Learning, Learning, Learning
They say that wine education is a life-long pursuit. I’m fully registered to continue learning and am fascinated by those who write and teach about wine. British writer, Jancis Robinson, called the ‘most respected wine critic and journalist in the world’ by Decanter magazine, has written dozens of books, including the Oxford Companion to Wine that staggers the imagination by its sheer size – over 860 pages of notes, research, grape varieties, wine maps. We have our own wine writers and critics in Canada who have brought their passion for the grape to the page. John Schreiner, Anthony Gismondi and James Nevison.
And then there’s Natalie McLean, who takes wine on a journey, starting with her impressive academic pedigree and running headlong into humour, insight and entertainment. Red, White and Drunk All Over is her first book. I marvel at her wine descriptions and metaphors while giggling over her adventures. Natalie takes the often snobby and exclusive world of wine and lays it at our feet. She makes it accessible and fun – her goal is to help people feel more confident about choosing wine. As she says on her website: Think of me as your red-nosed superhero, using my jaw-dropping powers for your wine-drinking pleasure.
I’ve attended Natalie’s wine tasting webinars where she brandishes a huge glass while chatting enthusiastically about the vintage, the aroma and the taste. She is currently creating a wine and cheese pairing course. Her online program “The Quick Start to Get Wine Smart” is presented in bite-sized portions where you learn about all the aspects of wine from the steps of tasting to vinotypes to the wide range of grapes. Natalie is refreshingly open to feedback and suggestions. She wants to make all her offerings reliable, helpful and easy to access.
Check out www.nataliemaclean.com to find someone who loves what she does and urges wine enthusiasts to keep learning.