California Wine Fair + Video Tasting with Beringer Wines

Last night, we were joined by a special guest, Mark Beringer, Chief Winemaker of Beringer Vineyards, to chat about his wines as well as the latest technology that’s transforming California wines. ​Join us on the Sunday Sipper Club, April 2​ at 6 pm eastern (Toronto time)​ ​with special guest Pedro Costa to chat about Vinho Verde wines. Tune in here for our Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting:  www.nataliemaclean.com/live P.S. Click on the “Follow” and “Like” buttons on this page to get notified when we go live. You’ll find upcoming and past Live Tasting Videos here.   MARK BERINGER – CHIEF […]

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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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The Ancient Greeks Invented Money — Thanks to Wine

The ancient Greeks invented money. Bring back the old days when wine was free. We don’t know who the individual was who first conceived of money, but we suspect it may have been a prescient winemaker who understood he could become rich and happy at the same time. It figures then, that if you go to some of the finest (and priciest) restaurants in the country, you’ll find wines made from the Assyrtiko (ahs-SEER-tee-koh) grape on their wine list. (British wine writer, Jancis Robinson, named Assyrtiko as the wine she would have if she could only have one.) Sign up […]

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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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Getting Nutty at Alvear Montilla-Moriles Fortified Wine Tasting

Greg Hughes Wine Writer & Sommelier   For 18 generations, (300 years) the Alvear family have been making wine.  All of these wines are Sherry-esque in style, but they are all constructed with Pedro Ximenez from Montilla Moriles instead of the traditional Palomino. We had the chance to taste the wines and discuss them with Maria Auxiliadora; the winemaker responsible for their continued quality. Pedro Ximenez (Pronounced Peh-droh ee-MAY-neth) is a small grape with a thin skin of dark colouration.  It is renown among wine enthusiasts for being super sweet, concentrated, and fermenting to naturally high alcohol. Of the four […]

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Men Versus Women Winemakers: Battle of the Bottles?

  In honour of International Women’s Day #IWD2017 on March 8, we chatted with one of Canada’s best winemakers, Ann Sperling, who just happens to be a woman ;) You can click on the arrow above to watch our interview. You can also read more than 75 comments here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/natdecants/posts We discussed Ann’s pioneering work with biodynamic and organic viticulture, her various vineyards across Canada and in Argentina, and her own approach to winemaking. Want to get one of Ann’s wines? You have a wide choice: Southbrook, Versado, Sperling Vineyards and she has consulted for Benjamin Bridge. You’ll also find the specific wines […]

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How to Taste Wine Like a Pro at a Winery or Restaurant

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about how to get the most from your winery visit, including what to bring, what to ask and how to spit your wine. You can watch the full video here. However, when you’re at home, please don’t spit the two lovely wines that I selected for this show: Rosehall Run Pinot Noir and Viewpointe Auxerrois ;) I absolutely love it when there’s a strong reaction to any segment we do on The Social: it means we’re engaged and passionate about wine! When I mention that there shouldn’t be sediment floating around in your […]

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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 […]

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Men v Women on Wine: The Score v The Story?

• Men stay in their comfort zones; women are more adventurous. • Women shop for communal gatherings, men for themselves. • Men are geared toward impressing, women toward pleasing. • Women buy wine for the short term (sharing), men for the long term (hoarding). • Men buy on the basis of testimonials from experts, women on tips from friends and merchants. • Women order wine by the glass at restaurants; men order bottles. It started back in, well, the Garden of Eden. In the beginning, it was Eve, inquisitive and experimental, who first sampled a “forbidden” fruit. And once she […]

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Video: Dragon’s Den Arlene Dickinson talks about wine, women, business

Arlene Dickinson, in the video chat below, is best known as a judge on the hit TV show Dragons’ Den as well as advising struggling companies on The Big Decision. She’s the owner and CEO of Venture Communications, a powerhouse agency focused on marketing strategy, has been inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame and is the mother four children. She recently published a book called Persuasion as well as a line of luxury products with the same brand name, including skin care, chocolate, coffee, and what we’re going to talk about today: wine… Before we […]

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