Behind-the-Scenes of the Wine Industry + Slick Wine Marketing with Chuck Cramer



What’s it like to work as a sommelier in a five-diamond French restaurant? How do you make the jump from writing magazine columns to becoming a regular guest on radio and television shows? How does it feel to write a book about the most difficult moments in your life?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Chuck Cramer, host of On The Road With Mr CA Wine.

You can find the wines we discussed here.


Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video

Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.

I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.

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:





  • Was there one wild moment that got Natalie hooked on the world of wine?
  • How did I go from working in the tech industry to becoming a full-time wine writer?
  • What was the path from writing magazine columns to the multi-faceted brand today?
  • Why does my approach to writing help my books to stand out from other wine books?
  • What was it like working for one night as a sommelier in a Five Diamond French restaurant?
  • What surprised Natalie the most about California wines?
  • How is my upcoming memoir different from my previous books?
  • Why did I decide to write such a different book the third time around?
  • What was my highest high and lowest low while writing Wine Witch on Fire?


Start The Conversation: Click Below to Share These Wine Tips


About Chuck Cramer

Chuck Cramer is a 4th generation Los Angeleno, living in London for the past 22 years. In addition to hosting a wine podcast dedicated to CA wine, On The Road With Mr CA Wine, Chuck is the director of European sales & marketing for Terlato Wines, managing a gorgeous portfolio of CA wines across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East. He’s also the proud dad of two beautiful women, plays tennis four times a week and bleeds Dodger Blue!




Tag Me on Social

Tag me on social media if you enjoyed the episode:


Thirsty for more?

  • Sign up for my free online wine video class where I’ll walk you through The 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner (and how to fix them forever!)
  • You’ll find my books here, including Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines and Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass.
  • The new audio edition of Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass is now available on, and other country-specific Amazon sites;, and other country-specific iTunes sites; and



Natalie MacLean (00:00):
I think readers will enjoy a behind the scenes look at the wine industry, but also wine marketing, what goes on behind the wines that you buy. It’s my personal experience inside the wine industry for one year. The difference between this book and the first two, it is the difference between going to a job interview and being on a date. You’re still asking questions, exploring, but this is so much more personal. What I’m really trying to do with it is have readers find themselves in some of my experiences, the feelings, the reflections, the journey that I take.

Do you have a thirst to learn about wine? Do you love stories about wonderfully obsessive people, hauntingly beautiful places and amusingly awkward social situations? Well, that’s the blend here on the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie MacLean. And each week I share with you unfiltered conversations with celebrities in the wine world, as well as confessions from my own tipsy journey as I write my third book on this subject. I’m so glad you’re here. Now pass me that bottle please and let’s get started.


Welcome to episode 230. What’s out like to work as a sommelier in a five diamond French restaurant?
How do you make the jump from writing magazine columns to becoming a regular guest on radio and television shows? And how does it feel to write a book about the most difficult moments in your life? In this episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, Chuck Cramer, host of the podcast On The Road with Mr. CA Wine is interviewing me on his terrific podcast. I’ll be sharing those stories that answer those questions and more.

Now, a quick update on my upcoming memoir Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much. We are just 14 days away from publication day. Ah, I’m excited and terrified. I am reassured by the terrific response that this book has had from early readers. But yes, I’m also nervous about the reaction from a wider audience, and that does include a potential backlash from the trolls mentioned in the book.

If you’d like to support this book and this podcast, please pre-order it now from any online book retailer no matter where you live. Buy copies for your friends and family. Every little bit helps spread this message. I’ll put a link in the show notes to all the retailers worldwide that have the book at If you’d also like to be part of the launch team, please let me know. This is not a big time commitment. I would be asking you to do a few quick but really important things over the next month. So even if you haven’t read the book yet, you can help by posting on your favorite social media channel that the book is available now or telling a friend about it. Again, every little bit helps. If you’re interested, please email me at [email protected]. Your support would mean the world to me, and you’d be part of a small but mighty group of people who are passionate and believe in this book’s message of hope, justice, and resilience.

Here’s a review from Roseanne Webb, an early reader who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I would get to the end of a chapter and think one more, and suddenly it would be 2:00 AM. I love the titles of the chapters. I enjoyed her writing style being very visual. I could imagine her mother sitting at the kitchen table or meeting her at a Highland dance event when she was performing. My husband and I debated the title of this book and I told him you have to read the whole book to see what’s involved. I personally liked the title a lot and equated it to the Phoenix rising from the ashes. I love the references to witches. We celebrate la fete de la Befana. This befana really likes Vino Santo and for the gifts she brings. I liked how her book ends as a book of healing and how you interpret it depends on who you are. To me, it’s a coming of age about creating my own labels rather than accepting those others slap on me. Five stars.” Thank you so much, Roseanne.

