A Game of Clones: A Journey into Croatian Wine

By Andrea Shapiro The Republic of Croatia, located in Eastern Europe is one of the oldest wine growing countries in the world, and yet is relatively unknown to the average Canadian like me. The region possesses both mediterranean and continental climates and a soil structure that travels the spectrum, from sandy to volcanic. The result is a terroir that is proficient at yielding a myriad of varietals – everything from global mainstays such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot to indigenous grapes such as Graševina, Pošip and Plavac Mali. During the Cold War, as part of The Socialist Federal Republic […]

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Organic and Biodynamic Wine with Thomas Bachelder

Introduction Thomas Bachelder is a Canadian winemaking superstar on a mission when it comes to cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After studying in France and having a successful winemaking career in Canada, Thomas started his own label where not only does he make wine in Ontario, but he also has vineyards in Burgundy and Oregon. The Bachelder project started with the 2009 vintage with the three terroirs series: Three regions; Three wines. As he describes it, the hands, techniques and the palates remain the same, only the terroirs change.   Highlights When did Thomas realize he wanted to make wine? […]

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Wines for Seduction: A Vine Romance for Valentine’s Day

Introduction Do you want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Forget the lingerie, lipstick and silk-tie handcuffs – just share a glass or two of wine with your amour. Just in time for V Day, I’m going to share with you my favourite wines for seduction, including some melt-in-your-mouth pairings with chocolate.   Highlights Why do almost 60% of women prefer wine over candy for V Day? Why has Champagne, in particular, has long been the drink of romance Why is Pinot Noir called the “heartbreak grape”? How can you avoid ruining your wine with chocolate? Is chocolate an aphrodisiac […]

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Scandalous Wine Women on TV

Introduction I have to confess: I am obsessed with Alicia Florrick, the successful attorney on The Good Wife, and Olivia Pope, the high-powered Washington D.C. “fixer” on Scandal. In this episode, I’m going to share with you my secret obsession with the wine drinking habits of these women on television and what I believe that says about our cultural relationship with wine.   Highlights How have alcoholic beverages featured with women on TV changed over time? What do Alicia Florrick and Olivia Pope have in common with Philip Marlowe? How does wine act as a key plot device on Scandal? […]

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Fontanafredda Makes a Barolo for Every Palate

Fontanafredda Vineyard Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance It was a whirlwind visit for Danilo Drocco, winemaker at Fontanafredda in Barolo, Italy. He swept into Toronto for a lunch and dinner, only to rush back to the vineyard the following morning as they are deep into harvest season and as he said, “My job is to talk about Nebbiolo, but more importantly, to make Nebbiolo.” Alex was especially thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with Danilo as the 1974 Barolo was the first ‘big’ (read “expensive”) bottle of wine he had ever purchased as a gift for his father. […]

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Wine Tripping and Sipping in Prince Edward County

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance Move over Niagara, Prince Edward County is coming of age as a wine country area in Ontario! Whether it’s the big names like Norm Hardie,  Closson Chase and Karlo Estates, or the smaller ones like Domaine Darius or Trail Estates, we’ve spent many a weekend exploring the wineries of this region and wanted to share some of our favourite spots with you. Priya: First things first is finding a great home base for all your County experiences. We were lucky to get a spot at The Ferg, a beautiful boutique property co-owned by our very good […]

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Pascual Toso Proves There’s More to Argentina Than Malbec

  By Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance The only thing better than enjoying a good bottle of wine is getting to meet the person who made it. We were fortunate to have that opportunity recently as we sat down with winemaker, Felipe Stahlschmidt from Pascual Toso. This Argentinian winery is celebrating it’s 125th anniversary. That’s a nice age for a “New World” region. They describe their production facility as “an old Chevy with a brand new Mercedes engine inside”. It’s a great analogy for an older building that has been completely updated with state-of-the-art production equipment. Alex: Pascual Toso is a fairly large […]

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Garden Variety Wines: The Best Bottles for Outdoor Dining

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm Spring and summer means outdoor parties – casual barbecues to white-glove garden soirées – and there’s a perfect wine for every al fresco occasion. Flip Flops and Fine Wine – The BBQ When food is smoky and beefy, you might automatically think of an oaky Cabernet Sauvignon, but let’s not forget how hot and humid it can be, so a nicely chilled, oaky white wine or slightly chilled lighter red – may be just the thing! An oaky white – think Norman Hardie Chardonnay or La Crema Chardonnay will complement smoky, grilled chicken, […]

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Rediscover Bordeaux with Château Phelan-Ségur

By Mymi Myriam On the eve of a massive winter storm that threatened to shut down most of the eastern coast of the United States, I had the pleasure of briefly sitting down with Pamela Wittman prior to attending the LCBO sponsored Union des Grands Crus Bordeaux tasting at the Carlu. An oenologist by profession, she is now the US representative for Château Phélan-Ségur located in the Médoc St-Éstèphe region of Bordeaux. The estate’s story starts with a young Irish wine merchant name Bernard Phelan who settled into the area in the late 18th century and married a local girl […]

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Winemaker Eduardo Chadwick: Errazuriz Wine Tasting

By Mymi Myriam On a beautiful, warm and sunny fall day, I rode my bicycle to the Ritz Carlton for the extraordinary opportunity to sit down with Mr. Eduardo Chadwick, the President of Vina Errazuriz and iconic ambassador of premium Chilean wines. I walked into the Ritz’s sumptuous, modern lobby and headed up a staircase towards TOCA, one of the hotel’s restaurants where our luncheon was taking place. Mr. Chadwick stood in a magnificent dining room and welcomed me with a warm smile and handshake. I joined the few selected guests at the dining room table and kept observing our […]

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