Behind the Scenes of a Travel and Wine Writer’s Life with Celine Bossart

Introduction What would it be like to visit the most gorgeous wine regions around the world, and get paid to do it? How does the fast-paced schedule of a wine and travel writer impact physical and mental health? How can you pair sweet desserts with wine? What specific impact does sweetness in food have on wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with New York wine and spirits journalist, Céline Bossart. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation […]

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Wines from Jon Bon Jovi, Jay-Z, Kendall Jenner with Celine Bossart

Introduction Are you curious what it would be like to have lavish dinners and wine tastings with rockstars like Jon Bon Jovi and Fergie? How does music impact your perception of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with New York wine and spirits journalist, Céline Bossart. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, July 7th at 7 pm eastern. You can save your spot […]

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New Zealand Wine’s Sacred Soils with Left Field’s Richard Painter

Introduction How does the unique geography and climate of Hawke’s Bay and Gimlet Gravels in New Zealand create wines unlike any others? How does New Zealand Syrah differ from those from other regions? Why do many winemakers seem to have a special love for Chardonnay? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Richard Painter, Winemaker for Te Awa Single Estate and Left Field wines. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How does the geography of Gimblett Gravels impact the wines you get from Te Awa Wines? Which foods would make a […]

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Family-Run Wineries v Corporate-Owned? Henry of Pelham’s Daniel Speck

Introduction What was it like being part of the budding Niagara wine scene? Why are wineries so well-suited to be family-owned? How does the terroir of the Niagara bench influence what you taste in Henry of Pelham wines? Why is Henry of Pelham so well-known for their Baco Noir? What hidden message can you find on the label of Henry of Pelham Family Tree wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Daniel Speck of Niagara’s Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How was Daniel’s […]

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Label Gazing: How to Read a Wine Label

The hosts of CTV’s The Social and I had lots of fun decoding wine labels to find the secret info you can use to buy better wine. Admit it. You’ve probably bought a wine based on nothing more than a beautiful label.   Q: Presentation is a big thing when it comes to wine. When I’m picking out a bottle, I look for a pretty label and pay attention to the name of the wine but that’s about it. Is the aesthetic of the label usually indicative of the taste? · Not at all ;) · However, most people do […]

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Wine Scandals, Fakes and Forgery with Maureen Downey

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Maureen Downey, a.k.a. the Wine Detective, about wine forgeries, fakes and scandals. You’ll learn tips on how to spot a fake wine based on the label and more. Enjoy!   Highlights Why did Maureen become interested in wine fraud? What role did Hardy Rodenstock play in Maureen’s journey as a wine fraud expert? What aspects of the wine does Maureen consider to determine its authenticity? How does Maureen use technology when testing a wine’s authenticity? Why are cosmetic fraud detection techniques insufficient? What are the issues associated […]

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Can You Judge a Wine by its Label?

Continued from Part 1 of Reading Wine Labels It’s 5 p.m. on Friday—the dinner party is in two hours and you’re standing in the middle of the liquor store. In front of you are thousands of bottles of wine. Should you consider only wines over $15 so your host won’t think you’re cheap? Do you grab the bottle with the small furry animals on the label or will the guests think you live inside a Disney movie? Should you go for the wine with the cheeky name for a laugh or might someone be offended? If you’re not a wine […]

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Reserve Wine Labels and Other Extra Special Meaningless Terms

Continued from Part 2 of Reading Wine Labels There’s nothing like having to buy wine at the last minute to take to a friend’s house to cause a panic attack. No other consumable is put on the table in its original package. At social gatherings, the wine label is like a blinking billboard telling your guests exactly what you think of them and of yourself. So that piece of paper affixed to the front of the bottle is all you have to go on. In the quaint old days, merchants simply wrote on the label what was in the bottle. […]

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Message on a Bottle: Art on Wine Labels

Most people wouldn’t dream of stacking their art collection in a damp, dark basement. But wine lovers aren’t like most people—and their art isn’t like most art: it’s Post-It-Note-sized and glued to bottles. Wineries today are not only perfecting the art of making wine, but also the art on the wine: they’re creating works of miniature art on bottle labels, sometimes painted by famous artists. This Novello label above (and at the series at the very top) was created by Toronto designer Daryl Woods of Public Image Design. The marriage of wine and art is as old as Egyptian tomb […]

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Can You Judge a Wine by its Label? It’s an Art

Continued from Part 1 of Wine Label Art In an ocean of wine, the label is the siren song that says, “Take me home with you.” For many of us, buying wine is an exercise in shallowness: we think pretty pictures must mean good wine. We find fluffy creatures endearing. We believe the winery actually used those glistening grapes. We long to share that pastoral landscape or partake of château life. Like most marketing, wine labels are intensely aspirational. (That’s probably why we have yet to see one featuring someone passed out on the floor.) But it wasn’t always so. […]

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