10 Best Zinfandel Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Zinfandel

In our latest Facebook Live Video chat, we chat about the robust red wine Zinfandel. What makes it different from other red wines? How is it related to the Italian red wine Primitivo? What foods pair best with Zinfandel? What’s the group Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) all about, and International Zinfandel Day on November 19? You can click on the arrow above to play the video.                                             Zinfandel is a vitis vinifera red wine grape that produces deep robust […]

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Visiting Burgundy and Tasting Barolo with Matt Cauz

Introduction On today’s episode, I’m chatting with Matt Cauz, on his excellent podcast called Matt Talks Wine and Stuff with Interesting People. Matt interviews sommeliers, winemakers and wine writers so this is a bit of a turnaround from my usual format because Matt is interviewing me. I wanted to share this episode with you because we dig into lots of great wine tips, like how to make sense of the wine region Burgundy, how social media has changed the way we think about wine and a sneak peek at some of the topics in my third book, including the issues […]

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A Full-Bodied Framework to Taste, Pair & Buy Wine Like a Pro

Introduction Would you like to know how to taste, pair and buy wine like a pro? Would you like to walk into a liquor store and know exactly which new wine you want to buy, confident that you’ll love it even though you’ve never tried it before? Would you like to look at a restaurant wine list, filled with wines you haven’t tasted, but have the strategies to pick a great wine for your dining companions and the dishes that you’ve all ordered? That’s exactly what I’m talking about on today’s special edition of Unreserved Wine Talk. We’re taking a […]

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Behind the Scenes: A Wine Writer’s Life

Introduction When I attend a social event that’s outside the wine industry and I’m asked about my job, I often joke that I drink for a living. After I clarify that I write about wine, I usually get questions about what exactly that involves and some misconceptions about drinking Champagne all day in between planning luxe trips to Tuscany and Napa Valley. However, it’s not all beer and Skittles, rainbows and unicorns. On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, I thought that since there’s always been quite a bit of curiousity about what I do, I’ll take you behind the […]

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Wine Gossip and Stories with Friends of the Vine and Ian Osborn

Introduction On today’s episode, I’m chatting with Ian Osborn, on his excellent podcast called Friends of the Vine. This is a bit of a turnaround from my usual format because Ian is interviewing me.  I highly recommend that you check out Ian’s podcast Friends of the Vine where he does a great job interviewing master sommeliers, masters of wine, winemakers and wine writers. I wanted to share this episode with you because we dug into lots of great wine tips, from how to talk with the sommelier to becoming the expert on your own taste. I also share some behind-the-scenes stories […]

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Travel the Wine World with Kevin Brauch

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Kevin Brauch, a Gemini Award Winner, TV producer and host of hit series The Thirsty Traveler, Iron Chef America, SuperStar Chef Challenge, FOOD F!&#T. Kevin is one of the liveliest guests I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, and he has so many stories to share, from his time with the late, great Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential, to sabering Champagne in France and wine faux pas in South Africa. Enjoy!   Highlights What has Kevin learned about sparkling wines? How does Kevin sabre a sparkling wine […]

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Do Wine Scores Matter? Bloomberg Columnist Elin McCoy on Robert Parker

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with author Elin McCoy, who is the wine columnist for both Bloomberg News and Decanter magazine. Elin shares her controversial perspective on one of the juiciest topics in the wine world: the power of wine scores. Do wine scores still have sway over the way we buy wine? How is this changing with millennials and social media? Are scores actually a valid way of appraising a wine? How is the use of scores in liquor stores sometimes misleading? Elin explores all this and more, including why Robert Parker made such an […]

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10 Best Pinot Noir Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Pinot Noir

Leanne and I had fun chatting about Pinot Noir this past Wednesday on CTV News! I’ll be posting the wines we featured soon. Pinot Noir is a wine of great sensuality, a silky texture and seductive aromas. “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot Noir,” winemaker André Tchelistcheff once remarked. This thin-skinned berry is known as the “heartbreak grape” because it’s difficult to grow and is unstable even bottled. That’s why you often pay more for Pinot Noir than most other red wines. You’ll find my top 10 Pinot Noir reviews and ratings here,  including pinot noirs that […]

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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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Smart Tests for Wine Acidity, Tannin & Balance with Sommelier Chris Scott

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Chris Scott, a U.K.-based sommelier who published the world’s first-ever wine podcast, the UK Wine Show. Chris and his wife, Jane also founded ThirtyFifty, a company which offers fun and no-nonsense wine tastings for private and corporate events. From his adventures as a triathlete to wine tastings in a hot tub, Chris shares his often-hilarious adventures as well as his brilliant tasting tips, including nifty ways to physically see how acidic or tannic wine is and insights into the U.K. wine industry. Enjoy!   Highlights Why did […]

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