The Wine Bible’s Karen MacNeil on Women and Wine

Introduction How did The Wine Bible get its name? How was it unlike any wine book of its time? What was it like as a young woman trying to break into the male-dominated New York wine scene in the 1970s? Why are there significantly fewer women than men with the Master Sommelier designation? How does wine help you to immerse yourself in other cultures? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible, former wine correspondent for the Today Show, the first Food and Wine Editor of USA Today, and […]

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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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Celebrating Mother’s Day with the Great Women of Champagne

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about the top Champagnes made by women for Mother’s Day. (Click on the arrow above to play the video.) They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they didn’t sell the businesses or remarry. They took control of the chateaus to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world. In an era when few women were in business at all, these women headed what were, at the time, some […]

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Canadian Icewine: Heroic Harvest = Epic Wine

On Global Television yesterday, we discussed the Canadian Icewine harvest. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the wines that we’ll be featuring, along with reports from the field.   Fun Facts: The Upside of the Deep Freeze   Our deep freeze recently turned out to be bonus for Ontario icewine winemakers. The sustained cold snap and arctic temperatures allowed them to harvest grapes in an unusually short time. Who makes the most Icewine? Ontario produces about 80% of Canadian icewine, with the remainder mostly in British Columbia though some is also made in both Quebec and Nova Scotia. About 60 […]

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How to Sabre Champagne + Sparkling Wines

Leanne and I chat about sparkling wines and Champagnes for the holidays. Click on the arrow to play the video above. Napoléon visits the Moët & Chandon cellars in 1807 Napoleon is credited with inventing the sabering technique and is famous for his phrase: “In victory we deserve Champagne, in defeat, we need it.” The famous Champagne maker Veuve Clicquot, who lost her husband when she was just 27, was a wealthy young widow. She would entertain Napoleon’s officers (early day sampling program). They, in turn, tried to impress her by sabering the tops of the Champagne bottles that she […]

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Deeply Rooted in California Wine History: Winemaker Gina Gallo (Video)

Our guest this evening is a third-generation winegrower from one of America’s most historic winemaking families. At just 10 years old, she tended the gardens with her father and grandfather, and spent her high school summers working alongside her brothers and sisters at the Gallo Family Vineyards. After studying winemaking at the University of California at Davis, she became an apprentice winemaker under the careful guidance of her grandfather Julio Gallo. And she joins me live now from her home in Napa Valley: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club Gina Gallo! Note: YouTube has the audio and video out of […]

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Fancy Farm Girl Sue-Ann Staff Makes Down-to-Earth Wines (Video)

Our guest this evening is a fifth-generation grape grower who grew up on the largest privately-owned vineyard in Canada, the Sue Ann Staff Estate Winery. Today, she is one of Canada’s top winemakers, winning more than 500 national and international wine awards, including being twice recognized by the International Wine and Spirits Awards of London, England as one of the top four “Women in Wine” in the world . And she joins me live now from her winery: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club Sue-Ann Staff! What was the exact moment when you realized that you wanted to make wine? […]

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Celebrate Malbec World Day with These Wines (Video)

Even before she graduated from South America’s most prestigious school of viticulture and enology Don Bosco, our guest this evening began working for the Catena Family wineries in Mendoza, Argentina. In 2010, she began making wine at Alamos before taking over as head of winemaking in 2016. She lives her her husband, who is also a winemaker, and four young daughters who are all growing up and working on their family vineyard as she did. And she joins me live now from the Alamos Winery, Argentina: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club Marnie and Lucía Vaieretti! Want to know when […]

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Wine Book and Bottle Pairings for the Holidays: CTV News at Noon

In the first of our two-part conversation, Leanne Cusack, host of CTV News at Noon, and I chat about six terrific book and bottle pairings that you can give as a gift set this holiday … don’t forget to treat yourself too! Here’s part two of our conversation, with more pairings, later today. Veuve Clicquot Non-Vintage Champagne Chardonnay Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier, A.C. Champagne, France Notes of green apples, orange zest and white peach on the nose with toasty goodness through the core and finish. Try the ultra-shabby chic combo here between French Champagne and a bucket of KFC chicken. […]

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