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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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Turkey

By Tania Thomas Thanksgiving is the time of the year when we remember what we are thankful for and a celebration that captures holiday spirit of home cooking like no other. Sharing this day with family and friend is what makes it even more special. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced to two separate events in our history. The arrival of the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who came with the French settlers to New France and celebrated their successful harvests, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area. The second is […]

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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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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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Biodynamic v Organic Winemaking – Southbrook’s Ann Sperling Video

In this video below with Southbrook Vineyards’ winemaker Ann Sperling, we chat about biodynamic and organic winemaking. (What’s with burying cow’s horns, witchcraft and astrology?) Also: – can you taste the difference in the wine? – why take this approach and is it difficult and expensive to do in a cool climate like Ontario? Click on the arrow to play the video: Here are my Top 20 Organic Wines for Earth Day April 22, and year round. When Ann Sperling was a child, she had a miniature version of every farm tool—a child-sized hoe, shovel and so on so that […]

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Serving Temperature: Wine, Beer, Cocktails

His friends may call him a snob, and waitresses may give him odd looks, but David Turley isn’t about to drink a beer with chunks of ice floating in it. But that’s what can happen at restaurants that insist on serving his favorite beverage in icy mugs. And so Turley has no qualms about insisting upon another, unfrosted, glass. “I’m pretty passionate about it,” says Turley, a 50-year-old information technology worker from Fredericksburg, Va. “The first thing I look at in a restaurant is the beer menu. I consider it a food.” Even casual drinkers of wine know that white […]

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Canada’s Best Sommelier Competition: Bruce Wallner Video

In the video chat below Bruce Wallner, recently named Ontario’s Best Sommelier, talks about participating in the Best Canadian Sommelier Competition this month in Halifax. He’s already a certified Master Sommelier and has worked in restaurants around the world, including Australia, Spain and the UK. We also talked about what made him want to become a sommelier originally (some interesting comparisons with the world’s oldest profession), the role of a sommelier and what he enjoys most about the job. Tell us about the competition: who enters and what do you have to do to compete? This event is hosted by […]

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