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Astrid Young

Most memorable wine?
Quintarelli Recioto Amarone 1975

What was your first wine?
Champagne

What’s your most unusual wine experience?
I helped to build and maintain a wine cellar in a pool hall, and am known for creating one of the most successful wine lists in an Indian Restaurant. I've also 'cracked the code' on wine and spicy food ... just ask me!

Which wine do you love at the moment?
La Frenz Pinot Noir Reserve, Naramata Bench, BC Canada 2012


I am a musician who kind of fell into the wine industry: I wouldn't have a wine career without my music career, and I certainly couldn't choose one over the other ... ultimately, music will always come first.

Everyone of us who is a successful wine professional of some sort, we all have our niche: Mine are in small production California, Burgundy and Prince Edward County, and additionally with pairing wine with spicy foods, and all sorts of unconventional wine and food pairings. I work with a multitude of restaurants to design and create wine programs, procure and maintain restaurant wine-list awards (such as Wine Spectator and VQA Awards), buy wine for a wide range of people from collectors to everyday wine consumers, and most of the time get to taste the wine before it reaches its final destination. I love to speak publicly on wine and various aspects of wine culture, food pairing, the business of wine, and wine making styles; I have led blind tastings with groups ranging in size from four people to three hundred, and I always bring my trademark levity, humor and passion to any wine gathering.

I will continue to play music, make records, tour the world, write books and stories, screenplays, hopefully make another film ... but one thing is for sure, there will be plenty of great wine tasted along the way, and i intend to share!

Learn a little, laugh a lot, wine all you want: I am prone to saying: 'I'll do the thinking, you do the drinking' but really, I learn something new every time I taste, and that's what I really love most about wine: it's a lifetime of newness, and no one person can ever know it all!

You can contact me for wine parties, structured tastings, wine and dine events in your home or at your favourite restaurant; wine cellar appraisals, wine purchasing advice (i have access to many rarities and highly allocated wines, so i can probably find just about anything you're looking for), and one thing i just love to do is combine wine and music, so think about having a tasting at your home, and then a house concert later on that evening - it will be a spectacular and one-of-a-kind experience for you and your friends, and there are plenty of options to explore, including teaming up with world-class chefs and winemakers, all up close and personal.

Hope to see you down the road somewhere!

Cheers for now, Astrid

 
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Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is editor of Canada's largest wine review web site, publishing hundreds of wine reviews every week for more than 162,486 members.

She was named the World's Best Drinks Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia.

Natalie has published two books with Random House, the second was named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Year. Get access to all of her reviews today by becoming a member of her site.

Red, White & Drunk All Over

  Best Books of the Year

Red, White & Drunk all over by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession... and often laugh-out-loud funny... Terrific.

Rex Pickett, Sideways

Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman. She loves wine, loves drinking ... ultimately, it's a winning formula.

Eric Asimov, The New York Times

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Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search

  Best Books of the Year

Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is a new force in the wine writing world ‐ a fiesty North American answer to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. She can write beautifully about wine.

The Financial Times of London

There are very few people in the wine world who "get it" and Natalie is one of those who brings more fun to a buttoned-up and stodgy game.

Gary Vaynerchuck, Wine Library TV

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