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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Making Scents of Wine: How to Describe Wine’s Aromas

  We had a great chat on Global Television’s Morning Show Friday about how to recognize and describe the aromas in wine. Click the arrow above to play the video. Describing wine often has a faint whiff of condescension over a robust layer of barnyard by-product. The adjectives seem to be the fruit of over-ripe imaginations: when I hear “muscular,” “tight,” “rakish,” it’s hard to tell whether the critic is talking about wine or Brad Pitt. “Perfectly integrated” is how I’d describe my son’s multi-racial nursery school; and “legendary concentration” is what I need to figure out my income tax […]

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Thanksgiving Wines, Mouse Wine Defect, Trends to Ignore

Introduction For those of us in Canada, Thanksgiving is this weekend. In my opinion, there is no other holiday that celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. Wine is a taste of the harvest, along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavours to match. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving, perhaps in November if you’re American? On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk,  I’ll be chatting with you about how to pair wine with Thanksgiving turkey and all the side dishes, as well as the […]

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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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Seafood Pairings, Flying Corks, Sober Curious

Introduction This past Friday, in a scene not unfamiliar to Champagne lovers everywhere, one Wimbledon spectator lost control of his cork, which then made it’s way onto the court and stopped the men’s match. But not to worry, I’ve got you covered.  On today’s episode, I’m sharing the exact method you can use to avoid disaster when opening your bubbly. We’re also going to talk about another challenge for many wine lovers – pairing wine with seafood. From cod to oysters, salmon and more, I’m giving you my best insider tips to help you find a pairing you’ll love. Finally […]

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Orange Wines, Pairings for Meatless Burgers

Introduction This week I’m doing things a bit differently and changing things up with this episode. Today we’re talking orange wine, meatless burgers and keeping it cool in the summer and I’ve taken the best bits from my Facebook live video show and included them here for you. Is orange the new white? Which wines pair best with meatless burgers? How do you keep your wines cool in the summer heat? I’d love for you to share your questions or comments with me. You can do that right here in the comments below this post or email me at natalie@nataliemaclean.com. […]

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