How Did the Mega-Hit Movie Sideways Change Pinot Noir (and Merlot)?

Introduction How did the novel and movie Sideways change the wine market in North America? In the book, the character Miles is portrayed as a wine snob, but what really defines a wine snob? What do you need to know if you want to become a successful writer? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Rex Pickett, author of the mega-hit wine book and movie Sideways. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How has time been a great friend to Sideways? What is it about the characters in Sideways that makes them […]

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British Columbia’s Best Wineries with Wine Writer John Schreiner

Introduction What defines an icon wine? What are the hottest trends in BC wines right now? Which British Columbia wines are worth adding to your cellar? What will surprise you about BC wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with John Schreiner, author of Icon: Flagship Wines from British Columbia’s Best Wineries, whom I consider to be the godfather of Canadian wine writing. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What defines an icon wine? Why should you pay attention to the BC wine industry, despite how young it is? How does […]

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Frog’s Leap Winemaker John Williams Shares Witty & Wise Stories

Introduction Do all wines taste better with time? What similarities are there between winemaking and cheese-making? Why is Zinfandel your perfect summer drink? How does dry farming impact the flavour of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with one of the wittiest, smartest winemakers, John Williams, winemaker and owner at Frog’s Leap Winery, about the unique benefits of organic winemaking and dry farming. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What makes Napa Valley such a diverse region despite its small geographical area? Why should you visit Rutherford in the Napa […]

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Mark Oldman: The Wine World’s Greatest Showman

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Mark Oldman, New York-based wine best-selling author, speaker and entrepreneur and one of the liveliest and wittiest guests I’ve had on the show. Enjoy!   Highlights What insider tip can you use the next time you’re faced with a restaurant wine list? How can you signal to restaurant staff that you’re a wine insider (even if you’re not)? What should you do if you think your restaurant glassware or wine has a fault? What do billionaires look for in wines for daily drinking? How can a label […]

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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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What to Ask the Sommelier with Lesley Brown, Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers

Introduction Lesley Brown has been a part of the Canadian Wine Industry for the past 17 years and works with several high profile wine agencies. She holds an International Sommelier Diploma and has taught wine courses to hundreds of students. Lesley is currently the BC Regional Sales Manager for The Bacchus Group and she also sits on the board of directors for the Import Spirit and Vintners Association and has recently taken over as the President of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) BC and the Vice President of the CAPS National Board.   Highlights How did Lesley’s travels […]

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Plonk Wine Videos Stumble Blindly into Brilliant Insight

In his book How to Love Wine, New York Times wine columnist Eric Asimov observes: “I’m sometimes dismayed that sommeliers confuse their professional training with what consumers need to know to enjoy wine. We don’t need to know whether you can identify wines blind. “Those are just parlor games for professionals. I think that professionals, like sommeliers, need to be able to communicate with the public in a language that they understand and that they find useful.” When I tasted wines blind with Eric at the paper’s headquarters several years ago, he lived those words. The blind tasting was to […]

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Walk in the Clouds: Winemaking in the Movies

In anticipation of the Toronto Film Festival #TIFF kicking off this week, this is the first in a series of articles about wine in the movies. First, I’d like to nominate a few of my favourite Oscar-worthy Canadian wines in honour of TIFF being held in Toronto: Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir Painted Rock Red Icon Blue Mountain Brut Sparkling Luckett Vineyards Phone Box Red Stay tuned for more nominations this week. Now let’s travel back to 1995. Although not written as a comedy, the movie A Walk In The Clouds offered many laughs for […]

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Wine Quotes and Liquid Laughter

CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes had done a hilarious parody of the blockbuster movie starring Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips” in a sequel entitled Captain Phillips 2: The Sommelier Pirates (thanks to my favourite reporter at CBC for sending this ;) Here’s the previous round of wine quotes if you’re thirsting for more. All the best stories have three things:  Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After, and a glass of wine somewhere in the Middle.

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