8 Best Wines for St. Patrick’s Day + Irish Food Pairings (Video)

St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated with a pint or two, but what if you love wine? On CTV News, we chat about the best pairings for Irish food and classic dishes. Is there a wine that pairs with corned beef and cabbage? This begs the question: Can we skip the corned beef and cabbage and just have wine? My Irish grandmother is probably turning over in her grave.     Traditional matches for this meal usually include Irish stout, like Guinness. But what about wine? Corned beef is salty and cabbage can be skunky, so you’ll avoid those wines […]

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Galentine’s Day Wines for Your Besties Get-Together (Video)

Valentine’s Day is coming up, but what if you’re not in a relationship? There’s a special day for you, too. It’s called Galentine’s Day and it happens every year on February 13th. On CTV News, we chat about terrific wines to drink on both days.   Let’s start with what is Galentine’s Day?   – It’s one of those made-up micro-holidays, like Friendsgiving just before Thanksgiving, that’s a reaction against the day that commercializes romance and instead celebrates platonic love/female friendship and the bond that lasts longer: women and wine!   – As one embroidered pillow on Etsy read: Happy […]

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Rising Alcohol in Wine: Too Hot to Handle?

Introduction Want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Forget the lingerie, lipstick and silk-tie handcuffs—just ensure that the object of your desire drinks a little wine. Over a few glasses of wine, love is blind, or at least it’s wearing rosé-coloured glasses.  Perhaps that’s why it’s one of the greatest social lubricants—wine has certainly done more to keep marriages together than beer. Wine embodies physical pleasure: With pheromones, its aromas are a heady mix and its velvet caress on the tongue both soothes and excites. What other drink is described as “voluptuous” and “curvaceous”? In this episode of the Unreserved […]

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Tasting and Pairing Grüner Veltliner with Austrian Winemaker Rudi Rabl

Introduction Why do sommeliers love Grüner Veltliner? How does this zesty white wine from Austria compare to Gewürztraminer and Riesling? Does it age well? What are the best food pairings? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Rudi Rabl, founder and winemaker at Austria’s Rabl Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What makes Grüner Veltliner such a flexible type of wine? Which characteristic flavours will you taste in Grüner Veltliner? Which dishes should you try pairing with Grüner Veltliner? Can you pick up aromatic similarities between Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner? How […]

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New Zealand Wine’s Sacred Soils with Left Field’s Richard Painter

Introduction How does the unique geography and climate of Hawke’s Bay and Gimlet Gravels in New Zealand create wines unlike any others? How does New Zealand Syrah differ from those from other regions? Why do many winemakers seem to have a special love for Chardonnay? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Richard Painter, Winemaker for Te Awa Single Estate and Left Field wines. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How does the geography of Gimblett Gravels impact the wines you get from Te Awa Wines? Which foods would make a […]

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Ontario Icewine: How to Drink It, Pair It and Love It with Karen King

Introduction How is Icewine different from other sweet wines? How does that change the way you drink it and pair with food? Which pairings work beyond dessert? How can you make delicious Icewine Slushies and pair them with chili chips and wasabi peas for an incredible flavour combination? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Karen King, co-owner of the Ice House Winery in Niagara. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What differences can you see in how different generations think about Icewine? Why shouldn’t you save Icewine only for special […]

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How to Pair Wine and Chocolate with Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning

Introduction Where can you find the best chocolate? What’s the difference between candy and real chocolate? How can you pair wine and chocolate? What does Fair Trade mean and what should you look out for? Where can you find the best chocolate? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with New York Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Why should you consider a trip to the Ecuadorian rainforest? What parallels can you find between wine and chocolate? In which regions can you find the best quality cacao? What […]

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Holiday Movie Wines + Cool Chardonnay with Brian Schmidt

Introduction What exactly is a cool climate Chardonnay? Which dishes are delicious with this style of Chardonnay? What’s the most important element for you to discover when tasting wine? Why did Chardonnay become so popular, then fall out of favour? What is the Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Brian Schmidt, Vice President and Winemaker at Vineland Estates Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What are the hallmarks you would find in cool climate wine-producing regions? Why is “cool climate” being redefined? Which traditional cool […]

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Wine Tasting and Pairing Tips from Master Sommelier Bruce Wallner

Introduction Is being a sommelier as glamourous as it seems? Why is it sometimes difficult to differentiate between certain New and Old World wines? How does terroir play a key role in a blind tasting? What’s it like being in a sommelier competition? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Bruce Wallner, Master Sommelier at Sommelier Factory. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What un-glamourous truth might you be surprised to learn about being a sommelier? What intangible joy can you get from being a sommelier? How should you view the […]

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Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay Le Villa Loca Cocktail Recipe

Take a trip… from the comfort of your kitchen! Today we’re feeling a little bit Latin and heading for Italy, with a dish and cocktail by Charlotte Chalret and Gaetan Thabourin from the restaurant Agapé in Carcassonne. They have created artichokes in the El Padrino style (Artichauts façon El Padrino) and a cocktail called, “Le Villa Loca” made with Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay. Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay 2019 La Villa Loca Cocktail Serves 1 Put in a mixing glass: 4 ice cubes 1 oz. Cranberry juice 1 tsp. peach or apricot jam Lemon zest Mix ingredients […]

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