Thanksgiving Wines, Mouse Wine Defect, Trends to Ignore

Introduction For those of us in Canada, Thanksgiving is this weekend. In my opinion, there is no other holiday that celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. Wine is a taste of the harvest, along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavours to match. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving, perhaps in November if you’re American? On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk,  I’ll be chatting with you about how to pair wine with Thanksgiving turkey and all the side dishes, as well as the […]

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Travel the Wine World with Kevin Brauch

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Kevin Brauch, a Gemini Award Winner, TV producer and host of hit series The Thirsty Traveler, Iron Chef America, SuperStar Chef Challenge, FOOD F!&#T. Kevin is one of the liveliest guests I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, and he has so many stories to share, from his time with the late, great Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential, to sabering Champagne in France and wine faux pas in South Africa. Enjoy!   Highlights What has Kevin learned about sparkling wines? How does Kevin sabre a sparkling wine […]

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Pairing Wine & Charcuterie with Jennifer McLagan

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Jennifer McLagan, an author and expert in charcuterie. Sometimes, I think we’ve become so paranoid about fat in our diets that we forget that not all fats are alike. Jennifer talks about those that are good for us, and together, we discover some terrific wines to pair with them. Enjoy!   Highlights When did Jennifer realize she wanted to write about food? What is Jennifer’s favourite failure? How does Jennifer respond to people who are concerned about “healthy eating”? What was the best moment of Jennifer’s career […]

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National Wine Day Prompts These Thoughts

Introduction May 25 is National Wine Day and in honour of that, I think it’s worth exploring how wine, as a beverage, has influenced our culture. Wine has been an integral part of human history from ancient civilizations right through to the modern day. It has become deeply associated with culture, power and prestige in a way that no other beverage has. Most of what I’m going to share with you today is based on a magazine piece about wine and civility that I wrote two months after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance […]

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A Vine Celebration: The 120th Anniversary of Nino Negri Wines

In October, I traveled to Italy with great excitement to participate in Nino Negri’s 120th Anniversary celebration.  As I drove through the historic wine region of Valtellina, I was captivated by its breathtaking beauty and eager to participate in this year’s wine harvest. Valtellina is a serene valley at the foot of the Lombardy Alps, on the Italian-Swiss border. The “vine”, the heart of this difficult mountainous terrain, has found perfect growing conditions here. The vineyards are protected by two high mountain chains, the Retiche Alps and the Orobie Pre-Alps. Exposure to the sun at high altitude, as well as a significant […]

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Pairing Wine with Oscar Party Snacks and Movies

On Global’s Morning Show yesterday, we paired wines with Oscar-worthy snacks from Cibo Wine Bar as well as former winners of the Best Picture Award. Here are my Top 20 Oscar Wines showing your which liquor stores have them in stock now … enjoy! Titantic 1997 Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Grilled whole calamari, mixed greens, diced tomatoes extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice   The Sting Wolf Blass The Entertainer AMERICANA Pizza Tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, mushroom, green peppers           The Godfather Gabbiano Chianti CHIANTI BRAISED SHORT RIBS 10oz porcini crusted beef short ribs, gorgonzola polenta, crispy onions […]

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Wachau Valley’s Liquid Gold: Austrian Wine Shines

Wachau Valley By Brigitte Hasbron of The Food Tease Known for its picturesque natural and cultural landscapes around the world, the Wachau Valley is a region where wine enthusiasts and aficionados want to immerse themselves in all things liquid and gold. A wine lover’s place to be. Being a food blogger and seeing how food and wine are synonymous with the perfect marriage, it was fitting that I was invited to two well-known vintners in Lower Austria, specifically in the famous Wachau Valley. The sites of the Danube River and the enchanting towns that we drove through to reach our first vineyard were postcard worthy… even on […]

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Which Wine Pairings for turkey, fruitcake or cheese?

The holiday countdown is on and Canadians are scrambling for last-minute gifts for their hosts and loved ones. Wine and food seem like a natural option at this time of year, but with thousands of bottles lining the shelves at liquor outlets, where does one begin? “I’d start with pairing the wine that you’re going to bring to go with the dinner. Wild guess, might be turkey,” says sommelier Natalie MacLean, editor of the wine review site nataliemaclean.com. She suggests a sparkling wine like Cava from Spain, a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, a dry rose from France or a […]

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How Oyster Bay Tamed Prickly Pinot Noir in New Zealand

By Greg M.P. Hughes Winemakers who specialize in Pinot Noir are some of the hardest working viticulturists on the planet. This grape’s thin skin makes it extremely vulnerable to diseases, makes colour extraction torture to get right, and yields are minuscule (not a tremendous ROI compared to Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz). Pinot Noir’s idiosyncrasies are enough to make even hardened pro winemakers tear their hair out. That is why Pinot Noir is one of the most misunderstood selections that wine experts explain to their audiences. Most people understand it as byword for a quality wine, but have no idea what […]

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The Ancient Greeks Invented Invented Map Making — to Help You Find Their Wines

The ancient Greeks invented map making. They had to help people find their wines.  As the third-most mountainous country in Europe, Greece’s distinct topography enables the cultivation of cool weather grapes in a warm weather climate, an unexpected attribute of Greek wines and their diverse terrior.  But it can also make them hard to find. Hence, the need for maps. One of Greece’s greatest white wines comes from the Moschofilero (MOHS-koh-FEE-leh-roh) grape. If you’ve been looking for a dry Riesling but always find them too sweet, Moschofilero is for you. It has an aromatic, floral bouquet so its dryness will […]

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