World Malbec Day Celebrates Argentina’s Flagship Red Wine

Leanne and I had a great time chatting about Malbec on CTV. Did you know that April 17 is Malbec World Day (#MalbecWorldDay), celebrating the flagship red grape for the wines of Argentina, as well as a blending grape in Bordeaux and other regions? You’ll find my most reviews and ratings of Malbec Wines here. The Malbec grape produces wines that stylistically fall between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with more plummy richness and roundness than Cabernet, but firmer tannins and structure than Merlot. Pair Malbec with beef, turkey, spicy dishes, tomato sauces, meaty casseroles, hamburgers, sausages, steak and kidney pie, […]

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Wine Supertasters, Food Pairings and Canadian Palates with XChateau’s Robert Vernick & Peter Yeung

Introduction What does it mean to be a supertaster? How did wine consumption habits change during the pandemic? Do Canadians have different wine preferences compared to drinkers in other regions? Why is food and wine pairing such a great way to get into the world of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m being interviewed by Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung, co-hosts of the XChateau podcast. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on […]

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Chilean Wine in the Driest Place on Earth & England’s Storied Wine History with Janina Doyle

Introduction Are you curious about British wines and their history that dates back to King Henry VIII? How is wine made in the driest place on Earth and where is that exactly? Are stemless wine glasses better than traditional stemware? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Janina Doyle, sommelier and host of the Eat Sleep Wine Repeat podcast. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video […]

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8 Best Wines for St. Patrick’s Day + Irish Food Pairings (Video)

St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated with a pint or two, but what if you love wine? On CTV News, we chat about the best pairings for Irish food and classic dishes. Is there a wine that pairs with corned beef and cabbage? This begs the question: Can we skip the corned beef and cabbage and just have wine? My Irish grandmother is probably turning over in her grave.     Traditional matches for this meal usually include Irish stout, like Guinness. But what about wine? Corned beef is salty and cabbage can be skunky, so you’ll avoid those wines […]

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English Sparkling Wine, Magical Blends & Harvest Secrets with Janina Doyle

Introduction What’s it really like to work at a winery during the harvest? What is the magic behind blended wines versus single grape or varietal wines? How does English sparkling wine compare to Champagne? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Janina Doyle, sommelier and host of the Eat Sleep Wine Repeat podcast. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video. I’ll be […]

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Romantic Pairing: Wine and Chocolate

  In this month’s Costco Connection Lifestyle Magazine I chat with the editor about my favourite wine and chocolate pairings for Valentine’s Day. Here are my favourite wines for chocolate in liquor stores now. While many of us like to think we’re going to be creative with our Valentine’s Day gifts this year, let’s be honest. On February 13, we’re going to rush out and purchase our favourite standbys: wine and chocolate. And why shouldn’t we? Everybody likes this duo; they’re wildly delicious and indulgent, and they usually lead to a good time (insert suggestive eyebrow raise here). But what […]

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Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about pairing wine with romantic movies for Valentine’s Day. Got a favourite that we didn’t include?   Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day   Michael: As we look ahead to Valentine’s Day you may be interested in some wine pairings. Leanne Cusack and a very special guest aren’t suggesting pairings with food though, very interesting. Leanne: Not the typical at all, Michael. And not just wine and chocolate because Natalie MacLean, wine writer extraordinaire says, “Too ordinary for you right now”. Natalie: Exactly! Been there, done that. It’s time to pair wine with romantic movies […]

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Holiday Wines and Spirits Plus Hosting Tips (Video)

As the holidays approach, we look forward to entertaining friends and family. On CTV’s Your Morning we chat about terrific wines and spirits for the holidays.   Welcome Natalie.   What’s a good drink to serve to guests when they arrive?   Sparkling wine is the drink of celebration, especially at this time of year. I’d recommend two from Nova Scotia:         Avondale Sky Winery Benediction Sparkling Wine Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada                   Blomidon Crémant Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada         Both are zesty and […]

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Make Your Evening Unforgettable With These Curated Wine & Cheese Plates

Leanne and I chat about some marvelous wine and cheese pairing for holiday entertaining and beyond, plus the secrets to creating a cheese that will make your guests’ jaws drop ;)       So many delicious combinations! You can watch our second CTV segment on wine and cheese pairing here. Plus, we’ve had two dynamic Facebook Live video chats on this topic in preparation for the launch of a new cheese and wine pairing course. You can watch the first video is here on this website, and the second will be posted soon. Registration opens November 28 for a short […]

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You Say Tomato, I Say Wine: Let’s Pair Them All Off (Video)

On CTV News, we chat about pairing wine with tomatoes, from heirloom to vine-ripened varieties. In Ode to the Tomato, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda described them as “the stars of the earth” that are upon the table, belted by summer” and “grant us the festival of ardent color and all-embracing freshness.” Now is the time to indulge in tomatoes while they’re in season with their thin skins that slide off plump like silk lingerie and yield their juicy, chin-dripping pleasure—the opposite of those tired February pellets that taste like mid-winter despair.     Tomatoes hang heavy in our backyards and […]

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