What are the Hottest Wine Trends? (Video) with Darren Oleksyn

What’s the difference between orange wine and natural wine?

Is blue the new orange when it comes to wine?

What are the hottest trends in the world of wine?

Our guest this evening has been working as a journalist for 28 years, and writing about wine for the past 5, for one of the country’s largest newspapers, the Calgary Herald and before that, for Wine Access magazine.

He has judged at wine competitions and in 2013 he wrote Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25 with friend and fellow wine writer Shelley Boettcher.

… and he joins me live now from his home in Calgary: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club Darren Oleksyn!

Let’s start with orange wines and natural wines, as they’re getting so much coverage these days. Would you differentiate the two for us please, in terms of how they’re made?

Are there any guidelines or regulations about how they’re made?

What kick-started the trend for these wines?

Which type of wine (orange or natural) is on the highest growth trajectory? Why?

Do you think these are fads or wine categories here to stay? Why?

Are these wines more transparent or authentic than other wines?

Do you recommend these wines in your column? Are they easy to find in the liquor store? Any advice for wine lovers when it comes to buying these wines (what to look for)?

Although orange wines are still relatively new to many people, now we have blue wines. What’s your take on these?

How do they get their blue colour?

What started this trend? Is it a fad?

Do they taste different? Should we try them?

Transparency is also a theme with our next trend: ingredient labeling on wine. First, approximately how many ingredients are in wine, apart from grape juice, alcohol and yeast?

Do you think wines should have ingredient labels? Why/not? Would it lead to more confusion or understanding of wine?

Why is the wine industry resisting ingredient labeling?

What about health labels and warnings – should those be on wine bottles beyond the ones we see for pregnancy? How about under-age drinking or excessive drinking?

When it comes to aging wine, an increasing number of wineries are using bourbon barrels. What started this trend?

Quick question before I ask you about the next trend: do you condone dropping an ice cube into a glass of wine? Why/not?

What do you think of the latest homemade slushie wine drinks such as pinot freezio, friesling and frosé? Does it ruin the wine or does it represent a democratization of wine (drink what you like)?

Moet & Chandon has launched Moet Ice, a champagne meant to be poured over ice which sounds democratizing except for the price – $82 a bottle.

When it comes to the Canadian wine industry, what’s the most telling marker of maturity for you? Here’s where we’ll chat about sub-appellations in the Okanagan, Ontario’s Orange wine category and NS’s Tidal Bay.

Do sub-appellations, especially of the geographic type, make wine more confusing for wine consumers, or are they meant more for connoisseurs who understand already basic geography and regions and are looking for specialist and niche wines?

How does this help the wine industry?

Also, related to increased localization: what role does yeast play in the flavour of wine? Do you advocate local/wild yeasts over cultured yeasts?

What wine trends can we expect this fall? Fastest selling, wines/types, etc?

Any thoughts on how cannabis legalization this fall will affect wine sales?

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Alan Cameron27:38 I’m here, but did I hear one of you say your weekday wine was Vodka..????? Also “License to Chill” good one ! “Sub Appellation”…? Is that in Virginia…?
Darren Oleksyn0:02 Hi Lynda. You are seeing more Eastern European wines in these parts, as investment increases in the post-Communist era. This is definitely a region to watch.


Gail Johnston25:21 Gail here from St. Catharines. With regard to orange wines being an old technique, I was wondering if there was a particular reason that it was abandoned.


Darren Oleksyn6:35 They would be nice, but maybe scary as well. 😉



Top Fan

Lori Sweet29:11 Just got back from Nova Scotia. Brought home several bottles of Tidal Bay.

Sam Hauck35:36 Drink what you like, but never be afraid to try something new.



Beverly Asleson7:20 never knew there was a orange wine.
Top Fan

Paul E Hollander34:22 We’ve had the beer! It’s an oil that has the taste and smell just not the effects.



Top Fan

Paul E Hollander22:29 Used to have a Chardonnay from Northern VA that used wild yeast. Most excellent.

Top Fan

Paul E Hollander21:01 As a beer brewer, there are many strains of yeast that add different flavors.




Lynda Fedor Michaels26:00 Would you say wines from Eastern and Central Europe are becoming trendy?


Lynda Fedor Michaels15:39 Would be nice to list calories per serving🍷



Top Fan

Patti Wright Hollander25:47 I use frozen grapes in the summer to chill a white.

Darren Oleksyn6:35 In Canada, one of my favourites is from a winery called Laughing Stock Vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. I am also a fan of the Viogniers from Australia’s Yalumba, and of course Condreau, in France, the home of Viognier. I’ve had one form Yves Cuilleron that was delicious.




Top Fan

Elaine Bruce41:12 Great interview – thanks !
Absolutely about the chilling !


Top Fan

Lori Sweet35:59 Warm red wines are not pleasant!



Lynda Fedor Michaels37:10 Great choice Darren!
Top Fan

Deborah Podurgiel25:40 Hi Darren, What is your favourite Viognier?





Top Fan

Paul E Hollander23:31 2019, Dave Head.

