The Makeover Miracle of Israeli Wines: Finding New Life in the Desert

  By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman of Chef & Somm Some of the most brilliant minds come from Israel. Their creative thinking often challenges what many see as unchanging truths. The USB flash drive, GPS, WIX, and Solaris Synergy were all invented in Israel. Lucky for us, some of those creative minds are hard at work in Israel’s burgeoning winemaking industry, leading recently to substantial gains in quality and complexity. More and more Israeli wine professionals are traveling to Europe to learn from leading winemakers and educate and expand their palates. And, on a quest for the ultimate expression of Israeli […]

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Austrian Wine is more than Gruner: Embrace the Unique

By Mymi Myriam Mozart, the Alps, Baroque architecture and Schnitzels are some of the things that spring to mind when thinking of Austria. This alpine country is sadly not often first associated with wine, but when it is, the perception is that it produces mainly sweet wines. That’s quite odd for a country that has been making wine for over four centuries, whose value of recent exports has grown by an impressive € 6 million, amounting to an outstanding sales record of € 145 million (according to the 2014 Austrian Wine Statistics report). Austria ranks at #19 as a wine producing […]

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Pascual Toso Proves There’s More to Argentina Than Malbec

  By Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance The only thing better than enjoying a good bottle of wine is getting to meet the person who made it. We were fortunate to have that opportunity recently as we sat down with winemaker, Felipe Stahlschmidt from Pascual Toso. This Argentinian winery is celebrating it’s 125th anniversary. That’s a nice age for a “New World” region. They describe their production facility as “an old Chevy with a brand new Mercedes engine inside”. It’s a great analogy for an older building that has been completely updated with state-of-the-art production equipment. Alex: Pascual Toso is a fairly large […]

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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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What are the Best Fall Wines and Food Pairings?

Lianne and I chat about terrific wines for fall with tasty food pairings. What makes for a great fall wine? – full-bodied enough to pair well with more robust dishes, such as roast beef and pork tenderloin – extra texture, mouth-feel and weight for richer sauces – even white wines, such as the buttery chardonnay, below work well with autumnal dishes – what’s the Riesling doing here? think creamy pasta sauces or roast turkey It may not feel like fall is here today, but it’s around the corner and time to think about changing our wine wardrobe. What’s your favourite […]

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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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Rediscover Bordeaux with Château Phelan-Ségur

By Mymi Myriam On the eve of a massive winter storm that threatened to shut down most of the eastern coast of the United States, I had the pleasure of briefly sitting down with Pamela Wittman prior to attending the LCBO sponsored Union des Grands Crus Bordeaux tasting at the Carlu. An oenologist by profession, she is now the US representative for Château Phélan-Ségur located in the Médoc St-Éstèphe region of Bordeaux. The estate’s story starts with a young Irish wine merchant name Bernard Phelan who settled into the area in the late 18th century and married a local girl […]

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Rutherford Wines: A Taste of Sunny California

By Tania Thomas Recently, several wine writers had a rare opportunity to taste Rutherford Wine Company wines from their extensive portfolio over an intimate dinner at the Mezzanotte Restaurant in Ottawa’s ByWard Market Hosted by the winery’s agency, Majestic Wines Cellars, and Rutherford’s Director of Export Sales, charming Dick Wallingford. The history of the winery starts with Napa’s Zaninovic family, the third generation Croatian immigrants, who had owned and farmed produce throughout Californian Central Valley since the 1940s. They purchased 180 acres in the highly acclaimed Arroyo Seco area of the Salinas Valley in the early 1970s and started planting […]

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Thanksgiving Wines Top 10 Best Bottles

Here are my top 10 gobbling-good wines that I recommended on CBC radio this week. (You can listen to the radio interview below.) Got a favourite? I love matching wine with side dishes … pinot noir and cranberry sauce or riesling with green beans. The bonus is that they both work well with the big bird. Enjoy your holiday weekend! Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley, BC Terrifically fresh and vibrant! Like a basket of white melons on a summer afternoon. Lovely as an aperitif or companion to many dishes. Pair with: roast turkey, grilled fish, […]

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Best LCBO Wines: Vintages Release August 30

You can access the 66 wines that I reviewed for August 30 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. You can also see my wine reviews for August 16. You can add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on their smartphone. This is one of the benefits of becoming a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so. Here are […]

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