Are Celebrity Athlete Wines Great or Gimmicks? With Dr. Antonia Mantonakis

Introduction Are wines named after a sports celebrity any good or is this just a marketing gimmick? Are more gentle sports like golf better suited to marketing a wine than the more rough and tumble world of wrestling? What does research tell us about the effect of celebrity endorsements on your wine-buying behaviour? How does your wine knowledge impact your interpretation of external cues, like celebrity endorsement, when buying wine? 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 […]

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What’s Trending in the Wine World with Darren Oleksyn

Introduction What are the hottest wine trends right now? What’s the difference between natural wine and orange wine? Are new drinks like blue wine and Pinot Freezio here to stay? How does canned wine hold up to its bottled counterparts? Why has Rosé been able to move from fad to mainstream? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Darren Oleksyn, journalist and author of Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How can you differentiate between natural wine and orange wine? Why […]

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Bordeaux and China: Wine Culture Clash or Perfect Pairing? Suzanne Mustacich Reveals Surprising Insights

Introduction Why is Bordeaux considered the ultimate luxury brand in the world of wine? Why did the Chinese market suddenly start buying Bordeaux wines in the 1980s and 90s? Why does Bordeaux in particular suit the ancient Chinese culture of prestigious gift-giving versus other expensive wines? How does the demand for Bordeaux in China affect both the prices you pay and the styles you drink? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Suzanne Mustacich, author of Thirsty Dragon: China’s Lust for Bordeaux and the Threat to the World’s Best Wines. You can find the wines we discussed […]

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What’s the Rosé Lifestyle? Wine Writer Jill Barth on Why You’d Enjoy It

Introduction How did Provence become known as the heartland of Rosé? What does it mean to be part of the Rosé lifestyle? Why should you take a trip to the Provence wine region? Does the colour of Rosé give you a clue into its taste? Which unexpected but mouthwatering food pairing should you try with your next glass of Rosé? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with wine writer Jill Barth, who is also a Provence Wine Master through the Wine Scholar Guild. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How can […]

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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 Cellar Tips for Your Underground Sips

You may have long yearned for a wine cellar, but thought you couldn’t build one because you didn’t have a large wine collection or budget. Not to worry: although cellars are traditionally associated with snobbery and expense, in today’s egalitarian world wine lovers are building them on relatively modest budgets. In fact, there are a range of reasons why wine lovers choose to build a cellar: Do you yearn for the smooth, layered taste of mature wines? Do you like to buy wines upon release, when they’re least expensive, rather than paying top dollar later? Or do you just have […]

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Building a Wine Cellar: Costly Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some mistakes to void when building a cellar. Don’t wait until you have a large collection. You don’t need to amass hundreds of bottles before you consider building a cellar. In fact, it’s best to take the opposite approach: build the cellar and then fill it. You don’t want good wines to cook in the heat of some closet or to freeze over-chilled in an icy basement. And if you do keep your wine in the basement, it may have to rub shoulders with undesirable influences such as harsh solvents or cans of paint. These chemicals break down […]

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How to Stock Your Cellar: Which Wines, What Budget?

A candelabra flickers on the massive oak table in the cool, musty subterranean room. Old wine crates are stacked to the ceiling, each etched with the name of a venerable château. Dusty barrels in one corner were filled with cognac distilled a century ago. Through the stone archway, racks of cobwebbed bottles stretch into the distance. Many wine lovers share the fantasy, but how do you tackle the realities of building a wine cellar in your home? Mature wines offer exotic flavors and aromas that just aren’t found in young wines. As fine wine ages, the fresh grapey aromas diminish […]

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How to Stock Your Wine Cellar with $40-$80 Bottles

For those looking to stock their wine cellar in the $40-$80 per bottle range, will notice that many of the budget-friendly wines I recommended also produce premium wines in this category. At this level, wines have greater aging potential, usually at least three to five years, and sometimes longer depending on the producer. Broaden your search to include California, where wines have increased in price dramatically over the past ten years, even though that’s softening somewhat with the currency exchange. The Sunshine State offers great wines in this range, particularly chardonnays and cabernets from Arrowood, Sterling, Frog’s Leap, Kenwood and […]

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Wine Cellar: Dream Bottles of a Lifetime

When price isn’t a concern, go for the heavy-hitters that start at one to two hundred dollars per bottle and go up to thousands of dollars per bottle, especially for mature vintages bought at auction. The challenge in this range is finding the wines since many are on limited allocations, and have people on waiting lists to buy them. Almost all of these require aging to taste their best – at least five years, and some up to ten to fifteen years, or longer. Start with California cult cabernets, such as Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, Grace Family, Pahlmeyer, Cain Five, […]

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