10 Best Zinfandel Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Zinfandel

In our latest Facebook Live Video chat, we chat about the robust red wine Zinfandel. What makes it different from other red wines? How is it related to the Italian red wine Primitivo? What foods pair best with Zinfandel? What’s the group Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) all about, and International Zinfandel Day on November 19? You can click on the arrow above to play the video. If you’d like to read the 100+ comments, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10154477064559845/ You’ll find the most recent live video wine tasting at the top of the timeline here: www.facebook.com/natdecants We taste […]

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Is Zinfandel the World’s Most Misunderstood Wine?

ZINZEN, ZINZEST, ZINFUL: The licence plates in the parking lot warn me that this is no tweedy wine tasting. Closer to the wharves, a line of three thousand people, thick as an anaconda, snakes its way along San Francisco’s waterfront. Behind them soars the Golden Gate Bridge; Alcatraz Island sits brooding in the distance; and the glinting bay is dotted with tiny tissue sails. But no one’s admiring the postcard view: all eyes are fixed on the warehouse’s paint-peeled doors, waiting for them to open on the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers tasting, the world’s largest single-varietal wine event according to […]

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Rediscover Riesling: The World’s Most Versatile Varietal

By Melissa Pulvermacher The number one question I receive is: “What is your favourite wine”? I could give a long-winded answer about how it all depends on the situation, the people I’m with, the food I have or don’t have, the weather, my mood and several other ridiculous factors that would probably influence what my favourite would be in that exact moment, but if forced to answer simply, I would choose a varietal that I admire most. Of course, I have off and on romances, newly discovered lust and evenings with old flames, but if I had to settle down and […]

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Winemaker Eduardo Chadwick: Errazuriz Wine Tasting

By Mymi Myriam On a beautiful, warm and sunny fall day, I rode my bicycle to the Ritz Carlton for the extraordinary opportunity to sit down with Mr. Eduardo Chadwick, the President of Vina Errazuriz and iconic ambassador of premium Chilean wines. I walked into the Ritz’s sumptuous, modern lobby and headed up a staircase towards TOCA, one of the hotel’s restaurants where our luncheon was taking place. Mr. Chadwick stood in a magnificent dining room and welcomed me with a warm smile and handshake. I joined the few selected guests at the dining room table and kept observing our […]

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10 Best Sparkling Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Bubbly

Sparkling wines made outside of Champagne, France, may not be called Champagne as it’s a trademarked term. However, they often use the same methods and/or grapes used in Champagne. 5 Surprising Facts about Sparkling Facts: 1. Bubblies made in Burgundy, France, are called Crémants de Bourgogne while those from Alsace are Crémant d’Alsace. 2. Spain makes Cavas (“cave”), Italy makes either Prosecco (lightly sparkling) or Spumante (fully sparkling and sweet), Germany makes Sekt or Deutscher. 3. Those from New World regions, such as Canada, California, Australia and elsewhere, are simply called sparkling wine. 4. Drink bubbly from a flute glass […]

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Kim Crawford Wine Tasting: Blending with an Eye Dropper

By Mymi Myriam The room at Frank at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) was flooded with light entering from large panel windows on a late weekday afternoon as I sipped on a glass of the Kim Crawford Fizz Methode Traditionnelle 2009. I took my place at the table and was quite puzzled at finding an eye-dropper amongst my tasting glasses. What kind of experiment would we be conducting? Our host for the event was Anthony Walkenhorst, Kim Crawford’s senior winemaker, who led us through the most memorable wine tasting I have ever attended. In front of each attendee were […]

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A Tasteful Wine Journey from Provence to Paris

Town centre of Beaune By David Skinner Provence stands as Southern France’s glorious gateway to the viticultural and gastronomic treasures awaiting discovery along the Rhône River Valley. A river cruise from Provence to Burgundy is likely one of the best ways to experience these famous wine regions and cruising is the most leisurely and convenient way to uncover abundant appellations and epicurean adventures. Of course, one of the attractions of seeing the countryside by boat is that you only unpack once and this simply eliminates the worry of transportation and lodging, granting more time to create memories of fabulous food, […]

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10 Best Champagne Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Champagne

The sparkling wine Champagne is named after the northern region of France where it’s produced. Other regions of France, as well as other countries, make sparkling wine, but only those from Champagne may be called Champagne. You’ll find my most recent Champagne reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Champagne: 1. Supposedly the eighteenth-century blind Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, accidentally discovered how to put the bubbles in Champagne when his wines started fermenting again in the spring after the cold winter had stopped them. Other records attribute this discovery to the British scientist Christopher Merret thirty years before Pérignon. […]

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Andrea Franchetti: Mountain Wine Between Stone and Cloud

Continued from Part 3: Etna Wine The next morning, I drive farther up the mountain along a narrow, vertiginous lane called Passopisciaro or “fishmonger’s road.” It was originally named after a seaman who used to sell his catch here on sunny afternoons. He charmed his female customers, generously offering them his services in addition to the seafood. Eventually, their husbands banded together and killed him. Most of Andrea Franchetti’s wines are labeled Passopisciaro, but his customers are safely scattered around the world. In 2001, having spent ten years in Tuscany making wines that received rave reviews, Andrea decided to buy […]

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Marco de Grazia: Coaxing Wine from Contradiction (and Lava)

Part 2: Sicily’s Volcanic Wines Sicily is also known as mezzogiorno, “the land of the midday sun”—and of the midday nap. This April afternoon is so warm that I decide to take la pausa before my next visit. I love that notion of an afternoon pause: it doesn’t sound lazy, just meditative. I retreat to my dark hotel room and flop on the cool bed sheets, mesmerized by my ceiling fan as its breeze evaporates the sweat on my arms and legs. Outside, a dog barks, someone laughs, a door slams. Then quiet. After several hours of drugged sleep, I […]

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