Natural Born Beauty in a Bottle: Wachau Wine

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm One of the most wonderful aspects of wine is that it allows us to travel the world without leaving home. From anywhere in the world, we can taste the terroir of Bordeaux, Sonoma, or the Mosel, especially when we successfully pair the cuisine of a particular region with its wine. But can we truly grasp the complexity of a wine and its terroir without actually going there, without touching the land, breathing the air and getting to know the regions’ style, tradition, and philosophy? At the risk of coming off as elitist, I […]

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Label Gazing: How to Read a Wine Label

The hosts of CTV’s The Social and I had lots of fun decoding wine labels to find the secret info you can use to buy better wine. Admit it. You’ve probably bought a wine based on nothing more than a beautiful label.   Q: Presentation is a big thing when it comes to wine. When I’m picking out a bottle, I look for a pretty label and pay attention to the name of the wine but that’s about it. Is the aesthetic of the label usually indicative of the taste? · Not at all ;) · However, most people do […]

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10 Best Zinfandel Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Zinfandel

In our latest Facebook Live Video chat, we chat about the robust red wine Zinfandel. What makes it different from other red wines? How is it related to the Italian red wine Primitivo? What foods pair best with Zinfandel? What’s the group Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) all about, and International Zinfandel Day on November 19? You can click on the arrow above to play the video.   Zinfandel is a vitis vinifera red wine grape that produces deep robust wines, most famously from California. You’ll find my most recent Zinfandel reviews and ratings here. Surprising Facts about Zinfandel: 1. Zinfandel’s […]

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10 Best Pinot Noir Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Pinot Noir

Leanne and I had fun chatting about Pinot Noir this past Wednesday on CTV News! I’ll be posting the wines we featured soon. Pinot Noir is a wine of great sensuality, a silky texture and seductive aromas. “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot Noir,” winemaker André Tchelistcheff once remarked. This thin-skinned berry is known as the “heartbreak grape” because it’s difficult to grow and is unstable even bottled. That’s why you often pay more for Pinot Noir than most other red wines. You’ll find my top 10 Pinot Noir reviews and ratings here,  including pinot noirs that […]

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This is Why Summer Wines are Different from Winter Wines (Video)

We has such fun chatting about spring and summer wines on CTV’s The Social yesterday!   Are the wines we drink in the winter that different from the ones we drink in the spring and summer? · Yes, most people’s drinking habits change with the seasons. · We typically drink heavy, alcoholic, heavily oaked wines in the winter because they comfort us and keep us warm. · “Drink what you like” remains in effect no matter the weather, but for most people, lighter drinking in the summer generally means more consumption of white wines.     LIGHT & COLD This […]

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How Austria’s Gruner Veltliner Got its Groove Back

  Would you like to learn more about Austrian wines, especially its iconic grape, Gruner Veltliner? Do you know why this wine is one of the most versatile wines on the planet? That’s exactly what we’re going to learn tonight with our guest who joins me live just north of Vienna. Our guest this evening is in charge of her family’s winery, Weingut R&A Pfaffl, along with her brother, who is the winemaker and vineyard manager. Heidie Fisher Pfaffl takes care of everything else, from business administration to marketing and sales. Pfaffl Winery is one of Austria’s leading wine producers, […]

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Second Chance: Austrian wine is back and better than ever

By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman Chef & Somm Austria is a little gem in the heart of Europe, with a population of only 8.7 million. The country finds itself being surrounded by countries either without an instantly recognizable wine culture – Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic – or by contrast, ones with world-famous, longstanding wine cultures: Italy, Germany, and to a lesser extent, Hungary. This little powerhouse is fighting to get the recognition it deserves. It hasn’t been easy. For starters, their wine production is extremely small – their entire vineyard area is less than a half the size of France’s Bordeaux […]

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How the Gruner Stole Christmas: Austria’s White Wine is a Holiday Treat

By Melissa Pulvermacher It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to eat, drink and be merry! When stocking up for those holiday parties, we all have our usual go-to wine selections, but with so many options, it may just be worth your while to venture out and try something new. For this holiday, consider looking to Austria for new selections. Austria is really hitting the world stage with quality wine production and while they may not be producing mass amounts, we are now seeing more and more in our market here in Ontario and the wine is certainly worth […]

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Video: A Sensory Journey Through Austrian Wines

This spring, I attended a stellar tasting of Austrian wines at Toronto’s Alo, named Canada’s Best New Restaurant by several publications. In the video above, Birgitta Samavarchian of the Austrian Wine Marketing Group, explains why the country’s iconic  grape, Gruner Veltliner, is a white wine unlike any other. This is a sampling the wines we tasted, but you can access more than 300 Austrian Wine Reviews here, along with those of our team members at Ottawa-based tastings. The dishes that Alo presented to pair with the wines were simply spectacular. These pictures tell a thousand words (and sensory sensations).   […]

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A Wine Waltz through Austria’s Weinviertel Region

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm In North America, many of us are entranced by commercialism, shopping, the latest must-have piece of tech, and novelty. Sometimes, it feels as if we’ve lost touch with our history and our past. This is especially true you have an opportunity to compare and contrast our values with those of another culture, as I have recently. Then you gain insight into a culture that very much holds on to, and celebrates, its history, music, art and architecture, fashion and food. This contrast became vivid when I visited Austria, courtesy of the Austrian Wine […]

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