Canadian Wine blog

Writing on Canadian Wine by the MWC team Kurtis Kolt (BC), Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson (MB) Jake Skakun (ON), Michelle Bouffard (QB) and various national guest contributors.


  • CHCH Morning Live: 50% Off Shipping on Top Wine Picks!

    On July 28th we were lucky enough to be invited to chat with Annette Hamm on CHCH Morning Live! On the show, we tasted five top Canadian wines that you won't find in local liquor stores, but are available on our site. And in honour of the show, we are discounting shipping by 50% on any wines from the five featured wineries – for July 28th only!

    Note, if you missed the sale, sign up for our newsletter to receive advance notice of special offers!

    Here are the five wineries that were featured on the morning show – as well as the top wine picks:

    • Laughing Stock Vineyards in Naramata, BC
      Morning Live Show Wine Pick: 2011 Portfolio

    The Grapes: Made from the five Bordeaux grape varietals; Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
    The Wine: Aged for a total of 19 months in oak which gives it incredible structure, and presents aromas of dried berries, cedar, and spice with black cherry, anise and herbal notes on the palate.
    The Awards: Portfolio won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence this year in its 10th vintage, and is the flagship wine at Laughing Stock Vineyards.
    Pair It With: Prime rib, lamb with rosemary, roast duck, beef stew.

    Buy wine from Laughing Stock Vineyards with 50% off shipping!

    • Road 13 Vineyards in Oliver, BC
      Morning Live Show Wine Pick: 2011 Jackpot Syrah

    The Grapes: Produced in small, select quantities with Syrah grapes and a dash of Viognier.
    The Wine: Dark and rich with a nose of fresh black pepper, ripe blackberries, and vanilla. On the palate, you get luscious blackberry, mulberry and chocolate notes.
    The Awards: This wine won the Gold Medal at the BC Wine Awards.
    Pair It With: BBQ steak, burgers, and grilled meats of any kind.

    Buy wine from Road 13 Vineyards with 50% off shipping!

    • 13th Street Winery in Niagara, ON
      Morning Live Show Wine Pick: 2012 Gamay Noir Sandstone Vineyard

    The Grapes: 100% Gamay Noir, hand-harvested.
    The Wine: This wine is made from 30 year old vines that yield rich, bold fruit. Wine is aged in French oak barrels and offers dark cherry and spice on the nose, and dark fruit, black pepper, and vanilla on the palate.
    The Awards: Bronze Medal at National Wine Awards for 2011 vintage and winner at Cuvée Awards for 2010 vintage.
    Pair It With: Roasted turkey, duck, grilled red meats and firm cheeses.
    Buy wine from 13th Street Winery with 50% off shipping!

    • JoieFarm in Naramata, BC
      Morning Live Show Wine Pick: 2013 A Noble Blend

    The Grapes: Made with the noble grapes of Riesling, Pinot Banc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Auxerrois.
    The Wine: Made in the traditional style of Alsace, France. Each varietal has been carefully blended to bring the natural aromatics to the forefront. On the nose, there’s tropical fruit, nutmeg, and clove while the palate is more fruit-forward with lychee, guava, and lime.
    The Awards: JoieFarm has been named the “Best BC Winery for White Wines” by the Georgia Straight, and the 2013 Noble Blend has won Silver medal at the Los Angeles International Wine Awards, San Francisco International Wine Competition, Riverside International Wine Northwest Wine Competition.
    Pair It With: Perfect sipping on its own, or with summer salads and fresh seafood.
    Buy wine from JoieFarm with 50% off shipping!

    • L’Acadie Vineyards in Gaspereau, Nova Scotia
      Morning Live Show Wine Pick: 2011 Vintage Cuvée Rosé

    The Grapes: A blend of L’Acadie Blanc, Seyval Blanc, and Marechal Foch grapes.
    The Wine: Certified Organic and made using traditional sparkling methods. Aged for two years, this wine has fine bubbles and fruity aromas of cherry, raspberry, and cranberry.
    The Awards: Gold Medal & Top Scoring Sparkling at Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards, Bronze medal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.
    Pair It With: Any celebration! Also great with pasta in rosé sauce, lobster risotto, roasted chicken, and mild cheeses.
    Buy wine from L’Acadie Vineyards with 50% off shipping!

