Beyond Barolo and Chianti: Discovering Le Marche Wines

There’s more to Italian culture and wine than Chianti and Barolo. by Rebecca Meir Liebman As Italy’s most famous cities – Rome, Milan, Venice – and her better-known wine regions – Chianti, Brunello, and Barolo become more and more crowded with tourists, it’s time to consider touring her less-buzzy, hidden gems. One of my favourite lesser-known regions is the gorgeous and fascinating Le Marche, with its beautiful Adriatic Sea coastlines, white sand beaches, outstanding produce and restaurants, and of course, its unique wines. Pronounced La Mar-kay, La Marche lies between Emilia-Romagna to the north, Tuscany and Umbria to the west, […]

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Video: Which Wines for Turkey, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie?

CTV’s Your Morning Host Ben Mulroney and chat about which wines to pair with your holiday turkey dinner, from appetizers and the big bird to side dishes and dessert. Click on the arrow above to play the video. Happy holidays! Natalie Start with an aperitif As the heady aroma of the turkey wafts through the house, and sounds of Miracle on 34th Street come from the livingroom, offer family and friends an aperitif. This pre-dinner drink will whet their appetites before they sit down to the table. An excellent choice is a chilled dry sherry. Its nutty flavours go well […]

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Gift Wines: Tips on How Not to Send the Wrong Message in a Bottle

Leanne and I chat about how to find the right gift wine for everyone on your list on CTV News. Meanwhile, we’re chatting about the same topic with the Associated Press: Wine Gift-Giving Tips for Novice Vinophiles Trendy, tasty and one-size-fits-all, wine is a versatile holiday gift, whether you’re on your way to a house-warming or looking out for something for the in-laws. But navigating the world of wine can be a trial for the novice vinophile. Enter wine experts, who have a few tips on how not to send the wrong message in a bottle. Recon The Recipent A […]

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Fall Wines: A Warming Taste Trend

Wine styles are as seasonal as clothing. In the summer, I drink light, refreshing wines that remind me of a simple T-shirt and shorts: perfect for sun-baked beaches and country road strolls. But in the fall, my wine, like my clothes, becomes warmer, more layered and better able to combat those cool winds of October. In the video above, Leanne and I chat about fall fashions in wine, from the run-way to your dining room table. The wines featured in this show include: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay, California Toasted Head Chardonnay, California Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon, California Santa […]

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A Vine Celebration: The 120th Anniversary of Nino Negri Wines

In October, I traveled to Italy with great excitement to participate in Nino Negri’s 120th Anniversary celebration.  As I drove through the historic wine region of Valtellina, I was captivated by its breathtaking beauty and eager to participate in this year’s wine harvest. Valtellina is a serene valley at the foot of the Lombardy Alps, on the Italian-Swiss border. The “vine”, the heart of this difficult mountainous terrain, has found perfect growing conditions here. The vineyards are protected by two high mountain chains, the Retiche Alps and the Orobie Pre-Alps. Exposure to the sun at high altitude, as well as a significant […]

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Easter Wines for Fish, Lamb + Ham: Video

Wines for Good Friday fish, Easter brunch, lamb and ham are the focus of our chat on CTV News. In particular, red wines often clash with fish not because of the wine tannin and fish iodine, as previously thought, but rather because of high iron content in the wine. The iron comes mostly from the soil where the vines are grown, but can also be due to winemaking methods. Generalizing about which wines will be high in iron content is difficult. The iron in wine is thought to break down the unsaturated (good) fats in fish and creates that fishy […]

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Pairing Wine with Spicy, Sweet and Sour Dishes for Chinese New Year and Beyond

 This Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting above, we chat about pairing wine with our favourite Chinese dishes, from sweet and sour chicken to wontons and spring rolls. You can click on the arrow above to play the video. We’re joined by guest winemaker, Jean-Benoit Deslauriers of Benjamin Bridge Winery to help us celebrate the Chinese New Year. You’ll find the most recent live video wine tasting at the top of the timeline here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/natdecants We taste every Sunday evening at 6 pm eastern so add us to your calendar and grab a glass of wine. Click on the icons for “Share” […]

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Fontanafredda Makes a Barolo for Every Palate

Fontanafredda Vineyard Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance It was a whirlwind visit for Danilo Drocco, winemaker at Fontanafredda in Barolo, Italy. He swept into Toronto for a lunch and dinner, only to rush back to the vineyard the following morning as they are deep into harvest season and as he said, “My job is to talk about Nebbiolo, but more importantly, to make Nebbiolo.” Alex was especially thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with Danilo as the 1974 Barolo was the first ‘big’ (read “expensive”) bottle of wine he had ever purchased as a gift for his father. […]

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What Makes Prosecco One of the Most Popular Sparkling Wines?

Photos: Santa Margherita By Melanie Lloyd Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Alberto Ugolini, a passionate and knowledgeable brand ambassador for Santa Margherita, from his home in Italy. With the holidays around the corner and Prosecco’s ever-increasing popularity, it was great timing to talk about this festive sparkling wine. Question: The sale of Prosecco has been increasing globally for the last several years. What contributes to this success? Alberto: There are several factors that fuel the success of Prosecco. The first, and most important, is its flavour profile. Prosecco is a joyful and vibrant sparkling wine. It has delicate bubbles, […]

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Tasting Barolo, the King of Wines with Fontanafredda (Video)

Recently, Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in our nation’s capital for a comprehensive tasting of the wines from one of Italy’s best wine producers, Fontanafredda. Here are our impressions and tasting notes.       Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen     The weather may have been rainy, but spirits were bright on a Sunday afternoon as we had the opportunity to celebrate Barolo and learn of one of the gems of Piedmont, Fontanafredda. Alberto Frea, the brand ambassador for Fontanafredda, walked us through the extensive family history of the winery as well as some of […]

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