Bordeaux Wines, Politics and Wine, Monastrell & Spanish Food Pairings with Lori Budd of Exploring the Glass

Introduction What is it like to participate in the coveted en premiere tasting of the new vintage of Bordeaux wines in France while they’re still in the barrels aging? Which Spanish foods should you pair with the fabulous red wine Monastrell? How does politics influence wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with winemaker, writer and podcast host, Lori Budd who graduated from the prestigious UC Davis enology program. She and her husband own Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles. She’s also the host of the podcast called Exploring the Glass. You can find the wines we discussed […]

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Mother’s Day Gifts: Pairing Books and Bottles (Wines & Spines)

Mother’s Day is coming up and you may be thinking about getting Mom a special wine. But why not pair that bottle with a great book? Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean, who offers North America’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com. Welcome, Natalie. What’s the first book and bottle you recommend?         I have Loving Large: A Mother’s Rare Disease Memoir by Ontario author Patti M. Hall, who discovers her teenaged son is diagnosed with gigantism, a condition that could make him grow uncontrollably, and shorten his life without aggressive treatment. She makes it […]

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Celebrating Mother’s Day with the Great Women of Champagne

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about the top Champagnes made by women for Mother’s Day. (Click on the arrow above to play the video.) They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they didn’t sell the businesses or remarry. They took control of the chateaus to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world. In an era when few women were in business at all, these women headed what were, at the time, some […]

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Spicy Food & Wine Pairings: Cinco de Mayo, Tex-Mex, Indian Food Matches

On Global Television’s Morning Show today, we chatted about wine and spicy food pairings than to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. What better time to explore these than on May 5, the day in 1862 when a rag-tag Mexican army defeated the far larger French forces under Emperor Napoleon III. Sure, you could toast with a cerveza or tequila, but which wine? The growing Mexican wine industry is gaining respect, particularly the region of Baja California, and among the leading producers is L.A. Cetto, creating exceptionally well-priced red wines. But let’s broaden the field, and look at wines from around the […]

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The 11 Best Wines for Easter and Passover This Year

  Easter and Passover are right around the corner. That means it’s time for traditional holiday favorites like roast lamb and chocolate bunnies. But what are the best wines to pair with your celebrations? Wine expert Natalie MacLean is here with some tips.   So when it comes to chocolate we need to have wine that’s sweeter, if we don’t do that, the wine will taste bitter by comparison. So the number one pick that I recommend for chocolate is port. I love a good tawny port like this one. It’s a fortified wine, meaning it has higher alcohol, so […]

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10 Terrific Wines for Easter and Passover Meals and Treats

Easter and Passover are right around the corner, bringing with them favourite holiday treats from roast lamb to chocolate bunnies. But which wines to pair with them? Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean who offers North America’s most popular online wine and food pairing classes at nataliemaclean.com.   Welcome Natalie.   Let’s start with the fun stuff, what exactly would you pair with chocolate bunnies and eggs?   I’m so glad we’re starting there because dessert is my favourite part of dinner, but it’s also the toughest on wine. The first thing to keep in mind is that the wine should […]

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World Malbec Day Celebrates Argentina’s Flagship Red Wine

Leanne and I had a great time chatting about Malbec on CTV. Did you know that April 17 is Malbec World Day (#MalbecWorldDay), celebrating the flagship red grape for the wines of Argentina, as well as a blending grape in Bordeaux and other regions? You’ll find my most reviews and ratings of Malbec Wines here. The Malbec grape produces wines that stylistically fall between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with more plummy richness and roundness than Cabernet, but firmer tannins and structure than Merlot. Pair Malbec with beef, turkey, spicy dishes, tomato sauces, meaty casseroles, hamburgers, sausages, steak and kidney pie, […]

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Easter Wines for Fish, Lamb + Ham: Video

Wines for Good Friday fish, Easter brunch, lamb and ham are the focus of our chat on CTV News. In particular, red wines often clash with fish not because of the wine tannin and fish iodine, as previously thought, but rather because of high iron content in the wine. The iron comes mostly from the soil where the vines are grown, but can also be due to winemaking methods. Generalizing about which wines will be high in iron content is difficult. The iron in wine is thought to break down the unsaturated (good) fats in fish and creates that fishy […]

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Easter Wines: The Essential Hip-Hop Guide to Earmark

Some of my favourite meals are those we savour to celebrate Easter: fresh asparagus omelets and ham for brunch. But which Easter wines to serve with them? As a determined hedonist, I like something more than orange juice, thank-you—unless it’s a mimosa. The wines that work best are zesty, mouth-watering and lighter than those we drink in the winter—and they’ll put some spring in your glass.     When the coming of spring heralds warmer weather, we feel like celebrating. One of the best ways is by drinking fresh, vivacious wines that suit the season and complement lighter fare. You […]

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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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