Created with Sketch.
Unreserved Wine Talk
49 minutes | 2 days ago
117: Having a Wine Blast with Susie Barrie & Peter Richards
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a career in wine, whether as a TV or radio personality, writer, author, podcaster, event organizer, speaker or consultant? Well, our guests tonight have done it all and you’re in for a treat with colourful stories from their brilliant careers! In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Susie Barrie and Peter Richards, Masters of Wine for part one of our two-part conversation. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights When did Susie decide she wanted to change her career from acting to wine? When was Peter’s unorthodox introduction to wine writing? Why should you always keep a bottle of wine in your bag? What was the hardest moment in Susie’s journey as a wine expert? What did Peter learn about himself and his writing style from the low points in his career? Why is food such a great place for you to start learning about wine? What have been the highlights of Susie and Peter’s careers so far? How do Susie and Peter simplify wine by breaking it down into categories? How did Peter come to recognize the impact of their work? When did Susie develop her Michelin star-worthy cooking style? How has wine impacted Susie and Peter’s relationship? What effect does a career in wine have on your children? What has been Susie and Peter’s experience with wine-fueled marathons? Why should you wear fancy dress when running a marathon? Key Takeaways I loved listening to the journeys that brought both Susie and Peter from such different backgrounds to the world of wine. I feel we all sort of stumble into this world, and then never want to leave it. I couldn’t agree more with their take that a great place to start learning about wine is through food pairing and to heck with those who scoff at the notion. That’s why my online Wine Smart Course focuses on pairings. I enjoyed hearing how wine has affected their relationship beyond the shared passion and the stories about running the Medoc marathon that were so amusing. Wine bridges so many cultures, regions and moments. Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video on Wednesday, February 24th at 7 pm eastern. Click on the "Interested" or "Going" buttons below so that you'll be notified when we go live: https://www.facebook.com/events/715197649361153/ I’ll be jumping into the comments on all three platforms as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Giveaway You could win a prize pack that includes a personally signed copy of their book on English wine, a lovely linen polishing cloth for your wine stemware and a cheeky chef’s apron that says on the front “Like it Fresh and Racy?” How to Win All you have to do is just pick your favourite social media channel -- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn -- tag us and post a wine you love before March 10th... bonus points if you tag three wine-loving friends and you tell me why you picked that wine, how it tastes and suggested food pairings. Instagram @susieandpeter @nataliemacleanwine Facebook @natdecants Twitter @wineschools @susiebarrie @nataliemaclean LinkedIn @nataliemaclean Hashtags for all platforms: #wineblast #natdecants I’ll also reshare your stories and posts with my followers whether you win or not so that you connect with more wine lovers. Good luck, and I can't wait to see (and share) what you post! About Susie Barrie and Peter Richards Susie and Peter are Masters of Wine who happen to be married to each other. It’s a strange old household, with a constant soundtrack of clinking bottles and glasses. As TV and radio presenters, event hosts, writers, podcasters, authors and consultants, the pair are renowned for their enthusiastic, thoughtful and articulate style, having been described as, ‘Legends: best in the business’ and ‘What a double act: two stars making a killer constellation.’ To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.nataliemaclean.com/117.
70 minutes | 9 days ago
116: Open That Bottle Night with Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher
Do you have a bottle of wine that you’ve been holding onto for a special occasion? Are you curious about how much an old bottle you’ve been keeping in your cellar is worth and whether you should open it soon? Would you like to take a peek behind-the-scenes at how two of the world’s most successful wine columnists taste wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, journalists, authors and wine columnists. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights How did growing up in the segregated South inspire Dottie to become a journalist? What made John recognize the power of good journalism at a young age? What was the worst moment of Dottie and John’s writing careers? Which commencement address was a special honour for Dottie? Which important story made John’s proudest moment in his journalism career so far? What was it like becoming part of the Wine Writers Collection at UC Davis Library? What was Martha Stewart’s connection to Dottie and John’s Wall Street Journal column? Why did Dottie and John end up drinking Château Latour on The Today Show? How did Dottie and John meet? What was the first bottle of wine Dottie and John shared? How did their honeymoon experience of Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1968 lead to meeting renowned winemaker André Tchelistcheff? How did wine change Dottie and John’s lives? What is it about wine that makes us slow down and appreciate the present? Why should you visit winemakers? How did bottles of Taittinger Champagne end up in a birdbath? What role did wine play at the wedding of Dottie and John’s daughter, Media? Why should you seek out a wine merchant you can talk to? Why did Dottie and John make the switch from writing about news to wine? What was the unique approach Dottie and John took to their Wall Street Journal wine column? Why is Dottie excited about the proliferation of wine writers and bloggers? How did Oregon Pinot Noirs spur vehement disagreements between Dottie and John? Who are the wine jerks? How does the “exclusivity” of wine still show up today? What has been Dottie’s experience as a Black woman participating in industry tasting events? How can each of us play our part in making our worlds more equitable and inclusive? Where did the idea for Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) come from? What was the response to the first OTBN? Where is the most unusual place to have participated in OTBN? Why do we resist opening our special bottles of wine? Why should you do OTBN as often as you can? Which wine will Dottie, John and I open for OTBN 2021? How has OTBN been embraced widely in popular culture and across borders? Key Takeaways I loved their stories about how they met and fell in love with each other and with wine. I also enjoyed going behind-the-scenes with their tasting and writing process. It’s as rigorous as their non-wine journalism. I admire how Dottie and John approached Tastings as a column about life, not simply wine. They connected with so many readers because of that and inspired a passion for wine by making it accessible without dumbing it down. I appreciated hearing Dottie’s experiences as a Black woman in the world of wine. I’m motivated to interview more people of colour on this podcast. I already have some in mind, but please let me know if you have suggestions. Love the motivation behind Open that Bottle Night! I’m so motivated to participate in OTBN this year! You’ll find out which two wines were my finalists for the decision, and why I chose the one I did during our Watch Party on February 24th. I want to know which wine you chose too! Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video on Wednesday, February 24th at 7 pm eastern. Click on the "Interested" or "Going" buttons below so that you'll be notified when we go live: https://www.facebook.com/events/199960218511080 I’ll be jumping into the comments on all three platforms as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time. I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer? Giveaway You could win a personally signed copy of Dottie and John's book, Love By The Glass, a beautifully written memoir and love story that also teaches you lots about wine. How to Win All you have to do is just pick your favourite social media channel -- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn -- and post about which bottle you’re going to open on Open That Bottle Night, before Saturday, February 27th. You'll get an additional entry for each social post you do, so feel free to post on all four social media platforms. You'll also get a bonus entry for each wine-loving friend you tag. I’ll re-share your stories and posts with my followers so that you get more followers! Use these tags and hashtags when you post on your fave social media channel: Instagram @dottieandjohn @nataliemacleanwine Facebook @winecouple @natdecants Twitter @winecouple @nataliemaclean LinkedIn @nataliemaclean Hashtags for all platforms: #otbn #natdecants I’ll select the winner from those of you who participate before Saturday, February 27th! Good luck, and I can't wait to see (and share) what you post! About Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher conceived and wrote The Wall Street Journal's wine column, "Tastings," from 1998 to 2010. They’ve published four best-selling wine books and created the annual, international "Open That Bottle Night" (OTBN), a celebration of wine and friendship. Their column for that first event was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. It’s coming up this Saturday, February 27th. We’ll dig into what it’s all about during our conversation. Before writing about wine, both Dorothy and John had distinguished careers in journalism as reporters and editors at The Miami Herald, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/116.
