Beer, Wine and Spirits

Blue Gypsy Wines

Brian Preston – The Travelling Sommelier brianpreston@hotmail.com Blue Gypsy Wines of Oxford Mills in Eastern Ontario, south of Ottawa, is owned and operated by Louis Gaal and his wife Claire Faguy. Louis went from being a management consultant in Manhattan, New York, to being a farmer here in Eastern Ontario. He still provides consulting services to […]

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Smokie Ridge Vineyard

Brian Preston – The Travelling Sommelier brianpreston@hotmail.com If you are ever over at Mountain just east of Kemptville,  you have to stop in at Smokie Ridge Vineyard and winery established in 2007 where Paul ‘Smokie’ Leblanc, his wife Debbie and their family, grow cold hearty hybrid grape varietals and make a wonderful range of wines. I […]

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The Spirits of Japan

Brian Preston – The Travelling Sommelier brianpreston@hotmail.com No this is not a story about the spirits that roam the famous, or should I say infamous, Aokigahara, a forest northwest of majestic Mount Fuji so thick with foliage that it’s known as the Sea of Trees and famous as a place where Japanese will go to commit […]

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Dr. Warren Hollis Lombardy Vineyard

Brian Preston – The Travelling Sommelier brianpreston@hotmail.com Dr. Warren Hollis and his wife Dr. Elaine Chagnon operate the Perth Family Health Centre. Along with healthy living and chiropractic care, they have another dream which is beginning to come true. For full details see another article in this issue by my colleague Sally Smith. What I want […]

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A global look at after dinner digestifs

Brian Preston – The Travelling Sommelier brianpreston@hotmail.com The digestif was created for precisely what it sounds like – to aid digestion. One key difference between aperitifs and digestifs is that while dry and bitter helps create an appetite, a little bit of sweetness helps end the meal. Sipping on a vintage Port from Portugal or […]

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Microbreweries are coming of age

Brian Preston The Travelling Sommelier, Portland, ON How often do we prefer to have a cool beer instead of wine to accompany certain foods, which frankly, go better with beer? These include many cheeses and very spicy foods where the wines would be blown away and the tannin and acid levels conflict rather than complement […]

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Beer, Wine & Spirits: Sperling and Gamble Wines

Brian Preston brianpreston@hotmail.com Canadians Peter Gamble and Ann Sperling are more than your average ‘flying winemakers,’ they’re also a super-duo of our local wine scene. Wine Access magazine has referred to them as “the power couple of Canadian winemaking.” They both have a great respect for viticulture and distinctive terroirs, and they like to spend […]

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Non-alcoholic beer: lots of flavour without the booze

Brian Preston The Travelling Sommelier brianpreston@hotmail.com In my October column, I talked about dealcoholized wine and described a couple of the methods used to extract alcohol from wine. These same methods apply to beer. Non-alcoholic beer (or NA beer, as it’s sometimes called) starts its life as a normal beer. In fact it goes through […]

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Beer, Wine & Spirits: Whiprsnapr Brewing Co. has beers for every lager lover

Brian Preston Bells Corners in Nepean has a relatively new craft brewery operating at 14 Bexley Place called Whiprsnapr Brewing Co (www.whiprsnaprbrewingco.com) It’s fourth anniversary will be on Devil’s Eve (Halloween) this year. Cody Howard, son of one of the owners (Ian McMartin, Mike Feagan and Dave Woward) gave us a wonderful tour and tasting […]

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Beer Wine & Spirits: KIN Vineyards makes Carp a wine tasting destination

Brian Preston, The Travelling Sommelier brianpreston@hotmail.com Ominous clouds filled the skies on Saturday, July 8 but ever the optimist I set off from Portland, Ont. with the top down for an hour’s road trip up to the Grand Opening of KIN Vineyards near Carp, Ont. There I was met by a couple of smiling young […]

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Radlers and Rosé: summer drinks to inspire

Brian Preston In this column we will cover spring and summer drinks, specifically Radlers and Rosés. In future columns, I will be covering a range of beers, wines and spirits that are locally available and as much as possible, locally produced. I intend to entertain and inform you each month, and aim to get you […]

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Crooked Mile brews are gaining popularity

Craft breweries are popping up all over Ontario and the craft beer market is no longer the exclusive domain of the large metropolitan areas like Ottawa and Toronto. Smaller towns like Carleton Place, Smith Falls, Perth and now Almonte have their own local breweries. These are locally owned and operated by families and friends that […]

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Washington State wines that go toe-to-toe with California brands

When people talk about wines from the United States, California usually comes first to mind. A big bold Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, a smooth buttery Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley or a dark jam flavoured Zinfandel from Paso Robles or Dry Creek Valley are certainly signature wines from these regions. Other appellations like […]

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Compare grapes to grapes, wine to wine

Sometimes when I recommend a wine on my blog or in Hometown News, I get comments about the wines I selected. For example, someone might say “I liked that Rioja Reserva but it wasn’t as good as a California Cabernet Sauvignon I had last week.” That’s an interesting observation but I also think that it’s […]

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Beer, Wine and Spirits – Mark Cochrane

The partying is over, the leftovers are finished, your pants are fitting a little too snug these days and the bills are starting to arrive. Now you have to make good on those New Year’s Eve promises you made while the champagne was flowing. Maybe you’ll try to start that diet and exercise program you […]

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