Recently, I hosted a wine and cheese tasting inside Amy Porterfield’s online course creator membership group.
So. Much. Fun.
You’ll get lots of pairing tips from this session as well as other wine tips during the Q&A, from why certain wines cost so much more than others to which types of wines tend to cause headaches.
You can find details on my flagship course at this link:
It’s on sale with $200 off the regular price right now for Black Friday.
It also includes my second book Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Wines, which Amazon named one of the Best Books of the Year.
This is my way of kicking off the festive season with you . . . the offer expires Monday 😉
So with that, let’s do a proper intro. I have to read this because I don’t know Natalie’s bio by heart; I’ve just read it once; I was like, that’s impressive. I want to get it right.
So, think of Natalie as your red nose superhero, helping you discover wines you’ll love through her popular online wine and food pairing courses at NatalieMacLean.com.
Both her books, Red, White, and Drunk All Over and Unquenchable were selected as one of Amazon’s best books of the year!
Did you know we had the superstar in Momentum (Momentum Communications Group)? Well we do. She’s the wine expert on CTV, the Social and the Global Television’s morning show.
Named the Worlds best drinks writer at the World Food Media Awards, Natalie has also won four James Beard Foundation journalism awards. That’s a very big deal!
She studied the Romantic poets at Oxford University, and graduated with honours from Westerns MBA program. She is such a smarty pants! Natalie’s goal on her podcast Unreserved Wine Talk is to invite both the novices and the knowledgeable to discover that it’s as much fun to learn about wine, as it is to drink it.
So let’s go ahead and I’m going to jump off.
Absolutely. I’m so glad to be here, Amy. Thank you so much.
Well I’ve been drinking all afternoon. No, I’ve been just warming up!
This is going to be a snob free wine tasting; no wine shaming today So, whether you have wine open or not right now, I welcome everybody to join in and to comment, I welcome questions and all the rest of it.
Oh look at you Amy! What do you have there? Fancy!
You know a good cheese board, my dear! You taught us all well; In true DCA style I do have slides. So,
we will jump in, I will share my screen. I will find them, and here we go! And let me maximise my screen.
Let’s see. There we go. All right, so here we go! It’s a a step by step guide! Imagine Amy!
Anyway, here we go. The wine and cheese version. So everyone, if you are here with us now. Go ahead, open your wines.
Feel free to take a sip of your cider, tea, water whatever. Nibble on those cheeses; that’s what we’re going to start to do, and jump into the comments anytime. So, what we have, Amy, I know you love Veuve Clicquot. You have another one with you today and that’s just fine. A personal size and a, “Please lets get this party started!” size!
I’m coming to your house!
We also have a Chardonnay or a white wine, a red wine, a cider (non alcoholic)
But, you don’t have to have any of the wines that we have, or just a few. Because my number one rule Amy, is pair the wine to the diner, not the dinner.
Which brings to mind this one little cartoon that I just love. He’s talking to the cannibal as he’s slowly cooking. “That’s a tough question. I suppose I should be served with a dry red.”
So pair the wine to the diner, not the dinner.
All to say ; Drink what you like.
Our cheeses; we are going with Amy’s favourites.
Goat cheese (Chèvre), Havarti, Cheddar and a Brie.
Of course we have to have like a little agenda here, but this is not meant to be formal so I’ll just keep going but to give you a sense of where we’re going.
Follow Amy’s lead, she is into the cheese. Alright so wine and cheese are made for each other. We’re gonna bust wide open 3 wine and cheese myths, tips for pairing wine and cheese
and some holiday entertaining tips for you to get ready.
This would not be a wine and cheese tasting DCA style if I did not say, “Stay with us, mute your smartphone.” Multitasking is a myth: Come back to us. The only multitasking you will do with us, is between your wine and your cheese and with us. Make this your time to focus on wine.
I love this quote, “Cheese is milk’s leap toward immortality.”
