How to Get the Most from Your Winery Visit: 20 Tasting Room Tips

1. Plan your visits Visit wineries clustered together, such as the ones in Niagara-on-the-Lake area. Visit no more than three to five a day: two in the morning, one for lunch and one or two in the afternoon. That leaves you time to taste and talk. (I know, I crammed in more visits, but a drink writer in wine country is like those stunt drivers in car commercials—you’re not really supposed to do those tricks in real life.) Go to both small and large places to get a sense of the range of wines produced. 2. Designate a driver If […]

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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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Insider’s Guide to Bordeaux: Tips on How to Find Great Wines

By Natalie MacLean Here are some tips to get the most out of Bordeaux wine — whether you’re visiting the region itself or just pouring over the liquor store shelves. Get a good grounding A few basics about Bordeaux can help you bluff your way through the next bow-tie tasting. The region, about three hours southwest of Paris, is bordered by three rivers: the Gironde, the Garonne and the Dordogne. It’s divided into five districts (or appellations): Pomerol, Saint-Emilion, Graves, Sauternes and Médoc. Within each of these are more specific districts, much like those hollow wooden Russian dolls, with each […]

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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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Swiss Wines and Sommelier at Four Seasons

Although Fabio Masi, chief sommelier at Four Seasons’ Restaurant Il Lago in Geneva was born and raised in Milano, Italy, his interest in Swiss wines is anything but neutral. He spoke to us about how the revolution in the country’s wines, his remarkable experiences in the dining room and his own path in developing a passion for wine. When did you develop a taste for wine?  When I was four years old, my grandfather would dip a piece of bread in wine at dinner and let me taste it, so my passion for wine started early. My first real wine […]

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Okanagan Wine Tours with Tastings, Winery Visits, Restaurants

Visit one of the wine capitals of the world and… North America’s only harvest-time wine festival. Discover Canada’s unique desert region and… relax at a true “Desert Oasis” resort spa. Taste select award-winning wines and… explore the Okanagan’s world-class wineries! Tour Price:  $1,599.00* Canadian. Yes, wine lovers, this includes wine! Date: October 1st – 7th, 2012. Contact: Joan Simmons at joanlsimmons@yahoo.ca. *Land Package Only Includes: 6 nights at Okanagan Resort Entrance to all wineries tastings Tickets to Wine-fest events 2 meals daily (average) Cruise on Lake Okanagan Ground transportation & transfers *per person based on double occupancy Does not include […]

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Australian Wine, Food and Restaurants

The Wizards of Mod Oz By Natalie MacLean “Daaarling, come in, come in!” says Sophia Loren’s Australian twin, opening the door. Jeannice Kersh—big hair, big make-up and cat’s-eye glasses dangling from 12 strands of metallic pearls around her neck—takes me by the arm into her restaurant. Edna’s Table is the Niagara Falls of Sydney dining: a landmark, a wonder and a little kitsch, but you must go. How else can you regale everyone back home with stories of eating kangaroo and crocodile? “When I was growing up, only the poor people ate ‘roo. The rich people gave it to their […]

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Truffle Hunt in Provence Getaway with Truffle Recipes and Wine Pairings Guided by Sherry Page

With autumn swiftly approaching, it’s time to finalize plans for one of our very favorite wintertime events – our Truffle Getaway in Provence. It is coming up on January 29th-February 4th, 2012.  This event focuses on the king of truffles – the fragrant black melanosporum truffles that are found in the Provence region of France between mid-November and mid-February. I love the flavor of these incredible melanosporum truffles, but one of the best parts of the week is the truffle hunt with a local farmer and his dogs.  It is really fun to tag along and watch the hunt take place.  […]

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Plan your food and wine vacation in BC with these tips

Sponsored Post British Columbia is one of the best places to spend a vacation filled with sipping local wines and sampling homegrown food. Check out BC Trip ideas, which will tempt you to have a wonderfully indulgent summer. Here’s a snapshot of the trip ideas you’ll find: • Stop and taste award-winning Gewurztraminers along Corkscrew Drive near Penticton. • Try a blackberry port-style wine at a First Nations–owned winery on Vancouver Island. • Go on a chef-led tour through Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market, where its stalls are filled to the brim with fresh fruit, vegetables, local meats and cheeses. […]

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