Media Reviews of Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much



“This decade’s Eat Pray Love … Natalie MacLean survived an online mob, divorce and drinking too much. Her new memoir will help you get through your own mess, too.”

– Morgan Mullin, Arts & Culture Editor, The Coast magazine



I spoke on CTV’s The Social with the hosts about the memoir, Wine Witch on Fire.



Watch the video here: Wine Witch on Fire Calls Out Sexist Wine Marketing on CTV’s The Social



Watch the video here: Wine Witch on Fire Calls Out Sexist Wine Marketing on CTV’s The Social







See the Globe and Mail Bestseller List here




Top Choice for Non-Fiction

“A few truly icky sexist pigs won’t have any trouble ID-ing themselves in award-winning wine writer Natalie MacLean’s memoir. Neither will you. She names names. MacLean faced down those trolls and then got on with her remarkably successful life. The book isn’t about revenge, but hey, doesn’t living well make for a nice finish?”

– Pat St. Germain, Book Critic, Post Media Newspapers


This syndicated books column was published in Post Media papers across the country, including the Vancouver Sun, The Province, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Winnipeg Sun, Ottawa Citizen, Sudbury Star, Windsor Star, Montreal Gazette, Telegraph-Journal and the Toronto edition of the National Post.




In her hot, new memoir, Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much, Natalie MacLean writes about resurrecting her life and career in the glamourous but sexist wine industry.

Indigo has named it one of the “Most Anticipated Books of the Season.” Natalie joins me to chat about her memoir.

Watch my interview with Annette Hamm here: How Wine Industry Professionals Cope with Overdrinking – CHCH Morning Live 





See the Toronto Star Bestseller List here


I joined Bob Murphy, host of CBC’s Maritime Noon show, to answer caller questions earlier that day. Listen to the full episode here.





Most of us live our lives, as we believe things to be. We label, we judge, we make assumptions about ourselves and others. Sometimes we’re right. Often, we are wrong. We know Natalie MacLean. She joins us often to give us advice on wine, and I call her our resident bon vivant. But from a woman who makes her living studying wine labels, she will be the first to tell you that when it comes to labels. It’s complicated. Her latest book is called, Wine Witch on Fire. Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation and Drinking too Much.

Watch the video here: How Labels on Wine and People Can be Misleading – CTV News Montreal




“MacLean uses her expert style to craft a well-written book that is hard to put down. Her down-to-earth style is easy to read and makes you feel her ups and downs, which is very relatable. In addition, her anecdotal style of sharing her life is entertaining and enhanced by her wine industry knowledge. Comical, charming, and insightful all in one.”

– Dr. John McTavish is a certified specialist of wine and a Niagara College professor. His full review of Wine Witch on Fire was published in the St. Catharines Standard, the Welland Tribune and the Niagara Falls Review.


Dr. McTavish shared this on social media…



Annette and I chat about the memoir on CTV’s Morning Show.

In her new memoir, Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much, Natalie MacLean writes about resurrecting her life and career in the glamourous but sexist wine industry. Indigo has named it one of the “Most Anticipated Books of the Season.” Natalie joins us now to chat about her memoir.

Watch the video here: What Will Readers Learn from Wine Witch on Fire? CTV’s Morning Show



In her memoir Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much, (Dundurn Press), Natalie MacLean shares her experiences as a wine writer as well as her struggles after a painful divorce, her comeback after an online attack on her professional reputation, and the dangers of drinking to calm her anxiety and ease her sadness. She also exposes the sexism she experienced in the wine industry and explores how her perfectionism and competitiveness caused her to struggle.

Allison Lawlor, Book Critic, The Chronicle Herald

Read the full article here.



Leanne and chat about my memoir, Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much on CTV News.

Watch the video here: How Memoir Can Be Deeply Satisfying and Scary? CTV News Ottawa


In her hot, new memoir, Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much, Natalie MacLean writes about resurrecting her life and career in the glamourous but sexist wine industry. Indigo has named it one of the “Most Anticipated Books of the Season.” Natalie joins us now to chat about her memoir.

