Vancouver International Wine Festival 2014: Five Fascinating Wines

By Tania Thomas In its 36th year running, Vancouver International Wine Festival has become Canada’s most anticipated extravaganza of the grape. This year, 14 countries participated with 177 wineries pouring more than 780 wines. In addition to providing educational and entertaining wine events for both public and trade, the Festival also raises funds for the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society. With France as a theme country and a global focus on Bubbly, it was a sure crowd pleaser for any novice wine lover and a seasoned connoisseur alike. Nine wine growing regions of France were featured, from Alsace in […]

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10 Tips to Make The Best out of any Wine Fest

By Tania Thomas Have you ever found yourself standing in the middle of the tasting floor at a wine show or festival and felt confused and overwhelmed, wanting to taste as many wines as possible but did not know where to begin? Attending a wine event of any kind can certainly be a confusing and overwhelming experience that leaves you bouncing from table to table without a direction, other than circular. On the other hand, attending a wine festival is an excellent opportunity to learn, taste new varietals and have fun with just a little bit of preparation. Apart from […]

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Australian Wine Icon Digs into Regional Styles

By Matt Steeves Recently on a cold January afternoon in Ottawa a small group of sommeliers and wine writers had the fortune of spending an afternoon with the legendary Chris Hancock, MW (Hon.), of Robert Oatley Vineyards at the Empire Grill in the Byward Market.  Chris led us through a tasting of nine of his wines in the Robert Oatley portfolio of wines. First of all, a bit of background about Chris Hancock.  After graduating from his studies in Oneology, and long before joining efforts with Robert Oatley in 1975,  Chris  worked at Penfolds where he produced six vintages of […]

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Whistler Cornucopia Wine Festival: BC Wines and Beyond

British Columbia Wines at the Cornucopia Wine Festival By Tania Thomas Early November is a perfect time to head to Whistler, a majestic resort town nestled in the Coastal Mountains of beautiful British Columbia, and take part in Cornucopia; an 11-day annual Fall Celebration of premier food and wine. This great event, 17 years running now, offers a great variety of interactive seminars, delectable winery dinners, gala wine tastings and those famous after-parties. It is an epicurean extravaganza not to be missed for locals and visitors alike. Friday events started with the BC Wine Institute’s, VQA Trade Seminar “Unmistakably Ours,” […]

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Canadian Wine and the European Trade Deal

How will the new European trade deal affect the Canadian wine industry? Here are some excerpts quoted from a recent story by Dianne Buckner, host of CBC’s Dragon Den. The story ran on CBC, Reuters and Canadian Business magazine. Unlike Canada’s cheese-makers and fisheries who find themselves disadvantaged by the new deal, some in Canada’s wine industry are thrilled by the prospect of new customers. Just ask the president of the Canadian Vintners Association. “The agreement opens preferential market access to the EU’s more than 500 million consumers,” says Dan Paszkowski. “It creates new opportunities for Canadian wine exports to […]

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Yalumba Wine Tasting: A Sensory Tour of Old & New World

By Jane Staples G’day, mate ! was the friendly greeting from Yalumba’s winemaker and storyteller, Jane Ferrari.  As we chatted, I asked her how she feels about the concept of “terroir” and she answered emphatically that she believes in it.  When visitors come to the Yalumba vineyard, she takes small groups out to 5 different vineyards,  then pulls down the back of her truck and does a comparative tasting on the spot. Jane was recently named “Wine Communicator of the Year” in Australia.  A trained winemaker, she now travels the world for Yalumba Wines. Canada and the US are the […]

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Wine Events and Tastings in Canada

Here are some upcoming wine tastings and events that are worth attending. Let me know if you think I should add others to this list – I’m not trying to create an exhaustive list with every wine event happening across Canada, but rather a carefully curated one of worthy events. Get yourself on the e-mail list for those that interest you now so that you’re reminded when to register. Many events offer free trade tastings during the day for those who work in the hospitality industry (restaurants, hotels etc who are involved with food and wine) as well as media […]

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Dazzling Wine and Food Pairing Dinner Party at Chatelaine

The editors of Chatelaine, Canada’s largest magazine, hosted their first dinner party in the cozy setting of their food kitchen on Thursday evening. Wine and food media gathered to share a delicious multi-course meal. In the video above, Executive Food Director Claire Tansey welcome guests to the Chatelaine Magazine Kitchen, noting that the magazine is celebrating its 84th year of publication. (Click on the arrow to play the video.) Before dinner started, we enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the magazine’s offices on the eighth floor of the building that is home to Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, Maclean’s, Canadian Business, MoneySense, […]

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Taste Ontario Features Great Wines: Thirty Bench, East Dell

By Kristy Gardner Out of all the fantastic wines at Taste Ontario this year, the biggest highlight for me is the vintages of Thirty Bench wines. The staff are friendly, ready to talk shop and most importantly, excited to have us taste their wines. While their 2011 Small lot Chardonnay is surprisingly fresh and fruit forward with notes of lemon and spice, and the 2011 Winemaker’s Red – a blend of cab sauv, cab merlot and cab franc – is well balanced, juicy, bold and smooth, it’s their 2006 Small Lot Wood Post Riesling that really impresses me. This isn’t […]

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Wine and Truffles in Italy: Chef Massimo Capra

In the video above, Chef Massimo Capra talks about his most memorable wine during a truffle dinner on a hillside in Italy. He also talks about the Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival and a special wine on auction, Tignanello. You can watch part one of our wine chat here. Antinori 2009 Tignanello Massimo has chosen to taste one of the wines that will be featured at the Grand Cru Festival Auction this year: Tignanello is produced exclusively from the vineyard of the same name, a parcel of some 140 acres (57 hectares) at 1150-1325 feet (350-400 meters) above sea level […]

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