Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in the LCBO Vintages Sept 5

By Jane Staples The September 5th release is all about uncorking a great wine.  A great bottle of wine is like a great painting; so much goes into creating it and the final product is a work of art. Like a painter working with colour and canvas, the winemaker works with the soil, the vines, the harvest and the oak, making decisions about blending and aging along the way. Uncorking a great bottle of wine can kick off a great conversation.  Some wine lovers enjoy discussing the terroir and winemaking techniques, or the history of a particular region. Others are […]

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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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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Summer Salads

By Tania Thomas Among the great summertime pleasures are the relaxing patio suppers enjoyed with friends. Often, they are nothing more than a great salad dish, splashed down by a cool glass or two of a crisp summer white wine. Matching wine with salads can certainly present a challenge. Luckily, if you know a few easy tricks, it becomes effortless. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the acid in wine matches or is slightly higher than the acidity in the vinaigrette. With that in mind, a simple tossed green salad with citrusy vinaigrette dressing calls for […]

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Video > Best Wines Under $20 Plus Food Pairings

This morning, Canada AM host Marci and I chatted about the best wines under $20 that are in liquor stores now. You can click on the arrow above to watch the video. Here are the wines we featured: Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc Cathedral Cellar Kwv Cabernet Sauvignon Trapiche Fincas Las Palmas Malbec Henry of Pelham Winery Baco Noir Henry of Pelham Winery Family Tree Sibling Rivalry Pink Remy Pannier Sevre & Maine Sur Lie Muscadet Pascual Toso Malbec Santa Alicia Tierra Sur Brut Sparkling Santa Alicia Reserva Carmenere You can watch us play wine version of The Price is Right on […]

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How to Read a Wine List, Vertical Tastings and Sommelier Sips

Ryan Campbell, formerly sommelier at Toronto’s Crush Wine Bar, now works with the wine lists at the parent company, Vintage Hotels in Niagara. Wine is such a big part of your restaurant, how do you ensure that your staff, who aren’t sommeliers, are still knowledgeable? We hold an informal “wine school” once a month for about 15 staff members.  For the last class, we focused on chardonnay with a vertical tasting. Vertical tastings mean one type of wine, like chardonnay, from different producers, but all from the same vintage. A horizontal tasting would be, say chardonnays, all from one producer, […]

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Australian First Families of Wine: Seduction Speed Tasting

Photo Credit: Kristy Gardner By Kristy Gardner, Wine Writer, Photographer, Designer I’ve never been to Australia. But hot damn, after the Australian First Families of Wine (AFFW) Unlock Tour de Force event in Vancouver this week, I want to go. The setting: 22 wines, 60 minutes, and some pretty epic “coming-of-age” stories later, Robert Hill-Smith of Yalumba Family Vignerons c. 1849 – and the 11 other family owned wineries belonging to the AFF – welcomed us with a generous sampling of some of best wines Australia has fermented. Presenting hand selected, flagship wines ranging in varietals from the lesser known […]

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Errazuriz Wines: Chile’s Cool Climate Grapes Shine

This is the first in a series of team tastings by top reviewers in our community, most of whom are graduates of either the Algonquin College Sommelier Program or La Cite Collegiale Sommelier Program. They share with us their overall impressions from the tasting, as well as reviews of each of the wines presented. You’ll also find their reviews shared on Twitter and Facebook as they are all very active on social media. “The Errazuriz wine tasting at Daly’s restaurant in Ottawa on September 26th was an absolute treat. Francisco Baettig, head winemaker at Errazuriz, is a supremely knowledgeable and […]

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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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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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Wolf Blass Yellow Label Wines Go Regional

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut Sparkling White South East Australia Green apple fresh with zesty lime. Terrific bubbly for this price. Perfect for any large festive gathering. Alcohol: 11% Sweetness: Extra Dry Drink: 2015-2017 Score: 88 Price: $17.95 LCBO #: 708290   Smoked Chicken, Pancetta and Roasted Pear Pizza Recipe Makes:  2 pizzas Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 2 brown pears (Beurre  Bosc) ½ cup Wolf Blass Yellow Label Padthaway Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 1 tablespoon brown sugar 50g butter 2 large par-baked plain pizza bases 250g grated mozzarella cheese 8 thin slices pancetta 1 smoked […]

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