70 minutes | 16 days ago
115: Inside Bordeaux's Secret Underground with Jane Anson
Are you curious about Bordeaux wine? Would you love to learn about its secret underground history? What about the overlooked wines and vintages that are both affordable and delicious? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jane Anson, the world’s foremost authority on Bordeaux wine and the author of Inside Bordeaux. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Giveaway You could win a personally signed copy of Jane Anson's gorgeous, new book Inside Bordeaux if you post a Bordeaux wine that you’ve enjoyed on Instagram or Facebook, either as a Story or in your feed. Use the hashtags #insidebordeaux and #natdecants and tag me, Jane and her exclusive book distributor in Canada, the wine agency, All The Right Grapes: Instagram @jane.anson @nataliemacleanwine @alltherightgrapes @bordeauxwines @drinkbordeaux @vinsdumedoc Facebook @jane.anson.7 @natdecants @alltherightgrapes @bordeauxwine @CrusBourgeoisduMedocUS Twitter @newbordeaux @nataliemaclean @alltherightgrapes @BordeauxWines @BordeauxWinesUK @VisitFrenchWine LinkedIn @nataliemaclean #insidebordeaux #natdecants #BordeauxWine #CIVB #FrenchWines I’ll select the winner from those of you who participate before next Wednesday… bonus points if you tag three wine-loving friends and you tell me why you picked that wine, what it means to you, where you bought it, and suggested food pairings. I’ll also re-share your stories and posts with my followers and announce the winners during our chat next Wednesday. Highlights When did Jane decide to become a writer? What editing mistake from 20 years ago still makes Jane's blood run cold? What is Jane's most memorable moment of her career so far? Which career would Jane choose if she wasn't a wine writer? Would your experience of Mouton Rothschild's 1945 Victory Vintage live up to the stories? How did Jane end up choosing to focus her writing on Bordeaux? What old English connection is responsible for the unique way you see Bordeaux being sold today? What caused Bordeaux to switch to the predominantly red wines you would be familiar with? How have foreign influences influenced the iconic Bordeaux wines you enjoy today? What was Bordeaux's involvement in the slave trade? Why was the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 created? What do you need to know about the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855? Where can you find Jane's informal Bordeaux ranking system? Why should always read tasting notes rather than relying solely on wine scores? How did Robert Parker influence your experiences with Bordeaux wine over the years? What has contributed to the general move away from big, fruity wines you can see in the industry? How has climate change impacted Bordeaux blends? Why is it important for you to look beyond the high-priced classified Bordeaux estate wines? How did Jane navigate the over 800 chateaux she researched for Inside Bordeaux? Which unusual publishing and distribution route did Jane take for Inside Bordeaux? What makes the maps included in Inside Bordeaux so unique? What green initiatives would you find winemakers undertaking in Bordeaux? Why should you be concerned about monoculture? Where should you look for bargains on Bordeaux? What are Jane's thoughts on the future of Bordeaux? Key Takeaways Bordeaux is so much more diverse than those big, fancy chateaux that we imagine, what I call castle marketing. I love that Jane searched for undiscovered regions, especially those that are the satellites of more famous ones like Montagne de St Emilion and the Cotes. Jane reminds us how important soil is with her gorgeous maps that truly reveal the diverse unground layers of Bordeaux that in turn shape what we drink. I’m fascinated with the British influence on Bordeaux wine that dates back to 1152 when this region became part of a Duchy of the English crown. Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was French, who owned this part of France through her father. And she married her second husband, who quickly after their marriage became Henry the second of England. That helped establish Bordeaux as an exporting region, as well as the style of claret the Brits came to love. It’s interesting how the rise of wine critic Robert Parker influenced the style of Bordeaux wine toward a more fruit-forward expression and how that has since receded to greater balance and elegance. I was pleased to hear about the many green initiatives alive in Bordeaux from eco-forestry to biodynamics. In addition to caring for the environment, I believe it also requires greater attention to growing the vines and results in better wines. About Jane Anson Jane Anson is the world’s foremost authority on Bordeaux wine. She’s lived in Bordeaux since 2003 and is author of the newly published Inside Bordeaux, which has received multiple glowing reviews and has been nominated for several awards already. She’s also the author of The Club of Nine, Angélus, Bordeaux Legends, a history of the 1855 First Growth wines, as well as co-author or translator of over a dozen wine and travel books. She’s Bordeaux correspondent and columnist for Decanter magazine and has won several awards for her writing, including Louis Roederer Wine Online Communicator of the Year 2020, and Born Digital Best Editorial 2020. She is a graduate of the DUAD tasting diploma with the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology and an accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux Ecole du Vin. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/115.
41 minutes | 23 days ago
114: Rising Alcohol in Wine: Too Hot to Handle?
Want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Forget the lingerie, lipstick and silk-tie handcuffs—just ensure that the object of your desire drinks a little wine. Over a few glasses of wine, love is blind, or at least it’s wearing rosé-coloured glasses. Perhaps that’s why it’s one of the greatest social lubricants—wine has certainly done more to keep marriages together than beer. Wine embodies physical pleasure: With pheromones, its aromas are a heady mix and its velvet caress on the tongue both soothes and excites. What other drink is described as “voluptuous” and “curvaceous”? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with you about not only wine for Valentine's Day, but we’re also going to turn up the heat and talk about the rising levels of alcohol in wine. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights What rule of thumb should you keep in mind when pairing wine with chocolate? Which wines can you choose when pairing with sweet desserts? Why does the alcohol in wine hit you harder now than in the past? What is fuelling the trend of wines having higher alcohol content? How does alcohol support wine and the tasting experience you enjoy? What can you determine from the tears coating your glass? Why does the alcohol in wine give you the impression of sweetness and texture? Does high alcohol really prove beneficial for New World wines? What traditional processes contribute to the high alcohol levels you might be accustomed to in wines like Amarone? Why do usually find lower alcohol wines coming from cool-climate regions? Where would you find most of the world's most alcoholic wines being produced? Which white wine myth should you dispel? Why should you care about the steadily increasing alcohol content in wine? How do winemakers test grapes for maturity? How does climate change influence ripeness? How do modern winemaking techniques boost alcohol levels? What influence did Robert Parker have on the tasting profile of the wines you've tasted? Why might big wines be spoiling your dinner parties? How can you enjoy different wines for different purposes? Why shouldn't you rely on alcohol levels reported on wine labels? What can you expect from the future of high-alcohol wines? To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/114.
