World Malbec Day Celebrates Argentina’s Flagship Red Wine

Leanne and I had a great time chatting about Malbec on CTV. Did you know that April 17 is Malbec World Day (#MalbecWorldDay), celebrating the flagship red grape for the wines of Argentina, as well as a blending grape in Bordeaux and other regions? You’ll find my most reviews and ratings of Malbec Wines here. The Malbec grape produces wines that stylistically fall between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with more plummy richness and roundness than Cabernet, but firmer tannins and structure than Merlot. Pair Malbec with beef, turkey, spicy dishes, tomato sauces, meaty casseroles, hamburgers, sausages, steak and kidney pie, […]

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New Zealand Wine’s Sacred Soils with Left Field’s Richard Painter

Introduction How does the unique geography and climate of Hawke’s Bay and Gimlet Gravels in New Zealand create wines unlike any others? How does New Zealand Syrah differ from those from other regions? Why do many winemakers seem to have a special love for Chardonnay? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Richard Painter, Winemaker for Te Awa Single Estate and Left Field wines. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How does the geography of Gimblett Gravels impact the wines you get from Te Awa Wines? Which foods would make a […]

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Ontario Icewine: How to Drink It, Pair It and Love It with Karen King

Introduction How is Icewine different from other sweet wines? How does that change the way you drink it and pair with food? Which pairings work beyond dessert? How can you make delicious Icewine Slushies and pair them with chili chips and wasabi peas for an incredible flavour combination? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Karen King, co-owner of the Ice House Winery in Niagara. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What differences can you see in how different generations think about Icewine? Why shouldn’t you save Icewine only for special […]

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Family-Run Wineries v Corporate-Owned? Henry of Pelham’s Daniel Speck

Introduction What was it like being part of the budding Niagara wine scene? Why are wineries so well-suited to be family-owned? How does the terroir of the Niagara bench influence what you taste in Henry of Pelham wines? Why is Henry of Pelham so well-known for their Baco Noir? What hidden message can you find on the label of Henry of Pelham Family Tree wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Daniel Speck of Niagara’s Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How was Daniel’s […]

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Wine and Principled Persuasion with Dragon’s Den Arlene Dickinson

Introduction What would it look like for you to pitch a winery on Dragon’s Den versus The Big Decision? What are the creative similarities between writing a book and making a wine? What’s the difference between being financially versus creatively invested in a company? What are the three pillars of principled persuasion in business and life? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Arlene Dickinson, one of Canada’s top entrepreneurs who has had phenomenal success in many fields, from television to books and consultancy to consumer products. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How […]

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Pairing Wine and Cannabis with the Herb Sommelier Jamie Evans

Introduction What does a wine enthusiast have in common with a cannabis user? How can you pair wine with cannabis? What do you need to know about terpenes and wine pairing? How do infused beverages bring together the cannabis and wine industries? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Jamie Evans, founder of The Herb Somm, a cannabis blog and lifestyle brand that is focused on the gourmet side of the cannabis industry. Enjoy!   Highlights What health and lifestyle benefits can you experience from using cannabis? What does a wine enthusiast have in common […]

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How to Sabre Champagne + Sparkling Wines

Leanne and I chat about sparkling wines and Champagnes for the holidays. Click on the arrow to play the video above. Napoléon visits the Moët & Chandon cellars in 1807 Napoleon is credited with inventing the sabering technique and is famous for his phrase: “In victory we deserve Champagne, in defeat, we need it.” The famous Champagne maker Veuve Clicquot, who lost her husband when she was just 27, was a wealthy young widow. She would entertain Napoleon’s officers (early day sampling program). They, in turn, tried to impress her by sabering the tops of the Champagne bottles that she […]

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Festive Wines with the Globe & Mail’s Christine Sismondo

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Christine Sismondo, writer, teacher and barfly who, when not teaching literature at York University, is tracking down the city’s best drinks and the bars in which they’re served for her columns. She also writes wine and cocktail articles for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest national newspaper. Enjoy!   Highlights Why shouldn’t you lump Cava, Prosecco and Champagne together? Why did Lambrusco have a bad reputation in the 70s and 80s? What is the Charmat Method for producing sparkling wine? How did Lambrusco become popular in North […]

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Organic and Biodynamic Wine with Thomas Bachelder

Introduction Thomas Bachelder is a Canadian winemaking superstar on a mission when it comes to cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After studying in France and having a successful winemaking career in Canada, Thomas started his own label where not only does he make wine in Ontario, but he also has vineyards in Burgundy and Oregon. The Bachelder project started with the 2009 vintage with the three terroirs series: Three regions; Three wines. As he describes it, the hands, techniques and the palates remain the same, only the terroirs change.   Highlights When did Thomas realize he wanted to make wine? […]

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Something to Wine About: The Mystique of French Wine Decoded 

It’s understandable to be intimidated by French wine — even if you know enough about wine to know which varietals you like. Intimidated by the French section in your local wine store? That’s understandable — even if you know enough about wine to know which varietals you like. In fact, your question might be, “Why don’t they just put the varietal on the bottle?” It was while reading the book, “Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass” by Natalie MacLean, that I got the answer to my question. Wine and Chocolate Make a Perfect […]

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