I would say that wine is grape’s leap toward immortality and that is because they work so well together. So just real quick, why do they work? Why are they classic?
They’re both, if you think about how much they have in common, they are both fresh liquids; grape juice and milk. They are both preserved and fermented. They use a natural agent to get to where they’re going and they have controlled artisanal decomposition. Which, doesn’t sound great, but actually results in a lot of wonderful complex range of flavours in both.
Let’s start with cheese myth number one, to bust open.
There’s no one wine that goes with cheese because it coats your mouth. Cheese coats your mouth so why bother? Don’t even bother with wine. If you are a determined hedonist as we are, wine does have enough acidity to cut through the creaminess of cheese.
So lets start with our sparkling wine and the fresh cheese. So, the fresh cheeses are your goats cheese, mozzarella and so on but let’s just take a look at this. And Amy, this is one thing I do in my webinars.
The quick win you taught us to do up front, right, the thing that they can get early on. This is what I would like everyone to do with me. So take a bite of whatever cheese; sorry take a sip of your wine first, whatever wine that you have, sparkling or not, then take a bite of cheese. If you have goat’s cheese do that one first. Notice how it tastes and all the rest of it and then go back to the wine, take another sip, we are being very thorough here, and go back to the wine and see what happens. Does it taste different?
And Amy, I would love your reaction too to this one.
I feel like it did, it tasted really good. Really good!
Really good, and what’s happening it’s pretty amazing. Once you start doing this in some sort of order and of paying attention is that the cheese is softening the wine by making it feel rounder, fruitier, that sort of thing.
On its own the wine tastes great! What’s not to love with bubbly?
But once you get cheese in there you’ve got lots of fat and that sort of thing. You go back to the wine, and the acidity of that wine is getting rounder, fruitier that’s the magic of all wine and food pairing but especially wine and cheese.
Alright, so that’s the quick win. People start to realize that there is something going on here, wine and food pairing is not just something that people just talk about.
Alright so when I think about fresh cheeses like goat cheese I always think about zesty white wines like your sparkling wine and your Sauvignon Blanc, a Riesling. They cut like a knife through the cheese, sort of the chalkiness and the texture of the cheese. I think they’re so good.
Pinot Grigio is another one and even our cider. So those of you who have a non alcoholic cider, this is another great one I think that will pair beautifully with the Goats cheese.
So, this is just what we do. Back to the wine and how did it change? There is your quick win.
Okay, so what’s happening is that that acidity is cutting through the cheese.
They both taste rounder and softer.
All right. Let’s go to myth number two now.
All wines go with all cheeses; It’s kind of the opposite of no wines go with cheeses.
Well, you can just drink what you like. And really, you should drink what you like. There are some guidelines that will make that experience even better.
So try the goat cheese. I’m going to do a little suffering for your palate right now. I want you to try a red wine. Try the red wine first.
That is a good glass Amy.
It’s all good so if you go with the red wine, and now you go with the goat cheese, notice what happens to the goat cheese. It is a light fresh cheese.So you have the red wine. Go over to the goat cheese, right back to the red wine.
Ah, so good!
I am glad you are liking that. Sometimes red wine will clash miserably with cheeses if you get an even more delicate cheese. This goat cheese that I have and probably the one you have, is pretty flavourful and can handle that red wine.
If you get a very soft, really delicate cheese, you’re going to get a clash between the tannins in the red wine which is kind of like; think about if you’re eating walnuts and that furry mouth feeling you get from eating walnuts. That is tannin and when tannins sort of go up against the dairy or the butterfat in some delicate cheeses, you get like an unhappy mouth.
12:02 What’s an example of a delicate cheese?
12:23 So think about like mozzarella; cheese and wine are on a spectrum from delicate. So mozzarella. So, what would be really mild. Feta is kind of salty but it’s still very mild.
And then you go up to goat cheese and Havarti and on to Brie Cheddar and blue cheese and the really stinky cheeses right so they go back like that. So, so that that’s kind of why they can clash sometimes with that.
