Pairing Wine with Helicopter & Quail at Malivoire Winery

On a recent visit to Niagara, I was fortunate to spend time with Martin Malivoire of Malivoire winery, a producer of spectacular Pinot Noirs. We arrived at his gravity-flow winery by helicopter along with Magdalena Kaiser-Smit of the Ontario Wine Council. This gave us a terrific overview of the region (though I was glad to be on firm ground again when we landed) We tasted through a range of his lovely Pinots, both from the estate vineyard and from the coveted Moire Vineyard. You’ll find my reviews of the current and past vintages here.     Then we went on […]

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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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Jenn’s Grape Discoveries: Is Sauvignon Blanc Salad in a Glass?

By Jennifer Havers Let’s start with Sauvignon Blanc, my go-to wine when I’m eating anything that challenges other wines such as spinach quiche, salads and even asparagus. Sauvignon Blanc can handle all of these foods with ease. Why is that? First of all, what is Sauvignon Blanc anyway? It is a “vitis vinifera” grape originally from the Bordeaux region of France. It’s also considered one of the noble grapes, which describes grape varieties that are internationally planted and more widely recognizable. Widely grown today, this varietal thrives in cooler climates, though it is also planted in warm areas such as […]

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How to Pick a Wine Class? Learn About Wine to Satisfy Your Thirst

You’ve started to learn about wine and find yourself thirsting for more knowledge. Choosing a wine course can be challenging, especially with so many options these days. Selecting the right wine class depends on your goals: 1. Is it to become more knowledgeable as a wine drinker and to increase your personal enjoyment of wine? 2. To find a new hobby that you and a friend or partner can pursue together? 3. To learn more about various wine regions in order to plan gastro-vacations? 4. To make a career change or start one in the wine industry? I’ve always felt […]

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A Tasteful Wine Journey from Provence to Paris

Town centre of Beaune By David Skinner Provence stands as Southern France’s glorious gateway to the viticultural and gastronomic treasures awaiting discovery along the Rhône River Valley. A river cruise from Provence to Burgundy is likely one of the best ways to experience these famous wine regions and cruising is the most leisurely and convenient way to uncover abundant appellations and epicurean adventures. Of course, one of the attractions of seeing the countryside by boat is that you only unpack once and this simply eliminates the worry of transportation and lodging, granting more time to create memories of fabulous food, […]

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Pairing Wine and Social Media: Engagement in a Glass of its Own

On CBC radio drive-home shows across Canada yesterday, we discuss how social media is changing the way we discover new wines and share them with others. Click on the arrow above to listen to the clip. You can also watch this Google + video hangout that I did with the Californian-based wine consultant Paul Mabray several years ago on Digital Darwinism for the Wine Industry. The concepts have aged well and still hold true now. Do you find social media useful for discovering new wines? If so, which one in particular: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google +, LinkedIn or […]

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La Ferme Du Mont Wines: Harvesting Grapes for Energy

By Mymi The Singing Sommelier You open a bottle of wine, pour yourself a glass, sniff, and slowly take it in… While sipping, it’s natural to focus on the flavors of the wine and how the alcohol feels floating through your veins, but how often do you get the chance to taste a wine with the person who actually made it? I was thrilled to have that opportunity and enjoy a luncheon organized by Eurovintage with Stéphane Vedeau, vigneron from “La Ferme Du Mont” in the Southern part of Les Côtes du Rhône. His estate is comprised of 50 hectares […]

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Kim Crawford Wine Pairs Well with Milestones and Birthdays

By Melissa Pulvermacher A 25th birthday should be celebrated with several bottles of wine and a great dinner. That’s exactly how the summer-long festivities began for Milestones at their Dundas Square location in Toronto, with General Manager André Barrett, Head Chef Jason Rosso and Kim Crawford’s New Zealand Portfolio Director Matthew Deller. As expected, Rosso hit it out of the park immediately with a table full of Crab Salad Crostini, Crispy Halibut Tacos and Mini Spinach Dip Taco Bowls. The food was on the table, but a great meal needs wine pairings to take it to the next level. Matt […]

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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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How to Read a Wine List, Vertical Tastings and Sommelier Sips

Ryan Campbell, formerly sommelier at Toronto’s Crush Wine Bar, now works with the wine lists at the parent company, Vintage Hotels in Niagara. Wine is such a big part of your restaurant, how do you ensure that your staff, who aren’t sommeliers, are still knowledgeable? We hold an informal “wine school” once a month for about 15 staff members.  For the last class, we focused on chardonnay with a vertical tasting. Vertical tastings mean one type of wine, like chardonnay, from different producers, but all from the same vintage. A horizontal tasting would be, say chardonnays, all from one producer, […]

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