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, What’s the difference between Bordeaux and Burgundy? And if I use a Bordeaux red wine in a recipe that calls for Burgundy, will that affect the taste of the dish? —Katherine, Phoenix, Md. Dear Katherine, Bordeaux and Burgundy are both wine regions in France. In Europe, wines are typically referred to by their designated geographic origin (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, or A.O.C., in France; Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or D.O.C., in Italy, etc.) rather than by what grape they're made of. For instance, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne are all actual places in addition to being the terms we use to refer to the wines from those places. Bordeaux’s red wines are largely based on the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, along with Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Bordeaux whites are usually blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Meanwhile, Burgundy’s red wines are made from Pinot Noir (the Beaujolais region is technically considered part of Burgundy as well, and the red wines there are made from Gamay), while white Burgundies are made from the Chardonnay grape. You asked about cooking with red wine, so let me speak in very broad terms here. The wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy are quite different. Generally, red Bordeauxs will be bigger, heavier and more tannic or drying than wines from Burgundy. I’d expect purple fruit, tobacco and anise flavors in Bordeaux, while Burgundies should show off red fruit flavors, spice and fresh earth notes. As far as substituting for each other in cooking? I think that depends. If it’s just a splash of red wine, it probably doesn’t matter. But if you’re making coq au vin with an entire bottle of wine, well, that would change the flavor profile a bit. Pinot Noir’s red fruit flavors are ideal pairings with the bacon and mushrooms in that dish, and that might be lost by substituting a red Bordeaux. I’d recommend substituting another Pinot Noir if you don't have any red Burgundy available. —Dr. Vinny
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Is there a universal wineglass style I can use for red and white wines? (Wine Spectator)
Dear Dr. Vinny, I’m having a big party and want to serve red and white wine, but I only want to use one type of wineglass. What do you suggest? —Leslieann, Brooklyn, N.Y. Dear Leslieann, I think an all-purpose set of quality glassware is a terrific investment for wine lovers, because it will help you enjoy your wine. There are a lot of variables and brands and specialty glasses out there, but nice options start at about $15 a glass, and less if you're buying a set (or take advantage of holiday sales). If your budget can go up to $20 or $25, you’ll have even more options. I don’t have an endorsement deal with a wineglass company yet, so I’ll just give you some general advice. Most important, look for glasses with a thin rim. I used to recommend hand-blown glass, but there’s been a lot of advancement in machine-made glasses in recent years, so there are more options now. For a single, all-purpose shape, I’d recommend a tall Bordeaux-style glass (versus the wider-bowled Burgundy styles). I find this shape works well with a wide range of wines, including sparkling and dessert-style wines. I like that they’re a little easier to handle and swirl. They should taper in slightly at the top to concentrate the aromas. I wouldn’t pick anything smaller than 10 ounces—my all-purpose glasses hold more than 20 ounces, but I am an absent-minded swirler, and a bit of a klutz sometimes. Those glasses keep the wine in my glass and not on the tablecloth. If you can, try to hold them in your hand first to see how they feel, and imagine you’ll have about a third of the glass full of wine. Will you be able to do a healthy swirl without spilling? Does it feel balanced? Or is it too top-heavy? I’m not a fan of stemless wineglasses because fingerprint smudges drive me nuts, but they are a good option for households with limited cupboard space or excitable tail-wagging dogs. They're certainly easier to fit in the dishwasher. I’ve found that wineglasses are a deeply personal choice. I have a couple of specialty glasses that represent the types of wines I drink most often, and Champagne flutes that I like to hand out to guests when they arrive (but some of my colleagues have convinced me that sparkling wine is best enjoyed in a larger glass). If it’s within your budget to expand your collection, have fun. I’ve been lucky enough to sit through a few wineglass seminars to know that there’s some science behind all of those shapes, and they can matter. But please treat yourself to some good basic glasses. I remember the first time I set a table and everyone had the same wineglass. I felt like I unlocked an impressive adulting achievement. —Dr. Vinny
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Is it OK to store wine upright if it has a screwcap? (Wine Spectator)
