Wine Wars: The Past, Present and Future of Rioja

Wine Wars: The Past, Present and Future of Rioja

There’s a war raging over Rioja, a wine, usually red, named for a region in northeastern Spain. Historically admired for its subtle, oak-aged wonders, Rioja is at the centre of a worldwide conflict over just wine should taste. Jonathan Nossiter underlined Rioja’s troubles in his 2007 book, Taste and Power. In the book, so far only available in French, Nossiter

Sherry: Tragically Underrated

Sherry: Tragically Underrated

Sherry – a fortified wine from the region around the Spanish town of Jerez – might be the world’s most underappreciated wine. That’s probably why the Spanish grape varieties Palomino Fino and Pedro Ximenez, which are used to make dry sherry, have been called incomparably dull. We beg to differ. Grown in a mix of sand and clay under the

A Guide to Zinfandel

A Guide to Zinfandel

Don’t let the snarky little book, The Wine Snob’s Dictionary (2008), put you off. In it, authors David Kamp and David Lynch describe Zinfandel as “the most fetishized varietal this side of Pinot Noir.” In truth, Zinfandel is a wonderful, early ripening grape, and the resulting wine is high in alcohol, and fragrant with intensely spicy, dark fruit. Even Kamp

Muscat: Your Winter Escape

In the dead of winter, try Muscat – a versatile grape reminiscent of summer. In both dry and sweet styles, this variety, believed to be the world’s oldest, is magnificently fragrant, floral and grapey. Unusually for wine grapes, Muscat grapes are also tasty for eating – and are often used to make raisins. Though most novice drinkers will prefer Muscat’s

Backstage Access for Wine

Backstage Access for Wine

You may know that the LCBO is the world’s largest wine buyer; more surprising is that nearly three-quarters of the wine in Ontario never sees a store shelf. To enjoy so many great wines, you either have to frequent top restaurants or find yourself a wine agency, a small company that deals directly with restaurants and a wine-savvy clientele. Like

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