How Much do you Know About Champagne? Take the Pop Quiz

Got your champagne ready for New Year’s? Here are my Top 20 Champagnes to celebrate the New Year and which stores have them in stock now. Take the Pop Quiz below and you’ll have some trivia to drop this evening as you celebrate the New Year! Pop Quiz 1. Is all sparkling wine champagne? No. Only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France may be called Champagne. It’s a trademarked word. 2. Before the modern era of product placement in movies, which Champagne was the favourite of James Bond? Bollinger or as Bond would call it, Bolly. That was also in […]

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Food and Wine Books with Wines Matched for Gifts: CTV Video

Here’s part two of our conversation about books and bottles that you can give as holiday gifts. (You’ll find part one of our conversation here.) Do you have a favourite wine and word pairing? Do you belong to a book club that likes to crack open a bottle? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Gassier Sables D’azur Rosé 2011, A.C., Côtes De Provence, France I love it! (I also just shouted that out the window to some surprised people on the sidewalk.) So very pretty with a basket of fresh field strawberries. Bask in the sun and pretend you are […]

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Sparkling Wine from Cava to Cremant: Festive Fizz

Sparkling wines and champagne for New Year’s Eve is our topic in the CTV News clip above. Here’s a list of the bubblies we discussed, including cava from Spain, cremant from France and sparkling wines from Canada and the US. Let me know which sparkling wine you’re opening for New Year’s Eve in the comments below. You can get a shopping list with my top sparkling wines showing the stock at your closest liquor stores when you join as a  VIP Member. Girls Night Out Sparkling Wine Review VQA, Lake Erie North Shore, Ontario Clean, crisp and refreshing: this is […]

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How do You Pick a Great Gift Wine? 5 Tips for Festive Sips

Want to give someone a bottle of wine this year? On Global Television’s Morning Show, we chat about quick tips on how to choose a great gift wine this holiday. Wine is a great gift because: –    one size fits all –    doubles are fine –    it’s easy to re-gift Also: – it’s easy to return for cash without a receipt – wine doesn’t have to be cared for and it should never be watered – it’s consumable so it doesn’t create clutter adding to more stuff in your home How to decide which wine to give? – match the […]

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Top 5 Turkey Wine Pairings: Bottles for the Big Bird

In the second part of our holiday wine series on the CBC radio drive-home shows coast to coast we chatted about great wines to pair with your turkey dinner. You can listen to my tips above on choosing those wines plus my top 5 picks. Join us again next week, on December 30, when we chat about great sparkling wines for the New Year. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site, selects her top five wines for your holiday dinner to pair with turkey and the side dishes:   Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava Penedes, Spain A toasty […]

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Wine and Books: Holiday Gifts – Breakfast Television

This past Thursday, we chatted about book and bottle pairings as holiday gifts on Breakfast Television. Words and wine seem like a natural pairing to me … here are my favourites. What are yours? 1. Books are Beautiful The publisher selected 30 classic works of literature and assigned each a beautiful colour. Then the editors organized them in a rainbow of words so spectacular that you’re going to want to line them up on your shelves and just look at them.         Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut, South East Australia, Australia: Green apple fresh with zesty […]

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Wine Book and Bottle Pairings for the Holidays: CTV News at Noon

In the first of our two-part conversation, Leanne Cusack, host of CTV News at Noon, and I chat about six terrific book and bottle pairings that you can give as a gift set this holiday … don’t forget to treat yourself too! Here’s part two of our conversation, with more pairings, later today. Veuve Clicquot Non-Vintage Champagne Chardonnay Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier, A.C. Champagne, France Notes of green apples, orange zest and white peach on the nose with toasty goodness through the core and finish. Try the ultra-shabby chic combo here between French Champagne and a bucket of KFC chicken. […]

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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 […]

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Wine Tasting Hackathon: New Way of Social Wine Discovery

Our second team wine tasting yesterday felt like a family reunion. Sommeliers and wine bloggers from Toronto and Montreal flew or drove in to join those from the east to west ends of Ottawa. There was an instant camaraderie among those gathered here who recognized each other as fellow contributors to our online community. What I admire most about these reviewers is that although they have sterling wine credentials and training, they keep it real and conversational — with an effort to connect, not to impress. The tasting also struck me as the wine version of a hackathon. In the […]

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Are Expensive Wines Always Better? Are Screwcap Wines Always Plonk? Busting 7 Sacred Wine Myths

On CityTV’s Breakfast Television, we chat about six wines in three different price ranges, all of which offer terrific value: Dr. L Riesling, Torres Syrah, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Wente Cabernet, Burrowing Owl Chardonnay, Masi Amarone. Insider tip: go south for better bargains, such as Sicily in Italy rather than Tuscany or Provence rather than Bordeaux in France. They taste twice as expensive as they cost!       Meanwhile, Canadian Press (CP) published this story below this week in newspapers across the country … Putting a cork in wine myths December 15, 2016 Everyone who really enjoys wine seems […]

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