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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South Africa’s Spier Wines Respect What the Vineyard Hands Them

New Life on the Old Werf Life on the Spier farm is textured, diverse, nurturing. Our Fair Trade accredited hotel and modern conference facilities offers peace in the vineyards, riverside rambles, food experiences and encounters with eagles. Our restored historical farmyard, the Werf, is surrounded by the original farm precinct buildings. These feature 21 architecturally noteworthy Cape Dutch gables – the most on any South African wine estate – making Spier a landmark destination in the Cape winelands. At our wine tasting room on the farm, we give visitors an opportunity to experience what we value most at Spier, in […]

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Rack of Lamb with Almond Crust Recipe Paired with Wits End Luna Shiraz

This dish is a classic Harvey family meal and incorporates ingredients famous in the region and blocks. Outside the Slate Creek school block, 1 mile from their organic, Wits End block, are rows of almond trees. These not only provide a beautiful, blossoming avenue to frame their country homestead but allow a bounty of almonds. This recipe compliments the robust, generous and fruit driven Shiraz that is our Luna and utilises quintessentially regional and foraged ingredients. This recipe compliments the robust, generous and fruit driven Shiraz that is their Wits End Luna Shiraz and uses quintessentially regional and foraged ingredients. This dish […]

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Top 10 Green Wine & Food Matches for St. Patrick’s Day

Which wines go best with the “green food” that we’ll enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew? How about those fresh spring vegetables that will soon be on our plates? Which wines go best with the “green food” that we’ll enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew? How about those fresh spring vegetables that will soon be on our plates? Green foods are the problem children of the wine world. But as a stubborn hedonist whose grandmother’s name was Brophy, I’ve found some terrific wines to […]

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From Snout to Tailfeather: Wine Takes Wing in Niagara

Approaching Featherstone Winery, I can see a pepper storm of starlings flying over the vineyard. Husband and wife team David Johnson and Louise Engel have a passion for all things fowl. Before they became winemakers, they ran a gourmet poultry shop, selling tasty birds, from turkeys to quails. (That’s where the “feather comes from; the “stone” is the Niagara Escarpment.) However, those hungry starlings that feed on the ripening grapes are no friends of David and Louise. That’s why I’m going to meet their latest avian associate today, a Harris Hawk that’s trained to hunt those pesky birds. In 1989, […]

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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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Villa Maria Wine Tasting Reveals Regional Surprises

In the video above, Villa Maria Winemaker Josh Hammond shares an amusing story about his quest to pair ever more fresh scallops with his wines when diving for them with his brother. Click on the arrow to play the video. Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in our nation’s capital for an extraordinary tasting of New Zealand’s Villa Maria wines recently at The Shore Club. They share their insights and recommendations here. Cherie Cole Accredited Sommelier & Wine Blogger Gracing us with his knowledge and passion for wine, along with a great sense of humor, fifth generation winemaker, Josh […]

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Free-Spirited New Zealand Tasting Pairs Nobilo Wines with Adventurous Foods

Photo Credit: Melissa Pulvermacher By Melissa Pulvermacher A huge trend in the Canadian wine market right now is not only New Zealand wines, but more specifically, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with its grassy notes and aromas of gooseberry and tropical fruit. It’s been pretty easy to identify for consumers and the demand from the LCBO is still on the incline. Trends exist for multiple reasons, but there is something to be said about a wine that easily identifies with a large group of people. A beautiful aromatic wine that finishes refreshing and clean obviously isn’t very difficult for everyone to enjoy. […]

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Wolf Blass Yellow Label Wines Go Regional

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut Sparkling White South East Australia Green apple fresh with zesty lime. Terrific bubbly for this price. Perfect for any large festive gathering. Alcohol: 11% Sweetness: Extra Dry Drink: 2015-2017 Score: 88 Price: $17.95 LCBO #: 708290   Smoked Chicken, Pancetta and Roasted Pear Pizza Recipe Makes:  2 pizzas Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 2 brown pears (Beurre  Bosc) ½ cup Wolf Blass Yellow Label Padthaway Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 1 tablespoon brown sugar 50g butter 2 large par-baked plain pizza bases 250g grated mozzarella cheese 8 thin slices pancetta 1 smoked […]

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Wine and Lamb Pairings for those who aren’t Sheepish

The other Easter classic, roasted or grilled lamb, is one of the easiest foods to pair with wine. Juicier in texture than turkey, milder in flavor than beef, the classic match for its savory flavors are the cabernet sauvignon blends of Bordeaux. But many dry and robust reds will also work, such as Spanish rioja and Rhône Valley syrah blends. Also good matches are the lush, fruity cabernets from New World regions, such as California, Chile, Canada and Australia. However, with more succulently prepared lamb dishes, many people prefer the more austere, restrained flavors of Old World reds. In fact, […]

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