10 Best Zinfandel Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Zinfandel

In our latest Facebook Live Video chat, we chat about the robust red wine Zinfandel. What makes it different from other red wines? How is it related to the Italian red wine Primitivo? What foods pair best with Zinfandel? What’s the group Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) all about, and International Zinfandel Day on November 19? You can click on the arrow above to play the video.                                             Zinfandel is a vitis vinifera red wine grape that produces deep robust […]

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Visiting Burgundy and Tasting Barolo with Matt Cauz

Introduction On today’s episode, I’m chatting with Matt Cauz, on his excellent podcast called Matt Talks Wine and Stuff with Interesting People. Matt interviews sommeliers, winemakers and wine writers so this is a bit of a turnaround from my usual format because Matt is interviewing me. I wanted to share this episode with you because we dig into lots of great wine tips, like how to make sense of the wine region Burgundy, how social media has changed the way we think about wine and a sneak peek at some of the topics in my third book, including the issues […]

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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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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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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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The Smart Woman Behind the Wine for Dummies Books: Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Mary Ewing-Mulligan, president of the International Wine Center and the first woman in America to become a Master of Wine. She’s also just published the seventh edition of the book “Wine For Dummies.” Mary’s motto “Peace. Community. Wine.” is a wonderful summary of the work she’s doing in the wine industry, from wine education to advocating for women in the industry, to her tenacity and determination to achieve the highest designation and continuing to grow her knowledge and ability. I really enjoyed this fantastic chat and I know […]

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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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Wine Scores: Misleading or Helpful to Consumers?

Introduction It’s unbelievable to consider that there’s a huge industry of specialists dedicating their lives to wine in the form of writers, sommeliers and critics. Why has wine inspired us in a way no other food or drink does? In this episode, I explore the questions around why we score wine in the first place, whether they really matter and if you should trust them.   Highlights Can you really trust a score from someone who has just been drinking? Why do we rate wine in the first place? How does the Australian show system compare to wine scoring systems […]

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Spicy Food & Wine Pairings: Cinco de Mayo, Tex-Mex, Indian Food Matches

On Global Television’s Morning Show today, we chatted about wine and spicy food pairings than to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. What better time to explore these than on May 5, the day in 1862 when a rag-tag Mexican army defeated the far larger French forces under Emperor Napoleon III. Sure, you could toast with a cerveza or tequila, but which wine? The growing Mexican wine industry is gaining respect, particularly the region of Baja California, and among the leading producers is L.A. Cetto, creating exceptionally well-priced red wines. But let’s broaden the field, and look at wines from around the […]

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