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Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings July 11

Natalie Decants - July 8, 2020 - 8:27pm

You can access the 109 wines that I reviewed as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. You can also see my wine reviews for June 27. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the […]

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Categories: Wine

Are Celebrity Athlete Wines Great or Gimmicks? With Dr. Antonia Mantonakis

Natalie Decants - July 8, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction 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 interpretation of external cues, like celebrity endorsement, when buying wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Dr. Antonia Mantonakis, Fellow of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute and Professor of Marketing and Consumer Psychology at […]

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Categories: Wine

Best Barbecue Wines: Pairing Wine with Your Grilled Grub (Video)

Natalie Decants - July 2, 2020 - 12:12pm

Now that we’re officially into barbecue season, you may think of having beer with your grilled grub, but wine can also work. Whether you love BBQ seafood, veggies, chicken or beef, there’s a wine for that. Here with her tips for you is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine and food pairing classes at nataliemaclean.com/class. Welcome Natalie! Let’s start with lighter fare like grilled veggies and seafood. Which wines work well with those?             Loimer Grüner Veltliner 2016 Kamptal D.A.C., Austria                 Chateau Ste. Michelle […]

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Categories: Wine

What’s Trending in the Wine World with Darren Oleksyn

Natalie Decants - July 1, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction 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 Darren Oleksyn, journalist and author of Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How can you differentiate between natural wine and orange wine? Why […]

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Categories: Wine

Why You Need This New Wine Label Scanner App Now (Video)

Natalie Decants - June 30, 2020 - 11:10am

On CTV Morning Live, Stefan and I chat about how this new wine label scanner app helps you in the liquor store … … from getting instant access to wine ratings and food pairings to tracking your favourites in your virtual cellar. You can get the free app now before you go to the liquor store.       Apple has just selected the app as one of the best Food & Drinks apps in the category of Wine & Cocktails … yay :)   Wines Featured on CTV Morning Live Colio Estate Wines Lily               […]

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Categories: Wine

Does the shape of a wine glass really matter? (Video)

Natalie Decants - June 30, 2020 - 11:00am

  Does the shape of a wine glass really matter? On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we conducted the ultimate taste test with the hosts. Click on the arrow above to play the video. Wines featured in our tasting included: La Marca Prosecco, Veneto D.O.C., Italy  Even after I started learning about wine, I’d always secretly believed that varietal-specific stemware was an unnecessary expense, fueled by snobs and glassware companies. Then one evening, a friend poured some Bordeaux for me in a large, elegant glass at a dinner party. As soon as the gorgeous aromas wafted up from the wine, I […]

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Categories: Wine

Risky Business: Breaking the Rules of Wine & Food Pairing

Natalie Decants - June 30, 2020 - 7:07am

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm I’m not a follower of hard and fast rules. Charts and wheels are fun, but the best experiences I’ve had have been when I broke the rules. Applying the rules to wine and food pairing will deliver a decent experience, but for an exceptional pairing, it’s all about risks. Most charts insist that Cabernet Sauvignon is the wine for beef. But is it really? Always? But charts don’t reflect our actual dining habits. Most guides list a single ingredient – chicken, beef, duck, etc. – but how often is there just one ingredient […]

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Categories: Wine

The Best Wine Classes and Courses With Your Online Tasting Tribe (Video)

Natalie Decants - June 26, 2020 - 9:02am

Many of us are starting to learn about wine online. Here to chat with us is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine and food pairing classes, including a free, wine and food pairing intro class here.   What have you observed that’s changed in the way people learn about wine during the lockdown? – The lockdown forced a mindset shift that you can learn about such a sensory subject like wine online just as effectively, if not more so, than in a physical class. – So there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of people taking […]

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Categories: Wine

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings June 27

Natalie Decants - June 25, 2020 - 1:42pm

You can access the 113 wines that I reviewed as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. You can also see my wine reviews for June 13. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the […]

