Fontanafredda Makes a Barolo for Every Palate

Fontanafredda Vineyard Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance It was a whirlwind visit for Danilo Drocco, winemaker at Fontanafredda in Barolo, Italy. He swept into Toronto for a lunch and dinner, only to rush back to the vineyard the following morning as they are deep into harvest season and as he said, “My job is to talk about Nebbiolo, but more importantly, to make Nebbiolo.” Alex was especially thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with Danilo as the 1974 Barolo was the first ‘big’ (read “expensive”) bottle of wine he had ever purchased as a gift for his father. […]

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A Sparkling Dilemma: What’s the Real Difference Between Champagne and Prosecco?

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance What’s the real difference between Champagne and Prosecco? Priya: Ahh bubbly! There are so many styles of sparkling wine but Champagne and Prosecco are undoubtedly the two most popular. Alex: You’re right about that my lady. However, they are distinctly different from one another. So much so that an experienced taster should almost never be fooled – though there are some Proseccos out there that bear similarities to iconic Champagne – but they are rarely encountered and cost equally as much. P: Interesting. As a not-so-experienced taster, I doubt I’d be able to […]

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Video: Clark Smith on Why Some Wines are Like Angelina Jolie

​ What a terrific chat with Clark Smith, Winemaker and Author! Click on the arrow above to watch the video.   Our guest this evening has created a firestorm in the wine industry, dividing winemakers and wine lovers around the idea of wine manipulation. Clark will explain how some of the hottest new technologies help winemaking, and how splitting the atom changed the way we make wine and altered our perception of what a white wine is supposed to be. Clark Smith has spent four decades as a winemaker, author, inventor, musician, and professor to the wine industry around the […]

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Men Versus Women Winemakers: Battle of the Bottles?

  In honour of International Women’s Day #IWD2017 on March 8, we chatted with one of Canada’s best winemakers, Ann Sperling, who just happens to be a woman ;) You can click on the arrow above to watch our interview. You can also read more than 75 comments here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/natdecants/posts We discussed Ann’s pioneering work with biodynamic and organic viticulture, her various vineyards across Canada and in Argentina, and her own approach to winemaking. Want to get one of Ann’s wines? You have a wide choice: Southbrook, Versado, Sperling Vineyards and she has consulted for Benjamin Bridge. You’ll also find the specific wines […]

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What is Wine’s Role in Modern Madness? Finding Our Humanity Drop by Drop

​Editor’s Note: I wrote this magazine piece on wine and civility two months after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance than ever, with the riots in Ferguson, ISIS, Jian Ghomeshi, Gamergate, unfettered consumerism, and the mysogenous micro-aggressions that women face daily on social media. I welcome your thoughts here: never loose your voice. In Vino Civilitatis The trouble with moderation is that it’s hard to get excited about it. Until now. After September 11, moderation seems to be rarer than a California cult cabernet. Finding the moderate and the civilized in everyday life has […]

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Organic Wine: What is it? Toast Earth Day with Wine, Naturally

Last night, we had two spectacular, on-fire conversations with Canadian rock-star winemaker Thomas Bachelder. Click the arrow above to watch part one before the internet gods cut us off ;) Part two is below. It was a wide-ranging conversation sprinkled with limestone and lyrical story-telling. You’ll find his wines under his own Bachelder label as well as Domaine Quelyus. You’ll find previous and upcoming Live Video Wine Tastings here.   Want to get the heads up on Facebook when we go live next Sunday? Take 3 seconds right now and click on these 2 grey buttons under the wine bottle image: Follow […]

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Video: Dragon’s Den Arlene Dickinson talks about wine, women, business

Arlene Dickinson, in the video chat below, is best known as a judge on the hit TV show Dragons’ Den as well as advising struggling companies on The Big Decision. She’s the owner and CEO of Venture Communications, a powerhouse agency focused on marketing strategy, has been inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame and is the mother four children. She recently published a book called Persuasion as well as a line of luxury products with the same brand name, including skin care, chocolate, coffee, and what we’re going to talk about today: wine… Before we […]

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Discovering the Jewel Grape of Austrian Wine

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance Austria. The first thing that comes to mind when most people hear this country is The Sound of Music and Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things! However, this little European country is known for something else that will likely become one of your favourite things, Gruner Veltliner. Read on as Alex sheds light on this versatile grape as well as other wines that are made in Austria. Priya: I don’t even think I knew Austria made wine! Why do you think it’s such a little-known region to non-sommeliers? Alex: For one thing, Austrian […]

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The Wine that Came in from the Cold: Icewine

Not a breath of wind caresses the snow-blanketed vineyards. The tar-black sky is pin-pricked with stars, and a full moon sends shadows slithering out between the scarecrow vines. Stooped figures in Arctic gear coax their bare fingers to snap off bunches of frozen grapes. That’s what the annual icewine harvest looks like in Niagara at this time of the year. It results in a wine that combines the sweetness of lusciously ripe fruit with a silver edge of acidity that’s as crisp as the winter wind. Despite its modern association with Canada, icewine was actually discovered in Germany, by accident, […]

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Wine Talk on Bell Media’s New TV Show “The Drink”

By Alex Powell & Priya Rao, A Vine Romance It’s finally here–August 2nd brings the launch of our new show for Bell Media called, The Drink. In it we explore the best that Toronto has to offer in terms of beer, sake, scotch, cocktails and of course, wine! In fact, one of our 4 episodes in dedicated to this glorious beverage from Mother Nature! The episode is called, quite appropriately, “Calling All Wine-o’s!” In it we visit a super high-tech private wine storage facility, we trace the roots of a bottle of wine in a vineyard-to-restaurant segment, Alex breaks down how to taste […]

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