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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


201: Riesling, the Four-Octave Diva + Austrian Wine Revival with Valerie Kathawala

Why should we change the way we talk about Riesling? How have Austrian and German wines transformed in recent years? How can you pair German-speaking wines with food?


In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing journalist and co-founder of TRINK magazine, Valerie Kathawala.


You can find the wines we discussed at



How is Skinny Pablo recontextualizing Riesling for younger generations?

What happened in Austria’s antifreeze scandal in the mid-80s?

How has Austria’s wine industry transformed for the better since that scandal?

Has the Blue Nun brand hurt or helped the German wine industry?

Why do we need to change how we talk about Riesling?

What makes Riesling the perfect deserted island wine?

Which unique characteristics will you experience from Beuerer wines?

How do the qualities of the Beamsville Bench make it particularly well-suited for growing Riesling?

What makes Weingut Bianka und Daniel Schmitt’s Frei.Körper.Kultur Rosé the perfect summer sipper?

What controversial opinion does Valerie hold on wine experts?

Which defining aromas does Valerie associate with her childhood?

How would Valerie now pair one of her favourite childhood food with wine?

Why are wine glasses Valerie's favourite wine gadgets?

What are Valerie’s favourite wine books?

What was the vision behind creating TRINK Magazine?


Key Takeaways

I agree with Valerie that we need to change the way we talk about Riesling. It’s so versatile in style, taste, and food pairing potential. It doesn’t deserve to be pigeonholed into outdated stereotypes.

I was interested in her insights on how Austrian and German wines have transformed in recent years.

I love her tips on how German-speaking wines, especially with their acidity and salinity, give energy to their taste and help them pair well with food.



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 Valerie Kathawala

Valerie Kathawala is a freelance journalist focused on the wines of Germany, Austria, South Tyrol, and Switzerland, with a particular interest in biodynamics. She’s a lifelong student of German culture and language and has lived and worked in both Germany and Austria. She crossed over from translation and editorial work at the United Nations to writing about “German-speaking wines” and hasn’t looked back since.



To learn more, visit

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