In the show notes at, I’ve posted a link to where you can pre-order the book now online no matter where you live. And this is also where you’ll find all the juicy bonuses you’ll get when you pre-order the book. Okay, on with the show.

Chuck Cramer (05:14):
Natalie, great seeing you again, and thanks for being on the road with me this week.

Natalie MacLean (05:18):
It’s great to be on the road back on the road with you, Chuck. I’m looking forward to where we’re going to travel today conversationally.

Chuck Cramer (05:24):
Exactly. Yeah, I had a lot of fun on when you had me on your podcast Unreserved Wine Talk. And that was a lot of fun I have to tell you. And I really enjoyed it.  I wanted to tell you while we’re chatting here, Kara Overstreet, you had her on for a couple episodes.

Natalie MacLean

I did.

Chuck Cramer

I’m a huge fan of Zinfandel, and she switched on and yeah I got a kick out of that episode. It sounded like you guys had a great chat.

Natalie MacLean (05:46):
We did. She was a great guest. Of course, you know her backstory as well but she was formally a medical doctor and then came into winemaking late in life, so she has this fascinating intersection between two very different careers. Very bright woman. Great stories, just like you, Chuck. You told some really excellent stories. I’m always looking for that. So I’m glad you enjoyed our chat with her.

Chuck Cramer (06:07):
Yeah, yeah, no, she was a great guest. So let’s dive straight in, Natalie. Take me back. Was there a one wild wine moment that really got you hooked into wine, or were you inspired by somebody?

Natalie MacLean (06:20):
I’d say it was a wine, although the somebody I was with was inspiring as well. So my husband and I were at an Italian restaurant. We were very young. We had just graduated from the MBA together and we went to the small bistro and the server said would you like a Brunello? And we thought it was a pasta dish, so we thought, sure, we’ll have the Brunello. And he brought it and poured it into tumblers. None of the fancy sniffing and sipping it. All I remember is this sort of cloud of aromas sort of rushed out of the glass to meet me, and I thought whoa what’s this? I don’t know how to describe it, but it smells amazing. And then I had a taste of it, and it was like unlike anything I’d ever tried because I really wasn’t into wine or any alcohol. But the way this made me feel, it was kind of like a sigh at the end of a day, and then this hedonistic rush of I couldn’t put aromas to it then, but today I would say wild truffles and violets and blackberries. But it went beautifully with the pasta dish, which was not a Brunello, that made me think I need to find a way to figure out how to describe this, to talk about it so that I can keep having this experience again and again.

Chuck Cramer (07:35):
Yeah, I love a good Brunello. I mean, you’re in Tuscany, right? You’re in an Italian restaurant, but I love Italian wines. So this moment, so then after that, how did the story behind the Natalie MacLean brand develop? Was it because of that one sip of Brunello?

Natalie MacLean (07:52):
Yes, absolutely. I mean that got me intrigued with wine in general. At the time, I was working for a supercomputer company that was headquartered in Mountain View, California so some California roots in my background as well. Now I was based in Canada, but I would go down every quarter, sometimes more frequently, to the head office for meetings. And gradually I started arranging them on Thursdays and Friday so that I would stay the weekend and drive up to Napa or Sonoma and spend the weekend there just going from winery tasting room to winery, tasting room.

I just had so much fun, but I still wasn’t thinking of a career in wine, let alone writing about it. But then that led to taking a sommelier program at a local college at night just for fun, and I completed the certificate program. And then it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave that I thought well I want to kind of keep my brain engaged. Maybe I could write about wine on the internet because I knew now something about wine and something about technology, put them together. I pitched a local magazine on the story that was actually news back then, wine on the Internet. You can see it’s back in the Paleolithic days, but they took it and that became a regular column. And I didn’t go back to my high-tech job after maternity leave was finished.

Chuck Cramer (09:08):
Well, okay, so you started this started out as like a hobby?

Natalie MacLean (09:12):

Chuck Cramer (09:13):
Were you writing then while you’re still working and then after maternity leave you just said, I need a career change and went into wine.

