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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Canadian Icewine 2014: Heroic Harvest = Epic Wine

On Global Television yesterday, we discussed the 2014 Canadian Icewine harvest. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the wines that we’ll be featuring, along with reports from the field. Fun Facts: The Upside of the Deep Freeze Our deep freeze recently turned out to be bonus for Ontario icewine winemakers. The sustained cold snap and arctic temperatures allowed them to harvest grapes in an unusually short time. Who makes the most Icewine? Ontario produces about 80% of Canadian icewine, with the remainder mostly in British Columbia though some is also made in both Quebec and Nova Scotia. About 60 Ontario […]

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What You Don’t Know About Wine & Health, But Should

Are you confused about the various heath studies when it comes to wine and breast cancer, heart disease or brain function? Would you like to know exactly what moderation means when it comes to drinking wine? That’s exactly what we’re going to discover tonight with our guest this evening who is a gynecologist and obstetrician. He is also part of an international research community that investigates the role of wine in health. He holds an advanced-level sommelier certificate from the International Wine & Spirits Guild, and he joins me now live from his home office in Arizona. Welcome to the […]

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Can You Lose Weight While Drinking Wine?

Do we have to give up wine if we want to shed a few pounds? No! Click on the arrow above to watch the video … On CTV’s The Social, we put this notion to the test with a fun quiz show format on calories and wine. How many answers can you get right? Three of the wines we’ll taste are marketed as “diet wines” with just 70-80 calories: SkinnyGrape, SkinnyGirl and one other, plus two ringers. Two wines are not diet wines, but are naturally low in calories. The names of two wines give them away, but can you […]

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A Fuzzy Vine-acular: 3,000 Descriptors for Drunkenness Makes My Head Spin

By Natalie MacLean Last night’s startling discovery: there are more adjectives for drunkenness than there are Inuit words for snow. And I’m not just talking about being intoxicated or inebriated, or even blotto, blasted or bombed. There are well over 3,000 descriptors—just looking at the list makes me feel tipsy.  What’s more interesting is the difference between the words used for men and women, young and old, bodily and behavioural effects—and how expressions vary across cultures and languages to reveal both positive and negative views. I had lots of help researching this subject from friends who came up with a bandwagon […]

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Facebook Live Video Posts October 23, 2016

  In this Facebook Live Video chat, we discuss the rising levels of alcohol in wines. You can click on the arrow above to play the video. If you’d like to read the comments, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10154411500734845/ You’ll find the most recent live video wine tasting at the top of the timeline here: www.facebook.com/natdecants We taste every Sunday evening at 6 pm eastern so add us to your calendar and grab a glass of wine. Click on Follow, Like and Signup on the page above to get notified when we go live.         […]

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Drinking My Words: Are All Writers Wine Writers?

By Natalie MacLean Candy-coloured bottles of spirits glow against the mirrors behind the bar of the Algonquin Hotel. I’ve come to this New York City landmark on a brisk April evening to think about my journey over the past few years, and the connection between writing and drinking as a way of understanding a place and its people. I often read the work of one of the country’s beloved writers while I’m traveling in a region to sharpen my observations, whether it’s The Leopard by Sicily’s Giuseppe di Lampedusa, the short stories of Argentina’s Jorge Luis Borges or Peter Mayle’s […]

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Canada’s Best Sommelier Competition: Bruce Wallner Video

In the video chat below Bruce Wallner, recently named Ontario’s Best Sommelier, talks about participating in the Best Canadian Sommelier Competition this month in Halifax. He’s already a certified Master Sommelier and has worked in restaurants around the world, including Australia, Spain and the UK. We also talked about what made him want to become a sommelier originally (some interesting comparisons with the world’s oldest profession), the role of a sommelier and what he enjoys most about the job. Tell us about the competition: who enters and what do you have to do to compete? This event is hosted by […]

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How Sweet is My Wine? What do Sugar Codes Mean for Wine?

How sweet is your wine? Have you ever wondered what those sugar codes mean on the liquor store shelf? There are several different sweetness charts and coding systems on the market, but they’re not that far apart from each other in describing the residual sugar level in wine. I believe that it’s critical to list the sweetness level of a wine with every review that I write to give more information about each wine to my readers, some of whom look for a bone-dry wine while others have a sweet tooth. Posting the sugar codes are also vital for health […]

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Does Wine Make You Fat? Looking Through a Glass Thinly

My dieting heroine is Bridget Jones from the movie of the same name—not because she was that successful in losing weight, but because she never abandoned her glass of chardonnay (and still managed to snag Colin Firth). For me, dieting is unbearable if I have to give up all the sweets and my wine. (And if I stopped drinking, I’d be out of a job.) The good news is that you can drink wine without getting fat. When it comes to both calories and carbohydrates, moderate wine drinking won’t ruin your diet. Wine has no cholesterol, sodium or fat, and […]

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