The Dark Side of Wine in the Movies: Days of Wine and Thorns

In films such as the Godfather series, wine and food are expressive of Italian culture, and its fierce loyalty—wine is part of family gatherings, and presented as something simple, without pretense. It’s often consumed from shot glasses. But also represents the darker side: the brooding nature of the family members, and the blood ties that bind. You’ll find my TIFF and Oscar-worthy, award-winning wines here, with all-star ratings. Looks alone have made red wine the preferred drink of horror movies, often an omen of evil. The Dracula movies associate wine with blood. “Aren’t you drinking?” inquires the guest, as Count […]

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From Snout to Tailfeather: Wine Takes Wing in Niagara

Approaching Featherstone Winery, I can see a pepper storm of starlings flying over the vineyard. Husband and wife team David Johnson and Louise Engel have a passion for all things fowl. Before they became winemakers, they ran a gourmet poultry shop, selling tasty birds, from turkeys to quails. (That’s where the “feather comes from; the “stone” is the Niagara Escarpment.) However, those hungry starlings that feed on the ripening grapes are no friends of David and Louise. That’s why I’m going to meet their latest avian associate today, a Harris Hawk that’s trained to hunt those pesky birds. In 1989, […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Creamy Cheese Fondue

By Tania Thomas Wine and cheese are a truly perfect pair. An especially satisfying experience is to enjoy the two together after a hard day of playing in the snow. Imagine a roaring fireplace, snowed-in mountain lodge and a pot of warm and gooey cheese fondue. Heaven! As a national dish of Switzerland, fondue was associated with rustic mountain life from the lowlands of western, French-speaking, Switzerland. A rich and expensive Gruyère cheese was used for its preparation with the addition of wine and seasoning. If you feel inspired; get started by rubbing the pot with a halved garlic clove. […]

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The Wine that Came in from the Cold: Icewine

Not a breath of wind caresses the snow-blanketed vineyards. The tar-black sky is pin-pricked with stars, and a full moon sends shadows slithering out between the scarecrow vines. Stooped figures in Arctic gear coax their bare fingers to snap off bunches of frozen grapes. That’s what the annual icewine harvest looks like in Niagara at this time of the year. It results in a wine that combines the sweetness of lusciously ripe fruit with a silver edge of acidity that’s as crisp as the winter wind. Despite its modern association with Canada, icewine was actually discovered in Germany, by accident, […]

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Errazuriz Winery Puts Chile on the Wine Map with Cool Climate Viticulture

By Melissa Pulvermacher On October 31, I had the pleasure of joining Eduardo Chadwick and fellow industry professionals for lunch at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto. Bosk restaurant catered the intimate meal and Eduardo spoke about the wines that we tasted from Errázuriz Vineyards. Eduardo Chadwick Aconcagua Costa The majority of the wines tasted at the luncheon were from a relatively new wine region –Aconcagua Costa. About 12 km from the cool Pacific Ocean, Chile is able to successfully grow and harvest in a cool-climate zone that is very well suited to white varieties, as well as Syrah and Pinot […]

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Canadians Vote for Their Favourite Wines for Canada Day

This Canadian Press (CP) story was published in the major daily newspapers across Canada. Canada’s best wine for barbecue? Tipplers can vote on favourites By: The Canadian Press OTTAWA – Many Canadians opt for beer or gin when it comes to pairing beverages with grilled food. But wine lovers can now weigh in with their picks in an online poll. In The Great Canadian Wine Match: BBQ Edition, launching Friday, wine lovers can nominate and vote for their favourite Canadian wines to pair with grilled chicken, beef, seafood, pork, vegetables and dessert. Unlike traditional competitions judged by experts, wine lovers […]

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Canadian Wine and BBQ Food Pairings Video

Leanne and I chat about the great Canadian wines nominated to pair with grilled food in The Great Canadian Wine Match: BBQ Edition. Find out why  these wines are great matches for barbecued chicken, pork, beef, seafood, vegetables and dessert. The wines hail from all of Canada’s major wine producing wine regions, including: Okanagan Valley, BC Niagara, Pelee Island, Lake Erie and Prince Edward County in Ontario Eastern Townships in Quebec Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia Just 4 days left to vote for your favourite Canadian wines! Hashtag #GCWM   Posted with permission of CTV News.

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Joy to the World Holiday Wine Match

You can help create the ultimate holiday wine shopping list in the Joy to the World Holiday Wine Match! Nominate and/or vote for your favourite wines from around the world under $25 to pair with holiday dishes. As the first people’s choice awards for holiday wines, the competition takes a grassroots, “bottoms up” approach to get us rallying behind our favourite bottles so that we can pour like Santa, but save like Scrooge. In the video above, three festive wine lovers and I get into the spirits of the season and chat about wines to pair with holiday dishes. Click […]

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Wine Events and Tastings in Canada

Here is my Top 10 List of Wine Shows in Canada: 1. Vancouver Playhouse Festival: January 2016 2. La Grande Dégustation de Montréal: November 5-7, 2015 Montreal, Quebec 3. World Wine & Food Expo: October 30 – November 7, 2015 Moncton 4. Californian Wine Fair (5 cities): April-May 2016 5. Winnipeg Wine Festival 6. Port of Wines Festival: Halifax   Dates change, so register online with the event to get alerts on the most current information. You’ll find tips on getting the most from wine shows here. I find that the larger shows that attract 20,000+ attendees are designed more […]

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