Blending Humour and Wine in South Africa with Charles Back, Fairview Wine

Introduction Charles Louis Back is the third generation owner of South African wine and cheese producer Fairview, in Paarl in the Western Cape Province. Charles Back studied winemaking at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. He officially joined his family’s company in 1978 and took over full control in 1995 after the death of his father, Cyril. Today, Charles Back is known as one of the great entrepreneurs and innovators of the wine world – an individual who likes nothing more to swim against the stream. From the start, he has done things differently, introducing Mediterranean grapes such as Viognier, Tempranillo, […]

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Box Wine: Good or Grim? How to Drink Inside the Box

This morning on CTV’s new national breakfast show, Your Morning, host Lindsey Deluce and I chatted about boxed wines. These are otherwise known as nag in a box or casks, and in the past have had a nasty reputation with consumers; the Rodney Dangerfield of wine. However, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what’s in the box these days. That may be the reason that boxed wines are one of the fastest-growing categories in the wine industry, both in Canada and in the United States. In Ontario, sales represented $119 million last year in the LCBO. In 2016, the California Wine Market Council reported that three-litre […]

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Drinking Beside the Box: The Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine and Fast Food

Knowing that saffron-flavored mille-feuille of red mullet and langoustine pairs perfectly with Dom Perignon, or that prime fillet of Kobe beef with braised oxtail and potato rosti will make Château Pétrus sing is useful if you have a fat trust fund and a kitchen staff of twenty. But when most of us are racing from work to soccer practice to ballet class and then home again, we’re far more apt to grab some take-out food or heat a frozen TV dinner than to prepare a multi-course dinner every night of the week. We’re more aware than ever of health issues […]

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Wine Casks have Captured the Attention of Canadian Wine Consumers

Casks, most often referred to as boxed wines, have traditionally had a bad reputation with consumers. The perception is that wine in a box must be poor quality wine and that no one buys them. As one of the fastest-growing segments of the Canadian wine industry, high-quality boxed wines are finally getting the attention they deserve in this country. Australia has lead the way with casks since the majority of wine Down Under is sold in boxes. Now, Canadians are getting hip to the idea that good wine can come in something other than a bottle. For the first time […]

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Chateau Cardbordeaux: Is All Boxed Wine Bad?

What you want: A holiday get-together with friends over a cheering glass of wine. What you don’t want: A budget deeper in the red than an old vine zin. The answer may be in the box. Once the runt of the wine world, boxed wines have come a long way, says Natalie MacLean, author of the Internet wine newsletter Nat Decants. “Get over your hang-ups about boxed wine being plonk. It’s a great way to go with a large party,” she says. Today’s boxed wines are mostly sold in 3-liter containers, the equivalent of four bottles. And while the quality’s […]

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