Music and Wine Pairing: Cabernet in C Major

Leanne and I chat about pairing wine and music. Click on the arrow to play the video. More information about the wine auction here. “Notes” on Pairing Wine and Music Both music and wine evoke emotion so it makes sense that music could influence our emotional reaction to and perception of wine. However, are there right and wrong wine and music pairings? Or perhaps even, better or worse? When I attend wine tasting for the media, there are no distractions, such as food or perfume, and the room is almost always silent except for the gurgling and sloshing noises of […]

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Ontario’s Best Sommelier to Compete for National Title

  Last night, we were joined by special guest Emily Pearce-Bibona who has just been named Ontario’s Best Sommelier in a gruelling day-long competition. Click on the arrow above to watch the video. We went behind the scenes with Emily to chat about what it was like to compete (and win) in this competition hosted by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. Plus, she shared her expert tips on tasting and enjoying wine, including how to choose a great bottle from a restaurant list, with the help of your sommelier, of course ;) You can read 69 comments here and make […]

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Henry of Pelham Wine Tasting Reveals Deep Roots in Niagara

Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen   What a lovely opportunity to sit down with the Speck Brothers (well, two of three – Paul and Daniel) from Henry of Pelham winery to learn more about their family’s winemaking as well to taste across their portfolio of wines. Their Henry of Pelham portfolio is generally set up along three tiers; Classic, Estate, and the Speck Family Reserve.   Photo by Jennifer MacDonald Havers By adhering to rigorous quality standards and keeping production at modest levels for the higher tier (Speck Brothers Reserve), the resulting high quality wines trickle down to […]

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Wine and Comfort Food Pairing: Revel in Your Rut

Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be forward-looking to spring with a chirpy article about zesty white wines to pair with fresh vegetables, but it’s so cold outside … and I’m tired of writing seasonally-appropriate editorial content. So let’s make wallowing fun, and turn to comfort wines paired with comfort food. In our continuing video series with Canadian Press, we look at quick tips on pairing those old favourites, from braised meat to pasta in cream sauce with wine. It’ll make you (almost) care what time of year it is when you have bottled sunshine. Here are my favourite […]

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Surprising Pairings for Villa Maria Wines from Antipasto to Steak

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital for a comprehensive tasting of Villa Maria wines from New Zealand.   Terry Jeans Wine Writer, Ottawa Wine Guide   What an elaborate tasting! We had the chance to have an amazing tasting with one of the viticulturists from Villa Maria– Ollie Powrie, who presented us with an insightful session of tasting over a dozen wines from one of the only New Zealand owned and family operated wineries. Founded and owned by the venerated Sir George Fistonich, a real icon of the wine industry, who has been part of […]

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5 Dynamite Bubblies for a Sparkling Holiday and How to Find Wonderful Wines to Celebrate

By Melissa Pulvermacher ‘Tis the season for family, food and sparkling wine. Every year I feature my favourite bottle of bubbly before New Year’s Eve. This year, I decided to write about my top 5 picks to make sure everyone can ring in the new year with bubbles. To help you navigate the intimidating selection, all you need to know is the basics. Mostly you need to be able to navigate whether a bottle is traditional method or tank method and the level of dosage (sweetness added to the wine by concentrated grape juice). 1. Traditional Method This is the […]

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7 Secrets about Prosecco Sparkling Wine that you don’t know but should

By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman of Chef & Somm As New Year’s Eve approaches our thoughts turn to bubbles, after all, for pure joie de vivre, there’s nothing like a flute of sparkling wine. Invariably, Champagne comes to mind, but good luck finding a decent bottle for under $40. Hey, if you can spring for a Jeroboam of Armand de Brignac Gold at $2,239 a pop, go for it, but for the rest of us, the search for something of decent quality and good value continues. Prosecco to the Rescue Often thought of as merely a cheap and cheerful alternative to Champagne […]

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Best Bubbly for New Years? There’s a Wine for That

In our continuing holiday wine series with Canadian Press (CP), we chat about great sparkling wines for New Year’s Eve.   You don’t have to go for Champagne, even though this is the traditional treat. There are terrific options from around the world, including Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco and sparkling wine from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States, among many other regions. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site at www.nataliemaclean.com, chooses her favourite sparkling wines:   Kim Crawford Fizz Methode Traditionnelle 2011  Marlborough, New Zealand                 Henry of […]

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How Much do you Know About Champagne? Take the Pop Quiz

Got your champagne ready for New Year’s? Here are my Top 20 Champagnes to celebrate the New Year and which stores have them in stock now. Take the Pop Quiz below and you’ll have some trivia to drop this evening as you celebrate the New Year! Pop Quiz 1. Is all sparkling wine champagne? No. Only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France may be called Champagne. It’s a trademarked word. 2. Before the modern era of product placement in movies, which Champagne was the favourite of James Bond? Bollinger or as Bond would call it, Bolly. That was also in […]

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Sparkling Wine from Cava to Cremant: Festive Fizz

Sparkling wines and champagne for New Year’s Eve is our topic in the CTV News clip above. Here’s a list of the bubblies we discussed, including cava from Spain, cremant from France and sparkling wines from Canada and the US. Let me know which sparkling wine you’re opening for New Year’s Eve in the comments below. You can get a shopping list with my top sparkling wines showing the stock at your closest liquor stores when you join as a  VIP Member. Girls Night Out Sparkling Wine Review VQA, Lake Erie North Shore, Ontario Clean, crisp and refreshing: this is […]

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