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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Champagne and James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Bollinger and Dom Perignon

James Bond was one of the first action heroes to make wine connoisseurship seem masculine and sexy. (Most of he-man flicks don’t lend themselves to the quiet reflection of wine: try to imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger sipping a silky burgundy to relax after an extended car chase.) In the Bond flick, Die Another Day, 007 is freed after fourteen months of torture in a North Korean prison. The first thing he wants? A shave and a bottle of 1961 Bollinger. In GoldenEye (1995), a female psychiatrist asks him what he does to relax. Bond presses a button on the dashboard of […]

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Oscar Movie Wine Pairings: Lincoln, Argo and Les Mis Video

Oscar wine pairings: Argo & Lincoln … Video vine.co/v/bgndDa0YLA3 — NatalieMacLean (@NatalieMacLean) February 24, 2013 Which wines will you be drinking during the Oscars tonight? Got some more pairings to suggest for Lincoln, Argo, Les Miserables, Life of Pi or other movies that are nominated? Which wine to pair with #Oscar nominee Les Miserables? Video vine.co/v/bgnpIEM9WBx — NatalieMacLean (@NatalieMacLean) February 24, 2013 Life of Pi wine pairing … What are you drinking during the Oscars? Video vine.co/v/bgnjvLhQ5ZV — NatalieMacLean (@NatalieMacLean) February 24, 2013

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Which Women Shine with Wine in the Movies?

Wine, women and … the movies. As we celebrate the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF 2014), here’s a look at some of the cameo roles that wine and women have played in film as terrific co-stars. In The Seven Year Itch (1955), Marilyn Monroe, moves into a Manhattan apartment above Tom Ewell, a married man whose family has gone to Maine for summer vacation. When the two get together for an innocent glass of champagne, the bottle explodes—and he gets his thumb stuck while trying to stop the overflow. That makes for lots of double-entendres about pent-up pressure and powerful thumbs. […]

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Movies & Wine: Oscar-Worthy Moments

Vino plays a supporting role in some of the silver screen’s most memorable moments. We asked wine experts to tell us which scenes stayed with them long after the theatres went dark. “Here’s looking at you kid.” Even if you haven’t seen Casablanca, you’ve likely heard that toast. And if you have seen the movie, you know that not long after Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman clink glasses, the Germans come marching into Paris and change their lives forever. Here, noted wine experts recall equally vivid movie moments where wine is firmly in the frame. David Lebovitz, chef and author […]

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Walk in the Clouds: Winemaking in the Movies

In anticipation of the Toronto Film Festival #TIFF kicking off this week, this is the first in a series of articles about wine in the movies. First, I’d like to nominate a few of my favourite Oscar-worthy Canadian wines in honour of TIFF being held in Toronto: Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir Painted Rock Red Icon Blue Mountain Brut Sparkling Luckett Vineyards Phone Box Red Stay tuned for more nominations this week. Now let’s travel back to 1995. Although not written as a comedy, the movie A Walk In The Clouds offered many laughs for […]

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New Wine from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have just launched their first wine, a lovely, pink petal, bone-dry rose from Provence called Miraval Rosé. The wine is being released in the LCBO Saturday. The couple owns the winery and estate Château Miraval, even though you’ll find no reference to them on the label. This wine doesn’t need to ride on the back of their celebrity: it stands alone as a terrific, refreshing rose with aromas of small field strawberries, orange zest and light spices. Should I add though that there’s a hint of drama on the nose, with a surprise twist finish? […]

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Pairing Wine + Art: Sommelier Courtney Henderson

Courtney Henderson, sommelier at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Frank Restaurant in Toronto, shares tips on pairing wine with art, finding the gems on a restaurant wine list and the artist with whom she’d love to share a great bottle. What makes your wine list unique? We have thirty red wines, thirty white and six sparkling, with six by the glass for red and white and three for the sparkling. More than 85 percent of them are Canadian. We feature Vintner Quality Alliance (VQA) wines that includes lots of local gems such as Niagara’s 13th Street Pinot Gris, Nyarai Sauvignon […]

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The Grapes of Gaffe: Social Anxiety + Wine

My friends know that I write about wine for a living; and over the years, they’ve sought my counsel as earnestly as they’d a physician friend for advice about their ailments. Sometimes even the savviest wine lover encounters situations so fraught with anxiety, they make her wish she could crawl into a bottle and pull the cork in after her. So from one who has been thrust into the role of a vinous Agony Aunt, here are some guidelines. These suggestions may not be the classic Miss Manners answers to vexing vinous events, but they might just get you through […]

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