How to Import Wine, Craft Beer, Spirits into Ontario

Industry veteran Steven Trenholme will guide you through the intricate process of importing & selling beverage alcohol in Ontario & Quebec. The morning will be focused on understanding the dynamics of the industry and have the know-how to organize private imports for your personal consumption. With this ‘taste’ of what is involved in importing beverage alcohol, you will have the fundamentals to embark on a new or part-time career as an importer. In the afternoon, Steven will highlight the various marketing and distribution channels available to agents in Ontario and Quebec including how to deal with the LCBO and SAQ […]

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Wine Jobs and Careers: Wine Course on Importing Wine is Good Training

By Debbie Trenholm Since I began working in the wine industry over 10 years ago, there are two questions that I am constantly asked: “I was away on holidays in ‘wherever’ and discovered X Wine that isn’t at the LCBO. How can I get it shipped into Ontario?” “I want to get a job in the wine and beer business. Any tips on where to start?” If I had a toonie for each time I get asked these questions, I would be drinking Champagne every day! With the rapid growth of the wine, craft beer and premium spirits too, there […]

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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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Gorgeous Wine Book Maps Wine Regions and Grapes

Want to learn about wine without falling asleep? Want to engage your visual senses while you taste wines from around the world? The Wine Lover’s Coloring Book is a great place to start. In the video above, author Louise Wilson and I chat about how she conceived the idea while taking the International Sommelier Guild courses. While the book may sound like it’s for children, don’t be deceived (or have preconceived notions). It’s part of next evolution of wine books that engage our senses. Really? Yes. Currently, a scratch and sniff wine book by a master sommelier is #11 on […]

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Learn About Wine and Wine Regions with this Book

Louise Wilson, author of the Wine Lover’s Colouring Book, and I chat about which wine regions she’s most passionate about now and we taste one of her favourite wines in the video above. How do you suggest wine lovers and wine students use this book to learn about wine? Why are you passionate about the wine region of Tasmania, and which wines in particular in that region? Tell me about the Errazuriz Max Reserva wines that we’re tasting today. You can also watch our first video chat about her wine book and find out where to buy the book online […]

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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 […]

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Sommelier Courses: French Language + Fresh Focus Video

In the video chat, Tom Vigeant, Coordinator of the Sommelier Certificate Program at La Cité Collégiale in Ottawa, talks about the courses offered in this French wine program. You can also watch our other video chat on the 5 worst questions to ask a sommelier. What makes La Cité collégiale Sommelier Program different from the George Brown or Algonquin College Sommelier Program? From the Wine and Spirits Education Trust or WSET courses? Is your sommelier program aimed at the wine enthusiast who wants to learn more about wine but not necessarily work in the industry or is it for industry […]

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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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Wine Reviews and Tasting Notes

Here are some quick tips on writing wine reviews and tasting notes. I’ll be adding new tips to this list regularly. Got one to add? Please post it below. You can also find tips on posting your reviews on this site and how to get the most of the site features to organize your reviews. Have fun! Cheers, Natalie What information should be in every tasting note? The smell and taste of the wine are essential: aromas and flavours. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it gives people a sense of the style of the wine. The Wine Aroma […]

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