Southern Ontario is nearing the end of a week-long cold stretch that has been feeling all the more frigid, as it snapped the province out of a prolonged January thaw with at least one day with record-breaking warmth. It's good news for Icewine makers, who have enough time to get in their entire crop before the weather warms up again on Monday.
Erin and Courtney Henderson
Erin Henderson is the co-founder of the sommelier services and wine events firm, The Wine Sisters. Based in Toronto, Erin and her team of certified sommeliers and entertaining experts help clients take their events from Standard to Sparkling with customized wine tastings, parties and wine tours. For more information visit thewinesisters.com or follow them on Instagram @The_Wine_Sisters
Each time we go to our favourite wine shop in B.C., we'd leave a little bit exhilarated and a little bit saddened. Consoling ourselves over a bottle of a new found gem, we would fantasize about the wine shop we would run back home in Ontario if given the chance, and wonder aloud if our province would ever get with the program as BC had? Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when the Wine Council of Ontario invited us to a briefing to discuss that very possibility. For the last few years, WCO has been conducting studies on the value of opening Ontario's wine market to independent entrepreneurs. Of course, wine and alcohol can be a contentious and divisive issue.
12/18/2012 05:42 EST
The reputation of bubbly is a double edged sword. On one hand it enjoys a reputation as the celebration wine, the defining beverage in elegance and luxury. On the other, it's rarely invited to the Canada-Day long weekend party, or the must have option for the Big Game.
12/14/2012 08:21 EST
If you're a wine lover <em>and</em> a sports fan, don't hide behind a bucket of beer this Sunday. No, shout it loud and proud with a great local wine to support the home team. We've lined up a few great bottles for our Grey Cup celebration that will work with spicy, salty, meaty and greasy fare.
11/23/2012 08:22 EST
Just like you take your sweaters out of storage, so should you swap out your lighter summer sippers, for more substantive winter wines. Think about the things you like to eat during these blustery, dark, Canadian evenings. Likely stews, casseroles and roasts top your list of culinary go-to's. Those easy, breezy, refreshing whites aren't going to cut it with robust meals. Here's a few of our winter time wine picks, you are welcome to make them yours.
11/02/2012 07:59 EDT
If you've been reading us for a while, you know we are huge fans of Ontario wine, but inevitably we get asked, "Why is it so expensive to buy Ontario wines? Especially when I can buy something for $8 from Argentina?" So we decided to take it to the pros, and let them give you the straight goods on why Ontario wine costs what it does.
09/11/2012 07:45 EDT
We just finished another cellar management project, and it's a job well done if we do say so ourselves. If you have a cellar in your home, or are thinking about starting one, there are a few things you should think about when purchasing bottles to fill it.
07/18/2012 05:14 EDT
Canadian provinces are now free to set their own policies for wine trade without the federal government imposing any rules of its own. Provinces are still only giving an inch, allowing for tourists from other provinces to bring back some wine and alcohol with them. And would you like to know why? Taxes.
06/29/2012 11:59 EDT
To maximize enjoyment, some whites are meant to be served warmer than others (usually fuller bodied wines like white Burgundy), and some reds are meant to be drunk cooler (usually lighter, simpler reds like Beaujolais). So, thinking that many of you may be wondering the same thing, we decided to put together this little cheat sheet for you.
06/20/2012 03:20 EDT
For years, we've insisted that you do not need to cook with great wine -- or even barely passable wine for that matter. However, something happened to Erin the other day that has forever changed her mind about this long-held belief.
05/29/2012 08:26 EDT
We don't go overboard here; we just keep some soda water or tonic on hand. Nobody we know will ever come over and ask for a Cosmopolitan and if they did, we'd get new friends. Your guests may be different.
04/16/2012 01:59 EDT
How do you know if a wine is good? When well-intentioned sommeliers like ourselves say, "If you like it, it's good," it's an infuriating answer, not to mention slightly patronizing. True, if you like it, go for it, but just like art, literature and automobiles, there are quantifiable measures to deciding if a wine is good or not.
03/19/2012 11:48 EDT
Restaurant owners, please listen up: we're all really busy, so we cannot gamble on the fact that your swanky eatery will be able to sit us at 7 p.m., because everyone eats at 7 p.m. We're going to a place where we've booked a table, knowing we can go right in, sit down and relax.
03/07/2012 12:57 EST
Because one friend doles out for a swank evening on the town, or another her professional services, are the others then obliged to return the favour plus some? Is that what friendship is all about? We don't want to come off as ungrateful, or ignorant to their efforts. But where does it stop?
03/01/2012 08:58 EST
Instead of fighting for a reservation and ultimately accepting whatever leftover time slots are available, we're staying in and celebrating with our favourite wines paired with some really delicious food that are know to ignite passion and set the senses ablaze.
02/09/2012 05:37 EST
Even though beer has the title for fans' favourite Super Bowl bevvie, there are some solid wine options out there for those not interested in the suds.
01/30/2012 11:55 EST
As couples ramp up the romance, it may help to get a primer on wine service, because when you're trying to woo your sweetie, it's better to look like James Bond than Jacques Clouseau. Even if you poo-poo the most romantic day of the year, this will still come in handy as you'll need booze to get through your bitterness.
01/24/2012 10:47 EST
It's Friday night. You and your nearest and dearest arrive at the new, swanky restaurant in town, dressed to kill and ready to celebrate your anniversary/big promotion/making it through another week virtually unscathed. Everything is perfectly right with the world until the wine list is dropped in your lap. <em>Now what?</em>
01/17/2012 02:00 EST
Festivals, black markets, freezing your tookus off in the dead of night... it's all for the love of Icewine. Needless to say, to make Icewine, it helps to be a bit of a risk-taker to endeavour in such a business.
01/11/2012 10:51 EST
The most wonderful time of the year has come and gone and all you've really got to show for it is a wicked hangover and an extra 10 pounds. That might make it easier for you to begin the sober observance of Juiceless January, but while your liver may thank you for the break, will your waistline?
01/05/2012 08:58 EST
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