Remembering the Moselle

A year ago, I was wine touring through the Mosel River Valley in Germany with  Avalon Waterways on the beautiful Avalon Visionary.  Visit my article on this wonderful experience  Wine touring by River Cruise at 

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Wine Touring on the Mosel River Part 1


Wine Touring on the Mosel River. Part I

There is wine touring by car with a disgruntled designated driver, wine touring by bus with a load of strangers who all need to be poured off the bus after five hours and then there is wine touring by river cruise. The ultimate way to wine tour – a true voyage of discovery:  Our ship was the Avalon Waterways Visionary, our waterway was the Mosel Valley, the Rhine Gorge and Rhine River to Amsterdam, and the wine predominantly Riesling but definitely not all. Continue reading

5 Top Reasons to take a Wine Tour

On the road with Niagara Vintage Wine Tours

On the road with Niagara Vintage Wine Tours

Treat yourself to a real wine tour in 2015 – the kind with a bus, a guide and an itinerary. It’s worth the cost in terms of information, safety and pure enjoyment. Here are my top five reasons why to pay for the experience, at least for the first visit to a wine region.

1 No Designated Drivers

It’s hard not to swallow when you are tasting wines even if you are just taking a little sip, they add up. Designated drivers often succumb to the “just a taste” offers of their friends. The cost of an official wine tour is a fraction of the cost of a DUI charge and the consequences of losing your licence. Pay for the tour, and you will all have fun, learn a lot and come home with a Continue reading

Wine of the Week – Week 4

I started the year with traditional method bubbly, white port, and premium icewine, at last, we’re into  table wine – Prince Edward County Pinot Noir from a  new winery.Broken Stone Pinot Noir

The wine: Broken Stone Pinot Noir ’10, ’11 and ’12
2010 was an extraordinary year for County wine and this wine was made from grapes already on the vineyard from the previous owners.  Michael Pinkus’ review of the 2011 is mentioned below. The 2012 is still from the original vines but lightly oaked and very fruity.

The winery: Broken Stone Winery
Tim and Micheline Kuepfer of Toronto bought a small farm on the Closson Road in 2009 already planted with an acre and a half of Pinot Noir. In 2010 they added another 3.5 acres with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They opened the doors of their winery on Victoria Day weekend 2013.

Continue reading

Where do you brew your wine?

I was having lunch with Paul Marconi, General Manager and part owner of Casa Dea Estate Winery, when an elderly lady and her daughter approached him.

“Where do you brew the wine?” she asked enthusiastically .

Her daughter looked appalled.

Paul didn’t even flinch and replied warmly, “We brew it at the back of the winery dear. Go in and have a look and meet our winemaker.”

I’m a wine tourist. I write from the point of view of people  like that lady who enjoy the wine, the outing and really don’t know diddly squat about wines  except that they like what was in their glass.

I wonder how many times I have asked equally gauche questions and people have kindly kept their laughter until long after I’ve left. Continue reading

10 reasons why I choose Canadian wines

When I’m travelling in another country, I drink their wines but when I’m home I drink Canadian wines for at least ten good reasons. As we approach Canada Day, we need to remember that “made in Canada” is special and worth supporting.

1. Canadian wineries invest in the Canadian economy. You can’t outsource your winery. Even the dragon Kevin O’Leary doesn’t send his O’Leary wines overseas to have them made cheaper.

2. Canadian wineries offer fair wages to their workers. The many foreign workers who work in Canadian wineries  make more in an hour in here than they do in a day in many of the world’s wine producing countries. Continue reading

Maple Madness at Prince Edward County Wineries

Tasting Marqueza port with maple chocolate shots at Harwood Estates.

Tasting Marqueza port with maple chocolate shots at Harwood Estates.

There are thirty wineries in Prince Edward County Ontario and during Maple Madness, 17 of them had interesting gourmet wine pairing events. How did people choose where to go?The wine connoisseurs would probably have headed for Norman Hardie. Norm was offering maple cured smoked salmon gravlox with his 2009 Pinots and Chardonnays or Closson Chase who were pairing Chard and Pinot with mini maple cured ham and cheese sandwiches. Rosehall Run could also have been part of that tour offering mini grilled maple cheese, caramelized onion and apples paired with their Chardonnay.

The traditionalist wine tourists would have gone for the most well known county wineries, whose wines are available through the LCBO with a variety of price options. They might have started at Continue reading