Pairing Wine and Seafood, Shellfish and Steak with Sommelier Allison Vidug

Allison Vidug, sommelier at the Shore Club in Toronto, shares her tips on pairing wine with fresh seafood and shellfish, as well as great cuts of juicy steak. Tell us about the wine list at The Shore Club. Since I took over the wine program, my focus has been on creating a classic list with wines that suit the menu.  The Shore Club’s menu is all about simplicity and quality of ingredients used in steak and seafood dishes. The wine list will include classics from the Old World, New World and, great Canadian wines — which I am most excited […]

read more …

Read More

Size Does Matter > Big Bottles of Wine

These are big-game bottles. Drink one and you become a character in a Hemingway story. We hunted for the bottle under the hot sun. We brought it down. The bottle was big. Drinking it felt good. We drank until the bottle was empty, and then we fell asleep. Known in the trade as large formats, big wine bottles are larger animals than the standard 750 ml. They range in size from the magnum, which equals two standard bottles (1.5 litres), to the nebuchadnezzar (neb-kd-NE-zr), which equals 20 standard bottles and weighs in at a table-warping 15 litres. According to a […]

read more …

Read More

Bring Your Own Bottle BYOB Wine to Restaurants Tips

Bringing your own bottle of wine to restaurants is now legal in many provinces and states, but what are the rules of engagement? I shared some tips on CBC radio this week on the etiquette of doing so, including the types of wines to bring, corkage fees and tipping. You can listen to that conversation below … Does the thought of bringing your own wine to a restaurant make you feel cheap and arrogant? Get over it by practicing good BYOB etiquette. 1. Even when the practice is legal, check if the restaurant allows or encourages it. When you make […]

read more …

Read More

The Worst Wine Mistakes Not to Make: Wine Etiquette

You can watch the full wine video here. The hosts of CTV’s The Social love their wine. We shared a few good glasses together as well as some laughs on wine etiquette — how to avaoid being low-classy with wine ;) You can also read my story on The Grapes of Gaffe. Find out the answers to these “pressing” wine questions: How do I hold a wine glass, by the stem or the bowl? Hold your glass by stem—otherwise your hands will warm the bowl and the wine, and leave unsightly fingerprints. Your wine glass should never be poured more […]

read more …

Read More

Sulfites in Wine: A Debate to Cause a Headache?

By Natalie MacLean What’s the big deal about sulfites in wine? Most wine labels bear the warning “contains sulfites” (or sulphites, the Canadian and British spelling), which can alarm consumers into thinking that the substance is harmful or unhealthy. In fact, sulfites, the salts of sulfurous acid or sulfur dioxide (SO2), are just a common food preservative that prevents the wine from oxidizing after fermentation (it turns brown and the fruit aromas go stale) or spoiling from bacteria once bottled. Traditionally, in Europe no warning label was required if there was less than 100 parts per million of sulfites added, […]

read more …

Read More

How to Pick a House Wine: 5 Tips + Why You Need One

You’ve just finished your yoga class with your friend and the two of you agree it would be great to have a glass of wine together. Do you invite her back to your place? If so, which wine to serve? The mother of your child’s playmate arrives to pick up her child. Do you invite her in for some vino? Which one? The holidays are right around the corner, when unexpected guests will be the norm. Are you ready with your house wine? If not, here are 5 tips on choosing a great house wine: 1. Why wine? Wine is […]

read more …

Read More

How Long Can You Save Open Wine? 5 Quick Tips

How long do wines keep once opened? Usually, not more than one evening at our house, but for those who are less enthusiastic drinkers, it depends on the type of wine. White Wines The answer is a highly subjective, but generally, dry white wines have the shortest life once opened. I find they lose their character after even one or two days, especially cheaply-made, oaky whites. White wines with good acidity and lots of character from Burgundy are an exception, as these are often oaked as well. Acidity is one of main preservativs of wine, as long as it is […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

Wine Aroma Wheel: 5 Wine Tasting Secrets They Reveal

The best-known wine aroma wheel above was developed by Dr. Ann Noble, while she was a professor with the renowned oenology program at the University of California at Davis. It categorized aromas broadly, splintering off into more specific sub-aromas. It was ground-breaking in that it took the obscure and confusing adjectives often used to describe wine and categorized them coherently. Here are the top 5 wine tasting secrets that Dr. Noble’s aroma wheel, and the other wheels below can tell us: 1. Describing wine doesn’t have to be vague and off-putting. Using concrete, everyday adjectives from categories of fruit, flowers […]

read more …

Read More

How a Wine Name Impacts Price: Dr. Antonia Mantonakis Video Chat

In this fascinating video chat, Dr. Antonia Mantonakis reveals the insights from her research on how the name of a wine affects both our perception of it and how much we’re willing to pay for it. Difficult to pronounce names score higher, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that wineries should use them… find out why below. Why does the ease with which we can pronounce the name of a wine influence our perception of both its quality and price? How much more were research subjects willing to pay for the difficult-to-pronounce wine name? Why is that significant? Who is more […]

read more …

Read More