California Wines: Grapes, Styles, Regions and What to Buy

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about why Californian wines are among the most popular at the liquor store.  You can buy these wines in liquor stores now as well as a selection of premium wines available now for a limited time online at the LCBO. You can also watch our second chat about Napa Valley wines here.   How the wildfires impacted California wineries?   Thankfully, 2021 is a “drama free harvest.” It’s small but mighty, as drought is the defining feature in Napa and Sonoma, as it was the third-driest year in more than a century, and the […]

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9 Best Napa Valley Wines to Drink Now

On CTV news, Leanne and I chat about terrific  Napa Valley wines you can buy now for a limited time online at the LCBO. You can watch our first chat about California wines on CTV News here.   We’re narrowing our focus on Napa Valley wines in this segment. Tell us about this region.   What would surprise us about Napa Valley?       It’s the most famous wine growing region in the U.S. but it’s actually tiny, producing just 4% of Californian wine and only 0.4% of the world’s wine production. The valley floor is just 30 miles long […]

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What are the Best Fall Wines and Food Pairings?

Lianne and I chat about terrific wines for fall with tasty food pairings. What makes for a great fall wine? – full-bodied enough to pair well with more robust dishes, such as roast beef and pork tenderloin – extra texture, mouth-feel and weight for richer sauces – even white wines, such as the buttery chardonnay, below work well with autumnal dishes – what’s the Riesling doing here? think creamy pasta sauces or roast turkey It may not feel like fall is here today, but it’s around the corner and time to think about changing our wine wardrobe. What’s your favourite […]

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Austrian Wine is more than Gruner: Embrace the Unique

By Mymi Myriam Mozart, the Alps, Baroque architecture and Schnitzels are some of the things that spring to mind when thinking of Austria. This alpine country is sadly not often first associated with wine, but when it is, the perception is that it produces mainly sweet wines. That’s quite odd for a country that has been making wine for over four centuries, whose value of recent exports has grown by an impressive € 6 million, amounting to an outstanding sales record of € 145 million (according to the 2014 Austrian Wine Statistics report). Austria ranks at #19 as a wine producing […]

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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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Tasting the Cool Climate Wines of Argentina’s Secreto Patagonico

By Melissa Pulvermacher Another tasting during my time at the 2016 i4C Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration was with Secreto Patagonico’s Production and Sales Manager, Tomas Groppo Parisi. Secreto Patagonico is in the southern hemisphere in Patagonia, Argentina. A lot of us immediately think of Mendoza, heat and Malbec when we think of Argentina, which may leave us a bit confused with the relevance to cool climate wines in this situation. Patagonia is actually in the south of Argentina and remember that in the southern hemisphere, the south is a lot cooler than the northern regions. Mendoza, the Malbec-famous region, known […]

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Gerard Bertrand’s Cool Climate Wines Blend in A Spiritual Component

By Melissa Pulvermacher Gérard Bertrand, a name we all recognize in the wine industry certainly has a diverse portfolio, but after sitting down with JP Turgeon, Canada’s Gérard Bertrand Portfolio Director, I was given the opportunity to taste the ‘cool climate’ options in our market. JP shared his story, his attempt at the gruelling Master of Wine exam and how he is incredibly proud to be working with this portfolio of quality wine from Gérard Bertrand. Gérard Bertrand is represented in Ontario by Family Wine Merchants and has several wines currently available here in the LCBO. The winery currently owns 650 hectares […]

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How Oyster Bay Tamed Prickly Pinot Noir in New Zealand

By Greg M.P. Hughes Winemakers who specialize in Pinot Noir are some of the hardest working viticulturists on the planet. This grape’s thin skin makes it extremely vulnerable to diseases, makes colour extraction torture to get right, and yields are minuscule (not a tremendous ROI compared to Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz). Pinot Noir’s idiosyncrasies are enough to make even hardened pro winemakers tear their hair out. That is why Pinot Noir is one of the most misunderstood selections that wine experts explain to their audiences. Most people understand it as byword for a quality wine, but have no idea what […]

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Domaine Drouhin Wines Express Oregon Terroir

By Melissa Pulvermacher Carrying on the cool climate conversation, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Arron Bell, the winemaker of Domaine Drouhin, a winery in the cool climate region of Willamette, Oregon. The most popular varietals produced in Oregon include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling. We recognize most of these varietals for their ability to grow well in cooler climates. Oregon produces incredible expressions of these varietals, two of which I had the pleasure of tasting with Arron. Video: Meet Arron Bell “I didn’t know what to do after college. So what do you do? You […]

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Miguel Torres Chilean Wines Focus on Sustainability

By Melissa Pulvermacher During i4C (International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration), I had the opportunity to meet with producers from all around the world. My meeting with Miguel Torres of Chile’s General Manager, Jaime Valderrama was a real treat. In our market, we recognize Torres Chile as the producer of easy-drinking, incredibly affordable wines, but after speaking with Jaime, I now recognize their sustainable initiatives as a major part of who they are. We spoke of the “sustainability strategy”. In our current market, green and health products are in high demand. This does not transcend wine and in fact, the demand […]

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