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Wine

Vine Oscars: Celebrity Wines to Sip During the Show

Natalie Decants - February 21, 2020 - 5:49am

By Natalie MacLean On CTV’s The Social, we we chat about winemaking movie stars … can you guess who made which wine? When I think of the Oscars, I think wine. Why? For many film industry luminaries, conspicuous consumption such as owning a yacht or even a restaurant is so 2019. These days, if you really want to show some class, you own a winery. There’s no better photo opp than one with you and your trophy wife or boy toy pruning the vines or pressing the grapes.       That’s why movie actors, directors and producers are getting […]

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Categories: Wine

Money, Taste and Wine with Mike Veseth, the Wine Economist

Natalie Decants - February 19, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction Does price affect your perception of a wine’s quality? What would it be like to travel around the world in pursuit of eighty wines? Why does the wide variety of wine negatively affect your buying choices? How can you identify value wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Mike Veseth, The Wine Economist, award-winning author and professor emeritus of the University of Tacoma at Puget Sound in Washington, where he taught international political economy. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What is the role of economics in the business […]

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Categories: Wine

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings February 22

Natalie Decants - February 18, 2020 - 3:38pm

You can access the 87 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 February 8 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

Aphrodisiac Wine Pairings for Valentine’s Day

Natalie Decants - February 12, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction Do you need to follow a food and wine pairing rulebook? What wine-worthy aphrodisiacs should you add to your menu this Valentine’s Day? Does the classic romantic food, chocolate, have a perfect wine match you should try? Where does salinity in wine come from? In today’s episode, I’m chatting with you about aphrodisiac wine pairings and salt in wine. You can find the wines I discussed here. Enjoy!   Highlights What is the most important rule you should remember when choosing wine? Do you need to follow a food and wine pairing rulebook? What can history teach you about […]

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Categories: Wine

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings February 8

Natalie Decants - February 6, 2020 - 11:47am

You can access the 92 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 January 25, 2020 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 […]

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Categories: Wine

Video: The Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine and Chocolate

Natalie Decants - February 5, 2020 - 9:14pm

The hosts of CTV’s The Social and I shared lots of scandalous laughs this week pairing wine and chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Click on the arrow above to play the video.              Laurent-Perrier Millésimé Champagne 2007 Champagne A.C., France         What’s you favourite pairing? We love chocolate not just for its taste, but also for its sensual texture. Cocoa butter, one of its main ingredients, melts close to body temperature, so sliding a piece into your mouth and feeling it seep out to coat your tongue can almost be orgasmic. Maybe that […]

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Categories: Wine

Pairing Wine and Cannabis with the Herb Sommelier Jamie Evans

Natalie Decants - February 5, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction What does a wine enthusiast have in common with a cannabis user? How can you pair wine with cannabis? What do you need to know about terpenes and wine pairing? How do infused beverages bring together the cannabis and wine industries? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Jamie Evans, founder of The Herb Somm, a cannabis blog and lifestyle brand that is focused on the gourmet side of the cannabis industry. Enjoy!   Highlights What health and lifestyle benefits can you experience from using cannabis? What does a wine enthusiast have in common […]

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Categories: Wine

8 Sexy Wine + Food Pairings: Aphrodisiac Wines

Natalie Decants - January 31, 2020 - 6:58am

Pairing wine with aphrodisiac foods sparks a passionate debate on CTV. (It’s never to early too think about it … wine, that is.) We match libido-lifting dishes with different wine types to stimulate all of your senses. Many ingredients have historically been considered aphrodisiacs, sometimes because the food physically resembled male private parts (avocados, which according to the Aztecs, grew on the testicle tree) to their female counterparts (oysters and figs). Other foods, such as chili peppers, provoked the fiery passion of love, with its increased heart beat and sweating. Yet other foods may have contained minerals that increase energy, […]

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Categories: Wine

Single Vineyards versus Blends, Drops of God Manga Wine, Wine Scores

Natalie Decants - January 29, 2020 - 12:48am

Introduction How does blending grapes impact the flavour profile of wine? What can blends give you that a single varietal can’t? What can you learn about wine from reading the Drops of God manga series? Why should you engage your creative side when it comes to wine? Why do you need to dive deeper into wine scores before buying? In today’s episode, I’m chatting with you about the power and problems with wine scores, whether single vineyard or blends are better and the viral sensation of the Manga wine series called Drops of God. Enjoy!   Highlights What can you […]

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Categories: Wine

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings January 25

Natalie Decants - January 23, 2020 - 10:38am

You can access the 83 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 January 11, 2020 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 […]

