Festive Wines with the Globe & Mail’s Christine Sismondo

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Christine Sismondo, writer, teacher and barfly who, when not teaching literature at York University, is tracking down the city’s best drinks and the bars in which they’re served for her columns. She also writes wine and cocktail articles for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest national newspaper. Enjoy!   Highlights Why shouldn’t you lump Cava, Prosecco and Champagne together? Why did Lambrusco have a bad reputation in the 70s and 80s? What is the Charmat Method for producing sparkling wine? How did Lambrusco become popular in North […]

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How to Sabre Champagne + Sparkling Wines

Leanne and I chat about sparkling wines and Champagnes for the holidays. Click on the arrow to play the video above. Napoléon visits the Moët & Chandon cellars in 1807 Napoleon is credited with inventing the sabering technique and is famous for his phrase: “In victory we deserve Champagne, in defeat, we need it.” The famous Champagne maker Veuve Clicquot, who lost her husband when she was just 27, was a wealthy young widow. She would entertain Napoleon’s officers (early day sampling program). They, in turn, tried to impress her by sabering the tops of the Champagne bottles that she […]

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World Malbec Day Celebrates Argentina’s Flagship Red Wine

Leanne and I had a great time chatting about Malbec on CTV yesterday. Did you know that April 17 is Malbec World Day (#MalbecWorldDay), celebrating the flagship red grape for the wines of Argentina, as well as a blending grape in Bordeaux and other regions? You’ll find my most reviews and ratings of Malbec Wines here. The Malbec grape produces wines that stylistically fall between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with more plummy richness and roundness than Cabernet, but firmer tannins and structure than Merlot. Pair Malbec with beef, turkey, spicy dishes, tomato sauces, meaty casseroles, hamburgers, sausages, steak and kidney […]

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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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Something to Wine About: The Mystique of French Wine Decoded 

It’s understandable to be intimidated by French wine — even if you know enough about wine to know which varietals you like. Intimidated by the French section in your local wine store? That’s understandable — even if you know enough about wine to know which varietals you like. In fact, your question might be, “Why don’t they just put the varietal on the bottle?” It was while reading the book, “Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass” by Natalie MacLean, that I got the answer to my question. Wine and Chocolate Make a Perfect […]

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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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Rutherford Wines: A Taste of Sunny California

By Tania Thomas Recently, several wine writers had a rare opportunity to taste Rutherford Wine Company wines from their extensive portfolio over an intimate dinner at the Mezzanotte Restaurant in Ottawa’s ByWard Market Hosted by the winery’s agency, Majestic Wines Cellars, and Rutherford’s Director of Export Sales, charming Dick Wallingford. The history of the winery starts with Napa’s Zaninovic family, the third generation Croatian immigrants, who had owned and farmed produce throughout Californian Central Valley since the 1940s. They purchased 180 acres in the highly acclaimed Arroyo Seco area of the Salinas Valley in the early 1970s and started planting […]

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Jane’s Gems: A Festive Lineup of 90 Point Wines in Vintages November 14, 2015

By Jane Staples With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to pick out some special wines. For parties, to give as gifts, and to stock up on classic favourites for entertaining with family and friends. Some of the sections at the LCBO will expand at this time of year with a wonderful selection of sparkling wines, liqueurs, cognac and specialty products. So many choices! Not to worry! Many of the larger LCBO’s have an in-store Product Consultant with extensive wine knowledge and training. These individuals are a goldmine of information on the latest Vintages release wines and […]

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Toronto Wine Tasting Shows Wide Diversity of Styles

By Mymi Myriam The wow factor as I walked into the sumptuous lobby of the Governor’s Room in the heart of the Exhibition Place is high. This is not just any room, it is a lavish, opulent and enormous ballroom. I proceeded through the enormous ornate wooden doors. Upon entering, I was warmly welcomed by a lovely lady who handed me an empty wine glass and my journey started. The Profile Wine Group is a coalition of three wine merchants: Barrique Wine Imports, VinVino Wine Merchants, and Du Chasse Wines and Spirits. They are one of Canada’s premier wine and […]

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