Wine Writers Behaving Like Critics: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

By Natalie MacLean They called it a tempest in a wine glass: two of the world’s most respected wine writers facing off against one another over one bottle of wine. Of course, there’s nothing unusual about critics disagreeing, even vehemently. But this time, the debate degenerated into a rumble over the definition of wine itself—and the integrity of the critics. In the American corner was Robert Parker, whose wine scores carry so much weight that they move the market. From Britain, was author Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine and columnist for the Financial Times of London. Both have written more […]

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LCBO Wines on Sale: Bargains and Best Buys April 2015

Sponsored Post by Philippe Dandurand Wine Agency You can get the complete shopping list of these wines in your closest liquor stores here.   Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2012 Mendoza, Argentina Regular Price: $14.95 Sale Price: $12.95 April 1 to April 30            Yellow Tail Merlot 2013 South Australia Regular Price: $11.95 Sale Price: $10.95 April 1 to April 30           35 South Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2012 Chile Regular Price: $12.95 Sale Price: $10.95  April 1 to April 30            Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Valle de Aconcagua, […]

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Getting Hammered: 9 Tips to Win at Wine Auctions

Sitting in the centre row of the auction room, I barely lift my forefinger for the 1945 Château Cheval Blanc. All bidders crane their necks to look at the mysterious woman who has just bid the price of a Porsche. “Sold to the gentlewoman in the Prada jacket with embroidered family crest,” the auctioneer says, bringing down the hammer. The reality: I’m at the back of the room blinking wildly, struggling to remove the eyelash from my eye. The auctioneer just winked back at me — bad news when you’re playing the blood sport of the rich. Most auction talk […]

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Vertigo Flights of Wine: CN Tower Restaurant Wine List Dazzling (and Dizzying)

James Muir, is the sommelier and maitre d’ at the 360 The Restaurant at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. James manages the world’s highest wine cellar and has served many celebrities from Michelle Obama to John Travolta. What was your first wine experience? It was likely some low-end import wine from the depanneur, the corner convenience store where I lived in Montreal. I also tried Baby Duck at some point back then. However, more interesting wines were those from British Columbia in the 1980s. At that time, I experimented with pricier, imported bottles when I went out […]

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Wolf Blass Wines Dig Into Their Australian Roots and Go Regional

Wolf Blass Winemaker Chris Hatcher shares some colourful history about Wolf Blass – the man, his history and work ethic – including an amusing story about a receptionist at the winery who didn’t believe that he was Wolf Blass ;) “Despite being a multi-millionaire,” Chris added, “Wolf still maintains his driving work ethic and frugal mentality. Just before he checks out of a hotel, he still cleans out all the shampoo and soap.” Christ Hatcher talking about the effect of fermentation by ‘committing a barrel’ to get that soft barrel character. Some insights that surprised me: – Wolf Blass first […]

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LCBO Wines on Sale: Bargains and Best Buys March 2015

Sponsored Post by Philippe Dandurand Wine Agency You can get the complete shopping list of these wines in your closest liquor stores here.       Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2012 Marlborough, New Zealand Regular Price: $21.95   Sale Price: $19.95  March 1 to March 28         Folonari Valpolicella 2012 Vénétie, Italy Regular Price: $14.45   Sale Price: $12.45  March 1 to March 28         Les Jamelles Merlot 2012 Vin de Pays d’Oc, France Regular Price: $12.95   Sale Price: $10.95  March 1 to March 28         Folie À Deux Menage A […]

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Top 10 Wines for your Valentine: Liquid Seduction

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. Wine has long been associated with romance. Here are my top 10 wines for Valentine’s Day, not only because of their sexy names, but also because the wine is the bottle is equally as seductive.   Fifty Shades Of Grey Red Satin 2011 California, United States No mention of the book that inspired this wine, but no matter, it was launched this month as the liquid seduction tie-in to the book. Of course, there are lots of aromas of fresh and tanned leather on the nose and it’s voluptuously full-bodied … Natalie’s full […]

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Sommelier Loves Pairing Wine with PEI Shellfish and Seafood

Lesley Quinn, Sommelier, Sim’s Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar in Charlottetown, PEI Was wine a part of your family’s meals when you were young? I grew up in a small farming community on Prince Edward Island, with two older brothers. Wine wasn’t a part of our meals at home. However, my mother worked in the tourism industry, and she was host to journalists from around the world. She’d take me with her to meals with them, and it was during one of those dinners, that I had my first sip of wine. Apparently, I described it as tasting like sour grape juice. What […]

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Which Wine Pairings for turkey, fruitcake or cheese?

The holiday countdown is on and Canadians are scrambling for last-minute gifts for their hosts and loved ones. Wine and food seem like a natural option at this time of year, but with thousands of bottles lining the shelves at liquor outlets, where does one begin? “I’d start with pairing the wine that you’re going to bring to go with the dinner. Wild guess, might be turkey,” says sommelier Natalie MacLean, editor of the wine review site nataliemaclean.com. She suggests a sparkling wine like Cava from Spain, a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, a dry rose from France or a […]

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Dominus + Napanook Wine Tasting 2011 to 1991 Vertical

Dominus Estate  By Olivier deMaisonneuve Montreal Passion Vin is the annual rendez-vous when the Fondation de l’Hopital Maisonneuve-Rosemont invites wine lovers to open their wallets for a good cause. They also get the unique chance to taste world renowned wines and meet the actors behind those famous labels. This year funds were raised for a new integrated cancer treatment center. Tod Mostero, director of viticulture and winemaking at Dominus Estate, was presenting  a few vintages of the two wines produced by this domaine, born by the joint venture of Christian Moueix and the heiresses of the Inglenook Estate, one of […]

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