Tastes a little bit bitter.
Okay. Exactly, it can, depending on what type of cheese that you’ve got. So, let’s go with the semi-firm. You’ve also got Havarti; right Amy?
I think you’ve got a piece of that. Okay. Some other examples of semi- firm cheeses are
Gouda, Gruyere, Manchego and Provolone.
Let’s now try that same experiment. But now let’s try it with a Chardonnay, or whatever white wine you have. So, I have a big glass. I will beat myself out here but I call it my big (ass) glass.
Try this. This is a really nice Chardonnay, big buttery oaky Chardonnay which is what I have. Try that and then go to the Havarti and then to the wine again and see what you find on that
I have a Chardonnay as well
I was trying to see comments but I don’t know if I can multi-task. It is a myth, Right Amy?
It really is
I will go with questions at the end because I’ve seen lots of comments come in. So what do you think of Chardonnay, the big buttery chardonnay and then you go with the Havarti which is a stronger cheese than the goats cheese;
a lot of flavour in my mouth
It’s nice, it’s almost buttery that Havarti
Nice with the buttery Chardonnay. Again, it’s gonna depend where your Chardonnay comes from; is it oak aged, is it buttery or is it light because
some Chardonnays don’t have any oak at all but not to get too technical
I wish I knew everything you know about wine. This is so cool
Oh, I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. Okay, cool. So, yeah, it’s what happens with big
flavourful wines, whether it’s a big Chardonnay or the big red that you have,
is that the more mature they get, the more flavour they, the more they can take on those stronger cheeses, like Havarti which is starting to go up on that flavour spectrum or Cheddar . So go for your Cheddar because I can think it even could go with a full bodied Chardonnay
possibly or definitely with your red wine
So again it is just mixing and matching the cheeses. That’s what’s fun about a cheese board and you have a couple of glasses of wine between you and your partner or on your own or whatever, is that you go back and forth and find what you love, in terms of the pairings. So the other thing that happens with cheese as it gets older, is it becomes more balanced in flavour, more salt, more acidity that all comes together, and we start to have cheeses that almost taste like mature wines. So they get the nuttiness and the
Coffee flavours and espresso and then the wine and the cheese start to really marry at that point in maturity and complexity.
So the last myth is that there’s one perfect wine for every cheese
and of course there is an incredible range of textures, flavours, weights and styles of all of them. And that can sound overwhelming but it’s actually the excitement of wine and food and is probably the reason we don’t have orange juice critics. It is pretty uniform when it comes to orange juice but wide open when it comes to wine and cheese. It is all about experimenting and finding what you love and what personally pleases your palate.
So do you have a favourite pairing of what we’ve tried so far Amy in terms of any of the cheeses or the wines that have worked most or best for you, that you’ve loved?
I’ve loved the goat cheese with the Chardonnay. I thought that was the best
Nice, very nice. Yeah, absolutely. It’s a good match. I love the Havarti, with the Chardonnay; that was my favourite.
All right so soft creamy cheeses. This is the Brie, and I’ve saved this one for last because it’s very mouth coating
Its rich; a lot of butterfat going on there. Camembert is another example of a creamy cheese. Cream cheese of course, Delice de Bourgogne
So when it comes to these, again you’re looking for that silver knife of acidity to cut through with a sparkling wine. But, you could also go with a rich buttery round Chardonnay and I will tell you why both work in this case.
You have got the acidity of the sparkling wine, which is great with effervescence just like these tiny little scrubbing brushes all over your tongue going, “Oh let’s get ready for the next bite!” And that’s why when you mix wine and food you have more pleasure. I think because it’s just like eating a full chocolate cake, versus, which I couldn’t do actually, but chocolate cake versus having a piece of chocolate cake and some ice cream. And maybe a biscotti on the side. You don’t satiate so quickly. Right.
