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 […]

read more …

Read More

A Sparkling Dilemma: What’s the Real Difference Between Champagne and Prosecco?

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance What’s the real difference between Champagne and Prosecco? Priya: Ahh bubbly! There are so many styles of sparkling wine but Champagne and Prosecco are undoubtedly the two most popular. Alex: You’re right about that my lady. However, they are distinctly different from one another. So much so that an experienced taster should almost never be fooled – though there are some Proseccos out there that bear similarities to iconic Champagne – but they are rarely encountered and cost equally as much. P: Interesting. As a not-so-experienced taster, I doubt I’d be able to […]

read more …

Read More

Merroir, it’s a Thing. A Tasty, Tasty Thing; Wine and Oyster Pairings

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm Photos by Signe Langford  Oenophiles have always understood the concept of terroir; food- lovers are grasping this taste of place, too.Ingredients are just as terroir-driven as wine, sometimes the connection to the soil, sun, and air is even more pronounced in a cheese or a cacao bean than in a particular wine! And, what if that taste of place –or terroir– is underwater? Well, until I met with Patrick McMurray, author, oyster expert and shucking champion, I was unaware of how much terroir- or, rather, merroir-driven these beautiful bivalves are. Joining him at his […]

read more …

Read More

Best Bottles for Outdoor Dining: Wines for the Wet & Wild

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm A couple of posts ago, I wrote about the best wines for summer entertaining – well, I have a bit more to say about the joys of summer sipping. Here’s Part Two, enjoy! Dip and Sip – The Pool Party Crunchy, oily, salty chips and hot dogs with all the fixin’s are so much fun under the sun, especially poolside! My preference is to wash this super-casual stuff down with an ice cold beer or cider, but there are a few playful wines practically made for chillaxin’ by the pool!   Adamo Estate Winery Rosé, Hockley […]

read more …

Read More

Wine Prices: Is the Price Right?

I love CTV’s The Social, with its hybrid of old and new media: they do such a great job of integrating social, especially Twitter and Facebook, with their national television show. No wonder its ratings are flying up the charts – congrats to the hosts! Click on the arrow above to watch the video. In this segment, we chat about how wines are priced: does a $100 wine taste ten times better than a $10 one? How can you spot the bargains in the liquor store? What clues can you find on the bottle label about quality and price? You […]

read more …

Read More

Pierre Sparr Wines: Alsace Value and Taste Pair Well

Maison Pierre Sparr By Melissa Pulvermacher We’re all on a constant search of high-value wines for a great price. I always say that your chance of getting a great quality wine for a large price tag is high, and although the odds are less consistent, it feels great to find a killer bottle of wine that doesn’t break the bank. Maison Pierre Sparr, founded in 1680 by Jean Sparr, is a winery and brand located in Alsace, France. Sparr owns 15 hectares of their own Domaine, while also sourcing grapes from 130 hectares of trusted farmer-owned vines, to produce their […]

read more …

Read More

The Grapes of Laugh: How to Host a Wine Tasting or Start a Wine Club

There are many excellent reasons to host a wine tasting party—or even to form a wine club. For one thing, wine is a social beverage—one that’s meant to be shared with friends. And it’s more fun to drink than to buy Tupperware—unless, of course, you’re drinking from the Tupperware. The only goal is to enjoy yourself and perhaps find a new favorite bottle. Although wine does lend itself to serious technical analysis, that’s not really necessary. You don’t need a PhD to talk about it: anyone can share opinions about the wine. Most people just want to socialize over a […]

read more …

Read More

Bring Your Own Bottle BYOB Wine to Restaurants Tips

Bringing your own bottle of wine to restaurants is now legal in many provinces and states, but what are the rules of engagement? I shared some tips on CBC radio this week on the etiquette of doing so, including the types of wines to bring, corkage fees and tipping. You can listen to that conversation below … Does the thought of bringing your own wine to a restaurant make you feel cheap and arrogant? Get over it by practicing good BYOB etiquette. 1. Even when the practice is legal, check if the restaurant allows or encourages it. When you make […]

read more …

Read More

10 Best Nero d’Avola Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Nero d’Avola

Nero d’Avola is one of the most important red wine grapes in Sicily and increasingly in Italy as a whole. You’ll find my top 10 Nero d’Avola reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Nero d’Avola: 1. Nero d’Avola is named after Avola, a small town in South East Sicily. Several hundred years ago Nero d’Avola was known as “The Black Grape of Avola.” Nero d’Avola is also known as Calabrese, which lends to the idea that Nero d’Avola originated in Calabria on mainland Italy at the tip of the boot. 2. The best Nero d’Avola comes from the […]

read more …

Read More

Got Wine? There’s an App for That from Nat > Video

Leanne and I chat about Canada’s first wine app, and the only one that gives real-time, GPS-based liquor store inventory across the country. Just scan a bottle bar code and you get instant stock data along with: – professional wine reviews – food pairings – custom shopping list – cellar maturity dates – top 10 wines in your closest liquor store Check out the features here for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad as well as for Android and the mobile site for other smartphones.   Posted with permission from CTV News.   Got Wine? There’s an App for That from […]

read more …

Read More