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The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery, the zany tactics of a winemaker who hosted a funeral for cork, and more. Nestled in these colourful stories are practical tips on how to choose wine from a restaurant list, pair it with food and ...
 
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show series
 
What’s the quickest way to chill a bottle of wine? How can the lemon and butter test help you pair wine with food? Which wines should you use for sangria? And why are online wine courses surging in popularity? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed by Sheila and Anita for the Moms Sipping Sangria podcast. Highlig…
 
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? I…
 
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 th…
 
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 …
 
Why are wine and cheese your best bets when entertaining? If you're not a fan of blue cheese, where do you start to acquire a taste for it? How is blue cheese made? Can blue cheese actually have no blue colour? Where should you take a wine-and-cheese themed vacation? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Janice Beat…
 
Why does cheese, like wine, spark obsession? Why do certain wines and cheeses have a similar flavour profile? What makes Canadian cheeses unique? Do different types of cows' milk produce different flavours in cheese? How do you pair goat cheeses with wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Janice Beaton, owner o…
 
What would it look like for you to pitch a winery on Dragon's Den versus The Big Decision? What are the creative similarities between writing a book and making a wine? What's the difference between being financially versus creatively invested in a company? What are the three pillars of principled persuasion in business and life? In this episode of …
 
What's the difference between a Master of Wine (MW) and a Master Sommelier (MS)? How can you take advantage of your surroundings to become a better wine taster? Is there a benefit to focusing on tasting notes instead of scores? What is involved in each of the stages of the MW exam? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting w…
 
What should you consider when pairing wine and cheese? Why is sparkling wine the perfect pairing for many cheeses? Are there red-flag flavours that signal a bad wine and cheese match? How can you develop your wine and cheese pairing palate? What can you do to make the most of your cheese and wine course when entertaining? In this episode of the Unr…
 
How did The Wine Bible get its name? How was it unlike any wine book of its time? What was it like as a young woman trying to break into the male-dominated New York wine scene in the 1970s? Why are there significantly fewer women than men with the Master Sommelier designation? How does wine help you to immerse yourself in other cultures? In this ep…
 
Why should you pair wine to the diner, not the dinner? Do you always have to follow the "rules" when pairing food and wine? Which fun food and wine pairing should you try with your pandemic snacking? How can you develop your aroma vocabulary? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Chris Scott, a U.K.-based sommelier …
 
Can being a supertaster affect your preferences in alcoholic beverages? Why don't you find a lot of wineries in Ottawa? How do online classes give you an advantage over in-person classes? How is the pandemic impacting the way you buy wine? Why should you buy wine directly from wineries? How can my Wine App help you find the best wine to pair with y…
 
How does the ease with which you can pronounce a winery name affect your perception of both the wine and its price? Are wine experts or novices more likely to assign a higher value to wines with complicated names? How do grape names affect your purchase decisions? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Dr. Antonia Ma…
 
What should you consider when buying wine as an investment? What's the cold, hard truth about the Canadian wine industry? What makes for a successful wine brand launch? Are Kevin O'Leary's wines as great as he says they are? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Kevin O'Leary, prickly merchant of the television show…
 
What would surprise us about the way we buy wine? What techniques do wine retailers use to trigger impulse buys in the store? What are the biggest differences between the way men and women buy wine? Why is a direct to consumer sales model beneficial for you as a buyer? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Dr. Tim D…
 
How did the novel and movie Sideways change the wine market in North America? In the book, the character Miles is portrayed as a wine snob, but what really defines a wine snob? What do you need to know if you want to become a successful writer? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Rex Pickett, author of the mega-hi…
 
Are wines named after a sports celebrity any good or is this just a marketing gimmick? Are more gentle sports like golf better suited to marketing a wine than the more rough and tumble world of wrestling? What does research tell us about the effect of celebrity endorsements on your wine-buying behaviour? How does your wine knowledge impact your int…
 
What are the hottest wine trends right now? What's the difference between natural wine and orange wine? Are new drinks like blue wine and Pinot Freezio here to stay? How does canned wine hold up to its bottled counterparts? Why has Rosé been able to move from fad to mainstream? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with …
 
Why is Bordeaux considered the ultimate luxury brand in the world of wine? Why did the Chinese market suddenly start buying Bordeaux wines in the 1980s and 90s? Why does Bordeaux in particular suit the ancient Chinese culture of prestigious gift-giving versus other expensive wines? How does the demand for Bordeaux in China affect both the prices yo…
 
What does it take to win Ontario’s Best Sommelier competition? What’s it like performing in front of a set of very stern-eyed wine judges and a live audience? What is the smartest question you can ask your sommelier in a restaurant? What is the deductive tasting technique and how can it help you drink better wine? In this episode of the Unreserved …
 
