Whistler Cornucopia Wine Festival: BC Wines and Beyond

British Columbia Wines at the Cornucopia Wine Festival By Tania Thomas Early November is a perfect time to head to Whistler, a majestic resort town nestled in the Coastal Mountains of beautiful British Columbia, and take part in Cornucopia; an 11-day annual Fall Celebration of premier food and wine. This great event, 17 years running now, offers a great variety of interactive seminars, delectable winery dinners, gala wine tastings and those famous after-parties. It is an epicurean extravaganza not to be missed for locals and visitors alike. Friday events started with the BC Wine Institute’s, VQA Trade Seminar “Unmistakably Ours,” […]

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Wine Quotes and Liquid Laughter

CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes had done a hilarious parody of the blockbuster movie starring Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips” in a sequel entitled Captain Phillips 2: The Sommelier Pirates (thanks to my favourite reporter at CBC for sending this ;) Here’s the previous round of wine quotes if you’re thirsting for more. All the best stories have three things:  Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After, and a glass of wine somewhere in the Middle.

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Taste Ontario Features Great Wines: Thirty Bench, East Dell

By Kristy Gardner Out of all the fantastic wines at Taste Ontario this year, the biggest highlight for me is the vintages of Thirty Bench wines. The staff are friendly, ready to talk shop and most importantly, excited to have us taste their wines. While their 2011 Small lot Chardonnay is surprisingly fresh and fruit forward with notes of lemon and spice, and the 2011 Winemaker’s Red – a blend of cab sauv, cab merlot and cab franc – is well balanced, juicy, bold and smooth, it’s their 2006 Small Lot Wood Post Riesling that really impresses me. This isn’t […]

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A Tale of Two Ruffino Wine Tasting Dinners with Authentic Italian Food Pairings

Our second Ruffino wine tasting took place October 19 at La Cucina Ristorante with another team of our top-notch wine reviewers who share their observations of the wines, pairings and experience below. You’ll find the pictures, videos and notes from the Ocober 18 Ruffino wine tasting here, and reviews of all Ruffino wines here. “The more I drink Italian wines, the more convinced I am that they are made for the purpose of enjoying good food. And when you have the perfect pairing, it gives you the kind of evening we had at the great Italian restaurant La Cucina in […]

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Ruffino Wines: Tasting Italy in a Glass

Our third winemaker dinner team tasting on October 18 featured the wines of the Italian winery Ruffino. Our team did an excellent job of summarizing the wines, food pairings and overall experience of the evening. A second Ruffino wine dinner was held the following night at a different restaurant. You can see all of the Ruffino wine reviews, showing stock at your local liquor store. “Graffiti’s Italian Restaurant in Kanata was the perfect location for a Ruffino tasting dinner with Brand Ambassador Robert Ghezzo. Though dimly lit and boisterous at times, we were nonetheless transported to the Tuscan countryside as […]

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Black Hills Winery: Tasting Vintages of a BC Flagship Wine

By Valerie Stride Located on one of the most arid and sunny sites in the Okanagan, Black Hills Estate Winery is abundant in many things – including quality wines. Spread across a 27-acre vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon are carefully grown and handled by the Black Hills team. The microclimate on property, in addition to long hours of sunlight and cool nights, offers this west-facing orientation vineyard added value. The vineyard manager, Steve Carberry, works closely with winemaker Graham Pierce to ensure that the authenticity of Black Hills wines remains bona fide. On October […]

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Food and Wine Pairing Book: Inspired by The Flavour Principle

In the video above, two of Canada’s most respected food and drink writers, Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol, discuss their new book The Flavour Principle. It’s packed with delicious recipes that are paired with wine and other drinks, based on 11 key flavour categories. The two writers are also weekly columnists for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper. They share their tips on pairing and some surprising insights they discovered while writing the book that make it different from other cookbooks and pairing guides. You’ll question your assumptions about red wine and cheese and find out why texture and […]

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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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3 Insider Wine + Food Pairing Tips, Most Underrated Grape

Wordsmith, wine pro and lifelong highland dancer, Natalie MacLean sat down with Grape Magazine, talking whisky, winter, the world’s greatest wines and the secrets to top-shelf imbibing without breaking the bank. Your Writing Process? I’m a messy writer—if I were a painter, I’d paint a seagull in one corner, then a clump of clover in another corner. I’d splash on the page every impression I have, then edit, edit, edit. Best Wine & Food? The best pairing is between you and a wine you like. But as far as food pairings go, the fun is in experimenting, choosing whether to […]

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Wine Aroma Wheel: 5 Wine Tasting Secrets They Reveal

The best-known wine aroma wheel above was developed by Dr. Ann Noble, while she was a professor with the renowned oenology program at the University of California at Davis. It categorized aromas broadly, splintering off into more specific sub-aromas. It was ground-breaking in that it took the obscure and confusing adjectives often used to describe wine and categorized them coherently. Here are the top 5 wine tasting secrets that Dr. Noble’s aroma wheel, and the other wheels below can tell us: 1. Describing wine doesn’t have to be vague and off-putting. Using concrete, everyday adjectives from categories of fruit, flowers […]

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