Dear Dr. Vinny, If a bottle of wine has a twist-off cap, is it OK to store it upright? —David Dear David, The primary reason that wine bottles sealed with natural corks are stored on their sides is to keep the cork moist, so that it doesn't dry out and shrink. Screwcaps don't need to be kept moist to remain effective, so yes, it's OK to store wine with a twist-off cap upright. But you should still follow the same general principles of good wine storage, including protecting the wine from light and vibration and keeping it at a steady, cool temperature. Since I like to store all of my wine together, I keep the screwcaps on their sides in the racks with the rest of my bottles. —Dr. Vinny
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Which is the worst-case scenario for a cork: seepage/leaking, protruding cork or sunken/depressed cork? (Wine Spectator)
Dear Dr. Vinny, Which is the worst-case scenario for a cork: seepage/leaking, protruding cork or sunken/depressed cork? —Jasper, Hong Kong Dear Jasper, While all of those can be signs of a wine that may be damaged, you really don’t know if there’s anything wrong until you open a bottle and taste the wine. If I found a bottle in my cellar with any of those conditions, while I might be a little concerned, I’d still open them up and hope for the best. Protruding, sunken (or “depressed”) and leaking corks are all quite worrisome, and any wine suffering from these red flags should be noted as such when sold at auction. Of course, minor variances of a single millimeter or so in cork positioning can simply be a product of the corking process—say, a slight increase or decrease in pressure in a corking machine, or an aggressive hand corker. Protruding corks may indicate that the wine was exposed to heat. Heat causes liquids to expand, and when that happens inside a wine bottle, the only way for it to go is out. That can cause the cork to be pushed out, or wine to seep out around the cork. Depressed corks are less common, and can be caused by several different scenarios, starting with the aforementioned over aggressive cork insertion. It could also be a sign that the wine's temperature has fluctuated drastically: Just as a wine expands after getting too hot, it can contract as it cools back down, sucking the cork back in with it. It’s just as likely that a depressed cork is a sign that the cork was a little loose, or has shrunken due to becoming dried out, perhaps because the bottle was stored upright. In that scenario, the wine may suffer from oxidized or nutty notes. But to answer your question, I’m most concerned about a cork that has leaked. That usually means that either the cork was loose to begin with and some wine got out (meaning that some air most likely got in), or that it was exposed to heat so much that the wine expanded past the cork. The former scenario could result in an oxidized wine, and the latter could result in a “cooked” wine, where the fresh fruit flavors have turned baked or stale. Of course, it's also entirely possible that the wine is completely fine. You never know until you open the bottle: Trust your nose, trust your palate, and try not to judge a wine by its cork. —Dr. Vinny
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Why was Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay one of Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2017? (Wine Spectator)
Dear Dr. Vinny, I was looking back at Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2017 and was amazed that Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay California Vintner’s Reserve 2015 was ranked No. 28. How did it earn that spot? —Alan, Metairie, La. Dear Alan, I also get a kick out of looking through our Top 100 archives. It’s like looking through old yearbooks, except nobody has embarrassing haircuts. Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the Year always features a diverse group. We start with the approximately 17,000 wines we review annually in blind tastings—that means we score wines without knowing the producer or price tag. From there, we look at the wines that rated outstanding (90 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale) and apply the criteria of value, availability and excitement, or what we call the “X-factor.” There was plenty of excitement about the Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay Vintner's Reserve 2015, starting with the fact that it earned 91 points and was priced at just $17. It was also widely available, with 100,000 cases made. Moreover, the Vintner’s Reserve has been a best seller in California Chardonnay for 30 years, and for good reason. It’s a very drinkable wine, made from grapes blended from Santa Barbara, Mendocino and Sonoma counties, then aged in used oak barrels to keep the fruit flavors fresh and spice notes subtle. We thought all of these factors were worth heralding, and made it one of the most memorable wines of 2017. Of course, there were 99 other wines on the list if you’re looking for something different. We do our best to balance styles, regions, price tags and X-factors, so there should be something for everyone. —Dr. Vinny
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