Natalie MacLean (09:20):
Yeah. Exactly. So I wrote this column while I was on mat leave, and that gave me the confidence to cold call other publications, newspapers, and magazines. I didn’t know anybody in the wine world or the writing world, and I just started getting assignments. So in Canada, we have a generous maternity leave program, and I hadn’t taken any vacation being a type A personality, and so I had a year off of paid leave. And so by the time that was finished, I had enough columns to decide, along with my husband, that I was going to try to make a go of this and not go back to tech.

Chuck Cramer (09:56):
Well, that’s a massive leap and  just a massive u-turn going off into a different direction there. I mean, obviously it paid off. So what came first, was it the books, being a TV personality? Obviously you’re writing these columns to start, but how did your story evolve after writing this column?

Natalie MacLean (10:17):
So that continued. But because I came from a high tech background early on I had a website, this is back in 2000, and mobile apps as well. I still have mobile apps and the site of course that scan barcodes and a front label optical reader. So I was into the technology because I thought there’s a great fit here between technology and wine. As you know, Chuck, you can take a deep dive into wine. It’s just so much information, it’s amazing, scary, but also intoxicating in and of itself learning about wine. But the technology can make it more accessible. And we have a lot more tools today than we did back then. So what came first was that first column in print, but I soon got into the online tools and the magazine columns eventually led to a book deal with Random House, Penguin Random House it’s now called. And then it was only while I was on book tour promoting the first one that I sort of met all these people at different TV stations. And after those initial interviews, a number of them asked me to come back again as a regular guest expert on their show to talk about wine in general.

Chuck Cramer (11:27):
That’s cool. So what’s a timeframe? Take me through that timeline. I mean writing books, it takes a while to write and then to publish. So we talk in a couple years here? During this period of time,

Natalie MacLean (11:40):
Good question, Chuck, because when I went with my agent to New York where New York City is the hive of publishing, all the big publishers are there. And so one of the editor asked me, how long did it take you to write this book? And I said, well, all my life. But he understood that all of you was in it. But really the timeline was sort of my son was born in 1999, so it kind of started with the articles website, 2000. It was 2004. I’d actually been approached by an editor at Penguin, that was when it was separate from Random House, who had noticed I’d won some awards, some James Beard awards. So she said well have you ever thought of writing a book? And I thought nope and then I backed up. What is the process? And the process really is getting an agent and then letting your agent guide the process and go to all the different publishers and hopefully get bids, which we did, and then decide on the publisher. So once the 2004 that was signed as a contract, the book came out in 2006. The next book came out in 2007, the paperback in 2011. So that was the timeline for those first two books.

Chuck Cramer (12:47):
Okay. So let’s talk about these two books. So Red, White, and Drunk All Over:  A Wine Soak Journey from Grape to Glass. And in the second book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s best Bargain Wines. So obviously you’re a creative person. How do you come up with these titles? Because obviously you have to come up with a different spin. There’s a lot of wine books out there to make your stand out. How did this happen?

Natalie MacLean (13:12):
Well  Red, White and Drunk All Over was actually an informal title that the designer of the book cover gave my first book. He said, oh, you mean that book what’s red and white and drunk all over? It was an insider joke inside the publisher. And then my editor said wait let’s use that but let’s shorten it. Red, White and Drunk All Over. And at first I was kind of horrified because I thought what are people going to think? But my approach was conversational, still is. I do love incorporating humour where I can into my stories. And we thought, you know what? Let’s take a chance. Because what you do needs and you’ve just alluded to this, Chuck, is there are a lot of wine books you need to stand out in the shelf, whether it’s the shelf in physical store or online with online retailers.

And the biggest job a title and the book cover design can do is to stop a customer and say hey wait, what? And it’s probably like this with labels. What is that? I need to at least pick up the book or the bottle and investigate further. That’s the job of the title. There’s a part of our brain called broca. It’s right behind the executive brain, the frontal cortex that ciphers out things. We don’t need to pay attention to things we do. And when you have that wait what kind of moment, that is what you want. You want to bypass broca that wants to get rid of all daily distractions, send it to the executive brain that says I need to find out more. So that’s the answer to the titles. But you asked kind of what they’re about. I really also tried to take a different approach with the books themselves, the content. I’m a real big fan of the New Journalists. They’re not so new any more, but Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, they were very immersive. So they did what they wrote about. Instead of just interviewing someone, they actually did the thing. So George Plimpton was another one, and he played in the NFL.

