Are Organic Wines Better for You?

Introduction What exactly is organic wine? Is it better for you? In recent years, organic wine has moved from the realms of health nuts and hippies to the mainstream, where it now represents one of the fastest-growing categories in the liquor store. But is it really that different from conventional wine? With Earth Hour coming up on March 30 and Earth Day on April 22, I’m dedicating today’s episode to organic wine, with a deep dive into what it is, its history and what the research shows about its benefits.   Highlights How has the public perception of organic wine […]

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Bottle of the Sexes: Women versus Men on Wine

Introduction Are men from Bordeaux and women from Burgundy? In my 20 years of studying and writing about wine, I’ve encountered a lot of differences in how men and women approach the subject. There are also several studies that show the same thing. In honour of International Women’s Day this week, I’m diving deep into “women’s wines”, whether they’re actually any good and how wines marketed to women are affecting the industry.   Highlights Are the “chick wines” on the market any good or are they simply marketing gimmicks? What are my thoughts and tasting notes for three of the […]

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Wines for Seduction: A Vine Romance for Valentine’s Day

Introduction Do you want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Forget the lingerie, lipstick and silk-tie handcuffs – just share a glass or two of wine with your amour. Just in time for V Day, I’m going to share with you my favourite wines for seduction, including some melt-in-your-mouth pairings with chocolate.   Highlights Why do almost 60% of women prefer wine over candy for V Day? Why has Champagne, in particular, has long been the drink of romance Why is Pinot Noir called the “heartbreak grape”? How can you avoid ruining your wine with chocolate? Is chocolate an aphrodisiac […]

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Sneak Peak Behind-the-Scenes: Publishing a Wine Audiobook

Introduction Have you ever wondered how an audiobook gets made and then sold via Apple Books, Amazon and Audible around the world? In this episode, I share my journey from idea to audiobook and we’ll go behind the scenes of creating the new audio edition of my book Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass (which you’ll hear me refer to as “RWD”). I’ll also share with you some terrific sparkling wines that pair perfectly with ringing in the New Year.   Highlights How did I develop a love for listening? Why did it […]

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Video: Which Wines for Turkey, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie?

CTV’s Your Morning Host Ben Mulroney and chat about which wines to pair with your holiday turkey dinner, from appetizers and the big bird to side dishes and dessert. Click on the arrow above to play the video. Happy holidays! Natalie Start with an aperitif As the heady aroma of the turkey wafts through the house, and sounds of Miracle on 34th Street come from the livingroom, offer family and friends an aperitif. This pre-dinner drink will whet their appetites before they sit down to the table. An excellent choice is a chilled dry sherry. Its nutty flavours go well […]

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Pairing Wine and Halloween Treats (Video)

 Lots of laughs on CTV’s The Social this week! Click the arrow above to watch the video. The hosts chose the theme of a Royal Halloween, so Lainey dressed as Prince George, Cyn was Daenerys from Game of Thrones, Mel was Megan Markle and Marci was Queen Ramonda from the Black Panther movie. I channeled my inner (royal) wine witch and brought my broom shtick to the show. What a hoot we had together! Here are the tips, tricks and wines we discussed … Something a bit scary happens on Halloween: we’re surrounded by lots of treats, but will […]

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Austrian Wine Sparkles with Sekt Style

Sponsored Post by the Wines of Austria Austria has outstanding wine regions, wineries – and internationally acclaimed wines. Where “Austria” is written on the outside, Austria must be inside, too; only this can guarantee the top image of Austrian products in the future and around the world. According to Austrian wine law, “Austrian wine” is defined as a wine made in Austria from grapes grown in Austria. This applies also to Austrian sparkling wine. The Austrian Sekt Day Every year, the Austrian Sekt Day is celebrated on October 22nd. That is when this high-quality domestic product is given the spotlight […]

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Video: A Sensory Journey Through Austrian Wines

This spring, I attended a stellar tasting of Austrian wines at Toronto’s Alo, named Canada’s Best New Restaurant by several publications. In the video above, Birgitta Samavarchian of the Austrian Wine Marketing Group, explains why the country’s iconic  grape, Gruner Veltliner, is a white wine unlike any other. This is a sampling the wines we tasted, but you can access more than 300 Austrian Wine Reviews here, along with those of our team members at Ottawa-based tastings. The dishes that Alo presented to pair with the wines were simply spectacular. These pictures tell a thousand words (and sensory sensations).   […]

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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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New Zealand Wine: An Unexpectorated Journey

Awatere River vineyards Photo: David Skinner   By David Skinner When Peter Jackson decided upon his native New Zealand to serve as middle earth for his rendering of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, nationalistic nepotism served him less than the splendor of the rich and varied landscapes found in his home islands. The films depicted rugged terrain and lands carved from the mountains by the relentless influence of wind and water and there is still a sense of that primal constitution to the landscapes that now support modern viticulture in the “Shaky Isles”. Marlborough The South Island […]

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