The nip came before the nation. Whisky distillation came to our soils before we were called Canada. European immigrants brought stills and knowledge of distillation with them in the 1700’s. Though it’s impossible to determine who made the first hooch on our terra firma, it is documented that a James Grant was operating a rum […]

NATIONAL POST Friday, May 30, 2008 Presented by I know I should let this breathe, but… Margaret Swaine, National Post These are some of the questions I am asked more frequently about wine: Are wine words baloney? In short, no. All those descriptors mean something. Heck, there are even lengthy lexicons of wine words. There […]

By Margaret Swaine 1. What are some good wine accessories worth buying? Until screwcaps become ubiquitous, the most essential is a corkscrew. There are many types, styles and price levels. The most basic is the sommelier corkscrew that looks like a pocketknife with the worm (i.e. screw that winds into the cork) and foil blade […]

by Margaret Swaine For several decades now, in any given month I am likely to be sampling hundreds of wines sometimes as part of glamorous multi-course dinners, other times as grueling early morning marathons of a hundred or more bottles. The setting can be as rudimentary as a bare bones lab in Toronto or as […]

A wine judge on how the winning vintages are chosen By Margaret Swaine Award winning wines sport their medals like proud soldiers after a victory. Mostly these wines deserve their accolades but every battle is different; some are more hard won than others. Much depends upon the organization behind the competition, the skill of the […]