Now on the Food Channel
Now on Bonko TV
Episode 1 - The Big friendly Vintner
Norm Hardie was born in South Africa and moved to Toronto when he was 14. He is one of a select few winemakers who has mastered the art of tasting, growing and making
wine in both hemispheres, in six wine regions around the world. Over the years, his winery has established itself as one of Canada’s premier wineries.
Episode 2 - Tuscany In The County
Tony Auciello visited his family's "pezza di Terra" in Italy in 2004 and was saddened to see that instead of the fruit trees and vineyard that were once prominent, there was now only overgrown bush. But a seed was planted in his mind at the tender age of 24. 10 years later we drop by to find out how Tony's vineyard dream has grown into a fantastic reality.
Episode 3 - Home on the Grange
Today we visit the Grange Vineyard to hear about the unique story of a mother/daughter winemaking team. Caroline Granger grew up on the family farm with horses in the stables, then she got into wine and began the vineyard project in 1999. It was a simple plan for 10 acres of vines, but today she has 60 acres and is now building the business with her daughter, Maggie.
Episode 4 - Wine Is Where The Home Is
There's an old saying that goes something like, "Our home is our castle." However, if you take a drive down Wilson Road in the county you'll come across a couple who say, "Our home is our winery!" Rob and Sally Peck are what’s known as "garagistes", meaning they produce small batches of premium wine out of their garage.
Episode 5 - For The Love Of Wine
There is always a party atmosphere at Sandbanks where Catherine Langlois is the winemaker and owner. With wines like "French Kiss" and "Sandbanks Love" it's no secret why! Join me in Prince Edward County as I discover what makes Sandbanks so special.
Episode 6 - The Dream Lives On
Richard Karlo was the Founder and Master Winemaker at Karlo Estates and was referred to as a "Natural Adept" as he had no formal training. If you had asked him where he learned to make wine, his answer would have been, "On the Street." Sherry and Richard were married in the summer of 2014 but unfortunately Richard passed away in November of 2014. This is the story of Sherry Karlo, and how she is filling the giant shoes that Richard left behind to fulfill the legacy of what they were building together.
Dear Dr. Vinny, Which wines have the most tannins? How can you tell? —Debi, Fort Worth, Texas Dear Debi, All wines have tannins, which are naturally occurring polyphenols. There are a lot of foods that have tannins, including berries, beans, chocolate and berries. The tannins in wine are absorbed from grape skins, stems and seeds (and a small amount can be absorbed from oak barrels). Tannins aren’t something you taste, but they are something you feel, and are an important part of a wine’s structure (that said, a wine with a lot of tannins can taste bitter). Tannins create that sensation of tugging on your cheeks, and can make a wine seem chewy or drying. For those not familiar, it’s similar to the mouth-puckering sensation of drinking strong black tea (which also has tannins). But tannins can also be velvety and supple. You won’t know by looking at a wine how tannic it is. But red wines tend to have more tannins than white wines. That’s because red wines go through maceration, a process of steeping the grape skins in the wine to extract color and tannins—like a strong cup of tea—while white wines have limited tannins because the juice is typically separated from the grape skins and seeds soon after the grapes are crushed. Lots of winemaking decisions can impact how tannic a wine is, starting with the grape variety (some varieties have more tannins than others). Harvest conditions, the temperature and duration of fermentations and macerations and other winemaking choices will also affect how tannic a wine is. Winemakers can even add powdered tannins if they feel a wine lacks structure. The wines that tend to be most tannic are big, dense reds like Nebbiolo, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet. —Dr. Vinny
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What’s your favorite wine? (Wine Spectator)
Dear Dr. Vinny, What’s your favorite wine? —Linda, Sacramento, Calif. Dear Linda I was just having lunch with a winemaker, and she told me that she gets this question all the time when she tells people what she does. I think many wine professionals can relate, even cartoon ones. This is a difficult question to answer, because I like all kinds of wines, and I don’t only drink one type of wine every day—that would be boring! It would be like asking me what my favorite song is. I have a favorite Miles Davis track, a favorite Beastie Boys song, and so on for classic rock, pop and country. What I listen to depends on my mood and what I’m doing. The same goes for what outfit I want to put on when I wake up (though as you probably know, I wear a cape and a bowtie and have a glass of red wine in my hand on most days). So while I have some wines that I gravitate toward, and there are lots of winemakers and châteaus and vineyards I admire, my favorite wine is very much a product of my mood—and at any given moment, it's usually the wine that's in my glass. —Dr. Vinny