Chuck Cramer (15:04):
Yeah, he played for the Detroit Lions at quarterback.

Natalie MacLean (15:06):
There you go. Exactly. So instead of just interviewing from the bleachers, he did the thing. And by doing the thing, I think he got a richer, deeper, more evocative story. So the way I applied that to wine is I went and worked the harvest with Randall Grahm at Bonny Doon in California and helped pick grapes all the rest of it for several days. I worked in a wine store in San Francisco, it was called the Jug Shop. I’m not sure if it’s still there. Don’t know if you know, Chuck. And then I also did other things like worked as a sommelier for an evening. And that was probably the lowest low of my wine writing experiences was I worked in a five diamond French restaurant and my French is rusty, but I ended up looking like an undertaker in a dark suit, and I was shadowing the sommelier. But then I had to do it on my own and I spilled some wine and made some other mistakes. But in the end it was great experience because I got to dig into it in a more richly deeper way, incorporate some humour and so on.

Chuck Cramer (16:07):
And gives you a different view, a different angle as well. Because now your experiencing this and you’re writing from the heart, which I guess helps to engage with the audience more.

Natalie MacLean (16:17):
Exactly. Because I think when people read, they want to vicariously experience something through you. If they can’t be there, how would it feel? What kind of questions would you ask? What kind of things would you learn? And so I think it is a more immersive experience for the reader as well.

Chuck Cramer (16:34):
Okay. Yeah. So you’re taking Red, White, and Drunk All Over. You’re taking on this journey, your journey. And what about Unquenchable?

Natalie MacLean (16:41):
Unquenchable followed a similar format, but the goal for Unquenchable was to search out undervalued wines, bargains, if you will, gems that are undiscovered around the world. So I went to regions like Sicily. So as you know, Tuscany and Piedmont in the north of Italy are very expensive, but if you go south in a lot of regions, you’re going to get great values. In France, Bordeaux and Burgundy and expensive, but go down to the Languedoc or even Provence, you’ll get some deals. And in California, too. Napa and Sonoma have a deserved kind of top-notch reputation, but I think you’ll find some really excellent values if you go south a bit say into Paso Robles.

Chuck Cramer (17:23):
Yeah, exactly. So I was going to ask you then, what surprised you the most on this journey then through California in terms of undervalued or great quality for value or great money for value, whatever wine? What was the most surprising in terms of area?

Natalie MacLean (17:37):
Just the diversity. Like this is when I first started approaching California. We have this sort of monolith image of California. Some people do the Golden States, beautiful, warm, sunny beaches. But there is such diversity in regions and styles. And I mean I was thrilled to really dig into the cooler areas like Sonoma and Monterey and Carneros because I’m a Pinot fan, I just, that’s my go-to wine. So I was discovering these pockets of wines that were spectacular and they were nothing like the warmer, richer styles of warmer regions. California does have an incredible range of wines. It deserves more attention to those sub regions.

Chuck Cramer (18:22):
Yeah, exactly. Well, I know, yeah, California does do Pinot extremely well. It does get hot, but like you said, you got vineyards close to the ocean, planted high up. Yeah, they do Pinot really well. So tell me about, we’ve got a special offer coming from you, a very generous offer. Tell us about your special offer to our listeners.

Natalie MacLean (18:42):
Oh, thanks for teeing it up, Chuck. I’m offering my Ultimate Free Guide to Pairing Wine and Food for anybody listening. And you can find that at  for listeners of this podcast, so N A T A L I E M A C L E A N dot com. And I think you’re going to include that in the show notes too, Chuck, if people can’t remember that.

Chuck Cramer (19:10):
That’s correct, yes.

Natalie MacLean (19:11):
Cool. So of all your listeners or any listeners who download that Ultimate Guide to Food and Wine Pairing, I’m going to pick two winners to win personally signed copies of my books.

Chuck Cramer (19:24):

Natalie MacLean (19:25):
Yeah, Absolutely. Wherever they live. It’s not limited to a certain region or country.

Chuck Cramer (19:31):
Okay, well, that’s a very generous offer. Just go into the website there and then you have an opportunity to win these two books  Red, White, and Drunk All Over and your second book Unquenchable. Correct?

Natalie MacLean (19:46):
Exactly. So there’ll be two winners winning two books.

