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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Spicy Food & Wine Pairings: Cinco de Mayo, Tex-Mex, Indian Food Matches

On Global Television’s Morning Show today, we chatted about wine and spicy food pairings than to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. What better time to explore these than on May 5, the day in 1862 when a rag-tag Mexican army defeated the far larger French forces under Emperor Napoleon III. Sure, you could toast with a cerveza or tequila, but which wine? The growing Mexican wine industry is gaining respect, particularly the region of Baja California, and among the leading producers is L.A. Cetto, creating exceptionally well-priced red wines. But let’s broaden the field, and look at wines from around the […]

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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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Video: Valentine’s Day Wine and Chocolate Pairings

In the video chat above, Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho shares his tips for pairing wine and chocolate for Valentine’s Day and any other time of the year when you want to indulge. He knows his sweet stuff having won gold at the Culinary Olympics in the categories of sugar, chocolate, wedding cakes and dessert presentation. How did you train for the culinary Olympics? Your secrets to making great chocolate? What is the strangest chocolate sculpture you’ve created? Tell me about some of your specialized tools for making chocolate: induction burners, ganache frames, guitars, robot-coupes, heat guns and automatic enrobers? […]

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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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5 Great Reasons to Explore Armenian Wines

A View of Ararat from Armenia Wine Company By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm I’ve tasted thousands of wines – perhaps even hundreds of thousands – from all over the globe yet, until now, none had been Armenian. So when I was invited by the Vine and Wine Foundation of Armenia (VWFA) to explore Armenian wine culture, I was thrilled to say yes! There is a great energy here, with new wineries, wine bars, and wine shops popping up everywhere, many of them owned by Armenians who, returning from abroad, are investing heavily in this renaissance. Chances are many […]

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Best Summer Wines for Barbecue + Seafood: CTV News

In part two of our regular wine chat, Leanne and I talk about the best wines for summer, whether it’s zesty whites, such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, for seafood; and robust red wines, such as Shiraz, Cabernet and Malbec, for BBQs. All of my wine picks are under $20, including several that scored 90+ points. Stock up now!

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(Video) From Altitude to Attitude: 3 Reasons to Love Cool Chardonnay

The rebirth of cool is kicked off today in Niagara, as the world’s top cool climate chardonnay producers gather together with wine lovers to celebrate the grape. The seventh annual International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (mercifully i4C) will showcase 120 chardonnays and 59 winemakers from Canada, the U.S., Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Some 30 wineries are from Ontario alone. There’ll be tastings, brunches, dinners and fun events such as “Flights” of Chardonnay at the Niagara airport, The School of Cool and do other crazy things to reaffirm their love of this style of chard. So why don’t you re-frame […]

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