Halifax Sommelier Pairs Wine and Seafood with Titanic Menu

Avery Gavel, assistant manager and sommelier at The Five Fishermen restaurant in Halifax, shares his insights about pairing wine and seafood, creating historic meals with wine and his take on Nova Scotian wines. What was your first wine experience? I grew up on a dairy farm in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, the oldest of five children. Wine wasn’t part of our family traditions, not even special celebrations. Communion in church was grape juice, even. My first wine experience was at The Five Fishermen in the early 1970s when I was 24 and on a double date. We ordered the cheap German […]

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Sommelier Program Graduates: Algonquin College

Although those who enroll in the Algonquin Sommelier Program are primarily from the National Capital Region, the program also has graduates who have traveled from other regions, provinces and the United States for the express purpose of taking the program, a testament to the Algonquin Sommelier Program’s wide reach and respect. Veronique Rivest, pictured above, is the double winner of ‘Canada’s Best Sommelier’, winner of ‘The Best Sommelier of the Americas’ 2012, top-12 finalist ‘The Best Sommelier of the World’ competition 2007 and 2010 and second in the 2013 ‘The Best Sommelier in the World Competition’. Véronique is also a […]

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The Making of a Sommelier: Who Makes the Cut?

Algonquin College Wine Tasting Lab There’s been lots of debate lately over the definition of a sommelier: Is it someone who has taken a few courses? Graduated from a recognized program? Works full-time in a restaurant? It’s a great discussion, and one that was prompted recently by a National Post article on wine critics and their expertise in tasting wine. The Algonquin College Sommelier Program in Ottawa has played an important role in training many sommeliers, however you may define that role. The Program is the first, and still the only, sommelier program in the province sanctioned by the Ministry […]

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Atelier Restaurant Ottawa: Food + Wine Video Review

When we decided to make reservations at Atelier Restaurant in Ottawa, we discovered that we’d have to wait several weeks for a Friday evening reservation. Such is the popularity of this award-winning restaurant that specializes in molecular gastronomy, and is one of my favourite restaurants in this city and across the country. I had written a profile of the superb sommelier Steve Robinson several months ago for Ottawa Magazine, the sister publication of Toronto Life. Now it was time to revisit and try the new summer menu with Steve’s pairings. It was spectacular, with whimsical dish names like “You’ve Got […]

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Swiss Wines and Sommelier at Four Seasons

Although Fabio Masi, chief sommelier at Four Seasons’ Restaurant Il Lago in Geneva was born and raised in Milano, Italy, his interest in Swiss wines is anything but neutral. He spoke to us about how the revolution in the country’s wines, his remarkable experiences in the dining room and his own path in developing a passion for wine. When did you develop a taste for wine?  When I was four years old, my grandfather would dip a piece of bread in wine at dinner and let me taste it, so my passion for wine started early. My first real wine […]

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Wine and Charcuterie Pairing at Halifax Wine Bar

Heather Rankin is co-owner (with her brother, Christian Rankin) of Obladee Wine Bar in Halifax. The oldest of five kids, she was born and lived in the Halifax area until she was a young teen, when her parents moved to the fishing town of Port au Choix on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. After studying at St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS, and at Carleton in Ottawa, she spent 15 years working in web development in places like New York and London, England. “It was when I was in London that I decided it was time to move back […]

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Wine and Chocolate Pairing with a Chocolate Sommelier

In my recent column for the Ontario interior design magazine Homefront, I featured wine and chocolate pairings, including an interview with chocolate sommelier Roxanne Browning, who teaches classes on pairing wine and chocolate.  You can also watch a couple of video interviews with Roxanne on this topic. What was your first experience with wine? My two brothers and I grew up in Oceanside, California, and neither of our parents drank wine. When we moved to the suburbs of Long Island, New York in the 1970s, drinking was the right of passage for young people. Cheap wine, Boones Farm Strawberry Hill, […]

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Wine Tasting Dinner with Canada’s Best Sommelier Veronique Rivest

Join celebrity-sommelier, Véronique Rivest, for a unique tutored wine tasting and small-plates dinner on April 10 at 7 pm. Véronique is the winner of Canada’s Best Sommelier and of The Best Sommelier of the America’s in 2012, as well as a top 12 finalist for The Best Sommelier of the World competition in both 2007 and 2010. Watch Véronique in action and learn from the master how to taste and pair wines with a variety of dishes. Novice and seasoned wine-lovers will enjoy this evening that will be a memorable experience.Wine Tasting and Small-Plates Pairing Dinner April 10, 2013 – […]

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Halifax restaurant Bicycle Thief Sommelier Steve Adams

Steve Adams, manager and wine guy at The Bicycle Thief restaurant in Halifax talks about matching wine and seafood, the growth of Nova Scotia wines and tips on how to choose a great bottle from a restaurant list. What’s on your wine list? We currently have 144 wines on our list, and it’s always changing. We offer 40 wines by the glass, from Brunello to some new wines from Friuli, Italy, that are exclusive to us. Our menu is Italian with a comfort food edge, so our primary focus is on great Italian wines, with ever-changing selections from around the […]

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Pairing Wine and Molecular Gastronomy: Steve Robinson

My story about Steve Robinson was originally published in Ottawa Magazine, the sister publication of Toronto Life Magazine. Ottawa sommeliers are proving to be among the best in the province. Steve Robinson placed second in this year’s Ontario’s Best Sommelier Competition, and was named one of the top 30 under 30 in the province’s hospitality industry by the Ontario Hostelry Institute. Robinson studied chemistry at the University of Ottawa, then completed the sommelier fast-track program at Algonquin College and finally became certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2011. The 26-year-old’s passion for science and wine pair perfectly for […]

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