Tasting the Cool Climate Wines of Argentina’s Secreto Patagonico

By Melissa Pulvermacher Another tasting during my time at the 2016 i4C Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration was with Secreto Patagonico’s Production and Sales Manager, Tomas Groppo Parisi. Secreto Patagonico is in the southern hemisphere in Patagonia, Argentina. A lot of us immediately think of Mendoza, heat and Malbec when we think of Argentina, which may leave us a bit confused with the relevance to cool climate wines in this situation. Patagonia is actually in the south of Argentina and remember that in the southern hemisphere, the south is a lot cooler than the northern regions. Mendoza, the Malbec-famous region, known […]

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Gerard Bertrand’s Cool Climate Wines Blend in A Spiritual Component

By Melissa Pulvermacher Gérard Bertrand, a name we all recognize in the wine industry certainly has a diverse portfolio, but after sitting down with JP Turgeon, Canada’s Gérard Bertrand Portfolio Director, I was given the opportunity to taste the ‘cool climate’ options in our market. JP shared his story, his attempt at the gruelling Master of Wine exam and how he is incredibly proud to be working with this portfolio of quality wine from Gérard Bertrand. Gérard Bertrand is represented in Ontario by Family Wine Merchants and has several wines currently available here in the LCBO. The winery currently owns 650 hectares […]

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Henry of Pelham’s Paul Speck on Cool Climate Chardonnay

By Melissa Pulvermacher To kick off the annual International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C) in Niagara, Ontario, I visited Paul Speck of Henry of Pelham Winery on the Short Hills Bench in St. Catharines. The Henry of Pelham winery has been owned by the Speck family since 1988. While tasting the wines, we explored this concept of cool climate viticulture. Ontario’s weather can be somewhat unpredictable from year-to-year, which is why our local wines tend to have a lot of vintage variance. Beginning with some of my favourite Niagara bubbles, the 2011 Cuvee Catharine Carte Blanche had me salivating right […]

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Versatile Vinho Verde: Spring Splendor in the Glass

Last night, we were joined by special guest, Pedro Costa, Head Winemaker of Aveleda Winery chatting about his Vinho Verde wines and why they’re such a great wine style for spring. This was actually a 2-part video series as I managed to melt down my computer’s CPU with multiple simultaneous broadcasting streams to Facebook Live, Twitter Live vis Periscope and YouTube Live Stream ;) You can watch part one above by clicking the arrow, then part two below. Cheers, Natalie Join us on the Sunday Sipper Club, April 9​ at 6 pm eastern (Toronto time)​ ​with special guest Food Network […]

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5 Dynamite Bubblies for a Sparkling Holiday and How to Find Wonderful Wines to Celebrate

By Melissa Pulvermacher ‘Tis the season for family, food and sparkling wine. Every year I feature my favourite bottle of bubbly before New Year’s Eve. This year, I decided to write about my top 5 picks to make sure everyone can ring in the new year with bubbles. To help you navigate the intimidating selection, all you need to know is the basics. Mostly you need to be able to navigate whether a bottle is traditional method or tank method and the level of dosage (sweetness added to the wine by concentrated grape juice). 1. Traditional Method This is the […]

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How the Gruner Stole Christmas: Austria’s White Wine is a Holiday Treat

By Melissa Pulvermacher It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to eat, drink and be merry! When stocking up for those holiday parties, we all have our usual go-to wine selections, but with so many options, it may just be worth your while to venture out and try something new. For this holiday, consider looking to Austria for new selections. Austria is really hitting the world stage with quality wine production and while they may not be producing mass amounts, we are now seeing more and more in our market here in Ontario and the wine is certainly worth […]

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Domaine Drouhin Wines Express Oregon Terroir

By Melissa Pulvermacher Carrying on the cool climate conversation, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Arron Bell, the winemaker of Domaine Drouhin, a winery in the cool climate region of Willamette, Oregon. The most popular varietals produced in Oregon include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling. We recognize most of these varietals for their ability to grow well in cooler climates. Oregon produces incredible expressions of these varietals, two of which I had the pleasure of tasting with Arron. Video: Meet Arron Bell “I didn’t know what to do after college. So what do you do? You […]

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Miguel Torres Chilean Wines Focus on Sustainability

By Melissa Pulvermacher During i4C (International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration), I had the opportunity to meet with producers from all around the world. My meeting with Miguel Torres of Chile’s General Manager, Jaime Valderrama was a real treat. In our market, we recognize Torres Chile as the producer of easy-drinking, incredibly affordable wines, but after speaking with Jaime, I now recognize their sustainable initiatives as a major part of who they are. We spoke of the “sustainability strategy”. In our current market, green and health products are in high demand. This does not transcend wine and in fact, the demand […]

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Rediscover Riesling: The World’s Most Versatile Varietal

By Melissa Pulvermacher The number one question I receive is: “What is your favourite wine”? I could give a long-winded answer about how it all depends on the situation, the people I’m with, the food I have or don’t have, the weather, my mood and several other ridiculous factors that would probably influence what my favourite would be in that exact moment, but if forced to answer simply, I would choose a varietal that I admire most. Of course, I have off and on romances, newly discovered lust and evenings with old flames, but if I had to settle down and […]

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Pop Taittinger Champagne For a Sparkling Holiday

By Melissa Pulvermacher As we near the New Year, it’s a time of celebration, family and good times. This often means that we indulge on fine foods and drink the best of the best. The most popular beverage includes bubbly wine of all kinds. There are so many fantastic options including Italian bubbles, delicious New World sparkling of every style and unique representations from all around the world. Perhaps the most famous bubbly that comes to mind is Champagne — and I don’t just mean the word the entire world has adopted to describe anything cream coloured or sparkling. I […]

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