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Index of Articles
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The Gentlemen's Guide to Wine on Valentine's Day
Valentines Day implies cocktails, Champagne, or sparkling wine before dinner. Add a hint of pink to the bubbly and a delicate gift of some description and I'll bet that you can make her blush – she really wants to blush...   read more
Combining Cranberries, Wine, and the Turkey Feast
While cranberry sauce is a favourite in my family, I've never been one to partake in the sugar-infused, bursted-berry concoction as it makes its way from person to person at the holiday table. Instead, I find my moment of palate rejuvenation by way of a fermented alternative...   read more
The Curious bottle of '71 Remoissenet
At 42 years, the Volnay will likely live for 20 minutes in the glass and then fade at an alarming rate - I've seen it happen before with Chateau Latour and Marques de Murrieta's incredible Castillo Ygay,  both of the 1970 vintage....   read more
Tasting 2003 Château Haut Brion and 2004 Shafer, Hillside Select
I desire only to create the opportunity to share these experiences with others and to watch their facial expressions as the wine slides across their curious palates. The combined value of these two bottles is nearly $700. Was it worth it?...   read more
These are a few of my favourite things...
With the crackle of the fireplace and traditional carols streaming softly through the air, there is simply no better season to uncork and pour a variety of good wines....   read more
A Change of Season
To most families, Thanksgiving is a time to gather around the table, to enjoy each other’s company, and to share a wonderful meal with a few bottles of wine. With that, may I make a few suggestions to enhance your enjoyment of the occasion?...   read more
Holiday Dining at Home
Three couples are due to arrive on your doorstep for a dinner party of eight. You have spent the morning shopping for fresh ingredients and much of the afternoon prepping the house and polishing stemware. The children are in the basement with a movie and sufficient nourishment to ensure their survival for the next three hours...   read more
The Spirit of Aveleda
Rooms illuminated by torches, crusted with decades of cobwebs, and adorned with vaulted stone ceilings all send my imagination into a state of flurry.  None however, have left me truly speechless - until recently, that is...   read more
A moment in Portugal's Vinho Verde
On a rustic property tucked deep into the stonewalled hillside above a village in northern Portugal, a gentleman recalls a story of two trees. I can only see one as he speaks - a massive oak, with its canopy towering over a hundred feet above our heads. He shares his memories of the other, a copper beech - larger, more majestic, and closer to his heart...  read more
Father's Day Wine Suggestions
With Father's Day just around the corner and the mad rush to buy a gift for Dad imminent – don’t panic, I can help.  Let's start with the basics: you’ll need something concrete, like a new shirt or a mind-stewing brain-teaser from...  read more
Barbeque and Patio Wines
With the hot weather just around the corner, we should also rethink what wines pair with these intense backyard flavours. Rich sauces, marinades, not to mention that wonderful charcoal infused scent will linger for hours and easily overpower many of the more delicate and aged wines... read more
Oh, the Pressure!  - cork etiquette while dining out
The issue at hand is that depending on the formality of the establishment in question, the waiter - or sommelier appears to require some form of acknowledgement and permission-to-proceed before pouring said bottle. With that, I'd like to instil a degree of confidence in those who typically order their wine with a side of doubt... read more

Sharing the good stuff
He then proceeded to down $50 worth of well-aged Burgundy in a single gulp!  The thought of a repeat performance literally sends shivers down my spine and a similar state of paranoia might explain why many wine enthusiasts inadvertently leave their best bottles to age beyond what is considered ideal ... read more

Comparing Graham's 30 and 40-year Tawny Port
This is not the first time I have gathered this enthusiastic group to sip and critique fine Portuguese dessert wine; three years ago, during an afternoon of ‘Fire and Ice’, we opened five bottles of 25-year old Vintage Port with authentic port tongs. The wine on that occasion was as entertaining as it was memorable, and I promised the group that we would do it again ... read more

Cellaring Wine - an acceptable margin of error
During an impromptu visit with friends in the city, I found myself standing in their wine cellar for a tour and discussion of bottle storage. I never decline the opportunity to visit a cellar; big or small, modern or old, be it adorned with custom cabinetry or plastic milk cartons, I am enthralled by the storage techniques that people employ for their personal collection of treasured bottles ... read more