But anyway, I like your style girl
Right, bring on the chocolate cake and the whole biscotti.
That swarm of bubbles, the effervescence, is literally a palate cleanser, that is what we’re talking about. So, the cheese is there, its coating, its gooey, its oozing into every little crevice in your mouth. And then you bring on the brushes, the scrubs, the little palate cleanser of the bubbly.
That’s why it works. That’s why bubbly works with a lot of rich fat salty food, like my favourite is potato chips or popcorn and bubbly. Champagne specifically. I call it the high low shabby chic sort of rhinestones: rhinestones on jeans. Yes you can dress up any occasion. Just bring on the bubbly.
Can’t go wrong.
That’s why it works so well though; that rich butteriness of the popcorn or the fat and salt of the chips.
It’s just a natural. It just goes whoosh with the bubbly! It just washes it away and makes the next chip or piece of popcorn taste even better.
You never get tired of it when you go through an entire bowl, and then you’re back to looking for that chocolate cake.
So that’s the two strategies when it comes to pairing wine and food at a very high level. You can go with contrast or complement. When we put the brie with sparkling, we’ve got rich and oozy with acidity and sparkling or rich and oozy the Brie with rich Chardonnay (complement). You can go either way depending on what pleases your taste buds.
All right. So, what happens though. One thing you might want to try is the red wine. And again, it’s going to depend on what type of red wine you have.
Red wine, go to the Brie and then back to the red wine.
Often what’s going to happen there is that, the cheese is going to make the wine taste bitter. That dairy, that really concentrated butter fat is going to make the red wine taste tannic and bitter.
The Brie is the richest cheese on this plate so, try red wine on its own. Then go to the Brie and then come back to the red wine and just see what happened to that red wine. It might be okay. Maybe you have a luscious, smooth red wine. So you know, the rules aren’t always the same.
But you’re totally right. It’s not as great as maybe the sparkling or the Chardonnay would be with that Brie.
It is not a match made for each other.
Yeah, makes sense. I’m going to point out what Donna says real fast.
So the tough part for me is to actually sip my wine and nibble my cheese instead of gulping my wine and shovelling my cheese in.
I can relate right now. This is the best. Alcohol and cheese. The best webinar in the world!
Ha ha Absolutely!
Well you know, in my courses all the homework is liquid, right.
I literally cannot wait to buy your course. I love your energy, I love how fun this is and what a great topic.
Awesome, awesome. So, Amy just let me know how we’re doing for time and I’m happy to also answer questions in the comments. As I said, the multitasking did not work for me, so I’m just gonna keep going to the end of the slides.
Very cool. I can see the number of comments! I am glad people are engaged or else they are just drinking saying whatever.
I’ve achieved my goal.
Quick tips for pairing. Consider three things, whether it’s cheese or anything else. Taste, texture, maturity.
Maturity of the cheese, whatever it takes. Taste: Have you got bold flavours in your class, and on your plate?
Texture: is the wine mouth coating, or is it sort of zippy like a sparkling wine? Is the cheese mouth coating or is it more fresh and gone with the swallow? Maturity: Boldness and mature, complex flavours.
Cheese: Why They Work for Gatherings. Some holiday tips here.
So, we’re very tribal. It all started with communal firepits, in terms of how we ate back in the day, the ancient caveman/woman days.
A cheese plate is very tribal. And, even now that we’re in social distancing we did had a gathering of just two other couples, we were permitted where I am. What I did instead of making one cheese plate is I made three mini cheese plates and they had a little plastic container to take home so nobody touched anybody else’s stuff.
I would continue with that even post Covid, post social distancing because, you know, putting your fingers in there but you know there’s cutting and everything else it just made it more accessible. People just kind of sat around their cheese board at the kitchen island and it really worked well. Think about that! Self serve portions, less waste with cheese. High Impact, low effort.
I really like this and it’s hard to wreck cheese or wine I don’t cook so, I can’t burn the cheese, I can’t over-steep it or whatever. But, I can pull corks and I can unwrap packages so.
