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Tag: High Spirits

Raise a glass to a vintage year

When Mother Nature conspires to create a stellar harvest I step into the lagare, the deep purple juicy grapes reach nearly up to my knee. It's my first crush and I'm ecstatic. This is wine country Portugal, in the heart of the Douro Valley, where grapes are foot trodden, vineyards cling to the steep banks stretching to the sky, grapes are hand picked, and tradition reigns. Pressing grapes is a delicate undertaking, as the pressure use to squeeze grapes must be gentle enough to avoid releasing bitter tannins from the seeds. A process the Portuguese still believe is best...

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Summer wine picks

Refreshing whites, rosés and juicy reds to soften that summer heat Settle into a patio chair and throw some ice in the cooler. Here’s some crisp refreshing summer wines to help you through those hot afternoons and warm evenings. These summer sips offer a journey through the season, from the scent of fruit blossoms, strawberries and raspberries to the tastes of crisp green apples and tangy lemon, lime and grapefruit. Summer wines are aromatic and fragrant, if not heady on the nose, and promise a refreshing mouth watering finish. White grapes such as Riesling, Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc...

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Similkameen Round-Up

New vineyards, new wineries, new players. See what’s shaking in this burgeoning wine region. In the fruit-growing countryside around Cawston and Keremeos, wineries of the Similkameen Valley are winning accolades for excellence. On a recent visit I unearthed new wineries and structures, adding vibrancy to a wine region already abuzz with excitement. The star attraction is Seven Stones Winery, 10 kilometres south of Cawston. Owner/winemaker George Hanson’s stepson, talented concrete specialist Colin Wilson, designed and built a 3,000 square foot underground cave with a 300 barrel capacity, waterfall and remarkable wrought iron trappings. Access to Hanson’s “man cave” is...

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Find your vinotype: There’s a reason you like the wines you like

There’s a reason you like the wines you like; see where your taste buds fit The concept of “vinotypes” challenges conventional thinking about wine. The notion of supertasters—people with heightened sensitivity to a relatively narrow group of compounds—is bandied about quite a lot in wine circles. The implication is that they are superior tasters and anyone who claims to be a wine expert must, by definition, be a supertaster. Not true, according to Tim Hanni, the Napa-based Master of Wine who developed vinotyping after 20 years of research into consumer wine preferences, behaviours and attitudes. In his book Why...

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