Watch the video here: New Wine Memoir Takes a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Wine World – CTV Your Morning




I spoke with Paul Brothers, host of Global’s Morning Show. Watch the full interview here.




I loved chatting about my new book with the hosts of the drive-home CBC radio shows from coast to coast!

Although after the 14th interview, I’m not sure if I started repeating myself ;)

Listen to CBC Radio here



Canada Now with Jeff Sammut

I chat with Jeff Sammut, host of the popular radio show Canada Now on SiriusXM, about my memoir.

He asked some incredible questions.

Listen to the full conversation on SiriusXM on channel 167!




I’m gobsmacked to be on this list of 10 books that includes some of my favourite authors: Margaret Atwood, Charlene Carr and Ann Douglas.

Ten books that capture the fabulous and fraught nature of motherhood

“[MacLean] manages to reconnect with the passion for the grape that originally saw her leave her job in tech for a career as a blogging oenophile. Scoffing at the demeaning and misogynistic “mommy juice” labels used to market wine to people like her, MacLean also takes time during her midlife crises to ask difficult questions about the industry she writes about.” – Marsha Lederman

Read the full review by Marsha Lederman on The Globe and Mail here.




“MacLean, bestselling author of the new book “Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Depression, and Drinking Too Much,” joins Brian Lilley to discuss the perils of the wine world for women and why she’s speaking out against the dangers of today’s “wine mommy” mania.”  – Brian Lilley

Read the article and listen to the Full Comment podcast from Brian Lilley here




I’m A Wine Writer. Here’s How I Cut Back On Drinking
(While still appreciating my favourite wines.)

“I realized I wanted my evenings back. I had to tell myself that the night wouldn’t get any better or more fun with more wine. I’d just end up saying things I’d regret, fall asleep early in front of the TV, wake up in the morning gutted.

I also wanted to command my own boundaries rather than worry about developing a soggy reputation with friends. She sure likes to have a good time, wink, wink.

Most of all, I wanted good health, the scaffolding of happiness. I wanted to get out from under the wine-soaked cloud of depression and not die of breast cancer.

Now that I had my why, I just needed the how. The challenge was making it through the arsenic hour around 5:00 p.m. when there’s a natural dip in serotonin, the hormone that stabilizes our mood and sense of well-being.”

Read the full article on Chatelaine here




It was my honour to be on one of the last episodes of Shelagh Rogers’ iconic show, The Next Chapter. Shelagh is retiring next month after 43 years with the CBC. She is one of the women I most admire in this country.

Listen to the full episode here.




I discussed my memoir, Wine Witch On Fire Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much with Steph Vivier on Newstalk 610 CKTB

Listen to my interview with Steph Vivier on iHeartRadio The Weekend Edition here.



You can listen to the Erica Diamond Podcast here.



Patricia Boal’s show is heard on Newstalk 1010 and 580 CFR radio, the Bellmedia affiliates in Ottawa, as well as iHeart Radio. Listen to the interview here.


Wendy Mesley, former CBC anchor for The National, and Maureen Holloway, former host of CHFI’s Morning Show in Toronto, now host the popular Women of Ill Repute podcast. Guests have included former chief justice Beverly McLaughlin, comedian Rick Mercer, novelists Louise Penny and Ann-Marie MacDonald, talk show host Marilyn Denis, and musician Jan Arden. Listen to or watch the full episode here.


Brian Lilley, Toronto Sun columnist and host of the Full Comment podcast, interviewed me on his show. The show is ranked among the top 10 Canadian podcasts and, in addition to being available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other apps, it is also posted to all the Post Media websites: Vancouver SunThe ProvinceCalgary HeraldEdmonton JournalRegina Leader-PostSaskatoon Star PhoenixWinnipeg SunOttawa CitizenSudbury StarWindsor StarMontreal GazetteTelegraph-Journal and National Post. Listen to the full episode here.


Natalie MacLean’s new book, “Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much,” is worth a read. It was uplifting in the sense of overcoming “too much drinking.” I found it enjoyable. She writes a good hand and is a good storyteller. Her wine criticism is usually in sync with mine.

