5 Best Father’s Day Book-an-Bottle Gift Sets

Father’s Day is this Sunday, and you might like to toast dad with a glass of wine or two, but what should you pair with your vino beyond BBQ? How about some terrific books? Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com. What are you recommending first?     I have Hockey 365, The Second Period: More Daily Stories from the Ice by Mike Commito. Remind dad of why he loves hockey every day of the year, not just during the play-offs. Whether you are a Canadiens fan or a long-suffering […]

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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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10 Best Syrah Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Syrah

  Today, February 16th is International Syrah Day  #internationalsyrahday #syrahday Syrah is a dark-skinned red wine grape grown throughout the world, used primarily in the production of red wine. Syrah is one of the most noble and most fashionable red wine grapes in the world. You’ll find my Top 10 Syrah reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Syrah: 1. In 2004, Syrah was the 7th most planted varietal in the world. Today it is estimated that Syrah is now 5th most planted wine grape in the world. 2. Syrah has a long history in the Southern Rhone region of […]

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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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5 Spectacular Wines from Black, Indigenous and People of Colour Winemakers

We often talk about buying wine because of the way it’s made, but we don’t often talk about who makes the wine in terms of race. Here with us today to highlight some of our country’s best wines that are owned or produced by Blacks, Indigenous or People of Colour (BIPOC) is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes.   Welcome Natalie.   Why does it matter who makes the wine, Natalie?   These days we seek out wines because of how they’re made, whether that’s sustainable farming, organic viticulture or ethical Fair Trade practices. We vote […]

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Pairing Movies & Wines: Video Tasting

  You can still purchase the Ontario or B.C. wines (or both!) with the time-limited discount here (stock up for holiday entertaining and gift-giving):   Get the Ontario Wines Here Get the B.C. Wines Here     Join me for my next online tastings:   Scary Great Pairings October 21 Holiday Hosting December 2 Chocolate and Wine Pairing February 10             Thirty Bench Small Lot Pinot Noir 2019 Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada                   Trius Distinction Baco Noir 2020 Ontario V.Q.A., Canada       […]

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Online Courses, Canadian Wine & Weird Pairings with Susie Barrie

Introduction What’s my advice for those considering a wine career? How did my biggest career regret happen before I became a wine writer? How has my father’s alcoholism influenced my relationship with wine? How has the pandemic impacted online wine classes? Can you pair ketchup chips with wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m sharing my interview on the Wine Blast podcast with Susie Barrie & Peter Richards. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Why does Rhône Syrah hold a special place in my memories? What’s my advice for people considering a wine career? How did […]

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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 […]

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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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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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