The sheer proliferation of wine glasses, each dedicated to a specific variety or style, has itself probably been the undoing of that approach to glasses. How many wine glasses do you really need? The short and simple answer: one. 

Mateus Rosé, the medium pink, lightly sparkling, off-dry, fruity, and oh-so-easy-drinking wine from Portugal, appealed not only to cultural and literal royalty, but also to millions of people around the world. It was the most-sold wine in the world in the 1970s, but it was no one-hit wonder: this year, Mateus celebrates its 80th anniversary, and it’s still going strong.

The combination of grape varieties and growing conditions in England results in sparkling wines that tend to show excellent flavour complexity and the high acidity expected of this style of wine. The generous bubbles stream in beads and are often tiny, a trait associated with fine sparkling wine.

Online wine auctions took off during the Covid pandemic, when it was impossible to gather for live events. Now that restrictions have eased, in-person auctions are back. But Iron Gate, a wine auction house based in Calgary, has put together a hybrid: a five-day online auction that will culminate in an in-person auction where online bidders can continue to participate.

Collavini brings together two apparently contradictory practices: making wines in pioneering styles and drawing on indigenous varieties that have grown in Friuli for centuries, perhaps millennia. Call it blending innovation with history.

It’s very unlikely that Marie Antoinette told the French peasantry to eat cake when the grain crop failed in 1789 and left them without bread. But the revolutionaries who later toppled her and King Louis XVI were determined to provide France’s citizens with more than bread: ample supplies of affordable, good-quality wine. In doing so, they laid the foundations for the place of wine in French culture for years to come.

A wine bar, surely, should be a drinking establishment where excellent wine leads the charge. The wine list needn’t have hundreds of bottles, but it should be smart and varied, with a decent range by the glass. And the wine should be served well: in good glasses, at the right temperature, and by informed servers.

One of Niagara’s most reliable wineries for almost two decades, Flat Rock is anything but resting on its reputation. It is experimenting with new styles, such as an orange wine made from riesling and gewürztraminer, as well as a new range of labels. They suggest an intrepid, forward-looking winery.

A successful pilgrimage demands good accommodation, and a wine pilgrimage is no exception. Burgundy is among the world’s most popular destinations for wine-lovers, and the opening of the newly renovated Hôtel du Palais, in the centre of Dijon, is well timed.

In 2016, Andrea Mullineux was named International Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine. In addition, she was invited to join the Cape Winemakers Guild, an exclusive group of 47 of the country’s top winemakers, recently serving as its chair.

Adding a single skin-fermented white wine (aka orange wine) or a low-intervention wine (often known as natural wine) to a portfolio of conventionally made wines has become common. But Ontario’s Rosewood Estates Winery has undergone a remarkable transformation by adopting low intervention production for almost all its wines.

No longer considered a drink solely for special occasions, sparkling wine is now widely drunk on its own as a casual sipping wine, as an aperitif, and with meals. And although champagne might be the gold standard, it has plenty of competition.

Tradition and traditional are powerful concepts in marketing wine and many other products. A commodity or service described as traditional is something that has been around for a long time and is so good that it hasn’t changed; it has survived intact because its quality has been endorsed by generations. Here’s why you should be skeptical of the terms.

The latest alternative to the glass bottle is paper. Paper has two of the advantages of plastic and aluminum: it doesn’t shatter like glass, and it’s very light–the weight of a paper bottle of wine is essentially the weight of the contents.

Chianti is not Tuscany, and Tuscany is not Chianti. Chianti co-exists with other Tuscan wine regions that sometimes struggle to escape the shadow of their better-known sibling.

The pleasure wine gives varies according to circumstances and mood, but many drinkers look for objective ratings when buying it. Reviewers all over the world rate wines out of 100 points, and many bottles carry stickers showing they scored 88, 90, or 93 points. But the 100-point system is not the only way wines are rated.

Since the success of Fuzion, the Familia Zuccardi has gone from strength to strength. Zuccardi attributes some of the success to its being a family enterprise. The person behind this inspired wine was José Alberto Zuccardi, a second-generation winemaker whose father began planting vines in the Mendoza region of Argentina in the 1960s.

Montes is not the only winery in the world to expose its maturing wine to music—some choose classical, others opt for jazz—but at Montes, it’s part of a more general orientation toward winemaking.

One of the pleasures of travel is trying local or regional food and drink, including—perhaps especially—wines. Nova Scotia is home to about 20 wineries, and their wines are quite well represented on the city’s wine lists.

Many wineries, especially in New World regions, make what they call an icon wine. It is generally a limited-production red wine, the most expensive in a producer’s portfolio, and it sometimes comes in a bottle that’s heavier than the winery’s other bottles, as if to alert consumers to the wine’s gravitas.

