The Wrath of Grapes: How to Cure a Hangover

Do your eyelids creak when they open? Has your tongue been scrubbed with sandpaper? Is the Little Drummer Boy playing on your cerebral cortex? At this time of year, we make merry in haste and then repent in waste, the next day. Thousands of years ago, man discovered alcohol; the next day he discovered the hangover. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about what causes hangovers but not what cures them. Their effects are as immutable as Newton’s law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Of course, the only way to avoid a hangover is not […]

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How do You Pick a Great Gift Wine? 5 Tips for Festive Sips

Want to give someone a bottle of wine this year? On Global Television’s Morning Show, we chat about quick tips on how to choose a great gift wine this holiday. Wine is a great gift because: –    one size fits all –    doubles are fine –    it’s easy to re-gift Also: – it’s easy to return for cash without a receipt – wine doesn’t have to be cared for and it should never be watered – it’s consumable so it doesn’t create clutter adding to more stuff in your home How to decide which wine to give? – match the […]

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Wine Glasses: How Many Do You Really Need? Which Shapes Work Best?

Does the shape of a wine glass really matter? On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we conducted the ultimate taste test with the hosts. Click on the arrow above to play the video. Wines featured in our tasting included: La Marca Prosecco, Veneto D.O.C., Italy  Even after I started learning about wine, I’d always secretly believed that varietal-specific stemware was an unnecessary expense, fueled by snobs and glassware companies. Then one evening, a friend poured some Bordeaux for me in a large, elegant glass at a dinner party. As soon as the gorgeous aromas wafted up from the wine, I realized […]

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How to Pick a Wine Class? Learn About Wine to Satisfy Your Thirst

You’ve started to learn about wine and find yourself thirsting for more knowledge. Choosing a wine course can be challenging, especially with so many options these days. Selecting the right wine class depends on your goals: 1. Is it to become more knowledgeable as a wine drinker and to increase your personal enjoyment of wine? 2. To find a new hobby that you and a friend or partner can pursue together? 3. To learn more about various wine regions in order to plan gastro-vacations? 4. To make a career change or start one in the wine industry? I’ve always felt […]

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The Right Temperature for Wine? Chilled Reds, Warmer Whites

What is the right temperature for wine? Depends on if the wine is red, white, sparkling or dessert. However, all wine is often served at the wrong temperature, with red wines too warm and white wines too cold. Too cold, and a wine’s complexity and aromas are numbed; too warm, and it tastes alcoholic, flabby and astringent (that mouth-drying feeling we get from walnuts). The old advice about serving reds at “room temperature” comes from the days when the “room” was a drafty medieval castle of about 18 degrees Celsius (64.4° Farenheit), not today’s toasty, centrally heated homes where the […]

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Heart of Darkness: The Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine and Chocolate

We love chocolate not just for its taste, but also for its sensual texture. Cocoa butter, one of its main ingredients, melts close to body temperature, so sliding a piece into your mouth and feeling it seep out to coat your tongue can almost be orgasmic. Maybe that why’s the eighteenth century Venetian womanizer Giacomo Casanova drank chocolate daily as an aphrodisiac. Sadly, scientists have since proven no link between chocolate and sexual prowess, but they have discovered that it contains phenylethylamine, a compound that produces a high in the brain that’s similar to the feeling of falling in love. […]

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Wine and Food Pairing with Memories and Laughter

  As part of the CBC’s Food Fantasy fundraiser for the Food Bank, I raffled myself off to visit the home of the winner and pair wines with a three-course meal. You can listen to our group chat above and discover some surprising tips on pairing wine and food. The winners were Merle and Richard (far right in the picture below), a lovely couple who hosted a fun evening filled with wine, laughter and memories.   Wines Tasted and Food Pairings Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand Grassy and smoky and absolutely great! This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc […]

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Box Wine: Good or Grim? How to Drink Inside the Box

“Where do you keep your boxed wine?” I ask the liquor store clerk, brushing away the loose strands of the auburn wig from my face. “You mean the two bottles of wine we sell in the gift box?” she asks, peering into my dark sunglasses. “No, the stuff that comes as a bag in the box,” I snap back. (I’ll throw away pretension, but not my reputation.) “Ah, follow me” she says, taking me to the back section that has the same social approval as where they keep the adult flicks in video stores. In 1967, an Australian invented the […]

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How Sweet is My Wine? What do Sugar Codes Mean for Wine?

How sweet is your wine? Have you ever wondered what those sugar codes mean on the liquor store shelf? There are several different sweetness charts and coding systems on the market, but they’re not that far apart from each other in describing the residual sugar level in wine. I believe that it’s critical to list the sweetness level of a wine with every review that I write to give more information about each wine to my readers, some of whom look for a bone-dry wine while others have a sweet tooth. Posting the sugar codes are also vital for health […]

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The Grapes of Laugh: How to Host a Wine Tasting or Start a Wine Club

There are many excellent reasons to host a wine tasting party—or even to form a wine club. For one thing, wine is a social beverage—one that’s meant to be shared with friends. And it’s more fun to drink than to buy Tupperware—unless, of course, you’re drinking from the Tupperware. The only goal is to enjoy yourself and perhaps find a new favorite bottle. Although wine does lend itself to serious technical analysis, that’s not really necessary. You don’t need a PhD to talk about it: anyone can share opinions about the wine. Most people just want to socialize over a […]

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