The Use (and Abuse) of Wine Scores with Vino Mike and Pete on That Wine Pod

Introduction How does the 100 point scale make wine scores easier for you to interpret? How can you drink better wines by finding a wine critic whose style you like? How does grade inflation affect you as a wine lover? Why is taking an online wine course often better than an in-person course? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m sharing a conversation I originally had with Pete & Vino Mike on their podcast, That Wine Pod. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What’s my take on the best wine? Why should you […]

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Wine Girl Reveals the Wine World’s Dark Side and Hope for the Future with Sommelier Victoria James

Introduction What’s it like serving wine to celebrities like Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Beyonce and Miley Cyrus? How is being a sommelier different when you work at a Michelin-starred restaurant, especially when you’re just 21 years old? Why is the wine world still largely an old boys club and how does that impact the wines you drink? Which shocking ingredients might you find in some non-organic wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Victoria James, author, restauranteur and the youngest person in the world to pass the certified sommelier exam with the Court of Master […]

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Dr. Laura Catena on Malbec, Wine’s Health Benefits and Winemaking in Argentina

Introduction Have you tasted an Argentine Malbec? Which foods pair best with Malbec? Why is Malbec more like Pinot Noir than Cabernet? What are the health benefits of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Dr. Laura Catena, a fourth-generation Argentine vintner, physician and author. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How does Laura’s scientific approach to winemaking improve the taste of the Malbecs you drink? What is the significance of the pyramid-style of the Catena winery? Why is Malbec the flagship grape of Argentina? What differences can you see […]

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Women v Men Wine Tasting and Texture with Dr. Gary Pickering

Introduction What makes you a supertaster? Does supertaster status play a role outside of wine tasting? How does age affect our senses of smell and taste? Why is mouthfeel an important aspect of a wine’s appeal? Why should you describe wine by sensation, rather than compound? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Dr. Gary Pickering, the inventor of the white wine mouthfeel wheel and the supertasting kit, and co-developer of the Wine Aroma Kits. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What makes you a supertaster? Does your supertaster status play […]

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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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Wine and Lamb, Brisket, Asparagus, Chocolate – Readers Digest Magazine

    I imagined all those thirsty readers in doctors’ and dentists’ offices when I wrote my first column for Readers Digest Magazine in April. I hoped that by thinking about wine as they waited for a root canal or a vaccine they would be a little distracted with thoughts of a mouth-watering wine for lamb or brisket. I love the approach of this magazine: practical, short sips of info you can use now. I guess that’s why it has more than 7 million readers. They’ll drink to that!       Inniskillin Reserve Riesling 2014 Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., […]

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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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Gifts for Mother’s Day: Wine Trumps Flowers (and Tastes Better)

My wine column in the May issue of More Magazine, with more than 500,000 thirsty readers, features three wines to celebrate Mother’s Day as gifts: three spectacular bubblies. A toast to Mom! The cover features an actress whom I admire for her depth, strength and guts, Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife, Canterbury’s Law, ER). I also love that she’s often drinking a glass of wine as she reviews her legal briefs in the evening at home. (Guess that doesn’t play so well in the ER.) At the start of the season, it was white wine, but I notice that it’s […]

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How is the Coronavirus Impacting Wineries and Wine Lovers?

Introduction Should you hold firm to plans for travelling to wine regions in the near future? How are winery visits being impacted by the threat of COVID-19? Can you still attend major wine events during the coronavirus pandemic? How can you take advantage of online classes to continue to enjoy wine tasting experiences? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re talking about how wineries and restaurants have been impacted by the Coronavirus, and what we can do to support them and still maintain our safety and health. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How can […]

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Pairing Spicy Dishes & Wines with Vikram Vij and Sean Nelson

Introduction How sparkling wine spice up your menu? What complementary taste rule can you use to pair your food with wine? Which wines should you never pair with Indian food? Which red wine should be at the top of your list for pairing with spicy food? Does ambiance affect your wine tasting experience? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, Celebrity chef and author Vikram Vij and Head Sommelier Sean Nelson share their insider tips and tricks to help you pair wine with spicy, complex food like a pro. You can find the wines we discussed here.   […]

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