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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Pairing Gift Wines with Personalities

Introduction Why does wine make such an ideal holiday gift? Which wines are the best to give, especially when you don’t know the personal taste of the recipient? Are there some wines you should never give as a gift beyond Two Buck Chuck? How can you match the gift wine to the personality of the giftee? We’re always talking about pairing wine and food, but how about pairing wine with the people on your holiday gift list? After all, when you give the gift of wine, doubles are fine unlike toaster ovens, there are no wrong sizes unlike that ugly sweater and […]

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How do You Pick a Great Gift Wine? 5 Tips for Festive Sips

Want to give someone a bottle of wine this year? On Global Television’s Morning Show, we chat about quick tips on how to choose a great gift wine this holiday. Wine is a great gift because: –    one size fits all –    doubles are fine –    it’s easy to re-gift Also: – it’s easy to return for cash without a receipt – wine doesn’t have to be cared for and it should never be watered – it’s consumable so it doesn’t create clutter adding to more stuff in your home How to decide which wine to give? – match the […]

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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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Canada Day Wines

Introduction In honour of Canada Day on July 1st, we’re doing a deep dive into Canadian wine, including some colourful history and surprising facts that you can drop casually at your barbecue gathering as you crack open a bottle. From the zoological phase of the 70s and 80s to award-winning, delicious modern wines, Canada now stands with the best of the best on the world’s wine stage. So what do Canadian wine regions have to offer visitors? Why do Canadian wines make up only 1/3 of the wine we buy in Canada? We’re also testing your vinous savvy with The […]

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National Wine Day Prompts These Thoughts

Introduction May 25 is National Wine Day and in honour of that, I think it’s worth exploring how wine, as a beverage, has influenced our culture. Wine has been an integral part of human history from ancient civilizations right through to the modern day. It has become deeply associated with culture, power and prestige in a way that no other beverage has. Most of what I’m going to share with you today is based on a magazine piece about wine and civility that I wrote two months after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance […]

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Wine + Chocolate Killer Combos: Valentine’s Day Video

In our second video chat above, Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho reveals more of his secrets for pairing wine and chocolate, especially for Valentine’s Day. He’s also designed some lovely chocolate creations, and suggests rosemary-infused chocolate with habanero sea salt as an aprodisiac that pairs amazingly well with prosciutto and cheese (and a bear skin rug in front of a blazing fireplace) … What are your tips on pairing solid chocolate with wine? How about chocolate with raspberry or blackberry filling? How about Valentine’s Day? Anything special for the chocolate versus chocolate we enjoy at other times of the […]

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Liquor up Your Lover on Valentine’s Day

I’ll be chatting with the hosts of the CBC radio drive-home shows from coast to coast this Thursday and Friday about wines for Valentine’s Day. But we’re going to depart from the usual natter about which wines are most seductive or how to pair them with chocolate. We’ll go straight to the heart of the matter: how do you liquor up your lover on February 14? More specifically, we’ll talk about why wines are getting more alcoholic these days and how does that affect their taste and ours? Is this just a cultural trend of winemakers responding to the market? Is […]

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50 Ways to Keep Your Lover: Matching Wine and Chocolate

50 Ways to Keep Your Lover this Valentine’s Day Want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Just share a glass of wine (or three) with your sweetheart. Wine is liquid sensuality: Its heady bouquet stimulates the appetite and its velvet caress soothes that desire. What other drink is described as both ‘voluptuous’ and ‘muscular’? And when you pair wine with the mouth-coating luxury of chocolate, the combination is impossible to resist. The creamy flavors of chocolate go best with sweet, full-bodied, high-alcohol wines. Find wines to complement 50 chocolate dishes in my matching tool at www.nataliemaclean.com/matcher. Just click on “desserts” […]

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