California Wines: Grapes, Styles, Regions and What to Buy

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about why Californian wines are among the most popular at the liquor store.  You can buy these wines in liquor stores now as well as a selection of premium wines available now for a limited time online at the LCBO. You can also watch our second chat about Napa Valley wines here.   How the wildfires impacted California wineries?   Thankfully, 2021 is a “drama free harvest.” It’s small but mighty, as drought is the defining feature in Napa and Sonoma, as it was the third-driest year in more than a century, and the […]

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What You’ll Learn in Online Wine Classes and Courses

Back to Wine School Now that the kids have headed back to school, let’s chat about how the adults have changed the way they learn about wine, especially with online courses. It’s a virtual world of wine learning at your fingertips. Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   Welcome, Natalie Great to be here!   First, tell us why online wine courses have become so popular? Online courses offer the best of both worlds: they’re accessible to everyone no matter where you live, they’re more comprehensive than a one-off […]

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Wine Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe Paired with Hester Creek The Judge

Created by Terrafina Restaurant chef Adair Scott, this recipe is chock full of savoury flavours and easy to source ingredients. The wine braised lamb shanks are so deliciously tender, they melt right off the bone. Serve them on a bed of cous cous with roasted vegetables with our rich and refined Judge. A beautifully structured wine, that pairs wonderfully with this flavourful and hearty dish. INGREDIENTS 6 lamb shanksSea salt and fresh ground pepper to evenly coat2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil2 onions, chopped3 large carrots, chopped10 cloves garlic, minced3 bay leaves1 bottle Hester Creek Estate Winery Judge2L beef broth5 […]

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The Best Online Wine Tasting & Pairing Classes (Video)

As the kids head back to school, let’s chat about how the adults have changed the way they learn about wine, especially with online courses. It’s a virtual world of wine learning at your fingertips. Yesterday, I chatted with Nicole Dube on CTV’s Morning Live show.   First, tell us why online wine courses have become so popular?   Online courses offer the best of both worlds: they’re accessible to everyone no matter where you live, they’re more comprehensive than a one-off class, but not as technical and time-consuming as college courses.   Plus, there’s no drinking, then driving home, […]

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Summer Barbecue Wine Tasting

18:51:02 From  Christian Boyer : Hello from LaSalle, QC!18:52:01 From  Joann Dnistransky : Bonjour Christian!  Joann from Amherst NS18:52:54 From  Catherine Yuill : I’m logging in from Calgary, AB18:53:01 From  Christian Boyer : Bonjour Joann! I am going close to NS this summer :) 18:53:11 From  Joann Dnistransky : As long as you are not breaking bottles!!!18:53:29 From  Joann Dnistransky : Christian, where are you travelling to?18:54:29 From  Jo-Ann Mellon : Hi Natalie, Jo-Ann from Mont Saint Hilaire Quebec here.  Love the music again :).18:54:54 From  Christian Boyer : Travelling to the Magdalen Islands, passing through NB and PE18:55:36 From […]

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Tasting Wine Like a Detective with Ontario’s Best Sommelier Emily Pearce-Bibona

Introduction What does it take to win Ontario’s Best Sommelier competition? What’s it like performing in front of a set of very stern-eyed wine judges and a live audience? What is the smartest question you can ask your sommelier in a restaurant? What is the deductive tasting technique and how can it help you drink better wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Emily Pearce-Bibona, Certified Sommelier and founder of Femmes du Vins. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How did Emily go from government employee to sommelier? What’s aspects of wine are […]

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Why Sommeliers Love Austrian Gruner Veltliner with Heidi Fisher Pfaffl

Introduction Would you like to learn more about Austrian wines, especially its iconic grape, Gruner Veltliner? Do you know why this wine is one of the most versatile wines on the planet?  Why should an Austrian Heuriger be on your must-visit list? Which Austrian red wine should you try next? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Heidi Fisher Pfaffl who is in charge of business administration and marketing at her family’s winery, Weingut Pfaffl. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How did the Pfaffl grow from a small farm to […]

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Oregon’s Peak Destinations for Food, Wine and Golf

Nestled in a pastoral Oregon valley between the Cascade Mountains and the Coastal Range lies some of the best cool-climate wineries in North America. While some would say the terroir of the Willamette Valley rivals that of Burgundy, that claim can only be tested when tasted. There are seven American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the Willamette Valley and these diverse areas are home to over 800 wineries with the vast majority in the hills of the north. For the most part this region is best known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals with a growing reputation for Pinot Gris, […]

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Why Cabernet Sauvignon is the King of Red Wines (Video)

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about the colourful history of the king of red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine and most planted on the planet — it’s the OG (original gangster) of wines, so to speak. In 1997, UC Davis researched revealed its parents: the white grape Sauvignon Blanc and the red grape Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is thinner skinned and early ripening than Cabernet Sauvignon.             Stave & Steel Canadian Whisky Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 California, United States   Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied, tannic, sauvignon means […]

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Mark Oldman: The Wine World’s Greatest Showman

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Mark Oldman, New York-based wine best-selling author, speaker and entrepreneur and one of the liveliest and wittiest guests I’ve had on the show. Enjoy!   Highlights What insider tip can you use the next time you’re faced with a restaurant wine list? How can you signal to restaurant staff that you’re a wine insider (even if you’re not)? What should you do if you think your restaurant glassware or wine has a fault? What do billionaires look for in wines for daily drinking? How can a label […]

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