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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Bargain Wines, Pairing Wine and Artichokes, Wine Region Vacations with the Restaurant Guys Mark Pascal and Francis Schott

Introduction In today’s episode, I’m chatting again with Mark Pascal and Francis Schott, on their excellent radio show The Restaurant Guys. If you missed part one of our conversation, go back to episode 56 after you listen to this one. Mark and Francis have been in the fine dining and wine retail business for more than 25 years, and co-own Stage Left Restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which the New York Times has ranked in their excellent category and Citysearch named among the Top 10 Restaurants in America and Worth The Drive from any Major City. They also own […]

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Champagne Special with the Restaurant Guys Mark Pascal and Francis Schott

Introduction In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Mark Pascal and Francis Schott, on their excellent radio show The Restaurant Guys. They’ve been in the fine dining and wine retail business for more than 25 years, and co-own Stage Left Restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which the New York Times has ranked in their excellent category and Citysearch named among the Top 10 Restaurants in America and Worth The Drive from any Major City. Since I’ve chatted with them, they’ve launched a second restaurant called Catherine Lombardi and their Stage Left Wine Shop is booming. Although their radio show was […]

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Pairing Gift Wines with Personalities

Introduction Why does wine make such an ideal holiday gift? Which wines are the best to give, especially when you don’t know the personal taste of the recipient? Are there some wines you should never give as a gift beyond Two Buck Chuck? How can you match the gift wine to the personality of the giftee? We’re always talking about pairing wine and food, but how about pairing wine with the people on your holiday gift list? After all, when you give the gift of wine, doubles are fine unlike toaster ovens, there are no wrong sizes unlike that ugly sweater and […]

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Thanksgiving Wines, Mouse Wine Defect, Trends to Ignore

Introduction For those of us in Canada, Thanksgiving is this weekend. In my opinion, there is no other holiday that celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. Wine is a taste of the harvest, along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavours to match. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving, perhaps in November if you’re American? On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk,  I’ll be chatting with you about how to pair wine with Thanksgiving turkey and all the side dishes, as well as the […]

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Pairing Spicy Food & Wine, Gen X versus Millennial Drinkers

Introduction Do you have trouble pairing wine with spicy dishes? What flavours can survive a spicy pairing? How do you pair wine and dishes with a lot of heat like Tex-Mex or vindaloo chicken? Why are Gen Xers so different as wine drinkers than millennials, and how is marketing to them changed? How can you improve your blood pressure and lower your risk of Alzheimer’s with wine? On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, I’m sharing my tips for finding the right wine for every spicy occasion and exploring both an interesting insight into wine marketing and a fascinating recent […]

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Pairing Tomatoes & Wine, Heatwave Impact, Gary Vaynerchuk’s New Wine Club

Introduction What’s the best way to pair wine with tomatoes and tomato dishes? Will the current heatwave impact wine and the greater wine economy? How is Gary Vaynerchuk disrupting the way we buy wine? What effect does being in a romantic relationship have on your use or abuse of wine? On this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m diving into all these topics plus I’m sharing some tips you can use to get the most out of my wine app for your next shopping trip. Enjoy the episode!   Highlights What should you consider when pairing wine with […]

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10 Best Pinot Noir Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Pinot Noir

Leanne and I had fun chatting about Pinot Noir this past Wednesday on CTV News! I’ll be posting the wines we featured soon. Pinot Noir is a wine of great sensuality, a silky texture and seductive aromas. “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot Noir,” winemaker André Tchelistcheff once remarked. This thin-skinned berry is known as the “heartbreak grape” because it’s difficult to grow and is unstable even bottled. That’s why you often pay more for Pinot Noir than most other red wines. You’ll find my top 10 Pinot Noir reviews and ratings here,  including pinot noirs that […]

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