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Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings May 27

Natalie Decants - May 22, 2017 - 11:02am
You can access the 118 wines that I reviewed for  as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so. Curious about […]
Categories: Wine

What is Wine’s Role in Modern Madness? Finding Our Humanity Drop by Drop

Natalie Decants - May 22, 2017 - 5:36am
​Editor’s Note: I wrote this magazine piece on wine and civility two months after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance than ever, with the riots in Ferguson, ISIS, Jian Ghomeshi, Gamergate, unfettered consumerism, and the mysogenous micro-aggressions that women face daily on social media. I welcome your thoughts here: never loose your voice. In Vino Civilitatis The trouble with moderation is that it’s hard to get excited about it. Until now. After September 11, moderation seems to be rarer than a California cult cabernet. Finding the moderate and the civilized in everyday life has […]
Categories: Wine

The Godfather of Zin: Tasting Zinfandel of Ravenswood Wines with Joel Peterson

Natalie Decants - May 18, 2017 - 5:24am
Last night, we were joined by special guest, founder and winemaker, Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery, discussing the history of Zinfandel. Click on the arrow above to watch the video. Listen to Joel’s witty stories about winemaking. Learn about the fascinating history of Zinfandel. Discover the best pairings for Zinfandel.   If you’d like to read the 42 comments for this tasting, or make a comment yourself, visit: P.S. ​Want to know when we go live next Sunday with our special guest Rudi Rabl of Austria? Tune in here for our Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting: Click on […]
Categories: Wine

Recipe: Blue Cheese Hamburger with Red Wine Pairing

Natalie Decants - May 17, 2017 - 5:36pm
In celebration of National Hamburger Day, pair this savoury recipe for Blue Cheese Hamburger with the full-bodied red wine, such as Shiraz, Cabernet or Malbec. Please feel free to share this on social media with the hashtag #nationalburgerday Prep time: 30 minutes Total time, including cooking: 2 hours and 30 minutes Serves: 6 Ingredients: 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef 2 ounces of crumbled blue cheese ¼ cup of minced fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon of coarsely-ground black pepper ¾ teaspoon of salt ½ teaspoon of dry mustard 6 hamburger buns   Directions: […]
Categories: Wine

What can United do now? We have some ideas.

Corporate Myopia - April 11, 2017 - 3:52pm

It’s hard to estimate the damage done to United Airline’s brand from yesterday’s “incident” on one of its flights from Chicago.  (I’m tempted to describe it in more Draconian terms but there’s more than enough social media for that.)  First, there’s the proliferation of the multiple videos that have now been seen by tens of millions of Americans.  Second, that the man so violently ejected was Chinese has created a whirlwind of social media among many millions in China.  (Anyone for a flight from Beijing to LA?  I hear there are seats available.)  Finally, for today at least, is the tone-deaf response of United’s CEO, Oscar Munoz in which his use of the non-word, “re-accommodate” is getting its own share of Internet derisiveness.  Wow!  What a mess!

If you think this will all pass, consider this:  Today’s drop in United stock has already cost the airline about $600 million.  What a waste of brand equity!  So, let’s assume Mr. Munoz calls you up and asks, “What should we do?”  We can expect the usual mea culpas, compensations to people on that flight and perhaps some people will lose their jobs.  But that won’t stem the long-term damage so here’s a proactive plan to retrieve that lost brand equity.

  1. Send an email to all your customers worldwide. Apologize, but do more than that.  Ask them to answer a few questions that will help you ensure not only that this never takes place again but show United how it can improve its service to all its customers.  As to what questions should be asked, here are a few:

•  How did hearing about or viewing the incident make you feel?

•  How do you think an overbooked situation should be handled?

•  What is the most frustrating thing about flying from purchasing tickets to arriving at your destination?

•  How has this incident effected your willingness to recommend United to others?

Just those four questions – that’s all you need to ask.  They’re all that anybody cares about so don’t muck it up with marketing speak or other meaningless questions.

They are open-ended questions and they should remain that way because people will see that you really are interested in their opinions.  Yes, responses to open-ended questions can be difficult to analyze but don’t worry we have a solution (albeit self-serving) for you there.

  1. Send every person who answers those questions a thank-you email.
  1. Analyze the responses and create needs-based segmentations from the feelings and frustrations that are expressed. While you’re at it, create a lexicon of words that respondents used.  (Here’s the self-serving part.)  Oomiji can do all that.
  1. Create a separate response for each major segment. Compose an email of what you heard, what you learned and that you’ll respond to them again in a few weeks with all the changes you’ll make.  (Oomiji can do that for you too because we append every single sentence to their email address.)
  1. Make some real changes that help solve all the problems you learned about. By asking open-ended questions, you’ll hear some things you didn’t expect.  We’ve found that’s true for every client we’ve ever worked for.
  1. Write the respondents again and let them know the changes you’re making. Send each segment all the changes but put the ones most meaningful to them at the top.
  1. In a couple of months, ask them if they’ve seen any changes and their responses. Thank them again.  You might even reward them because ultimately, it’s the answer to the last question above about their willingness to recommend United that counts.
  1. Repeat this process regularly and make sure you dispense with corporate speak and open yourselves up to active listening, acknowledging and responding. That’s the Oomiji pattern and it works.

Will this get United’s $600 million back?  We believe it will and they’ll reap the bonus of creating a better airline at the same time.

You can learn more about Oomiji at or watch our intro video here.

Categories: Food, Spirits, Wine