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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9 Best Napa Valley Wines to Drink Now

On CTV news, Leanne and I chat about terrific  Napa Valley wines you can buy now for a limited time online at the LCBO. You can watch our first chat about California wines on CTV News here.   We’re narrowing our focus on Napa Valley wines in this segment. Tell us about this region.   What would surprise us about Napa Valley?       It’s the most famous wine growing region in the U.S. but it’s actually tiny, producing just 4% of Californian wine and only 0.4% of the world’s wine production. The valley floor is just 30 miles long […]

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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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Pairing Movies & Wines: Video Tasting

  You can still purchase the Ontario or B.C. wines (or both!) with the time-limited discount here (stock up for holiday entertaining and gift-giving):   Get the Ontario Wines Here Get the B.C. Wines Here     Join me for my next online tastings:   Scary Great Pairings October 21 Holiday Hosting December 2 Chocolate and Wine Pairing February 10             Thirty Bench Small Lot Pinot Noir 2019 Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada                   Trius Distinction Baco Noir 2020 Ontario V.Q.A., Canada       […]

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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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Champagne Widows + Are Expensive Wines Worth It?

Introduction Are wines that cost hundreds of dollars per bottle ever worth the price? Does deepening your understanding of wine increase your enjoyment of wine? Who were the young widows who built the famous Champagne houses into top luxury brands? How can you use the butter/lemon test to help with food and wine pairing? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m sharing part two of my interview on the All About Wine podcast with Ron Hunt. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Are high-end wines like Domaine Romanée-Conti worth their price? When is it worth it […]

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All About Wine Stories with Ron Hunt Part 1

Introduction What is it about wine that makes it part of many TV shows and movies? How does approaching wine through food make it so much more accessible? What adventures did I go on as a part of writing my books? Why are origin stories so important when it comes to wine? What’s one rule of thumb you can use to find great value wines that taste expensive? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m sharing my interview on the All About Wine podcast with Ron Hunt. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What is it about […]

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8 Best Wines for St. Patrick’s Day + Irish Food Pairings (Video)

St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated with a pint or two, but what if you love wine? On CTV News, we chat about the best pairings for Irish food and classic dishes. Is there a wine that pairs with corned beef and cabbage? This begs the question: Can we skip the corned beef and cabbage and just have wine? My Irish grandmother is probably turning over in her grave.     Traditional matches for this meal usually include Irish stout, like Guinness. But what about wine? Corned beef is salty and cabbage can be skunky, so you’ll avoid those wines […]

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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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