Henry of Pelham Wine Tasting Reveals Deep Roots in Niagara

Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen   What a lovely opportunity to sit down with the Speck Brothers (well, two of three – Paul and Daniel) from Henry of Pelham winery to learn more about their family’s winemaking as well to taste across their portfolio of wines. Their Henry of Pelham portfolio is generally set up along three tiers; Classic, Estate, and the Speck Family Reserve.   Photo by Jennifer MacDonald Havers By adhering to rigorous quality standards and keeping production at modest levels for the higher tier (Speck Brothers Reserve), the resulting high quality wines trickle down to […]

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Discovering the Jewel Grape of Austrian Wine

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance Austria. The first thing that comes to mind when most people hear this country is The Sound of Music and Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things! However, this little European country is known for something else that will likely become one of your favourite things, Gruner Veltliner. Read on as Alex sheds light on this versatile grape as well as other wines that are made in Austria. Priya: I don’t even think I knew Austria made wine! Why do you think it’s such a little-known region to non-sommeliers? Alex: For one thing, Austrian […]

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9 Radical Reasons to Drink Austrian #Wine

On our Sunday Sipper Club via Facebook Live Video this weekend, we tasted a variety of wines from Austria. The discussion was lively, insightful, and many times, humourous :) You can read the 112 comments (!) here and even post one yourself. The Facebook Live Video show was simultaneously broadcasted on YouTube Live Steam … gotta love technology! Meanwhile, the weekend before last, 30 wine writers and sommeliers gathered to taste a large selection of Austrian wines. You’ll find their video comments below.   Rachelle O’Connor Wine Blogger & Judge   And as if this isn’t enough, here are 9 radical […]

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Wine Buying and Pairing for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

You’re asking me what’s the way to a woman’s heart? Forget flowers and candy … I’d like Pinot Noir please! Wine is the drink of conversation. You’re usually over a glass of wine watching each other, you’re talking, it’s over an evening, it lasts a long time, just like love should. Think about it. You don’t give a six-pack of beer for Valentine’s Day; you give a bottle of wine and often a bottle of sparkling wine and flowers or chocolates. It’s meant to be shared. It’s meant to be savoured slowly. But which bottle do you buy? How much […]

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Pairing Wine with Spicy, Sweet and Sour Dishes for Chinese New Year and Beyond

This Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting above, we chat about pairing wine with our favourite Chinese dishes, from sweet and sour chicken to wontons and spring rolls. You can click on the arrow above to play the video. We’re joined by guest winemaker, Jean-Benoit Deslauriers of Benjamin Bridge Winery to help us celebrate the Chinese New Year. You’ll find the most recent live video wine tasting at the top of the timeline here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/natdecants We taste every Sunday evening at 6 pm eastern so add us to your calendar and grab a glass of wine. Click on the icons for “Share” and […]

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Canadian Icewine: Extreme Winemaking

In our Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting above, we chat about the difficulty in making icewine and why it’s so expensive. We also welcome our special guest, Daniel Speck of Henry of Pelham Winery, Niagara, Ontario. You can click on the arrow above to play the video. If you’d like to read the 100+ comments, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10154730618869845/ You’ll find the most recent live video wine tasting at the top of the timeline here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/natdecants/posts/ We taste every Sunday evening at 6 pm eastern so add us to your calendar and grab a glass of wine. Click […]

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How do you serve icewine? Food pairings with icewine?

How do you serve icewine? Serve icewine chilled; an hour or two in the fridge will allow it to reach the ideal drinking temperature of 10C-12C. The traditional time to serve it is at the end of the meal, when most people already feel full. Many producers feel that icewine shouldn’t be called a dessert wine, as it stereotypes the wine into being consumed only at the end of a meal, when most people are already full. Conversely, French sauternes is also served at the beginning of a meal with dishes such as foie gras and cheeses. Icewine works equally […]

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The Wine that Came in from the Cold: Icewine

Not a breath of wind caresses the snow-blanketed vineyards. The tar-black sky is pin-pricked with stars, and a full moon sends shadows slithering out between the scarecrow vines. Stooped figures in Arctic gear coax their bare fingers to snap off bunches of frozen grapes. That’s what the annual icewine harvest looks like in Niagara at this time of the year. It results in a wine that combines the sweetness of lusciously ripe fruit with a silver edge of acidity that’s as crisp as the winter wind. Despite its modern association with Canada, icewine was actually discovered in Germany, by accident, […]

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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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Canadian Icewine 2014: Heroic Harvest = Epic Wine

On Global Television yesterday, we discussed the 2014 Canadian Icewine harvest. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the wines that we’ll be featuring, along with reports from the field. Fun Facts: The Upside of the Deep Freeze Our deep freeze recently turned out to be bonus for Ontario icewine winemakers. The sustained cold snap and arctic temperatures allowed them to harvest grapes in an unusually short time. Who makes the most Icewine? Ontario produces about 80% of Canadian icewine, with the remainder mostly in British Columbia though some is also made in both Quebec and Nova Scotia. About 60 Ontario […]

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