28 minutes | a month ago
113: Tasting and Pairing Grüner Veltliner with Austrian Winemaker Rudi Rabl
Why do sommeliers love Grüner Veltliner? How does this zesty white wine from Austria compare to Gewürztraminer and Riesling? Does it age well? What are the best food pairings? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Rudi Rabl, founder and winemaker at Austria’s Rabl Winery. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights What makes Grüner Veltliner such a flexible type of wine? Which characteristic flavours will you taste in Grüner Veltliner? Which dishes should you try pairing with Grüner Veltliner? Can you pick up aromatic similarities between Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner? How is climate change affecting winemakers in Austria? Why is it harder for you to find Grüner Veltliner in North America? What should you look for when buying Grüner Veltliner? Which appetizers could you pair with Grüner Veltliner? How many different styles of Grüner Veltliner are available to you from Rabl? What can you expect from Rabl St. Laurent, as an Austrian red wine? What made the 2013 and 2015 vintages ones you'd particularly enjoy? Why is Grüner Veltliner a great candidate to add to your cellar? How did wild yeast lead to Rudi's favourite moment in his winemaking career so far? What is Rudi's most memorable wine moment? Key Takeaways Austrian is a boutique wine producer, a country that makes less wine than the region of Bordeaux. It’s great to know that we get the best wines in North America, as these tend to be exported rather than the more ordinary vin de table, especially since the country produces less than what its citizens consume on average each year. Grüner Veltliner is such a versatile wine both stylistically and when it comes to food pairings. No wonder it’s a favourite of sommeliers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We shouldn't be afraid of acidity. What salt is to food, I find acidity is to wine. It brings forward the flavour of both the wine and the food. One of the preservatives of wine is good acidity and Grüner Veltliner has it in spades so yes these wines can age well, though they’re also so vibrant and fresh when young. About Rudi Rabl Rudi Rabl is proud of the family tradition of his winery, dating back to 1750. The love for nature and grapes, the ecological work in the vineyard with herbal plants and the knowledge of the professional processing ensure an excellent quality of the different types of wine. In the cellar, modernity is combined with traditional values. Ecology is an important factor and the winery has been certified as "Sustainable Austria" since 2015. Among the highlights of the awards in recent years is the “White Wine Maker of the Year" 2019 at IWSC in London, the two Decanter Trophy Winners Grüner Veltliner Dechant and Riesling Steinhaus, as well as the 2017 regional winner in the Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc categories. In addition, the winery was awarded "Winery of the Year" in Kamptal. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/113.
39 minutes | a month ago
112: New Zealand Wine's Sacred Soils with Left Field's Richard Painter
How does the unique geography and climate of Hawke's Bay and Gimlet Gravels in New Zealand create wines unlike any others? How does New Zealand Syrah differ from those from other regions? Why do many winemakers seem to have a special love for Chardonnay? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Richard Painter, Winemaker for Te Awa Single Estate and Left Field wines. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights How does the geography of Gimblett Gravels impact the wines you get from Te Awa Wines? Which foods would make a good match for you to pair with the lighter style of Left Field Chardonnay? What prominent notes will you experience with Left Field Chardonnay? Which delicious pairings should you try with Left Field Sauvignon Blanc? What's the fascinating story behind the unique illustrations you'll find on Left Field wine labels? How does Chardonnay lend itself to the wide stylistic variations available to you? What particular style can you expect from Left Field Chardonnay versus Te Awa Estate Chardonnay? Why are goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc a pairing a perfect pairing you should try? What unique characteristics will you find in Left Field Rosé? Should you cellar your Rosé? What differences will you taste between a New Zealand versus Australian Syrah? What can you expect from a Left Field Pinot Noir and Left Field Merlot? Why would you find that wine is a natural progression after studying geography? Key Takeaways I admire Richard’s love of geography and soil: it’s so fundamental to understanding and loving wine. This week, I’m trying his suggested pairing of fried snapper with lemon and a zesty cool-climate Chardonnay. He observed that Chardonnay is often considered a winemaker’s wine since it can express so many staples and variations depending on the winemaker’s decisions, and of course, the terroir. About Richard Painter Richard studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geography at Otago. Whilst living in Dunedin, he spent four years managing the legendary Bath St. Nightclub. During this stint in hospitality, Richard began attending wine clubs and tastings. He soon realized that not only did he really enjoy drinking wine but also that the process of making wine was intrinsically linked to soil science and climatology and therefore appeared to be a practical application of what he studied in Physical Geography. This burgeoning interest in wine took him to Lincoln University in 2006, to complete a Graduate Diploma in Winemaking and Viticulture. Richard started off his career in the wine industry working in vineyards in Central Otago, Canterbury and Nelson. During a year working at Neudorf Vineyard’s in Nelson, he discovered an interest in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and wanted to learn more about these wines. This led him to travel to Oregon to work for Owen Roe Winery and as fate would have it, ended up working in their facility in Washington State. Again his curiosity with different varietals was piqued and he fell in love with making (and naturally drinking) bold red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot blends and Syrah. This love of red wine is what brought Richard to Hawkes Bay as he wanted to work with fruit from the famous Gimblett Gravels sub-region. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/112.
36 minutes | a month ago
111: Ontario Icewine: How to Drink It, Pair It and Love It with Karen King
How is Icewine different from other sweet wines? How does that change the way you drink it and pair with food? Which pairings work beyond dessert? How can you make delicious Icewine Slushies and pair them with chili chips and wasabi peas for an incredible flavour combination? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Karen King, co-owner of the Ice House Winery in Niagara. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights What differences can you see in how different generations think about Icewine? Why shouldn't you save Icewine only for special occasions? How is the Ice House Winery Icewine different from others? How does Karen and Jaime's winemaking goal benefit you? What rule-breaking experience can you expect from the Ice House's Icewine Slushies? How can you make Icewine Slushies at home? What taste profile will you encounter when drinking Icewine Slushies? Why should try a pairing of Icewine with wasabi peas? Which surprising notes will you taste in the Ice House Riesling Icewine? What foods can you pair with Riesling Icewine? Which complex notes can you identify in Ice House Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine? Are there certain aspects of a wine that make it more suited for you to have at the end of a meal? How can Icewine make your other wines more interesting? How did being on The Big Decision catapult the Ice House Winery's popularity? Where can you find the Ice House Winery? Key Takeaways Karen reveals some interesting stats: 20% of wine lovers drink dessert wine, but 80% are interested in them as cocktails, particularly younger people. I think it’s smart that she came up with a way to make icewine more accessible and have a broader reach with the slushies even though purists might be horrified. They lower the intensity of the flavour and sweetness making them more palatable. Her pairings of chilli chips and wasabi peas were simply brilliant with icewine. The combination of heat, salt, sweetness and acidity was a party for my mouth. Also try other chip flavours like chipotle, lime and jalapeno. I like her observation on high tone fruit like peach, pear, apricot in Vidal icewines versus the lower tone, more mellow fruit of a Cabernet-based icewine with notes of dark berries and cherries. About Karen King Karen King and her husband, Jamie Macfarlane are the co-owners of the Ice House Winery in Niagara. Karen has applied her business and sensory expertise to support Jamie’s expertise as a master winemaker. He developed his unique award-winning Icewines through Karen's research that identified that consumers preferred a more balanced Icewine with a complex fruit-forward delivery that had a crisp rather than sweet finish. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/111.