Chuck Cramer (19:49):
That’s great. Please go the website and again yes I’ll mention this in the episode again. So now we’re going to keep talking about books for a little bit. Now you’re working on a third book and it’s different to what you’ve written before. So how different? Do you have a title? What can you share with us about this new book?

Natalie MacLean (20:09):
Sure. It’s a right turn from my other books. It’s very different. So it’s a memoir as opposed to sort of the travel based books that were the first two. And the title is Wine Witch on Fire.

Chuck Cramer (20:21):
Wine Witch on Fire. Okay.

Natalie MacLean (20:22):
Wine Witch on Fire and the subtitle is Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation and Drinking Too Much. So it’s not a downer. There’s still humor, but it is much more serious in parts. It’s my personal experience inside the wine industry for one year. It’s a slice of life 2012.  And the difference between this book and the first two, they’re both first person accounts, but it’s the difference between going to a job interview and being on a date. You’re still asking questions, exploring, but this is so much more personal. And I think what readers will enjoy is a behind the scenes look at the wine industry, but also wine marketing, what goes on behind the wines that you buy. And of course, memoir is a different animal altogether. It’s like living your life twice. And what I’m really trying to do with it is, again, have readers find themselves in some of my experiences, maybe not doing the exact same thing because a wine career is different from a lot of others, but the feelings, the reflections, the journey that I take.

And if you don’t mind, Chuck, I think the easiest way to summarize it is to read you the blurb that’ll be on the back cover that the publisher came up with. I think that might summarize it best.

Chuck Cramer

Go for it.

Natalie MacLean

All right. I feel like I should be reading this in one of those movie trailer voices, like in a world where whatever, but I won’t. All right. So here’s what they wrote. Natalie MacLean, a best-selling wine writer, is shocked when her husband of 20 years, a high-powered CEO, demands a divorce. Then an online mob of rivals comes for her career. Wavering between despair and determination, she must fight for her son, rebuild her career, and salvage her self-worth using her superpowers heart, humour, and an uncanny ability to pair food and wine. Natalie questions her insider role in the slick marketing that encourages women to drink too much while she battles the wine world’s veiled misogyny. Facing the worst vintage of her life, she reconnects with the vineyards that once brought her joy, the friends who sustain her, and her own belief in second chances. This is a true coming of middle-aged story about transforming your life and finding love along the way.

Chuck Cramer (22:41):
Wow. There’s a lot going on in this book. I mean, you’re given an insider into the wine industry, but also you’re given snippets of what’s going on in your life like you said during that slice of your life or slice of that one year. So what stage are you at with this book?

Natalie MacLean (22:58):
Well, right now I’m in the editing. So I have a publisher, and it’s been through several edits, but it’s still in the editing stage. And I am actually still looking for beta readers. Those would be readers who are not editing experts or wine experts, although you can be, but if any listeners would like to get a sneak peek at the manuscript and give me their feedback on the book, just how it hits them. Again, no expertise required. They should feel free to contact me [email protected]. But that’s the stage I’m at. So I still sort of in the editing stage. We’ve just come up with cover concepts. The whole publishing process is a long game, especially with labour and paper shortages. The publishing date is actually May 9th, 2023. But we’ve got a concept for the cover that I’m really jazzed about. I think it’s going to bring it all together. But again, if you’re interested in getting a sneak peek, please let me know.

Chuck Cramer (23:56):
And what triggered this right turn to write this book?

Natalie MacLean (24:01):
Yeah, it’s a great question. I was struggling with what I was going to write next as a third book. And I didn’t want to rehashed recipe of the first two, even though I still stand by them and people still enjoy them. But I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want this year to happen in 2012 to be that different take, but it just, if you will, got gifted to me on a molten hot platter.

So it’s been 10 years since everything happened, and that is the necessary time I needed, and most memoirists do, to really process what happened, to make sense of it, and to share the learning and reflections with a reader. Because someone doesn’t want to just read about your hot mess, They want to learn how you dealt with these things.

Chuck Cramer (24:47):
And overcame.

Natalie MacLean (24:48):
Exactly. They might be going through divorce. They might feel it like they’re drinking a little too much. Defamation is a bit more obscure, but still. If you’ve ever watched anyone get canceled online, this is a good case study if you will. So it all came together. And one of my favourite memoirists, Glennon Doyle said don’t write from an open wound, write from a scar. And another line that she had was Why bother? It’s done. It’s gone. Why resurrect this thing? And it’s because someone right now, somewhere might have a wound that’s in the exact shape of your words. And a beta reader sent back to me the other day, the most moving message of my life, and it was that she had lost her son during Covid, who took his own life.

