10 Best Brunello di Montalcino Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is a robust Italian red wine grape produced in vineyards in and around the town of Montalcino, about 120 km south of Florence in Tuscany. The word Brunello is derived from the Italian masculine form Bruno, which means “brown.” You’ll find my top 10 Brunello di Montalcino reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Brunello di Montalcino: 1. The origins of Brunello di Montalcino can be traced back as far as the 14th century. A red wine praised by the nobles of Tuscany as the “best wine in Tuscany,” Brunello is considered the youngest of Italy’s […]

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Canadians Vote for Their Favourite Wines for Canada Day

This Canadian Press (CP) story was published in the major daily newspapers across Canada. Canada’s best wine for barbecue? Tipplers can vote on favourites By: The Canadian Press OTTAWA – Many Canadians opt for beer or gin when it comes to pairing beverages with grilled food. But wine lovers can now weigh in with their picks in an online poll. In The Great Canadian Wine Match: BBQ Edition, launching Friday, wine lovers can nominate and vote for their favourite Canadian wines to pair with grilled chicken, beef, seafood, pork, vegetables and dessert. Unlike traditional competitions judged by experts, wine lovers […]

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

Did you know that the Latin name for Sangiovese, Sanguis Jovis (San Gioveto), translates to “blood of Jove or Jupiter”? The first written reference to the grape was in 1722. You’ll find my Top 10 Sangiovese reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Sangiovese: 1. Sangiovese represents 10% of Italy’s entire vineyard acreage, the most-planted grape in the country, with 247,000 acres. 2. Until the 1980s, Chianti was bottled in squat oval straw-covered fiasci. It was viewed a modest bistro wine rather than one for collectors. Then winemakers started experimenting with premium blends of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon or […]

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10 Best Cabernet Franc Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the five grapes in Bordeaux blends, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. You’ll find my top 10 Cabernet Franc reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Cabernet Franc: 1. Cabernet Franc is a thin-skinned, early-ripening grape with a lighter body and acidity than the robust Cabernet Sauvignon, but is more susceptible to spring frosts. 2. Cabernet Franc, along with Sauvignon Blanc, is actually one of the genetic parents of Cabernet Sauvignon. 3. In France, which boasts the most vineyard acreage of Cabernet Franc in the world, several regions have more plantings […]

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Surprising Canadian Wine Pairings for BBQ: Radio Chat Tips

This chat with CBC radio in Ontario was one of 26 interviews with the morning and drive-home shows on Friday about terrific (and surprising) pairings for Canadian wines with barbecued food. We also kicked off The Great Canadian Wine Match: BBQ Edition. Got a wine to nominate? Or maybe you’d like to see which wines others have nominated and vote for them. Check out the race so far here with lots of great ideas for July 1 barbecue wines. Read more about the wine competition here as well as prizes for those who nominate wines, including a $3,000 Weber Summit […]

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20 Red Wines Under $20 > Nat’s Conscious Coupling of Quality and Price

I’m always making lists of wines for different occasions and different price points. Ever since my second book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Wines, was published, I’m frequently asked for the best wines priced less than $20. Here they are … I’ll be updating this list monthly. (My thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow for the inspirational title ;) Here’s your shopping list showing your closest liquor stores that have these wines in stock, and how many of each bottle. Cheers! Oscar’s Estate Vineyard Shiraz Viognier 2011 Barossa Valley, South Australia   $17.95 This could be the ultimate hamburger […]

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10 Best Pinot Noir Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a wine of great sensuality, a silky texture and seductive aromas. “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot Noir,” winemaker André Tchelistcheff once remarked. This thin-skinned berry is known as the “heartbreak grape” because it’s difficult to grow and is unstable even bottled. That’s why you often pay more for Pinot Noir than most other red wines. You’ll find my top 10 Pinot Noir reviews and ratings here,  including pinot noirs that are reasonably priced. 5 Surprising Facts about Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir loves a cool climate where is can ripen slowly but maintain vivacious […]

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

Shiraz and Syrah are both originally from the same clone, but various regions have chosen one name or the other. You’ll find my top 10 Shiraz reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Shiraz: They both create rich, robust red wines with a smooth texture and signature aromas of spice, pepper, clove and licorice leading, followed by dark fruit such as blackcurrant, blackberry, plum and black cherry, as well as truffle, earth, violets, vanilla, smoke, sandalwood, cedar, cigar box, earth and leather. The greatest of these wines can age for 25 years or more. The grape was originally believed […]

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