I just find, there is no turning on the oven. An easy way to entertain for wine and cheese kind of why I love it too.
Who doesn’t want to be best friends with Natalie!? For the record, I wish we lived right next door to Natalie.
Recycling day is always fun. I get a little crowd clustered around the bin.
Condiments. So I often get questions about that. What should be on the cheese board? So, I say go for savoury over sweet. Because cheese is savoury, wine is savoury. Sure you can have some figs and fig jam or whatever but I find what works is your crackers, your brined stuff. Like brined vegetables, olives, meats of course.
Charcuterie. If you are having crackers, kind of neutral; you know you can have flavours if you want, but if you really want to taste the cheese flavour which should be the star of the board then try not to overwhelm it with other things.
I like putting one condiment per cheese and the other condiments will keep you from satiating out out on cheese itself if you have a little break.
But I wanted to get to the point, that nuts can be tricky for allergies so separate them in little containers. Dried fruit can have sulfites.
Grapes are not great with wine! It is a cliché!
I do that all the time! Talk to me about this.
We’re not gonna wine shame because you didn’t know any better.
So, but now you do. Grapes are sweet, take a sip of wine. When you have a chance, eat a grape, go back to the wine. And look what happens to the taste of your wine. The rule of pairing wine and food is that the wine should always be sweeter than the dessert or the sweet thing.
Otherwise, the wine will taste bitter by comparison. We put these grapes on our boards, great as decorations, but it’s just going to kill your wine. Plus it’s an unimaginative cliché. I’m not wine shaming you, we all do it!
So, I never feel shamed by you. This makes me feel like I’m just learning.
Okay, cool. That’s my goal! Like, I still feel like an enthusiastic amateur. I’m still learning. There is so much about wine and cheese.
I find it exciting not overwhelming, but always lots of stuff I don’t know. And I always remember where I was; I remember when I went to my first wine tasting, and everybody’s like listening to this guy drone on at the end of the class and everyone is busy writing wine notes, and I was busy writing my grocery list: thinking what am I supposed to be writing.
So, just some things to think about. Think about how all those flavours are working together. Grapes are fine; if you love grapes
It’s not a hard and fast rule. Maybe it’s beautiful as decoration. It’s just think about now what you’re tasting, and how its interacting with the wine, so wine, grape, wine, see what you think. Maybe a dessert wine; it’ll work, but not so much on a lot of other wines. Cool. All right, coming up to the end here
Choosing stylish boards for the holidays.
I love a great board; I love getting creative with different materials like this like natural raw edge wood; you can buy these boards in a lot of places but I just think they’re beautiful.
But I also tend to haunt flea markets and church sales for those old little saucers and little plates and things so that I can mix it up and just have all kinds of visual pop for my cheese boards rather than just the traditional.
This is kind of a neat idea. You can use slate, just like paper, and you can write on with white chalk and you can label your
Cheeses. Amy that’s closest to getting involved with office supplies. So, you can use sticky notes beside all your cheeses and stuff but I just love being able to write on slate and erase it.
I have some of them downstairs. It is fun.
And then people aren’t as reticent to dive into “I don’t know what that is”
Or this is or whatever if it’s not obvious when you’re looking at it. It encourages people to dive in there and I just love the naturalness of slate and wood. Yeah there’s just so much you can do to get creative. Glass frames: like you can take old picture frames and make them into cheese boards, or use antique plates and that’s where I haunt flea markets and yard sales.
Adding seasonal touches because we’re coming up with the holidays so you can put little sprigs of like rosemary, pine and thyme and you get this wonderful natural aroma in addition to the cheese and the wine, feel like you’re in wine forest heaven; it’s just very heady kind of aroma.
You can get gooseberries and cranberries; really festive for a visual pop of colour that attracts people.
