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

This morning on CTV’s new national breakfast show, Your Morning, host Lindsey Deluce and I chatted about boxed wines. These are otherwise known as nag in a box or casks, and in the past have had a nasty reputation with consumers; the Rodney Dangerfield of wine. However, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what’s in the box these days. That may be the reason that boxed wines are one of the fastest-growing categories in the wine industry, both in Canada and in the United States. In Ontario, sales represented $119 million last year in the LCBO. In 2016, the California Wine Market Council reported that three-litre […]

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Tale of Two Niagara Wineries: Reif Winery Makes Big Impression

As a photographer, I capture many wonderful moments in life, with no two moments ever being quite the same. This weekend,  I found out in my travels to the Niagara Region, the same can be said for its wonderful abundance of world-class wineries. This is my story about visiting two wineries in the Niagara region at opposite ends of the spectrum, one small and one large, to see just how different they really were with respect to service style, approachability, ambiance and overall experience. In Part One of Tale of Two Wineries, I wrote about my experience visiting Ravine, considered to most as a […]

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How to Choose Wine from a Restaurant List like a Pro

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about how to choose wine from a restaurant list, including how to indicate how much you want to pay without saying it out loud and sending back a bad bottle. On Twitter, many folks asked which rosé I poured for Teddy. It’s the lovely Anew Rosé from Columbia Valley in Washington State. On Marci’s table is the Jackson-Triggs Cabernet. Hope these tips help you through you next restaurant wine experience. Ask for help Find someone who should the wine list well, usually the sommelier, the bartender or your server. Tell your sommelier a few details […]

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The 31 Most Difficult Wine and Grapes Names: How to Pronounce Them

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about the most difficult wine and grape names to pronounce. Click the arrows to watch the videos both above and below. As anglophones, we find many of these names difficult since their origins are often European, with accents and inflections that are new to us. Tip: often e and i are pronounced in the reverse when in the middle of a word, and an e at the end of a name often sounds like a long a. Why bother? We often overlook these terrific wines, and don’t ask for them in liquor stores […]

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How to Decant Wine: 5 Easy Steps

How do you decant wine? Decanting wine simply means pouring it from its bottle into some other container: a carafe, a decanter, even a water jug. Here are 5 easy steps to decant wine: To decant a bottle with sediment, first leave it upright for about a day to settle the sediment at the bottom. When you’re ready, make sure the decanter and the mouth of the bottle are clean. For the actual pouring process, stand a flashlight on the table so that it shines upwards—it gives stronger light than the classic lit candle. Place the decanter beside it and […]

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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?

I’m often asked if the shape of a wine glass really matters? How does it affect the taste of wine? Just how many wine glasses do you need? Here’s my advice … A Glass Act: The 7 Essential Wine Glasses Wine Glass Type Why It Works   Sparkling Wine Champagne, Italian prosecco, Spanish cava or any other sparkling wine is best enjoyed in a tall, narrow glass to preserve the bubbles. And there are specific glasses for different kinds of bubbly, ranging from straight, very slender flutes to long-stemmed, slim white-wine style glasses.   White Burgundy White Burgundy glasses are best […]

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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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