Lynda Fedor Michaels41:31 Awesome! Thank you






Darren Oleksyn

Darren Oleksyn has been working as a journalist for 28 years, and writing about wine for the past 7. He works at the Calgary Herald, where he writes a monthly wine column among a variety of duties. He was introduced to wine by his father, who made fruit wines in Saskatchewan. After moving to Calgary in 2004 he became captivated by wine, attending numerous wine events, festivals and completing his WSET Level 3 certification in wine and spirits.

He has travelled to wine regions in Canada, the United States, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Germany, and has judged at wine competitions in British Columbia and Calgary. In 2013 he wrote Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25 with friend and fellow wine writer Shelley Boettcher.


Full Transcript


Natalie: 00:00 All right, so what’s the difference between orange wine and
natural line and how about blue wine is blue, the new orange.
And how about trends in the wine world? What’s, what’s hot
and new, if you will, what’s coming this fall? What can we
expect? Which wines are growing quickly? , what do we need to
know? That’s exactly what we’re going to learn from our next
guest on the Sunday Sipper club show. Our guest this evening has been
working as a journalist for 28 years and writing about wine for the past
five for one of the, of the country’s largest newspapers,
the Calgary Herald. And before that for wine access magazine,
he has also judged wine competitions. And in 2013 he wrote,
uncorked the definitive guide to Alberta’s best wines under
$25 with his friend and fellow wine writer, Shelly Butcher.
And he joins me live now from his home in Calgary.
Welcome to the Sunday Sipper club. Darren Oleksyn, how are

Darren: 03:28 I’m great. How are you doing?

Natalie: 03:29 Good. Good. Good. Thanks for joining us. We’re all excited to
talk to you, Darren. So there is just so much to cover here. I
don’t know even know where to start, but maybe, because the
question I get and maybe you get it as well as a columnist. Let’s
start by sorting out what’s the difference between these natural
wines and the orange wines.

Darren: 03:50 Okay. well, natural wine is basically wine in its purest form.
They, do it as simple as they can. They grow organic grapes are
biodynamic grapes. They bring them in, they use natural yeast
that’s in the air. They don’t add any yeast. You don’t add any
kind of additives or chemicals or anything. They make the wine
and they put no sulfur or maybe just a small amount of sulfur in
the wine at the end to see before they work it. And there it is.
It’s whining, it’s purest form. Whereas orange wine is not
necessarily natural wine. It’s kind of like a. all sparkling
champagne is sparkling wine, but all sparkling wine is not
champaign. Orange wine is white wine where they ferment it on
the skins, so it sits on the skins for quite awhile. Like this color,
that’s where you get the orange color from and you get 10 in,
which is something you don’t necessarily see very often in a
white wine. Right?

Natalie: 04:44 Yeah. And I find I’ve got an orange wine right here from south
brook in Ontario and I find it exotic, like sort of like earl grey tea
and different things. I’ve never tasted in a white wine

Darren: 04:58 very, very different. you know, your flavors are a little different
and the seal is a whole different experience. It’s, you know, it’s
for someone who doesn’t like white wine but likes red wine, it
could maybe be sort of a wind to get you into a white wines. It’s
sort of that in betweens a territory.

Natalie: 05:14 Absolutely. And I’ve also heard that orange wine can be kind of
a wine for beer drinkers. I find a lot of similarities between this
and some of the craft beers, but just the nose it, it’s just a,
there’s something going on there.

Darren: 05:26 Definitely. And there’s a lot of times there’s sort of a sour note
to with that you can find in some of the craft beers too. So
that’s a similarity. Yeah.

Natalie: 05:34 Oh, okay. And I’m going back to natural wines. Is this a new
phenomenon or like where did this trends start, if you will, or
what’s the origin of natural wines?

Darren: 05:45 It’s a somewhat new, I guess it’s sort of dates back to the 19
eighties. , there was a group of winemakers in La and southern
France who decided they wanted to try making wine without
chemicals or any additives or any soul for a part of the reason
was they thought maybe they would have a less hangovers
because it’d be sulfur in the wine. They thought that that might
be a problem. So he started making these natural wines and it’s
kind of taken off. It’s really built. It was sort of a cult following
and it’s really broadened out now. There’s actually sort of a
seminars or festivals now around the world for natural wines
and it’s become quite a, quite a big thing. And people are very
passionate about it.

Natalie: 06:28 Yes, there are. There’s books and there’s evangelists and , yeah,
it’s a big thing., and I just wanted to welcome, , people who are
kinda coming into our virtual wine bar here. Darren. We’ve got
Linda Michael’s in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania and it’s a lovely
day there. Beverly Aslan is in southern California where it’s 81
degrees. This is a weather report. Erin. Dawn is in vermilion,
Ohio. We’ve got lots of Americans here tonight. and Paul and
Patty are in Virginia. Elaine Duffy is in Niagara, Ann Maclean is in
Halifax. And keep posting guys, if you’re just logging in, we are
here with Darren Oleksyn , the wine columnist for the Calgary
Herald talking about the hottest trends in the world of wine. So
please let us know where you’re logging in for from what’s in
your glass. If anything, it’s okay. If it’s a water, what the
weather’s like. Okay. So natural wines though. Darren, what’s
the association there between what I’ve heard, like with
Georgia, not to US Georgia, but Georgia, Russia, Georgia or
whatever, the country. Georgia. And was it a very. How do you
say that? Quit very clearly. I think. Yeah, the for like the clay big,
what’s the association there? Can you tell us a little bit of
background there.