19 minutes | 2 months ago
110: Drunken Adjectives: A Fuzzy Vine-acular
Are there really that many different descriptors for inebriation? What's the origin of drunken euphemisms like "three sheets to the wind"? Why does our language go from getting hammered at college dorm parties to more mature sentiments like "feeling no pain"? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm sharing the interesting and surprisingly vast vocabulary that describes the things we do, say and feel when we've had a little too much. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights What descriptors for overindulgence might have you thinking of food instead? How does our drunken behaviour lend itself to immature and animal-like labels? Which more macabre adjectives might remind you of the excess that comes with college parties? What old-timey predecessors can you find for these drunken adjectives? How can you describe the more mellow inebriation you've matured into? Would you find different descriptors for intoxication when it comes to women versus men? What meaning do you find behind euphemisms from the past? Which colourful phrases do other cultures and languages use to refer to intoxication? What are some of the stories you'd find at the heart of our alcohol-rich language? To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/110.
38 minutes | 2 months ago
109: How to Pair Wine and Chocolate with Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning
Where can you find the best chocolate? What's the difference between candy and real chocolate? How can you pair wine and chocolate? What does Fair Trade mean and what should you look out for? Where can you find the best chocolate? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with New York Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights Why should you consider a trip to the Ecuadorian rainforest? What parallels can you find between wine and chocolate? In which regions can you find the best quality cacao? What is heirloom cacao? How can you identify real chocolate? Can you access artisanal chocolate from around the world? Why do you notice fruit-forward notes in real chocolate? What do you need to know about selecting and serving chocolate? How can you restore the taste of chocolate that wasn't properly tempered? What can you do to support fair wages and working conditions for cacao farmers? What health benefits can you enjoy from real chocolate? How can chocolate help you lose weight? Which wines can you pair with real chocolate? Why does texture play such an important role in your chocolate experience? Key Takeaways Roxanne found several similarities between wine and chocolate, from the importance of terroir and they’re grown to not being overly manipulated when being made. Even the parallel between using sugar and dairy to mask poor cacao beans is similar to using oak and high alcohol to cover up poor grapes. Cacao beans are fruit, not legumes or vegetables because they grow on trees, and therefore also have varying degrees of acidity like wine. Roxanne gives great advice for serving chocolate like cheese - let it come up to room temperature to appreciate the aromas and flavours. Buy Direct Trade chocolate when you can to support farmers more fully. About Roxanne Browning As an entrepreneur, Roxanne Browning merged two passions - chocolate and wine. Ultimately, a trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon rain forest, where she harvested cacao and witnessed first hand how the noble cacao pod transforms into a chocolate bar. By empowering cacao farmers to lift themselves out of poverty, they reinvest back into their land, communities, feed and educate their children. Founded in 2010, Exotic Chocolate Tasting, Inc. is a Certified WBENC Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and a Certified New York State Women-owned business. This original idea of terroir-driven chocolate paired with wine showcases Roxanne's knowledge and experience with guests while they enjoy their two favourite pleasures. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/109.
34 minutes | 2 months ago
108: Holiday Movie Wines + Cool Chardonnay with Brian Schmidt
What exactly is a cool climate Chardonnay? Which dishes are delicious with this style of Chardonnay? What's the most important element for you to discover when tasting wine? Why did Chardonnay become so popular, then fall out of favour? What is the Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Brian Schmidt, Vice President and Winemaker at Vineland Estates Winery. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights What are the hallmarks you would find in cool climate wine-producing regions? Why is "cool climate" being redefined? Which traditional cool climate wine regions would you be familiar with? Why shouldn't you compare Niagara and Burgundy wines? How did Chardonnay rise in popularity since the "Anything But Chardonnay" times? Would you experience a difference in Chardonnay styles in recent years? Why would you prefer to pair a light versus a buttery white wine with food? How can you identify minerality? Which element of wine is the most important for you to identify? What type of experiences can you have at the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration? Are there certain dishes that you should try with cool climate Chardonnay? What was Brian's most interesting cool climate Chardonnay experience? Key Takeaways Brian gives us a great definition of cool climate Chardonnay being grown in wine regions that have 1000 to 1450 heat units during the growing season to give the freshest expression of the fruit. It’s also a combination of latitude and attitude. He draws some valid comparisons with Riesling, another cool-climate grape, that also undergoes a cool fermentation in stainless steel tanks rather than oak barrels. Chardonnay, much like Merlot, fell out of favour a decade ago with the Anything But Chardonnay backlash because it had become both too popular and too homogenous. But Chard is back baby, with a slim new profile and crisp style. Minerality in wine is more of a tingling texture than a taste, though it is often described as wet stone. About Brian Schmidt For over two decades, winemaker, Brian Schmidt has faithfully served Vineland’s vineyards and cellars with a steady, farsighted view to promoting complete integration, natural synergies and reduced intervention. This holistic approach has resulted in specific tiers of wines that continue to voice a clear expression of time and place. Brian maintains, “It is critical to understand the soil and site where your grapes are grown while developing a defined, yet flexible frame to react to the curve balls that Mother Nature likes to throw.” Brian continues, “I do have an untamed passion for growing all cool climate varieties, but I must admit that I have a particular love for Riesling and Cabernet Franc.” On mentioning his recent award, he smiles broadly, locks eyes and says in a warm voice, “You do know that I have an entire team of creative and dedicated individuals behind me. The award is clearly the result of the efforts of a team of talented people at Vineland, all working towards a common goal. I was the fortunate one to be able to receive the award on their behalf.” Brian Schmidt was born in Kelowna, British Columbia and was raised on a vineyard that had been in the family for three generations. The Schmidt family was one of the founding families of the Okanagan wine industry and this was the bedrock of Brian’s interest in winemaking. Brian has experimented, researched and has travelled extensively throughout Europe’s cool climate regions studying winemaking and the specific connections to the land. It is this intensive experience that has resulted in the creation of a winemaking style that has become Vineland Estates Winery’s signature. Brian is most concerned with how the public receives and embraces Vineland’s wines but the wines have also garnered formal, national and international recognition. One notable achievement was the awarding of the 2003 VinItaly Grand Gold trophy as the highest-scoring winery in a field of over three thousand wines. This was the first time this trophy had ever been awarded outside of Europe. Brian humbly accepts the many honours but is quick to get back to the important business of building Vineland Estates’ reputation for wines that delight and engage by expressing the true essence of place. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/108.
33 minutes | 2 months ago
107: Wine Tasting and Pairing Tips from Master Sommelier Bruce Wallner
Is being a sommelier as glamourous as it seems? Why is it sometimes difficult to differentiate between certain New and Old World wines? How does terroir play a key role in a blind tasting? What's it like being in a sommelier competition? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Bruce Wallner, Master Sommelier at Sommelier Factory. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights What un-glamourous truth might you be surprised to learn about being a sommelier? What intangible joy can you get from being a sommelier? How should you view the role of a sommelier? Which areas would you see assessed in the Best Sommelier in Canada competition? How do you train for a sommelier competition? Why would you do a blind tasting? Is there a reasonable explanation why you might confuse certain regions in a blind tasting? Why should you pay close attention to terroir? What parallels can you find between the Quebec Best Sommelier competition and The Karate Kid? What underlying principle should you keep in mind when you're pairing food and wine? What does grenache add to your wine tasting experience? What tasting profile will you encounter with 2009 Clos De Caveau Fruit Sauvage? How can you match 2009 Clos De Caveau Fruit Sauvage with food? How did Bruce go from bartending to becoming a sommelier? Key Takeaways Bruce defines a sommelier as being the one step between the person who makes the wine and the person who drinks it. Bruce takes a professional approach to training for the competition that includes mental conditioning as well as abstaining from wine the day before so that his palate is at peak perception for tasting during the event. I’m going to see if I can detect if my own palate perception is more acute when I’ve not had wine for a day. That does happen once in a while! The blind tasting component of the sommelier competition is more about describing the wine and its elements rather than nailing the exact name and vintage of the wine. The latter is a meaningless party trick like trying to balance a spoon on your nose. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/107.
