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10 Best Cinsault Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Cinsault

10 Best Cinsault Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Cinsault

Cinsaut, or Cinsault as it is sometimes called, is a dark-skinned red vitis vinifera grape that’s often blended with Grenache, Carignan and Syrah grapes to add softness and bouquet to a wine. You’ll find my Top 10 Cinsault reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Cinsault: 1. Cinsaut is the fourth-most planted grape in France. 2. A French grape in origin, it’s unusual to see Cinsaut produced as a single varietal comprising 100% of the wine. 3. Cinsaut is light in body and low in tannin, and adds lovely perfumed aromas of red berries to its blends, especially when harvested... learn more  

Which food and wine pairings taste terrific together?

Recipe: Blue Cheese Hamburger with Red Wine Pairing

Recipe: Blue Cheese Hamburger with Red Wine Pairing

In celebration of National Hamburger Day, pair this savoury recipe for Blue Cheese Hamburger with the full-bodied red wine, such as Shiraz, Cabernet or Malbec. Please feel free to share this on social media with the hashtag #nationalburgerday Prep time: 30 minutes Total time, including cooking: 2 hours and 30 minutes Serves: 6 Ingredients: 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef 2 ounces of crumbled blue cheese ¼ cup of minced fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon of coarsely-ground black pepper ¾ teaspoon of salt ½ teaspoon of dry mustard 6 hamburger buns   Directions:... learn more  

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Wine's Finest Moments in the Movies ...

Wine's Finest Moments in the Movies

We chat about how Hollywood's most memorable characters, from James Bond to Hannibal Lector, have always had a little help from the wine bottle. How wine is portrayed in the movies is often revealing about our wine culture. Sit back, open a good bottle and ... learn more  

Which bottles should I stock in my wine cellar?

Penfolds Bin 128 Shiraz 2012

Penfolds Bin 128 Shiraz 2012

This is what elegance and restraint tastes like from Australia: French grammar school, Australian graduate studies by the consummate gentleman winemaker Peter Gago. This wine was matured for a year in French oak, 26% of which was new. Lovely aromas of mint ... learn more  

How can I learn more about wine?

The Wrath of Grapes: How to Cure a Hangover

The Wrath of Grapes: How to Cure a Hangover

Do your eyelids creak when they open? Has your tongue been scrubbed with sandpaper? Is the Little Drummer Boy playing on your cerebral cortex? At this time of year, we make merry in haste and then repent in waste, the next day. Thousands of years ago, man discovered alcohol; the next day he discovered the hangover. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about what causes hangovers but not what cures them. Their effects are as immutable as Newton’s law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Of course, the only way to avoid a hangover is not... learn more  

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Think of me as your red-nosed fairy godmother. I kiss a lot of...

Join me for a great glass of wine!

...vinous frogs to find the princely bottles for you, tasting more than 10,000 wines a year to write the wine reviews on this site. Create your own shopping list from my wine ratings and you're all set for deliriously happy wine shopping... and drinking!

LCBO Wine Review of the Day

A zesty northern Italian white wine with notes of grapefruit, lime and lemon zest. Racy acidity on the palate for shellfish. MINE: From the Veneto wine region, Zenato San Benedetto Lugana is a great value Verdicchio wine with grapefruit, lime and lemon zest flavours with zesty acidity. This is a great wine to accompany rich seafood or dishes with creamy sauces. Pair with eggs Benedict. OTHER: Greg Hughes rated this wine as 81/100 with the following review: This wine is currently on the lips of moat sommeliers and wine nerds. Lugana, made from local Turbina (also called Verdicchio or Trebbiano di Lugana), garnered a lot of international attention when a railway expansion in Veneto threatened a chunk of the historic territory of where this wine was/is made. Pretty and pale yellow with green flecks. Aromas of green pear and apple. Lemon zest and melon. Trademark Lugana acidity grabs your attention. Very fresh and snappy. Sweet pea, melon, pear, applesauce, and lemon candy on the palate. Very refreshing. Confusion dogs the distinctions between the many grapes of Italy, sometimes. Trebbiano is a very large umbrella of varietals. Trebbiano Toscana (the bland grape also called Ugni Blanc) is NOT related to Trebbiano di Lugana (which is much tastier). However Treb di Lugana IS the same grape as Trebbiano di Soave (an ancillary, but growing, grape choice in Soave alongside Garganega).Treb di Lugana aaaaaand Treb di Soave are therefore genetically similar to Verdicchio.... Hope that clears everything up. OTHER: : Bright and refreshing, this opens with delicate scents of field flower, yellow stone fruit and a whiff of crushed mint. The tangy palate delivers tangerine, lemon and yellow peach alongside a hint of white almond. Editors' Choice. Score - 89 (Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, Sept. 1, 2018)....