    How It Works:
    • Go to
    • Add wines to your cart from any of the five wineries above that were featured on the morning show
    • Check out (please note that the shipping costs have already been reduced by 50%, so the shipping cost that you see when you check out is the sale price)
    • Rest easy knowing that you got a screaming deal for top wine that will be delivered right to your door!

  • The Friday Files: News and Notes from Canada's Wine Scene

    In Ontario, Winemakers taste success at Toronto farmers markets. The government pilot project is a win for wineries and wine drinkers. You can now find many of the top Niagara and Prince Edward Country wineries behind stalls in eighteen of TO's farmers markets. Continue reading

  • The 411 on the i4c

    Having just returned from the fabulous i4c (the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Conference) in Niagara, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about just how food-friendly and versatile the grape is when not hammered by crazy oak or over-ripeness.

    Of the 100ish (!) that I tried over the weekend, the best brought balance, a theme given great importance right from the opening of Friday’s “The School of Cool” panel sessions moderated by John Szabo MS and featuring (among others) Tim Atkin MWChristy Canterbury MW, as well as winemakers, producers and writers from Niagara, Tasmania, Okanagan Valley, California, Burgundy and more.

    The balance spoken of was mostly regarding ripeness, acidity, and oak, and was on display over the weekend at the number of food-and-wine events throughout Niagara.

    13th Street Winery hosted i4c attendees the Friday night at the Barrels & Bonfires event, which featured dozens of Chardonnays paired with dishes such as roasted suckling pig – smoked over burning Chardonnay barrel staves - as well as Chardonnay-smoked salmon, both made by PigOut Roasters. If you don’t feel like roasting a whole pig, try their Cubano pork tenderloin with mojo marinade.

    Sides included a number of salads: toasted orzo pasta saladpotato salad with charred corn and buttermilk dressingmarinated vegetable salad, and a quinoa salad. (see links for suggestions for similar dishes)

    The wines showed beautifully – especially 13th Street’s 2012 June’s Vineyard Chardonnay. With plenty of ripe apple, mineral, bright citrus and tropical fruit notes on the medium-bodied palate, the acidity on this un-oaked Chardonnay was kept well in check.

    The next night’s event, the Cool Climate Chardonnay World Tour, was held outdoors at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, and featured a family-style setting where guests could pass around menu items while winemakers and export managers came around with their wines.

    While I didn’t get a detailed list of ingredients in all the dishes, the wines I tasted paired beautifully with roast chickensmoked trout, a spicy Moroccan carrot salad, a gorgeous tomato panzanelladuck cassoulet and more.

    Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson paid his way through school hucking cases at wine shops. He's now the weekly wine columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press, and judges at wine competitions across the country. He Tweets & Instagrams @bensigurdson.

  • Hot Hot Heat: BC Wine Country is on Fire

    This summer is a scorcher for the Okanagan, British Columbia’s largest grape growing region. A week of unrelenting heat and no rain have turned the valley into a tinderbox, and it’s burning up – one hectare at a time. More than 40 new wildfires were reported in the last 24 hours, with the Okanagan battling three of note: Apex Mountain (Penticton), Campbell Mountain (on Naramata Bench), and Smith Creek (West Kelowna). Continue reading

  • The Friday Files: News & Notes from Canada's Wine Scene

    Wine Spectator magazine has revealed the winners in the annual Restaurant Wine List Awards (to be published in print Aug. 31). Three Canadian restaurants took home Grand Awards, the highest possible honour: Toronto's Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur, Lake Louise's Post Hotel Dining Room, and Etobicoke's Via Allegro Ristorante. A total of 195 awards were handed out to Canadian restaurants. Continue reading

  • Honing In On Terroir

    Last month I attended VieVinum in Vienna – it’s Austria’s big annual wine show, bringing together hundreds of producers from throughout the country’s four main wine-producing regions. Set in the breathtaking Hofburg Palace – the official residence of the president of Austria and former home to the Habsburg empire – I was fortunate to taste through some stunning wines, both white and red. Continue reading

  • The Friday Files: News & Notes from Canada’s Wine Scene

    In The Vancouver Sun, Anthony Gismondi shares his take on the Okanagan Valley’s “coming-of-age moment.”

    Better than nothing, riiight? Looks like Ontario grape growers are getting a two per cent raise. Continue reading

  • Canadian Wine: The Best of Both Worlds

    Originally from Québec, I have been living in Vancouver as an expat for the last 18 years. Expat might seem like a strong word, but the difference in culture justifies it precisely. The lifestyle is completely different, and it starts at the table. Continue reading

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