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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Festive Wines with the Globe & Mail’s Christine Sismondo

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Christine Sismondo, writer, teacher and barfly who, when not teaching literature at York University, is tracking down the city’s best drinks and the bars in which they’re served for her columns. She also writes wine and cocktail articles for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest national newspaper. Enjoy!   Highlights Why shouldn’t you lump Cava, Prosecco and Champagne together? Why did Lambrusco have a bad reputation in the 70s and 80s? What is the Charmat Method for producing sparkling wine? How did Lambrusco become popular in North […]

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Wine Gossip and Stories with Friends of the Vine and Ian Osborn

Introduction On today’s episode, I’m chatting with Ian Osborn, on his excellent podcast called Friends of the Vine. This is a bit of a turnaround from my usual format because Ian is interviewing me.  I highly recommend that you check out Ian’s podcast Friends of the Vine where he does a great job interviewing master sommeliers, masters of wine, winemakers and wine writers. I wanted to share this episode with you because we dug into lots of great wine tips, from how to talk with the sommelier to becoming the expert on your own taste. I also share some behind-the-scenes stories […]

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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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Do Wine Scores Matter? Bloomberg Columnist Elin McCoy on Robert Parker

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with author Elin McCoy, who is the wine columnist for both Bloomberg News and Decanter magazine. Elin shares her controversial perspective on one of the juiciest topics in the wine world: the power of wine scores. Do wine scores still have sway over the way we buy wine? How is this changing with millennials and social media? Are scores actually a valid way of appraising a wine? How is the use of scores in liquor stores sometimes misleading? Elin explores all this and more, including why Robert Parker made such an […]

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From Champagne to Napa Valley: Wine Stories with Tilar Mazzeo

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Tilar Mazzeo, author and proprietor and winemaker at Parsell Vineyard. Her book The Widow Clicquot, a biography of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the founder of the champagne house Veuve Clicquot became a bestseller on the New York Times, and a film adaptation of the book is in the works. Tilar gives us the story behind the Champagne and the woman who built not only this prestigious luxury brand but was instrumental in the development of the industry as we know it. She also shares her inspiration and insights […]

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Airline Wine: Flights of Wine You Can Drink Without Reservations

Introduction If you want great wine these days you don’t have to fly thousands of miles to get it, you can sip it en route. But getting wine to taste delicious at 30,000 feet isn’t easy. If you’re flying somewhere anytime soon, you’ll find our chat about airline wines today uplifting. In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m going to cover which wines are best to drink when you’re in the air, how your sense of smell and taste change, and why airlines are paying more attention to their wine selections on board these days. Enjoy!   […]

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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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Canada Day Wines

Introduction In honour of Canada Day on July 1st, we’re doing a deep dive into Canadian wine, including some colourful history and surprising facts that you can drop casually at your barbecue gathering as you crack open a bottle. From the zoological phase of the 70s and 80s to award-winning, delicious modern wines, Canada now stands with the best of the best on the world’s wine stage. So what do Canadian wine regions have to offer visitors? Why do Canadian wines make up only 1/3 of the wine we buy in Canada? We’re also testing your vinous savvy with The […]

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Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Writing Red, White and Drunk All Over

Introduction What role have books played in my exploration of wine regions around the world? What’s it like tasting ultra high-end wine? How is wine portrayed in literature? Today we’re talking about all that and more in a behind-the-scenes peek at Red, White and Drunk All Over. Today’s show is a little different from the usual. I’m excited to share this episode from the Behind the Bookshelves podcast, where I was interviewed by Richard Davies. Richard has kindly given me permission to include this interview on my show for you. If you love books as much as I do, be […]

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