Getting Nutty at Alvear Montilla-Moriles Fortified Wine Tasting

Greg Hughes Wine Writer & Sommelier   For 18 generations, (300 years) the Alvear family have been making wine.  All of these wines are Sherry-esque in style, but they are all constructed with Pedro Ximenez from Montilla Moriles instead of the traditional Palomino. We had the chance to taste the wines and discuss them with Maria Auxiliadora; the winemaker responsible for their continued quality. Pedro Ximenez (Pronounced Peh-droh ee-MAY-neth) is a small grape with a thin skin of dark colouration.  It is renown among wine enthusiasts for being super sweet, concentrated, and fermenting to naturally high alcohol. Of the four […]

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Organic Wine: What is it? Toast Earth Day with Wine, Naturally

Last night, we had two spectacular, on-fire conversations with Canadian rock-star winemaker Thomas Bachelder. Click the arrow above to watch part one before the internet gods cut us off ;) Part two is below. It was a wide-ranging conversation sprinkled with limestone and lyrical story-telling. You’ll find his wines under his own Bachelder label as well as Domaine Quelyus. You’ll find previous and upcoming Live Video Wine Tastings here.   Want to get the heads up on Facebook when we go live next Sunday? Take 3 seconds right now and click on these 2 grey buttons under the wine bottle image: Follow […]

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Capra and Chianti: A Perfect Pairing with Gabbiano Wines

Last night, we were joined by a special guest, Chef Massimo Capra, to chat about Italian wine and food pairings ​Join us on the Sunday Sipper Club, April 16​ at 6 pm eastern (Toronto time)​ ​when we talk about Malbec. Tune in here for our Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting:  www.nataliemaclean.com/live P.S. Click on the “Follow” and “Like” buttons on this page to get notified when we go live. You’ll find upcoming and past Live Tasting Videos here.   If you’d like to read 74 comments for this tasting, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10154975674214845/ Here’s a sampling of […]

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World Malbec Day Celebrates Argentina’s Flagship Red Wine

Last night, we chatted about Malbec World Day and food pairings. Tune in here for our next Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting: www.nataliemaclean.com/live P.S. Click on the “Follow” and “Like” buttons on this page to get notified when we go live. You’ll find upcoming and past Live Tasting Videos here. If you’d like to read 46 comments for this tasting, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10154975674214845/ Here’s a sampling of lively discussion from our tasting…  Natalie MacLean · 12:21 Here are the wines we’re tasting tonight: http://www.nataliemaclean.com/…/malbec-red-wine…/…See More  Lise Charest Gagne · 8:39 I like the mix. Try out […]

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Easter Wines for Fish, Lamb + Ham: Video

Wines for Good Friday fish, Easter brunch, lamb and ham are the focus of our chat on CTV News. In particular, red wines often clash with fish not because of the wine tannin and fish iodine, as previously thought, but rather because of high iron content in the wine. The iron comes mostly from the soil where the vines are grown, but can also be due to winemaking methods. Generalizing about which wines will be high in iron content is difficult. The iron in wine is thought to break down the unsaturated (good) fats in fish and creates that fishy […]

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Plonk Wine Videos Stumble Blindly into Brilliant Insight

In his book How to Love Wine, New York Times wine columnist Eric Asimov observes: “I’m sometimes dismayed that sommeliers confuse their professional training with what consumers need to know to enjoy wine. We don’t need to know whether you can identify wines blind. “Those are just parlor games for professionals. I think that professionals, like sommeliers, need to be able to communicate with the public in a language that they understand and that they find useful.” When I tasted wines blind with Eric at the paper’s headquarters several years ago, he lived those words. The blind tasting was to […]

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California Wine Fair + Video Tasting with Beringer Wines

Last night, we were joined by a special guest, Mark Beringer, Chief Winemaker of Beringer Vineyards, to chat about his wines as well as the latest technology that’s transforming California wines. ​Join us on the Sunday Sipper Club, April 2​ at 6 pm eastern (Toronto time)​ ​with special guest Pedro Costa to chat about Vinho Verde wines. Tune in here for our Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting:  www.nataliemaclean.com/live P.S. Click on the “Follow” and “Like” buttons on this page to get notified when we go live. You’ll find upcoming and past Live Tasting Videos here.   MARK BERINGER – CHIEF […]

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Music and Wine Pairing: Cabernet in C Major

Leanne and I chat about pairing wine and music. Click on the arrow to play the video. More information about the wine auction here. “Notes” on Pairing Wine and Music Both music and wine evoke emotion so it makes sense that music could influence our emotional reaction to and perception of wine. However, are there right and wrong wine and music pairings? Or perhaps even, better or worse? When I attend wine tasting for the media, there are no distractions, such as food or perfume, and the room is almost always silent except for the gurgling and sloshing noises of […]

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The Ancient Greeks Invented Money — Thanks to Wine

The ancient Greeks invented money. Bring back the old days when wine was free. We don’t know who the individual was who first conceived of money, but we suspect it may have been a prescient winemaker who understood he could become rich and happy at the same time. It figures then, that if you go to some of the finest (and priciest) restaurants in the country, you’ll find wines made from the Assyrtiko (ahs-SEER-tee-koh) grape on their wine list. (British wine writer, Jancis Robinson, named Assyrtiko as the wine she would have if she could only have one.) Sign up […]

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Ontario’s Best Sommelier to Compete for National Title

  Last night, we were joined by special guest Emily Pearce-Bibona who has just been named Ontario’s Best Sommelier in a gruelling day-long competition. Click on the arrow above to watch the video. We went behind the scenes with Emily to chat about what it was like to compete (and win) in this competition hosted by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. Plus, she shared her expert tips on tasting and enjoying wine, including how to choose a great bottle from a restaurant list, with the help of your sommelier, of course ;) You can read 69 comments here and make […]

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