Darren: 07:52 Sure. Well lady who basically been making orange wines there
for eight thousand years, it’s, they think it may be the birthplace
of wine pretty much and they made the skin fermented white
wines. They fermented everything on the skin, red or white,
they would put it in these big clay. I’m for a that are dug into
the ground to keep the temperature somewhat moderate and,
you know, it’s worked. It’s worked for thousands of years.
We’ve sort of gone back to the way things were.

Natalie: 08:22 Wow. So what’s old is new and everything comes around again
and cycles, cycles, cycles. It is, isn’t it? Okay. So, do you have an
orange wine there or is it a blue wine that you have?

Darren: 08:33 I have a bit of both actually. I have an orange wine for Loire

Natalie: 08:38 Okay. And it’s a yes, I can see it when you hold it up to the
camera there. Yeah, that’s good. Okay.

Darren: 08:45 Actually, you know, which is not your typical Loire valley grape.
But no, it’s beautiful. It’s got a tanny , sort of Tangerine flavors,
full a fuller body. You can feel the tannins. Nice balance. It’s a
drinking very well.

Natalie: 09:02 Nice. Okay. And so Darren is blue, the new orange. We’ve got
blue wine. Tell us about what this is. It looks odd

Darren: 09:11 and got this crazy one. It looks like it’s going to taste like scope.
It kind of reminds me of a listerine in the bathroom or
antifreeze as well, but it’s all nice images. I would say, , the blue
wine, whereas orange wine and natural wine and sort of a trend
that’s growing and gaining favor. Blue one is more like a
marketing trend. I would say it started in Spain by some
marketing people, I guess you would say. They admit even on
their website that they weren’t,, they’re not wine makers that
just wanted to shake things up. So they started making this
wine. It’s the wine I have is a different one, but the sort of, the
first one was known as gik and it was a blend of red and white
wine and then they would add coloring, indigo and Anthocyanin
and which is a, it’s a blue pigment, often found in skins, like
grape skins and blueberries and that sort of thing. So that gives
it the blue tinge.

Natalie: 10:09 So it’s natural coloring, if you will, from the grape skins.

Darren: 10:12 I guess somewhat. I don’t know how official officially natural it
is. That could be powdered color. I’m not sure how
they added to wine, but it certainly looks sharp on Instagram
and, well that’s what it’s all about. Right? Totally. It’s,
eye catcher.

Natalie: 10:31 It is. It just sounds like a wine made by a focus group though to
be. Oh, look at that. That is just not appetizing at all. Does it
taste any different? Do you get any, blueberries or any blue
tone, fruit, anything?

Darren: 10:45 No, it’s just, I would just say it’s very mellow. Like this one is, it’s
not sweet, which is good. I was a little worried that it’d be very
sweet, but it’s just kind of, I would say kind of blend, which is
not the most exuberant grape. Right. But everything is kind of
toned down and you just kind of noticed the color

Natalie: 11:05 and do you think this is just a fad that will die out soon or

Darren: 11:10 is there anything to it? Yeah. Okay. I think so. I think it’s
definitely not like Rose which has been growing and growing
and growing for a good with good reason. I would say the Blue
wine will be here today, gone tomorrow kind of thing.

Natalie: 11:23 Okay. All right. Good to know., James Norton is here from St
Augustine, Florida, and Laurie sweet is here from Kingston,
Ontario. Heather Proctor says, here I am. Hello Heather. Sam
Hock for BC. Greetings Natalie. He teaches courses in Vancouver
last week. Yeah. He was attending the Garagiste small produce
north small producers Wine Festival in Kelowna. So he missed
the show. We’re glad you’re back, Sam. All right folks, if you’re
just logging in, take a moment to share this video because we’re
talking about the hottest wine trends. It’s really interesting, let
your friends and family know why you’re sharing, even if it is
just for the prize draw for next week. and I’ll draw today, at the
end of our chat for a signed copy of Wine Source of Civilization.
And of course, you can join me on my wine group or tasting free
video class. So nataliemaclean.com/pro. All right, so we’ve got
blue wine. We’ve got a natural and a orange wine. So we’re into
this sort of authenticity and transparency and everything. What
do you think about ingredient labeling along that lines? Do you
think wine should have, first of all, how many ingredients are
there approximately in a wine? I know there are grapes and
there’s alcohol and so on, but what’s in there? I thought it was
just basically that.

Darren: 12:48 Well, there’s a lot of, there are a lot of things that can be added
to wine and, some of them disappear in the, in the winemaking
process and some of them stay there. I’m like declare them
wine. They add things like bentonite clay or it’s in a glass, which is
a fish protein or they might use a protein, different things that
the very fine particles in the wine collect you and then they sink
to the bottom. So there’s that. Then you can add acid, you can
add 10 in powder, you can add enzymes, there are a lot of
things that are available to my makers to add, you know, it
would be nice to know what is in the wine.

