German Riesling: The World’s Most Versatile, Food-Friendly White Wine Grape

Someone has a big birthday on March 13th. Here to tell us more about that is Natalie MacLean who offers North America’s most popular online wine classes. Welcome Natalie. So who’s celebrating a birthday this Sunday? Although it’s actually a grape, it’s so personable that you’re right to call it someone, Bob ;) The iconic German white wine grape turns 587 this Sunday; it was first written about in 1435. Yet it’s irrepressibly young and vibrant, looking not a day older than 585.     What makes German Riesling so special? Riesling is a tough-skinned little berry that loves the […]

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6 Best Wine Gifts and Gadgets (Video)

A great bottle of wine is an obvious first choice for the wine lover on your gift list this holiday. But what if you want to pair that bottle with a useful and imaginative wine gadget? Here with her tips and sips is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com   Welcome Natalie. What is the first useful gadget you recommend?   Unless you have a wine closed with a screw cap, the most essential gadget is a corkscrew. This is called the Waiter’s Friend Corkscrew.         It’s named that because it’s […]

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Holiday Wines and Spirits Plus Hosting Tips (Video)

As the holidays approach, we look forward to entertaining friends and family. On CTV’s Your Morning we chat about terrific wines and spirits for the holidays.   Welcome Natalie.   What’s a good drink to serve to guests when they arrive?   Sparkling wine is the drink of celebration, especially at this time of year. I’d recommend two from Nova Scotia:         Avondale Sky Winery Benediction Sparkling Wine Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada                   Blomidon Crémant Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada         Both are zesty and […]

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Wine Clubs, Wine Finds & Tasting Tips with Paul K – Part 1

Introduction Which wine regions, grapes and styles are under-valued and worth trying? Should you be skeptical about celebrity-endorsed wines? How do you choose a good wine club? What simple strategy can you use to improve your tasting vocabulary? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Paul K, host of the podcast Wine Talks with Paul K. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Watch the Video     Giveaway One of you is going to win a personally signed copy of Rex Pickett’s novel, Sideways, which was also made into a hit movie, […]

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6 Best Spring Wines for Sipping and Drinking (Video)

  Mel As the weather warms up, it’s not just our wardrobes that need a seasonal update, our taste buds crave change too. So cast off those woolly-sweater wines and sip on something light, fresh and new. Here with the wine trends to look out for this spring is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes. • Natalie Hello   Lainey We’re starting with a trend that I’m really excited about, Pink Prosecco. Why are they so popular right now? Natalie • Take two already trendy wines—rosé and prosecco—and combine them for a mashup of this season’s […]

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Best Bargain Wines Under $20 (Video Tips)

We all love a bargain, that’s why those designer outlet stores are so popular. But can you find bargains when it comes to wine? On CTV News, I share my best tips for finding them.   Natalie, can we really find bargains in the liquor store?   Yes and no. The two questions I’m asked most frequently is, “Can you recommend a great wine that costs less than $5?” The answer is: “no, unless all you want is a wet tongue.”   The second is: “What is your favorite wine?” The answer: “The one someone else pays for.”     […]

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Mark Oldman: The Wine World’s Greatest Showman

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Mark Oldman, New York-based wine best-selling author, speaker and entrepreneur and one of the liveliest and wittiest guests I’ve had on the show. Enjoy!   Highlights What insider tip can you use the next time you’re faced with a restaurant wine list? How can you signal to restaurant staff that you’re a wine insider (even if you’re not)? What should you do if you think your restaurant glassware or wine has a fault? What do billionaires look for in wines for daily drinking? How can a label […]

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BYOB Wines to Restaurants

Introduction What does BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) to a restaurant really mean? What special laws and etiquette do you need to know about it? Which provinces and states allow it? How does BYOB benefit you as a wine lover, aside from reducing your restaurant bill? How should you calculate the tip when you bring your own wine? On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, I’m sharing everything you need to know, plus my best tips for enjoying BYOB wines at restaurants. Enjoy!   Highlights Which provinces and states allow you to BYOB to restaurants? Why is BYOB perfect for […]

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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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Getting Hammered: Wine Auction Guide to Survival

Introduction Did you know that wine auctions are on the rise, both as fundraisers and as commercial ways to buy and sell your cellar stash? On this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with you about why auctions are increasing in popularity, their fascinating back story, and how you can participate in them without having a multimillion-dollar trust fund. If you’re listening to this podcast on the day it’s published, please also join me on CTV News as we’ll be chatting about two of the world’s most popular wines, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, including which ones […]

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