How to Become the World’s Best Sommelier with Arvid Rosengren

Introduction Arvid Rosengren is one of the most merited sommeliers in the world, holding a range of competition wins and titles, the crowning achievement being the 2016 A.S.I. Best Sommelier of the World, a competition held every three years for candidates representing sixty countries. It tests theoretical knowledge, blind tastings of various beverages and practical service skills. Born and raised in the south of Sweden, Arvid initially studied Nanotechnology Engineering but figured out half-way through that working with his true passion – food and wine – would be preferable to wearing a lab coat. After a brief time in Stockholm […]

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Willamette Valley, Oregon – Your Next Wine Destination. Five hidden-gem boutique wineries to visit in the Willamette Valley.

by Rebecca Meir Liebman Unlike much-visited Chianti, Bordeaux, or Napa, the Willamette Valley is yet to be discovered by wine tourists. Odd, since this upcoming region has everything one could look for on vacation: beautiful views, quality wines, and fascinating, welcoming people. Within this charming region of 530 wineries, the vast majority are family owned and small-scale, producing less than 5,000 cases a year. In fact, 70% of the wineries in all of Oregon produce fewer than 5,000 cases per year. The vast majority of Oregon’s wineries are not part of big corporations, where the owner is absent or might live […]

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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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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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Discovering the Jewel Grape of Austrian Wine

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance Austria. The first thing that comes to mind when most people hear this country is The Sound of Music and Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things! However, this little European country is known for something else that will likely become one of your favourite things, Gruner Veltliner. Read on as Alex sheds light on this versatile grape as well as other wines that are made in Austria. Priya: I don’t even think I knew Austria made wine! Why do you think it’s such a little-known region to non-sommeliers? Alex: For one thing, Austrian […]

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Liquor up Your Lover on Valentine’s Day

I’ll be chatting with the hosts of the CBC radio drive-home shows from coast to coast this Thursday and Friday about wines for Valentine’s Day. But we’re going to depart from the usual natter about which wines are most seductive or how to pair them with chocolate. We’ll go straight to the heart of the matter: how do you liquor up your lover on February 14? More specifically, we’ll talk about why wines are getting more alcoholic these days and how does that affect their taste and ours? Is this just a cultural trend of winemakers responding to the market? Is […]

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Wine Buying and Pairing for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

You’re asking me what’s the way to a woman’s heart? Forget flowers and candy … I’d like Pinot Noir please! Wine is the drink of conversation. You’re usually over a glass of wine watching each other, you’re talking, it’s over an evening, it lasts a long time, just like love should. Think about it. You don’t give a six-pack of beer for Valentine’s Day; you give a bottle of wine and often a bottle of sparkling wine and flowers or chocolates. It’s meant to be shared. It’s meant to be savoured slowly. But which bottle do you buy? How much […]

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Top 6 Wine New Year’s Resolutions

Every New Year, I make—and break—several resolutions about exercise or housecleaning. However, I also make a resolution or two about wine, which have always been easy to keep because they’re fun. Here are a few of my favorites that you can try this year.   1. I resolve to try something new It’s easy to get into a rut with wine and buy the same brand every time. But the pleasure of wine is in its diversity. If you like full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from California, try one from Argentina, or even a different robust red, such as an Argentine Malbec. […]

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How Much do you Know About Champagne? Take the Pop Quiz

Got your champagne ready for New Year’s? Here are my Top 20 Champagnes to celebrate the New Year and which stores have them in stock now. Take the Pop Quiz below and you’ll have some trivia to drop this evening as you celebrate the New Year! Pop Quiz 1. Is all sparkling wine champagne? No. Only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France may be called Champagne. It’s a trademarked word. 2. Before the modern era of product placement in movies, which Champagne was the favourite of James Bond? Bollinger or as Bond would call it, Bolly. That was also in […]

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