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portugal wine region

The stunning Douro Valley.

Portugal has quickly skyrocketed to the top of the list when it comes to destinations travellers are most interested in visiting post-Pandemic thanks to recently becoming the country with the world’s highest vaccination rate. But even before COVID-19 had its grip on the world, it was a country already viewed as an up-and-coming destination for a number of reasons including location, affordability, history, beauty, and of course…wine.

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Wine tasting in flight

A nice welcome from Lufthansa.

Two years. That’s how long it’s been since our last AdVINEture outside of North America. One of the last flights we took before the global pandemic ground international travel to a halt was a return flight from Europe on Lufthansa. As we anxiously prepared to travel outside the borders of Canada once again, navigating the myriad of requirements leading up to departure day proved the most challenging aspect: Are mixed vaccines accepted? Do we need a PCR or Antigen test and within what time frame? Is quarantine required? Where can we get our PCR test in destination? Do we need the new Federal Vaccine passport?

Almost two years to the day of our last overseas flight, we stepped aboard Lufthansa once again to find a much-needed steadiness amongst all the change swirling around us. One thing that has clearly remained steadfast since our travel hiatus is that Lufthansa hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to its five-star reputation.

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Champagne Ayala: Back on Top

Champagne Ayala: Back on Top


Posted on Oct 27, 2021

Champagne wine

Champagne Ayala Brut & No. 7

The venerable Champagne house of Ayala is one of the region’s oldest, and for a time, one of the most dominant. But times change and the fortunes of businesses, like people’s, can change as well. Ayala has seen both ups and downs, but based on recent tastings, we can tell you that Champagne Ayala is definitely back on top. These are now top-quality Champagnes at very fair prices.

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Dessert Wine: A Primer

Dessert Wine: A Primer


Posted on Oct 20, 2021

wine glass

Dessert Wine can provide the perfect finish.

After a wonderful meal shared with great people enjoying lively conversation and eating delicious food, and maybe even with some well-chosen wines, our thoughts and desires often turn toward something sweet. It really is a tasty way to finish off the meal. And wine can play a great role in that finish. This article will explore various dessert wines that can provide the perfect ending to an evening well spent.

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Tete de cuvee

André Clouet Un Jour de 1911.

This series of articles will focus on the top wines from a number of Champagne Houses. In Champagne these top wines are referred to as that house’s “Tête de Cuvée”. The Tête de Cuvée will be made from a strict selection of the best barrels from the best vineyard parcels. The Tête de Cuvée is very limited in production, but it is very important to the Champagne house as it represents the best of the best, the crowning achievement that defines what the house is capable of.

Champagne André Clouet is one of the oldest houses in Champagne, having been producing wines since 1741. We first wrote about their top wine, Un Jour de 1911 after we encountered it while dining at the Herbfarm in Woodinville, Washington. That article focused mostly on the historical significance of that day and what it meant to the future of Champagne and the Champenois. In this article we want to continue the theme of the Tete de Cuvée series and talk more about what goes on behind the scenes to make the wine as special as it is.

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Chateau Couspaude

Chris assessing a glass of wine at Chateau Couspaude in Bordeaux.

Wine scores are those assessments of a wine’s quality that usually appear at the end of a tasting note. The tasting note will describe the wine’s various attributes, such as aroma, flavour, body, structure, balance, etc. and the score will evaluate the wine’s relative quality. Scores are big topic for discussion among wine-lovers and the topic can attract some rather heated views. AdVINEtures wanted to give you our take on wine scores, the different types, how to make the most of them.

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