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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Blending Humour and Wine in South Africa with Charles Back, Fairview Wine

Introduction Charles Louis Back is the third generation owner of South African wine and cheese producer Fairview, in Paarl in the Western Cape Province. Charles Back studied winemaking at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. He officially joined his family’s company in 1978 and took over full control in 1995 after the death of his father, Cyril. Today, Charles Back is known as one of the great entrepreneurs and innovators of the wine world – an individual who likes nothing more to swim against the stream. From the start, he has done things differently, introducing Mediterranean grapes such as Viognier, Tempranillo, […]

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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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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? […]

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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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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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Shiraz or Syrah? New Film Exposes the Truth

Do you know the differences, and the secret stories behind these grapes? Would you like to know why you love one style and not another? Our guest this evening is making a movie that will turn the wine world on its head, and change the way we think about Shiraz and Syrah. Director and producer Rudolf McClain joins me live from his home in Sonoma County, California. Click on the arrow above to watch the video. P.S. Join us Sunday October 22, at 6 pm eastern with Heidemarie Fischer Pfaffl of Weingut R&A Pfaffl. www.nataliemaclean.com/live Want to know when we […]

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Niagara Wine Pioneer Reif Estate Winery Video Tasting

Last night, we were joined by special guest Klaus Reif, Head Winemaker and Owner of Reif Winery, who chatted about making wine in Niagara and his vision for Ontario wines. Click on the arrow above to watch the video. What an amazing conversion last night! Klaus’ audio is fixed after 4 minutes, so hang in ;) Klaus shared some wonderful stories about when he first made #wine at age 10 and (hid the bottles behind some bottles in his father’s winery), and then at age 24 making a new style that upset his uncle and then won an award at […]

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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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7 Unusual Food Pairings for Nobilo Wines from New Zealand

Heather Wall Wine Columnist, Huffington Post Canada A big KIA ORA Welcome was on hand for Dave Edmonds as he rolled through Ottawa for another stellar tasting of Nobilo Wines of New Zealand. More specifically, Marlborough, easily becoming one of the great wine-growing regions of the world – just ask Dave! Clean crisp air, oodles of sunshine, cool ocean breezes and volcanic soils cultivates grapes bursting with juicy crispness and zesty, flinty minerality. Dave came armed with Sauvignon Blancs from both the Nobilo Regional Collection and the Nobilo ICON Collection.  Two Pinot Noirs from the ICON Collection and a 2016 […]

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