Bargain Wines, Pairing Wine and Artichokes, Wine Region Vacations with the Restaurant Guys Mark Pascal and Francis Schott

Introduction In today’s episode, I’m chatting again with Mark Pascal and Francis Schott, on their excellent radio show The Restaurant Guys. If you missed part one of our conversation, go back to episode 56 after you listen to this one. Mark and Francis have been in the fine dining and wine retail business for more than 25 years, and co-own Stage Left Restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which the New York Times has ranked in their excellent category and Citysearch named among the Top 10 Restaurants in America and Worth The Drive from any Major City. They also own […]

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BYOB Wines to Restaurants

Introduction What does BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) to a restaurant really mean? What special laws and etiquette do you need to know about it? Which provinces and states allow it? How does BYOB benefit you as a wine lover, aside from reducing your restaurant bill? How should you calculate the tip when you bring your own wine? On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, I’m sharing everything you need to know, plus my best tips for enjoying BYOB wines at restaurants. Enjoy!   Highlights Which provinces and states allow you to BYOB to restaurants? Why is BYOB perfect for […]

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Champagne Special with the Restaurant Guys Mark Pascal and Francis Schott

Introduction In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Mark Pascal and Francis Schott, on their excellent radio show The Restaurant Guys. They’ve been in the fine dining and wine retail business for more than 25 years, and co-own Stage Left Restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which the New York Times has ranked in their excellent category and Citysearch named among the Top 10 Restaurants in America and Worth The Drive from any Major City. Since I’ve chatted with them, they’ve launched a second restaurant called Catherine Lombardi and their Stage Left Wine Shop is booming. Although their radio show was […]

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Wine for Normal People with Elizabeth Schneider

Introduction Welcome to episode 51! In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Elizabeth Schneider, who has just published her first book called Wine for Normal People. Elizabeth is the award-winning host of one of the popular wine podcasts, Wine for Normal People. She’s also a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Specialist of Wine by the Society of Wine Educators, and co-founder of Underground Wine Events, which brings together wine lovers with terrific, small wineries, and a public speaker on wine around the US. She’s the author of the forthcoming book, Wine For Normal People, to be […]

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Pairing Chocolate & Wine, Harvest 2019 Update

Introduction Welcome to episode 50! Miles and I had dinner last night at one of Ottawa’s best new restaurants, Gitanes. The food has a French flair, but the restaurant is modern, dare I say hip? Is it even hip to say hip any more? Anyway, we loved the meal, especially the tuna tartare. I discovered the Pinot Noir I want for the Christmas holidays from Lighthall Vineyards in Prince Edward County… it had that perfect balance between Burgundian finesse and North American ripeness. This isn’t a commercial for this wine — I’m just sharing my latest discovery with you as […]

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Flying with Flavour: Travel and Wine Stories with Stephanie Piché

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Stephanie Piché, a chef who in her never-ending quest for new flavours and experiences, has travelled the world to over 30 countries to gather insight and knowledge in international travel, luxury dining, local recipes and the world’s best wines. Enjoy!   Highlights How did Stephanie stumble upon a secret cellar in Nice, France? What did Stephanie find in the old cellar? What was Stephanie’s Australian kangaroo encounter like? How can you pair wine and kangaroo? Why did Stephanie have to cringe at her driver’s etiquette in New […]

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Secret Book Club Reading of Red, White and Drunk All Over

Introduction Are you curious about what’s behind the covers of my book, Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass, which you’ll hear me refer to as “RWD”? In this episode, I’m inviting you to pull up your most comfortable imaginary chair for a secret book club reading of the juiciest bits of RWD, which was named one of the best books of the year by the Globe and Mail, New York Times and Amazon.   Highlights When did I have my first experience with tasting good wine? What were my earliest interactions with wine like? […]

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Undercover Sommelier

Unless you count the time I handed out plates at a church supper, I’ve never worked as a waiter. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from commenting on the service in restaurants—particularly the wine service—as if I knew exactly what I was talking about. Now, to stopper my leaking credibility, I’ve decided to work in a restaurant for a night. Only the best would do, so I selected Le Baccara, an award-winning restaurant in Québec that offers haute French cuisine, with classic service. That would be just perfect for me, I thought—until I realized that as a server, I would […]

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Eat, Drink and be Wary: The Prose & Cons of Wine Shows

The Ottawa Wine and Food Show is the opposite of the Betty Ford Center: lots of booze and free advice, but no beds. (Why isn’t there a napping booth?) It arrives just in time to launch my fall re-toxification program: I come from a long line of hard drinkers, and a summer of sound sleep, diet and exercise has made me irritable. In the exhibit hall, gastronomic gusts waft up and over me from different corners — some carrying alcohol laced with spicy meatballs, others sweat and cheese, new leather and yeasty crackers, perfume and vanilla waffle cones. Sounds, too, […]

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Wine Review of the Week: National Waiter’s Day Wine

Steve Cranny, a graduate of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) program, has selected our Wine Review of the Week to celebrate National Waiter’s Day, May 21. A toast to all those hard-working heroes of the restaurant industry! #NationalWaitersDay Here’s Steve wine review and rating: Until I became involved in the Industry I had no idea how hard service professionals work to make other people happy. So in honour of National Waiter’s Day and all of those great service people I would like to recommend a wine that I have enjoyed across several vintages. The Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino […]

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