7 Secrets about Prosecco Sparkling Wine that you don’t know but should

By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman of Chef & Somm As New Year’s Eve approaches our thoughts turn to bubbles, after all, for pure joie de vivre, there’s nothing like a flute of sparkling wine. Invariably, Champagne comes to mind, but good luck finding a decent bottle for under $40. Hey, if you can spring for a Jeroboam of Armand de Brignac Gold at $2,239 a pop, go for it, but for the rest of us, the search for something of decent quality and good value continues. Prosecco to the Rescue Often thought of as merely a cheap and cheerful alternative to Champagne […]

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Sex in a Glass: Getting up Close and Personal with Pinot Noir

By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman of Chef & Somm “Pinot Noir is like young love,” opined my private sommelier client in his luxurious house in Muskoka as I pulled the cork on a Romanée-Conti.  “You do not know what to expect, but it will always make the blood run hot; either melt your heart or break it, sometimes even both.” Pinot Noir has been described in many ways. Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon went so far as to call it “sex in a glass”. So what is it about this grape – a variety also known as the heartbreak grape – that inspires […]

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The Makeover Miracle of Israeli Wines: Finding New Life in the Desert

  By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman of Chef & Somm Some of the most brilliant minds come from Israel. Their creative thinking often challenges what many see as unchanging truths. The USB flash drive, GPS, WIX, and Solaris Synergy were all invented in Israel. Lucky for us, some of those creative minds are hard at work in Israel’s burgeoning winemaking industry, leading recently to substantial gains in quality and complexity. More and more Israeli wine professionals are traveling to Europe to learn from leading winemakers and educate and expand their palates. And, on a quest for the ultimate expression of Israeli […]

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Second Chance: Austrian wine is back and better than ever

By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman Chef & Somm Austria is a little gem in the heart of Europe, with a population of only 8.7 million. The country finds itself being surrounded by countries either without an instantly recognizable wine culture – Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic – or by contrast, ones with world-famous, longstanding wine cultures: Italy, Germany, and to a lesser extent, Hungary. This little powerhouse is fighting to get the recognition it deserves. It hasn’t been easy. For starters, their wine production is extremely small – their entire vineyard area is less than a half the size of France’s Bordeaux […]

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Merroir, it’s a Thing. A Tasty, Tasty Thing; Wine and Oyster Pairings

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm Photos by Signe Langford  Oenophiles have always understood the concept of terroir; food- lovers are grasping this taste of place, too.Ingredients are just as terroir-driven as wine, sometimes the connection to the soil, sun, and air is even more pronounced in a cheese or a cacao bean than in a particular wine! And, what if that taste of place –or terroir– is underwater? Well, until I met with Patrick McMurray, author, oyster expert and shucking champion, I was unaware of how much terroir- or, rather, merroir-driven these beautiful bivalves are. Joining him at his […]

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Best Bottles for Outdoor Dining: Wines for the Wet & Wild

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm A couple of posts ago, I wrote about the best wines for summer entertaining – well, I have a bit more to say about the joys of summer sipping. Here’s Part Two, enjoy! Dip and Sip – The Pool Party Crunchy, oily, salty chips and hot dogs with all the fixin’s are so much fun under the sun, especially poolside! My preference is to wash this super-casual stuff down with an ice cold beer or cider, but there are a few playful wines practically made for chillaxin’ by the pool!   Adamo Estate Winery Rosé, Hockley […]

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Garden Variety Wines: The Best Bottles for Outdoor Dining

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm Spring and summer means outdoor parties – casual barbecues to white-glove garden soirées – and there’s a perfect wine for every al fresco occasion. Flip Flops and Fine Wine – The BBQ When food is smoky and beefy, you might automatically think of an oaky Cabernet Sauvignon, but let’s not forget how hot and humid it can be, so a nicely chilled, oaky white wine or slightly chilled lighter red – may be just the thing! An oaky white – think Norman Hardie Chardonnay or La Crema Chardonnay will complement smoky, grilled chicken, […]

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Risky Business: Breaking the Rules of Wine & Food Pairing

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm I’m not a follower of hard and fast rules. Charts and wheels are fun, but the best experiences I’ve had have been when I broke the rules. Applying the rules to wine and food pairing will deliver a decent experience, but for an exceptional pairing, it’s all about risks. Most charts insist that Cabernet Sauvignon is the wine for beef. But is it really? Always? But charts don’t reflect our actual dining habits. Most guides list a single ingredient – chicken, beef, duck, etc. – but how often is there just one ingredient […]

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