The Grapes of Laugh: How to Host a Wine Tasting or Start a Wine Club

There are many excellent reasons to host a wine tasting party—or even to form a wine club. For one thing, wine is a social beverage—one that’s meant to be shared with friends. And it’s more fun to drink than to buy Tupperware—unless, of course, you’re drinking from the Tupperware. The only goal is to enjoy yourself and perhaps find a new favorite bottle. Although wine does lend itself to serious technical analysis, that’s not really necessary. You don’t need a PhD to talk about it: anyone can share opinions about the wine. Most people just want to socialize over a […]

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

Barbera is both the name of a grape and of the red wine it produces. Its ancestral home is in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, from the vineyards around the towns of Asti, Alexandria and Casale Monferrato. You’ll find my Top 10 Barbera reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Barbera: 1. Unlike Barolo and Barberesco, Barbera is not considered a classic grape. It is Italy’s most common red grape. 2. In 1985 Barbera producers added methanol to their wines. Thirty people died as a result, and many were left with affected sight including blindness. The fallout from bad […]

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10 Best Nero d’Avola Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Nero d’Avola

Nero d’Avola is one of the most important red wine grapes in Sicily and increasingly in Italy as a whole. You’ll find my top 10 Nero d’Avola reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Nero d’Avola: 1. Nero d’Avola is named after Avola, a small town in South East Sicily. Several hundred years ago Nero d’Avola was known as “The Black Grape of Avola.” Nero d’Avola is also known as Calabrese, which lends to the idea that Nero d’Avola originated in Calabria on mainland Italy at the tip of the boot. 2. The best Nero d’Avola comes from the […]

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

Barolo is a full-bodied red wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piemonte. Barolo means “commune” in Italian. Widely termed “the wine of kings, the king of wines” among the nobility of Turin and the ruling House of Savoy.  You’ll find my Top 10 Barolo reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Barolo: 1. This powerful DOCG red wine is made from the late-ripening Nebbiolo grape. Barolo tends to be light rust in colour. Barolo is often described as one of Italy’s greatest wines. 2. Traditional Barolos were known for their ability to age. These red wines extract lots […]

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

Baco Noir is a cross between Folle Blanche (one of the grapes used to make Cognac) and Vitis Riparia, the hybrid discovered by Francois Baco, a native of Southwestern France. You’ll find my Top 10 Baco Noir reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Baco Noir: 1. It was once grown throughout France, but the European Union has imposed restrictions on its commercial use, along with other hybrids.  2. In 1951, Baco Noir was brought to Canada and is commonly grown in Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia. 3. Baco Noir is an early ripening, winter-hardy varietal suited to […]

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New iPhone Wine App Named Best New App by iTunes

Less than 24 hours after launching our new iPhone wine app, Apple has selected it to be one of the Best New Apps on the iTunes Storefront. Our team is mighty proud to be there with apps from the New York Times and CBC FIFA World Cup. (Wine pairs nicely with both.) However, it took 9 months of labour to welcome this new member to our family. We could have delivered this baby earlier, but we decided to hold off in order to create the list of new features below that’ll help you find a great wine in just a […]

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

Amarone della Valpolicella, which roughly translates to “strongly bitter,” describes this robust, rich red wine made in Valpolicella, in the northeast region of Italy called Veneto. You’ll find my top 10 Amarone reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Amarone: 1. The best and ripest of the dark-skinned grapes that are blended to create Amarone include Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella. These are carefully selected during harvest and gently stored for several months after harvest in cool, well-ventilated rooms on straw mats so that they dry, dehydrate and concentrate their sugars and flavors. 2. When they’re almost shriveled like raisins, they’re […]

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

Shiraz and Syrah are both originally from the same clone, but various regions have chosen one name or the other. You’ll find my top 10 Shiraz reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Shiraz: They both create rich, robust red wines with a smooth texture and signature aromas of spice, pepper, clove and licorice leading, followed by dark fruit such as blackcurrant, blackberry, plum and black cherry, as well as truffle, earth, violets, vanilla, smoke, sandalwood, cedar, cigar box, earth and leather. The greatest of these wines can age for 25 years or more. The grape was originally believed […]

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