada, Thomas started his own label where not only does he make wine in Ontario, but he also has vineyards in Burgundy and Oregon. The Bachelder project started with the 2009 vintage with the three terroirs series: Three regions; Three wines.... Read more

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March 20, 2019 17 min

What exactly is organic wine? Is it better for you? In recent years, organic wine has moved from the realms of health nuts and hippies to the mainstream, where it now represents one of the fastest-growing categories in the liquor store. But is it really that different from conventional wine? With Earth Hour coming up on March 30 and Earth Day on April 22, I’m dedicating today’s episode to organic wine, with a deep dive into what it... Read more

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Lesley Brown has been a part of the Canadian Wine Industry for the past 17 years and works with several high profile wine agencies. She holds an International Sommelier Diploma and has taught wine courses to hundreds of students. Lesley is currently the BC Regional Sales Manager for The Bacchus Group and she also sits on the board of directors for the Import Spirit and Vintners Association and has recently taken over as the Preside... Read more

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Are men from Bordeaux and women from Burgundy? In my 20 years of studying and writing about wine, I’ve encountered a lot of differences in how men and women approach the subject. There are also several studies that show the same thing. In honour of International Women’s Day this week, I’m diving deep into “women’s wines”, whether they’re actually any good and how wines marketed to women are affecting the industry.   To learn more a... Read more

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Charles Louis Back is the third generation owner of South African wine and cheese producer Fairview, in Paarl in the Western Cape Province. Charles Back studied winemaking at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. He officially joined his family’s company in 1978 and took over full control in 1995 after the death of his father, Cyril. Today, Charles Back is known as one of the great entrepreneurs and innovators of the wine... Read more

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It’s unbelievable to consider that there’s a huge industry of specialists dedicating their lives to wine in the form of writers, sommeliers and critics. Why has wine inspired us in a way no other food or drink does? In this episode, I explore the questions around why we score wine in the first place, whether they really matter and if you should trust them.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the sho... Read more

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Katie Kelly Bell has been writing about food, wine and travel for over a dozen years, with her writing appearing in publications such as Forbes, USA Today, Modern Luxury, Decanter and Southern Living. Her experiences have taken her from the vineyards of Argentina to the press houses of Champagne. In between, she has co-authored a travel guide to Ireland, The Everything Guide to Ireland, written a city guide for Atlanta and worked a... Read more

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Do you want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Forget the lingerie, lipstick and silk-tie handcuffs - just share a glass or two of wine with your amour. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’m going to share with you my favourite wines for seduction, including some melt in your mouth pairings with chocolate.   To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the show notes.

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Ezra Cipes is proud to carry on the family legacy at Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Since the Cipes family moved from New York to Summerhill Vineyard in Kelowna, British Columbia when Cipes was five, he has grown up in the wine industry and feels blessed to now lead a company dedicated to creating beauty in collaboration with nature. After reconnecting with the winery and the land, Cipes knew he needed to assume a greater role at the w... Read more

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