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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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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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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Video: Blending Wine & Medicine with Argentina’s Dr. Laura Catena

What a terrific chat with Dr. Laura Catena, a fourth generation Argentine vintner, physician and author! Click on the arrow above to watch the video. Listen to Laura’s stories about why Catena wines are so special. Discover more juicy tips that will make you wine smart. Cheers, Natalie We’ll be simultaneously broadcasting on Facebook Live, YouTube Live Stream and Twitter Live Video via Periscope. Watch previous episodes of the Wednesday Wining Show (WWS)  and find out who’s coming up next. If you’d like to read the comments for this tasting, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10155436261769845/ Here’s a sampling […]

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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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The Wine that Came in from the Cold: Icewine

Not a breath of wind caresses the snow-blanketed vineyards. The tar-black sky is pin-pricked with stars, and a full moon sends shadows slithering out between the scarecrow vines. Stooped figures in Arctic gear coax their bare fingers to snap off bunches of frozen grapes. That’s what the annual icewine harvest looks like in Niagara at this time of the year. It results in a wine that combines the sweetness of lusciously ripe fruit with a silver edge of acidity that’s as crisp as the winter wind. Despite its modern association with Canada, icewine was actually discovered in Germany, by accident, […]

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Top 20 Canadian Icewines of 2015

It’s always a tough task choosing your favourite wines from any category, but when it comes to icewine, it’s even harder. I find there are few duds in this august group. However, here are my favourites that I tasted in 2015. I’d love to hear which ones you love, and which ones I’m missing. Click on the links below for the full wine reviews, food pairings and stock in your closest liquor store.     Henry of Pelham Winery Riesling Icewine 2014 Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada Alcohol: 9.5%  Sweetness: Sweet  Size: 375 ml  Drink: 2014‐2022 LCBO: 430561 Score: 93/100 […]

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