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Categories: Wine

Mark Oldman: The Wine World’s Greatest Showman

Natalie Decants - January 22, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Mark Oldman, New York-based wine best-selling author, speaker and entrepreneur and one of the liveliest and wittiest guests I’ve had on the show. Enjoy!   Highlights What insider tip can you use the next time you’re faced with a restaurant wine list? How can you signal to restaurant staff that you’re a wine insider (even if you’re not)? What should you do if you think your restaurant glassware or wine has a fault? What do billionaires look for in wines for daily drinking? How can a label […]

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Categories: Wine

Pairing Wine & Creative Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Video)

Natalie Decants - January 18, 2020 - 5:28pm

Carolyn, Jeff and I chat about pairing wine and grilled cheese sandwiches for Canada Day on the national edition of Global Television’s Morning Show. These aren’t your ordinary grilled cheese sammies: step it up on July 1 or 4, and create one of these for yourself and for your guests. Loblaw’s Executive Chef, Mark Russell, created these terrific grilled cheese sandwich recipes. The accompaniments are part of Loblaw’s From Our Chef line. Here are my favourite Canadian wines that I’ve tasted recently, plus wines from around the world in the spirit of international peace and diversity through food and drink!         Baldersen Extra […]

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Categories: Wine

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

Natalie Decants - January 18, 2020 - 10:07am

Merlot became a brand name wine in the 1980s because of its smooth, rich, easy-drinking flavors and texture. It has less acidity and astringency (that furry mouth feeling from tannins) than many other grapes and a medium-body that appeals to many palates.               Reif Estate Winery First Growth Merlot 2016 Niagara River, Ontario VQA, Canada         You’ll find my Top 10 Merlot reviews and ratings here. Merlot has since been somewhat vilified, like Chardonnay, for being boring: the soft jazz of the wine world. Remember Miles’ scorn for Merlot in the […]

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Categories: Wine

Bargain Wines, Pairing Wine and Artichokes, Wine Region Vacations with the Restaurant Guys Mark Pascal and Francis Schott

Natalie Decants - January 15, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction In today’s episode, I’m chatting again with Mark Pascal and Francis Schott, on their excellent radio show The Restaurant Guys. If you missed part one of our conversation, go back to episode 56 after you listen to this one. Mark and Francis have been in the fine dining and wine retail business for more than 25 years, and co-own Stage Left Restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which the New York Times has ranked in their excellent category and Citysearch named among the Top 10 Restaurants in America and Worth The Drive from any Major City. They also own […]

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Categories: Wine

Wine and Comfort Food Pairing: Revel in Your Rut

Natalie Decants - January 14, 2020 - 7:23am

Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be forward-looking to spring with a chirpy article about zesty white wines to pair with fresh vegetables, but it’s so cold outside … and I’m tired of writing seasonally-appropriate editorial content. So let’s make wallowing fun, and turn to comfort wines paired with comfort food. In our continuing video series with Canadian Press, we look at quick tips on pairing those old favourites, from braised meat to pasta in cream sauce with wine. It’ll make you (almost) care what time of year it is when you have bottled sunshine. Here are my favourite […]

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Categories: Wine

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings January 11

Natalie Decants - January 12, 2020 - 7:30pm

You can access the 92 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 December 7, 2019 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 […]

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Categories: Wine

Getting Graphic with Wine and Madeline Puckette of Wine Folly

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

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Madeline Puckette, the content director and co-founder of Wine Folly whose passion for helping beginners learn about wine is the inspiration behind the award-winning website winefolly.com, and the NYT best-selling book, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. Enjoy!   Highlights What is the connection between music, art and wine? What inspired the creation of WineFolly.com? How did Madeline transition from hugely popular infographics on her site to writing a book? What role did Seth Godin play in making the Wine Folly book a reality? What can […]

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Categories: Wine

Icewine: Canada’s Gold in a Glass

Natalie Decants - January 2, 2020 - 5:48am

Icewine: Canada’s golden winter elixir … that’s the hot topic of our segment above on CTV’s The Social. What is icewine and how is it different from other sweet wines? Why is Canada the world leader in producing it? Which are the best icewines to buy right now and which food pairs best with icewine? You’ll find all of the icewines we discussed in this segment, along with dry red and white wines, showing you the stock for each wine at your closest liquor stores so that you can try them this weekend. Where was icewine first made? Icewine is believed […]

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Categories: Wine

BYOB Wines to Restaurants

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

Introduction What does BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) to a restaurant really mean? What special laws and etiquette do you need to know about it? Which provinces and states allow it? How does BYOB benefit you as a wine lover, aside from reducing your restaurant bill? How should you calculate the tip when you bring your own wine? On today’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, I’m sharing everything you need to know, plus my best tips for enjoying BYOB wines at restaurants. Enjoy!   Highlights Which provinces and states allow you to BYOB to restaurants? Why is BYOB perfect for […]

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Categories: Wine