– John McDonald, Wine Columnist, The Delaware Cape Gazette



Natalie MacLean does not pull any punches in her new book which just by the title – Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much – sets the scene for what is a very much a personal account of the sexism and bullying she has had to face working in the wine industry, but is also what she says an opportunity to “celebrate the joy and passion” of what has been an eventful but successful career in wine … Natalie MacLean demonstrates what a great writer she is and why her new memoir is a must read.

Richard Siddle, Executive Editor, The Buyer magazine. Read the full article here.



Scott Sexsmith interviewed me about the book on his show, Up Close & Personal, part of the Village Media network. Past guests have included Peter Mansbridge, Kathleen Wynn, Lloyd Robertson and Ron MacLean. The show is syndicated to 21 sites in the Village Media network with a regular audience of 3 million viewers. Listen to the full interview here.



Natalie MacLean shares her experience, strength and hope in new memoir.

– Celtic Life International. Read the full article here.




“MacLean’s prose is so emotionally vivid … Laugh-out-loud humor, brilliant wit, clever phraseology and alliteration dispersed throughout leaven the sadness and illustrate her path to re-emergence from the darkness. [H]er account of the career-threatening accusations, their impact and, especially, what they reveal about the industry, as well as her emergence, makes for a compelling read.” – Neal D. Hulkower, Ph.D.

Read the full review on Oregon Wine Press by Neal D. Hulkower


Wine Witch on Fire, Natalie MacLean (Dundurn Press). Natalie MacLean is a longtime wine writer and winner of four—count ‘em—four James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards. So, I couldn’t resist getting to know her a little better in this new, highly personal book subtitled “Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation and Drinking Too Much.” But this isn’t a tell-all revenge tale: it’s an honest two-pronged story about the challenges of being a woman in the wine world and the journey to reclaim one’s self personally and professionally, and demonstration that coming of age stories aren’t just for teen-agers.

– Lana Bortolot, Wine Columnist, Forbes


This review was published under the Editor’s Picks in the January issue of Decanter, one of the most influential wine magazines:

Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much is an honest memoir, written by award-winning wine writer Natalie MacLean, charting how she overcame struggles in her life, personal and professional.

She gives an insight into what it’s like to work as a woman in the male dominated wine industry, and recommends some of her favourite wines along the way.

It’s honest, raw and inspirational.


WHAT HAPPENED NEXT is a weekly interview podcast in which I talk to authors about the time before, after, and between books. (Everything except when their books are brand-new, in other words.) Each episode is a funny, insightful and honest conversation about the realities of being a writer. Recent guests have included Jen Sookfong Lee, Wayne Johnston, Ron Sexsmith, Lynn Coady, Allicia Elliott, Ann Douglas, Cary Fagan, Farzana Doctor, Andrew Pyper, Susan Musgrave, Carleigh Baker, Alix Ohlin, Claire Cameron, Naseem Hrab, Stuart Ross, and more.


Read full article here.




This time Elle welcomes Canadian wine writer Natalie MacLean, whose book Wine Witch on Fire was recently published (and devoured by Elle)–look for the book (and some juicy discounts) here! You can also find a guide to the book complete with book club prompts and tips on hosting a tasting here.

The two had an excellent talk on what it was like being a woman in tech, as well as what she did when the wine bros came for her…and ultimately triumphed. Plus, they discuss some handy tips if you are trying to drink less.

Lastly, look here for more on her free pairing class and Unreserved Wine Talk podcast.


“Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much” offers a unique and personal perspective in wine books. This addition brings a different dimension to our recommended reading list. This is a deeply personal account of Natalie Maclean’s life as she entered the wine sphere, how she overcame adversity, including the challenges of divorce, the struggle with reputation, and issues related to excessive drinking.

Why It’s a Must-Read:

  • Personal Journey: The author shares a raw and honest story, providing readers with an inside look at the personal struggles that can occur in the wine industry.
  • Inspirational: It inspires anyone facing personal challenges, illustrating how one can emerge stronger from difficult situations.
  • Connection to Wine: The book maintains a connection to the world of wine, offering insights into how personal experiences can influence one’s relationship with wine and the industry at large.
  • Empowerment and Healing: The narrative is not just about the challenges but also about empowerment and healing, resonating with readers who may have faced similar issues.


