Drunken Adjectives: A Fuzzy Vine-acular

Introduction Are there really that many different descriptors for inebriation? What’s the origin of drunken euphemisms like “three sheets to the wind”? Why does our language go from getting hammered at college dorm parties to more mature sentiments like “feeling no pain”? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m sharing the interesting and surprisingly vast vocabulary that describes the things we do, say and feel when we’ve had a little too much. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What descriptors for overindulgence might have you thinking of food instead? How does our drunken […]

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Wine Tasting and Pairing Tips from Master Sommelier Bruce Wallner

Introduction Is being a sommelier as glamourous as it seems? Why is it sometimes difficult to differentiate between certain New and Old World wines? How does terroir play a key role in a blind tasting? What’s it like being in a sommelier competition? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Bruce Wallner, Master Sommelier at Sommelier Factory. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What un-glamourous truth might you be surprised to learn about being a sommelier? What intangible joy can you get from being a sommelier? How should you view the […]

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The Connected Table with Melanie Young and David Ransom

Introduction How did my first sip of “fancy wine” jump-start my thirst for wine knowledge and experiences? Why is this a perfect time for you to take an online wine course? Why is it hard to pair certain vegetables, like asparagus, with wine? What juicy, behind-the-scenes insights will you read in my upcoming third book? What’s it like being a woman in the wine world? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m being interviewed on The Connected Table with Melanie Young and David Ransom. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Why did my first […]

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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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