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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


224: Synthetic Wine, Alcohol-Free Wine and Sabering Champagne with Dragonvine's Steven Laine

Can you imagine a world where there’s only synthetic wine? And what is synthetic wine anyway? How does removing alcohol impact the tasting experience?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Steven Laine, award-winning restaurateur, hotelier, and author.

You can find the wines we discussed at



Can you imagine a world where there’s only synthetic wine?

What can you expect from Steven’s upcoming books, Jupiter’s Blood and The Somm?

How did Steven end up working at two fantastic wineries during the pandemic?

Which surprising insights did Steven learn from working the harvest?

Why is a vineyard the ideal setting for enjoying a glass of wine?

What is it about Torres Natureo Syrah that makes it a great non-alcoholic option?

How does removing alcohol impact the tasting profile of wine?

What makes English sparkling wine a great alternative to Champagne?

Why should you add Quails' Gate Estate Winery Dry Riesling to your “wines to try” list?

Which unpopular wine belief does Steven hold?

Which wine would Steven pair with his childhood favourite, lasagna?

What are some of Steven’s favourite wine books?

Which writers would Steven like to share a bottle of wine with?

Why has travelling been a boon to Steven’s writing?

What wine message would Steven put on a billboard?

Which wine would Steven want to be served at his funeral, and why?

Why does Steven believe it’s important to drink what you enjoy drinking?

What’s on the horizon for Steven’s writing?


Key Takeaways

I enjoyed more nightmare scenarios from Steven this week. I can’t imagine a world where there’s only synthetic wine. Wine is both art and science, but it’s also natural and an extension of the earth.

His insights into how removing alcohol impacts the tasting experience were interesting.

I have to agree, given the sheer labour intensity of producing wine, much of it is underpriced.



Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live

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

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 Steven Laine

Kirkus Reviews called Steven Laine’s first wine thriller, Root Cause, “An entertaining, wine-soaked mystery.” The Washington Post wrote; “If Michael Pollan and Dan Brown sat down over a bottle of Barolo and brainstormed a novel based on the neuroses of the natural wine movement, they might have come up with something like Root Cause.”

As an award-winning restaurateur and hotelier, Steven has travelled the world working in luxury hotels such as The Ritz, Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, and Pan Pacific. He developed his passion for wine as a Sommelier and Beverage Director in London, England. Since then, he has visited hundreds of wineries around the world.



To learn more, visit

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