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Can TCA or cork taint manifest as just a flavor in wine, without the telltale moldy aroma? (Wine Spectator)
Dear Dr. Vinny, I recently opened a 35-year-old red Bordeaux that has me confused. All was well until the second glass, when I noticed the flavor of old, wet newspaper, the telltale sign of TCA. But there was nothing on the nose to suggest cork taint. Can TCA manifest itself in flavor only? Or was this just the natural taste of this particular old wine? —John, Chicago Dear John, Let me back up and explain TCA and cork taint for those not already acquainted. There’s a chemical compound called 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA for short) that can make its way into wine. It’s not harmful, but it is super powerful and can impede our ability to smell and taste a wine's true aromas and flavors, leaving us with the impression of a wine that smells moldy or musty, like wet cardboard or newspaper. TCA is caused by the intersection of chlorine and plant phenols, which are organic compounds. Because corks are made from the bark of an oak tree, TCA can originate there, but there are other places it can come from, like oak barrels or wood pallets or cardboard boxes. Tainted wines are often referred to as "corked," due to the not entirely correct conception that the cork is the source of the taint. That musty smell is very distinctive, and it’s the first clue your wine might be tainted, but the only way to know for sure is with a lab test. There are lots of other reasons a wine might taste funky. I think that it's also harder to pick out TCA in older wines, because as wines age their fruit flavors fade and more notes of earth, spice and leather emerge, which can make it more difficult to pinpoint a tainted element. Thresholds of perception for TCA vary broadly, but once suspect a wine has it, I find it difficult to get any enjoyment out of it. —Dr. Vinny
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Are wine-bottle capsules going out of fashion? (Wine Spectator)
Dear Dr. Vinny, I bought a bottle of Bedrock that arrived without a capsule over the cork. Is this a new trend? —Bob, Chalfont, Pa. Dear Bob, It sure is! More winemakers are doing away with capsules, the plastic or foil sleeves on the top of wine bottles. Historically, capsules were intended to protect corks from nibbling rodents and other pests (they also contained lead). As long as you don't have rats in your cellar, they're purely decorative today (and lead-free). I checked in with Morgan Twain-Peterson, the proprietor of Bedrock, to get his take. “My general thinking is that [capsules are] more an aesthetic decision than one that has an impact on wine aging or quality," he says. "I would much rather use the money saved on foil and invest it into a higher-quality cork—something that does have an impact on wine quality and aging.” —Dr. Vinny
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Are you considered a "sommelier" if you serve wine at a restaurant? (Wine Spectator)
Dear Dr. Vinny, Are you considered a "sommelier" if you serve wine at a restaurant? Or do you have to take classes and be certified to claim the title? —Taylor, Hays, Kan. Dear Taylor, Sommelier is a job title for a restaurant professional that helps you navigate a restaurant’s wine choices and provides wine service, sometimes also called a wine steward. A somm doesn’t just open wine and pour it; they are intimately familiar with the restaurant's wine program and should be able to guide diners in making wine selections and provide additional information about the wines on the list. At most restaurants, this job title does not require a degree or certification, but there are many formal training programs, the most prestigious of which is the Master Sommelier certification. Job requirements will vary from restaurant to restaurant, of course, but you’d almost certainly need previous restaurant experience and knowledge of wine. Some learn through rigorous tasting practice or travel. The various professional exams or certifications will show commitment, but they aren't required to be a good sommelier. The best ones I’ve ever met have both a practical and theoretical understanding of wine, and are passionate about what they do. —Dr. Vinny
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