Showing posts from November, 2016


The violet-scented Syrah of controversial origins has enormous ageing potential. Today this variety is grown all around the world, producing fabulous red wines as well as some of the most exquisite rosé wines.
The mystery surrounding the origins of the Syrah grape was unlocked only at the turn of the millennium. It was long believed to have been from the Middle East.In 1998, DNA testing showed that the Syrah variety was a cross between different varieties grown in France.
Who would have thought that the Syrah would one day become one of the six most grown varieties in the world? In just over 30 years, Syrah acreage has experienced a fifteenfold expansion, now representing 4% of vineyards throughout the world. The Syrah is grown in France, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, California, Chile and Italy, among other countries.
The Syrah has an unmistakable violet aroma, with undertones of fully ripe berries such as blueberries, cherries or cassis berries. With its excellent ageing potenti…

Leva: a bulgarian white wine to discover and adopt!

Leva Winemaker’s Selection Chardonnay, Dimiat & Muscat 2015 Vinex Slavyantsi Bulgaria SAQ Price: 11,35$
What a pleasant surprise was to taste this Bulgarian wine! A regional white wine from the Roses Valley elaborated as a blend of Chardonnay, Muscat and a more native variety, the Dimiat. This wine is absolutely versatile and delicious. On the nose, I have been captivated by its very pleasant aromas of fruit such as pear, peach and mango. In the mouth, it is this fruity character that returns with elegance, with subtle notes of honey and a dry end and strong and very balanced. A wine that I invite you to discover, with an unbeatable price-quality ratio from a little-known wine region that has much to offer and nothing to envy. A mention also important is to say that is a "Fair for Life" wine: this certification guarantees that human rights are respected at all levels of production and that the producer and his employees enjoy the best working conditions. How important is this …

An Italian name for an Italian Zinfandel!

That’s why this  world-renowned Apulian Zinfandel has changed its name from «Why Not?!» to «Perché No?!»

Nothing has changed except for the label since Perché No?! is the Italian translation for Why not?! and inside the bottle you’ll find the same fascinating wine you’re used to, a powerful Zinfandel from the beautiful Salento wine region, in the deep south of Italy.
Bright red in colour, with an enchanting ripe red fruits aroma and hints of dry fruit and spices, it feels soft and balanced on the palate due to the good acidity and soft tannins. A great accompaniment to savoury first courses, roast or braised red meat, game and mature cheese.
Source: Casa Vitivinicola Tinazzi

Maureen Downey & Everledger Join Forces to Combat Counterfeit Wine with the Introduction of the Chai Wine Vault

LONDON, November 18, 2016 - Set to transform provenance tracking in the wine industry, authenticator Maureen Downey and emerging technology company Everledger are today introducing the Chai Wine Vault.

A first of its kind solution in industry, the Chai Wine Vault ensures the value and protection of fine wine investments. The vault secures fine wine’s provenance and authenticity in an immutable digital ledger, powered by blockchain technology. A demonstration and further explanation of this complete solution to protect the provenance of fine and rare wine will take place on November 25th, at 67 Pall Mall, London.
“We’re starting to see the industry waking up to the impact of counterfeits in market but to date there hasn’t been a solution that could adequately verify a wine’s provenance,” says Maureen Downey, owner and founder of Chai Consulting LLC and world renowned authenticator of fine wine. “Wine certified on the Chai Wine Vault has a guarantee of authenticity, ensures buyer confide…

Sushi and alsatian Pinot Gris: both great and affordable!

By Marina La Forgia
Once again I had the chance to eat at Kamikaze Sushi, this simple and friendly restaurant in our neighborhood, and I must confess that I love it because the quality price ratio for this restaurant is unbeatable. The menu is pretty interesting in terms of variety and you can bring your wine!
In this occasion, we have decided to bring and taste this fabulous white wine from Alsace. The Pfaff Pinot Gris tradition is a very aromatic and delicate wine, with exuberant aromas of wild flowers and tropical fruits, lavender, peach and mango. In the mouth, is still a bit sweet but also dry and elegant. It matches perfectly with the Japanese food, such as the sashimi, sushi and an unctuous salad with scampi, one of my favourites dishes from this restaurant. Both, food and wine together, were intact in terms of flavours and generosity. Even with the exotic and tasty dessert (fried green tea ice-cream with a coconut coat) the wine was an ideal complement, adding the sweetness to…

Gold medals announced for 2016 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

Following three days of judging over 1,400 wines, 91 gold medals have been awarded in this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards.
Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said the most pleasing aspect of this year’s awards was the spread of gold medals across a number of varieties and regions.

“Pinot Noir was once again the star performer with 17 golds. Predominantly the wines came from Marlborough and Central Otago, but a Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir was also in the mix.”

“The top wines from other categories were exceptional, particularly from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Syrah, and the quality of Hawke’s Bay Merlot and Cabernet-based wines took a big step up this year hailing from strong 2013 and 2014 vintages.”

In addition to the 91 gold medals, 268 silver medals and 973 bronze medals were awarded by the judges, bringing the total number of medals awarded across the 17 different classes to 1,332.

The ‘best of the best’ elite gold and trophy winning wine…

Welcome to the world of Stobi, unique Macedonian Wines!

