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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Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Writing Red, White and Drunk All Over

Introduction What role have books played in my exploration of wine regions around the world? What’s it like tasting ultra high-end wine? How is wine portrayed in literature? Today we’re talking about all that and more in a behind-the-scenes peek at Red, White and Drunk All Over. Today’s show is a little different from the usual. I’m excited to share this episode from the Behind the Bookshelves podcast, where I was interviewed by Richard Davies. Richard has kindly given me permission to include this interview on my show for you. If you love books as much as I do, be […]

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Is Wine the Source of Civilization? John Mahoney Thinks So and Here’s Why

Introduction John J. Mahoney is a Certified Wine Educator and a Literature Professor. He is the author of eight books, including his most recent, Wine: The Source of Civilization and he is Chancellor of the Dionysian Society International, a member of the American Wine Society, a Chevalerie du Verre Galant (Knights of Cognac), President of New Jersey Club Zinfandel, Director of the Tri-State Wine College, and the voice of “Weekend Wine Tips.” A respected scholar of Shakespeare and Chaucer, he uses classic educational techniques when teaching about wine. He hosts corporate wine seminars and is presently the World Ambassador for […]

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Why You Need to Know Malbec Truly, Madly, Deeply

Introduction Have you tried Malbec? Did you like it? Which ones are your favourites? From Argentina to France,  Malbecs are not all created equal. For me, it was an Argentine Malbec that first piqued my curiosity, leading me to start buying more. I followed that curiosity down to Argentina itself in my second book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Bottles. On this episode, in honour of World Malbec Day, I’m taking you with me on a journey to the Bodega Catana Zapata winery in Argentina to chat about all things Malbec and explore why Malbec is […]

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A Game of Clones: A Journey into Croatian Wine

By Andrea Shapiro The Republic of Croatia, located in Eastern Europe is one of the oldest wine growing countries in the world, and yet is relatively unknown to the average Canadian like me. The region possesses both mediterranean and continental climates and a soil structure that travels the spectrum, from sandy to volcanic. The result is a terroir that is proficient at yielding a myriad of varietals – everything from global mainstays such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot to indigenous grapes such as Graševina, Pošip and Plavac Mali. During the Cold War, as part of The Socialist Federal Republic […]

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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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Blending Humour and Wine in South Africa with Charles Back, Fairview Wine

Introduction Charles Louis Back is the third generation owner of South African wine and cheese producer Fairview, in Paarl in the Western Cape Province. Charles Back studied winemaking at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. He officially joined his family’s company in 1978 and took over full control in 1995 after the death of his father, Cyril. Today, Charles Back is known as one of the great entrepreneurs and innovators of the wine world – an individual who likes nothing more to swim against the stream. From the start, he has done things differently, introducing Mediterranean grapes such as Viognier, Tempranillo, […]

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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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