Mark Oldman: The Wine World’s Greatest Showman



In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Mark Oldman, New York-based wine best-selling author, speaker and entrepreneur and one of the liveliest and wittiest guests I’ve had on the show. Enjoy!



  • What insider tip can you use the next time you’re faced with a restaurant wine list?
  • How can you signal to restaurant staff that you’re a wine insider (even if you’re not)?
  • What should you do if you think your restaurant glassware or wine has a fault?
  • What do billionaires look for in wines for daily drinking?
  • How can a label help you to identify a great value wine?
  • Why shouldn’t you say no to paper cups?
  • Why is a restaurant wine list like the Bermuda Triangle?
  • What types of wine should you look out for from Washington State?
  • Why should you cultivate a wine spouse?
  • Where can you find the best Gamay outside of the Beaujolais region?
  • Why should you pay extra attention to the back label?
  • When is oak “deliciously slutty”?
  • Should you request specific glassware to match your wine?
  • Should you pay special attention to supertasters?
  • Why is blind tasting overrated?
  • How did Mark start learning about wine?
  • What does Mark think about Kermit Lynch and garagiste wines?
  • How has wine culture changed since Mark wrote his first book?
  • Why does Mark believe the age of the all-knowing wine critic has passed?
  • How did Mark end up in criminal court over a bottle of Bordeaux?


About Mark Oldman

Mark Oldman is a wine expert, author, entrepreneur, speaker, and media personality, and, elementally, someone who delights in helping people simplify complex subjects.

In the world of wine, he is known for his singular ability to unravel wine’s complexities with a potent blend of entertainment, style, and humor. Mark’s enduring, award-winning books are considered by many to be the best of their kind.

His standing invitations to the country’s top food festivals and consistently sold-out events attest to his position as one of gastronomy’s most captivating speakers.

Named “everybody’s favorite wine expert” by festival guru Lee Brian Schrager and a “hot ticket” by the New York Post, Mark brings the ruckus to audiences at major fairs, corporations, and institutions around the world.




Wine Reviews


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  • 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!)
  • Join me on Facebook Live Video every second Wednesday at 7 pm eastern for a casual wine chat.
  • 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 is now available on, and other country-specific Amazon sites;, and other country-specific iTunes sites; and


Transcript & Takeaways

Welcome to episode 60!

In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Mark Oldman, a New York-based wine best-selling author, speaker and entrepreneur. He’s one of the liveliest and wittiest guests I’ve had on the show.

This conversation first aired on my regular Facebook live video show that you can catch every second Wednesday at 7 pm eastern. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes where you can find us at, as well as Mark’s website, books and social media handles.

During the Facebook chat, another wine writer, Douglas Trepasso, asks a question about how to drink like a billionaire if you’re not one already. I loved that and it sparked a great discussion and juicy tips on buying wines without a billionaire’s budget, but with a billionaire’s taste.

As well, Mark talks about one bottle of wine for which he went to criminal court. It’s a great story, and if you want to see that bottle, it’s also in the show notes at

Now back to you. Why not make 2020 the year that you move from feeling overwhelmed with all the wines in the liquor store to feeling confident about every wine you buy and knowing exactly which dish will pair perfectly with it?

I can help you with that. Sign up for my free, online video wine class the 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner (and how to fix them forever!)?

Go to and choose a time and date that work for you. I look forward to seeing you inside the class!

Okay, on with the show!


You can also watch the video interview with Mark that includes bonus content, the bottle that sent him to court, and behind-the-scenes questions and answers that weren’t included in this podcast.


Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this chat with Mark Oldman.

Here are my favourite tips:

  1. When you’re faced with the wine list and don’t know what to choose, ask the server which wine does the chef drink after work?
  2. I love the tip about smelling the glass for detergent or other impurities before the somm even pours the wine, and I’ve been using that to intimidate servers everywhere I go… kidding.
  3. Billionaires are smart with their money, that’s how they got rich in the first place. Mark has great tips on how to drink like a billionaire without having a billionaire budget.

If you liked this episode, please tell a friend about it, especially one who’s interested in the fascinating wine tips Mark shared. My podcast is easy to find, whether you search Google on its name Unreserved Wine Talk, or on my name.

You’ll find links to Mark’s website, books, social media handles, the bottle that sent him to criminal court, the video version of the conversation and how you can join us on Facebook live for terrific wine chats in real-time and always with wine, in the show notes at

Finally, if you want to learn why red wine shouldn’t be your default pairing for many cheeses, join me in a free online video class at

Next week, we’ll chat about the power and problems with wine scores, whether single vineyard or blends are better and the viral sensation of the Manga wine series called Drops of God.

Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week, perhaps a wine that tastes like a billion bucks, but doesn’t cost that much!



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