Getting Hammered: 9 Tips to Win at Wine Auctions

Sitting in the centre row of the auction room, I barely lift my forefinger for the 1945 Château Cheval Blanc. All bidders crane their necks to look at the mysterious woman who has just bid the price of a Porsche. “Sold to the gentlewoman in the Prada jacket with embroidered family crest,” the auctioneer says, bringing down the hammer. The reality: I’m at the back of the room blinking wildly, struggling to remove the eyelash from my eye. The auctioneer just winked back at me — bad news when you’re playing the blood sport of the rich. Most auction talk […]

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Chateau Palmer Tasting: Bordeaux Wine Seduces and Satisfies

Château Palmer By Melissa Pulvermacher Château Palmer is a much-respected winery in the Margeaux appellation d’origine contrôlée in Bordeaux, France. You may recognize Palmer better as one of the classified Third Growths of Bordeaux. Palmer has been known as one of the most popular of this classification and some even argue that its consistent delivery of quality held up against First Growth, Château Margeaux. I was given the opportunity to taste several of the Palmer wines at an organized tasting at The National Club in Toronto, Ontario. After tasting the 2004, 1999, 1995 and 1983 vintages up against one another, […]

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Veal Chop Recipe with Portabello Mushrooms Paired with Merlot

Veal Chop with Portabello Mushrooms Preparation Time: 25 MIN Total Time: 40 MIN Servings: 2 INGREDIENTS: 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 tablespoon butter 2 veal chops 1 portobello mushroom, sliced 1½ cups chicken broth 1½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped ½  cup red wine INSTRUCTIONS: Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil with butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chops until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Once browned, stir in mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and rosemary; cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in red wine, increase heat, and cook, uncovered, until sauce is […]

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10 Best Carmenère Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Carmenère

Carmenère is most widely planted in Chile, however, Carmenère did not get its start in Chile. You’ll find my Top 10 Carmenère reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Carmenère: 1. Carmenère originated in the Medoc region of Bordeaux, France. 2. Used in France initially as a blending wine, or to produce deep dark wines, it disappeared from Europe in the mid 19th Century and showed up in Chile a hundred years later and has since become Chile’s premium grape. 3. Carmenère, a member of the Cabernet family of grapes, is the French word for Crimson (carmin), and is known as […]

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Best of Bordeaux Wines + Bargains in the LCBO Vintages Release April 26

By Natalie MacLean To most wine lovers, the French wine region of Bordeaux is a vinous Mecca—and one with ancient tradition: wine has been made there for thousands of years. As far back as AD 379, the writer Ausonius penned (or quilled) some poems about the excellence of the wines. Some of the greatest names in the wine world have their home there: Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Pétrus, Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux and Château Latour, among others. Yet these top names comprise less than 5% of the region’s production—which means you don’t have to fork over $100 to get a good […]

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Insider’s Guide to Bordeaux: Tips on How to Find Great Wines

By Natalie MacLean Here are some tips to get the most out of Bordeaux wine — whether you’re visiting the region itself or just pouring over the liquor store shelves. Get a good grounding A few basics about Bordeaux can help you bluff your way through the next bow-tie tasting. The region, about three hours southwest of Paris, is bordered by three rivers: the Gironde, the Garonne and the Dordogne. It’s divided into five districts (or appellations): Pomerol, Saint-Emilion, Graves, Sauternes and Médoc. Within each of these are more specific districts, much like those hollow wooden Russian dolls, with each […]

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