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, […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

Rocky Road Cream Cheese Fudge with Port or Icewine

Make the festive season even more festive The calendar has flipped to December and you know what that means. Parties. Lots and lots of parties. And while we all look forward to going out and having a good time with friends and family, it’s not always easy to think of a nice gift to bring the hosts. Until now. This week I’m happy to share the recipe for Rocky Road Cream Cheese Fudge, which, I have to tell you, is as good as it sounds. Featuring Canadian Cream cheese, this particular recipe has a lot going for it. Yes, it’s […]

read more …

Read More

Wine and Comfort Food Pairing: Revel in Your Rut

Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be forward-looking to spring with a chirpy article about zesty white wines to pair with fresh vegetables, but it’s so cold outside … and I’m tired of writing seasonally-appropriate editorial content. So let’s make wallowing fun, and turn to comfort wines paired with comfort food. In our continuing video series with Canadian Press, we look at quick tips on pairing those old favourites, from braised meat to pasta in cream sauce with wine. It’ll make you (almost) care what time of year it is when you have bottled sunshine. Here are my favourite […]

read more …

Read More

Icewine: Canada’s Gold in a Glass

Icewine: Canada’s golden winter elixir … that’s the hot topic of our segment above on CTV’s The Social. What is icewine and how is it different from other sweet wines? Why is Canada the world leader in producing it? Which are the best icewines to buy right now and which food pairs best with icewine? You’ll find all of the icewines we discussed in this segment, along with dry red and white wines, showing you the stock for each wine at your closest liquor stores so that you can try them this weekend. Where was icewine first made? Icewine is believed […]

read more …

Read More

Top 20 Wines Under $20: Beat the Heat with Bargain Bottles

  In last night’s Facebook Live Video chat, we talk about how to get out of your wine rut with some ‘go to’ bargain wines. Continuing my tipsy quest for the world’s best bargain wines that I started in Unquenchable, here’s the July edition of my top 20 wines under $20. I love finding those bargain-priced bottles that taste twice as expensive as they cost. Here’s the full list of 20 wines. You can see the full wine reviews, ratings and food pairings if you are a Paid Member of our community. As well, you will see the liquor stores […]

read more …

Read More

Surprising Pairings for Villa Maria Wines from Antipasto to Steak

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital for a comprehensive tasting of Villa Maria wines from New Zealand.   Terry Jeans Wine Writer, Ottawa Wine Guide   What an elaborate tasting! We had the chance to have an amazing tasting with one of the viticulturists from Villa Maria– Ollie Powrie, who presented us with an insightful session of tasting over a dozen wines from one of the only New Zealand owned and family operated wineries. Founded and owned by the venerated Sir George Fistonich, a real icon of the wine industry, who has been part of […]

read more …

Read More

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings January 7

You can access the 97 wines that I reviewed for  as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. You can also see my wine reviews for December 10. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before […]

read more …

Read More

Can You Lose Weight While Drinking Wine?

Do we have to give up wine if we want to shed a few pounds? No! Click on the arrow above to watch the video … On CTV’s The Social, we put this notion to the test with a fun quiz show format on calories and wine. How many answers can you get right? Three of the wines we’ll taste are marketed as “diet wines” with just 70-80 calories: SkinnyGrape, SkinnyGirl and one other, plus two ringers. Two wines are not diet wines, but are naturally low in calories. The names of two wines give them away, but can you […]

read more …

Read More