The Riesling Doctor
Just as Bordeaux has its First Growths and Burgundy its Grand Cru plots, Riesling has its legendary vines as well. The story goes that in the 13 century, the Archbishop of Trier was passing through when he became deathly ill. After countless failed attempts to cure his ailing health, he was offered a glass of Riesling as a form of comfort during his final days ... read more

Dinner at the Ritz - a tale of questionable taste
Sparkling wine is made throughout the world, but the name Champagne is reserved only for the wines from France's chilly northern wine making region of the same name. The following guide will clarify a few Champagne related terms that you might come across as you wander through the bubbly section of your local wineshop ... read more

Translating Burgundy
The continued attraction to this exceedingly complex network of vineyards is that once you sample a superb bottle of Burgundy, nothing else seems to shine quite as bright. The challenge, however, is that these bottles are few and far between, and thus it becomes a quest to repeat something that arguably may never be duplicated ... read more

Champagne - a tour of styles
Sparkling wine is made throughout the world, but the name Champagne is reserved only for the wines from France's chilly northern wine making region of the same name. The following guide will clarify a few Champagne related terms that you might come across as you wander through the bubbly section of your local wineshop ... read more

Cellaring Wine - an Investment in Taste
Just as the finest clothing is made from the highest quality of material, likewise, the top wines are the product of the best fruit and the purest expression of winemaking. That only makes sense. Most wine on the store shelves is for immediate consumption. A small percentage however, will continue to improve, developing a greater aroma and flavour profile if properly stored for a few years ... read more

Decanting Wine
In discussing wine and service, the question I am most frequently asked is 'should I decant the bottle after opening it?' Decanting is an age-old debate and many strong opinions on the subject exist, but before we dive into a discussion, let us first define the concept ... read more

Wine Paraphernalia
Just the other day, a friend asked for my opinion on the use of the Wine Vinturi. For those unfamiliar, the Vinturi is not only a play on words, but a futuristic looking funnel designed to rapidly aerate the contents of the bottle. Before I begin, let me also highlight that I unstop a bottle the traditional way - without exception. In fact, as far as wine service goes, I'd be better off in a society that existed a hundred years ago ... read more

Food and Wine Pairing - tips and tricks
In other words, in the privacy of your own company, drink what you like and pair it with what you enjoy. Should your plans include a house full of guests, you might want to follow a few basic guidelines to ensure that creativity does not exceed expectation ... read more

Will this Wine Improve with Time?
I never criticise anyone that puts forth an honest effort, regardless of the subject. Furthermore I would never critique others for the wine that they choose to drink, though sometimes it can be difficult to control your facial expressions when caught off guard. This was one of those times ... read more

A Ghost in the Bottle
With time, a fine wine can also become quite fragile, so imagine the shock when suddenly oxygen is reintroduced to the equation after 40 years. Sealed within a time capsule for almost four decades, the 1970 Castillo Ygay was not only intriguing, but also somewhat of a risk to open on such a special occasion ... read more

I can see my house from up here!
Only after confirming the order with my credit card, did I actually sit down in front of the computer in search of a few statistics on my new acquisition. I read adjectives like: unwavering tannins, harsh, atypical, and 'possibly underrated but only time will tell'. No wonder it was on sale! ... read more

Wine Cellar Revelations
The Dom stares at me each time I enter the cellar; it has for as long as I have owned this bottle. The old Monk is forever present in my conscience, there to remind me of the neglect, taunting me and daring me to uncage and pop the bottle for a house full of guest. How sweet would revenge taste for the old cellar master from Hautvillers if I were to pour a bottle of sour, stale, and lifeless Champagne for my guests? ... read more

Corked Wine or a Flawed Perception?
At the table adjacent to ours, a couple were engaged in a rather heated discussion with the waiter. Apparently, there were ‘bits of hard stuff’ stuck to the bottom of the cork from the bottle he had opened for them only moments before. From my vantage-point, I was unable to identify the label on the bottle but judging by the body language and ensuing performance, it was clearly a finer choice on the wine list ... read more

Body, Texture, and Finish
A gentleman on the Discovery Channel was discussing the concept of body, texture, and finish. He spoke with unparalleled passion for his craft and stressed the finer nuances of detail that make both first impressions and leave lasting memories with every one of his customers... read more



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