What is Wine’s Role in Modern Madness? Finding Our Humanity Drop by Drop

Editor’s Note: I wrote this magazine piece on wine and civility 13 years ago, after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance than ever, with the riots in Ferguson, ISIS, Jian Ghomeshi, Gamergate, unfettered consumerism, and the mysogenous micro-aggressions that women face daily on social media. I welcome your thoughts here: never lose is your voice. In Vino Civilitatis The trouble with moderation is that it’s hard to get excited about it. Until now. After September 11, moderation seems to be rarer than a California cult cabernet. Finding the moderate and the civilized in everyday […]

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Pairing Wine + Art: Sommelier Courtney Henderson

Courtney Henderson, sommelier at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Frank Restaurant in Toronto, shares tips on pairing wine with art, finding the gems on a restaurant wine list and the artist with whom she’d love to share a great bottle. What makes your wine list unique? We have thirty red wines, thirty white and six sparkling, with six by the glass for red and white and three for the sparkling. More than 85 percent of them are Canadian. We feature Vintner Quality Alliance (VQA) wines that includes lots of local gems such as Niagara’s 13th Street Pinot Gris, Nyarai Sauvignon […]

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The Grapes of Gaffe: Social Anxiety + Wine

My friends know that I write about wine for a living; and over the years, they’ve sought my counsel as earnestly as they’d a physician friend for advice about their ailments. Sometimes even the savviest wine lover encounters situations so fraught with anxiety, they make her wish she could crawl into a bottle and pull the cork in after her. So from one who has been thrust into the role of a vinous Agony Aunt, here are some guidelines. These suggestions may not be the classic Miss Manners answers to vexing vinous events, but they might just get you through […]

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Director James Cameron Buys BC Winery

Director James Cameron recently bought Beaufort Winery in Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia for an undisclosed price. (Wouldn’t we like to know.) Cameron joins a growing roster of movie celebrity winemakers. Husband-and-wife team, Susan and Jeff Vandermolen, founded the winery in 2006, and will consult for at least a year. James, the director of blockbuster movies such as Avatar ($2.7 billion), Titanic, Aliens and The Terminator, wanted to buy agricultural land in the region as a way of spending more time with his family in Canada; he was born in Chippewa, Ontario. Even though winemaking wasn’t his first […]

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Wine Quotes and Liquid Laughter

CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes had done a hilarious parody of the blockbuster movie starring Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips” in a sequel entitled Captain Phillips 2: The Sommelier Pirates (thanks to my favourite reporter at CBC for sending this ;) Here’s the previous round of wine quotes if you’re thirsting for more. All the best stories have three things:  Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After, and a glass of wine somewhere in the Middle.

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Wine Quotes and Quips: Liquid Laughter

The true definition of a snob is one who craves for what separates men rather than for what unites them. – John Buchan Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art. – Ralph Waldo Emerson No man enjoys the true taste of life, but he who is ready and willing to quit it. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca Taste is the common sense of genius. – Victor Hugo Beauty fades, but dumb is forever. – My Grade 5 Teacher Here’s the previous round of wine quotes if you’re thirsting for more.

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Oprah Loves Wine and Living Life to the Full

When I went to listen to Oprah Winfrey talk last night, I expected to hear cliches about believing in yourself and taking a positive attitude. However, her insights were incredibly more practical, grounded, and ultimately, inspirational. She used the rise and fall and rise again of her own network to make her advice concrete: “I live a big life,” she observed. “My mistakes show up on the evening news. But that can force you to dig deeper, move in a new direction and do the next right thing.” She also talked about Sheryl Sandberg, the former COO of Facebook whose […]

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