Sparkling Wine for New Year’s Eve versus Champagne

Most people think of champagne as the drink of choice to ring in the New Year. But when the price of one bottle averages $60, you might want to consider sparkling wine, which offers great taste for a fraction of champagne’s price. Although champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, almost every other region of the country and many countries around the world produce sparkling wines, often using the same techniques and grapes as champagne. Most sparklers are a blend of the traditional champagne grapes—Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Like champagne, they’re labeled according to their dryness, […]

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Holiday Wine Team Tasting: Your Wines for Gift Giving and Entertaining

On Sunday, 22 wine-loving, football-sacrificing souls (it was Grey Cup) gathered to taste more than 70 spectacular wines. Click on the arrow above to hear about Jennifer’s favourite wine from the tasting, a Chilean Carmenere with bright acidity, nice little spice, great for a wide variety of foods. Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Monique explains her reasons for picking Taittinger Champagne to toast her celebration events.         Monique Ippolito Wine Columnist, Ottawa Living Magazine               Craig’s take on Beringer Quantum red […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Summer Salads

By Tania Thomas Among the great summertime pleasures are the relaxing patio suppers enjoyed with friends. Often, they are nothing more than a great salad dish, splashed down by a cool glass or two of a crisp summer white wine. Matching wine with salads can certainly present a challenge. Luckily, if you know a few easy tricks, it becomes effortless. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the acid in wine matches or is slightly higher than the acidity in the vinaigrette. With that in mind, a simple tossed green salad with citrusy vinaigrette dressing calls for […]

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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in LCBO Vintages July 25

By Jane Staples The LCBO Vintages Release for July 25 offers a cool breeze to beat the summer heat. The focus is on refreshing, zesty white wines. You’ll find that these sippers are usually also light in alcohol and oak (sometimes completely unoaked) and have racy, mouth-watering acidity. They pair well with summer dishes such as fresh seafood, shellfish and salads. The wine regions that tend to produce these vibrant whites are often cool climates like New Zealand, famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, and Canada, for our Riesling. These regions are more distant from the equator than are warm climate […]

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Australian First Families of Wine: Seduction Speed Tasting

Photo Credit: Kristy Gardner By Kristy Gardner, Wine Writer, Photographer, Designer I’ve never been to Australia. But hot damn, after the Australian First Families of Wine (AFFW) Unlock Tour de Force event in Vancouver this week, I want to go. The setting: 22 wines, 60 minutes, and some pretty epic “coming-of-age” stories later, Robert Hill-Smith of Yalumba Family Vignerons c. 1849 – and the 11 other family owned wineries belonging to the AFF – welcomed us with a generous sampling of some of best wines Australia has fermented. Presenting hand selected, flagship wines ranging in varietals from the lesser known […]

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Wolf Blass Wines Dig Into Their Australian Roots and Go Regional

Wolf Blass Winemaker Chris Hatcher shares some colourful history about Wolf Blass – the man, his history and work ethic – including an amusing story about a receptionist at the winery who didn’t believe that he was Wolf Blass ;) “Despite being a multi-millionaire,” Chris added, “Wolf still maintains his driving work ethic and frugal mentality. Just before he checks out of a hotel, he still cleans out all the shampoo and soap.” Christ Hatcher talking about the effect of fermentation by ‘committing a barrel’ to get that soft barrel character. Some insights that surprised me: – Wolf Blass first […]

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Wolf Blass Yellow Label Wines Go Regional

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut Sparkling White South East Australia Green apple fresh with zesty lime. Terrific bubbly for this price. Perfect for any large festive gathering. Alcohol: 11% Sweetness: Extra Dry Drink: 2015-2017 Score: 88 Price: $17.95 LCBO #: 708290   Smoked Chicken, Pancetta and Roasted Pear Pizza Recipe Makes:  2 pizzas Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 2 brown pears (Beurre  Bosc) ½ cup Wolf Blass Yellow Label Padthaway Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 1 tablespoon brown sugar 50g butter 2 large par-baked plain pizza bases 250g grated mozzarella cheese 8 thin slices pancetta 1 smoked […]

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Cabernet Sauvignon, King of Red Wines: Best of the LCBO Bunch

Cabernet Sauvignon hits the spotlight in the March 1 LCBO Vintages Release. This robust red wine is one of the most recognized wine styles and grapes universally, and is grown in many wine producing regions around the world. The LCBO is featuring Cabernet Sauvignon wines from a wide array of regions, including Ontario (both as a stand-alone varietal and in blends with Merlot), California (both reasonably priced Cabernets as well as those in the collector’s pricey range), Chile (always a source of great value), Australia (re-tooling its Cabernets to be less oaky, and often blended with shiraz), and France (classic […]

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