The 31 Most Difficult Wine and Grapes Names: How to Pronounce Them

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about the most difficult wine and grape names to pronounce. Click the arrows to watch the videos both above and below. As anglophones, we find many of these names difficult since their origins are often European, with accents and inflections that are new to us. Tip: often e and i are pronounced in the reverse when in the middle of a word, and an e at the end of a name often sounds like a long a. Why bother? We often overlook these terrific wines, and don’t ask for them in liquor stores […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings June 11

You can access the 166 wines that I reviewed for June 11 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. You can also see my wine reviews for June 5. 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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Father’s Day Wines: Is There Such a Thing as a Man’s Wine?

Is there such a thing as “man’s wine” versus a woman’s wine”? The question comes up as we approach Father’s Day. Of course, it’s all awash once you’re on to your third glass of pinot or cabernet or chardonnay. This is an interesting piece from a reporter for the Associated Press (AP) with whom I spoke about the “issue” … Cal Dennison likes a nice cold glass of chardonnay. And he’s man enough to admit it. That’s hardly surprising since Dennison is the winemaker at the Modesto-based Redwood Creek winery, but is he an exception? Judging by some marketing campaigns, […]

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Father’s Day Gift Wines: Red Wine or Port?

Here are my top two wine picks for Father’s Day in the Ottawa Citizen. Wine writer Natalie recommends two full-bodied wines on her site at www.nataliemaclean.com for Father’s Day. She gives 90 points out of 100 to the Negrar Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico Cantina Sociale Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy (LCBO No: 44784,  $34.95). “It’s a juicy, full-bodied red, loaded with black fruit goodness,” she notes. “There are some fleshy black plum notes that dance along the background yielding to supreme satisfaction, especially for dedicated fathers who attend both ballet recitals and basketball games.” MacLean also gives 90 points to the the […]

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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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Jean Claude Mas Wines: Bringing Le Luxe Rural to Ontario!

Winemaker Jean Claude Mas Sponsored Post by Paul Mas Wines When the hustle and bustle of everyday life has us over-committed and rushing from one thing to the next, it’s especially comforting to remember a simpler time, when we could derive pleasure from life’s everyday luxuries. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we give up modern conveniences, or even (heaven forbid) put down our phones, but simply take the time to appreciate life’s simple pleasures, like a delicious glass of wine. It’s really quite achievable and can be as easy as treating yourself to a quiet evening, a […]

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Blending Family, Tradition and Place: Peter Lehmann Wine Tasting

It is a pleasure to meet any winemaker, especially one who makes a journey across the world to share his wine personally with us. Our group had the pleasure of meeting Ian Hongell from Peter Lehmann wines who led us through a tasting, at Sidedoor restaurant, with their wide range of wines paired with tapas. Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen Peter Lehmann is located in the Barossa region, a small wine region of Australia producing only about 65,000 tonnes of fruit per year. It contains some ancient Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Semillon vines, some are 150 or 160 years old. Their remote […]

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Mad for Malbec: Celebrating the Winemakers Behind the Wine

“Wine, show me the art of seeing my own history; as if it were already a handful of ashes in memory.” – Jorge Luis Borges, 1964 By Greg Hughes April 17th is International Malbec Day and in Ottawa it was celebrated at the residence of the Argentine ambassador to Canada, Her Excellency Norma Nacimbene de Dumont. The mood was cheerful for the lucky twenty individuals invited to share this special day sipping wine and eating empanadas with Her Excellency in her home.  There was special cause for excitement.  This was the first Malbec Day to be celebrated for half a […]

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Rediscover Riesling: The World’s Most Versatile Varietal

By Melissa Pulvermacher The number one question I receive is: “What is your favourite wine”? I could give a long-winded answer about how it all depends on the situation, the people I’m with, the food I have or don’t have, the weather, my mood and several other ridiculous factors that would probably influence what my favourite would be in that exact moment, but if forced to answer simply, I would choose a varietal that I admire most. Of course, I have off and on romances, newly discovered lust and evenings with old flames, but if I had to settle down and […]

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Risky Business: Breaking the Rules of Wine & Food Pairing

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm I’m not a follower of hard and fast rules. Charts and wheels are fun, but the best experiences I’ve had have been when I broke the rules. Applying the rules to wine and food pairing will deliver a decent experience, but for an exceptional pairing, it’s all about risks. Most charts insist that Cabernet Sauvignon is the wine for beef. But is it really? Always? But charts don’t reflect our actual dining habits. Most guides list a single ingredient – chicken, beef, duck, etc. – but how often is there just one ingredient […]

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