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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Why is Cabernet Sauvignon the King of Red Wines? (Video)

Leanne and I chat about Cabernet Sauvignon in honour of Cabernet Day, the last Thursday before Labour Day… when we need something stronger in our glass than rose ;) Here are some quick facts you should know about Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon was originally created by crossing the white grape Sauvignon Blanc and the red grape Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is the parent grape of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is most famous in Bordeaux, France, where it’s part of a blend that can include any or all of the following grapes to increase the complexity of the […]

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Why You Need to Know Malbec Truly, Madly, Deeply

Introduction Have you tried Malbec? Did you like it? Which ones are your favourites? From Argentina to France,  Malbecs are not all created equal. For me, it was an Argentine Malbec that first piqued my curiosity, leading me to start buying more. I followed that curiosity down to Argentina itself in my second book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Bottles. On this episode, in honour of World Malbec Day, I’m taking you with me on a journey to the Bodega Catana Zapata winery in Argentina to chat about all things Malbec and explore why Malbec is […]

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Icewine: Canada’s Gold in a Glass

Icewine: Canada’s golden winter elixir … that’s the hot topic of our segment above on CTV’s The Social. What is icewine and how is it different from other sweet wines? Why is Canada the world leader in producing it? Which are the best icewines to buy right now and which food pairs best with icewine? You’ll find all of the icewines we discussed in this segment, along with dry red and white wines, showing you the stock for each wine at your closest liquor stores so that you can try them this weekend. Where was icewine first made? Icewine is believed […]

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Fancy Farm Girl Sue-Ann Staff Makes Down-to-Earth Wines (Video)

Our guest this evening is a fifth-generation grape grower who grew up on the largest privately-owned vineyard in Canada, the Sue Ann Staff Estate Winery. Today, she is one of Canada’s top winemakers, winning more than 500 national and international wine awards, including being twice recognized by the International Wine and Spirits Awards of London, England as one of the top four “Women in Wine” in the world . And she joins me live now from her winery: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club Sue-Ann Staff! What was the exact moment when you realized that you wanted to make wine? […]

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Discovering the Jewel Grape of Austrian Wine

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance Austria. The first thing that comes to mind when most people hear this country is The Sound of Music and Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things! However, this little European country is known for something else that will likely become one of your favourite things, Gruner Veltliner. Read on as Alex sheds light on this versatile grape as well as other wines that are made in Austria. Priya: I don’t even think I knew Austria made wine! Why do you think it’s such a little-known region to non-sommeliers? Alex: For one thing, Austrian […]

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Austrian Wine is more than Gruner: Embrace the Unique

By Mymi Myriam Mozart, the Alps, Baroque architecture and Schnitzels are some of the things that spring to mind when thinking of Austria. This alpine country is sadly not often first associated with wine, but when it is, the perception is that it produces mainly sweet wines. That’s quite odd for a country that has been making wine for over four centuries, whose value of recent exports has grown by an impressive € 6 million, amounting to an outstanding sales record of € 145 million (according to the 2014 Austrian Wine Statistics report). Austria ranks at #19 as a wine producing […]

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Wine and Comfort Food Pairing: Revel in Your Rut

Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be forward-looking to spring with a chirpy article about zesty white wines to pair with fresh vegetables, but it’s so cold outside … and I’m tired of writing seasonally-appropriate editorial content. So let’s make wallowing fun, and turn to comfort wines paired with comfort food. In our continuing video series with Canadian Press, we look at quick tips on pairing those old favourites, from braised meat to pasta in cream sauce with wine. It’ll make you (almost) care what time of year it is when you have bottled sunshine. Here are my favourite […]

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How do you serve icewine? Food pairings with icewine?

How do you serve icewine? Serve icewine chilled; an hour or two in the fridge will allow it to reach the ideal drinking temperature of 10C-12C. The traditional time to serve it is at the end of the meal, when most people already feel full. Many producers feel that icewine shouldn’t be called a dessert wine, as it stereotypes the wine into being consumed only at the end of a meal, when most people are already full. Conversely, French sauternes is also served at the beginning of a meal with dishes such as foie gras and cheeses. Icewine works equally […]

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Tasting Trapiche Wines from the Mountaintop to the Skytop

  Recently, Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital for a portfolio tasting with Sergio Case, head winemaker with Trapiche Winery in Argentina. Not only did he take us through a spectacular lineup of upcoming releases, but the event was also hosted at Ottawa’s newest event space, the glass-encased ballroom in the sky on the 22nd floor of the Westin Hotel. It’s a 3,200 square foot ballroom with a 270 degree view of downtown Ottawa, the Parliament buildings, the Ottawa River, and the Gatineau Hills, with the leaves starting to turn colour. You can watch the entire […]

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