How to Pair Wine and Chocolate with Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning

Introduction Where can you find the best chocolate? What’s the difference between candy and real chocolate? How can you pair wine and chocolate? What does Fair Trade mean and what should you look out for? Where can you find the best chocolate? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with New York Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Why should you consider a trip to the Ecuadorian rainforest? What parallels can you find between wine and chocolate? In which regions can you find the best quality cacao? What […]

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Holiday Movie Wines + Cool Chardonnay with Brian Schmidt

Introduction What exactly is a cool climate Chardonnay? Which dishes are delicious with this style of Chardonnay? What’s the most important element for you to discover when tasting wine? Why did Chardonnay become so popular, then fall out of favour? What is the Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Brian Schmidt, Vice President and Winemaker at Vineland Estates Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What are the hallmarks you would find in cool climate wine-producing regions? Why is “cool climate” being redefined? Which traditional cool […]

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Pairing California Wine and Gourmet Burgers with Winemaker Joel Gott

Introduction How do you pair wine with burgers? What is it about California that gives us such a wide variety of wine? How is the Napa Valley food scene? What restaurant industry lessons help Joel make better wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Joel Gott, owner and winemaker at Joel Gott Wines. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights When will you see the most “action” at a winery? What facts might you be surprised to learn about Napa Valley? Which highly-acclaimed restaurants should you visit on your next trip […]

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Wine and Cheese Pairings to Celebrate the Holidays with Janet Fletcher

Introduction Should you try a cheese-only cheese course? Why are cheese and bread not necessarily great matches for cheese? Which underappreciated wine and cheese pairing should you try today? How does sparkling wine stack up with your favourite cheeses? Have you been serving cheeses the wrong way? Should you eat the rinds on cheeses? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with award-winning journalist and author, Janet Fletcher. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What shift can you see in the restaurant industry’s approach to serving cheese? Which mindset shift did Janet […]

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Family-Run Wineries v Corporate-Owned? Henry of Pelham’s Daniel Speck

Introduction What was it like being part of the budding Niagara wine scene? Why are wineries so well-suited to be family-owned? How does the terroir of the Niagara bench influence what you taste in Henry of Pelham wines? Why is Henry of Pelham so well-known for their Baco Noir? What hidden message can you find on the label of Henry of Pelham Family Tree wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Daniel Speck of Niagara’s Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How was Daniel’s […]

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The Shape of Wine Taste with Australia’s Wakefield Wines

Introduction How can you visualize the taste of wine in a chart? How would those charts be different for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Shiraz? What makes the wines from Australia’s Clare Valley unique? What is bâtonnage and what flavours and aromas will result in the wine? How does acidity improve your tasting experience? Why is balance one of the most critical aspects of a great wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Justin Taylor and Neil Hadley of Australia’s Wakefield Wines. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What was […]

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Pairing Wine and Halloween Treats (Video)

 Lots of laughs on CTV’s The Social this week! Click the arrow above to watch the video. The hosts chose the theme of a Royal Halloween, so Lainey dressed as Prince George, Cyn was Daenerys from Game of Thrones, Mel was Megan Markle and Marci was Queen Ramonda from the Black Panther movie. I channeled my inner (royal) wine witch and brought my broom shtick to the show. What a hoot we had together! Here are the tips, tricks and wines we discussed … Something a bit scary happens on Halloween: we’re surrounded by lots of treats, but will […]

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Pairing Wine and Halloween Candy: The Monster Match

Buzz Lightyear and the Wine Witch chat about great wine pairings with Halloween treats on Breakfast Television. Dina: Just call Natalie MacLean for pairing wine and Halloween treats, she’s an online sommelier and what a brilliant idea. Great to see you all festive Natalie. Natalie: Great to see you Dina. Dina: Or as well you are at the door trick-or-treating, the kids are at the door you thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’ We tend to dip into the kids snacks, well I do anyways- Natalie: Yes! Dina: A lot of parents do. Natalie: You bet. Dina: So you are […]

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Taco Bell’s New Jalapeño Noir Wine: Should You Try It?

Introduction Taco Bell just launched its first wine called Jalapeño Noir, a Pinot Noir, get it? Is the wine any good? Should you try it? Does it pair well with tacos? What will surprise you about making the wine, especially the winery that made it? What was the stealth marketing plan behind the launch? What’s next, Big Macs and Bordeaux? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m going solo to do a live taste test for you. You can find the Jalapeno Noir wine here.   Highlights How well did Taco Bell’s new Jalapeño Noir wine perform […]

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5 Tips to Pick Wines for Thanksgiving

No other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. Wine is a taste of the harvest along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavors to match. Relax. Have a drink. And try some of my suggestions for great wines to pair with Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings that Leanne and I chat about in the video above. You can also watch our first video on fall wines here. In my free online matching tool, you can click on “turkey holiday dinner” […]

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