Natalie: 13:26 Right. And do you think it would help and, and get help
consumers to become more educated or might it add confusion
and fear or would there just be a sort of getting used to it kind
of phase and then it would be good?

Darren: 13:40 I think more information is good information. I think it would be
helpful for consumers. It would probably be confusing for some.
And I know you know like the ingredient labels on foods in cans
right now. A lot of people don’t really read those or understand
how they work, like portion sizes and things like that. So there’s
always some contribution, but I don’t know and it’s my belief
that the more information you can have about what you’re
consuming, the better off you are.

Natalie: 14:04 I agree. That’s. And so again, related to this, what about health
warnings? So we sometimes see, you know, don’t drink while
you’re pregnant, but there doesn’t seem to be a health
warning against underage drinking or excessive drinking or
whatever. What do you think about health warnings on wine

Darren: 14:22 I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind. Maybe I liked the idea of maybe a
serving size suggestions. The how much wine to consume,
although that, you know, the research keeps changing on that.
So it’s hard to say what really is good. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t
know about that warning. It’s, I could come or go with that one.

Natalie: 14:42 Yeah. I like the serving size thing because I think sometimes
people don’t realize just how much you, how many units of
alcohol they’re consuming. Like I’ve seen on some Australia
back labels, you may have seen this Darren, but especially with
the alcohol creeps up to 14, 15 percent. People think it’s five
glasses of wine and a bottle, but it can be like eight or nine units
or glasses of wine. It can be deceiving because of the higher

Darren: 15:08 That’s really the big thing, right, is alcohol content and when I,
in my column I always include it because there’s so much
variance. Like you can have wines up to 15 and a half or 16
percent and then usually, you know, according to their rules,
there’s a little leeway upper down like a half a percent too. So
you can go from eight percent wine or seven percent wine, like
a psycho or something like that to 15 percent. So one bottle of
wine. The amount of alcohol you’re getting is very different
depending on. Yeah,

Natalie: 15:36 it is extremely different. And I, I actually buy wine based on it
being 13, 13, five or lower. I just, once it slips up to 14, I just find
it’s like Ugh, it’s too much. I don’t know, maybe I’m just a wuss
or whatever, but I just find it. It’s just all heat and alcohol. After
that, Ron Bach has joined us from Elmira, Ontario. Welcome.
Ron. So again, if you’re logging in, let me know where you’re
logging in from, what’s in your glass tonight. All right. So, we’ve
talked about ingredient labeling., what other big trends are you
seeing in the world of wine? What, what’s on your radar Darren,
especially as a columnist for the Calgary Herald?

Darren: 16:20 Well, what are the things I’m interested in right now is the
growth of can wine, like wines in aluminum cans, like a beer
can, that’s sort of thing. It’s starting to see more and more of
them and some of the wines in them are actually not, not too
bad. Like I was reading the other day in Bonny Doon vineyards,
has a line of canned wines now. And, and there, you know,
decent lines and it’s very handy, especially in Alberta here, if
you go into the mountains and you’re going to go for a hike and
you’d like to have some wine, it’s a lot easier to carry a small
aluminum can than a big heavy bottle. So. So that’s a growing
thing I think. And then the whole box wine thing is still growing.
Wines on tap, I love that idea, like in case, so you can get a glass
in a restaurant and it doesn’t really matter when it was opened.
It’ll still be fresh, so that’s nothing but a good thing.

Natalie: 17:09 Yeah, absolutely. I didn’t know how they kept that fresh. Is it, is
it an airtight seal on these kegs? Like is it like the bag in a

Darren: 17:18 kind of idea? It empties out, the oxygen is pushed out so then it
doesn’t get oxidized or anything like that.

Natalie: 17:25 Oh Wow. and, Linda Michaels is saying also on labels. It would
be nice to know the calories per serving.

Darren: 17:32 That’s true. Yeah. The more alcohol you have the more calories.

Natalie: 17:37 Exactly. Because you get calories from both alcohols am the
sugar content, so even when it’s fermented to dryness, your
calories are switching over onto the other side, the calories or
it’s sorry, the alcohol side in terms of where they’re coming

Darren: 17:50 That’s true. And talking about trends, what are the trends that I
do like as you’re seeing more lower alcohol wine, like not low
alcohol, but winemakers are making wines at lower alcohol
levels now twelfth you can get 12 percent whites and 11
percent whites. Even from Silicon Valley. I think I had a cab franc
that was 12 percent. Wow. That’s nice to see. And they’re still
ripe and everything, the fruit is still good and fresh and it’s just,
you know, you don’t get some of that alcohol hit

Natalie: 18:18 absolutely. And this one, this, orange wine, I was noticing it
was relatively low and just, oh, this orange wine which has
packed with flavor nine point eight percent alcohol. Wow. Love
it. And it’s dry. It’s not sweet because sometimes you’ll get low
alcohol if they haven’t fermented to complete dryness like a
German riesling says. But this completely dry. Nine point eight.
And the other day I tasted a Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand,
I think it was called the doctors by forest or something. And it
was a Sauvignon blanc that was at nine percent. Wow. And it’s
just like, it’s almost like cheating. It’s like you’ve got all the
flavor, but none of the like heavy alcohol, which no one needs. I
mean if you want that have vodka.

