The Worst Wine Mistakes Not to Make: Wine Etiquette

 The hosts of CTV’s The Social love their wine. We shared a few good glasses together as well as some laughs on wine etiquette — how to avoid being low-classy with wine ;) Click the arrow above to watch the video. You can also read my story on The Grapes of Gaffe. Find out the answers to these “pressing” wine questions: How do I hold a wine glass, by the stem or the bowl? Hold your glass by stem—otherwise your hands will warm the bowl and the wine, and leave unsightly fingerprints. Your wine glass should never be poured […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

How to Choose Wine from a Restaurant List like a Pro

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about how to choose wine from a restaurant list, including how to indicate how much you want to pay without saying it out loud and sending back a bad bottle. On Twitter, many folks asked which rosé I poured for Teddy. It’s the lovely Anew Rosé from Columbia Valley in Washington State. On Marci’s table is the Jackson-Triggs Cabernet. Hope these tips help you through you next restaurant wine experience. Ask for help Find someone who should the wine list well, usually the sommelier, the bartender or your server. Tell your sommelier a few details […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

Secret Book Club Reading of Red, White and Drunk All Over

Introduction Are you curious about what’s behind the covers 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”? In this episode, I’m inviting you to pull up your most comfortable imaginary chair for a secret book club reading of the juiciest bits of RWD, which was named one of the best books of the year by the Globe and Mail, New York Times and Amazon.   Highlights When did I have my first experience with tasting good wine? What were my earliest interactions with wine like? […]

read more …

Read More

Malbec Day: A Tale of Tango and Taste

World Malbec Day on April 17 (#MalbecWorldDay) reminds me of both a recent Argentine tasting with the Opimian Wine Club as well as a trip I took to Buenos Aires several years ago. The tasting featured a terrific range of Latin American wines. It was an evening of Latin music, food, friends, and yes, tango! We gathered at a local restaurant, El Gusto Mazzola, where the husband-and-wife owners, Elena Mazzola and chef Victor Mazzola treated us to an authentic Argentine tapas dinner paired with the Malbec and other wines. Rounding out the feeling of an Argentine bistro, Réjean Simard and Diane Clément offered superb demonstrations of the three forms of […]

read more …

Read More

How to Read a Wine List, Vertical Tastings and Sommelier Sips

Ryan Campbell, formerly sommelier at Toronto’s Crush Wine Bar, now works with the wine lists at the parent company, Vintage Hotels in Niagara. Wine is such a big part of your restaurant, how do you ensure that your staff, who aren’t sommeliers, are still knowledgeable? We hold an informal “wine school” once a month for about 15 staff members.  For the last class, we focused on chardonnay with a vertical tasting. Vertical tastings mean one type of wine, like chardonnay, from different producers, but all from the same vintage. A horizontal tasting would be, say chardonnays, all from one producer, […]

read more …

Read More

Vertigo Flights of Wine: CN Tower Restaurant Wine List Dazzling (and Dizzying)

James Muir, is the sommelier and maitre d’ at the 360 The Restaurant at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. James manages the world’s highest wine cellar and has served many celebrities from Michelle Obama to John Travolta. What was your first wine experience? It was likely some low-end import wine from the depanneur, the corner convenience store where I lived in Montreal. I also tried Baby Duck at some point back then. However, more interesting wines were those from British Columbia in the 1980s. At that time, I experimented with pricier, imported bottles when I went out […]

read more …

Read More

Sommelier Secrets on Weird Wine and Food Pairings, and Dream Cellar

In our latest sommelier profile, Jay Whiteley, who has been the sommelier and wine director at several of Canada’s best restaurants, most recently, The Chase in Toronto, shares his favourite and weirdest food and wine pairings, as well as tips on choosing from a restaurant wine list. What was your first wine experience? Learning how to say the word Gewürztraminer. Why did you move from BC, where you were working at one of the top restaurants in Vancouver, to join The Chase in Toronto? I moved for some personal reasons, but also to learn about the LCBO distribution system. Toronto […]

read more …

Read More

Sommelier Loves Pairing Wine with PEI Shellfish and Seafood

Lesley Quinn, Sommelier, Sim’s Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar in Charlottetown, PEI Was wine a part of your family’s meals when you were young? I grew up in a small farming community on Prince Edward Island, with two older brothers. Wine wasn’t a part of our meals at home. However, my mother worked in the tourism industry, and she was host to journalists from around the world. She’d take me with her to meals with them, and it was during one of those dinners, that I had my first sip of wine. Apparently, I described it as tasting like sour grape juice. What […]

read more …

Read More