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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Recipe: Balderson Double Smoked Cheddar Fondue and Wine Pairings

This recipe for Balderson Double Smoked Cheddar Fondue is a delicious holiday treat, especially when you pair it with a buttery British Columbia Chardonnay or Ontario Cabernet Franc. The smooth, wood smoke flavour of the Cheddar marries beautifully with oak-aged toastiness of the Chardonnay or Cabernet Franc. The Double Smoked Cheddar is cold smoked twice using a mixture of natural hard woods and aged for twelve months, which makes it ideal for the robust weight and texture of these wines.   Balderson Double Smoked Cheddar Fondue Makes 2 Servings Ingredients: 1 garlic clove, cut in half 75 ml dark sweet beer 125 ml […]

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A Tale of Two Niagara Wineries: Ravine Wines Have Deep Roots

By Trish Kroeger As a relatively new lifestyle and travel photographer, the opportunities I’m about to embark on while visiting far away destinations and delightful wineries will undoubtedly be the envy of many wine connoisseurs. Luckily for me as a proud Canadian, I will never have to venture too far away from home to experience the thrill of visiting world class wineries and meeting passionate and inspirational people along the way. So it made perfect sense to me, with the imminent end of summer fast approaching, that I grab my camera and head off to the most picturesque place I […]

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Balderson Cheddar Cheese Tart with Summer Vegetables Recipe Paired with Cabernet Franc

Summer Vegetable and Balderson Cheddar Cheese Tart Pair this delicious recipe with Featherstone Winery Cabernet Franc 2013 Ingredients: 1/3 cup [75 mL] Lactantia Butter melted, divided 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 cup [250 mL] chopped asparagus 3 plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped 2 cups [500 mL] chopped spinach 2 tbsp [30 mL] chopped basil 6 sheets thawed phyllo dough 2 tbsp [30 mL] honey mustard 2 cups [500 mL] grated Balderson Heritage Cheddar Cheese 1 cup [250 mL] Lactantia 10% Table Cream 4 eggs, beaten Preparation: In fry pan over medium heat cook green onions in 2 tbsp [30 […]

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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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Taste Ontario! Defies Wine Stereotypes

Two Taste Ontario! events featured large tastings of Ontario wine recently. There wa strong representation of provincial wineries pouring a wide range of styles largely from the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Ontario vintages. You’ll find 100+ wine reviews from our team here, along with which stores have the wines in stock now. You’ll get a sense of the strong attendance and energy in the room from the video below (click on the arrow to play it). I was particularly impressed with the riesling, chardonnay and viognier wines I tasted. Meanwhile, Ontario Pinot Noir may have its best year ever in 2013.   Several of our team members enjoying […]

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Top 10 Green Wine & Food Matches for St. Patrick’s Day

Which wines go best with the “green food” that we’ll enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew? How about those fresh spring vegetables that will soon be on our plates? Which wines go best with the “green food” that we’ll enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew? How about those fresh spring vegetables that will soon be on our plates? Green foods are the problem children of the wine world. But as a stubborn hedonist whose grandmother’s name was Brophy, I’ve found some terrific wines to […]

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From Snout to Tailfeather: Wine Takes Wing in Niagara

Approaching Featherstone Winery, I can see a pepper storm of starlings flying over the vineyard. Husband and wife team David Johnson and Louise Engel have a passion for all things fowl. Before they became winemakers, they ran a gourmet poultry shop, selling tasty birds, from turkeys to quails. (That’s where the “feather comes from; the “stone” is the Niagara Escarpment.) However, those hungry starlings that feed on the ripening grapes are no friends of David and Louise. That’s why I’m going to meet their latest avian associate today, a Harris Hawk that’s trained to hunt those pesky birds. In 1989, […]

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