A Vine Celebration: The 120th Anniversary of Nino Negri Wines

In October, I traveled to Italy with great excitement to participate in Nino Negri’s 120th Anniversary celebration.  As I drove through the historic wine region of Valtellina, I was captivated by its breathtaking beauty and eager to participate in this year’s wine harvest. Valtellina is a serene valley at the foot of the Lombardy Alps, on the Italian-Swiss border. The “vine”, the heart of this difficult mountainous terrain, has found perfect growing conditions here. The vineyards are protected by two high mountain chains, the Retiche Alps and the Orobie Pre-Alps. Exposure to the sun at high altitude, as well as a significant […]

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Tasting Barolo, the King of Wines with Fontanafredda (Video)

Recently, Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in our nation’s capital for a comprehensive tasting of the wines from one of Italy’s best wine producers, Fontanafredda. Here are our impressions and tasting notes.       Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen     The weather may have been rainy, but spirits were bright on a Sunday afternoon as we had the opportunity to celebrate Barolo and learn of one of the gems of Piedmont, Fontanafredda. Alberto Frea, the brand ambassador for Fontanafredda, walked us through the extensive family history of the winery as well as some of […]

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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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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Truffles; the Ultimate Luxury Food

By Tania Thomas As the most mysterious and generous gifts of nature, truffles, these elusive mushrooms, have been enhancing the cuisine of the ancient civilizations with their incredibly aromatic quality for more than twenty centuries. Also known as an aphrodisiac, Madame Pompadour was a great fan. The truffle is indeed a mushroom, a very rare, luxurious and tremendously expensive kind. Just a few truffle shavings can transform a simple scrambled egg dish to a gastronomical feast. Since the truffle season happens at the end of the year, they also make a perfect ingredient in a delectable festive meal. Truffles come […]

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

Nebbiolo is a red wine grape from the Northern Italian region of Piedmont. Nebbiolo makes the classic wines of Italy, Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as Gattinara, Ghemme and Nebbiolo D’Alba. You’ll find my Top 10 Nebbiolo reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Nebbiolo: 1. Compared to other Italian grapes, Nebbiolo buds early and ripens late with harvesting taking place mid to late October. 2. The Nebbiolo grape produces lighter style red wines that can be highly tannic in youth with aromas of tar and roses. Prolonged aging is essential to mellow this wine and soften tannins. Aromas such […]

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