Henry of Pelham’s Paul Speck on Cool Climate Chardonnay

By Melissa Pulvermacher To kick off the annual International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C) in Niagara, Ontario, I visited Paul Speck of Henry of Pelham Winery on the Short Hills Bench in St. Catharines. The Henry of Pelham winery has been owned by the Speck family since 1988. While tasting the wines, we explored this concept of cool climate viticulture. Ontario’s weather can be somewhat unpredictable from year-to-year, which is why our local wines tend to have a lot of vintage variance. Beginning with some of my favourite Niagara bubbles, the 2011 Cuvee Catharine Carte Blanche had me salivating right […]

read more …

Read More

Why You Need This New Wine Label Scanner App Now (Video)

On CTV Morning Live, Stefan and I chat about how this new wine label scanner app helps you in the liquor store … … from getting instant access to wine ratings and food pairings to tracking your favourites in your virtual cellar. You can get the free app now before you go to the liquor store.       Apple has just selected the app as one of the best Food & Drinks apps in the category of Wine & Cocktails … yay :)   Wines Featured on CTV Morning Live Colio Estate Wines Lily               […]

read more …

Read More

Drinking the Green: St. Patrick’s Day Wines

March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day … which begs the question: Is there any wine that pairs with corned beef and cabbage? This in turn begs the question: Can we skip the corned beef and cabbage and just have wine? No matter. Traditional matches for this Irish meal usually include Irish stout, like Guinness. But what about wine? Corned beef is salty and cabbage is skunky: is there a wine for that? Yes, as long as you avoid those wines with a strong sulphur smell or taste, as well as big red wines with heavy tannins and oak. Your best bet […]

read more …

Read More

How to Sabre Champagne + Sparkling Wines

Leanne and I chat about sparkling wines and Champagnes for the holidays. Click on the arrow to play the video above. Napoléon visits the Moët & Chandon cellars in 1807 Napoleon is credited with inventing the sabering technique and is famous for his phrase: “In victory we deserve Champagne, in defeat, we need it.” The famous Champagne maker Veuve Clicquot, who lost her husband when she was just 27, was a wealthy young widow. She would entertain Napoleon’s officers (early day sampling program). They, in turn, tried to impress her by sabering the tops of the Champagne bottles that she […]

read more …

Read More

Sparkling Wine from Cava to Cremant: Festive Fizz

Sparkling wines and champagne for New Year’s Eve is our topic in the CTV News clip above. Here’s a list of the bubblies we discussed, including cava from Spain, cremant from France and sparkling wines from Canada and the US. Let me know which sparkling wine you’re opening for New Year’s Eve in the comments below. You can get a shopping list with my top sparkling wines showing the stock at your closest liquor stores when you join as a  VIP Member. Girls Night Out Sparkling Wine Review VQA, Lake Erie North Shore, Ontario Clean, crisp and refreshing: this is […]

read more …

Read More

Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Creamy Cheese Fondue

By Tania Thomas Wine and cheese are a truly perfect pair. An especially satisfying experience is to enjoy the two together after a hard day of playing in the snow. Imagine a roaring fireplace, snowed-in mountain lodge and a pot of warm and gooey cheese fondue. Heaven! As a national dish of Switzerland, fondue was associated with rustic mountain life from the lowlands of western, French-speaking, Switzerland. A rich and expensive Gruyère cheese was used for its preparation with the addition of wine and seasoning. If you feel inspired; get started by rubbing the pot with a halved garlic clove. […]

read more …

Read More

10 Best Sparkling Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Bubbly

Sparkling wines made outside of Champagne, France, may not be called Champagne as it’s a trademarked term. However, they often use the same methods and/or grapes used in Champagne. 5 Surprising Facts about Sparkling Facts: 1. Bubblies made in Burgundy, France, are called Crémants de Bourgogne while those from Alsace are Crémant d’Alsace. 2. Spain makes Cavas (“cave”), Italy makes either Prosecco (lightly sparkling) or Spumante (fully sparkling and sweet), Germany makes Sekt or Deutscher. 3. Those from New World regions, such as Canada, California, Australia and elsewhere, are simply called sparkling wine. 4. Drink bubbly from a flute glass […]

read more …

Read More

Villa Maria Wine Tasting Reveals Regional Surprises

In the video above, Villa Maria Winemaker Josh Hammond shares an amusing story about his quest to pair ever more fresh scallops with his wines when diving for them with his brother. Click on the arrow to play the video. Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in our nation’s capital for an extraordinary tasting of New Zealand’s Villa Maria wines recently at The Shore Club. They share their insights and recommendations here. Cherie Cole Accredited Sommelier & Wine Blogger Gracing us with his knowledge and passion for wine, along with a great sense of humor, fifth generation winemaker, Josh […]

read more …

Read More

Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Turkey

By Tania Thomas Thanksgiving is the time of the year when we remember what we are thankful for and a celebration that captures holiday spirit of home cooking like no other. Sharing this day with family and friend is what makes it even more special. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced to two separate events in our history. The arrival of the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who came with the French settlers to New France and celebrated their successful harvests, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area. The second is […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More