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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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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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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Spring Wines for Fish, Shellfish and Seafood

CTV News anchor Natalie Piero and I chat about wines for spring, including those that pair well with both fish and shellfish, as well as those that drink well on their own as an aperitif. Spring Wines for Fish, Shellfish and Seafood   Host: It’s the Natalie Show today ;)   Natalie: Easy to remember.   Host: Spring is here finally!   Natalie: Yes!   Host: And Natalie MacLean is here to talk about some of the spring wines.   Natalie: Absolutely!   Host: You change what you drink depending on the weather?   Natalie: Yes, I do. Like winter wardrobe, get out of those heavy sweaters, get […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Turkey

By Tania Thomas Thanksgiving is the time of the year when we remember what we are thankful for and a celebration that captures holiday spirit of home cooking like no other. Sharing this day with family and friend is what makes it even more special. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced to two separate events in our history. The arrival of the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who came with the French settlers to New France and celebrated their successful harvests, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area. The second is […]

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Rediscover Bordeaux with Château Phelan-Ségur

By Mymi Myriam On the eve of a massive winter storm that threatened to shut down most of the eastern coast of the United States, I had the pleasure of briefly sitting down with Pamela Wittman prior to attending the LCBO sponsored Union des Grands Crus Bordeaux tasting at the Carlu. An oenologist by profession, she is now the US representative for Château Phélan-Ségur located in the Médoc St-Éstèphe region of Bordeaux. The estate’s story starts with a young Irish wine merchant name Bernard Phelan who settled into the area in the late 18th century and married a local girl […]

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Wine Writers Behaving Like Critics: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

By Natalie MacLean They called it a tempest in a wine glass: two of the world’s most respected wine writers facing off against one another over one bottle of wine. Of course, there’s nothing unusual about critics disagreeing, even vehemently. But this time, the debate degenerated into a rumble over the definition of wine itself—and the integrity of the critics. In the American corner was Robert Parker, whose wine scores carry so much weight that they move the market. From Britain, was author Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine and columnist for the Financial Times of London. Both have written more […]

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Romancing the Score: What do Wine Ratings Really Tell Us?

The biggest problem with wine scores is that they evaluate the obvious: how a wine tastes. What really matters is how interesting the wine makes your dining companion. Now that would be worth rating. Indeed, you have to wonder why we rate wine in the first place. After all, it is just a drink. We certainly don’t rate orange juice or lemonade; we don’t have beef shank critics talking about the region from which the cows hailed or syndicated cabbage columnists talking about how the September rainfall affected the leaf set. Perhaps this scrutiny is a testament to the way […]

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Wine App Pours its Way to the Top of the App Store

Thanks to reporter Trish Crompton with the technology magazine Communitech for this terrific review of our new wine mobile app! Wine app pours its way to the top of the app store Natalie MacLean may have uncorked the secret to helping even the most amateur of wine drinkers to become their own sommelier. As an award-winning wine writer, MacLean is constantly asked for recommendations on the perfect wine. “I would get lots and lots of emails all the time,” MacLean says, and they were filled with questions like, “I want to buy an anniversary wine for my parents, I have […]

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