42 minutes | 3 months ago
106: Pairing California Wine and Gourmet Burgers with Winemaker Joel Gott
How do you pair wine with burgers? What is it about California that gives us such a wide variety of wine? How is the Napa Valley food scene? What restaurant industry lessons help Joel make better wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Joel Gott, owner and winemaker at Joel Gott Wines. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights When will you see the most "action" at a winery? What facts might you be surprised to learn about Napa Valley? Which highly-acclaimed restaurants should you visit on your next trip to Napa Valley? How did in-bottle refermentation create the worst moment of Joel's career? What exciting moment did Joel experience while flying over the Pacific? What makes Three Thieves Wines unique? Who are the people you need to know behind Three Thieves Wines? How does the growing environment translate into what you taste in Three Thieves Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon? What tasting notes will you encounter with Three Thieves Wines? Why does Joel Gott describe his restaurants as "the low end of the high end or the high end of the low end"? Can you pair Three Thieves Cabernet Sauvignon with a burger? Which wine can you pair with a kimchi burger? Why is Zinfandel a safe bet to pair with many foods? Which of Joel Gott's wines would you find to be the most complicated? What French influence might you notice in Joel Gott Wines Unoaked Chardonnay? Which Gott's Roadside burgers should you pair with Joel Gott Wines Unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot? Is Joel Gott Wines Cabernet Sauvignon a good addition to your cellar? Why should you shop by vintage instead of by brands? What advantages do women winemakers bring to the table? Why do you find such a wide variety of wine styles out of California alone? What are Joel's top tips for improving your wine experience this week? Key Takeaways Shop for great vintages first rather than brands. You can find so many gems this way, often underpriced too. The excitement of the harvest is often the spark that ignites a passion to make wine. So much of an entire year’s work depends on just a few weeks -- it’s nerve-wracking and exhilarating. Pairing ideas for gourmet burgers from Cabernet with a classic cheeseburger to Zinfandel for racier burgs like kimchi with pickled veggies and spicy aioli or green chili and jack cheese. The sweet fruit and spice of the zin is a great match for the spice and salt in the burgers and fixin's. Corked wine can ruin the reputation of a winery with a customer for good and a screw cap is able to seal a moment in time, especially the freshness of a sauvignon blanc. About Joel Gott While running Palisades Market in Calistoga in the early 1990s, Joel Gott noticed a growing need for quality, value wines. Having worked at Kenwood Winery in Sonoma County, and with a family history in the business, Joel felt sure he could fill this void in the marketplace. In 1996, Joel purchased a few tons of Zinfandel from family friend and grape grower Tom Dillian. With the help of then-girlfriend—and winemaker at Joseph Phelps—Sarah, Joel produced his first vintage of Dillian Ranch Amador County Zinfandel. The wine received praise from Robert Parker and Wine Spectator, which was all the encouragement Joel needed to produce additional varietals. A Sauvignon Blanc followed in 1998, and the year after he and Sarah produced California appellation Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon by shopping the entire state for the best fruit, creating a wine shaped by various regions instead of a single estate. This style and commitment to quality wines blended from hand-selected vineyards helped guide the direction of Joel Gott Wines. In 2003, 815 was added to the California Cabernet Sauvignon label to celebrate the birth of Joel and his wife Sarah’s first daughter Lucy on August 15th. That same year, Alisa Jacobson was hired as the assistant winemaker, and the following year Sarah left her position as winemaker at Quintessa to focus on a growing family and winemaking at Joel Gott Wines. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/106.
49 minutes | 3 months ago
105: Wine and Cheese Pairings to Celebrate the Holidays with Janet Fletcher
Should you try a cheese-only cheese course? Why are cheese and bread not necessarily great matches for cheese? Which underappreciated wine and cheese pairing should you try today? How does sparkling wine stack up with your favourite cheeses? Have you been serving cheeses the wrong way? Should you eat the rinds on cheeses? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with award-winning journalist and author, Janet Fletcher. You can find the wines we discussed at www.nataliemaclean.com/winepicks. Highlights What shift can you see in the restaurant industry's approach to serving cheese? Which mindset shift did Janet want you to make when writing her first book about cheese? How did writing a weekly column create a space for Janet to deep dive into the culture, science and history of cheese? Why should you try a cheese-only cheese course? What extra consideration do you need to make when pairing wine and cheese? Is it a good idea to pair wine and cheese with grapes? Which problem might you encounter when pairing cheese with crackers? What creative bread and cheese pairing should you try? Which type of underappreciated wine does Janet recommend as a great pairing with cheese? Why is Gouda the perfect cheese to pair with your brandy? Why is sparkling wine Janet's "desert island wine"? What characteristics and flavours will you pick up on with Tomales Teleeka cheese? What do you need to know about double and triple cream cheeses? How are wine and cheese very similar? Which little-known, connoisseur-approved wine and cheese pairing should you try? What's the right way to serve Parmigiano-Reggiano? Why does Parmigiano-Reggiano make a great table cheese? Why do contrasting textures work so well with wine and cheese pairings? How can you tell which cheeses aren't meant to be sliced? What basic tips can you use when choosing a cheese knife? Should you eat the rinds on cheeses? Can you pair blue cheese with sparkling wine? How many cheeses should you serve at a dinner party? Can you use the horizontal tasting concept with cheese? What's the best way you can pair sparkling wine with goat cheese? Key Takeaways I love Janet’s advice that simplicity is often the key to a great cheese board -- let the cheese be the star both visually and flavour-wise rather than a lot of condiments. When it comes to condiments, many can clash with your wine whether they’re sweet, vinegary or pickled. The same goes with bread and crackers, best to stick to fairly neutral flavours. I can’t wait to experiment more with sherry and cheeses, especially an aged Gouda that has those nutty, butterscotch flavours. I found it interesting that triple cream cheeses are about 75% butterfat -- that’s the dry matter without any water versus 62% for double cream cheeses and 45% for average cheeses. It’s interesting how our perception of the salt in cheese increases as it ages and loses moisture. Janet has great advice for chipping rather than cutting hard cheeses to maintain their crunchy crystalize structure -- you can see the special knife she recommends in the video version of our conversation (https://www.nataliemaclean.com/blog/videos/janet-fletcher-wine-and-cheese-pairings-video/) About Janet Fletcher Janet Fletcher is the author or co-author of nearly 30 books on food and beverage, including Cheese & Wine, Cheese & Beer and Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Janet publishes the weekly Planet Cheese blog and is the cheese columnist for Specialty Food and Somm Journal magazines. She teaches cooking and cheese-appreciation classes around the country. Her journalism has received three James Beard Awards and the IACP Bert Greene Award, and her food writing has appeared in numerous national publications, including The New York Times, Saveur, Fine Cooking and Food & Wine. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/105.
