Why You Need to Know Malbec Truly, Madly, Deeply

Introduction Have you tried Malbec? Did you like it? Which ones are your favourites? From Argentina to France,  Malbecs are not all created equal. For me, it was an Argentine Malbec that first piqued my curiosity, leading me to start buying more. I followed that curiosity down to Argentina itself in my second book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Bottles. On this episode, in honour of World Malbec Day, I’m taking you with me on a journey to the Bodega Catana Zapata winery in Argentina to chat about all things Malbec and explore why Malbec is […]

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Willamette Valley, Oregon – Your Next Wine Destination. Five hidden-gem boutique wineries to visit in the Willamette Valley.

by Rebecca Meir Liebman Unlike much-visited Chianti, Bordeaux, or Napa, the Willamette Valley is yet to be discovered by wine tourists. Odd, since this upcoming region has everything one could look for on vacation: beautiful views, quality wines, and fascinating, welcoming people. Within this charming region of 530 wineries, the vast majority are family owned and small-scale, producing less than 5,000 cases a year. In fact, 70% of the wineries in all of Oregon produce fewer than 5,000 cases per year. The vast majority of Oregon’s wineries are not part of big corporations, where the owner is absent or might live […]

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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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What to Ask the Sommelier with Lesley Brown, Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers

Introduction Lesley Brown has been a part of the Canadian Wine Industry for the past 17 years and works with several high profile wine agencies. She holds an International Sommelier Diploma and has taught wine courses to hundreds of students. Lesley is currently the BC Regional Sales Manager for The Bacchus Group and she also sits on the board of directors for the Import Spirit and Vintners Association and has recently taken over as the President of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) BC and the Vice President of the CAPS National Board.   Highlights How did Lesley’s travels […]

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The World’s Best Wines with Forbes Columnist Katie Kelly Bell

Introduction Katie Kelly Bell has been writing about food, wine and travel for over a dozen years, with her writing appearing in publications such as Forbes, USA Today, Modern Luxury, Decanter and Southern Living. Her experiences have taken her from the vineyards of Argentina to the press houses of Champagne. In between, she has co-authored a travel guide to Ireland, The Everything Guide to Ireland, written a city guide for Atlanta and worked as a Senior Editor at The Wine Report. Katie also appears on the CNN Airport Channel as a travel expert and on WSB Atlanta radio, talking about wine. […]

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Wine Confidential: An Insider Look at the Wine World with Bianca Bosker

Introduction Bianca Bosker is an award-winning journalist and the author of the New York Times Best Seller, Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste, which has been hailed as the “Kitchen Confidential of wine.” Bianca has written about food, wine, architecture, and technology for The New Yorker online, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and The New Republic, among other publications.   Highlights How did Bianca stumble into wine while writing about tech at the Huffington […]

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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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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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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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