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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How to Break Wine & Food Pairing Rules? with Chris Scott

Introduction Why should you pair wine to the diner, not the dinner? Do you always have to follow the “rules” when pairing food and wine? Which fun food and wine pairing should you try with your pandemic snacking? How can you develop your aroma vocabulary? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Chris Scott, a U.K.-based sommelier who published the world’s first-ever wine podcast, the UK Wine Show and who, with his wife, Jane also founded ThirtyFifty, a company which offers fun and no-nonsense wine tastings for private and corporate events. You can find the […]

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Why Should You Take Online Wine & Food Classes? with Chris Scott

Introduction Can being a supertaster affect your preferences in alcoholic beverages? Why don’t you find a lot of wineries in Ottawa? How do online classes give you an advantage over in-person classes? How is the pandemic impacting the way you buy wine? Why should you buy wine directly from wineries? How can my Wine App help you find the best wine to pair with your food? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Chris Scott, a U.K.-based sommelier who published the world’s first-ever wine podcast, the UK Wine Show and who, with his wife, Jane also […]

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How Does a Wine’s Name Affect How Much You’ll Pay for it? with Dr. Antonia Mantonakis

Introduction How does the ease with which you can pronounce a winery name affect your perception of both the wine and its price? Are wine experts or novices more likely to assign a higher value to wines with complicated names? How do grape names affect your purchase decisions? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Dr. Antonia Mantonakis, Fellow of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute and Professor of Marketing and Consumer Psychology at Brock University’s Goodman School of Business in St. Catharines, Ontario. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights […]

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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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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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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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Vino Under the Volcano: Etna Wines Erupt Expected Notions of Terroir

Editor’s Note: I’ve been writing about volcanic wines since my second book, Unquenchable, was published with Random House in 2011. My fascination with them continues. I expected something a little more dramatic: the sizzle of a lava river oozing down the volcano, the rumble of the earth as it split between my feet, the screams of villagers running for their lives. Instead, all I hear are the clicks of tourist cameras as we look up at Mount Etna, its white tip puffing peacefully against the blue sky. “To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen […]

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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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