Why Does Vancouver Wine Festival Need to be on Your Bucket List?

Hello Vancouver! I hope you’re enjoying the 39th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival this week. #VIWF It is truly one of Canada’s best wine shows, if not the best. Our community is being ably represented by three of our Principal Wine Critics: Monique Sosa, Wine Columnist for Ottawa Life Magazine; Matt Steeves, Wine Expert for CTV Morning Live; and Jon Steeves, Certified Sommelier and Co-owner of Bespoke Wine Tastings. You can read the first of their reports below. They’ll be reporting on key trends and tastings this week, with live winemaker video interviews and other contributions. I’m thrilled that Canada is the […]

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Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day

Leanne and I chat about pairing wine with romantic movies for Valentine’s Day. Got a favourite that we didn’t include? Click on the arrow above to play the video. Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day Michael: As we look ahead to Valentine’s Day you may be interested in some wine pairings. Leanne Cusack and a very special guest aren’t suggesting pairings with food though, very interesting. Leanne: Not the typical at all, Michael. And not just wine and chocolate because Natalie MacLean, wine writer extraordinaire says, “Too ordinary for you right now”. Natalie: Exactly! Been there, done that. It’s time to pair […]

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Wine Tasting Hackathon: New Way of Social Wine Discovery

Our second team wine tasting yesterday felt like a family reunion. Sommeliers and wine bloggers from Toronto and Montreal flew or drove in to join those from the east to west ends of Ottawa. There was an instant camaraderie among those gathered here who recognized each other as fellow contributors to our online community. What I admire most about these reviewers is that although they have sterling wine credentials and training, they keep it real and conversational — with an effort to connect, not to impress. The tasting also struck me as the wine version of a hackathon. In the […]

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A Sparkling Dilemma: What’s the Real Difference Between Champagne and Prosecco?

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance What’s the real difference between Champagne and Prosecco? Priya: Ahh bubbly! There are so many styles of sparkling wine but Champagne and Prosecco are undoubtedly the two most popular. Alex: You’re right about that my lady. However, they are distinctly different from one another. So much so that an experienced taster should almost never be fooled – though there are some Proseccos out there that bear similarities to iconic Champagne – but they are rarely encountered and cost equally as much. P: Interesting. As a not-so-experienced taster, I doubt I’d be able to […]

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Beaujolais Nouveau arrives Thursday! Top 10 Food Matches …

In our first video chat, Carol Anne and I discuss beaujolais nouveau wines to try this year. However, for those who want to try other easy-drinking red wines this week and during the holidays, we’ve got more suggestions above for you. On the third Thursday of every November, Beaujolais produdcers in southern Burgundy, France, release wine from the new harvest. More than 60 million bottles make their way around the world to bistros, bars and restaurants. Nouveau is a knock-it-back kind of wine to be enjoyed in the spirit of celebrating the harvest! Here are my top 10 food matches […]

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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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Something to Wine About: The Mystique of French Wine Decoded 

It’s understandable to be intimidated by French wine — even if you know enough about wine to know which varietals you like. Intimidated by the French section in your local wine store? That’s understandable — even if you know enough about wine to know which varietals you like. In fact, your question might be, “Why don’t they just put the varietal on the bottle?” It was while reading the book, “Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass” by Natalie MacLean, that I got the answer to my question. Wine and Chocolate Make a Perfect […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Turkey

By Tania Thomas Thanksgiving is the time of the year when we remember what we are thankful for and a celebration that captures holiday spirit of home cooking like no other. Sharing this day with family and friend is what makes it even more special. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced to two separate events in our history. The arrival of the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who came with the French settlers to New France and celebrated their successful harvests, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area. The second is […]

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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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Balderson Cheddar Cheese and Wine Pairings: Spot On!

Cheese expert Cecilia Smith and I had so much fun filming this spot for Balderson Cheddar. Of course, we had to be thorough with our research and played with various wine and cheese pairings throughout the day of the shoot. This spot airs on The Food Network, The Lifestyle Network, Home & Garden Television, W Network and other channels. I was fascinated with the production behind a 30-second spot: it took all day. The film crew were pros. Although I was ready to drop at the end of the day, it was so worthwhile. Lots of camera angles, lighting scenes […]

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