Gabbiano Blind Wine Tasting Reveals True Chianti Character

    Heather Wall Wine Columnist, Huffington Post Canada   Wine tasting lunches that I have had the pleasure of attending usually follow a similar format. A visiting winemaker/owner/agent; a group of local sommeliers and bloggers; a lovely meal paired with six or so of the winemaker’s selected wines; and some technical notes with some storytelling. We all leave with tasting notes and stories we can share with our wine loving community. A recent Ottawa Castello di Gabbiano tasting at Sidedoor Kitchen in Ottawa threw that format out with the must! As we entered the private dining room there was […]

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Men Versus Women Winemakers: Battle of the Bottles?

In honour of International Women’s Day #IWD2016 on March 8, I’m posting this piece that I originally wrote for the LCBO’s Food & Drink Magazine on women winemakers. Several of the women have since changed positions, but they are still in the wine industry and more importantly, the issues raised remain. Do women have any natural advantages when it comes to making and tasting wine? Are they still a minority in the industry, and if so, why isn’t that changing? What does the future look like for young women entering the field? In my personal quest for answers, I’ve judged the […]

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The Champagnes of James Bond and Rappers: Bollinger and Cristal

Part 2: Champagne Widows By the 1930s, French winemakers faced even greater challenges: a country about to go to war, a worldwide Depression that made running any business difficult, and U.S. Prohibition, which made selling luxury champagne to the lucrative American market almost impossible.   Camille Olry-Roederer   This was the forbidding business environment that Camille Olry-Roederer stepped into when she took over the champagne house Louis Roederer after losing her second husband in 1932 (her first husband had died in World War I). Sales were 264,000 bottles that year, compared to 2.3 million bottles in 1876.   1954 1954 […]

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Which Women Shine with Wine in the Movies?

Wine, women and … the movies. As we celebrate the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF 2014), here’s a look at some of the cameo roles that wine and women have played in film as terrific co-stars. In The Seven Year Itch (1955), Marilyn Monroe, moves into a Manhattan apartment above Tom Ewell, a married man whose family has gone to Maine for summer vacation. When the two get together for an innocent glass of champagne, the bottle explodes—and he gets his thumb stuck while trying to stop the overflow. That makes for lots of double-entendres about pent-up pressure and powerful thumbs. […]

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Winemaker Eduardo Chadwick: Errazuriz Wine Tasting

By Mymi Myriam On a beautiful, warm and sunny fall day, I rode my bicycle to the Ritz Carlton for the extraordinary opportunity to sit down with Mr. Eduardo Chadwick, the President of Vina Errazuriz and iconic ambassador of premium Chilean wines. I walked into the Ritz’s sumptuous, modern lobby and headed up a staircase towards TOCA, one of the hotel’s restaurants where our luncheon was taking place. Mr. Chadwick stood in a magnificent dining room and welcomed me with a warm smile and handshake. I joined the few selected guests at the dining room table and kept observing our […]

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From Snout to Tailfeather: Wine Takes Wing in Niagara

Approaching Featherstone Winery, I can see a pepper storm of starlings flying over the vineyard. Husband and wife team David Johnson and Louise Engel have a passion for all things fowl. Before they became winemakers, they ran a gourmet poultry shop, selling tasty birds, from turkeys to quails. (That’s where the “feather comes from; the “stone” is the Niagara Escarpment.) However, those hungry starlings that feed on the ripening grapes are no friends of David and Louise. That’s why I’m going to meet their latest avian associate today, a Harris Hawk that’s trained to hunt those pesky birds. In 1989, […]

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Ferrari: Mountain Sparkling Wine of the Alps

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital recently for an extraordinary tasting of Ferrari wines, Italy’s benchmark sparkling wine producer. Matteo Lunelli, president of Ferrari, explains in the video above how the Ferarri winery survived unscathed during World War II and out of that fortunate chaos, founder Giulio Ferrari discovered longer aged vintages. Click on the arrow to play the video. With the help of a slide show, Matteo shares the beauty of the countryside at Villa Margon. As well as being a wine growing area during the summer months, there is skiing in winter. Tuna […]

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Can Organic Wine Survive Niagara? The Chilling Answer …

Under heavy gunfire, we run for the chopper. Grey clouds roil overhead as the wind whips our faces. The ground man signals us to scramble in, but then stops and waves for us to turn around. As we do, we’re blinded by white flashes. We’re not being fired at though: it’s just the smiling tour guide snapping photos of us. The shotgun blasts are automatic “bird bangers” to scare birds away from the fields of Niagara grapevines around us. This isn’t Baghdad, but it is war. These birds travel in black clouds of peckish delight swooping down to strip vineyards […]

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Toronto Wine Tasting Shows Wide Diversity of Styles

By Mymi Myriam The wow factor as I walked into the sumptuous lobby of the Governor’s Room in the heart of the Exhibition Place is high. This is not just any room, it is a lavish, opulent and enormous ballroom. I proceeded through the enormous ornate wooden doors. Upon entering, I was warmly welcomed by a lovely lady who handed me an empty wine glass and my journey started. The Profile Wine Group is a coalition of three wine merchants: Barrique Wine Imports, VinVino Wine Merchants, and Du Chasse Wines and Spirits. They are one of Canada’s premier wine and […]

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Kim Crawford Wine Tasting: Blending with an Eye Dropper

By Mymi Myriam The room at Frank at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) was flooded with light entering from large panel windows on a late weekday afternoon as I sipped on a glass of the Kim Crawford Fizz Methode Traditionnelle 2009. I took my place at the table and was quite puzzled at finding an eye-dropper amongst my tasting glasses. What kind of experiment would we be conducting? Our host for the event was Anthony Walkenhorst, Kim Crawford’s senior winemaker, who led us through the most memorable wine tasting I have ever attended. In front of each attendee were […]

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