What’s Minerality in Wine? Plus California Wildfires

Introduction What it minerality mean when it comes to wine? Is it a taste? A feeling? Or some bogus concept meant to keep wine mysterious? What’s the latest with the devastating wildfires in Sonoma wine country? Why are winemakers wary of cannabis producers? It’s not what you might think. And what is a new wine group doing to help with a balanced life? On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, I’m taking a deep dive into the controversial concept of minerality, assessing the impact of recent wildfires on California wine country, discussing the controversy between cannabis producers and winemakers and […]

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A Full-Bodied Framework to Taste, Pair & Buy Wine Like a Pro

Introduction Would you like to know how to taste, pair and buy wine like a pro? Would you like to walk into a liquor store and know exactly which new wine you want to buy, confident that you’ll love it even though you’ve never tried it before? Would you like to look at a restaurant wine list, filled with wines you haven’t tasted, but have the strategies to pick a great wine for your dining companions and the dishes that you’ve all ordered? That’s exactly what I’m talking about on today’s special edition of Unreserved Wine Talk. We’re taking a […]

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Behind the Scenes: A Wine Writer’s Life

Introduction When I attend a social event that’s outside the wine industry and I’m asked about my job, I often joke that I drink for a living. After I clarify that I write about wine, I usually get questions about what exactly that involves and some misconceptions about drinking Champagne all day in between planning luxe trips to Tuscany and Napa Valley. However, it’s not all beer and Skittles, rainbows and unicorns. On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, I thought that since there’s always been quite a bit of curiousity about what I do, I’ll take you behind the […]

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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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Wine Gossip and Stories with Friends of the Vine and Ian Osborn

Introduction On today’s episode, I’m chatting with Ian Osborn, on his excellent podcast called Friends of the Vine. This is a bit of a turnaround from my usual format because Ian is interviewing me.  I highly recommend that you check out Ian’s podcast Friends of the Vine where he does a great job interviewing master sommeliers, masters of wine, winemakers and wine writers. I wanted to share this episode with you because we dug into lots of great wine tips, from how to talk with the sommelier to becoming the expert on your own taste. I also share some behind-the-scenes stories […]

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Pairing Veggies & Wine, Chilling Wine Quickly, Resveratrol & Depression

Introduction What makes veggies so hard to pair with wine? Are some types of wine better suited to veggie-pairings? How do you pair wine and veggies, especially the wine stalkers – asparagus and artichoke? How can you chill room-temperature wine in under 15 minutes? What does a new study say about the resveratrol in wine combatting depression? If you’ve ever been stumped about how to enjoy wine with your salad or forgot to chill your wine in time for a dinner date, you’re going to find the tips on this very helpful. Enjoy!   Highlights Why is it more challenging […]

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Travel the Wine World with Kevin Brauch

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Kevin Brauch, a Gemini Award Winner, TV producer and host of hit series The Thirsty Traveler, Iron Chef America, SuperStar Chef Challenge, FOOD F!&#T. Kevin is one of the liveliest guests I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, and he has so many stories to share, from his time with the late, great Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential, to sabering Champagne in France and wine faux pas in South Africa. Enjoy!   Highlights What has Kevin learned about sparkling wines? How does Kevin sabre a sparkling wine […]

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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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Do Wine Scores Matter? Bloomberg Columnist Elin McCoy on Robert Parker

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with author Elin McCoy, who is the wine columnist for both Bloomberg News and Decanter magazine. Elin shares her controversial perspective on one of the juiciest topics in the wine world: the power of wine scores. Do wine scores still have sway over the way we buy wine? How is this changing with millennials and social media? Are scores actually a valid way of appraising a wine? How is the use of scores in liquor stores sometimes misleading? Elin explores all this and more, including why Robert Parker made such an […]

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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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