Darren: 19:04 Yeah, exactly. Especially for a weekday wine or something,
right? Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You want to sleep well to

Natalie: 19:11 precisely. And so maybe along the lines of a natural wines and so
on. You’re fascinated by yeast. So what does, we know yeast
converts sugar in the Grapes to alcohol and CO2 which usually
blows off unless you make it a bubbly. But what is it about use
that interests you and how does it change the flavor of wines?

Darren: 19:35 Well yeast just add different flavors. The way the wine
ferments, it develops different flavor profiles is really quite
interesting that I had never thought. I thought the yeast was yeast
then I learned that you can add a yeast to give a citrus flavor.
You can add a yeast to give like a stone fruit flavor and all of
these, , sort of different nodes. But sort of the, one of the
trends now is using natural yeast in the air that’s happening
quite alive in the Okanagan valley even they’re doing it quite a
bit and I think it, it gives you a better representation of the area
because the yeast is from that area. It’s not important from
California or something like that from a big industrial factory.
But it certainly riskier too because sometimes you know, the
may not ferment the wine completely. It might stall in the
middle of the fermentation and that sort of thing. So it’s a bit
risky but I think it pays off in the end.

Natalie: 20:29 What did they have to do if it stalls?

Darren: 20:31 Oh they can. Sometimes they add a little bit of a, like an
industrial yeast. They might add something to start it up again.
And usually as a, as you use natural yeast over the years you
develop the yeast sort of becomes heartier and, and then you
don’t into those problems. But when you’re first transferring
over to using natural yeast, it’s a little bit more touch and go

Natalie: 20:53 and. Okay. So the yeast is local and it can be floating in the air
and that’s probably how first wines were made, but, but how
does it sort of, reveal more of the place of the wine because it’s
local. What else is happening? They’re like, how does that yeast
translate into a better representation of the area?

Darren: 21:15 I imagine it, I don’t know exactly, but I think it’s gathering the
whatever else is in the area like pollen and, all these, these
different aspects of the vineyard or the region can sort of
develop in the yeast because yeast is an amazing living thing. Like
it’s always changing and mutating and that sort of thing. And, it
just brings this unique character to the place.

Natalie: 21:41 Right? Absolutely. I wanted to ask you about a few things of just
fun fads. I think they’re fads, but your take, I don’t know if
you’ve had any of these, but a Pinot Freezio, ever had that?

Darren: 21:54 I have not had that, I get the brain freezes from like Slurpee and
things. So I drink those sorts of things, but I think they’re very
much a, it’s more like a cocktail

Natalie: 22:08 and I would say almost like making a spritzer with ice or
whatever. Do you ever drop, Do you condone dropping an ice
cube in wine?

Darren: 22:16 No, it’s, I’m a very liberal, you know, do whatever you like.
Right? It’s, everyone has a different palette or different tastes
like wine with an ice cube. That’s totally fine. That’s what you
want to do.

Natalie: 22:30 Absolutely. And I was reading in some column recently where it
actually doesn’t have enough to dilute the essential flavors and
aromas in the wine. It actually, it won’t wreck your wine in
other words. so there you go. A licensed, licensed to chill and it
depends on how much do you drink it too, I guess, right? That’s
true. Yes, that’s true. Sometimes it’s just not an issue if that
wine isn’t around lung. but I’ve heard of like Pinot Freezio, a
freestyling again, ice cubes and Riesling and frozen I guess was
very 2017, but there you go. So why do you think, you
mentioned this earlier, why do you think Rose is on the
upswing? It’s a trending up kind of wine. Why do you think that

Darren: 23:17 Well, I think, the consumer started to notice that there’s good
rosés out there, for many, many years when you said Rose, it
was more like blush and white Zinfandel and those sorts of
wines that were like sickly sweet and dark red in color and them
tasted sort of manufactured, but you know, they’ve discovered
the wines have a Provence, the roses from Provence where
they’re dry and they have lots of flavors and they looked
beautiful and so wineries are starting to follow that style and
you see, you know, there are so many roses like they wineries are
making rosés left and right because they’re selling really well
now. And I think that’s outstanding. It’s a great food wine too,
right? Like you can pair it with a lot of things and you can drink
it all year and not just the summertime.

Natalie: 24:05 Absolutely. Yeah. There’s no labor day. Kind of a little on that
one. You can keep drinking your rose and wearing white. Just
wanted to say, deb, deb from Vancouver is here and she writes
about wine as well. Paul Hollander says, as a beer brewer, there
are many strains of yeast that add different flavors. So again, a
nice comparison with beer artisanal beer and Paul says he’s
used, used to have a chardonnay from northern Virginia that
used wild yeast most, excellent. Dave Head says, Paul, I know
you have. You now have a passport. Dave has made Paul and
Honorary Canadian Niagara. Alright, there you go. so what, ,
what line trends do you think we’re going to see in the fall? Like
is there anything other than the new vintages come out? Like is
there anything that you look for in the fall with wine trends?

