Wine App Pours its Way to the Top of the App Store

Thanks to reporter Trish Crompton with the technology magazine Communitech for this terrific review of our new wine mobile app! Wine app pours its way to the top of the app store Natalie MacLean may have uncorked the secret to helping even the most amateur of wine drinkers to become their own sommelier. As an award-winning wine writer, MacLean is constantly asked for recommendations on the perfect wine. “I would get lots and lots of emails all the time,” MacLean says, and they were filled with questions like, “I want to buy an anniversary wine for my parents, I have […]

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Label Gazing: How to Read a Wine Label

Admit it. You’ve probably bought a wine based on nothing more than a beautiful label. Most of us have been lured at least once by a wind-swept name like Jagged Peak scripted across a postage-size painting of a rustic hillside. Drink the wine, live the life. Not quite. After several disappointments, I started looking for austere labels as a sign of purity: since the winemakers had obviously spent no money on marketing, I reasoned, they must have invested in the fruit. But that didn’t work either: I ended up drinking bad wine in ugly bottles with unpronounceable names. Eventually, I […]

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Can You Judge a Wine by its Label?

Continued from Part 1 of Reading Wine Labels It’s 5 p.m. on Friday—the dinner party is in two hours and you’re standing in the middle of the liquor store. In front of you are thousands of bottles of wine. Should you consider only wines over $15 so your host won’t think you’re cheap? Do you grab the bottle with the small furry animals on the label or will the guests think you live inside a Disney movie? Should you go for the wine with the cheeky name for a laugh or might someone be offended? If you’re not a wine […]

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Reserve Wine Labels and Other Extra Special Meaningless Terms

Continued from Part 2 of Reading Wine Labels There’s nothing like having to buy wine at the last minute to take to a friend’s house to cause a panic attack. No other consumable is put on the table in its original package. At social gatherings, the wine label is like a blinking billboard telling your guests exactly what you think of them and of yourself. So that piece of paper affixed to the front of the bottle is all you have to go on. In the quaint old days, merchants simply wrote on the label what was in the bottle. […]

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Best LCBO Wines: Vintages Release August 30

You can access the 66 wines that I reviewed for August 30 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. You can also see my wine reviews for August 16. You can add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on their smartphone. This is one of the benefits of becoming a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so. Here are […]

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15 Sommeliers + Bloggers, 60 Wines, 700 Wine Reviews Live Posting + Tweeting Today

Heather Wall, wine columnist for the Huffington Post and a frequent contributor to our review site, talks about our tasting yesterday with 15 sommeliers, wine writers and bloggers working their way through more than 60 wines. More than 700 wine reviews will be posted online and shared on social media, including Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for our next tasting! Martha Kelly is the regular wine expert on the Rogers Daytime Television Show in Ottawa, as well as a regular writer for our site. She is the owner of Capital Wine School, teaching the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) […]

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Message on a Bottle: Art on Wine Labels

Most people wouldn’t dream of stacking their art collection in a damp, dark basement. But wine lovers aren’t like most people—and their art isn’t like most art: it’s Post-It-Note-sized and glued to bottles. Wineries today are not only perfecting the art of making wine, but also the art on the wine: they’re creating works of miniature art on bottle labels, sometimes painted by famous artists. This Novello label above (and at the series at the very top) was created by Toronto designer Daryl Woods of Public Image Design. The marriage of wine and art is as old as Egyptian tomb […]

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Can You Judge a Wine by its Label? It’s an Art

Continued from Part 1 of Wine Label Art In an ocean of wine, the label is the siren song that says, “Take me home with you.” For many of us, buying wine is an exercise in shallowness: we think pretty pictures must mean good wine. We find fluffy creatures endearing. We believe the winery actually used those glistening grapes. We long to share that pastoral landscape or partake of château life. Like most marketing, wine labels are intensely aspirational. (That’s probably why we have yet to see one featuring someone passed out on the floor.) But it wasn’t always so. […]

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Design on Wine: How Much Does a Wine Label Influence You?

Continued from Part 2 of Wine Label Art That’s not a bad deal when you consider that the latest vintage retails for about $600 a bottle, and increases with maturity. Many other wineries around the world have engaged artists to design their labels, including several from Canada, most notably Hillebrand Winery Estates and Colaneri Estate Winery in Niagara, and Calona Vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. Stylistically these images range from the traditional (château on a hilltop) to impressionist (sun-dappled pickers in a field) to modern (bold contrasting colors, strong lines). Other elements, such as embossed or gold-coated printed labels, help […]

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Are Wine Labels by Famous Painters a Work of Art?

Continued from Part 3 of Wine Label Art And while it may not be ironic that you can buy the print of the label more easily than you can the wine itself, it certainly is a paraducks. Perhaps Kenwood Vineyards, of Sonoma, California, wished it had gone with an inoffensive iguana for the 1975 label. Over the years, Kenwood (dubbed the “Mouton of America”) has commissioned more than thirty artists to produce label images, including Pablo Picasso, Henry Miller, Sam Francis, Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, Wayne Thiebaud and Jim Dine. But the very first label it proposed for its Artist […]

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