Canada Day Wines

Introduction In honour of Canada Day on July 1st, we’re doing a deep dive into Canadian wine, including some colourful history and surprising facts that you can drop casually at your barbecue gathering as you crack open a bottle. From the zoological phase of the 70s and 80s to award-winning, delicious modern wines, Canada now stands with the best of the best on the world’s wine stage. So what do Canadian wine regions have to offer visitors? Why do Canadian wines make up only 1/3 of the wine we buy in Canada? We’re also testing your vinous savvy with The […]

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Wine Scandals, Fakes and Forgery with Maureen Downey

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Maureen Downey, a.k.a. the Wine Detective, about wine forgeries, fakes and scandals. You’ll learn tips on how to spot a fake wine based on the label and more. Enjoy!   Highlights Why did Maureen become interested in wine fraud? What role did Hardy Rodenstock play in Maureen’s journey as a wine fraud expert? What aspects of the wine does Maureen consider to determine its authenticity? How does Maureen use technology when testing a wine’s authenticity? Why are cosmetic fraud detection techniques insufficient? What are the issues associated […]

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Father’s Day Wines

Introduction This Sunday is Father’s Day, so I’m going to get downright practical on this episode with some terrific gift wines suggestions that you can buy dear old dad. Now I recognize not everyone celebrates Father’s Day for various reasons. Mine was that my father was an alcoholic, and my mother left him when I was two years old. However, I had a wonderful grandfather and several other men in my life who were inspirational role models. I think of them on Father’s Day. So, how do you choose the perfect gift bottle? And is there such a thing as […]

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Video: Why is Rosé One of the Fastest Growing Wine Categories?

One of the fastest growing categories in the liquor store is rosé wine. Here to tell us why and which ones we should buy is Natalie MacLean, the editor of Canada’s most popular wine review site at nataliemaclean.com – why has rosé had such a bad reputation in the past? – how are modern rosés different in terms of how they taste? – how are they different in terms of how they’re made? – you’ve brought some today: which regions should we be looking for in the liquor store? – how are Canadian rosés different from French ones? – is […]

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Gripping Wine Stories with San Francisco Chronicle Wine Columnist Esther Mobley

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Esther Mobley, on the gripping stories that catapulted her to become the columnist for one of the most prestigious wine columns in North America, the San Francisco Chronicle, at just 24 years of age. Enjoy!   Highlights How did Esther’s college admissions essay end up in the New York Times? Why did Esther decide to spend her gap year working at a vineyard? What experiences from the vineyard in Napa piqued Esther’s interest in the wine world? Should wine writers all experience winemaking? What came next for […]

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Randall Grahm: A Californian Blend of Wine, Wit and Wisdom

Introduction Randall Grahm was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where he was a permanent Liberal Arts major. Sometime later he found himself working at the Wine Merchant in Beverly Hills sweeping floors. By dint of exceptionally good karma, he was given the opportunity to taste an ungodly number of great French wines and this singular experience turned him into a complete and insufferable wine fanatic. He returned to the University of California at Davis to complete a degree in Plant Sciences in 1979, where owing to his single-minded obsession with […]

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Wine and Keto, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Atkins, South Beach and Other Diets (Does Wine Make You Fat?)

Introduction Does wine make you fat? Can you drink wine while you’re on a diet? What about diets like paleo, keto, South Beach, Atkins and gluten-free? In recent years some winemakers have started producing or re-labelling low-carb and low-calorie wines that cater to or many and varied special diets. Are they really worth it or is it just a fad? That’s exactly what we’re going to dive into this week as we explore how our bodies process alcohol, the surprising statistics about weight gain and wine and whether you should buy a bottle of low-carb wine on your next trip […]

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Organic and Biodynamic Wine with Thomas Bachelder

Introduction Thomas Bachelder is a Canadian winemaking superstar on a mission when it comes to cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After studying in France and having a successful winemaking career in Canada, Thomas started his own label where not only does he make wine in Ontario, but he also has vineyards in Burgundy and Oregon. The Bachelder project started with the 2009 vintage with the three terroirs series: Three regions; Three wines. As he describes it, the hands, techniques and the palates remain the same, only the terroirs change.   Highlights When did Thomas realize he wanted to make wine? […]

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Bottle of the Sexes: Women versus Men on Wine

Introduction Are men from Bordeaux and women from Burgundy? In my 20 years of studying and writing about wine, I’ve encountered a lot of differences in how men and women approach the subject. There are also several studies that show the same thing. In honour of International Women’s Day this week, I’m diving deep into “women’s wines”, whether they’re actually any good and how wines marketed to women are affecting the industry.   Highlights Are the “chick wines” on the market any good or are they simply marketing gimmicks? What are my thoughts and tasting notes for three of the […]

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Wines for Seduction: A Vine Romance for Valentine’s Day

Introduction Do you want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Forget the lingerie, lipstick and silk-tie handcuffs – just share a glass or two of wine with your amour. Just in time for V Day, I’m going to share with you my favourite wines for seduction, including some melt-in-your-mouth pairings with chocolate.   Highlights Why do almost 60% of women prefer wine over candy for V Day? Why has Champagne, in particular, has long been the drink of romance Why is Pinot Noir called the “heartbreak grape”? How can you avoid ruining your wine with chocolate? Is chocolate an aphrodisiac […]

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