Darren: 25:03 I don’t really. Usually, you know, you start to go to a fuller
bodied. Reds are like, right now we’re in this transition zone
getting into cooler weather. So lower body whites, like Viognier,
I like to drink, those. And a gamay usually play. Well, Pinot noir
sort of in the fall before you hit the really cold temperatures.
One of the things I’ll be watching for is when the red start
coming out from the Okanagan from last year from 2016,
2017 vintage that was so smokey because yes, there was some
concern that there could be a smoke taint in the grapes, but they
didn’t know yet the last time I had heard. So when those come
out and we’re seeing sort of another smokey year this year,

Natalie: 25:46 sadly. Yes, absolutely. , well we’ll see what happens there. And
speaking of the Okanagan, one of the things that I know you’re
interested in is the increasing number of sub appalachians. Tell
us about that and why you think it’s kind of a marker for the
maturity of the Canadian industry, the wine industry.

Darren: 26:05 Yeah, definitely. You know, like our wine industry in Canada is
still very young when you look, you know, when you think in
Georgia, they’ve been making wines for eight thousand years.
We’ve been doing it really seriously with a vinifera grape for 25
years. So we’re growing, we’re getting more vineyards and now
we’re starting to, you know, the wineries, they’re figuring out
what grapes go grow best in what areas they’re subdividing a
say, the Okanagan Valley. It used to be just Okanagan valley was
your only descriptor and now you can have golden mile bench.
They created that some gi, they call it geographic indicator a
few years ago. And then last month they included Okanagan
falls. They created one for that and Naramata bench. Now is,
on the way it looks like, so, so the, so the consumer, when
you’re buying a wine, if you see this, this, a label on this
descriptor on the label, you have a better idea that all the
grapes are from this area.

Darren: 27:01 So that area has this specific wine that’s good or a specific sort
of note to the wine. You can look for it in that wine and know
that it’ll probably be there. It’s just consistency and it’s about
learning what grows best in your region. Like 20 years ago there
would be, Cabernet Sauvignon are grown in the northern valley
and Pinot noir down by a Soyuz. And now they’ve figured out a
pinot noir is better in cooler climates that are growing up north
and let’s do cab sav down by a Soyuz and the Golden Mile
Bench. So it’s just the maturity and figuring things out.

Natalie: 27:35 Oh, awesome. And, along with those sub-Appalachians, we’ve
got some new Appalachians based on styles rather than regions.
in Ontario, there’s the orange wine that has just come in and
that’s more based on a way of making these wines, right? Yeah,
that’s right. That’s right. So you were describing that sort of
letting the skins of, of the grape sit on the juice to give it that
tinge and the Tannin and, and so on. But what’s the one that’s
going on in Nova Scotia right now?

Darren: 28:03 Yeah, they’ve invented or started a, at Appalachian called Tidal
Bay. And that is also related to sorting of how the wine is made.
Not necessarily the region, it’s a Nova Scotia wine, but it has to
use specific grapes and it has to have like a zingy bright acidity.
And so they have a tasting panel that tastes these wines to
make sure. And they sort of meet all of them, the paradigms or
whatever, and it’s a good calling card for Nova Scotia people if
they buy a bottle of Tidal Bay, they have an idea of what it will
taste like.

Natalie: 28:33 Yeah, absolutely. It’s lovely. It’s just like ocean spray to me. It’s
perfect with shellfish, like lobster, Tidal Bay, it’s still floral and
aromatic. It’s, it’s lovely and light. Low alcohol definitely.
Definitely very good. I don’t think they’re allowed to go over 11
percent or something like that. I, I can’t remember exactly if it’s
really low, it’s definitely lower. Yup. Absolutely. Patty Hollander
says she freezes grapes in the summer to chill a wine. That’s

Darren: 28:59 Oh, that’s a really cool idea.

Natalie: 29:00 That is a neat idea. Patty. Gail Johnson from St Catherine says
with regards to orange wines being an old technique. I was
wondering if there is a particular reason why it was abandoned
like a while back and then now we’re coming back to it. Any
thoughts on that?

Darren: 29:17 Yeah, I don’t really know. I think probably, as, as winemaking
matured and they learn to how to control fermentation better
and things like that, and you could cool wines, you can
refrigerate wines so they would last longer. I think it probably
just emerged that you took these new processes we have now,
you know, like the stainless steel fermenters and you can keep
your temperature and very exact. You can really control the, ,
with the winemaking experience from start to finish. , so, you
know, probably more control was thought to be better, but now
the radicals, radicals, but you know, the people that
are going in the other direction and saying, well, maybe this is a
good way too. So there’s enough room on, on the table for
many different styles of wine.

