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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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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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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What Happens to Wine with Salt or Lemon?

One of my students recently told me how much he misses going out to restaurants right now, and asked if there was anything fun and educational that he could try at home with wine. My mind immediately went to the salt and lemon taste test. You can try this too at home to see just how profoundly these two ingredients or garnishes can change the taste of your wine. Doing this tasting will also give you terrific insight on how to better pair your wine with a variety of dishes. These are the kind of tips that I teach in […]

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Women v Men Wine Tasting and Texture with Dr. Gary Pickering

Introduction What makes you a supertaster? Does supertaster status play a role outside of wine tasting? How does age affect our senses of smell and taste? Why is mouthfeel an important aspect of a wine’s appeal? Why should you describe wine by sensation, rather than compound? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Dr. Gary Pickering, the inventor of the white wine mouthfeel wheel and the supertasting kit, and co-developer of the Wine Aroma Kits. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What makes you a supertaster? Does your supertaster status play […]

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Wine Paired with Ham for Easter and Beyond

One of the classic Easter dishes is ham. Most hams are wet-cured with brine or saline solution and then smoked. Popular finishes are a sweet glaze of bourbon and brown sugar or maple syrup or orange marmalade. This gives the meat a glistening finish and an appetizing salty-sweet taste. The dish is often accompanied by tangy dressings such as cloves, dried fruit chutney or apricot preserves. All those powerful fruit and spice flavors are delicious, but they’re tough on many wines. What works best is usually a zippy white with a touch of sweetness, such as an off-dry Canadian or […]

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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 yesterday. 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 […]

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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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Wines for Easter Brunch and Passover Dinner

    CTV News anchor Natalie Piero an I chat about wines for Easter brunch, Passover and other holiday weekend wines. Also check out The Essential Hip-Hop Guide to Easter Wines, which includes pairing ham and wine, lamb and wine, vegetables and wine, and chocolate and wine.   You’ll find another video about Easter wines here. Posted with permission of CTV News. Wines for Easter Brunch and Passover Dinner Natalie Piero: Passover starts tonight and of course Easter is coming up this weekend. So Natalie MacLean is here to talk about the best wines to pair with whatever meal you might […]

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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 can pair […]

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