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Categories: Wine

A Call for Canadian Wines: Let Them Move Coast to Coast Glorious and Free

Natalie Decants - June 24, 2020 - 8:31am

On Canada Day, many of us raise a glass of local wine to celebrate. But which Canadian wines will make your July 1st memorable? Here, with her picks for you, is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine and food pairing classes at nataliemaclean.com. Hello Natalie. Before we dive into these wines, tell me where the Canadian wine industry stands today and how has it fared during the lockdown? – There are now more than 800 wineries now from coast to coast in Canada. – Great selection of wine from coast to coast, wine is made in every […]

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Categories: Wine

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings May 30

Natalie Decants - May 28, 2020 - 11:13am

You can access the 107 wines that I reviewed as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. You can also see my wine reviews for May 16. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the […]

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Categories: Wine

Video: How to Pair Wine + Quarantine Snacks

Natalie Decants - May 28, 2020 - 10:52am

Anyone can pair a juicy steak with a Cabernet, but which wines should we drink with our favourite quarantine snacks?   On Global Television’s Morning Show, I share my insider tips: What’s the key in terms of flavour, pairing a snack and a wine? Do you want opposite flavour profiles or similar? (ie: creamy snack, creamy wine or creamy snack, acidic wine)? What’s one important thing that people tend to forget when they pick a wine/snack pairing?   Okay, let’s dive into these pairings! Which wine do you suggest pairing with pretzels and why?             […]

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Categories: Wine

How Online Wine Classes Are Changing The Course of Wine Appreciation

Natalie Decants - May 27, 2020 - 8:23am

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about how more and more wine lovers are turning to online wine classes, not just because we’re in quarantine, but also because they offer many advantages over physical courses: You don’t have to drive, find parking or a babysitter and then drive home after drinking Many couples take the course together as date night (a two-for-one benefit because they only pay one course fee) Family members of drinking age can also do this as it’s often a lot more fun than monopoly My students meet wine lovers around the world, they develop friendships […]

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Categories: Wine

Why are Nova Scotia’s Tidal Bay and L’Acadie Blanc Signature Wines?

Natalie Decants - May 27, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction 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 chatting with Amy Savoury, a certified sommelier and instructor of culinary and tourism studies at the Nova Scotia Community College. You can find the wines we discussed here.     Highlights Why can you taste many different fruit flavours […]

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Categories: Wine

Oregon’s Peak Destinations for Food, Wine and Golf

Natalie Decants - May 23, 2020 - 1:42pm

Nestled in a pastoral Oregon valley between the Cascade Mountains and the Coastal Range lies some of the best cool-climate wineries in North America. While some would say the terroir of the Willamette Valley rivals that of Burgundy, that claim can only be tested when tasted. There are seven American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the Willamette Valley and these diverse areas are home to over 800 wineries with the vast majority in the hills of the north. For the most part this region is best known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals with a growing reputation for Pinot Gris, […]

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Categories: Wine

Support Ontario Wineries: Buy Direct and Ship to Your Home (Video)

Natalie Decants - May 22, 2020 - 8:50am

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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Categories: Wine

How to Pair Wine with Any Hamburger (Video)

Natalie Decants - May 22, 2020 - 7:44am

On Global Television’s Morning Show Thursday, we paired wine with many types of hamburgers. Nothing says summer like a juicy two-fisted burger and beer – it’s casual and a good pairing. But what if you want wine with your patti? Wine is also a great pairing, but we think it’s too fancy for the backyard and burgs. However it’s not, and it has a wide range of flavours and styles for the imaginative burgers we have here today.   The Daniel – Vegan Patty Grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, crushed hot peppers, spicy vegan sauce. In the beginning, Shant Mardirosian, […]

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Categories: Wine

The Use (and Abuse) of Wine Scores with Vino Mike and Pete on That Wine Pod

Natalie Decants - May 20, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction 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 conversation I originally had with Pete & Vino Mike on their podcast, That Wine Pod. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What’s my take on the best wine? Why should you […]

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Categories: Wine