Bring on the Beaujolais! A Young Red Wine is Centre of Attention each November

Carol Anne and I chat about this year’s beaujolais nouveau in the video above. Catch our second video chat about more easy-drinking red wines for the holidays that aren’t nouveau. Here are my reviews and ratings of the 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau wines, French Primeur, Italian Novellos and Canadian nouveau-style wines: The Fool Reif Estate Gamay Nouveau VQA, Ontario The Hanging Man Reif Estate Kerner Nouveau VQA, Ontario Art’s Beaujolais Primeur Nouveau, France Catalans Primeur Syrah Merlot, France Negrar Novello Del Veneto, Italy Tollo Novello Rosso Terre di Chieti, Italy Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau, France Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Villages Nouveau, France George […]

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Beaujolais Nouveau Wines Celebrate Vintage in November

Beaujolais Nouveau wine causes quite a stir on the third Thursday of every November. We spoke about this light red wine from the Beaujolais region of France on CBC’s Ontario Morning today (I’ll post the clip later). Beaujolais nouveau is meant to celebrate the current vintage. It’s harvested, fermented and bottled within weeks and is meant to be gulped now in bistros with friends, not cellared or analyzed. Here are some of my picks from this year’s crop below as well as beaujolais nouveau food pairings. You can also look for nouveau wines from other regions, including Canada, Italy and […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews and Ratings: Vintages Release October 11

You can access the 102 wines that I reviewed for October 11 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. You can also see my wine reviews for September 27. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or […]

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My Roman Holiday: A Food and Wine Lover’s Paradise

Just back from a mouth-watering journey through the streets (strada) of Rome. Here are some pictures and videos to whet your appetite, from olive oil and bruschetta tastings to thin-crust pizza and fresh tomato sauce pasta. Click on each picture at the link above if you want to see the comments to the right about the food and wine. Have you been to Rome? I’d love to hear about your favourite food haunts and restaurants. Ciao! Natalia

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

Zinfandel is a vitis vinifera red wine grape that produces deep robust wines, most famously from California. You’ll find my most recent Zinfandel reviews and ratings here. Surprising Facts about Zinfandel: 1. Zinfandel’s high sugar content means it can be fermented into highly alcoholic wines sometimes in excess of 15%.  Zinfandel is generally early ripening as compared to other grapes and grows in very tight bunches. These tight bunches are prone to bunch rot and uneven ripening. Zinfandel grows best in warm climates but there is cool climate Zinfandel. 2. The origin of Zinfandel seems to be Croatia where Zinfandel […]

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

It’s hard to imagine that the Carignan grape used to play such a big role in France’s wine history, yet most wine drinkers have never heard of Carignan. Today, this red wine grape is mostly used as a blending wine, known for its rich dark color. You’ll find my Top 10 Carignan reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Carignan: 1. In France, Carignan was the most planted grape variety from the 1960s to 2000.  In fact, in the late 90s there were more than 150,000 acres of Carignan vines planted in France. 2. Why so popular?  Two words: large […]

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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 Primitivo Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Primitivo

Primitivo is an Italian red grape that many wine drinkers recognize by its American counterpart Zinfandel, although the grape’s true origin is Croatia, where the grape is known as Crljenak Kaštelanski. Some have taken to calling Primitivo ZPC to include all three grape names as an acronym, even though it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue the way the wine does. You’ll find my Top 10 Primitivo reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Primitivo: 1. Primitivo has been grown in the heel of Italy, Puglia, since the 18th century, where it is now roughly the twelfth most planted grape […]

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10 Best Brunello di Montalcino Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is a robust Italian red wine grape produced in vineyards in and around the town of Montalcino, about 120 km south of Florence in Tuscany. The word Brunello is derived from the Italian masculine form Bruno, which means “brown.” You’ll find my top 10 Brunello di Montalcino reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Brunello di Montalcino: 1. The origins of Brunello di Montalcino can be traced back as far as the 14th century. A red wine praised by the nobles of Tuscany as the “best wine in Tuscany,” Brunello is considered the youngest of Italy’s […]

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