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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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Risotto, Seduction in Piedmont

By Tania Thomas Nestled in the Italy’s northwest corner, surrounded on three sides by the mighty Alps, lies the gastronomical regions of Piedmont. Unlike the rest of Italy, this is the land of butter and hearty fare due to a strong French influence from Savoy just across the border. In Piedmont, the meal always starts with antipasti. Usually risotto or polenta, followed by braised meats as a main course. Except in the case of risotto alla Milanese, made by adding beef bone marrow, flavoured by saffron and served as main course along Ossobuco, a classic Milanese dish of braised veal […]

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Jane’s Gems: Valpolicella Wine Tasting Tour 2015

 A Taste of Italy, Romeo and Juliet, Shoe Shopping in Verona and Our Little Dessert By Jane Staples I went shoe shopping last week.  It wasn’t just any shopping spree, for, to begin with, I was in Verona, Italy.  Any woman who loves shoes will agree that Italy is the place to be if you want to buy shoes. Now this was in fact a business trip, so my time was limited.  I had 4 days of intensive classes and our group stayed on an Agroturismo farm just outside the city (that is to say, not near any shoe stores).  […]

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10 Best Viognier Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Viognier

By Lesley Quinn With a gold like colour, luscious tropical fruit tones and a full body to pull it all together, Viognier is a bon-viveur’s dream wine. If done properly a good Viognier can be like a late summer walk through a peach orchard. Aromas permeating the warm thick air with pungent ripe fruit. And although it’s decadent, somehow it still leaves you feeling refreshed as most Viogniers are vinified to dryness. But if done poorly a Viognier can be flabby and flat and feel like you’ve decided to take up coconut oil pulling again. Let these 10 great Viogniers be your next buy and these 5 facts about the grape be the talking points you share as you […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Turkey

By Tania Thomas Thanksgiving is the time of the year when we remember what we are thankful for and a celebration that captures holiday spirit of home cooking like no other. Sharing this day with family and friend is what makes it even more special. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced to two separate events in our history. The arrival of the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who came with the French settlers to New France and celebrated their successful harvests, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area. The second is […]

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The Good Life (and Good Wine) in Prince Edward County

By Tania Thomas We drove into The County across the Bay Bridge from Bellville on a hot and sticky mid-July morning. The shimmering waters of Lake Ontario beneath us looked refreshing and exceptionally inviting. Sunset on the beach and a swim is definitely on our agenda, but before that there are wineries to visit and winemakers to talk to. Just a few hours away from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston, nestled on Quinte’s Isle are the vineyards of Prince Edward County, Ontario’s newest VQA wine Appellation and the fastest growing wine region of Ontario. With close to 40 wineries, and […]

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

By Jennifer MacDonald 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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Jane’s Gems: Ontario Shines in September 19 Vintages Release

Exciting Times for Ontario Wines By Jane Staples Exciting things are happening in Ontario’s wine industry and wine tourism is developing in great strides. One trend is that women now participate in every facet of the business and perform in every role, whether as winemaker, planting in the vineyards, or in marketing. Women like Ann Sperling, Winemaker at Southbrook Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, are making waves.  Southbrook’s winemaking philosophy is based on biodynamic, organic farming practices.  Every aspect of their operations reflects their commitment to these principles. Carolyn Hurst co-owns Westcott Vineyards in Niagara Peninsula with her husband, Grant Westcott.  Victoria […]

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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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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in the LCBO Vintages Sept 5

By Jane Staples The September 5th release is all about uncorking a great wine.  A great bottle of wine is like a great painting; so much goes into creating it and the final product is a work of art. Like a painter working with colour and canvas, the winemaker works with the soil, the vines, the harvest and the oak, making decisions about blending and aging along the way. Uncorking a great bottle of wine can kick off a great conversation.  Some wine lovers enjoy discussing the terroir and winemaking techniques, or the history of a particular region. Others are […]

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