By Marina La Forgia
Let me introduce you to these different and still unknown wines from Macedonia. Even if it is a legendary wine region, here in Quebec they are a world to discover. Stoby is the winery that has decided to conquer the Canadian market and I had the pleasure to taste them before the official launch. Stay tuned, they will be seen more often in the market very, very soon! So far, they are available in private imports.
Coming from the Tikves wine region, these are wines with a strong personality. Tikves has the same latitude as Bordeaux or Napa Valley, so the Mediterranean climate conditions are more than optimal to grow the vines.  The Macedonian soil and the sunny sky help in order to produce the best quality wines. The grape varieties include both indigenous and traditional types. In term of quality, here in Quebec we can find some of the premium and best wines. These are my favourites! 
Stobi Chardonnay Barrique 2013
This is a very interesting chardonnay. In nose, it is …

Les Bretèches 2013: discovering the lebanese "terroir"

Les Bretèches 2013 Château Kefraya Bekaa Valley Lebanon
SAQ price : 14,95$
It is always fascinating to travel around the world through a wine tasting. It is a pleasure to feel the aromas and flavors of distant lands. Thanks to this wine, I had the opportunity to go to Lebanon! The wine choice from this wine region is becoming more visible in the SAQ stores and they are gaining fans thanks to their excellent price-quality ratio. It is a good exercise to give yourself the opportunity to leave the traditional producing countries to go to the discovery of new wines… Les Bretèches 2013 is a red wine made from Cinsault, a grape traditionally planted in the Bekaa valley. In the nose, its notes are an amalgam of red fruit marmalade with spices such as cumin, pepper and cinnamon. On the palate, I would have liked it to be a little more corpulent, but I also found it very nice, balanced in acidity and elegant. In these days when autumn Québec reminds us with its cooler days and nights that there is no…

A tour around the chilean wines at La Grande Degustation de Montreal

By Marina La Forgia
Chile has been one of the celebrated countries along with Argentina in this last edition of La Grande Degustation de Montreal. It has been a pleasure to me to walk through the Chilean pavilion, to have the opportunity to taste a lot of wines and to deepen my knowledge on them. The Chilean wines are wines with personality and they continue positioning themselves strongly among the preferences of the Quebec consumers. From chardonnay to sauvignon blanc, from syrah to cabernet sauvignon, the diversity the offer is one of the Chilean hallmarks, that makes possible to satisfy with different options this demanding market. Here are my favorites, all very particular wines that I invite you to discover. In my opinion, there are two varieties to follow closely if Chile is concerned: sauvignon blanc and syrah. It is in this South American country that these two varieties seem to have found one of their ideal terroirs... Cheers!
Viejas tinajas Muscat 2015 from De Martino From the …

A different and interesting selection of argentine wines, and all available in Quebec!

By Marina La Forgia
During my visit to the last edition of La Grande Degustation de Montreal, one of the biggest tasting events in town, I had the opportunity to taste some Argentine wines that I consider different to what we are used to seeing in Quebec. Some of them are hidden gems that need to show off in order to move forward with the typical image of Malbec or the "good and cheap" red wines. I have said it on countless occasions: The Argentine wine is a plenty world to discover because of the diverse wine regions we may find in an only country and because we can find almost all varieties from all over the world! In this list, my favorite ones and the reason why I chose them:

La Chaya Torrontes Bodega La Riojana My choice: BECAUSE IS A GENUINE TORRONTES "RIOJANO"
A fresh white wine from the particular Torrontés Riojano variety with a very nice and delicate floral perfume. This is a great white wine, very elegant to enjoy as an aperitif, at a very affordable price. An…

Discovering the Rivera Rosè, an Apulian wine

Rivera Rosè is the most classical wine made by Rivera. It has been produced since 1950!  As pioneer in promoting the quality of Apulian oenology outside the region, Rivera has started with this fresh, fruity and elegant rosè obtained by 100% Bombino Nero grapes from Murgia hills.
After 65 harvests we are glad to continue receiving interest and appreciation by the national and international press on our Rosè Castel del Monte D.O.C. 2015. The Gambero Rosso wine guide awards it with 2 bicchieri while the famous canadian journalist Ian d'Agata from Vinous by Antonio Galloni ( evaluates it 90 points with an excellent review.
Source: Press Release - Newsletter from Rivera - I vini Pregiati di Puglia


I had the honor to be part of the jury on this important international wine competition which in 2016 has celebrated the Syrah variety. Chile was the biggest winner with 4 wines on the top ten. Switzerland is an interesting surprise, as well as Spain and Italy! 

Every year La Grande Dégustation de Montréal invites producers from all over the world to take part in its prestigious Palmarès. This internationally renowned competition brings together 150 wines for a blind tasting performed by a jury made up of specialists from the wine industry. This year, the Palmarès celebrates Syrah wine.

The complex fruity, spicy and floral aroma of this global variety lends itself to countless pairings which vary according to its place of origin. Featuring a characteristic violet nose, the Syrah develops over the years a rich, complex bouquet featuring a pastiche of musk, truffle, leather and coffee, sometimes enhanced with spicy notes.
On October 25…