California Wines: Grapes, Styles, Regions and What to Buy

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about why Californian wines are among the most popular at the liquor store.  You can buy these wines in liquor stores now as well as a selection of premium wines available now for a limited time online at the LCBO. You can also watch our second chat about Napa Valley wines here.   How the wildfires impacted California wineries?   Thankfully, 2021 is a “drama free harvest.” It’s small but mighty, as drought is the defining feature in Napa and Sonoma, as it was the third-driest year in more than a century, and the […]

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9 Best Napa Valley Wines to Drink Now

On CTV news, Leanne and I chat about terrific  Napa Valley wines you can buy now for a limited time online at the LCBO. You can watch our first chat about California wines on CTV News here.   We’re narrowing our focus on Napa Valley wines in this segment. Tell us about this region.   What would surprise us about Napa Valley?       It’s the most famous wine growing region in the U.S. but it’s actually tiny, producing just 4% of Californian wine and only 0.4% of the world’s wine production. The valley floor is just 30 miles long […]

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Pairing Comfort Wines with Comfort Food (Video)

As the weather cools, we enjoy heartier dishes, including comfort food. But which wines should you pair with them? Here with her tips is Maritimer Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   Welcome Natalie.   First off, are there such things as comfort wines?   After much research on this topic, I concluded there were no “uncomfortable wines” since I found them all of great comfort ;) However, I found that certain wines tend to pair better with comfort food than others.   Great! Tell us about your first pairing.   Comfort food tends […]

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10 Best Merlot Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Merlot

Merlot became a brand name wine in the 1980s because of its smooth, rich, easy-drinking flavors and texture. It has less acidity and astringency (that furry mouth feeling from tannins) than many other grapes and a medium-body that appeals to many palates.           Reif Estate Winery First Growth Merlot 2016 Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada           You’ll find my Top 10 Merlot reviews and ratings here. Merlot has since been somewhat vilified, like Chardonnay, for being boring: the soft jazz of the wine world. Remember Miles’ scorn for Merlot in the movie […]

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Holiday Wine Team Tasting: Your Wines for Gift Giving and Entertaining

On Sunday, 22 wine-loving, football-sacrificing souls (it was Grey Cup) gathered to taste more than 70 spectacular wines. Click on the arrow above to hear about Jennifer’s favourite wine from the tasting, a Chilean Carmenere with bright acidity, nice little spice, great for a wide variety of foods. Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Monique explains her reasons for picking Taittinger Champagne to toast her celebration events.         Monique Ippolito Wine Columnist, Ottawa Living Magazine               Craig’s take on Beringer Quantum red […]

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Rutherford Wines: A Taste of Sunny California

By Tania Thomas Recently, several wine writers had a rare opportunity to taste Rutherford Wine Company wines from their extensive portfolio over an intimate dinner at the Mezzanotte Restaurant in Ottawa’s ByWard Market Hosted by the winery’s agency, Majestic Wines Cellars, and Rutherford’s Director of Export Sales, charming Dick Wallingford. The history of the winery starts with Napa’s Zaninovic family, the third generation Croatian immigrants, who had owned and farmed produce throughout Californian Central Valley since the 1940s. They purchased 180 acres in the highly acclaimed Arroyo Seco area of the Salinas Valley in the early 1970s and started planting […]

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Jane’s Gems: Napa Valley Gold > 90 Point Wines in the LCBO Vintages October 17

By Jane Staples Who doesn’t love a Napa Valley Chardonnay? Ideally situated by the Pacific coast, with the right balance of sunshine, ocean breezes and cooling moist fog, Napa Chardonnay is a favourite amongst wine fans. The flavours range from crisp and refreshing to richer, more buttery styles. Ripe tropical fruit notes and intense aromatics characterize Chards from this premium wine region, rivalling those from Bordeaux and Tuscany. The upside of the drought that hit California in recent years has been superb vintages from 2012, 2013 and 2014 for both reds and whites. When vines are stressed by a water […]

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