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Unreserved Wine Talk

236 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


74: Dr. Laura Catena on Malbec, Wine's Health Benefits and Winemaking in Argentina

Have you tasted an Argentine Malbec? Which foods pair best with Malbec? Why is Malbec more like Pinot Noir than Cabernet? What are the health benefits of wine?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we're chatting with Dr. Laura Catena, a fourth-generation Argentine vintner, physician and author.

  • How does Laura's scientific approach to winemaking improve the taste of the Malbecs you drink?
  • What is the significance of the pyramid-style of the Catena winery?
  • Why is Malbec the flagship grape of Argentina?
  • What differences can you see in the popularity of Argentine wine over the past two decades?
  • What flavours do you taste in Catena Malbec and Cabernet Franc?
  • Why is Malbec so easy for you to pair with a wide variety of foods?
  • What will you learn from Vino Argentino on your journey as a wine enthusiast?
  • How does Vino Argentino help you to but Argentine wines and pair them with food?
  • How does Laura describe her first hundred-point wine, Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec?
  • What aspects of the Fortuna Terrae parcel lead to cellar-worthy wines?
  • Why is your Torrontes taste experience uniquely Argentine?
  • Can you taste a difference with high altitude wines?
  • How can you explore new regions through the Appellation line of wines?
  • What advice does Laura have about wine and your health?
  • Why does moderation look different for each person?
  • When did Laura realize she wanted to join the family winery despite her medical career?
  • How did El Nino cause the worst moment of Laura’s winemaking career?
  • What was the best moment of Laura’s winemaking career so far?


About Dr. Laura Catena

Laura Catena is a fourth generation Argentine vintner, physician and author. Catena’s great grandfather founded the Catena winery in Mendoza in 1902 after emigrating from Italy. Her father, Nicolas Catena Zapata, often referred to as “the Robert Mondavi of Argentina,” helped facilitate the ascent of Argentine Malbec onto the world stage.

Born in Mendoza, Argentina, Laura graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and has a Medical Doctor degree from Stanford University. Laura combines a strong science background with a passion for her family winery. She is currently managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata and her own Luca Wines in Mendoza, as well as a practicing Emergency Medicine physician in San Francisco.

Laura has been called the “face” of Argentine wine. She has traveled the globe to lecture about Argentine wines and viticulture and has been an invited speaker at the American Society of Wine Educators, Decanter Fine Wine Encounter, The Smithsonian and the Vancouver Playhouse among others.

In 2010 Laura Catena released her book Vino Argentino, An Insider’s Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina (Chronicle Books), the first book about Argentine wine by a U.S. publisher. Dave McIntyre of The Washington Post wrote: “Vino Argentino is a mouthwatering introduction to the wines and culture of Argentina.”


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

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