Top 20 Canadian Icewines of 2015

It’s always a tough task choosing your favourite wines from any category, but when it comes to icewine, it’s even harder. I find there are few duds in this august group. However, here are my favourites that I tasted in 2015. I’d love to hear which ones you love, and which ones I’m missing. Click on the links below for the full wine reviews, food pairings and stock in your closest liquor store.     Henry of Pelham Winery Riesling Icewine 2014 Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada Alcohol: 9.5%  Sweetness: Sweet  Size: 375 ml  Drink: 2014‐2022 LCBO: 430561 Score: 93/100 […]

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Jane’s Gems: Tuscan and Chilean Treats > 90 Point Wines in the LCBO Vintages October 31

By Jane Staples The October 31 release from Vintages features sophisticated Tuscan wines. A food lover’s paradise with centuries of winemaking tradition, Tuscany is a favourite travel destination and the darling of the wine lover’s world. Tuscan wines are diverse, from the well-known Chianti to Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Sassicaia. Tuscany is blessed with a temperate warm Mediterranean climate that provides ideal growing conditions for a wide range of varietals. The signature grape is Sangiovese, but Cabernet Sauvignon has been grown there since the 18th century. Super Tuscans such as the Sangiovese and Cabernet-based Tignanello celebrate this delicious blend. […]

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Jane’s Gems: Napa Valley Gold > 90 Point Wines in the LCBO Vintages October 17

By Jane Staples Who doesn’t love a Napa Valley Chardonnay? Ideally situated by the Pacific coast, with the right balance of sunshine, ocean breezes and cooling moist fog, Napa Chardonnay is a favourite amongst wine fans. The flavours range from crisp and refreshing to richer, more buttery styles. Ripe tropical fruit notes and intense aromatics characterize Chards from this premium wine region, rivalling those from Bordeaux and Tuscany. The upside of the drought that hit California in recent years has been superb vintages from 2012, 2013 and 2014 for both reds and whites. When vines are stressed by a water […]

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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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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in LCBO Vintages August 22

By Jane Staples The August 22 Vintages Release is all about wines that have achieved a score of 90 points or more out of 100 from various wine critics. There’s a certain magic in that score of 90 or above, as we all remember test grades from childhood so we can relate easily to them. There’s even a great difference, perceptually, between 89 and 90 for many consumers, even though there may not be for the critic giving the score. The 100-point wine scoring system wasn’t invented by the US critic Robert Parker Jr., but he certainly brought it to […]

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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in LCBO Vintages July 25

By Jane Staples The LCBO Vintages Release for July 25 offers a cool breeze to beat the summer heat. The focus is on refreshing, zesty white wines. You’ll find that these sippers are usually also light in alcohol and oak (sometimes completely unoaked) and have racy, mouth-watering acidity. They pair well with summer dishes such as fresh seafood, shellfish and salads. The wine regions that tend to produce these vibrant whites are often cool climates like New Zealand, famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, and Canada, for our Riesling. These regions are more distant from the equator than are warm climate […]

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Sloppy Jane with Mozzarella Recipe Paired with Cabernet Franc

  The New Barbeque We all know the drill: summer entertaining comes with the summer stress of deciding what to make. Classic barbeque fare is delicious, but it has become somewhat expected and tiresome. So if you’re looking for an alternative to the trusty old BBQ, why not try something different and fun: the Sloppy Jane. This recipe for Sloppy Janes with Mozzarella is prepared on the stove top rather than the grill, but you can make a big batch of the delicious turkey filling and serve it beside BBQ-toasted buns and a bowl of shredded Canadian Mozzarella. Then, guests […]

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Andrea Franchetti: Mountain Wine Between Stone and Cloud

Continued from Part 3: Etna Wine The next morning, I drive farther up the mountain along a narrow, vertiginous lane called Passopisciaro or “fishmonger’s road.” It was originally named after a seaman who used to sell his catch here on sunny afternoons. He charmed his female customers, generously offering them his services in addition to the seafood. Eventually, their husbands banded together and killed him. Most of Andrea Franchetti’s wines are labeled Passopisciaro, but his customers are safely scattered around the world. In 2001, having spent ten years in Tuscany making wines that received rave reviews, Andrea decided to buy […]

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Balderson Cheddar Cheese Tart with Summer Vegetables Recipe Paired with Cabernet Franc

Summer Vegetable and Balderson Cheddar Cheese Tart Pair this delicious recipe with Featherstone Winery Cabernet Franc 2013 Ingredients: 1/3 cup [75 mL] Lactantia Butter melted, divided 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 cup [250 mL] chopped asparagus 3 plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped 2 cups [500 mL] chopped spinach 2 tbsp [30 mL] chopped basil 6 sheets thawed phyllo dough 2 tbsp [30 mL] honey mustard 2 cups [500 mL] grated Balderson Heritage Cheddar Cheese 1 cup [250 mL] Lactantia 10% Table Cream 4 eggs, beaten Preparation: In fry pan over medium heat cook green onions in 2 tbsp [30 […]

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First Families of Wine Tasting: Primum Familiae Vini Bring Family and Place to the Glass

By Mymi Myriam At 11:30 a.m. on a windy Thursday, I walked into a sumptuous room at the Four Seasons Hotel.  Immaculately decorated, it had high ceilings and an incredible view of Toronto’s affluent Yorkville neighbourhood. In the center of the room was a very large and beautifully dressed… dining room table! I was at the right place: the long-awaited Primum Familiae Vini (PFV) luncheon. The PFV is an international association of some of the world’s finest wine producing families from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It was created in 1992 by Robert Drouhin and Miguel Torres as they […]

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