We eat with our eyes first. So that’s what we’re trying to do with a board; little jams and jellies or arrange in a circle; a little circular action. Add little seasonal touches like cranberry.
Self Service is really great because the other thing, that I always think of is that you want to take one for the team.
Always do the first cut of any cheese for your guests because no one likes the first one, it looks difficult. Prep things, make them self serve, little bites. If you don’t cut it for them no one touches it for the whole night.
And she’s really, really into it; She really wishes she had all of her wine.
I’ve got tips on how to cut cheese and all the rest of it if we want to go there, but I was just going to spend the time here and wrap up. But I am happy say that if anybody wants these slides, you can email me.
It wouldn’t be a true DCA tasting, without a lead magnet.
So there you go. If anybody wants my free guide to Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine and Food you can get it at nataliemaclean.com/amy
I will be getting it. Here’s my thing. I want to be really good at this. I’m not a really great host; I feel very insecure when I’m hosting, but I would love to be able to put together an amazing charcuterie board and know what wine and cheese and what champagne to choose and all of that. So first of all, yes on that ultimate guide I will be getting it. If I was to buy one of your courses, what is the course for someone like me to start with.
Well, I’ve also taken heart what you say what you say and that is, focus focus focus focus. So I have one course.
That’s incredible. Okay, tell us! I genuinely want you to tell us about it.
I should know my own course. It is called The Wine Smart Course with Natalie MacLean; A Full-Bodied Framework to Taste, Pair & Buy Wine Like a Pro. You can find it on my website at www.nataliemaclean.com. It’s taking you from start to finish, on how to purchase wine, how to taste it, how to pair it with all kinds of different food, not just cheese. So cheese is there, but this is the sort of overview course of really how to get started in wine.
It is from beginners up to intermediate, to help them make it sink in;
and honestly I’ve used all your tips like how to help them make it sink in, from the workbooks and different modes of learning and all the rest of it. You are a such a huge success with your courses. So I love that.
So Maureen says: Best cheeses for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc?
That’s great. So, that’s a great question. Sauvignon Blanc is so versatile. It’s one of those zippy wines, like sparkling wine, Pinot Grigio. They’re all in that family of wines that will go with just about any cheese.
up to about really stinky blue cheeses. Then they get overwhelmed and clobbered.
But your goat, your Brie, even your Havarti
All of those cheeses are really good. And people often think that red wine should be a go to for cheeses.
You often see that in either low budget gallery openings or really cheesy weddings, they have the red wine and the cheese going on and it’s really terrible.
Anyway, if you go with a white wine you will be safer, or not safer but you will have more pleasure. So your Sauvignon Blanc, your whites and your Sparkling are going to serve you well for just about any cheeses except the most pungent.
Maria I don’t understand this question but maybe Natalie will
She says I’m an Asti girl (sparkling from Italy)
How does one learn to drink drier wines?
Okay, so, if it’s a taste preference. So first of all, in our culture, we do too much wine shaming about people loving sweet wines, whether it’s white Zinfandel or anything else. But in my course we talk about what is your vinotype, what kinds of wine do you like and why? And the people who love sweet wines; its proven scientifically that they have more taste buds. You actually have greater sensitivity, and that’s why you like the sweetness of sweet.
Now, if you want to learn to love drier wines, go up the spectrum. So I would say, Riesling is a great wine.
It’s a white wine from many regions Germany is a benchmark but it comes from Canada, US and many other regions.
To start off Riesling comes in a range of sweetness from dessert to off dry, to just a touch of sweetness and bone dry.
So try that spectrum. Grow your way up the Riesling scale. But if you’re looking for dry wines in general, in the liquor store you want to look for sugar code; it’s either going to be a zero, or it’s going to be XD; an extra dry.
Be gentle. It is a taste that you can acquire over time.
Maria I’m with you I love sweet wine. So, I am an Asti girl as well and did not even know it.
Cynthia says I am a Syrah lover: cheese recommendations?
