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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


169: Santa Maria BBQ & Wines + Can You Earn a Living as a Wine Writer?

Why is Santa Maria BBQ different from other types and which wines pair well with it? What does it take to earn a living as a full-time wine writer? Why does grammar really matter? Why is passion not enough?


In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jaime Lewis, a fabulous food and wine writer, journalism professor and host of her own podcast, CONSUMED.


You can find the wines we discussed at



How can you become a full-time wine writer?

What does it look like to focus on your strengths?

Which unrealistically high standards are placed on wine writers?

Why does Jaime distinctly separate her writing from her journalism?

What are Jaime’s top tips for improving your writing?

What makes Santa Maria-style barbecue unique?

Why is Santa Maria-style barbecue important to California’s history?

How did the Santa Maria Club get its start?

Why has Pinot Noir become a popular accompaniment to Santa Maria barbecue?

Which wine would Jaime pair with her childhood favourite dish?

What’s Jaime’s favourite wine gadget?

Which quick trick can you use to aerate a bottle of wine?

What are Jaime’s favourite wine books?


Key Takeaways

I was fascinated with Jaime’s description of how Santa Maria BBQ is different from other types, from the various cuts of meat to preparation and cooking, as well as, of course, the wines that pair well with it.

She gives a realistic picture of what it takes to earn a living as a full-time wine writer. Gotta love that phrase, marry up.

I love that she’s a grammar nerd like me and my mother and her mother. For me, a dangling participle is as disturbing as pouring wine into a dirty glass. Just don’t do it.


Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video

Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.

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?

Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar:


About Jaime Lewis

Jaime writes, speaks and podcasts about the good life.

After an arts management career that included employment with Architecture New York Magazine, the San Francisco Symphony and the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Jaime chose to follow her nose (and palate) into the wine industry.

When not writing, Jaime podcasts at CONSUMED and teaches journalism at Cal Poly State University.



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

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