Wine Tripping and Sipping in Prince Edward County

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance Move over Niagara, Prince Edward County is coming of age as a wine country area in Ontario! Whether it’s the big names like Norm Hardie,  Closson Chase and Karlo Estates, or the smaller ones like Domaine Darius or Trail Estates, we’ve spent many a weekend exploring the wineries of this region and wanted to share some of our favourite spots with you. Priya: First things first is finding a great home base for all your County experiences. We were lucky to get a spot at The Ferg, a beautiful boutique property co-owned by our very good […]

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Wine Talk on Bell Media’s New TV Show “The Drink”

By Alex Powell & Priya Rao, A Vine Romance It’s finally here–August 2nd brings the launch of our new show for Bell Media called, The Drink. In it we explore the best that Toronto has to offer in terms of beer, sake, scotch, cocktails and of course, wine! In fact, one of our 4 episodes in dedicated to this glorious beverage from Mother Nature! The episode is called, quite appropriately, “Calling All Wine-o’s!” In it we visit a super high-tech private wine storage facility, we trace the roots of a bottle of wine in a vineyard-to-restaurant segment, Alex breaks down how to taste […]

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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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The Good Life (and Good Wine) in Prince Edward County

By Tania Thomas We drove into The County across the Bay Bridge from Bellville on a hot and sticky mid-July morning. The shimmering waters of Lake Ontario beneath us looked refreshing and exceptionally inviting. Sunset on the beach and a swim is definitely on our agenda, but before that there are wineries to visit and winemakers to talk to. Just a few hours away from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston, nestled on Quinte’s Isle are the vineyards of Prince Edward County, Ontario’s newest VQA wine Appellation and the fastest growing wine region of Ontario. With close to 40 wineries, and […]

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Jane’s Gems: Ontario Shines in September 19 Vintages Release

Exciting Times for Ontario Wines By Jane Staples Exciting things are happening in Ontario’s wine industry and wine tourism is developing in great strides. One trend is that women now participate in every facet of the business and perform in every role, whether as winemaker, planting in the vineyards, or in marketing. Women like Ann Sperling, Winemaker at Southbrook Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, are making waves.  Southbrook’s winemaking philosophy is based on biodynamic, organic farming practices.  Every aspect of their operations reflects their commitment to these principles. Carolyn Hurst co-owns Westcott Vineyards in Niagara Peninsula with her husband, Grant Westcott.  Victoria […]

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Vegan and Vegetarian Wine Food Pairings

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance One of the most interesting things I’ve realized since meeting Alex is that although wine and food pairings are common, it is extremely rare that wine pairings are offered for vegetarian or more specifically, vegan foods. With Meatless Mondays gaining momentum and scores of celebrities (Beyonce, Jared Leto, Bill Clinton, Ellen Degeneres) going vegan and since I have my own, in-house sommelier to help me out, I thought I’d pay it forward and offer some general thoughts on how to pair wine with vegan foods. To begin, I should clarify ‘vegan’ from ‘vegetarian’. […]

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How to Read a Wine List, Vertical Tastings and Sommelier Sips

Ryan Campbell, formerly sommelier at Toronto’s Crush Wine Bar, now works with the wine lists at the parent company, Vintage Hotels in Niagara. Wine is such a big part of your restaurant, how do you ensure that your staff, who aren’t sommeliers, are still knowledgeable? We hold an informal “wine school” once a month for about 15 staff members.  For the last class, we focused on chardonnay with a vertical tasting. Vertical tastings mean one type of wine, like chardonnay, from different producers, but all from the same vintage. A horizontal tasting would be, say chardonnays, all from one producer, […]

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Finding Your Sole-mate: Pairing Sparkling Wine and Seafood

By Melissa Pulvermacher The Vino Enthusiasts wine club is a gathering for people who appreciate wine and want to learn more about it. The group gets together to taste, pair and learn on a monthly basis. At the most recent wine club, the group drank sparkling wine paired with seafood to discover the array of types and how they all pair differently with food. The goal was to compare and contrast the most popular sparkling styles with local, Ontario options that are made and accessible in our own backyards. The food pairings included crab and goat-cheese crostini, lemon-butter calamari, salted […]

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Prince Edward County Pinot Noir: A Ruby Wine Gem

I was determined that our recent weekend get-away to Prince Edward would be all pleasure, no work. For me, that means not visiting wineries and interviewing winemakers. I just wanted to dine at amazing restaurants, like Blumen, stay at a wonderful inn like The Manse, and take long walks along Sandbanks Park beach. I did all that, but alas could not resist the siren call of one winery. I blame Blumen. We enjoyed a fabulous meal, and a spectacular pinot noir from Exultet Estates. I got up the next morning determined to find the hidden, off-the-main-strip, little white shed that […]

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Canadian Wine Harvest 2014: BC, Ontario, Quebec, NS Winemakers Weigh In

Join us Friday morning on Global Television as we discuss how the Canadian wine harvest is going from coast to coast. In the meantime, here are reports from the field: winemakers from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia give their impressions of how the 2014 harvest is looking so far. Tantalus Vineyards David Paterson, Winemaker, Tantalus Vineyards, British Columbia How is the 2014 harvest going so far? So far the 2014 harvest has been ideal. We are in the home stretch now and a couple more weeks of warm days and cool nights to finish off with will be […]

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