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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Can You Lose Weight While Drinking Wine?

Do we have to give up wine if we want to shed a few pounds? No! Click on the arrow above to watch the video … On CTV’s The Social, we put this notion to the test with a fun quiz show format on calories and wine. How many answers can you get right? Three of the wines we’ll taste are marketed as “diet wines” with just 70-80 calories: SkinnyGrape, SkinnyGirl and one other, plus two ringers. Two wines are not diet wines, but are naturally low in calories. The names of two wines give them away, but can you […]

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How Much do you Know About Champagne? Take the Pop Quiz

Got your champagne ready for New Year’s? Here are my Top 20 Sparkling Wines of 2015 and which stores have them in stock now. Take the Pop Quiz below and you’ll have some trivia to drop this evening as you celebrate the New Year! Pop Quiz 1. Is all sparkling wine champagne? No. Only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France may be called Champagne. It’s a trademarked word. 2. Before the modern era of product placement in movies, which Champagne was the favourite of James Bond? Bollinger or as Bond would call it, Bolly. That was also in […]

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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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Wedding Wine: A Marriage of True Vines

Liza and I chat about wines for weddings and parties on Global Morning Television. Here are my Top 50 Wines Under $15 also showing you your closest liquor stores that have them in stock now. As a bonus, here are my 20 Best Bubblies Under $20 for wedding toasts, and the most Gorgeous Gift Wines for the happy couple. I love Liza’s gift idea for the happy couple: a wine crate with 3-4 bottles of wine. Notes on each wine indicate the bottle to drink now, the one drink on their first anniversary, fifth and tenth. Add another special touch […]

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Weddings: Champagne & Wine for the Happy Couple

This interview with James Tidwell, Master Sommelier was published as one of my columns in Four Seasons Resorts Magazine. James has lots of terrific tips … Champagne is the ultimate drink of celebration, especially at weddings, according to James Tidwell, Master Sommelier at Four Seasons’ Cafe on the Green in Las Colinas, Texas. “Champagne toasts many milestones in life,” Tidwell says, “but one of the most important is the dedication of two people to spend a life together.” We asked Tidwell for his insights on how champagne makes a wedding more memorable at the resort. James Tidwell, Master Sommelier How […]

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