Online Courses, Canadian Wine & Weird Pairings with Susie Barrie

Introduction What’s my advice for those considering a wine career? How did my biggest career regret happen before I became a wine writer? How has my father’s alcoholism influenced my relationship with wine? How has the pandemic impacted online wine classes? Can you pair ketchup chips with wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m sharing my interview on the Wine Blast podcast with Susie Barrie & Peter Richards. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Why does Rhône Syrah hold a special place in my memories? What’s my advice for people considering a wine career? How did […]

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Climate Change Impact on Wine? It’s Not What You Think (Video)

Recently, I worked with TVO on the impact of climate change on wine. Is it simply a matter of wine regions getting warmer and therefore, wine styles getting bigger? No. With this weekend’s cool climate chardonnay event in Niagara, this issue is not just timely, but also important to all wine lovers who value a nervy energy in their wine. Click on the arrow above to watch the video, as well as the wine below.     My thanks to Daniel Speck, Henry of Pelham Winery, and to Paul DeCampo, Southbrook Vineyards, for their expert guidance on this subject. Notes: Ontario has grown […]

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Zinfandel Crusader Joel Peterson, Ravenswood Founding Winemaker

Introduction Do you know the rich and royal history behind Zinfandel? How does the air in a vineyard affect the flavours you taste in its wine? Why did Zinfandel become such a sensation in North America? What does mythology have to do with Ravenswood wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with the Godfather of Zin, Joel Peterson, founder and winemaker of Ravenswood Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Why did Joel’s father involve him in wine tastings as a child? What sort of colourful tasting notes would you read […]

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Nova Scotia’s Secret Star Wine Power with Benjamin Bridge’s Jean Benoit Deslauriers

Introduction Where can you find one of the Canadian wine industry’s best-kept secrets? How does the dynamic Bay of Fundy impact the flavours you taste in wines from the Gaspereau Valley? Which Benjamin Bridge wine will you find on Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant wine list? Why do regional pairings of food and wine work? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Jean Benoit Deslauriers, Head Winemaker at Benjamin Bridge. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Where can you find one of the Canadian wine industry’s best-kept secrets? How does the climatic dynamic […]

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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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Niagara Vine Laureate Klaus Reif: Ontario Wine’s Future

Introduction What profound impact does buying your local wine have on your economy? Why will supporting the “Free My Grapes” campaign improve your choice and access to wine? How have Ontario wines changed since the 80s? What are the biggest challenges facing the Canadian wine industry? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Klaus Reif of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Reif Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How is the younger generation of Ontario winemakers impacting the industry? How has the perception of Ontario wines changed since the 80s? What are the four […]

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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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What’s Minerality in Wine? Plus California Wildfires

Introduction What it minerality mean when it comes to wine? Is it a taste? A feeling? Or some bogus concept meant to keep wine mysterious? What’s the latest with the devastating wildfires in Sonoma wine country? Why are winemakers wary of cannabis producers? It’s not what you might think. And what is a new wine group doing to help with a balanced life? On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, I’m taking a deep dive into the controversial concept of minerality, assessing the impact of recent wildfires on California wine country, discussing the controversy between cannabis producers and winemakers and […]

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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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Austrian Wine is more than Gruner: Embrace the Unique

By Mymi Myriam Mozart, the Alps, Baroque architecture and Schnitzels are some of the things that spring to mind when thinking of Austria. This alpine country is sadly not often first associated with wine, but when it is, the perception is that it produces mainly sweet wines. That’s quite odd for a country that has been making wine for over four centuries, whose value of recent exports has grown by an impressive € 6 million, amounting to an outstanding sales record of € 145 million (according to the 2014 Austrian Wine Statistics report). Austria ranks at #19 as a wine producing […]

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