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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


205: Wine Spectator and Sotheby's Auction House Dream Jobs with Aleks Zecevic

What's it like to work at the prestigious Wine Spectator magazine and Sotheby’s fine wine auction house? How can you distinguish real wine from fakes? What’s the secret to putting together the perfect wine flight?


In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing Aleks Zecevic, wine writer and host of the Vintners podcast.


You can find the wines we discussed at



What is Vouvray, France, famous for in the world of wine?

What was it like to taste the “Victory Vintage” at François Pinon with the winemaker who made the wine in 1945?

How did Aleks realize he wanted to be a wine writer?

What’s the secret to putting together the perfect wine flight?

What’s it like to work at the prestigious Wine Spectator magazine?

What does it take to go from tasting coordinator to a reviewer at Wine Spectator?

How did Aleks hone his wine-tasting skills before he became a reviewer?

Which aspects of the vineyards make Premier Cru different from Grand Cru?

What was the reaction from the wine industry once Aleks was the lead reviewer for several wine regions?

Why did Aleks leave Wine Spectator to become a fine wine specialist at Sotheby’s?

What did Aleks look for when examining high-end wine collections as a fine wine inspector?

How high do auction sales go for rare wines from wineries like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti?

Why do regulatory bodies create region-specific wine rules through wine-of-origin laws?

Why don’t some newer wines qualify to get their designation of origin?

How do these wine-of-origin laws put some high-quality producers at a disadvantage?


Key Takeaways

I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at Alek’s wine dream jobs with the Wine Spectator magazine and Sotheby’s fine wine auction.

He had some helpful tips on distinguishing real wine from fakes.

I agree with his tips on putting together flights of wine, from lightest to heaviest.

I thought it was interesting that Grand Cru vineyards don’t have a lot of topsoil and thus, the berries have more concentration and the wine has more complexity.


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 Aleks Zecevic

Aleks Zecevic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and emigrated to New York City to study journalism at New York University. After graduating, he completed WSET courses and worked at the Wine Spectator, becoming one of the lead tasters at the magazine. He joined the renowned auction house Sotheby’s as a fine wine specialist. Currently, he reviews Austrian wines for Wine Enthusiast and is part of the newly founded Vintners platform, where he creates content and hosts the Vintner’s podcast.



To learn more, visit

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