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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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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Gift Wines to Make Your Holidays Sparkle

Team member Matt Steeves above, chats about his favourite holiday gift wines on CTV’s Morning Show above. Click the arrow to play. Team member Tania Thomas recommends her favourite holiday sparkling wines on Rogers Daytime Television.   Gift Wines to Make Your Holidays Sparkle 1st video Leanne: Well you don’t need to spend a lot to get great wines. In fact when it comes to entertaining often the best wines are some of the least expensive and the most appealing. So here with his top picks and tips on how to serve wine at your holiday party, we have sommelier Matt […]

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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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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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Celebrating Canadian Wine and Cheese with Great Pairings

One of our lead writers, Matt Steeves, chats with Leanne on CTV’s Morning Live Show about great Canadian wine and cheese pairings featured in The Great Canadian Wine Match. Well done Matt! You can also watch clips from CTV News, Global Television and CBC News with more pairings, as well as radio interviews on Sirius XM, syndicated nationally on satellite, and CJAD, Montreal’s most popular talk show.           Celebrating Canadian Wine and Cheese with Great Pairings Leanne: We are going to celebrate with some good Champagne and we’re going to do it Canadian style. Joining us from […]

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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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