May 19, 2024

Episode #769 – REIGNITED! Natalie MacLean’s “Wine Witch on Fire” is Most Requested Encore!

It’s back!  We don’t run many repeats, but when we do, they have to be mighty special… and this hour-long kitchen table conversation with #1 best-selling author Natalie MacLean–arguably America’s finest wine and food author–is just a click away. Natalie’s new release, Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much, is our most downloaded episode of Grape Encounters this year.


For many years, I have been telling you that Natalie epitomizes what a great food critic and author is. From her poignant and profoundly insightful wine reviews to her mesmerizing best-selling epistles, Natalie MacLean is essential reading for anyone who calls themselves a foodie or wine enthusiast.  In all that she does, this beloved author is spot on… and once you start reading any one of her works, it’s nearly impossible to set it down. But it’s one thing to read her words and quite another thing to listen to her insights straight from her lips. That’s why this deeply intimate conversation with Natalie was such a tremendous privilege and treat.  The only thing that I can recall looking forward to as much was my first trip to Disneyland at age 6.

Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much… is easily the summer’s number one read in the food and wine category, but don’t let the whimsical title lead you to believe this is a lighthearted tribute to your favorite drink.  Quite the opposite.  Natalie’s latest work is raw, daring, and deeply disturbing at times, as she shares experiences that most people in her shoes would keep tightly bottled up and stashed in the darkest corner of the cellar, where it is to remain unopened for an eternity. Sadly, there has long been a dark side to the wine business, and as one of the industry’s most revered critics, she often had to face the full force of foes determined to dethrone her.

Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much (Dundurn Press) is a powerful memoir of how one woman resurrects her life and career in the glamorous but sexist wine industry. The story begins with her husband of twenty years, a high-powered CEO, demanding a divorce. Then an online mob of rivals comes for her career.

Wavering between depression and determination, she must fight for her son, rebuild her career, and salvage her self-worth using her superpowers: heart, humor, and an uncanny ability to pair wine and food. Natalie confronts her insider role in the slick marketing encouraging women to drink too much while she battles the veiled misogyny of the wine world. However, Natalie eventually prevails after all the misery that others put her through, and she joins us to tell her story with the warmth of a lick on the cheek from a Golden Retriever puppy! Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More!  Find what you love, and love what you find, at!

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