Sommelier Natalie Maclean
A Magnum-Sized Resume
Natalie MacLean is more than just an accredited sommelier; she's a wine writer, speaker, wine judge, and publisher of one of the largest wine newsletters on the Internet.
"I've been writing about wine for 10 years," says MacLean, "I love the 'research' aspect of my job and am very thorough about it."
She's good at it, too. Her book, Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass, was named Best Wine Book in the English Language at the Gourmand Cookbook Awards. It also won the Culinary Literary Book Award in the Cordon d'Or international culinary arts competition.
Impressive, but MacLean was just getting warmed up. Her outstanding writing has also won her numerous other awards including: four prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards, six Bert Greene awards, five awards from the American Association of Journalists, and four North American Travel Writers Association awards, to name a few.
Uncorking Today's Wine Culture
Though her resume is a bit intimidating, MacLean is anything but. Noted for her quick wit and remarkably easygoing approach to wine, she's a cool breeze in an industry characterized by stiff know-it-alls. Think you need to cross-check dozens of rules before uncorking your next bottle? Think again.
"The only rule is to drink what you like," says MacLean. "If the wine you like doesn't go with the food you're eating, for goodness sakes, have a bun in between."
It's this open attitude that makes MacLean's work so attractive to beginners just learning the vines and experienced wine fanatics alike.
Smartphone Wine Pairing Guide: Your Pocket Sommelier and Bartender
Whether you're new to wine and need a little help choosing one that works with the lamb you just ordered, or you know your way around the bottle but would like to try something new, MacLean's new smartphone application, the Nat Decants Drinks Matcher, will help you get it right.
"As a wine-loving geek, I love finding ways for new technology to help us savor all of life's pleasures, wherever we are," says MacLean. "My food and wine pairing tool captures all of that learning and those thousands of combinations in a simple, interactive format that anyone can use anywhere."
MacLean's virtual food and wine pairing application is compatible with your iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry Bold, and BlackBerry Curve. Offering much more than a standard wine pairing guide, this Drinks Matcher offers more than 380,000 recipe pairings for everything from campfire grub to gourmet fare.
"Food and wine pairing should be an adventure, but that doesn't mean all combinations are winners. "There's a reason we don't put ketchup on ice cream," says MacLean. "I've spent 8 years testing various combinations--I am a thoroughly hedonistic researcher."