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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Wine for Normal People with Elizabeth Schneider

Introduction Welcome to episode 51! In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Elizabeth Schneider, who has just published her first book called Wine for Normal People. Elizabeth is the award-winning host of one of the popular wine podcasts, Wine for Normal People. She’s also a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Specialist of Wine by the Society of Wine Educators, and co-founder of Underground Wine Events, which brings together wine lovers with terrific, small wineries, and a public speaker on wine around the US. She’s the author of the forthcoming book, Wine For Normal People, to be […]

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Pairing Chocolate & Wine, Harvest 2019 Update

Introduction Welcome to episode 50! Miles and I had dinner last night at one of Ottawa’s best new restaurants, Gitanes. The food has a French flair, but the restaurant is modern, dare I say hip? Is it even hip to say hip any more? Anyway, we loved the meal, especially the tuna tartare. I discovered the Pinot Noir I want for the Christmas holidays from Lighthall Vineyards in Prince Edward County… it had that perfect balance between Burgundian finesse and North American ripeness. This isn’t a commercial for this wine — I’m just sharing my latest discovery with you as […]

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Flying with Flavour: Travel and Wine Stories with Stephanie Piché

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Stephanie Piché, a chef who in her never-ending quest for new flavours and experiences, has travelled the world to over 30 countries to gather insight and knowledge in international travel, luxury dining, local recipes and the world’s best wines. Enjoy!   Highlights How did Stephanie stumble upon a secret cellar in Nice, France? What did Stephanie find in the old cellar? What was Stephanie’s Australian kangaroo encounter like? How can you pair wine and kangaroo? Why did Stephanie have to cringe at her driver’s etiquette in New […]

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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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Label Gazing: How to Read a Wine Label

The hosts of CTV’s The Social and I had lots of fun decoding wine labels to find the secret info you can use to buy better wine. Admit it. You’ve probably bought a wine based on nothing more than a beautiful label.   Q: Presentation is a big thing when it comes to wine. When I’m picking out a bottle, I look for a pretty label and pay attention to the name of the wine but that’s about it. Is the aesthetic of the label usually indicative of the taste? · Not at all ;) · However, most people do […]

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Randall Grahm: A Californian Blend of Wine, Wit and Wisdom

Introduction Randall Grahm was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where he was a permanent Liberal Arts major. Sometime later he found himself working at the Wine Merchant in Beverly Hills sweeping floors. By dint of exceptionally good karma, he was given the opportunity to taste an ungodly number of great French wines and this singular experience turned him into a complete and insufferable wine fanatic. He returned to the University of California at Davis to complete a degree in Plant Sciences in 1979, where owing to his single-minded obsession with […]

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A Game of Clones: A Journey into Croatian Wine

By Andrea Shapiro The Republic of Croatia, located in Eastern Europe is one of the oldest wine growing countries in the world, and yet is relatively unknown to the average Canadian like me. The region possesses both mediterranean and continental climates and a soil structure that travels the spectrum, from sandy to volcanic. The result is a terroir that is proficient at yielding a myriad of varietals – everything from global mainstays such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot to indigenous grapes such as Graševina, Pošip and Plavac Mali. During the Cold War, as part of The Socialist Federal Republic […]

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Bottle of the Sexes: Women versus Men on Wine

Introduction Are men from Bordeaux and women from Burgundy? In my 20 years of studying and writing about wine, I’ve encountered a lot of differences in how men and women approach the subject. There are also several studies that show the same thing. In honour of International Women’s Day this week, I’m diving deep into “women’s wines”, whether they’re actually any good and how wines marketed to women are affecting the industry.   Highlights Are the “chick wines” on the market any good or are they simply marketing gimmicks? What are my thoughts and tasting notes for three of the […]

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Blending Humour and Wine in South Africa with Charles Back, Fairview Wine

Introduction Charles Louis Back is the third generation owner of South African wine and cheese producer Fairview, in Paarl in the Western Cape Province. Charles Back studied winemaking at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. He officially joined his family’s company in 1978 and took over full control in 1995 after the death of his father, Cyril. Today, Charles Back is known as one of the great entrepreneurs and innovators of the wine world – an individual who likes nothing more to swim against the stream. From the start, he has done things differently, introducing Mediterranean grapes such as Viognier, Tempranillo, […]

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