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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Father’s Day Wines: Is There Such a Thing as a Man’s Wine?

Is there such a thing as “man’s wine” versus a woman’s wine”? The question comes up as we approach Father’s Day. Of course, it’s all awash once you’re on to your third glass of pinot or cabernet or chardonnay. This is an interesting piece from a reporter for the Associated Press (AP) with whom I spoke about the “issue” … Cal Dennison likes a nice cold glass of chardonnay. And he’s man enough to admit it. That’s hardly surprising since Dennison is the winemaker at the Modesto-based Redwood Creek winery, but is he an exception? Judging by some marketing campaigns, […]

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Austrian Wines Come to Montreal April 12

On April 12 in Montreal, more than 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. Wine lovers will enjoy Austria’s unique grape varietal, the beloved Grüner Veltliners, Rieslings, Sauvignon Blancs and our liquid gold, Austria’s sweet wines, accompanied by hors d’oeuvres and live piano music. For Montreal, please register at Lafortune@exquis.ca. This post is sponsored by the Wines of Austria.

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Which Food Films Co-Star with Wine? The Oscar for Best Bottle Goes to …

Wine is often a co-star with food in the movies, especially films about food: The Big Night (1996) Like Water for Chocolate (1992) Soul Food (1997) Chocolat (2000) The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989) Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994) Tampopo (1985) Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978) Dinner Rush (2000) Rare Birds (2001). The three movies I most want to see right now in this genre are Chef, The Hundred Foot Journey and The Trip to Italy. The lush landscape of Italian wine country makes a bucolic backdrop for […]

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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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Video: Icewine Cocktails and Pairing with Chili Chips

Karen King, who co-owns The Ice House in Niagara with her husband Jamie Macfarlane. In the video above, she chats about how they’re literally shaking it up with icewine, from slushies to pairings with chili snacks and wasabi peas. Click on the arrow to play the video.     Questions: You did research that revealed surprising insights about icewine in terms of who’s drinking it and when? What kind of sensory food and wine research were you doing? Icewine is probably Canada’s most iconic wine, but you’re shaking up that perception: how is your style different? Tell me about being […]

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How to Sabre Champagne + Sparkling Wines

Leanne and I chat about sparkling wines and Champagnes for the holidays. Click on the arrow to play the video above. Napoléon visits the Moët & Chandon cellars in 1807 Napoleon is credited with inventing the sabering technique and is famous for his phrase: “In victory we deserve Champagne, in defeat, we need it.” The famous Champagne maker Veuve Clicquot, who lost her husband when she was just 27, was a wealthy young widow. She would entertain Napoleon’s officers (early day sampling program). They, in turn, tried to impress her by sabering the tops of the Champagne bottles that she […]

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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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Undercover Sommelier

Unless you count the time I handed out plates at a church supper, I’ve never worked as a waiter. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from commenting on the service in restaurants—particularly the wine service—as if I knew exactly what I was talking about. Now, to stopper my leaking credibility, I’ve decided to work in a restaurant for a night. Only the best would do, so I selected Le Baccara, an award-winning restaurant in Québec that offers haute French cuisine, with classic service. That would be just perfect for me, I thought—until I realized that as a server, I would […]

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Eat, Drink and be Wary: The Prose & Cons of Wine Shows

The Ottawa Wine and Food Show is the opposite of the Betty Ford Center: lots of booze and free advice, but no beds. (Why isn’t there a napping booth?) It arrives just in time to launch my fall re-toxification program: I come from a long line of hard drinkers, and a summer of sound sleep, diet and exercise has made me irritable. In the exhibit hall, gastronomic gusts waft up and over me from different corners — some carrying alcohol laced with spicy meatballs, others sweat and cheese, new leather and yeasty crackers, perfume and vanilla waffle cones. Sounds, too, […]

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