How to Pair Wine and Chocolate with Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning

Introduction Where can you find the best chocolate? What’s the difference between candy and real chocolate? How can you pair wine and chocolate? What does Fair Trade mean and what should you look out for? Where can you find the best chocolate? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with New York Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Why should you consider a trip to the Ecuadorian rainforest? What parallels can you find between wine and chocolate? In which regions can you find the best quality cacao? What […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings January 9

You can access the 54 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. 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 about what […]

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Holiday Movie Wines + Cool Chardonnay with Brian Schmidt

Introduction What exactly is a cool climate Chardonnay? Which dishes are delicious with this style of Chardonnay? What’s the most important element for you to discover when tasting wine? Why did Chardonnay become so popular, then fall out of favour? What is the Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Brian Schmidt, Vice President and Winemaker at Vineland Estates Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What are the hallmarks you would find in cool climate wine-producing regions? Why is “cool climate” being redefined? Which traditional cool […]

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5 Best Wine and Holiday Movie Pairings Video

‘Tis the season for holiday movies. Our next guest has some wine suggestions to make watching them more festive this year.   Here with her picks is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com   Welcome Natalie   Before we get to your pairings, why are classic movies such a big part of the holiday season?   Holiday movies are often more cringe-worthy than binge-worthy, yet we continue to watch them for their predictably happily-ever-after as a maladaptive COVID copying strategy.   Hallmark alone has produced 136 holiday movies, and now has even has its […]

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Best Tips for Virtual Wine Tastings and Online Video Events

How can you celebrate the holidays with friends when parties and large gatherings are cancelled? Our next guest suggests that we host our own virtual wine tasting. Here with her tips and sips is Natalie MacLean, who hosts Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com. *** Click the arrow above to play the video ***   Why would we want to host an online wine tasting? – It’s a way to connect with friends and family that’s safe and socially distanced – Corporate groups are also hosting their staff parties this way this year – It’s way more fun than […]

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Wine Tasting and Pairing Tips from Master Sommelier Bruce Wallner

Introduction Is being a sommelier as glamourous as it seems? Why is it sometimes difficult to differentiate between certain New and Old World wines? How does terroir play a key role in a blind tasting? What’s it like being in a sommelier competition? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Bruce Wallner, Master Sommelier at Sommelier Factory. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What un-glamourous truth might you be surprised to learn about being a sommelier? What intangible joy can you get from being a sommelier? How should you view the […]

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Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay Le Villa Loca Cocktail Recipe

Take a trip… from the comfort of your kitchen! Today we’re feeling a little bit Latin and heading for Italy, with a dish and cocktail by Charlotte Chalret and Gaetan Thabourin from the restaurant Agapé in Carcassonne. They have created artichokes in the El Padrino style (Artichauts façon El Padrino) and a cocktail called, “Le Villa Loca” made with Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay. Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay 2019 La Villa Loca Cocktail Serves 1 Put in a mixing glass: 4 ice cubes 1 oz. Cranberry juice 1 tsp. peach or apricot jam Lemon zest Mix ingredients […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings December 12

You can access the 107 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 November 28. 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 […]

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6 Best Proseccos, Cavas and Sparkling Wines versus Champagne (Video)

Click the arrow above to play the video. On The Social, we chat about terrific sparkling wines for the holidays. Most people think of champagne as the drink of choice for this season. But when the price of an entry-level bottle starts at $60, you might want to consider other bubblies, which offer great taste for a fraction of champagne’s price.   Natalie, let’s start with what’s the difference between champagne and other sparkling wines?     Although champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, almost every other region of the country and many other countries around the […]

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Pairing California Wine and Gourmet Burgers with Winemaker Joel Gott

Introduction How do you pair wine with burgers? What is it about California that gives us such a wide variety of wine? How is the Napa Valley food scene? What restaurant industry lessons help Joel make better wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Joel Gott, owner and winemaker at Joel Gott Wines. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights When will you see the most “action” at a winery? What facts might you be surprised to learn about Napa Valley? Which highly-acclaimed restaurants should you visit on your next trip […]

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