Rediscover Bordeaux with Château Phelan-Ségur

By Mymi Myriam On the eve of a massive winter storm that threatened to shut down most of the eastern coast of the United States, I had the pleasure of briefly sitting down with Pamela Wittman prior to attending the LCBO sponsored Union des Grands Crus Bordeaux tasting at the Carlu. An oenologist by profession, she is now the US representative for Château Phélan-Ségur located in the Médoc St-Éstèphe region of Bordeaux. The estate’s story starts with a young Irish wine merchant name Bernard Phelan who settled into the area in the late 18th century and married a local girl […]

read more …

Read More

Taste Ontario! Defies Wine Stereotypes

Two Taste Ontario! events featured large tastings of Ontario wine recently. There wa strong representation of provincial wineries pouring a wide range of styles largely from the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Ontario vintages. You’ll find 100+ wine reviews from our team here, along with which stores have the wines in stock now. You’ll get a sense of the strong attendance and energy in the room from the video below (click on the arrow to play it). I was particularly impressed with the riesling, chardonnay and viognier wines I tasted. Meanwhile, Ontario Pinot Noir may have its best year ever in 2013.   Several of our team members enjoying […]

read more …

Read More

Top 10 Green Wine & Food Matches for St. Patrick’s Day

Which wines go best with the “green food” that we’ll enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew? How about those fresh spring vegetables that will soon be on our plates? Which wines go best with the “green food” that we’ll enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew? How about those fresh spring vegetables that will soon be on our plates? Green foods are the problem children of the wine world. But as a stubborn hedonist whose grandmother’s name was Brophy, I’ve found some terrific wines to […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

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, […]

read more …

Read More

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. […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More