Pinot noir from the Willamette Valley established Oregon’s wine reputation by the 1990s, and ever since there have been the inevitable discussions about how it compares to pinot noir from Burgundy, considered the grape’s benchmark region.

For decades, many distinguished wineries have pitched their high-end wines as sourced from a single vineyard and even from selected parcels of vines from a particular vineyard. This has contributed to the mantra that their wines have a “sense of place,” already a hackneyed phrase in wine marketing. The thinking seems to be that the smaller the area grapes are sourced from, the better the wine they produce.

In Canada, the main pinot noir regions are Niagara Peninsula and Prince Edward County in Ontario and Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, but there are plantings elsewhere in those provinces as well as in Nova Scotia and Quebec.

With the disappearance of in-person wine auctions, more online versions began to pop up, but most were in the U.S. and Europe, making it difficult for all but a few Canadians to participate.

Like wine regions the world over, Napa Valley has adopted certification programs to help wine-producers do their bit to roll back environmental degradation and regenerate the land.

The conventional wisdom is that once vines pass a certain age—say, 20–30 years—they are better balanced with their environment and tend to produce fewer grapes but that these grapes make wines with distinctive flavour intensity and textural complexity.

While Luce plumbs the depth of the fruit each vintage, the second wine, Lucente (about $35 in Canada), is made in a more approachable and modern style.

The term “flying winemaker” generally refers to winemakers who flit back and forth between the northern and southern hemispheres so as to make wine twice a year.

So as you prepare a meal from this year’s harvest – whether of meat, fish, vegetables, grains, or fruit – complement it with an earlier year’s grape harvests.

One of the big shifts in wine during the past two decades has been the rise in quality and popularity of sparkling wines. No doubt there’s a connection.

Corks, screw caps, and other ways of sealing bottles are referred to as closures in the wine business. But there’s no closure to the debate over the best way to seal a bottle of wine.

Although wines labelled pinot grigio and pinot gris are made from the same grape variety, the names generally refer to two different styles of wine.

French wines are now judged in the context of the scores of fine wines from around the world, but there is a residual belief that French wines are the benchmark against which wines should be judged.

In the 1970s, for example, some leading Tuscan producers rebelled against restrictive wine laws and began to make such wines as Ornellaia, Tignanello, and Sassicaia, whose quality quickly made them more expensive than any other Italian wines.

While many wineries tout themselves as such, true destination wineries are those that wine tourists, and sometimes wine nerds, put at the top of their must-visit lists.

One of the noteworthy wineries in Italy’s northeastern Friuli region, by the border with Slovenia, is Vie di Romans. It’s best known for its fine white wines made both from international varieties and the local friulano grape.

The long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wine we drink are yet to unfold, as are its effects on the economy and on everyday life.

There are plenty of underappreciated grape varieties among the hundreds used for making the bulk of the world’s wine. One is chenin blanc, and, like many grapes, it often goes unrecognized because the wines are better known by their region of provenance than for the grape variety itself.

The current international market for sparkling wines is dominated by two styles: champagne and prosecco. But there’s one variety that deserves a lot more attention.

How do you choose when faced with champagne, cava from Spain, Prosecco or Franciacorta from Italy, sekt from Germany, Cap Classique from South Africa, and sparkling wines from England, Croatia, Chile, and hundreds of other regions?

The combination of art, architecture, and wine—white, red, and the rosé for which Provence is famous— is what makes Château La Coste different.

Does the physical environment that grapevines grow in, especially the climate and soil, imprint itself the wines they make?

Once relegated to the lowly category of table wine, these blends are now internationally beloved.

Don’t think of a sober, sombre auction, with bidders discretely raising their paddles—this is an unabashed festive occasion.

Cabernet sauvignon has long been called King Cabernet and is still deserving of the title.

Many wineries love winning medals because, like high scores from wine critics, they provide external validation of their wines. But what do these accolades really mean?

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Canada isn’t as densely planted in vines as Italy, France, and Spain, but vineyards can be found from coast to coast. To the west are wineries on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, and on the eastern seaboard are a few in Newfoundland and New Brunswick, with many more in Nova Scotia

The popularity of rosé has given rise to wineries creating rosé production programs rather than treating it as a poor cousin to red and white wine.

Whether we’re attracted to a quirky brand name or a picture of an animal, it’s the label that guides us to the bottle.

Although some, perhaps many, wine consumers have either turned away from chardonnay completely or reduced their purchases, many more have rallied to it.

Madeira, the fortified wine from the Atlantic island of the same name, is far less popular than it was a couple hundred years ago, but in the last two or three decades it’s undergone a renaissance.

Malbec has become widely known only since Argentina put it on the world wine map less than two decades ago.

In the world of wine, pink might not be the new black, but quality rosé wines are on a roll. Even though pink wines will never challenge whites and reds in popularity, they are shedding their image as sweet and suitable only for people who don’t really like wine.