53 minutes | 3 months ago
104: Zinfandel Crusader Joel Peterson, Ravenswood Founding Winemaker
Do you know the rich and royal history behind Zinfandel? How does the air in a vineyard affect the flavours you taste in its wine? Why did Zinfandel become such a sensation in North America? What does mythology have to do with Ravenswood wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with the Godfather of Zin, Joel Peterson, founder and winemaker of Ravenswood Winery. Highlights Why did Joel's father involve him in wine tastings as a child? What sort of colourful tasting notes would you read in Joel's father's wine club newsletters? What's the less-than-catchy name you'd use for the Zinfandel grape in it's home country of Croatia? When would you find the first historical reference to the Zinfandel grape? How is Zinfandel connected to Old World royalty? What makes Croatia a great grape-growing region? What do you need to know about "founder grapes"? How did Zinfandel come to the United States? What history can you taste in Ravenswood Vinters Blend Zinfandel? What unbelievable raven encounter led to Joel's connection to them as a totem? How did an opera inspire the name Ravenswood? In which areas of mythology would you find references to ravens? Why you will love a pairing of baby back ribs and Ravenswood Zinfandel blends? Which climatic features make Lodi an ideal grape-growing area? How does your tasting experience differ between Ravenswood Vintners Blend and Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel? Why do you often find higher alcohol content in Zinfandels? How do you find the "sweet spot" for wine which has the perfect balance? What do you taste differently with wines made with the punch down versus pump over techniques? How does "airroir" impact your experience with wine? What makes a field blend different from single grape wines? Which annual charity event will you find Joel at without fail? What influence does growing up with two superstar chemists as your parents have on you? Key Takeaways The historical roots of Zinfandel and its links to Croatia when it was part of the Austria-Hungarian empire as well as Venetian courts is fascinating, as is the detective work to establish the grape’s true heritage and parentage. Zinfandel's history goes back to 1488, and it’s one of the 12 founding grapes of all wine grapes. Why Lodi makes such great Zinfandel with its deep, sandy soils that were once part of an ancient ocean bed. This produces larger grape clusters with smaller skin to flesh rations resulting in less harsh tannins, and a smoother, juicier, fruitier wine. How wine achieves sweet spots of different alcohol levels, where everything is in balance i.e. the fruit and acidity say at 13.8% alcohol but maybe not at 13.9%. The concept of "airroir" is fascinating and something I want to explore more in the wines I taste in terms of their influences. Joel’s story about tasting wines as a child and learning to identify aromas, not just apples, but the type of apples by smelling and eating them. That’s how we all can learn to be better sniffers and tasters. The story of Ravenswood name, including all of the raven folklore in Poe and Odin. About Joel Peterson In 1976 Joel founded Ravenswood in partnership with fellow wine lover Reed Foster, a Harvard MBA who handled the green stuff while Joel oversaw the red stuff. In the ensuing years, Joel had dual careers, working nights and weekends in the lab as he built the winery during the daylight hours. In 1977, he’d left his job in San Francisco and moved to Sonoma to work in the clinical lab at Sonoma Valley Hospital. He didn’t quit that job until 1992, a few years after the winery turned its first profit and Robert Parker pronounced Ravenswood wines “first class – bold, dramatic and complex.” Today, Joel works with 100+ northern California growers who provide grapes for Ravenswood, consulting on irrigation methods, cultivation practices, cropping levels, and a slew of other vineyard management issues. This attention in the field, coupled with the fact that Ravenswood is one of the few wineries that has had the philosophical and winemaking skill of one winemaker for over 30 years, contributes to a consistency of quality and style rarely found in California. Joel is a current member and former president of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance (S.V.V.G.A.) and is on the Board of Directors for the Sonoma County Vintners. He is a founding Board member and former two-time President of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (Z.A.P.). Joel is also a Senior Vice President with Constellation Wines US. A rakish raconteur (and provocateur) whose erudition and down-to-earth enthusiasm make him an articulate spokesman for the winery (and sometime-heckler of the wine industry), Joel is a stylistic trendsetter who helped make Zinfandel the runaway phenomenon it is today. Along the way, the raven maven (dubbed “the Godfather of Zin” by one media wag) has built a legacy of enjoying wine with grins and gusto. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/104.
33 minutes | 3 months ago
103: The Connected Table with Melanie Young and David Ransom
How did my first sip of "fancy wine" jump-start my thirst for wine knowledge and experiences? Why is this a perfect time for you to take an online wine course? Why is it hard to pair certain vegetables, like asparagus, with wine? What juicy, behind-the-scenes insights will you read in my upcoming third book? What's it like being a woman in the wine world? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm being interviewed on The Connected Table with Melanie Young and David Ransom. Highlights Why did my first sip of "fancy wine" start my thirst for wine knowledge and experiences? How did I get started with Highland dancing? Which aspects of dancing have helped me to develop as a wine writer? Can wine help you to connect the various aspects of a liberal arts education? Why is this a perfect time for you to take an online wine course? Why will you find it hard to pair certain vegetables, like asparagus, with wine? Which wine should you choose to perfectly complement difficult to pair vegetables? How can my online food and wine pairing course help you to improve your wine skills? What juicy, behind-the-scenes insights will you read in my upcoming third book? What's it like being a woman in the wine world? Which amazing Canadian food and wine pairing do you have to try? Which iconic Canadian wineries should you visit on your next trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake? What wine regions would make the ultimate cross-border pairing in wine travel? About Melanie Young and David Ransom Melanie says her first wine education event was at the age of 15. “My dad was a wine educator in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for more than 30 years and taught me to taste and drink both well and responsibly. For a public speaking class at my high school, I decided to teach fellow students how to open and serve a bottle of wine. I came to school that day wearing my tastevin around my neck and carrying a bottle of wine. A lineup of teachers stood in the back of the classroom watching me with interest as I started to demonstrate my special skill. The thing is, being underage, they would not let me open the wine!” Melanie’s articles on wine, spirits, food and travel have been published in Wine4Food, The Epoch Times, Wine Enthusiast, Seven Fifty Daily, Jewish Week and several food industry trade outlets. Melanie is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, the Wine Media Guild. She has spoken and/or moderated panels on career reinvention, building your brand and women in the industry. David’s story in wine began with his father’s love of wine leading to the family buying a winery in New York State in the 1980s. “We all jumped in together and started Rivendell in 1987,” says David, “and I got to name it.” Rivendell, named after the House of the Elves in J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings, went on to become New York’s top award-winning winery while the Ransom family owned it, getting top honors from critics, as well. Outside the winery business, David has been involved in the education, promotion and marketing of wines and spirits across the country for over 30 years. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/103.
