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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


83: What's Trending in the Wine World with Darren Oleksyn

What are the hottest wine trends right now? What's the difference between natural wine and orange wine? Are new drinks like blue wine and Pinot Freezio here to stay? How does canned wine hold up to its bottled counterparts? Why has Rosé been able to move from fad to mainstream?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Darren Oleksyn, journalist and author of Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25.

  • How can you differentiate between natural wine and orange wine?
  • Why does orange wine help you to appreciate white wine?
  • What similarities might you pick up between orange wine and craft beer
  • How did natural wine get its start?
  • How can you be a part of the natural wine community?
  • What are qvevri and what do you need to know about orange wine's connection to Georgia?
  • Why should you consider blue wine as more of a marketing fad than a wine trend?
  • What main ingredients can you find in wine?
  • Why does Darren think you should have more information about what's in your wine?
  • How would serving size suggestions on labels benefit you as a wine drinker?
  • Why do I prefer to buy wine with 13.5% alcohol or less?
  • Which canned wine should you try?
  • What wine trends should you keep an eye out for?
  • Why is natural yeast sometimes trickier to work with than industrial yeast?
  • Should you feel guilty about adding an ice cube to your wine?
  • How has the mainstream discovery of Provence Rosé contributed to its upswing in popularity?
  • Are you likely to encounter fall-related wine trends when the seasons change?
  • What does the increasing number of appellations and sub-appellations signal to you about the Canadian wine industry?
  • How do region descriptors on wine labels help you as a consumer?
  • Are wines from Eastern and Central Europe gaining shelf space in your average liquor store?
  • Which Canadian Viognier should you add to the top of your must-try list?
  • What wine mantra is Darren's best advice for you as a wine drinker?
  • Why is it time for you to ditch the "red wine at room temperature" advice?
  • Who would Darren love to share a bottle of wine with?
  • What wine experiment should you try this week?
About Darren Oleksyn

Darren Oleksyn has been working as a journalist for 28 years and writing about wine for the past 7. He works at the Calgary Herald, where he writes a monthly wine column among a variety of duties. He was introduced to wine by his father, who made fruit wines in Saskatchewan. After moving to Calgary in 2004 he became captivated by wine, attending numerous wine events, festivals and completing his WSET Level 3 certification in wine and spirits.

He has travelled to wine regions in Canada, the United States, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Germany, and has judged at wine competitions in British Columbia and Calgary. In 2013 he wrote Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25 with friend and fellow wine writer Shelley Boettcher.


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

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