Natalie: 30:02 Absolutely. I’m Linda Michaels is asking Darren, would you say
that wines from eastern and central Europe are becoming
trendy? So I guess we’re talking about Hungary, Bulgaria.

Darren: 30:14 I think so. yeah, there’s a lot more wines from those areas.
They’ve good terroir. They just didn’t have investment, you
know, especially in the former Soviet republics. They, , you
know, communism was not good for wine. It’s like you make
this, this is how you make it and that’s it, but now people are
starting to invest in some of these areas and you’ve seen some
very nice wines and really good price points too, right? Because
the land is very cheap.

Natalie: 30:42 Yes. And speaking of communism and wine, Alan says, did I hear
your weekday wine is vodka? No, no. Alan, you tuned in midway
through my comment. I’m just saying there’s a slow relaxation
with wine unlike vodka, but you go ahead and have some
vodka, a Deborah or Deb is asking, what’s your favorite Vionnet,

Darren: 31:07 Oh, I really from Canada, I really loved the Viognier from a
laughingstock. Oh, okay. To me it’s like a, it’s a picture perfect.
Viognier in a, it shows the nice apricot and peach flavors. It’s
quite full-bodied. It has a nice long finish. It’s always one of my
go-to Viogniers

Natalie: 31:27 awesome. That sounds lovely. And Laurie Sweet in Kingston just
got back from Nova Scotia and brought home several bottles of
Tidal Bay. Good woman, Lori. Excellent. Alright folks, again,
please share this video if you’re enjoying it and let your friends,
family followers know why, because, they could even catch the
replay. And if you are watching the replay please still share this
video because we always wait a week to draw for the prize.
Okay. So, Darren, I have to ask this fall, we’re going to have the
legalization of cannabis.what do you think if any will be the
impact on wine?

Darren: 32:07 Well, it’s a bit of an open question, but you know, there has
been legalized cannabis in the US, for in some states for a
while. So they’ve done research on that front and I was looking
at a study in Colorado where they found that when they
legalized cannabis, beer sales started to drop. So, maybe that’ll
come here in the study, didn’t really look at wine in particular. It
was more focused on beer, but I’m sure it will have an effect.
And you can certainly see the wine companies are, are watching
this, like last week, a couple of weeks ago, constellation brands,
one of the biggest beverage companies in the world made a
$5,000,000,000 investment in a Canadian cannabis company
called canopy growth. Molson Coors is also a bought into this
industry. So, you know, they know it’s coming and who knows,
maybe we will see a cannabis-laced wine or beer or somewhere
down the road.

Natalie: 33:03 Wine and weed.

Darren: 33:04 There we go. All in one.

Natalie: 33:07 That is, yeah, that’s going to be an interesting thing to see what,
how, how all of this impacts, because there’s, you know, there’s
pottable drinkable. wait a minute. Yes, there they’re doing beer
with, I think cannabis, but there are pottables, there are edibles,
there are all sorts of categories, but I think they have to sort it all
out in terms of, the formats and who’s going to sell it and all
the rest of it,

Darren: 33:33 they say that be the growth area, right? Like only certain
companies can grow the cannabis, but once you buy it, it’s a
little more liberal in what you can do with it. So they’ll find
creative ways to sell it.

Natalie: 33:47 Yeah. I’ll bet a growth area. I’m sure he meant that. Sorry, I
couldn’t resist Blair Robert Shaw has joined us and he is enjoying
this conversation. Alright. So Darren just a few sort of off the
cuff quick answers because I love to just ask our guests this.
What advice would you give to your 30-year-old self?

Darren: 34:11 Probably to buy more quantity and less or buy more quantity.
Quality and less quantity Gotcha. you know, I would taste a
wine that I really liked and I went by, it’s like, oh, I need two or
three bottles of that and then you find out it doesn’t really age
that well and it’s been lost in the cellar and, it’s past its prime
when you have it. So maybe buy less wine but better wine
that’ll hold up for longer in the cellar.

Natalie: 34:38 Absolutely. And, this may be the same answer, I’m not sure, but
what’s the best piece of wine advice you’ve ever received? Is
there something different there?

Darren: 34:47 Oh, I would just say probably I was told to buy and drink what
you like, right? Like, don’t be intimidated by wine or wine snob
or anything like that. Its wine is a, it’s just a beverage to enjoy
and, whatever you like is good. Everyone’s palate is different
and, and wine tastes different to everybody. So go with what
you know and what you like.

Natalie: 35:09 You Bet. You Bet. what do you think is the worst piece of advice
people get about wine? What steers people in the wrong
direction with this?

Darren: 35:18 Well, the sort of, the, idea that red wine should be at
room temperature. That works 100 years ago when you lived in
a, a wood-fired cottage and it was 16 degrees in there, but now
are temperature controlled. Homes are much warmer and
usually, it’s too warm for red wines. You get sort of flabby and
they lose a lot of their, their backbone there. Structure, the
acidity drops. , so I’d like to know if it’s a full-bodied red, I’ll put
it in the fridge for 10 minutes or something like that. Just to
take the edge off, if it’s a lighter red, like a Gamay, you can put
it in even longer and it really does fresh enough the wine and
bring it into balance.