Top LCBO Wine Ratings

A robust Italian red wine with fleshy black fruit and smoke. A full-bodied Amarone that is a traditional blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Moinara grapes primarily, among lesser amounts of other varieties. After drying the grapes in the traditional drying rooms for about 4 months, this wine is aged a long time in Slovenian oak barrels. A big wine to pair with pasta in meat or tomato-based sauces. MINE: This Amarone della Valpolicella from Veneto is a rich, robust crowd-pleaser red. Remo Farina Classico is priced right for an Amarone that is a traditional blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Moinara grapes primarily, among lesser amounts of other varieties. After drying the grapes in the traditional drying rooms for about 4 months, this wine is aged a long time in Slovenian oak barrels. Have it alone, with blue cheese topped beef steak, even dark chocolate! OTHER: Matt Steeves - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 93/100 with the following review: Bold, layered, and full flavoured - Farina's Amarone is a wine that everyone will love! Rich and delicious, it's packed full of black cherry, plum, dried figs, nutmeg, BBQ smoke, and cedar. Full bodied with a velvety smooth texture, sweet dried fruits and refreshing savoury flavours persist on the long finish. It's no wonder why Canadian's love this Amarone so much! Enjoy with Risotto all’Amarone, beef medallions with figs and blue cheese, and save a splash for dessert and enjoy with dark chocolate - all incredible pairings with this wine! Tasted October 2016. 93 points. Matt Steeves - www.quercusvino.ca. OTHER: Melanie Lloyd - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 90/100 with the following review: Aromas of black plums, ripe strawberries, autumn leaves, underwood, and hints of cedar and smoke . Flavours of tart cherries, pepper, espresso and dark chocolate. This is a fuller bodied wine with velvet smooth tannins and a nice level of acidity. Yummy wine! Tasted November 2017. OTHER: Amarone is luxury, decadence and gorgeousness in a bottle. Few wines so consistently and effortlessly express both power and elegance. Year after year, this one by Remo Farina is a top-notch example of the style. Look for classic black cherry, plum, smoke, chocolate and raisin notes and try it with braised beef, duck in a balsamic sauce, or as an after-dinner treat with dark chocolate (Vintages Panel, updated)....

Top 20 LCBO Wines Under $20

In my ongoing quest to find the world's best bargain bottles, I select new wines weekly that represent the best value under $20. These are wines that taste twice as expensive as they cost ...



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Wine of the Week

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Blandy's Dessert Wine
Madiera D.O.C. ...

Natalie MacLean

Canada's Most Quoted Wine Writer

Natalie MacLean is editor of Canada's largest wine review web site, publishing hundreds of wine reviews every week for more than 267,392 members.

She was named the World's Best Drinks Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia.

Natalie has published two books with Random House, the second was named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Year. Get access to all of her reviews today by becoming a member of her site.



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Red, White & Drunk All Over

  Best Books of the Year

Red, White & Drunk all over by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession... and often laugh-out-loud funny... Terrific.

Rex Pickett, Sideways

Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman. She loves wine, loves drinking ... ultimately, it's a winning formula.

Eric Asimov, The New York Times


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Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search

  Best Books of the Year

Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is a new force in the wine writing world ‐ a fiesty North American answer to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. She can write beautifully about wine.

The Financial Times of London

There are very few people in the wine world who "get it" and Natalie is one of those who brings more fun to a buttoned-up and stodgy game.

Gary Vaynerchuck, Wine Library TV

Starting a Wine Cellar?

Expert advice for all budgets

Insider tips on starting a wine cellar
From wine racks to underground caves, insider tips on size and space, number of bottles, ideal conditions and reputable resources.   learn more  
Winner World's Best Drink Writer
Four-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award