Errazuriz Wines: Chile’s Cool Climate Grapes Shine

This is the first in a series of team tastings by top reviewers in our community, most of whom are graduates of either the Algonquin College Sommelier Program or La Cite Collegiale Sommelier Program. They share with us their overall impressions from the tasting, as well as reviews of each of the wines presented. You’ll also find their reviews shared on Twitter and Facebook as they are all very active on social media. “The Errazuriz wine tasting at Daly’s restaurant in Ottawa on September 26th was an absolute treat. Francisco Baettig, head winemaker at Errazuriz, is a supremely knowledgeable and […]

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Jane’s Gems: A Festive Lineup of 90 Point Wines in Vintages November 14, 2015

By Jane Staples With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to pick out some special wines. For parties, to give as gifts, and to stock up on classic favourites for entertaining with family and friends. Some of the sections at the LCBO will expand at this time of year with a wonderful selection of sparkling wines, liqueurs, cognac and specialty products. So many choices! Not to worry! Many of the larger LCBO’s have an in-store Product Consultant with extensive wine knowledge and training. These individuals are a goldmine of information on the latest Vintages release wines and […]

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Jane’s Gems: Tuscan and Chilean Treats > 90 Point Wines in the LCBO Vintages October 31

By Jane Staples The October 31 release from Vintages features sophisticated Tuscan wines. A food lover’s paradise with centuries of winemaking tradition, Tuscany is a favourite travel destination and the darling of the wine lover’s world. Tuscan wines are diverse, from the well-known Chianti to Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Sassicaia. Tuscany is blessed with a temperate warm Mediterranean climate that provides ideal growing conditions for a wide range of varietals. The signature grape is Sangiovese, but Cabernet Sauvignon has been grown there since the 18th century. Super Tuscans such as the Sangiovese and Cabernet-based Tignanello celebrate this delicious blend. […]

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A Day in the Life of Clos du Bois: Photo Essay

Taking our inspiration from photo essays and books that focus on one topic for a day, we’ve assembled our pictorial interpretation of California’s Clos du Bois Chardonnay. We’re also sharing these photos on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn. The hashtag is #WineFashion  and @ClosduBois. Designer Mara Hoffman designed the the wine case and umbrella for Clos du Bois. When fashion, fall colours and wine come together, it’s a beautiful thing.   Heather Wall Wine Columnist, Huffington Post Canada     Heather’s favourite boots above and below, with her co-operative and photogenic dog …   Heather’s also a long-distance […]

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Jane’s Gems: Valpolicella Wine Tasting Tour 2015

 A Taste of Italy, Romeo and Juliet, Shoe Shopping in Verona and Our Little Dessert By Jane Staples I went shoe shopping last week.  It wasn’t just any shopping spree, for, to begin with, I was in Verona, Italy.  Any woman who loves shoes will agree that Italy is the place to be if you want to buy shoes. Now this was in fact a business trip, so my time was limited.  I had 4 days of intensive classes and our group stayed on an Agroturismo farm just outside the city (that is to say, not near any shoe stores).  […]

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Jane’s Gems: Ontario Shines in September 19 Vintages Release

Exciting Times for Ontario Wines By Jane Staples Exciting things are happening in Ontario’s wine industry and wine tourism is developing in great strides. One trend is that women now participate in every facet of the business and perform in every role, whether as winemaker, planting in the vineyards, or in marketing. Women like Ann Sperling, Winemaker at Southbrook Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, are making waves.  Southbrook’s winemaking philosophy is based on biodynamic, organic farming practices.  Every aspect of their operations reflects their commitment to these principles. Carolyn Hurst co-owns Westcott Vineyards in Niagara Peninsula with her husband, Grant Westcott.  Victoria […]

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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in the LCBO Vintages Sept 5

By Jane Staples The September 5th release is all about uncorking a great wine.  A great bottle of wine is like a great painting; so much goes into creating it and the final product is a work of art. Like a painter working with colour and canvas, the winemaker works with the soil, the vines, the harvest and the oak, making decisions about blending and aging along the way. Uncorking a great bottle of wine can kick off a great conversation.  Some wine lovers enjoy discussing the terroir and winemaking techniques, or the history of a particular region. Others are […]

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An Icon of New Zealand Wine: Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in our nation’s capital last Friday to taste world-class New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Pint Noir. We were privileged to be guided in a personal tasting with Nobilo Wines Chief Winemaker, Dave Edmonds, who was in the country for a couple of days. In the video above, Dave introduces us to his wines as well as the spectacular food pairings for each course of our meal. Click on the arrow to watch the segment. You can also watch more videos of Dave in his vineyards as well as recipes to pair with the […]

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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in LCBO Vintages August 22

By Jane Staples The August 22 Vintages Release is all about wines that have achieved a score of 90 points or more out of 100 from various wine critics. There’s a certain magic in that score of 90 or above, as we all remember test grades from childhood so we can relate easily to them. There’s even a great difference, perceptually, between 89 and 90 for many consumers, even though there may not be for the critic giving the score. The 100-point wine scoring system wasn’t invented by the US critic Robert Parker Jr., but he certainly brought it to […]

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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in LCBO Vintages August 8

By Jane Staples The LCBO Vintages August 8 Release offers an exciting collection of wines from the Pacific Northwest, namely British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. All three regions have undergone dramatic changes over the past five years, making great stride in both quality and diversity of the wines they produce. Yet the three regions are also vastly different, despite the fact they’re often grouped together geographically in the wine world. Oregon winemaking has its roots in the 1970s, and has since taken the silky, medium-bodied red wine, Pinot Noir, to great heights. Now it also produces a zesty white wine […]

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