8 Best California Wines to Drink Now

  A new crop of Californian wines are hitting liquor store shelves this month. Here to tell us about which ones we should look for is Natalie MacLean, who offers North America’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com. Give us an overview of California wine, Natalie.   California wine country is vast, stretching from the Oregon border in the north, down to Mexico in the south: wine grapes grown in 49 of California’s 58 counties.   California accounts for more than 80%of U.S. wine production and is the fourth leading wine producer in the world. That said, many wineries […]

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The Art of Austrian Wine: From Auslese to Zweigelt

By Alana Lapierre If a question on the American game show Jeopardy! showcased the varietes Gruner Veltliner and Blaufrankisch, a contestant would surely respond promptly with, “What are two of Austria’s most well-known varieties?” They’d be correct of course, but that answer would also belie the great depth and variety of Austria’s terroir, one that I had the pleasure of tasting through following Austrian Wine’s June 2021 Ontario online tasting event that included wine samples, public seminars, and private video meetings with winemakers. Austria is known mostly for fresh, pure white wines and exceptional value for money in terms of […]

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Books & Wines With Great Structure & Finish

We often chat about pairing wine and food, but what about pairing bottles with books? You can also watch part two of our book and bottle pairings from CTV yesterday.   What’s the first pairing you recommend?   We’re starting with one of my favorite wine books, The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil. It’s sold more than a half a million copies worldwide and is a go-to reference book that’s also engagingly well-written.         Karen lives in Napa Valley, so I’d pair this book with this full-bodied, complex Cabernet Sauvignon from Charles Krug, Napa Valley’s oldest winery […]

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You Had Me At Pét-Nat: Gripping Wine Memoir by Rachel Signer

Introduction How are natural wines different from raw or clean wines? Why do natural wines provoke furious debates in the wine world? Why will you want to read our guest’s new memoir that’s hot off the press (pun intended)? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Rachel Signer, who has just published a gripping, addictive memoir, You Had Me at Pet-Nat. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on […]

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Wine Clubs, Wine Finds & Tasting Tips with Paul K – Part 1

Introduction Which wine regions, grapes and styles are under-valued and worth trying? Should you be skeptical about celebrity-endorsed wines? How do you choose a good wine club? What simple strategy can you use to improve your tasting vocabulary? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Paul K, host of the podcast Wine Talks with Paul K. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Watch the Video     Giveaway One of you is going to win a personally signed copy of Rex Pickett’s novel, Sideways, which was also made into a hit movie, […]

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How to Pair Wine with Chips, Nuts and Snacks?

On Global Television’s Morning Show yesterday, we paired wine and snacks, from fish tacos to Sriracha chips from Loblaws’ President’s Choice Black Label line. Yes, there is a wine for sea salt giant corn nuts ;) . Click the arrow above to play the video.     Wine: Yalumba The Strapper GSM Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2013           Food: PC 85% Cocoa Solids Extra Dark Chocolate Bar (100g): imported extra dark chocolate.     Food: PC 70% Cocoa Solids Dark Chocolate: Irresistibly delectable, imported pure dark chocolate. Excellent for snacking or baking.           Wine: […]

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Can Organic Wine Survive Niagara? The Chilling Answer . . .

Under heavy gunfire, we run for the chopper. Grey clouds roil overhead as the wind whips our faces. The ground man signals us to scramble in, but then stops and waves for us to turn around. As we do, we’re blinded by white flashes. We’re not being fired at though: it’s just the smiling tour guide snapping photos of us. The shotgun blasts are automatic “bird bangers” to scare birds away from the fields of Niagara grapevines around us. This isn’t Baghdad, but it is war. These birds travel in black clouds of peckish delight swooping down to strip vineyards […]

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Why are Nova Scotia’s Tidal Bay and L’Acadie Blanc Signature Wines?

Introduction What do you need to know about Nova Scotia’s signature grape, L’Acadie blanc? What is Tidal Bay and why is it Canada’s first stylistic appellation? Why is one Nova Scotia winery burying barrels of wine underground? Which travel tips should you keep in mind when you visit Nova Scotia wineries? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Amy Savoury, a certified sommelier and instructor of culinary and tourism studies at the Nova Scotia Community College. You can find the wines we discussed here.     Highlights Why can you taste many different fruit flavours […]

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Dr. Laura Catena on Malbec, Wine’s Health Benefits and Winemaking in Argentina

Introduction Have you tasted an Argentine Malbec? Which foods pair best with Malbec? Why is Malbec more like Pinot Noir than Cabernet? What are the health benefits of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Dr. Laura Catena, a fourth-generation Argentine vintner, physician and author. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How does Laura’s scientific approach to winemaking improve the taste of the Malbecs you drink? What is the significance of the pyramid-style of the Catena winery? Why is Malbec the flagship grape of Argentina? What differences can you see […]

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Orange Wines are Trending with Winemaker Ann Sperling

Introduction What is orange wine? How does fermenting with the stems and leave give you a more complex flavour profile? Can you find orange wine on restaurant wine lists? Which types of food should you pair with orange wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Ann Sperling, winegrower and Director of Winemaking and Viticulture at Southbrook Vineyards. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What is orange wine? How does orange wine give you a glimpse into ancient wines? Why would you see less waste from the winemaking process with orange […]

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