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Unreserved Wine Talk

237 EpisodesProduced by Natalie MacLeanWebsite

The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery… read more


140: Good Wine Faults, DRC, Misleading Wine Experts with Nikki Goddard

When can wine faults actually improve the taste of wine? Does learning about wine decrease your enjoyment of it? Can wine experts really distinguish between different types of wine?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with wine writer and educator, Nikki Goddard.

You can find the wines we discussed at



How did Nikki end up recommending a wine that was a little too close to home for a customer?

Which unusual query about palm wine did Nikki receive while working with

Why should the infamous study showing that wine experts can’t distinguish between red and white wine be taken with a grain of salt?

What did Nikki learn from a blind tasting experiment she did with her non-expert friends?

Can learning about wine decrease your enjoyment of it?

What makes the wine world seem so intimidating?

When can wine faults actually improve the taste of wine?

Which lesser-known wine regions should you try to experience?


Key Takeaways

I like Nikki’s fresh take on how some wine faults may be desirable, and even improve the taste of a wine, or at least, be part of its character rather than a flaw.

I love her story about tasting Domaine de la Romanee-Conti as a way of showing how much our expectations and knowledge of wine influence our taste and perception of it.

I have to thank Nikki for finally debunking those super annoying studies that say wine experts are easily fooled when the methodology behind is as misleading as the clickbait headlines.


Watch Party

Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, August 11th at 7 pm eastern.

You can save your spot for free right here: 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?



You can win an exclusive online tasting with Nikki Goddard.

Of course, you can invite friends or family to attend. She'll select a theme that suits you and let you know which wines you can buy in advance.


How to Win

All you need to do is comment on my post on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn before 7 pm EDT on August 18th.

I’ll select the winner randomly from those who participate. You get a bonus entry for every wine-loving friend you tag and if you re-share this post in your stories.

Good luck!


About Nikki Goddard

Nikki Goddard is a Bay Area wine writer and educator. With over 14 years of wine industry experience, Nikki has written for a wide range of companies and publications including, Vivino, Delectable, Wine Folly, SommSelect, The Spruce Eats, Dry Farm Wines,, Foley Family Wines, Edible East Bay, Beverage Industry News, and more. She is certified through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust at the Diploma level and has taught courses for levels 2 and 3. Nikki worked for several years as a wine buyer and previously co-owned The Barrel Room, a wine bar in San Francisco.

Nikki fell in love with wine while studying Textiles and Apparel at Cornell University. Beguiled by the wines of the Finger Lakes and realizing that she had a greater affinity for the laid-back, epicurean lifestyle of an oenophile than for the cut-throat fashion industry, she decided to make wine her life’s career. The more Nikki shared her passion for wine with her friends, the more she became aware of a serious lack of approachable, engaging discussion around the subject—resulting in a lot of intimidation around what should be one of life's greatest pleasures. To make wine more accessible and fun for all, she has committed herself to bridging the gap between knowledge and enjoyment.


To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit

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