Avondale Winery: South African Wine With its Ducks in a Row

By Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance When you think of South African wines, several prominent names may come to mind, but there is more to this region than just a few well-known wineries. We learned this the easy way—by meeting one of the remarkable winemakers who is producing wines of exceptional quality. That winemaker is Jonathan Grieve and the winery is Avondale. The invite we received to join Jonathan at a winemakers lunch had us a bit skeptical. What could we expect from a man who holds a duck in his arms in a promo shot? Well, we learned […]

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Gerard Bertrand Wine Tasting: Diversity of Southern France Wines

On a glorious April morning, a small group of wine journalists gathered at Restaurant Daniel on New York City’s upper east side for a tasting with winemaker Gerard Bertrand (pictured above). Click on the arrow to play the short video. Gérard Bertrand Côte Des Roses Rosé 2014 Languedoc, Midi A.P., France This lovely southern French rosé is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes. It’s elegant, yet full-bodied for rosé and very satisfying. Freshness is everything in this wine. Grenache is ideal for rosé because it matures easily and quickly, has vibrant aromatics, yet keeps its zesty acidity for food. […]

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First Families of Wine Tasting: Primum Familiae Vini Bring Family and Place to the Glass

By Mymi Myriam At 11:30 a.m. on a windy Thursday, I walked into a sumptuous room at the Four Seasons Hotel.  Immaculately decorated, it had high ceilings and an incredible view of Toronto’s affluent Yorkville neighbourhood. In the center of the room was a very large and beautifully dressed… dining room table! I was at the right place: the long-awaited Primum Familiae Vini (PFV) luncheon. The PFV is an international association of some of the world’s finest wine producing families from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It was created in 1992 by Robert Drouhin and Miguel Torres as they […]

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Wine and Truffle Pairing: Wild Mushroom Matches for Wine

By Priya and Alex What could be better than truffles? Not the chocolate kind (although those are pretty fantastic too!) but the really decadent kind that are hunted in forests by dogs! Most of us have probably owned truffle oil or truffled salt but how many of us have experienced authentic truffle products direct from a family who hunts them? We’d guess not many! It’s no surprise then, that we were so excited to meet the Truffle Lady aka Wanda Srdoc of www.whitetruffles.ca.  Truffles are her specialty and have been central to her family in Istria, Croatia since the early […]

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Spicy Food & Wine Pairings: Cinco de Mayo, Tex-Mex, Indian Food Matches

What better time to explore wine and spicy food pairings than to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (May 5), the day in 1862 when a rag-tag Mexican army defeated the far larger French forces under Emperor Napoleon III. Sure, you could toast with a cerveza or tequila, but which wine? The growing Mexican wine industry is gaining respect, particularly the region of Baja California, and among the leading producers is L.A. Cetto, creating exceptionally well-priced red wines. But let’s broaden the field, and look at wines from around the world to complement the fiesta dishes that include the diverse and spicy […]

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Remy Pannier Tasting with Fresh Wines for Spring

Remy Pannier Winemaker Tasting with Pierre Charon By Priya and Alex, A Vine Romance It’s not often you get invited to an exclusive and intimate lunch with a talented winemaker visiting all the way from France, but we were lucky enough to do just that this past week. The Novotel on the Esplanade was the setting for this lovely event and they put out a great spread to match with the wines, with lots of cheese and seafood. They were kind enough to accommodate Priya, who’s a vegan, by having some vegetable antipasto and green salad along with mixed nuts […]

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Tasting from the Tank: Barrel Samples and Wine Reviews

Most of the wines that I taste are bottled and on the liquor store shelves, or about to be there. However, when I attend a tasting with a winemaker who is visiting my city or when I travel to wine regions, I am often tasting tank or barrel samples. Sometimes, these samples get sent to my office in a generic wine bottle with a hand-written sticker telling me when the wine will be bottled, which is a future date. This is because the winemaker is keen to show you his or her new baby, even if that child is still […]

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Moet & Chandon Champagne Tasting 2006 Vintage Rosé Wine

By Melissa Pulvermacher Moët & Chandon is one of the world’s leading producers of Champagne. Moët produces more than 26,000,000 bottles of Champagne on an annual basis. Elise Losfelt, one of the 10 winemakers of Moët & Chandon, joined a group of tasters in Toronto, Ontario to introduce the new release of the 2006 Rosé in Canada in December, 2015. Elise helped the tasters understand that behind the label and well-recognized brand, there is a product and that the winemakers are extremely dedicated to achieving the expected style, while exceeding quality and expectations of its consumers. The tasting began with […]

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Gifts for Mother’s Day: Wine Trumps Flowers (and Tastes Better)

My wine column in the May issue of More Magazine Canada, with more than 500,000 thirsty readers, features three wines to celebrate Mother’s Day as gifts: three spectacular bubblies. A toast to Mom! The cover features an actress whom I admire for her depth, strength and guts, Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife, Canterbury’s Law, ER). I also love that she’s often drinking a glass of wine as she reviews her legal briefs in the evening at home. (Guess that doesn’t play so well in the ER.) At the start of the season, it was white wine, but I notice that it’s […]

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Mother’s Day Gifts, Wines and Pairings

By Natalie MacLean How to thank Mom for all those kisses, compliments and band-aids? Try a great bottle of wine with Mother’s Day gift, brunch or dinner pairing. As a mother myself now, I call my glass of wine at 5 p.m. “Mommy’s little helper.” Here’s to you Mom! Here are my Top 20 Wines for Mother’s Day, either made by women or named for them. Often the latter were originally made by women. Try these wines that I recommended on the Conde Nast site Epicurious.com or more choices on Canada AM and in More Magazine: Veuve Clicquot Champagne France […]

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