51 minutes | 4 months ago
102: Nova Scotia's Secret Star Wine Power with Benjamin Bridge's Jean Benoit Deslauriers
Where can you find one of the Canadian wine industry's best-kept secrets? How does the dynamic Bay of Fundy impact the flavours you taste in wines from the Gaspereau Valley? Which Benjamin Bridge wine will you find on Gordon Ramsey's restaurant wine list? Why do regional pairings of food and wine work? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jean Benoit Deslauriers, Head Winemaker at Benjamin Bridge. Highlights Where can you find one of the Canadian wine industry's best-kept secrets? How does the climatic dynamic of the Bay of Fundy impact the flavours you'll taste in wines from the Gaspereau Valley? Which Benjamin Bridge wine would you find on Gordon Ramsey's restaurant wine list? What creates the bubbly effect you experience with sparkling wines? Is there a specific role that you'll see sommeliers play in the wine world? Which process is responsible for the consistent, signature style you expect from Champagne? Can you tap into some of Benjamin Bridge's oldest wines in an affordable way? What flavour profile can you expect from Benjamin Bridge Non Vintage Brut? Why should you aim for regional connections when pairing food and wine? Why is Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 a great choice for you to match with foods that are difficult to pair with wine? What makes the Benjamin Bridge Riesling a great example of their signature foundation of freshness? How do Nova Scotia wines achieve both the richness and freshness you taste in their wines? Why should you think of Nova Scotia as "the little wine region that could"? What makes Tidal Bay an appellation wine? What sort of profile should you expect from Benjamin Bridge Brut? Why should you join the BB Club? Which wine motivated Jean-Benoit to break his piggy bank as a fifth grader? When did Jean-Benoit realize he wanted to have a career in wine? About Jean Benoit Deslauriers In 2008, Jean-Benoit joined the Benjamin Bridge winemaking team in time to release his first Canadian wine, Nova 7 by Benjamin Bridge. Since then he has crafted all of the winery’s classic method sparkling wines and its still wines, in consultation with Peter Gamble (the winery’s lead consultant) and the late Raphaël Brisbois (its sparkling wine specialist and former chef de cave of Piper-Heidseick). Originally from Québec, Jean-Benoit began his winemaking apprenticeship at VOE (Vinedos Organicos Emiliana), a biodynamic vineyard/winery in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, which was created by one of Chile’s largest producers, Vina Santa Emilina, to produce exceptional wines. Having mostly worked in California, he made wine at Casa Barranca (2004-2008), the first certified organic winery in Santa Barbara County. In California, his winemaking efforts garnered accolades and standout reviews from Robert Parker and Steven Tanzer (90+). Since 2008, Jean-Benoit’s winemaking has elevated Benjamin Bridge’s wine programs to new heights with consistent 90-95+ scores and unanimous high praise from the nation’s leading wine critics along with growing international recognition. About Benjamin Bridge In little more than a decade, Benjamin Bridge has distinguished itself by its dedication to time-proven techniques, expert guidance, and most importantly its acclaimed, distinctive wines. The Benjamin Bridge vineyards are located in the heart of the Gaspereau Valley on the Bay of Fundy, where the cool climate bears an uncanny affinity with the Champagne region of France. Our experienced winemakers work in collaboration with international experts to produce world-class Méthode Classique sparkling wines and limited edition luxury wines. Their innovative sparkling wines display the hallmarks of classic prestige cuvées from Champagne, but with a Nova Scotia signature. “They are, without question, the best sparkling wines I have tasted in Canada,” says Tony Aspler, Canada’s most renowned wine authority. Their collection of handcrafted fine wines, including perennial sell-out Nova 7, together with our sparkling wine program, have helped raise the profile of Nova Scotia terroir and its winemaking in Canada and internationally. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/102.
42 minutes | 4 months ago
101: Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries Adapt to Covid with Andrea Kaiser
What's it like harvesting grapes in sub-zero temperatures? Is there really any difference between a vineyard on one side of the road and a vineyard on the other? Is this a good time for you to visit a winery? What's changed with Covid? How does the Taste the Season at Home initiative allow you to support local wineries? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Andrea Kaiser, Chair for the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Director of Marketing at Reif Estate Winery. Highlights What's it like being part of an Icewine harvest without automation? Which harvest tradition did Andrea start while embracing the Great Indoors? How did Karl Kaiser's wine press end up breaking during a particularly cold harvest? As a wine consumer, how does the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) benefit you? Is there really much of a difference between geographically close appellations? How can Russian nesting dolls help you understand appellations? What's Andrea's earliest memory with wine? Why shouldn't you feel intimidated by wine? Why should you look forward to 2020 wines from Niagara-on-the-Lake? How have Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries evolved their customer experience during the pandemic? Is this a good time for you to visit a winery? What precautions are Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries taking to prioritize health and safety? Why should you make a reservation to enjoy holiday treats at Drea's Wine Co.? How has the demand for online sales changed in recent months? How can you take advantage of the wider selection of wines available online versus in the LCBO? How does the Taste the Season at Home initiative allow you to bring the winery experience into your home? What resources can you find on the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake website? How can you learn more about the story of winemaking in Niagara-on-the-Lake? What are the most famous wines you'd want to try from each of the sub-appellations of Niagara-on-the-Lake? How do the climatic and geological features you experience affect the growing potential of Niagara-on-the-Lake? Why should you be especially proud of the Canadian wine industry? What can you expect from Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries in 2021? About Andrea Kaiser Andrea Kaiser grew up in Niagara-on-the-Lake amidst a transformation ignited by her father’s vision in winemaking. Karl J. Kaiser was none other than co-founder and winemaker of Inniskillin Wines, that revolutionized an industry. He is considered by many to be the pioneer of modern winemaking in Canada. His pursuit of creating exceptional wine revolutionized local viticulture and grape growing sparking a transformation in winemaking. As the daughter of Karl, she had the unique opportunity to see first-hand the birth of an industry but also an iconic Canadian brand. His influence on her was also great. She was inspired by his vision and his absolute commitment to excellence in winemaking. Her father also understood the value of authenticity and taught her that above all else, it is the foundation of all things exceptional. While her father’s ultimate career path was born of his passion, like Andrea’s own, it began as a winding road that was cemented by serendipity along the way. Her father first intended to become a priest, was then a teacher and later found his true calling when he by accident, became a winemaker. Andrea’s career began as a restauranteur and along the way she has been a sommelier, politician, writer, teacher, marketer and now winemaker. She recently launched Drea’s Wine Co., making wines in memory of her father, who affectionately called her ‘Drea’. Andrea’s deep passion for local food and wine has been the common thread in her career path. Her incredible journey has provided her with an insight and a depth of understanding not only of her community and country but a global industry. You could say she was born into a life of food and wine and now shares this passion with others. About Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to some of the oldest and most established wine-producing vineyards in Canada. Our wineries have been growing and producing world-class wines from vinifera varietals for more than four decades. The efforts of pioneer winemakers in this region were instrumental in propelling Canada onto the world’s wine stage and positioning Niagara-on-the-Lake as a premium wine-growing region. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/101.