Interview with David Common on CBC’s Metro Morning, Toronto’s most popular radio morning show.


This editorial ran in Postmedia papers across the country, including the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette.



CTV News


CTV News Atlantic Canada


CTV Morning Live






OttawaLife: At what age did you start writing? Did you write about other topics, such as poetry or stories, as a young person?

Natalie MacLean: My love of writing came from my love of reading. My mother was a single parent who always took courses to upgrade her teaching license. Apparently, when I was sitting in my crib one evening holding a cloth book, she asked me what I was doing. I told her I was reading my Shakespeare. I grew up without a television, so I read voraciously.

My earliest attempts at writing were full of wordplay. Our first-grade teacher asked us to write about something in the classroom. I chose to write about the mysterious disappearance of a guppie from the aquarium and titled the piece “Something Fishy is Going on Here.”


Read the full interview by Jane Staples in Ottawa Life Magazine



“MacLean summoned transformational energy to work through this troubled time. A perfectionist by nature with a desire to be accommodating, MacLean felt the need to release her repressed feminine anger “like the witches I loved in literature — Circe, Hecate, Morgan le Fay.” She navigated the copyright attribution matter with legal help.”

Read the full review by Meg Nola on Forward Reviews




A Story of Resilience

Wine expert Natalie MacLean’s latest book, Wine Witch on Fire is a coming-of-middle-age story about the authour’s journey of self discovery after divorce, defamation and too much drinking.

Visit the website Here



“Do you think penning down this memoir has changed you?

I initially thought strength meant holding it all inside and not needing anyone to confide in. This approach made my life a lot more complex and worse. Only when I confided in friends, family, and other women in the wine industry did I realize how healing restored the power of friendship. I realized that vulnerability was the only defense.”

Read the full article by Swetha Amit on FauxMoir Lit Mag




“Natalie MacLean joins me again. The award-winning, bestselling wine writer has just published a new memoir Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much. It’s an engaging book that recounts what was happening in her life about ten years ago.”  – Joseph Planta

Listen to my interview with Joseph Planta on here.



Toronto Life posted the story on Facebook here and there have been a lot of interesting comments on it.

You’re welcome to weigh in with your own comments.


Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Podcast has had more than two million downloads.

The podcast has had more than 2 million downloads and previous guests include Hilary Clinton, David Sedaris, Jennifer Weiner, Jamaica Kincaid, Meg Wolitzer, and Dani Shapiro.

Listen to our conversation here.



I loved chatting with hosts, Sue and Andy, on their top-rated show Mornings with Sue & Andy on QR 107 FM/770 AM, the Global News affiliate



CTV’s Morning Show in Calgary




Breakfast Television is broadcast nationally on CityTV.

You can watch the video here.



“Natalie MacLean is one of Canada’s most recognizable wine personalities. She has appeared regularly on television, newspaper and magazine columns, as well as online through her website at She is the author of two previous books that I know you’ve seen in the wine sections of book stores before. Her new book, Wine Witch On Fire – Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much – A Memoir is out now and available everywhere.” – Luke Whittall The Sipster’s Wine Podcast

Listen to Part 1 of The Sipster’s Wine Podcast interview by Luke Whittall here

Listen to Part 2 here.



“In this captivating episode, I sit down with Natalie Maclean, a renowned wine expert, sommelier, and award-winning author, to discuss her latest book, “Wine Witch on Fire, Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much.” Listen in as Natalie shares her inspiring story of overcoming adversity, rebuilding her life, and finding love along the way. We’ll explore her insights on responsible wine consumption, navigating the wine industry as a woman, and her transformative journey of self-discovery. Don’t miss this compelling conversation with one of the world’s most influential voices in the world of wine.”

Listen to this What She Said podcast episode with Candace Sampson here




This book is incredible. It’s an exemplary journey and she came out of it brilliantly. Hats off to you, Natalie.




