10 Best Pinot Noir Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a wine of great sensuality, a silky texture and seductive aromas. “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot Noir,” winemaker André Tchelistcheff once remarked. This thin-skinned berry is known as the “heartbreak grape” because it’s difficult to grow and is unstable even bottled. That’s why you often pay more for Pinot Noir than most other red wines. You’ll find my top 10 Pinot Noir reviews and ratings here,  including pinot noirs that are reasonably priced. 5 Surprising Facts about Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir loves a cool climate where is can ripen slowly but maintain vivacious […]

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Director James Cameron Buys BC Winery

Director James Cameron recently bought Beaufort Winery in Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia for an undisclosed price. (Wouldn’t we like to know.) Cameron joins a growing roster of movie celebrity winemakers. Husband-and-wife team, Susan and Jeff Vandermolen, founded the winery in 2006, and will consult for at least a year. James, the director of blockbuster movies such as Avatar ($2.7 billion), Titanic, Aliens and The Terminator, wanted to buy agricultural land in the region as a way of spending more time with his family in Canada; he was born in Chippewa, Ontario. Even though winemaking wasn’t his first […]

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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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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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Whistler Cornucopia Wine Festival: BC Wines and Beyond

British Columbia Wines at the Cornucopia Wine Festival By Tania Thomas Early November is a perfect time to head to Whistler, a majestic resort town nestled in the Coastal Mountains of beautiful British Columbia, and take part in Cornucopia; an 11-day annual Fall Celebration of premier food and wine. This great event, 17 years running now, offers a great variety of interactive seminars, delectable winery dinners, gala wine tastings and those famous after-parties. It is an epicurean extravaganza not to be missed for locals and visitors alike. Friday events started with the BC Wine Institute’s, VQA Trade Seminar “Unmistakably Ours,” […]

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Black Hills Winery: Tasting Vintages of a BC Flagship Wine

By Valerie Stride Located on one of the most arid and sunny sites in the Okanagan, Black Hills Estate Winery is abundant in many things – including quality wines. Spread across a 27-acre vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon are carefully grown and handled by the Black Hills team. The microclimate on property, in addition to long hours of sunlight and cool nights, offers this west-facing orientation vineyard added value. The vineyard manager, Steve Carberry, works closely with winemaker Graham Pierce to ensure that the authenticity of Black Hills wines remains bona fide. On October […]

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Canadian Wine: New Regions, Hot Trends, What’s Next > CBC TV

In the CBC TV interview above with Amanda Lang and Kevin O’Leary, anchors of the national news program The Lang & O’Leary Exchange, we discuss the Canadian wine industry from the perspective of Canada’s largest wine site: Which new wine regions are emerging across the country? How is climate change affecting traditional regions and wine styles? Will Canada ever have completely open borders across the country to ship wines? What’s next for the Canadian wine industry? Here are my latest reviews of Canadian wines. Posted with permission of CBC.

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Canada’s Wine Trends and Regions: Lang and O’Leary Exchange

Join me tonight on CBC’s Lang and O’Leary Exchange, the national television news program with hosts Amanda Lang and Kevin O’Leary (also of Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank). We’ll be chatting at 4:20 pm EST about trends in the Canadian wine industry as well as emerging new regions to watch from the perspective of Canada’s largest wine site and social media community. Speaking of Kevin O’Leary, you may find this Google + Video interview to the left with him about his own wines of interest. He’s definitely the “merchant of truth” even when it comes to wine ;) Enjoy your […]

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Wine and Cheese Pairing with a Blockbuster BC Wine

In our second video, we chat about visiting Quails’ Gate winery, winner of the Gold Medal in The Great Canadian Wine Match: – Tips on visiting the winery, including the special menus at the winery’s Old Vines restaurant – How long can Optima age for those wanting to cellar this dessert wine? – Why don’t more Canadian wineries make botrytis affected dessert wines? – What role do people’s choice awards play in our wine and food culture? You can also watch part one of our conversation about pairing Optima with cheeses and desserts.  

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Canada’s Best Wine with Cheese: Quails’ Gate Video

In this video, we chat with the Gold Medal Winners of Canada’s Best Wine with Cheese in The Great Canadian Wine Match. Winemaker Tony Stewart joins us from his winery Quails’ Gate in BC’s Okanagan Valley along with wine lover Matt Steeves, in Ottawa, who championed the winning wine during a very competitive voting process.  We talk about: –    Why Optima made such a big impression on Matt the first time he tasted it –    How Optima pairs with cheeses, and which types are best suited to it, as well as some desserts –    What makes Optima unique on the […]

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