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Unreserved Wine Talk

238 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


115: Inside Bordeaux's Secret Underground with Jane Anson

Are you curious about Bordeaux wine? Would you love to learn about its secret underground history? What about the overlooked wines and vintages that are both affordable and delicious?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jane Anson, the world’s foremost authority on Bordeaux wine and the author of Inside Bordeaux.

You can find the wines we discussed at



You could win a personally signed copy of Jane Anson's gorgeous, new book Inside Bordeaux if you post a Bordeaux wine that you’ve enjoyed on Instagram or Facebook, either as a Story or in your feed.

Use the hashtags #insidebordeaux and #natdecants and tag me, Jane and her exclusive book distributor in Canada, the wine agency, All The Right Grapes:

Instagram @jane.anson @nataliemacleanwine @alltherightgrapes @bordeauxwines @drinkbordeaux @vinsdumedoc
Facebook @jane.anson.7 @natdecants @alltherightgrapes @bordeauxwine @CrusBourgeoisduMedocUS
Twitter @newbordeaux @nataliemaclean @alltherightgrapes @BordeauxWines @BordeauxWinesUK @VisitFrenchWine
LinkedIn @nataliemaclean

#insidebordeaux #natdecants #BordeauxWine #CIVB #FrenchWines

I’ll select the winner from those of you who participate before next Wednesday… bonus points if you tag three wine-loving friends and you tell me why you picked that wine, what it means to you, where you bought it, and suggested food pairings. I’ll also re-share your stories and posts with my followers and announce the winners during our chat next Wednesday.


  • When did Jane decide to become a writer?
  • What editing mistake from 20 years ago still makes Jane's blood run cold?
  • What is Jane's most memorable moment of her career so far?
  • Which career would Jane choose if she wasn't a wine writer?
  • Would your experience of Mouton Rothschild's 1945 Victory Vintage live up to the stories?
  • How did Jane end up choosing to focus her writing on Bordeaux?
  • What old English connection is responsible for the unique way you see Bordeaux being sold today?
  • What caused Bordeaux to switch to the predominantly red wines you would be familiar with?
  • How have foreign influences influenced the iconic Bordeaux wines you enjoy today?
  • What was Bordeaux's involvement in the slave trade?
  • Why was the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 created?
  • What do you need to know about the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855?
  • Where can you find Jane's informal Bordeaux ranking system?
  • Why should always read tasting notes rather than relying solely on wine scores?
  • How did Robert Parker influence your experiences with Bordeaux wine over the years?
  • What has contributed to the general move away from big, fruity wines you can see in the industry?
  • How has climate change impacted Bordeaux blends?
  • Why is it important for you to look beyond the high-priced classified Bordeaux estate wines?
  • How did Jane navigate the over 800 chateaux she researched for Inside Bordeaux?
  • Which unusual publishing and distribution route did Jane take for Inside Bordeaux?
  • What makes the maps included in Inside Bordeaux so unique?
  • What green initiatives would you find winemakers undertaking in Bordeaux?
  • Why should you be concerned about monoculture?
  • Where should you look for bargains on Bordeaux?
  • What are Jane's thoughts on the future of Bordeaux?


Key Takeaways
  • Bordeaux is so much more diverse than those big, fancy chateaux that we imagine, what I call castle marketing. I love that Jane searched for undiscovered regions, especially those that are the satellites of more famous ones like Montagne de St Emilion and the Cotes.
  • Jane reminds us how important soil is with her gorgeous maps that truly reveal the diverse unground layers of Bordeaux that in turn shape what we drink.
  • I’m fascinated with the British influence on Bordeaux wine that dates back to 1152 when this region became part of a Duchy of the English crown. Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was French, who owned this part of France through her father. And she married her second husband, who quickly after their marriage became Henry the second of England. That helped establish Bordeaux as an exporting region, as well as the style of claret the Brits came to love.
  • It’s interesting how the rise of wine critic Robert Parker influenced the style of Bordeaux wine toward a more fruit-forward expression and how that has since receded to greater balance and elegance.
  • I was pleased to hear about the many green initiatives alive in Bordeaux from eco-forestry to biodynamics. In addition to caring for the environment, I believe it also requires greater attention to growing the vines and results in better wines.


About Jane Anson Jane Anson is the world’s foremost authority on Bordeaux wine. She’s lived in Bordeaux since 2003 and is author of the newly published Inside Bordeaux, which has received multiple glowing reviews and has been nominated for several awards already. She’s also the author of The Club of Nine, Angélus, Bordeaux Legends, a history of the 1855 First Growth wines, as well as co-author or translator of over a dozen wine and travel books. She’s Bordeaux correspondent and columnist for Decanter magazine and has won several awards for her writing, including Louis Roederer Wine Online Communicator of the Year 2020, and Born Digital Best Editorial 2020. She is a graduate of the DUAD tasting diploma with the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology and an accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux Ecole du Vin.  


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

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