A Vine Celebration: The 120th Anniversary of Nino Negri Wines

In October, I traveled to Italy with great excitement to participate in Nino Negri’s 120th Anniversary celebration.  As I drove through the historic wine region of Valtellina, I was captivated by its breathtaking beauty and eager to participate in this year’s wine harvest. Valtellina is a serene valley at the foot of the Lombardy Alps, on the Italian-Swiss border. The “vine”, the heart of this difficult mountainous terrain, has found perfect growing conditions here. The vineyards are protected by two high mountain chains, the Retiche Alps and the Orobie Pre-Alps. Exposure to the sun at high altitude, as well as a significant […]

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The Secret to Sauvignon Blanc Wine? (Video)

Leanne and I had great fun chatting about Sauvignon Blanc on CTV as a lead up to Sauvignon Blanc Day May 4. You can watch the video segment above by clicking on the arrow. You can also watch our second wine video.         Santa Rita Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Casablanca Valley, Chile                 Sacred Hill Wine Company Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough, New Zealand                 Santa Rita 120 Reserva Especial Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Central Valley, Chile                 […]

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New Zealand Wine: An Unexpectorated Journey

Awatere River vineyards Photo: David Skinner   By David Skinner When Peter Jackson decided upon his native New Zealand to serve as middle earth for his rendering of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, nationalistic nepotism served him less than the splendor of the rich and varied landscapes found in his home islands. The films depicted rugged terrain and lands carved from the mountains by the relentless influence of wind and water and there is still a sense of that primal constitution to the landscapes that now support modern viticulture in the “Shaky Isles”. Marlborough The South Island […]

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Fresh from Oyster Bay: Hawke’s Bay Pinot Grigio

Fresh from Oyster Bay: Hawke’s Bay Pinot Grigio Step out in the middle of the day on a classic New Zealand’s summer: the brightness is beautifully intense, and sunshine plentiful. But stay about a little, until nightfall, when you feel the land chill quickly, creating one of the longest growing seasons on earth. The cool climate of places like New Zealand results in a slow, almost methodical ripening of the grape. As the warm days edge the grape toward ripeness, the cool nights capture its flavour. Day after day, night after night, this process results in the unmistakably vibrant, fruit-forward […]

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Mulled Wine: Christmas in a Glass

By Tania Thomas There is nothing that welcomes your guests and says Christmas like soul-warming aromas of slowly simmering red wine with sliced oranges and mulling spices; cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and cloves, star anise, cardamom, and ginger. Considered as a traditional holiday treat in the Old World countries, mulled wine has been warming people’s hearts for centuries. Very first mentions date back to the Roman times. Apparently, Cesar liked his wine heated and spiked with herbs and exotic spices. Mulled wine become especially popular during the Middle Ages warming up long winter evenings, especially around Christmas time. Mixing it with […]

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Oregon’s Path to Pinot Perfection (and beyond)

By David Skinner Nearly 15 million years ago, nature exploded in a maelstrom of chaos that cast a blanket of molten rock upon the marine-rich land where a receding ocean once lay. As the newly born volcanic terrain matured, the hillsides softened and westerly flowing flood waters receded enrobing the land in nutrient-rich soil. It would take until 1965 for winemakers to begin transforming the gentle slopes of the Willamette Valley from woodlands to the now familiar landscape lined with rows of vines eager to yield some of the best quality vinifera grapes anywhere. Since then, more than a dozen […]

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Natural Born Beauty in a Bottle: Wachau Wine

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm One of the most wonderful aspects of wine is that it allows us to travel the world without leaving home. From anywhere in the world, we can taste the terroir of Bordeaux, Sonoma, or the Mosel, especially when we successfully pair the cuisine of a particular region with its wine. But can we truly grasp the complexity of a wine and its terroir without actually going there, without touching the land, breathing the air and getting to know the regions’ style, tradition, and philosophy? At the risk of coming off as elitist, I […]

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A Wine Waltz through Austria’s Weinviertel Region

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm In North America, many of us are entranced by commercialism, shopping, the latest must-have piece of tech, and novelty. Sometimes, it feels as if we’ve lost touch with our history and our past. This is especially true you have an opportunity to compare and contrast our values with those of another culture, as I have recently. Then you gain insight into a culture that very much holds on to, and celebrates, its history, music, art and architecture, fashion and food. This contrast became vivid when I visited Austria, courtesy of the Austrian Wine […]

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Errazuriz Wines: Chile’s Cool Climate Grapes Shine

This is the first in a series of team tastings by top reviewers in our community, most of whom are graduates of either the Algonquin College Sommelier Program or La Cite Collegiale Sommelier Program. They share with us their overall impressions from the tasting, as well as reviews of each of the wines presented. You’ll also find their reviews shared on Twitter and Facebook as they are all very active on social media. “The Errazuriz wine tasting at Daly’s restaurant in Ottawa on September 26th was an absolute treat. Francisco Baettig, head winemaker at Errazuriz, is a supremely knowledgeable and […]

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The Ancient Greeks Invented Invented Map Making — to Help You Find Their Wines

The ancient Greeks invented map making. They had to help people find their wines.  As the third-most mountainous country in Europe, Greece’s distinct topography enables the cultivation of cool weather grapes in a warm weather climate, an unexpected attribute of Greek wines and their diverse terrior.  But it can also make them hard to find. Hence, the need for maps. One of Greece’s greatest white wines comes from the Moschofilero (MOHS-koh-FEE-leh-roh) grape. If you’ve been looking for a dry Riesling but always find them too sweet, Moschofilero is for you. It has an aromatic, floral bouquet so its dryness will […]

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