Is Chardonnay Too Cool to be the Teacher’s Pet? Video Report Card

On CTV News, we chat about Chardonnay: it’s rise to popularity, fall from grace and resurgence. We also discuss the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4c) and which Chardonnays you should be drinking now. Let’s start with why Chardonnay became so popular in the first place? · It’s the second most widely planted white wine grape on the planet, but the most popular among drinkers. · The most widely planted white wine grape is a Spanish workhorse grape called Airen that’s often in rustic blends, to put it politely, and it’s gradually being replaced with Chardonnay. · If Chardonnay got […]

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Bordeaux Wines, Politics and Wine, Monastrell & Spanish Food Pairings with Lori Budd of Exploring the Glass

Introduction What is it like to participate in the coveted en premiere tasting of the new vintage of Bordeaux wines in France while they’re still in the barrels aging? Which Spanish foods should you pair with the fabulous red wine Monastrell? How does politics influence wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with winemaker, writer and podcast host, Lori Budd who graduated from the prestigious UC Davis enology program. She and her husband own Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles. She’s also the host of the podcast called Exploring the Glass. You can find the wines we discussed […]

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Diary of a Book Launch: An Insider Peek from Idea to Publication

In these posts, I’ll share with you a behind-the-scenes look at taking a book baby to the marketplace. Let me know if you have any questions. They say that three out of five people would like to write a book, so this is for you if you’re one of them, or if you just want to see how it’s done. I’m also giving updates on this journey on Unreserved Wine Talk, which The New York Times named one of the seven best drinks podcasts. You can find my previous two books here: Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass and Unquenchable: […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Online Release Ratings May 14th

    You can access the wines that I reviewed as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. You can also see my wine reviews for April 30th. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so. Curious […]

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How to Pair Wine with Any Hamburger (Video)

On Global Television’s Morning Show Thursday, we paired wine with many types of hamburgers. Nothing says summer like a juicy two-fisted burger and beer – it’s casual and a good pairing. But what if you want wine with your patti? Wine is also a great pairing, but we think it’s too fancy for the backyard and burgs. However it’s not, and it has a wide range of flavours and styles for the imaginative burgers we have here today.   The Daniel – Vegan Patty Grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, crushed hot peppers, spicy vegan sauce.   In the beginning, Shant […]

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Extreme Winemaking, Ontario Wine Gems, Canada’s Regions & Grapes

Introduction Why is icewine considered extreme winemaking, and what are some weird, but wonderful food pairings for this elixir? Which Canadian wine regions should you visit next? What unusual things can you do at Ontario wineries? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m being interviewed by Janina Doyle, sommelier and host of the Eat Sleep Wine Repeat podcast. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live […]

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Making Scents of Wine: How to Describe Wine’s Aromas

We had a great chat on Global Television’s Morning Show Friday about how to recognize and describe the aromas in wine.   Describing wine often has a faint whiff of condescension over a robust layer of barnyard by-product. The adjectives seem to be the fruit of over-ripe imaginations: when I hear “muscular,” “tight,” “rakish,” it’s hard to tell whether the critic is talking about wine or Brad Pitt. “Perfectly integrated” is how I’d describe my son’s multi-racial nursery school; and “legendary concentration” is what I need to figure out my income tax return. However, “opulent” is indeed a legitimate wine […]

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Mother’s Day Gifts: Pairing Books and Bottles (Wines & Spines)

Mother’s Day is coming up and you may be thinking about getting Mom a special wine. But why not pair that bottle with a great book? Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean, who offers North America’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com. Welcome, Natalie. What’s the first book and bottle you recommend?         I have Loving Large: A Mother’s Rare Disease Memoir by Ontario author Patti M. Hall, who discovers her teenaged son is diagnosed with gigantism, a condition that could make him grow uncontrollably, and shorten his life without aggressive treatment. She makes it […]

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Finding Bargain Wines and Regions with Janina Doyle of Eat Sleep Wine Repeat

Introduction Why does Italy make such a fantastic wine destination to visit? Which underpriced wines for their quality should you try next? How can you successfully navigate the walls of bottles in a wine shop? Which simple technique can you use to improve your tasting skills and learn more about wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m being interviewed by Janina Doyle, host of the Eat Sleep Wine Repeat podcast. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 […]

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Celebrating Mother’s Day with the Great Women of Champagne

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about the top Champagnes made by women for Mother’s Day. (Click on the arrow above to play the video.) They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they didn’t sell the businesses or remarry. They took control of the chateaus to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world. In an era when few women were in business at all, these women headed what were, at the time, some […]

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