Nice big full body red from France, Australia, or California; Paso Robles makes amazing Syrah.
So that’s where you could get into your full bodied like your cheddars and beyond . Some Syrahs will even handle your stinky blues.
I had to learn to love blues.
Syrah is a great full bodied wine but smooth. The tannin is not like, walnuts.
Harder cheeses like Cheddars will be good with Syrahs.
Edgar says Thanksgiving is coming up in the US; What wine goes best with turkey?
I love that. So this is the annual talk I have to have every year
Wines with turkey and people get stressed out again about oh my gosh which wine for Thanksgiving
Think about Thanksgiving and how we handle it. People have a lot of side dishes and people often serve themselves. I’ll take the peas; maybe no that but I’ll take the cranberry sauce. Why not do that with wine? Why not have a few different bottles out and let people experiment and this is the time when you can experiment. and learn more about your taste preferences. If you have a group, I know we’re not in as large groups this year but, still if you have your family, your bubble around maybe it’s time to try some experimentation
But if we want to focus on the Big Bird then, turkey can be a dry meat, especially in our house if I have anything to do with it which I don’t anymore
with turkey, it is in general, as compared to chicken and other meats, drier. With dry meat you need something that is juicy. So what is juicy?
Anything in wine that has acidity. Acidity is not anything to be afraid of in wine. It literally whets your appetite, gets the juices going. Acidity in wine is like salt for food, it brings forward flavour. And so, acidic wines: sparkling wine, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc. .
if you are a red wine lover, Pinot Noir, Gamay, anything like that, not tannic, racy acidity
Donna says: I’m not a red wine girl but would like to find one to drink in the colder months . Any recommendations for red wine that’s palatable for someone who really likes a Sauvignon Blanc.
Perfect. So, what you want to look for in a red wine when you’re transitioning or a bridge is one that is not tannic, it’s not polarising high on alcohol, high on everything else. So, I would go with the smooth medium body reds: Pinot Noir, Gamay,
those Turkey wines. Turkey reds are very juicy. Mm personal favourite is Pinot Noir because I find it to be this wine it’s got all the flavour of red wine but none of that heavy oak, tannin and alcohol that will have you asleep on the sofa at 7. So it’s a wine that you can enjoy over an evening and conversation and remember what you talked about the next morning
Gamay is another grape as well as the Pinot Noir
Kaylee says: What are your thoughts on going with organic wine over non organic wine? Is organic superior? I love all these questions.
So Organic: Organic wine is not more healthful for you, but it is better for the environment and it is better for the health of the people who work at those wineries, they’re not exposed to pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. So, it’s a good thing to do. Beyond that
Organic. It doesn’t guarantee you a better wine. But I do think that it speaks to a winemaking philosophy that says we’re paying attention to this land , and to nature and to the people who work here. And I try to buy organic whenever I can. In the 70s organic had a really nasty reputation, tied dye shirts and pony tails, wines that did not last.
But now organic wine is the fastest growing category in the liquor stores because people are trying to be more healthful. Organic wines are not necessarily more healthy for you; they will not save you from a hangover but they do make a statement about your approach as a wine buyer and the winemakers approach as a winemaker.
No, I wouldn’t have guessed that.
Roy asks: Why are some wines more expensive than others? What makes some wine so expensive?
Okay, so there’s probably 75 or more steps in winemaking.
But every step of the process adds to the price.
Up to a certain point wine is cost based. So how much did your vineyard land cost, how much taxes did you pay on it; did you use expensive French barrels to age it, did you harvest the grapes so that you did away with a lot of the grapes so that
the remaining grapes were concentrated and flavourful that you made better wine? There is a myriad of wine making decisions that will contribute to cost. But beyond
cost, wine is one of those things where
the product could be bought
for three bucks or for
You know, it’s crazy like you look at auctions, rarefied old wines
Once you get past the cost, what you’re dealing with is rarity, badge drinking, trophy wines, the intangibles that people will pay a lot for including.
