Holiday Gift for Wine Lovers: Give the Gift of Great Wines Year Round

Wondering what to give the wine lovers in your life? How about a guarantee that they’ll enjoy every bottle they open? With a gift subscription to my wine reviews, they get exclusive access to my best value and top rated wines: red, white, rose, sparkling and dessert wines from around the world at all price points. They’ll discover wines they’ve never heard of that go amazingly well with a wide variety of dishes: bottles they would never have pulled off the shelf based on the label alone. No more disappointing bottles, no more paying too much for too little taste […]

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Wine Tripping and Sipping in Prince Edward County

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance Move over Niagara, Prince Edward County is coming of age as a wine country area in Ontario! Whether it’s the big names like Norm Hardie,  Closson Chase and Karlo Estates, or the smaller ones like Domaine Darius or Trail Estates, we’ve spent many a weekend exploring the wineries of this region and wanted to share some of our favourite spots with you. Priya: First things first is finding a great home base for all your County experiences. We were lucky to get a spot at The Ferg, a beautiful boutique property co-owned by our very good […]

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Plonk Wine Videos Stumble Blindly into Brilliant Insight

At last, wine web videos that actually blend humour and personality. The online series Plonk crushes tired old wine talk, yet slyly mixes in wine education without a bitter after taste. The creators of Plonk get it: you can’t begin to educate without entertaining … first, foremost, forever. My thanks to the intrepid Beppi Crosariol for featuring the series in his Globe and Mail wine column. It deserves the attention, and is certainly getting it with 98,000 views and climbing quickly.  Now that’s viral. My favourite scene is in episode four when Chris, the host, gets Rocky-style training on how […]

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Frothy Tales from the Vino in Villa Festival: A Primer on Prosecco

Photos: Consorzio Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. By Jacky Blisson I arrived in Venice, Italy, on May 13th to ominous clouds, but mild spring weather and lush greenery. I was there to join in the revelry of the Vino in Villa festival. This annual event aims to showcase the superior quality of DOCG Prosecco from the region of Conegliano Valdobbiadene. A smattering of wine journalists from around the globe were gathered to learn more about the region and its famed bubbly. The goal? To pass on the good word that Prosecco is more than a cheap and cheerful Champagne alternative. Prosecco is […]

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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 […]

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Pairing Balderson Vintners Cheddars and Wine

Tips for Serving Wine  As a rule of thumb, plan on a half bottle of wine per person. White wines should be chilled for two hours (no longer) before being served. Red wines should be opened and allowed to breathe at room temperature for two hours before serving. If you’re serving several wines, start with the lighter whites, move through more robust reds and end with a port or sherry. If possible, use the correct stemware for each of the wines. The right glass does make a difference.   You could win one of three Balderson Gift Baskets valued at […]

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Bring on the Beaujolais! A Young Red Wine is Centre of Attention each November

The annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau and other nouveau wines happens on the third Thursday of November. According to several liquor store chains, they are one of the fastest-selling products with about 80% selling out during the first week. The 2016 vintage experienced one of the coldest springs in more than 25 years, therefore the fall harvest was about three weeks later than usual. However, the grapes still ripened fully due to a warm July and August, with some of the highest degree of sunlight for more than 20 years. In the LCBO, there are usually two Ontario nouveau wines […]

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Beaujolais Nouveau arrives Thursday! Top 10 Food Matches …

In our first video chat, Carol Anne and I discuss beaujolais nouveau wines to try this year. However, for those who want to try other easy-drinking red wines this week and during the holidays, we’ve got more suggestions above for you. On the third Thursday of every November, Beaujolais produdcers in southern Burgundy, France, release wine from the new harvest. More than 60 million bottles make their way around the world to bistros, bars and restaurants. Nouveau is a knock-it-back kind of wine to be enjoyed in the spirit of celebrating the harvest! Here are my top 10 food matches […]

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10 Best Zinfandel Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Zinfandel

In our latest Facebook Live Video chat, we chat about the robust red wine Zinfandel. What makes it different from other red wines? How is it related to the Italian red wine Primitivo? What foods pair best with Zinfandel? What’s the group Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) all about, and International Zinfandel Day on November 19? You can click on the arrow above to play the video. If you’d like to read the 100+ comments, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10154477064559845/ You’ll find the most recent live video wine tasting at the top of the timeline here: www.facebook.com/natdecants We taste […]

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Winner of Wines of South Africa International Sommelier Cup Announced

Marc Almert of Germany is the winner of the 2016 Wines of South Africa (WOSA) International Sommelier Cup, with Joe Yang of Macau and Nathan Morrell of Canada tying for second place. The top three finalists were amongst the elite group of eight contestants flown to the Cape Winelands to compete in the prestigious event this fall. The other participants were from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States of America and Kenya. Held every three years, the Sommelier Cup seeks to raise awareness of South Africa’s wine excellence amongst international restaurant, hotel and style-bar influencers. As they […]

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