Liquid Seduction: 9 Wines for your Valentine

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. Wine has long been associated with romance. Here are my top 10 wines for Valentine’s Day, not only because of their sexy names, but also because the wine in the bottle is equally as seductive.   Fifty Shades Of Grey Red Satin 2011 California, United States No mention of the book that inspired this wine, but no matter, it was launched this month as the liquid seduction tie-in to the book. Of course, there are lots of aromas of fresh and tanned leather on the nose and it’s voluptuously full-bodied … Natalie’s full […]

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Getting Clearer on Glera, the Grape of Prosecco Sparkling Wine

By Greg Hughes Prosecco has become, possibly, the most sought after sparkling wine after Champagne. It showcases wonderful aromatics and freshness, as well as value.  As one might imagine, there is still a fairly broad range of styles that this tiny northeastern appellation in Italy can offer. What makes Prosecco distinct from other sparkling wines are the well-preserved aromatics and the perceived “creaminess” the gentle carbonation creates on the palate. This distinctiveness is partially due to the obscure family of grape varietals used, but these flavours can only be harnessed so effectively because of the innovative production method behind Prosecco. […]

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A Sparkling Dilemma: What’s the Real Difference Between Champagne and Prosecco?

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance What’s the real difference between Champagne and Prosecco? Priya: Ahh bubbly! There are so many styles of sparkling wine but Champagne and Prosecco are undoubtedly the two most popular. Alex: You’re right about that my lady. However, they are distinctly different from one another. So much so that an experienced taster should almost never be fooled – though there are some Proseccos out there that bear similarities to iconic Champagne – but they are rarely encountered and cost equally as much. P: Interesting. As a not-so-experienced taster, I doubt I’d be able to […]

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Tasting Across Time and Terroir: The 9 Bordeaux Wine Appellations of Dourthe

Recently, Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital for a Dourthe portfolio tasting with Head Winemaker, Frédéric Bonnaffous. Established in 1840, Dourthe is recognized as a leader in the Bordeaux of France, with a particular passion for the various soil types and the wines best suited to them. The nine estates that comprise Dourthe all focus on the unique character of their respective appellations. Here are the team’s notes and impressions.   Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen   What an honour to meet head winemaker, Frédéric Bonnaffous, and to learn about the various châteaux of Dourthe in Bordeaux. […]

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7 Secrets about Prosecco Sparkling Wine that you don’t know but should

By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman of Chef & Somm As New Year’s Eve approaches our thoughts turn to bubbles, after all, for pure joie de vivre, there’s nothing like a flute of sparkling wine. Invariably, Champagne comes to mind, but good luck finding a decent bottle for under $40. Hey, if you can spring for a Jeroboam of Armand de Brignac Gold at $2,239 a pop, go for it, but for the rest of us, the search for something of decent quality and good value continues. Prosecco to the Rescue Often thought of as merely a cheap and cheerful alternative to Champagne […]

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Garden Variety Wines: The Best Bottles for Outdoor Dining

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm Spring and summer means outdoor parties – casual barbecues to white-glove garden soirées – and there’s a perfect wine for every al fresco occasion. Flip Flops and Fine Wine – The BBQ When food is smoky and beefy, you might automatically think of an oaky Cabernet Sauvignon, but let’s not forget how hot and humid it can be, so a nicely chilled, oaky white wine or slightly chilled lighter red – may be just the thing! An oaky white – think Norman Hardie Chardonnay or La Crema Chardonnay will complement smoky, grilled chicken, […]

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Rediscover Bordeaux with Château Phelan-Ségur

By Mymi Myriam On the eve of a massive winter storm that threatened to shut down most of the eastern coast of the United States, I had the pleasure of briefly sitting down with Pamela Wittman prior to attending the LCBO sponsored Union des Grands Crus Bordeaux tasting at the Carlu. An oenologist by profession, she is now the US representative for Château Phélan-Ségur located in the Médoc St-Éstèphe region of Bordeaux. The estate’s story starts with a young Irish wine merchant name Bernard Phelan who settled into the area in the late 18th century and married a local girl […]

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Easter Wines: The Essential Hip-Hop Guide to Earmark

Some of my favourite meals are those we savour to celebrate Easter: fresh asparagus omelets and ham for brunch. But which Easter wines to serve with them? As a determined hedonist, I like something more than orange juice, thank-you—unless it’s a mimosa. The wines that work best are zesty, mouth-watering and lighter than those we drink in the winter—and they’ll put some spring in your glass. When the coming of spring heralds warmer weather, we feel like celebrating. One of the best ways is by drinking fresh, vivacious wines that suit the season and complement lighter fare. You can pair […]

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Kosher Wine: What is it? Why should I not Passover it?

Ten years ago, kosher wine was considered the cough syrup of the wine world: mostly made from nasty Concord grapes and often sweeter than Buckley’s—but without as much nuance. Today, it’s no longer the wine of affliction: many kosher wines, made from classic grapes, are complex and full of character. In fact, kosher wines sales are growing fast —  up 12% since 2013. While no one tracks buyer demographics, some producers claim that up to half aren’t even members of the Jewish faith—they’re just attracted to the wine’s quality and its preparation, which guarantees purity. Kosher wines, like fashionable organic […]

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The Dark Side of Wine in the Movies: Days of Wine and Thorns

In films such as the Godfather series, wine and food are expressive of Italian culture, and its fierce loyalty—wine is part of family gatherings, and presented as something simple, without pretense. It’s often consumed from shot glasses. But also represents the darker side: the brooding nature of the family members, and the blood ties that bind. You’ll find my TIFF and Oscar-worthy, award-winning wines here, with all-star ratings. Looks alone have made red wine the preferred drink of horror movies, often an omen of evil. The Dracula movies associate wine with blood. “Aren’t you drinking?” inquires the guest, as Count […]

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