Behind the Scenes: A Wine Writer’s Life

Introduction When I attend a social event that’s outside the wine industry and I’m asked about my job, I often joke that I drink for a living. After I clarify that I write about wine, I usually get questions about what exactly that involves and some misconceptions about drinking Champagne all day in between planning luxe trips to Tuscany and Napa Valley. However, it’s not all beer and Skittles, rainbows and unicorns. On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, I thought that since there’s always been quite a bit of curiousity about what I do, I’ll take you behind the […]

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Texas Wines and Wine Writing Ethics

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Gus Clemens, who went to business college when he was just 12 years old to learn how to type because he knew even then he wanted to be a writer. He’s held editorial positions with the San Antonio Express-News and the Star Magazine in New York and has written or contributed to about twenty books about Texas and a range of other subjects. Enjoy!   Highlights When did wine become a part of Gus’s life? What led to Gus writing his first wine column? Why was a […]

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Wine Gossip and Stories with Friends of the Vine and Ian Osborn

Introduction On today’s episode, I’m chatting with Ian Osborn, on his excellent podcast called Friends of the Vine. This is a bit of a turnaround from my usual format because Ian is interviewing me.  I highly recommend that you check out Ian’s podcast Friends of the Vine where he does a great job interviewing master sommeliers, masters of wine, winemakers and wine writers. I wanted to share this episode with you because we dug into lots of great wine tips, from how to talk with the sommelier to becoming the expert on your own taste. I also share some behind-the-scenes stories […]

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Travel the Wine World with Kevin Brauch

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Kevin Brauch, a Gemini Award Winner, TV producer and host of hit series The Thirsty Traveler, Iron Chef America, SuperStar Chef Challenge, FOOD F!&#T. Kevin is one of the liveliest guests I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, and he has so many stories to share, from his time with the late, great Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential, to sabering Champagne in France and wine faux pas in South Africa. Enjoy!   Highlights What has Kevin learned about sparkling wines? How does Kevin sabre a sparkling wine […]

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From Champagne to Napa Valley: Wine Stories with Tilar Mazzeo

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Tilar Mazzeo, author and proprietor and winemaker at Parsell Vineyard. Her book The Widow Clicquot, a biography of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the founder of the champagne house Veuve Clicquot became a bestseller on the New York Times, and a film adaptation of the book is in the works. Tilar gives us the story behind the Champagne and the woman who built not only this prestigious luxury brand but was instrumental in the development of the industry as we know it. She also shares her inspiration and insights […]

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The Smart Woman Behind the Wine for Dummies Books: Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Mary Ewing-Mulligan, president of the International Wine Center and the first woman in America to become a Master of Wine. She’s also just published the seventh edition of the book “Wine For Dummies.” Mary’s motto “Peace. Community. Wine.” is a wonderful summary of the work she’s doing in the wine industry, from wine education to advocating for women in the industry, to her tenacity and determination to achieve the highest designation and continuing to grow her knowledge and ability. I really enjoyed this fantastic chat and I know […]

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Orange Wines, Pairings for Meatless Burgers

Introduction This week I’m doing things a bit differently and changing things up with this episode. Today we’re talking orange wine, meatless burgers and keeping it cool in the summer and I’ve taken the best bits from my Facebook live video show and included them here for you. Is orange the new white? Which wines pair best with meatless burgers? How do you keep your wines cool in the summer heat? I’d love for you to share your questions or comments with me. You can do that right here in the comments below this post or email me at natalie@nataliemaclean.com. […]

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Canada Day Wines

Introduction In honour of Canada Day on July 1st, we’re doing a deep dive into Canadian wine, including some colourful history and surprising facts that you can drop casually at your barbecue gathering as you crack open a bottle. From the zoological phase of the 70s and 80s to award-winning, delicious modern wines, Canada now stands with the best of the best on the world’s wine stage. So what do Canadian wine regions have to offer visitors? Why do Canadian wines make up only 1/3 of the wine we buy in Canada? We’re also testing your vinous savvy with The […]

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Wine Scandals, Fakes and Forgery with Maureen Downey

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Maureen Downey, a.k.a. the Wine Detective, about wine forgeries, fakes and scandals. You’ll learn tips on how to spot a fake wine based on the label and more. Enjoy!   Highlights Why did Maureen become interested in wine fraud? What role did Hardy Rodenstock play in Maureen’s journey as a wine fraud expert? What aspects of the wine does Maureen consider to determine its authenticity? How does Maureen use technology when testing a wine’s authenticity? Why are cosmetic fraud detection techniques insufficient? What are the issues associated […]

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National Wine Day Prompts These Thoughts

Introduction 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 civility that I wrote two months after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance […]

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