Natalie: 35:58 Yeah, it really does. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Now, if
you could share a bottle of wine with anyone living or dead,
who would that be? Why and which one would you share?

Darren: 36:11 That’s a hard one. Maybe Veuve Clicquot she made so many,
changed champagne, making a lot. She made a lot of, , she
invented riddling basically, and he did a lot of amazing things
just for those who don’t know.

Natalie: 36:29 Yeah. What does riddling just for those who don’t know,

Darren: 36:32 they put the bottles inverted and they slowly rotate them so
that all the yeast collects in the neck of the wine and then they
can reject it. And so you don’t have a bunch of particles in your
wine. It was a big step for champagne and she did it, you know,
as, as a widow and a woman back then, like you have to respect
that so much. So she used her kitchen table. Yeah. Yeah,

Natalie: 36:54 Resourceful. Yes. I’d like to meet her too and especially given
the champagne is so good. That would be. She’d be a really
interesting person to talk to you like she was kind of a tough old
bird and her, her photos, she’s like very stern, but wow. She
lived to her eighties and then. But she took over this company,
the Veuve Clicquot House of Champagne when she was in her
late twenties with a daughter Clementine, eight years old. Can
you imagine? Turn of the century, Napoleonic wars. And she
just stepped up and created one of the best luxury brands in the
world. Yeah. And so impressive. Amazing. That’s a great answer.
, I would love to meet with her to what’s the most useful wine
gadget you’ve encountered or used?

Darren: 37:40 I’m a little mixed on wine gadgets, other than the corkscrew.
It’s, I don’t know. I don’t really use a lot of gadgets.

Natalie: 37:48 Okay, fair enough. Do you get them for Christmas and then we
give them

Darren: 37:52 sometimes, yeah, sometimes people do appreciate them, you
know like there’s more techie people or whatever. I quite enjoy
the next new thing, but I’m kind of a traditionalist I guess.

Natalie: 38:03 Yeah, absolutely. and is there a tip or something you could
share with our audience? Something they can try with wine this
week to kind of up their game or learn more about why?

Darren: 38:16 Well, I would, I would go back to the chilling thing, like if you’re
having a red, just cool it down a little bit, see how it changes,
maybe do it as an experiment, try it at room temperature, leave
one glass out and then put the bottle in the fridge and then let
its cool for a little bit for say 10 minutes and then pours a glass
and then compare the two and just see it changes.

Natalie: 38:36 Great idea. It’s always good to learn side by side is the most, the
best way to learn. Like people think, how do you get these
differences? It’s because you know, you’re tasting six wines,
whatever side by side. That’s how it jumps out at you. It’s not
trying to one wine in isolation though. That is difficult. That’s.
Yeah. so terrific. Is there anything that we haven’t covered that
Did you want to mention as we sort of wrap up here?

Darren: 39:02 Wonderful conversation. It’s not really. Yeah, no, no, that’s
good. That’s good. We’ve covered it all. And where can people
find you online? I’m at on twitter. I’m at doleksyn@twitter.com.
Okay, Gotcha. And we can find your columns in the Calgary
Herald Online @CalgaryHerald.com.

Natalie: 39:25 All right, that’s awesome. Well, folks, I’ve got some more
announcements for you so stay tuned, but, Darren, thank you
so much for joining us. Really appreciate your time tonight.
Some great answers and insights into these wine trends and lots
of learning, so thank you so much for sharing that with us.

Natalie: 39:43 Thank you. It was, it was great fun. Take care and we’ll let. Yeah,
cheers. Let me see. Where’s my glass? There we go. Orange to
orange. Alright, thanks, Darren. Bye. Bye. All right,

Natalie: 39:56 so you can stay here with me because I’m going to announce
the winner from last week. , that will be a signed copy of wine, a
source of civilization. And one last call out here. You can still
share this video and I know we’re wrapping up, but let people
know that they should watch this replay and why, and of course
I would love for you to join me. We want to take it to the next
level. You want to know how to pair wine and food? Join me on
my free online video class @NatalieMacLean.com/pro. All right.
Always love to know what you, what was the most interesting
thing you learned tonight in the comments section? I’m Sam
says, drink what you like, but never be afraid to try something
new. Laurie says warm wines or red wines are not pleasant.
Gotta agree. Linda. Michael says, great choice. Darren and Paul
Hollander says, thank you, Darren. Alright, folks. So we need our
little drum roll here for the winter. Here we go. There it is.

Darren: 41:04 Do so

Natalie: 41:06 the winter of last week’s contest, a signed copy of wine. A
source of civilization is Linda Michaels, who is here with us
tonight. Linda. Yay. Thank you for your share and your
comments on last week’s a chat. Next week I’m going to be
drawing for a copy, a signed copy of my book, red, white, and
drunk all over based on sharing this week’s video. So guys, as
always, thank you so much for spending part of your Sunday
with being here. I really appreciate it. I hope something great as in
your glass and I will see you actually two weeks from now
because next week is the long weekend












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