Food and Wine Books with Wines Matched for Gifts: CTV Video

Here’s part two of our conversation about books and bottles that you can give as holiday gifts. (You’ll find part one of our conversation here.) Do you have a favourite wine and word pairing? Do you belong to a book club that likes to crack open a bottle? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Gassier Sables D’azur Rosé 2011, A.C., Côtes De Provence, France I love it! (I also just shouted that out the window to some surprised people on the sidewalk.) So very pretty with a basket of fresh field strawberries. Bask in the sun and pretend you are […]

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Romancing the Score: What do Wine Ratings Really Tell Us?

The biggest problem with wine scores is that they evaluate the obvious: how a wine tastes. What really matters is how interesting the wine makes your dining companion. Now that would be worth rating. Indeed, you have to wonder why we rate wine in the first place. After all, it is just a drink. We certainly don’t rate orange juice or lemonade; we don’t have beef shank critics talking about the region from which the cows hailed or syndicated cabbage columnists talking about how the September rainfall affected the leaf set. Perhaps this scrutiny is a testament to the way […]

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Drinking the Numbers: What’s Your Wine Score?

Continued from Part 1 of Wine Ratings In 2001, Robinson started using a 20-point scale in response, she told me in an interview, to her readers’ request for scores. But only on her web site: her books are “point-free zones” as is her Financial Times column. “The 100-point scores don’t mean much to us in Europe,” she observes. “Points will never be as emotive on this side of the Atlantic. Traditionally, if scores were used here at all, it was simply to achieve consensus on a tasting panel.” She also believes that the most useful assessment of wine comes from […]

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Wine Critic Writes with Humor and Contagious Passion

By Jessica Yadegaran For someone who grew up in a whiskey-drinking Scottish family, Natalie MacLean has come a long way in wine. Today, the Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Award winner is Canada’s answer to Jancis Robinson. She is a critic who writes about wine with humor and contagious passion. She counts Kermit Lynch, Rex Pickett and Gary Vaynerchuk among her fans. Her best-selling books, “Red, White, and Drunk All Over” (Bloomsbury, 2007) and “Unquenchable” (Perigee, 2011), share tips on hunting the world’s best bargain wines. But these days, MacLean’s website, which she launched in 2000, is a go-to […]

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Gifts for Mother’s Day: Wine Trumps Flowers (and Tastes Better)

My wine column in the May issue of More Magazine Canada, with more than 500,000 thirsty readers, features three wines to celebrate Mother’s Day as gifts: three spectacular bubblies. A toast to Mom! The cover features an actress whom I admire for her depth, strength and guts, Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife, Canterbury’s Law, ER). I also love that she’s often drinking a glass of wine as she reviews her legal briefs in the evening at home. (Guess that doesn’t play so well in the ER.) At the start of the season, it was white wine, but I notice that it’s […]

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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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Whistler Cornucopia Wine Festival: BC Wines and Beyond

British Columbia Wines at the Cornucopia Wine Festival By Tania Thomas Early November is a perfect time to head to Whistler, a majestic resort town nestled in the Coastal Mountains of beautiful British Columbia, and take part in Cornucopia; an 11-day annual Fall Celebration of premier food and wine. This great event, 17 years running now, offers a great variety of interactive seminars, delectable winery dinners, gala wine tastings and those famous after-parties. It is an epicurean extravaganza not to be missed for locals and visitors alike. Friday events started with the BC Wine Institute’s, VQA Trade Seminar “Unmistakably Ours,” […]

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Wine Quotes and Liquid Laughter

CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes had done a hilarious parody of the blockbuster movie starring Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips” in a sequel entitled Captain Phillips 2: The Sommelier Pirates (thanks to my favourite reporter at CBC for sending this ;) Here’s the previous round of wine quotes if you’re thirsting for more. All the best stories have three things:  Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After, and a glass of wine somewhere in the Middle.

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Taste Ontario Features Great Wines: Thirty Bench, East Dell

By Kristy Gardner Out of all the fantastic wines at Taste Ontario this year, the biggest highlight for me is the vintages of Thirty Bench wines. The staff are friendly, ready to talk shop and most importantly, excited to have us taste their wines. While their 2011 Small lot Chardonnay is surprisingly fresh and fruit forward with notes of lemon and spice, and the 2011 Winemaker’s Red – a blend of cab sauv, cab merlot and cab franc – is well balanced, juicy, bold and smooth, it’s their 2006 Small Lot Wood Post Riesling that really impresses me. This isn’t […]

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