Chuck Cramer (25:39):

Natalie MacLean (25:40):
And she had started drinking too much. And reading my book was one of the steps she took to get back on track. I mean, this is not a self-help book but that just moved me. I’m saving that email forever.

Chuck Cramer (25:56):
Yeah, I mean if you can help somebody, that’s great. But also, it sounds like you’re writing these memoirs. 2012 is a tough year, but it is, I guess as you’re writing this and going through this, it is self therapy, right?

Natalie MacLean (26:09):
It is.

Chuck Cramer (26:09):
It’s helping you heal as well, heal that open wound, right? You need some closure.

Natalie MacLean (26:14):
Absolutely. Yeah. And for me, as an introvert, I write to kind of make sense of the world. It’s not till I get it down onto paper or on the screen that I figure out okay that’s what I think or that’s what was happening. I mean, there were pieces of what happened during that year that I had totally blocked out. At the time, I was taking screenshots on my lawyer’s advice, saving everything, and I went back to that folder years later and didn’t realize just how much I had just totally erased from my working memory. But then it all came back of course and it was very healing to put it all together.

Chuck Cramer (26:48):
So as you were writing this book, what was your highest high and what was your lowest low?

Natalie MacLean (26:54):
Well, the highest high would be that email that I received recently from that woman.

Chuck Cramer (26:59):
And you’re helping somebody? Yep.

Natalie MacLean (27:01):
Yeah, exactly. Because I think that’s what memoir is. It is an extended hand to somebody else. I mean, you kind of deal with your own stuff, but then that’s not enough. You put it out into the world for a reason, and that reason is a reader who might need to hear the story. So that’d be the highest high for sure.

Low is low, was having to relive some of that. Memoir is living your life twice and going back to some of that and just like my breathing became short as I read some things, but that’s part of the process, too. So it all comes together in the end.

Chuck Cramer (27:39):
Well if a book title’s going to engage, it’s going to be this one Wine Witch on Fire. And then give me the full title again, Wine Witch on Fire

Natalie MacLean (27:47):
Sure. That’s the title. The subtitle is Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much.

Chuck Cramer (27:54):
Well, you’re going to connect with a lot of people.

Natalie MacLean (27:57):
I hope so.

Chuck Cramer (27:57):
I see this book has been very successful, so good luck with that you that. And look forward to that when it comes out in May, 2023.

Natalie MacLean (28:13):
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my chat with Chuck. In the show notes, you’ll find a full transcript of my conversation with him, links to his website and podcast, the video versions of these conversations on Facebook and YouTube live, and where you can pre-order my memoir online now no matter where you live. That’s all in the show notes at Email me if you have a sip, tip, question or would like to be part of the book’s launch team at [email protected].

If you missed episode 19, go back and take a listen. I chat about how to become the world’s best sommelier with Arvid Rosengren. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.

Arvid Rosengren (29:01):
The key, if you want to become a good blind taster for spirits, it’s exposure I think. You got to smell a lot. Usually the blind tasting of spirits are sort of, let’s say they put down eight glasses. My goal is to be able to nail five or six on smell alone so that I don’t have to start tasting until the very end. Because once you start tasting, you start messing with your palate and everything becomes difficult. You have to nail more than half of it on the nose alone and then move to the face. Your spirits are usually so sort of defined by their category in the sense that it’s pretty easy once you learn the set of archetypes to start getting there.

Natalie MacLean (29:38):
And do you mean that like a Tequila is always easily identifiable versus a Cabernet?

Arvid Rosengren (29:44):
Exactly. Even if there’re difference, the differences are so marked. Whereas the difference in wine can be very subtle. Sometimes you get Syrahs that tastes like Malbec and that kind of thing. You don’t get that with spirits. If it’s a Scotch, it’s very different from a Bourbon, and it’s always going to be very different from Bourbon.

Natalie MacLean (30:04):
If you like this episode, please email or tell one friend about it this week, especially someone who’d be interested in the wines tips and stories we shared. You won’t want to miss next week when I share some very personal thoughts about wine and the wine industry. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week, perhaps a classic Bordeaux.

You don’t want to miss. One juicy episode of this podcast, especially the secret full bodied bonus episodes that I don’t announce on social media. So subscribe for free now at Meet me here next week. Cheers.