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Reviews of the best wines at any price, style or region
Updated: 3 weeks 21 hours ago

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Sabre Champagne + Sparkling Wines

December 27, 2019 - 6:32am

Leanne and I chat about sparkling wines and Champagnes for the holidays. Click on the arrow to play the video above. Napoléon visits the Moët & Chandon cellars in 1807 Napoleon is credited with inventing the sabering technique and is famous for his phrase: “In victory we deserve Champagne, in defeat, we need it.” The famous Champagne maker Veuve Clicquot, who lost her husband when she was just 27, was a wealthy young widow. She would entertain Napoleon’s officers (early day sampling program). They, in turn, tried to impress her by sabering the tops of the Champagne bottles that she […]

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Categories: Wine

Champagne Special with the Restaurant Guys Mark Pascal and Francis Schott

December 25, 2019 - 2:58am

Introduction In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Mark Pascal and Francis Schott, on their excellent radio show The Restaurant Guys. They’ve 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. Since I’ve chatted with them, they’ve launched a second restaurant called Catherine Lombardi and their Stage Left Wine Shop is booming. Although their radio show was […]

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Categories: Wine

Gift Wines and Wines for Turkey Dinner: Global Morning Show

December 23, 2019 - 11:58am

Rosie, Anthony and I chat about great gift wines and wines for turkey dinner and the holidays on Global Morning Show. Get your custom shopping list of great wines showing the stock for each bottle at your closest liquor stores, including lots of Canadian wines. (A delivery of such didn’t make it to the studio in time.)   Posted with permission of Global News.                 Sterling Vineyards Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay 2014 Central Coast, California, United States                 Chivite Gran Feudo Rosé 2017 Navarra DO, Spain

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Categories: Wine

How to Taste Wine in 5 Easy Steps (Video)

December 22, 2019 - 9:36am

This video is from my second book tour for Unquenchable. I read some juicy bits from the book at the beginning. At the nine-minute mark, you’ll find the five steps to tasting wine. Cheers! Natalie

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Categories: Wine

Pairing Gift Wines with Personalities

December 18, 2019 - 2:58am

Introduction 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 about pairing wine with the people on your holiday gift list? After all, when you give the gift of wine, doubles are fine unlike toaster ovens, there are no wrong sizes unlike that ugly sweater and […]

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Categories: Wine

Video: Which Wines for Turkey, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie?

December 17, 2019 - 9:06am

CTV’s Your Morning Host Ben Mulroney and chat about which wines to pair with your holiday turkey dinner, from appetizers and the big bird to side dishes and dessert. Click on the arrow above to play the video. Happy holidays! Natalie Start with an aperitif As the heady aroma of the turkey wafts through the house, and sounds of Miracle on 34th Street come from the livingroom, offer family and friends an aperitif. This pre-dinner drink will whet their appetites before they sit down to the table. An excellent choice is a chilled dry sherry. Its nutty flavours go well […]

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Categories: Wine

How to Pair Wine with People on Your Gift List (Video)

December 14, 2019 - 8:27am

‘Tis the season for holiday entertaining and gift giving. What if you’d like to give someone a bottle of wine? How do you know which one to choose? How much do you spend? Here to help us with that is wine expert Natalie MacLean.   Welcome Natalie. So if choosing the right wine is so tricky, why should we give wine as a gift at all? When you give the gift of wine, doubles are fine unlike toaster ovens, there are no wrong sizes unlike that ugly sweater and re-gifting is so much easier compared to fruit cake or a […]

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Categories: Wine

Bring Your Own (Wine) Bottle (BYOB) Etiquette

December 12, 2019 - 2:04pm

  Top Fan Paul E Hollander · Don’t often visit chain restaurants preferring more the locally owned ones. But Coopers Hawk Winery and Ruth’s Chris have excellent lists. Guyanne Desforges · 15:29 I find that good restaurant don’t allow or charge too much…the last time I brought wine at a restaurant was at Vieux Dulude in Quebec. (it’s been a while). however after tonight’s discussion, I will call around and choose a restaurant where we can bring it. Jenn Havers · 8:11 We “over bought” some wine in California on our honeymoon, so ended up enjoying a few in restaurants over the last few days of our trip! […]

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Categories: Wine

What’s Minerality in Wine? Plus California Wildfires

December 11, 2019 - 2:58am

Introduction 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’s episode of Unreserved Wine Talk, I’m taking a deep dive into the controversial concept of minerality, assessing the impact of recent wildfires on California wine country, discussing the controversy between cannabis producers and winemakers and […]

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Categories: Wine