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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5 Terrible Food and Wine Matches (Video)

On Global’s Morning Television Show, I asked Carolyn and Jeff to try five terrible food and wine matches … their expressions are priceless. We chatted about why these pairings don’t work, and then how to fix them: either with the food or the wine. I can’t cook, so I go the wine route ;) However, a squeeze of lemon or a dash of salt will often help. Here are the wines and pairings we featured below.   We all know that a big red wine pairs well with a steak, but what about more difficult dishes like vegetables and sushi? […]

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Texas Wines and Wine Writing Ethics

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Gus Clemens, who went to business college when he was just 12 years old to learn how to type because he knew even then he wanted to be a writer. He’s held editorial positions with the San Antonio Express-News and the Star Magazine in New York and has written or contributed to about twenty books about Texas and a range of other subjects. Enjoy!   Highlights When did wine become a part of Gus’s life? What led to Gus writing his first wine column? Why was a […]

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Back to Wine School: The Best Wine Courses (Video)

It’s that time of the year, back to school for the kids. But what about the adults? If you have a thirst to learn more about wine, you might be considering taking a wine course. But how do you choose which one is right for you, and what exactly will you learn? On Global Television’s Morning Show, Carolyn, Jeff and I chat about how to choose the right wine course for you and what you’ll learn. First off, tell us why we wouldn’t just surf the web to learn about wine? – There’s lots of free content online but it […]

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Pizza Wine: Perfect Pairings for Your Pie

Liza, Jeff and I chat about pairing pizza and wine on Global TV’s Morning Show (while the cameramen and studio crew edge in ever closer to the set). Click on the arrow to watch the video above. Queen Margherita Pizzeria made these mouth-wateringly delicious pizzas fresh and hot, featuring first the classic Margherita Pizza. This pizza was named in honor of Queen Margherita, the wife of King Umberto I, in 1889, when the couple visited Naples and wanted to taste the local pie. Queen Margherita Pizzeria’s Margherita Pizza A chef selected patriotic toppings with the colors in the Italian flag: […]

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Gripping Wine Stories with San Francisco Chronicle Wine Columnist Esther Mobley

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Esther Mobley, on the gripping stories that catapulted her to become the columnist for one of the most prestigious wine columns in North America, the San Francisco Chronicle, at just 24 years of age. Enjoy!   Highlights How did Esther’s college admissions essay end up in the New York Times? Why did Esther decide to spend her gap year working at a vineyard? What experiences from the vineyard in Napa piqued Esther’s interest in the wine world? Should wine writers all experience winemaking? What came next for […]

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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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World Malbec Day Celebrates Argentina’s Flagship Red Wine

Leanne and I had a great time chatting about Malbec on CTV yesterday. 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 […]

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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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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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