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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Wine Talk on Bell Media’s New TV Show “The Drink”

By Alex Powell & Priya Rao, A Vine Romance It’s finally here–August 2nd brings the launch of our new show for Bell Media called, The Drink. In it we explore the best that Toronto has to offer in terms of beer, sake, scotch, cocktails and of course, wine! In fact, one of our 4 episodes in dedicated to this glorious beverage from Mother Nature! The episode is called, quite appropriately, “Calling All Wine-o’s!” In it we visit a super high-tech private wine storage facility, we trace the roots of a bottle of wine in a vineyard-to-restaurant segment, Alex breaks down how to taste […]

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Austrian Wine Fair Comes to Toronto April 14

    On April 14 in Toronto, over 30 vintners present up to 165 wines at the Austrian Wine Fair, which also features a Tutored Tasting for wine professionals, guided by Willi Klinger from the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.   Traditionally known for its white wines, did you know that a third of Austria’s vineyards are made up of red wines? Join us for an educational seminar featuring flights of the three red aces, the indigenous grape varieties Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent, plus a rare flight of Austrian Pinot Noir. A trade Walk Around Tasting is followed by the […]

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Kosher Wine: What is it? Why should I not Passover it?

Ten years ago, kosher wine was considered the cough syrup of the wine world: mostly made from nasty Concord grapes and often sweeter than Buckley’s—but without as much nuance. Today, it’s no longer the wine of affliction: many kosher wines, made from classic grapes, are complex and full of character. In fact, kosher wines sales are growing fast —  up 12% since 2013. While no one tracks buyer demographics, some producers claim that up to half aren’t even members of the Jewish faith—they’re just attracted to the wine’s quality and its preparation, which guarantees purity. Kosher wines, like fashionable organic […]

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Men Versus Women Winemakers: Battle of the Bottles?

In honour of International Women’s Day #IWD2016 on March 8, I’m posting this piece that I originally wrote for the LCBO’s Food & Drink Magazine on women winemakers. Several of the women have since changed positions, but they are still in the wine industry and more importantly, the issues raised remain. Do women have any natural advantages when it comes to making and tasting wine? Are they still a minority in the industry, and if so, why isn’t that changing? What does the future look like for young women entering the field? In my personal quest for answers, I’ve judged the […]

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Video: Dragon’s Den Arlene Dickinson talks about wine, women, business

Arlene Dickinson, in the video chat below, is best known as a judge on the hit TV show Dragons’ Den as well as advising struggling companies on The Big Decision. She’s the owner and CEO of Venture Communications, a powerhouse agency focused on marketing strategy, has been inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame and is the mother four children. She recently published a book called Persuasion as well as a line of luxury products with the same brand name, including skin care, chocolate, coffee, and what we’re going to talk about today: wine… Before we […]

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The Champagnes of James Bond and Rappers: Bollinger and Cristal

Part 2: Champagne Widows By the 1930s, French winemakers faced even greater challenges: a country about to go to war, a worldwide Depression that made running any business difficult, and U.S. Prohibition, which made selling luxury champagne to the lucrative American market almost impossible.   Camille Olry-Roederer   This was the forbidding business environment that Camille Olry-Roederer stepped into when she took over the champagne house Louis Roederer after losing her second husband in 1932 (her first husband had died in World War I). Sales were 264,000 bottles that year, compared to 2.3 million bottles in 1876.   1954 1954 […]

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The Merry Widows of Mousse: Champagne Widows

They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they did not do what was expected: step aside or sell the business.  Nor did they marry again (though they were still in their twenties and thirties), handing over the reins to a new husband. Instead, these celebrated veuves, or widows, took control of their châteaux to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world – wines that still bear their names: Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, Laurent-Perrier, Roederer and […]

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10 Best Sparkling Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Bubbly

Sparkling wines made outside of Champagne, France, may not be called Champagne as it’s a trademarked term. However, they often use the same methods and/or grapes used in Champagne. 5 Surprising Facts about Sparkling Facts: 1. Bubblies made in Burgundy, France, are called Crémants de Bourgogne while those from Alsace are Crémant d’Alsace. 2. Spain makes Cavas (“cave”), Italy makes either Prosecco (lightly sparkling) or Spumante (fully sparkling and sweet), Germany makes Sekt or Deutscher. 3. Those from New World regions, such as Canada, California, Australia and elsewhere, are simply called sparkling wine. 4. Drink bubbly from a flute glass […]

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A Tasteful Wine Journey from Provence to Paris

Town centre of Beaune By David Skinner Provence stands as Southern France’s glorious gateway to the viticultural and gastronomic treasures awaiting discovery along the Rhône River Valley. A river cruise from Provence to Burgundy is likely one of the best ways to experience these famous wine regions and cruising is the most leisurely and convenient way to uncover abundant appellations and epicurean adventures. Of course, one of the attractions of seeing the countryside by boat is that you only unpack once and this simply eliminates the worry of transportation and lodging, granting more time to create memories of fabulous food, […]

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