Back to Wine School: The Best Wine Courses (Video)

It’s that time of the year, back to school for the kids. But what about the adults? If you have a thirst to learn more about wine, you might be considering taking a wine course. But how do you choose which one is right for you, and what exactly will you learn? On Global Television’s Morning Show, Carolyn, Jeff and I chat about how to choose the right wine course for you and what you’ll learn. First off, tell us why we wouldn’t just surf the web to learn about wine? – There’s lots of free content online but it […]

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Label Gazing: How to Read a Wine Label

The hosts of CTV’s The Social and I had lots of fun decoding wine labels to find the secret info you can use to buy better wine. Admit it. You’ve probably bought a wine based on nothing more than a beautiful label.   Q: Presentation is a big thing when it comes to wine. When I’m picking out a bottle, I look for a pretty label and pay attention to the name of the wine but that’s about it. Is the aesthetic of the label usually indicative of the taste? · Not at all ;) · However, most people do […]

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The 31 Most Difficult Wine and Grapes Names: How to Pronounce Them

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about the most difficult wine and grape names to pronounce. Click the arrows to watch the videos both above and below. As anglophones, we find many of these names difficult since their origins are often European, with accents and inflections that are new to us. Tip: often e and i are pronounced in the reverse when in the middle of a word, and an e at the end of a name often sounds like a long a. Why bother? We often overlook these terrific wines, and don’t ask for them in liquor stores […]

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Pairing Wine & Charcuterie with Jennifer McLagan

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Jennifer McLagan, an author and expert in charcuterie. Sometimes, I think we’ve become so paranoid about fat in our diets that we forget that not all fats are alike. Jennifer talks about those that are good for us, and together, we discover some terrific wines to pair with them. Enjoy!   Highlights When did Jennifer realize she wanted to write about food? What is Jennifer’s favourite failure? How does Jennifer respond to people who are concerned about “healthy eating”? What was the best moment of Jennifer’s career […]

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San Pedro Tasting Past and Present

Photo: Andrea Shapiro Jane Staples Wine, Food &Travel Writer,Accredited Sommelier Viña Tarapacá and San Pedro 1865 Winetasting at ZOE’S LOUNGE Exciting things are happening in Chile’s winemaking industry! The world is recognizing the fine craftsmanship and distinctive personality of Chilean wines. Chile is also becoming a world leader in organic and sustainable viticulture. I recently attended a tutored tasting with two award-winning winemakers, Sebastian Ruiz from Viña Tarapacá and Matias Cruzat from San Pedro 1865. Our team of wine writers happily gathered at the comfortable Zoe’s Lounge in Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier. Matias Cruzat Photo: Jane Staples Each winemaker led highly […]

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Is Wine the Source of Civilization? Video Chat with John Mahoney

Our guest this evening is a former university professor of literature with a Ph.D. in linguistical philology, and a respected scholar of Shakespeare and Chaucer. He is also a Certified Wine Educator and has taught wine classes at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Delaware, Drexel University, and Rutgers University. He’s also the author of eight books, including his most recent, “Wine: The Source of Civilization” and he joins me live, now, from his home, just south of Atlantic City in New Jersey: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club John Mahoney! What drew you to this story in the first […]

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Video: Wine Supertasters, Vinotype Quiz and Your Taste in Wine?

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about how to find your Vinotype, or taste in wine. Click the arrow above to play the video. We also discussed what a Supertaster is: “Someone who lives in a neon taste world,” according to researcher Linda Bartoshuk, “whose taste sensations are roughly three times as intense to them as non-tasters.” I’ve also heard compared to having 500 fingers rather than 10. So yes, I was tested, did the blue dye tongue test and measurements with Tim Hanni in California (see our video chat below). You can take Tim’s quiz to find your vinotype […]

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Icon: Flagship Wines from British Columbia’s Best Wineries (Video)

I consider our guest this evening the godfather of Canadian wine writing, such is both the quality and the quantity of his work. Beginning with regular wine columns in the Financial Post and the Vancouver Sun in 1974, he published his first book, The World of Canadian Wines, in 1984 and has since written fourteen books on Canada’s and British Columbia’s wines and wine culture. And he joins me live now from Vancouver: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club John Schreiner! Note: YouTube has the audio and video out of sync. So either close your eyes and listen, or you […]

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New Zealand Wine: An Unexpectorated Journey

Awatere River vineyards Photo: David Skinner   By David Skinner When Peter Jackson decided upon his native New Zealand to serve as middle earth for his rendering of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, nationalistic nepotism served him less than the splendor of the rich and varied landscapes found in his home islands. The films depicted rugged terrain and lands carved from the mountains by the relentless influence of wind and water and there is still a sense of that primal constitution to the landscapes that now support modern viticulture in the “Shaky Isles”. Marlborough The South Island […]

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Austrian Wine is more than Gruner: Embrace the Unique

By Mymi Myriam Mozart, the Alps, Baroque architecture and Schnitzels are some of the things that spring to mind when thinking of Austria. This alpine country is sadly not often first associated with wine, but when it is, the perception is that it produces mainly sweet wines. That’s quite odd for a country that has been making wine for over four centuries, whose value of recent exports has grown by an impressive € 6 million, amounting to an outstanding sales record of € 145 million (according to the 2014 Austrian Wine Statistics report). Austria ranks at #19 as a wine producing […]

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