Video: How to Pair Wine + Quarantine Snacks

Anyone can pair a juicy steak with a Cabernet, but which wines should we drink with our favourite quarantine snacks?   On Global Television’s Morning Show, I share my insider tips: What’s the key in terms of flavour, pairing a snack and a wine? Do you want opposite flavour profiles or similar? (ie: creamy snack, creamy wine or creamy snack, acidic wine)? What’s one important thing that people tend to forget when they pick a wine/snack pairing?   Okay, let’s dive into these pairings! Which wine do you suggest pairing with pretzels and why?             […]

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Why are Nova Scotia’s Tidal Bay and L’Acadie Blanc Signature Wines?

Introduction What do you need to know about Nova Scotia’s signature grape, L’Acadie blanc? What is Tidal Bay and why is it Canada’s first stylistic appellation? Why is one Nova Scotia winery burying barrels of wine underground? Which travel tips should you keep in mind when you visit Nova Scotia wineries? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Amy Savoury, a certified sommelier and instructor of culinary and tourism studies at the Nova Scotia Community College. You can find the wines we discussed here.     Highlights Why can you taste many different fruit flavours […]

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Support Ontario Wineries: Buy Direct and Ship to Your Home (Video)

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about how Ontario wineries are particularly hard hit by Covid-19, what they’re doing to pivot and how you can help support these local businesses: – Tasting rooms are closed as are major clients, restaurants in general – Most wineries didn’t have wines in the LCBO to begin with because they don’t produce enough wine to fill that channel – The majority of the 180 wineries have fewer than 20 employees – Many are turning to direct shipping   You can get free shipping and other deals here: nataliemaclean.com/niagara   When you buy a […]

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How to Pair Wine with Any Hamburger (Video)

On Global Television’s Morning Show Thursday, we paired wine with many types of hamburgers. Nothing says summer like a juicy two-fisted burger and beer – it’s casual and a good pairing. But what if you want wine with your patti? Wine is also a great pairing, but we think it’s too fancy for the backyard and burgs. However it’s not, and it has a wide range of flavours and styles for the imaginative burgers we have here today.   The Daniel – Vegan Patty Grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, crushed hot peppers, spicy vegan sauce. In the beginning, Shant Mardirosian, […]

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The Use (and Abuse) of Wine Scores with Vino Mike and Pete on That Wine Pod

Introduction How does the 100 point scale make wine scores easier for you to interpret? How can you drink better wines by finding a wine critic whose style you like? How does grade inflation affect you as a wine lover? Why is taking an online wine course often better than an in-person course? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m sharing a conversation I originally had with Pete & Vino Mike on their podcast, That Wine Pod. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What’s my take on the best wine? Why should you […]

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Wine Girl Reveals the Wine World’s Dark Side and Hope for the Future with Sommelier Victoria James

Introduction What’s it like serving wine to celebrities like Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Beyonce and Miley Cyrus? How is being a sommelier different when you work at a Michelin-starred restaurant, especially when you’re just 21 years old? Why is the wine world still largely an old boys club and how does that impact the wines you drink? Which shocking ingredients might you find in some non-organic wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Victoria James, author, restauranteur and the youngest person in the world to pass the certified sommelier exam with the Court of Master […]

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Niagara Vine Laureate Klaus Reif: Ontario Wine’s Future

Introduction What profound impact does buying your local wine have on your economy? Why will supporting the “Free My Grapes” campaign improve your choice and access to wine? How have Ontario wines changed since the 80s? What are the biggest challenges facing the Canadian wine industry? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Klaus Reif of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Reif Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How is the younger generation of Ontario winemakers impacting the industry? How has the perception of Ontario wines changed since the 80s? What are the four […]

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The Grapes of Laugh: How to Host a Wine Tasting or Start a Wine Club

  We had such fun on The Social yesterday chatting about how to organize an informal wine tasting party at home. Click the arrow above to play the video. There are many excellent reasons to host a wine tasting party—or even to form a wine club. For one thing, wine is a social beverage—one that’s meant to be shared with friends. And it’s more fun to drink than to buy Tupperware—unless, of course, you’re drinking from the Tupperware. The only goal is to enjoy yourself and perhaps find a new favorite bottle. Although wine does lend itself to serious technical […]

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Dr. Laura Catena on Malbec, Wine’s Health Benefits and Winemaking in Argentina

Introduction Have you tasted an Argentine Malbec? Which foods pair best with Malbec? Why is Malbec more like Pinot Noir than Cabernet? What are the health benefits of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Dr. Laura Catena, a fourth-generation Argentine vintner, physician and author. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How does Laura’s scientific approach to winemaking improve the taste of the Malbecs you drink? What is the significance of the pyramid-style of the Catena winery? Why is Malbec the flagship grape of Argentina? What differences can you see […]

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Mother’s Day Brunch Wine and Champagne Pairings

Jeff and I had such fun chatting about wines for Mother’s Day gifts on Canada AM, especially champagne for brunch. There’s even a “live action” shot with uncorking a sparkler. (Okay, not so much.) Here are my Top 20 Wines for Mother’s Day, either made by women or named for them. Often the latter were originally made by women. You’ll also find more suggestions in my Mother’s Day wines for Epicurious as well as for More Magazine. Jeff: It’s Mother’s Day, of course, on Sunday, and if you are planning on taking her out for brunch, you might want to […]

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