Oregon’s Peak Destinations for Food, Wine and Golf

Nestled in a pastoral Oregon valley between the Cascade Mountains and the Coastal Range lies some of the best cool-climate wineries in North America. While some would say the terroir of the Willamette Valley rivals that of Burgundy, that claim can only be tested when tasted. There are seven American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the Willamette Valley and these diverse areas are home to over 800 wineries with the vast majority in the hills of the north. For the most part this region is best known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals with a growing reputation for Pinot Gris, […]

read more …

Read More

Support Ontario Wineries: Buy Direct and Ship to Your Home (Video)

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about how Ontario wineries are particularly hard hit by Covid-19, what they’re doing to pivot and how you can help support these local businesses: – Tasting rooms are closed as are major clients, restaurants in general – Most wineries didn’t have wines in the LCBO to begin with because they don’t produce enough wine to fill that channel – The majority of the 180 wineries have fewer than 20 employees – Many are turning to direct shipping   You can get free shipping and other deals here: nataliemaclean.com/niagara   When you buy a […]

read more …

Read More

Have You Tried These Niagara-on-the-Lake Wines? (Video)

What a terrific chat we had about Niagara-on-the-Lake wines, simultaneously broadcast on Facebook Live and YouTube LiveStream. The YouTube version is posted above. On Facebook, we had 274 comments and another 64 reactions/shares for a grand total of 346 engagements, plus 4,600 wine lovers have watched the video so far: Niagara-on-the Lake Wine Facebook Live We had so much fun that we went live a second time on pairing food with Niagara-on-the-Lake wines both on Facebook and YouTube. Of course, the conversation continues on both posts, so feel free to comment there or below. All of these wineries are currently […]

read more …

Read More

Niagara Vine Laureate Klaus Reif: Ontario Wine’s Future

Introduction What profound impact does buying your local wine have on your economy? Why will supporting the “Free My Grapes” campaign improve your choice and access to wine? How have Ontario wines changed since the 80s? What are the biggest challenges facing the Canadian wine industry? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Klaus Reif of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Reif Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How is the younger generation of Ontario winemakers impacting the industry? How has the perception of Ontario wines changed since the 80s? What are the four […]

read more …

Read More

The Grapes of Laugh: How to Host a Wine Tasting or Start a Wine Club

  We had such fun on The Social yesterday chatting about how to organize an informal wine tasting party at home. Click the arrow above to play the video. There are many excellent reasons to host a wine tasting party—or even to form a wine club. For one thing, wine is a social beverage—one that’s meant to be shared with friends. And it’s more fun to drink than to buy Tupperware—unless, of course, you’re drinking from the Tupperware. The only goal is to enjoy yourself and perhaps find a new favorite bottle. Although wine does lend itself to serious technical […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

Mother’s Day Brunch Wine and Champagne Pairings

Jeff and I had such fun chatting about wines for Mother’s Day gifts on Canada AM, especially champagne for brunch. There’s even a “live action” shot with uncorking a sparkler. (Okay, not so much.) Here are my Top 20 Wines for Mother’s Day, either made by women or named for them. Often the latter were originally made by women. You’ll also find more suggestions in my Mother’s Day wines for Epicurious as well as for More Magazine. Jeff: It’s Mother’s Day, of course, on Sunday, and if you are planning on taking her out for brunch, you might want to […]

read more …

Read More

What Happens to Wine with Salt or Lemon?

One of my students recently told me how much he misses going out to restaurants right now, and asked if there was anything fun and educational that he could try at home with wine. My mind immediately went to the salt and lemon taste test. You can try this too at home to see just how profoundly these two ingredients or garnishes can change the taste of your wine. Doing this tasting will also give you terrific insight on how to better pair your wine with a variety of dishes. These are the kind of tips that I teach in […]

read more …

Read More

Stave & Steel Wines Aged in Bourbon and Canadian Whisky Barrels

Steve & Steel Winemaker James Foster was raised on a family farm, the historic Roseland Plantation in Eufaula, Alabama, where they farmed peanuts, hay and cotton.   James FosterWinemaker   Although James grew up in Alabama, his father worked in the California wine industry, and James began to follow in his footsteps.           Stave & Steel Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 California, United States             Great pairings include grilled burgers, ribs, steak and charcuterie.           Curious about the winemaking process and inspired to learn more, he […]

read more …

Read More