“Wine expert Natalie MacLean on great wines for Mother’s Day and her new book, Wine Witch on Fire. ” Go-To-Grandma Podcast on Zoomer Radio

Listen to the Go-To-Grandma Podcast by Kathy Buckworth Here:

Available from Zoomer Radio




“There are all kinds of wine pairings, and today wine critic Natalie MacLean shared four books and their perfectly paired wine.” – Spines and vines: 4 great book and wine pairings CHCH Morning Live with Annette Hamm

See the Video and Article on my Blog: 4 Blockbuster Books and Bottles to Celebrate World Book Day



“Wine Witch on Fire offers some wonderfully insightful lines, thanks to MacLean’s willingness to take a hard look in the mirror. The writing conveys a keen, sometimes cutting, sense of humour. Wine Witch on Fire is one of those memoirs where you need not have lived a similar life to be able to draw insight from the story. Readers who enjoy hearing about the experiences of others for what might be learned, or even to get an insider look at other professions—in this case, that of a wine writer.”

Read the full review on The Miramichi Reader by Lisa Timpf 



“Wine Witch on Fire” Shines a Light on Sexism in the Wine Industry

Carl Giovanti interviews me about the book in his regular column in the Wine Industry Network Advisor. Read the full article here.



Hosts Calla Bischoff and Kara Ferreira interviewed me on their hilarious Boozy Biddies Podcast. Listen to the full episode here.


Beth Costa hosts the Wine Road podcast. Listen to the full episode here.


The Wine Witch visits Calgary

Making a timely visit to Calgary this week is wine writer Natalie MacLean. Well aware that Stampede involves a bit of over indulgence, MacLean is talking about her new book Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much.

“The spike in alcohol consumption during the pandemic that hasn’t subsided combined with the new Canadian drinking guidelines have many people thinking about their relationship to wine,” says MacLean.

Her book tackles a myriad of topics including pivoting in a career mid-life, thriving as an introvert and overcoming over-consumption without going completely sober.


Go Nomad Website and Podcast

Read the wine and travel interview here.



“A memoir on a vintage year, wine mom culture, and sexism in the wine industry.”

– Elizabeth Rent, Editor, The Halifax Examiner

Read the full interview here.


Thanks to Linda Prussen, wine columnist for The Long Island Press and Dan’s Papers for The Hamptons, for her shout of Wine Witch on Fire in her columns.



Literary Blogger, Jaclyn Qua-Hiansen, writes about her thoughts on the Toronto launch of Wine Witch on Fire at the Clio Club.

Read the full article featured on Jaclyn’s blog, Literary Treats here




Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much by Natalie MacLean

It’s been just over a decade since the alleged copyright issues scandal that rocked the wine-writing world, and MacLean has bounced back with this soul, searching memoir. In it, the James Beard award-winning writer and podcaster describes her own wakeup call, while pointing out misogyny in the wine world. This is one that people will be talking about. – Vitis Magazine

Visit the Vitis Website here




“I ended up reading this whole book in one day! Even though I didn’t know of her – I was pretty quickly won over with her engaged and honest writing. Engaging biography – now I want to read her other two books!” – Barbarian Librarian Book Review Blog by Erin Cataldi

Read the full review by Erin Cataldi here



Natalie MacLean feels like the quality of Canadian wine is too high for gimmicky labels to be slapped onto it. And most of the wine is produced by entrepreneurs with fascinating backstories.

“We vote with our dollars when we buy wine so why not support those stories, those labels, rather than the red lips, high heels and a short dress.”

– Dan Walton, Columnist, Penticton Herald News



Wine Witch Wins Big

Natalie MacLean approached the writing of the book as therapeutic and a public service and, let’s admit it, entertainment, because a great story of ruin and redemption is a rip-roaring read.

“In the end, it’s not what happened to you, but what you learned from it. Ultimately, it’s a story of recovery and I hope my story might make someone else who may be going through difficulty not feel alone.”

While the book definitely has a message, it’s written with humour and has a happy ending.

– Steve MacNaull, Syndicated Wine Columnist, Victoria Now, Penticton Now, Vernon Now, Kelowna Now, Kamloops Now, Vernon Now and PrinceGeorge Now


Darcy Matteson, Editor, The Daily Hive


CBC On The Coast, Vancouver, Interview

CBC Radio West, Okanagan and Outside Vancouver, Interview


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