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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Wine Review of the Week: Sterling Chardonnay by Deborah Podurgiel

Our Wine Review of the Week celebrates summer with this classic Californian Chardonnay reviewed by Deborah Podurgiel. Deborah has completed the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 3, and is now a candidate studying for the WSET Diploma. She’s an active wine blogger in Vancouver, as well as a journalist who writes about food, wine and home decor for various magazines and newspapers.   Summer Barbie parties are great, but how does one manage to have stellar wines without busting the budget? Well, you can rely on word of mouth from friends, or your very helpful and knowledgeable local wine store […]

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Best New Zealand White Wines for Summer Sipping: LCBO Vintages July 5

You can access the 70 wines that I reviewed for July 5 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. You can also see my wine reviews for June 21. You can add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on their smartphone. This is one of the benefits of becoming a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so. Here are […]

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Canada Day Wines Featured in the LCBO Vintages Release June 21

This is just a sampling of my reviews for June 21. You can access the 88 wines that I reviewed for June 21 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. You can also see my wine reviews for June 7. You can add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on their smartphone. This is one of the benefits of becoming a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two […]

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Rhone Red Wines from France Featured in the LCBO Vintages May 24

Rhone wines from France are the focus of the LCBO Vintages Release on May 24. This is just a sampling of wine ratings, the most quoted Canadian source of reviews in the Vintages Magazine. You can access the 81 wines that I reviewed for May 24 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. You can also see my wine reviews for May 10. You can also add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on […]

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20 Red Wines Under $20 > Nat’s Conscious Coupling of Quality and Price

I’m always making lists of wines for different occasions and different price points. Ever since my second book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Wines, was published, I’m frequently asked for the best wines priced less than $20. Here they are … I’ll be updating this list monthly. (My thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow for the inspirational title ;) Here’s your shopping list showing your closest liquor stores that have these wines in stock, and how many of each bottle. Cheers! Oscar’s Estate Vineyard Shiraz Viognier 2011 Barossa Valley, South Australia   $17.95 This could be the ultimate hamburger […]

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Wine Review of the Week: National Waiter’s Day Wine

Steve Cranny, a graduate of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) program, has selected our Wine Review of the Week to celebrate National Waiter’s Day, May 21. A toast to all those hard-working heroes of the restaurant industry! #NationalWaitersDay Here’s Steve wine review and rating: Until I became involved in the Industry I had no idea how hard service professionals work to make other people happy. So in honour of National Waiter’s Day and all of those great service people I would like to recommend a wine that I have enjoyed across several vintages. The Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino […]

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Wine Review of the Week: Long Weekend Wine for Victoria Day

Sommelier Astrid Young has selected our Wine Review of the Week to celebrate the Victoria Day long weekend. Contrary to appearances in the prim picture to the left, Queen Victoria adamantly opposed abstinence from alcohol, calling it a “pernicious heresy.” Her majesty’s favourite tipple? A tumbler filled half with red wine and half with whisky. No wonder why she reined so long; she was completely “preserved.” Astrid, an International Sommelier Guild (ISG) graduate and candidate for Master of Wine, has a much more modern and palatable suggestion for the long weekend, especially if grilled grub is on the menu. Astrid […]

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Wine Review of the Week: Wine for Mother’s Day

Our Wine Review of the Week celebrates Mother’s Day with this lovely Chardonnay that can be given as a gift or opened with brunch favourites. This wine is selected by Dianne Fisher, International Sommelier Guild (ISG) Sommelier  and wine video blogger. Her wine review, rating and tasting note: After tasting the Rosehall Run Chardonnay, it made me think it could be a candidate as one of life’s little indulgences for the busy mom, in honour of Mother’s Day. This wine is so well balanced with lush tropical fruits, notes of brown butter and caramel that revel themselves with every sip. […]

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Mother’s Day Brunch Wine and Champagne Pairings

Jeff and I had such fun chatting about wines for Mother’s Day gifts on Canada AM, especially champagne for brunch. There’s even a “live action” shot with uncorking a sparkler. (Okay, not so much.) You’ll find the complete tasting notes, ratings, reviews and food pairings for these wines and many others for Mother’s Day and other special occasions when you become a Paid Member. Posted with permission of Canada AM.

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