How did Provence become known as the heartland of Rosé? What does it mean to be part of the Rosé lifestyle? Why should you take a trip to the Provence wine region? Does the colour of Rosé give you a clue into its taste? Which unexpected but mouthwatering food pairing should you try with your next glass of Rosé? In this episode of the Unreserved Win…
 
Would you like to learn more about Austrian wines, especially its iconic grape, Gruner Veltliner? Do you know why this wine is one of the most versatile wines on the planet? Why should an Austrian Heuriger be on your must-visit list? Which Austrian red wine should you try next? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with …
 
What do you need to know about Nova Scotia’s signature grape, L'Acadie blanc? What is Tidal Bay and why is it Canada's first stylistic appellation? Why is one Nova Scotia winery burying barrels of wine underground? Which travel tips should you keep in mind when you visit Nova Scotia wineries? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm…
 
How does the 100 point scale make wine scores easier for you to interpret? How can you drink better wines by finding a wine critic whose style you like? How does grade inflation affect you as a wine lover? Why is taking an online wine course often better than an in-person course? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm sharing a co…
 
What’s it like serving wine to celebrities like Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Beyonce and Miley Cyrus? How is being a sommelier different when you work at a Michelin-starred restaurant, especially when you're just 21 years old? Why is the wine world still largely an old boys club and how does that impact the wines you drink? Which shocking ingredients might…
 
What profound impact does buying your local wine have on your economy? Why will supporting the "Free My Grapes" campaign improve your choice and access to wine? How have Ontario wines changed since the 80s? What are the biggest challenges facing the Canadian wine industry? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we're chatting with Kla…
 
Have you tasted an Argentine Malbec? Which foods pair best with Malbec? Why is Malbec more like Pinot Noir than Cabernet? What are the health benefits of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we're chatting with Dr. Laura Catena, a fourth-generation Argentine vintner, physician and author. Highlights How does Laura's scientific…
 
What makes you a supertaster? Does supertaster status play a role outside of wine tasting? How does age affect our senses of smell and taste? Why is mouthfeel an important aspect of a wine’s appeal? Why should you describe wine by sensation, rather than compound? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we're chatting with Dr. Gary Pick…
 
What is orange wine? How does fermenting with the stems and leave give you a more complex flavour profile? Can you find orange wine on restaurant wine lists? Which types of food should you pair with orange wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we're chatting with Ann Sperling, winegrower and Director of Winemaking and Viticultu…
 
What defines an icon wine? What are the hottest trends in BC wines right now? Which British Columbia wines are worth adding to your cellar? What will surprise you about BC wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we're chatting with John Schreiner, author of Icon: Flagship Wines from British Columbia's Best Wineries, whom I consi…
 
Do all wines taste better with time? What similarities are there between winemaking and cheese-making? Why is Zinfandel your perfect summer drink? How does dry farming impact the flavour of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we're chatting with one of the wittiest, smartest winemakers, John Williams, winemaker and owner at F…
 
Should you hold firm to plans for travelling to wine regions in the near future? How are winery visits being impacted by quarantine restrictions? Can you still attend major wine events? How can you take advantage of online classes to continue to enjoy wine tasting experiences? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we're talking about…
 
How sparkling wine spice up your menu? What complementary taste rule can you use to pair your food with wine? Which wines should you never pair with Indian food? Which red wine should be at the top of your list for pairing with spicy food? Does ambiance affect your wine tasting experience? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, Celebr…
 
Why does wine make such an ideal holiday gift? Which wines are the best to give, especially when you don’t know the personal taste of the recipient? Are there some wines you should never give as a gift beyond Two Buck Chuck? How can you match the gift wine to the personality of the giftee? We’re always talking about pairing wine and food, but how a…
 
What it minerality mean when it comes to wine? Is it a taste? A feeling? Or some bogus concept meant to keep wine mysterious? What’s the latest with the devastating wildfires in Sonoma wine country? Why are winemakers wary of cannabis producers? It’s not what you might think. And what is a new wine group doing to help with a balanced life? On today…
 
In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Christine Sismondo, writer, teacher and barfly who, when not teaching literature at York University, is tracking down the city’s best drinks and the bars in which they’re served for her columns. She also writes wine and cocktail articles for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s larges…
 
On today’s episode, I’m chatting with Matt Cauz, on his excellent podcast called Matt Talks Wine and Stuff with Interesting People. Matt interviews sommeliers, winemakers and wine writers so this is a bit of a turnaround from my usual format because Matt is interviewing me. I wanted to share this episode with you because we dig into lots of great w…
 
I’m chatting with Elizabeth Schneider, who has just published her first book called Wine for Normal People. Elizabeth also hosts one of the popular wine podcasts, Wine for Normal People. She’s a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers and co-founder of Underground Wine Events, which brings together wine lovers with terrific, small win…
 
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