Australia’s Red Wines: Food Pairings and Styles in LCBO Vintages Feb 1

Australian wines hit the spotlight in the LCBO Vintages Release February 1. We may think of red wines from Australia as being full-bodied, but there’s a wide range of styles now emerging from the various winemaking regions in the country. Try cool, crisp whites and balanced, medium-bodied reds from Australia’s cooler regions. You’ll be surprised at how well these wines pair with various dishes, not just a big steak or hamburger. This just a sampling of wine ratings, the most quoted Canadian source of reviews in the Vintages Magazine. VIP Members can access all 50 wines that I reviewed as a […]

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Australian Wine Icon Digs into Regional Styles

By Matt Steeves Recently on a cold January afternoon in Ottawa a small group of sommeliers and wine writers had the fortune of spending an afternoon with the legendary Chris Hancock, MW (Hon.), of Robert Oatley Vineyards at the Empire Grill in the Byward Market.  Chris led us through a tasting of nine of his wines in the Robert Oatley portfolio of wines. First of all, a bit of background about Chris Hancock.  After graduating from his studies in Oneology, and long before joining efforts with Robert Oatley in 1975,  Chris  worked at Penfolds where he produced six vintages of […]

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Lunch with “Mr. Chardonnay” aka Robert Oatley Wines

By: Jane Staples, Certified Sommelier I love wine because it brings people together.  Wine offers something for everybody…whether you’re interested in the viticulture, or the facts and numbers, New Oak VS Old Oak treatments, or the timeless harmony between food and wine.  Then of course there’s the concept of “terroir” if you like a good argument. Yesterday’s lunch at the Empire Grill in Ottawa combined all of the above, plus wine economics, changing markets and considerations for the future, especially when it comes to Australian wine. Chris Hancock, Deputy Executive Chairman of  Australia’s Robert Oatley Vineyards,  introduced us to several […]

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Raclette with Beer-Braised Red Cabbage Recipe with Pinot Noir

A Post-Ski Meal Ski season is well underway, and there’s nothing more exhilarating than soaring down the slopes on a nice, brisk day. It’s so great to be outside, even if it is quite chilly. But the part I enjoy even more about ski season, is the après-ski unwinding. It’s a great time to sit down and eat a hearty meal with a delicious glass of wine. Lounging in a chalet with warm and comfy clothes and some great food and drinks after a full day on the hills? Sounds like absolute bliss to me. This recipe for Raclette de […]

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Canadian Icewine: Extreme Winemaking

A wine columnist is urging Canadians to drink icewine while cheering on the country’s Olympians next month. “It’s Canada’s winter gold. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our Canadian winters. I kind of think about our Canadian athletes too and I think we all should be drinking icewine while watching the Olympics,” says Natalie MacLean, editor of a wine review site, which has more than 156,000 members. “It’s uniquely Canadian in that we are the biggest producer and the best producer, I think, in terms of quality. It’s just such an all-Canadian treat that I think people need […]

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Toronto Sommelier Masters 4,300 Bottle Wine List

Mark Moffatt, wine director at Bosk restaurant in Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel. What was your most memorable wine experience? While I was working as a sommelier at The Fairmont Palliser Hotel, we created a display of an entire vertical of Château Mouton Rothschild from 1945 to 1994. Learning about each of these bottles, and the stories behind them, motivated me to learn more about wine. What would you be doing if you weren’t a sommelier? I would be an Extreme Sports athlete in winter skiing.  I have always loved skiing, and I haven’t yet met a jump, cliff or ledge that […]

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Top 10 Most Influential Wine Bloggers on Twitter

A Twitter storm erupted today, so I clicked through to to see what the fuss was about … how we love top 10 lists, no matter how encouraging or provocative. Cision, a global firm that tracks and reports on the top social media sites and conducts media research on key influencers, published its list of the Top 10 Most Influential Wine Bloggers on Twitter today: “This list includes the most influential wine bloggers on Twitter, ranked by number of Twitter followers. Using Cision’s media database, we compiled the list based on Cision’s proprietary research. All numbers were pulled on January […]

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Best BC Wines Shine in the LCBO Vintages Jan 18

BC wines take the spotlight in the LCBO January 18, and among my best wine reviews and ratings for this release. The range of wineries in British Columbia is astonishing, as is the breadth of their wine styles. Both new and established producers are represented in this release of wine, from sparkling wine to robust reds and ethereal whites. Now’s your chance to try the best BC wines on offer here. This just a sampling of wine ratings, the most quoted Canadian source of reviews in the Vintages Magazine. VIP Members can access all 88 wines that I reviewed as […]

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Roasted Vegetable Salad Recipe with Gunn’s Hill Five Brothers Cheese Paired with Chardonnay

New Year, New Resolutions I always get a pang of excitement when January begins. I know resolutions can be a bit cliché, but to me a new year is the perfect clean slate for adapting some better habits. At first I couldn’t decide what I wanted my resolutions to be this year, but after some thought, I resolved to really enjoy every day to its fullest and take more pleasure in the simple things. I also wanted to work more vegetables into my day, so I started collecting some delicious recipes to help me do just those things. I was […]

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10 Reasons to Drink Austrian Wine

By Leslie Quinn “Austria makes wine? Aren’t they known for beer?” This is the typical response I get when I suggest an Austrian wine to a guest or a friend. My answer is always “Yes they make a great brew, but their wine is among the best in the world.” And here are 10 reasons why you should give Austrian wine a chance. 1. Purity We love a delicious chunk of salmon dressed up in a delicate creamy caper beurre blanc, maybe even cooked on a cedar plank. However, a sliver of salmon sashimi is pure. It allows you to […]

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