41 minutes | 4 months ago
100: Moms Sipping Sangria and Talking Wine with Sheila Walsh and Anita MacArthur
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. Highlights Which hilariously named Sangria recipe should you try today? How did an unintentional restaurant order spark my passion for wine? Which aspects of Pinot Noir will you find especially inviting? Why should you serve Pinot Noir in a big glass? What red wine components might give you a headache? What influences your buying decisions when shopping for wine? How can you safely expand your wine horizons the next time you go to a store or restaurant? Are there certain things you should consider before ordering the house wine? What do you need to know about low-cal wines? What's my take on homemade wine? Why should you consider giving canned and Tetra Pak wines a try? Should you always serve wine at room temperature? Are there advantages to you taking a wine and food pairing class online versus in person? What simple tip can you apply to improve your wine and food pairing today? How can you use the "wet t-shirt trick" to quickly cool a bottle of white wine? What are your best bets for choosing wine for Sangria? How should you drink Rosé? About Moms Sipping Sangria Long-time friends Sheila Walsh and Anita Reynolds MacArthur are experts on parenting tweens, teens, and young adults. What makes them experts? For starters, they are each raising three children (yep, that’s SIX kids combined!) ranging in age from 11-21. Although they are in the trenches trying to raise good human beings while managing full-time careers, they appear to be surviving the teen years (knock on wood!). Anita is the former Senior Editor for Lifestyle & Parenting at Walmart.ca. She is a Digital/Print Content Specialist with extensive experience in Educational Publishing K-12. Sheila is a professional Broadcaster, voice talent and Media Professor at The Faculty of Media and Creative Arts at Humber College. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/100.
43 minutes | 4 months ago
99: Family-Run Wineries v Corporate-Owned? Henry of Pelham's Daniel Speck
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? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Daniel Speck of Niagara's Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery. Highlights How was Daniel's experience as a child and helping with the family winery? What was it like being an active part of the budding Niagara wine scene? How did a particularly long day with the vines shift Daniel's perspective on his work in the vineyard? What was Daniel's least favourite aspect of growing up at the family farm and winery? What differences can you find between family-owned and corporate wineries? Why would you find that wineries are well-suited for being family-owned? Are there aspects of a winery that you'd find a bad fit in the corporate world? How does the terroir of the Benches influence what you taste in the wines produced in the region? What can you expect in a tasting experience with Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay and Sibling Rivalry? What hidden message can you find on the label of Henry of Pelham Family Tree wine? What price point range will you find when shopping for Henry of Pelham wines? Why do you know Henry of Pelham for Baco Noir from Niagara? How does the evolution of Baco Noir translate to what you taste in the glass? Why should you try the Baco Noir version of a "tequila shooter"? What history is behind what you experience with the Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red? About Daniel Speck Daniel is co-owner and one of three brothers who, as children, shovel planted the modern-day vineyards that became Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery in Niagara’s Short Hills Bench. The Speck brothers founded the winery with their parents, a family venture which began in 1984. Daniel spent the years from age 8 to 22 in the vineyards. He studied philosophy, math and science at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, then returned to work on the farm/winery upon graduation. After fourteen vineyard-years he migrated from the farm to the marketplace when a key salesperson left the company. Today he is Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Daniel actively promotes and sells his family’s wines while still participating in determining each wine’s final composition with his two older brothers and the winemakers. Daniel has received partnership awards from the LCBO; has sat on various sales and marketing committees with the Wine Council of Ontario, and is now a member of the CCOVI Outreach Committee at Brock University helping determine future educational needs for the wine industry. Daniel actively promotes and sells his family’s wines but determines each wines final composition with his two older brothers and the winemakers. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/99.
67 minutes | 4 months ago
98: The Shape of Wine Taste with Australia's Wakefield Wines
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 the most critical aspects of a great wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Justin Taylor and Neil Hadley of Australia's Wakefield Wines. Highlights What was it about Wakefield Wines 2011 vintage that brought Justin to tears? Which stunning Wakefield Wine was born from the 2011 disaster? How did Neil end up tasting Wakefield Wine with a buyer at a motorway stop? What gives the vineyard at Clare its x-factor? Why does the cool break at night improve the integrity of the grapes? How does the unique Clare Valley terroir show up when you're tasting Wakefield Wines? What properties will you notice in Wakefield Wines as a result of their terroir? What inspired the creation of the Wakefield Wines flavour charts? How can you use the Wakefield charts when tasting Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Shiraz? What would you notice when tasting a warm-climate Chardonnay which has been oaked? Which French influences can you find in Wakefield Chardonnay? What is bâtonnage and what flavours and aromas will you notice in wine made using this technique? What foods should you pair with Wakefield Chardonnay? Are there certain foods you should avoid pairing with Chardonnay? How does acidity improve your tasting experience? What distinguishing characteristics should you pick up in a high-quality dry Riesling? How does the maturation of a Riesling impact it's tasting profile? What is meant by a "long finish"? How can you differentiate between a cool climate and a warm climate Shiraz? What tricky flavours can you pick up with Wakefield Shiraz? What makes Wakefield Shiraz feel more elegant and refined to you versus other Australian Shiraz? Why is balance one of the most critical aspects of a great wine? Can you zero in on the nuances of the different types of wine? What tasting experience can you expect with Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon? Where do the notes of mint in Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon come from? How does the ageing of Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon impact it's tasting profile? What foods should you pair with Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon? Will the 2020 Australian wildfires have an impact on wine regions? How can you support Australian winemakers during this difficult period? About Justin Taylor and Neil Hadley Justin was one of six kids growing up in the Taylor household in Sydney’s Rose Bay under the watchful eye of their mother Loretta and father Bill Taylor Jr. – one of the original founding family members of Wakefield Wines. A natural salesman, Justin is noted as the loudest and jovial one of the bunch. He graduated from the prestigious Cranbrook boy’s school in 1988 and loved spending weekends on the rugby field. In 1997, the Taylor family welcomed third-generation family member Justin Taylor into the family business. Since then, Justin has been pivotal in introducing Wakefield Wines to wine drinkers all over the world. Justin started his professional career at Wakefield serving a three-year apprenticeship of types working as a sales representative in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. Justin has completed the Wine Society Advanced Wine Appreciation Certificate, Advanced Wine Marketing at TAFE and the Wine Executive Program through the Monash University of Melbourne. In 2000, Justin was promoted to the role of National Sales Manager in Australia. Over the following eight years the company’s domestic market share doubled, as did the size of the domestic sales team and the portfolio of wines that were being offered to the public in Australia, as Justin said “it was definitely a very fun time to be part of the Wakefield Wines team, we worked very hard and achieved very satisfying results.” After a visit to Australia in the late 80s, he decided Sydney would become home and pursued numerous roles in sales and marketing with prestigious brands like Rosemount Estate, Penfolds and Villa Maria in New Zealand. Today at Wakefield Wines, Neil manages the export portfolio of the 50-year wine company along with third-generation Export Manager and Company Director Justin Taylor. His main regions of responsibility include the United Kingdom and Europe, North America and South America. When not jet setting on behalf of Wakefield, Neil is an avid traveller himself. He cites trekking the foot of Mount Everest, dam-building for Masai tribes-people in Kenya and driving around Australia in a ‘Kingswood’ amongst his more memorable journeys around the world. Neil Hadley MW joined Wakefield Wines as General Manager, Export in early 2007. With more than 30 years of industry trade experience, Neil is key to developing and executing international sales and marketing strategies around the world for Wakefield Wines. His career in fine wine began in the early 80s as a wine retailer in England. Determined to understand the wine shelves of Lay & Wheeler, Neil dove straight into WSET training, later moving on to become one of the youngest members initiated as a prestigious Master of Wine in 1993. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/98.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2020