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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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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Recipe: Blue Cheese Hamburger with Red Wine Pairing

In celebration of National Hamburger Day, pair this savoury recipe for Blue Cheese Hamburger with the full-bodied red wine, such as Shiraz, Cabernet or Malbec. Please feel free to share this on social media with the hashtag #nationalburgerday Prep time: 30 minutes Total time, including cooking: 2 hours and 30 minutes Serves: 6 Ingredients: 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef 2 ounces of crumbled blue cheese ¼ cup of minced fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon of coarsely-ground black pepper ¾ teaspoon of salt ½ teaspoon of dry mustard 6 hamburger buns   Directions: […]

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Wine Tasting Hackathon: New Way of Social Wine Discovery

Our second team wine tasting yesterday felt like a family reunion. Sommeliers and wine bloggers from Toronto and Montreal flew or drove in to join those from the east to west ends of Ottawa. There was an instant camaraderie among those gathered here who recognized each other as fellow contributors to our online community. What I admire most about these reviewers is that although they have sterling wine credentials and training, they keep it real and conversational — with an effort to connect, not to impress. The tasting also struck me as the wine version of a hackathon. In the […]

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Something to Wine About: The Mystique of French Wine Decoded 

It’s understandable to be intimidated by French wine — even if you know enough about wine to know which varietals you like. Intimidated by the French section in your local wine store? That’s understandable — even if you know enough about wine to know which varietals you like. In fact, your question might be, “Why don’t they just put the varietal on the bottle?” It was while reading the book, “Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass” by Natalie MacLean, that I got the answer to my question. Wine and Chocolate Make a Perfect […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Turkey

By Tania Thomas Thanksgiving is the time of the year when we remember what we are thankful for and a celebration that captures holiday spirit of home cooking like no other. Sharing this day with family and friend is what makes it even more special. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced to two separate events in our history. The arrival of the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who came with the French settlers to New France and celebrated their successful harvests, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area. The second is […]

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Pairing Wine with Weird Holiday Turkey Recipes

Maple-Brined, Wood-Smoked Grilled Turkey To stuff some life into this year’s obligatory wine and turkey pairing column for Thanksgiving (or Christmas), I asked the creators of some strangely wonderful turkey recipes for their permission to post them here and pair them with wine. I’m still on the hunt for beer can turkey, turducken, tofurkey (tofu-shaped turkey), and believe or not, that new chocolate-glazed with sprinkles dessert favourite, turdunkin (!) Maple-Brined, Wood-Smoked Grilled Turkey Recipe Allow a total of 4 to 4-1/2 hours to start the fire, cook the turkey, and let it rest. Have a full bag of charcoal on […]

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Best Bottles for Outdoor Dining: Wines for the Wet & Wild

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm A couple of posts ago, I wrote about the best wines for summer entertaining – well, I have a bit more to say about the joys of summer sipping. Here’s Part Two, enjoy! Dip and Sip – The Pool Party Crunchy, oily, salty chips and hot dogs with all the fixin’s are so much fun under the sun, especially poolside! My preference is to wash this super-casual stuff down with an ice cold beer or cider, but there are a few playful wines practically made for chillaxin’ by the pool!   Adamo Estate Winery Rosé, Hockley […]

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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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