Getting Hammered: Wine Auction Guide to Survival

Introduction Did you know that wine auctions are on the rise, both as fundraisers and as commercial ways to buy and sell your cellar stash? On this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with you about why auctions are increasing in popularity, their fascinating back story, and how you can participate in them without having a multimillion-dollar trust fund. If you’re listening to this podcast on the day it’s published, please also join me on CTV News as we’ll be chatting about two of the world’s most popular wines, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, including which ones […]

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Father’s Day Wines

Introduction This Sunday is Father’s Day, so I’m going to get downright practical on this episode with some terrific gift wines suggestions that you can buy dear old dad. Now I recognize not everyone celebrates Father’s Day for various reasons. Mine was that my father was an alcoholic, and my mother left him when I was two years old. However, I had a wonderful grandfather and several other men in my life who were inspirational role models. I think of them on Father’s Day. So, how do you choose the perfect gift bottle? And is there such a thing as […]

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Wines for Seduction: A Vine Romance for Valentine’s Day

Introduction Do you want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Forget the lingerie, lipstick and silk-tie handcuffs – just share a glass or two of wine with your amour. Just in time for V Day, I’m going to share with you my favourite wines for seduction, including some melt-in-your-mouth pairings with chocolate.   Highlights Why do almost 60% of women prefer wine over candy for V Day? Why has Champagne, in particular, has long been the drink of romance Why is Pinot Noir called the “heartbreak grape”? How can you avoid ruining your wine with chocolate? Is chocolate an aphrodisiac […]

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Romantic Pairing: Wine and Chocolate

In this month’s Costco Connection Lifestyle Magazine I chat with the editor about my favourite wine and chocolate pairings for Valentine’s Day. Here are my favourite wines for chocolate in liquor stores now. While many of us like to think we’re going to be creative with our Valentine’s Day gifts this year, let’s be honest. On February 13, we’re going to rush out and purchase our favourite standbys: wine and chocolate. And why shouldn’t we? Everybody likes this duo; they’re wildly delicious and indulgent, and they usually lead to a good time (insert suggestive eyebrow raise here). But what you […]

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What Makes Prosecco One of the Most Popular Sparkling Wines?

Photos: Santa Margherita By Melanie Lloyd Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Alberto Ugolini, a passionate and knowledgeable brand ambassador for Santa Margherita, from his home in Italy. With the holidays around the corner and Prosecco’s ever-increasing popularity, it was great timing to talk about this festive sparkling wine. Question: The sale of Prosecco has been increasing globally for the last several years. What contributes to this success? Alberto: There are several factors that fuel the success of Prosecco. The first, and most important, is its flavour profile. Prosecco is a joyful and vibrant sparkling wine. It has delicate bubbles, […]

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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 Wine that Came in from the Cold: Icewine

Not a breath of wind caresses the snow-blanketed vineyards. The tar-black sky is pin-pricked with stars, and a full moon sends shadows slithering out between the scarecrow vines. Stooped figures in Arctic gear coax their bare fingers to snap off bunches of frozen grapes. That’s what the annual icewine harvest looks like in Niagara at this time of the year. It results in a wine that combines the sweetness of lusciously ripe fruit with a silver edge of acidity that’s as crisp as the winter wind. Despite its modern association with Canada, icewine was actually discovered in Germany, by accident, […]

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Find Your Holiday Gift Wine from Our Team Tasting Top Picks

Our last big team tasting for the year had 150 bottles on the tables, along a variety of Balderson Cheddar Cheeses in preparation for our pairing contest. .   You can watch the video reviews below of our team’s favourite discoveries.       Matt Steeves Wine Expert, CTV Morning Live                 Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Rachelle O’Connor Wine Blogger & Judge         Photo by Cherie Cole Cherie Cole Restaurant Wine Consultant         Sharon Prionas Wine […]

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Gift Wines to Make Your Holidays Sparkle

Team member Matt Steeves above, chats about his favourite holiday gift wines on CTV’s Morning Show above. Click the arrow to play. Team member Tania Thomas recommends her favourite holiday sparkling wines on Rogers Daytime Television.   Gift Wines to Make Your Holidays Sparkle 1st video Leanne: Well you don’t need to spend a lot to get great wines. In fact when it comes to entertaining often the best wines are some of the least expensive and the most appealing. So here with his top picks and tips on how to serve wine at your holiday party, we have sommelier Matt […]

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