So that’s a partial explanation: there are cost factors for the inputs.
And then there’s all the intangibles that can drive the price crazy.
So I have a question for you Do you find yourself being a wine expert? Do you find yourself, buying expensive wine more regularly than, let’s say the cheaper stuff, or the opposite?
No Amy, but thank you for asking. So, just think about it like this.
It’s like going to a warehouse and finding a Versace jacket for 10% of the cost. The thrill is in the hunt
I can find a wine that tastes like 30 and costs 10 or 15.
That makes me happy. Like, I just think it’s dumb money who pays too much
That’s why you’re so relatable because all of us ,most of us, for myself I’m like, that’s my kind of girl, I’d like that
No one likes to overpay for anything and I never think that you should pay more for pleasure than you have to be in all spheres of life, so why not try to find those under appreciated regions and wines. In the course I say go south. So, if you look at most winemaking countries: France: Bordeaux is in the north,what is in the south? Languedoc; much cheaper. Italy: Tuscany is in the north: Sicily is in the south; much cheaper
Napa Valley and Sonoma in the north, what’s cheaper, Paso Robles. So that you can start to see where are the bargains and you don’t have to give up on great taste.
Last question and then I have a question of my own. Wine gives me a headache, but I love it so much. Are their wines that are better for avoiding headaches?.
Does it tend to be red wine or white wine giving you the headache? With white wines it tens to be sulphites but that is a much smaller issue.
less than 5% of the population is allergic to sulphites. There are more sulphites in a glass of orange juice than in an entire bottle of wine.
Sulphites get a bad rap unnecessarily but it could be that.
More often it is the red wines that give people headaches because there are more tannins, histamines, polyphenols, grapes, the skins
and all kinds of other things.
You want to figure out first what is going on. Is it red or white? Is it one region or another etc? Is it onegrape or another?Just experiment and know your own body over your time
If it is red wine look for unoaked lighter styles like Pinot Noir or Gamay which can taste great, but might not trigger all those histamines and tannin headaches.
Course creation question: You sell desire? What do you call it? Do you call it pleasure?
I call it pleasure. Pleasure and desire.
You sell pleasure. That is different from what a lot of my students sell. Some sell pleasure or something similar, they don’t teach people how to make money or how to build businesses, like I do. What have you learned along the way of selling a digital course that is selling pleasure.
So I had to struggle with this because when I took your course it was like, that looks straightforward but with my course it s not you are going to earn $500 by taking my course..
It’s not going to happen here.
What I do get at is
What is your why?
I think it’s about living a full satisfied life and what is the.
Price and the cost of that if you are not enjoying your full life
wine and food, to me, is one of those things that makes life worthwhile, especially in moderation because one of my big Whys is that my father was an alcoholic and so I love teaching people that you can have so much pleasure without
going overboard. We can’t skip our own personal pleasure
I have to convince people to take time for you
I love to talk about you; I love to brag about you on my podcast.
Where do they find the ultimate guide to pairing wine and food? www.natalie.maclean.com/amy
If they want to take a webinar it is nataliemaclean.com/class. They can find it all there or just ping me in the Facebook group, whatever. And if you have more questions or questions I could not answer today. I’m happy to keep going.
But I know you’re focused on the present and presentation. Everyone loves you, they absolutely love this presentation, and so many people have stayed on so I just want to let you know when we will turn it into a cheese paring.
I am so honoured to have you on our community.
Thank you so very much. I absolutely love your energy, Natalie thank you for being a part of
from everybody touches your orbit, but I just doing this now I think grinding away on wine reviews. Live tastings and everything else, it’s just it’s just changed my world.
It is because of what is possible, and changed my life so thank you so much for saying that but you are truly one of the superstars that we talk about all the time.
So we love you dearly. Thank you again. I really appreciate it.
Take care. Cheers. Cheers to you for being here we are so very honoured to have you with us and to everyone.