All posts by Igal Amsallem

Guided Tours to Bordeaux

Libourne (Bordeaux)

As part of our partnership with Astor Travels, we are pleased to offer a very special 8 day river cruise tasting tour of Bordeaux. This tour, guided by Igal Amsallem, offers:

  • DAY 1: Bordeaux (embark)
 – Arrive at Bordeaux-Merignac International Airport, where you will be transferred
 to the ship. 
FEATURED EXCURSION: Cadillac, Chateaux and Sauternes vineyards with exclusive artisanal wine-pairing lunch at Chateau de Cazeneuve.
  • DAY 2: Cadillac Bordeaux – 
Embark today on a fascinating study of Sauternes, the highly prized, golden-hued dessert wine that takes its name from the region. Meet friendly local winemakers, sample a variety of fine vintages and savour an elegant lunch with paired wines at Château de Cazeneuve, an 85-acre estate with a centuries-old manor house. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.(Note: Sailing on this stretch of the Garonne depends on the tides. If it is not possible to sail to Cadillac, you will be taken to your destination via motorcoach.) FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Médoc panoramic tour with exclusive wine tasting OR exclusive guided “Go Active” vineyard bicycle ride with wine tasting
  • DAY 3: Cruising the Garonne River and Gironde Estuary, Pauillac
 – Cruise the Garonne to the pretty town of Pauillac, gateway to the fabled Médoc wine route. You’ll have a panoramic tour of the heart of the celebrated Haut-Médoc wine-growing region and taste wines at a local winery. As an alternative, you can choose to experience the local terroir in an entirely different and memorable way, with a wine tasting and a guided bike ride through the lush Médoc vineyards.
  • DAY 4: Blaye, cruising the Gironde Estuary and Dordogne River, LibourneFEATURED EXCURSION: Scenic drive along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie with Blaye Fortress
 – Head ashore for a wonderfully scenic drive along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie, which winds its way through picturesque hamlets filled with old stone houses. Later, you’ll have a guided walk through the imposing 17th-century Blaye Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • DAY 5: Libourne (Saint-Emilion)
 – Saint-Émilion was the first UNESCO-designated wine-growing region, and its verdant vineyards have flourished since ancient Roman times. The quaint city of the same name is known for its 12th-century Monolithic Church, carved out of limestone rock and extending partially underground. After your walking discovery tour, make your way to the cellars of a Premier Grand Cru estate for a wine tasting. FEATURED EXCURSION: Saint-Émilion walking discovery tour with wine tasting.
  • DAY 6: Libourne, cruising the Garonne River, Bordeaux – 
Libourne’s sprawling farmers’ market is a food lover’s paradise, with stands selling fresh produce, cheeses, charcuterie and more. Explore its bounty with a local expert and take a peek inside the workshops of talented local artisans. Later, enjoy an exclusive evening tour of the city of Bordeaux. FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Libourne “Village Day” with farmers’ market, and exclusive private evening tour of Bordeaux
  • DAY 7: Bordeaux – Discover the best of the city of Bordeaux on a special guided walking tour that features luxury food halls, local delicacies such as canelés and chocolates, grand 18th-century architecture and a popular wine bar. Or, you can choose to “Go Active” and see the sights on a guided bike ride. You’ll also have free time to explore this charming and historic city on your own. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bordeaux walking tour OR exclusive guided “Go Active” bicycle ride through the Bordeaux backstreets.

  • DAY 8: Bordeaux (disembark), transfer to the airport – 
Disembark the ship and transfer to Bordeaux–Mérignac International Airport for your flight home.

Full information in the tour flyer (220K PDF). Please contact us for prices.

Thanks to Flickr user Tourisme Libournais and photographer Steve Le Clech for making his photo of the city of Libourne available to use under a Creative Commons license.

Guided Tours to Tuscany and Umbria

Sunrise in Tuscany

Ambiance Vins is pleased to announce a partnership with Astor Travels to offer a very special 8-day/8-night tasting tour of Tuscany and Umbria. This tour, guided by Igal Amsallem, offers:

  • 8 nights with breakfast in 4-star hotels as in the tour description;
  • 2 special lunches in Narni and Montalcino;
  • 5 three-course dinners, including special dinners in Rome, Spoleto, Perugia, and Orvieto ;
  • Half day guided tour in Narni, Spoleto, Assisi, Perugia, Siena, San Gimignano, Rome;
  • Olive oil tasting in Spello;
  • Visit the Perugina Baci chocolate factory;
  • Brunello wine tasting and lunch in Montalcino;
  • Pasta demonstration including lunch in Spoleto;

Price: $1,600 per person, not including international flights to/from Rome.

Full information in the tour flyer (500K PDF).

Thanks to Flickr user Didier Baertschiger for making his photo available to use under a Creative Commons license.

The new Ambiance Vins’ tasting event calendar has arrived !

Ambiance Vins is proud to present its new wine/whisky tasting calendar for the months of January and February 2015. Every couple of months, the Ambiance Vins’ calendar will feature amazing wine and whisky tasting events around original themes.

Stay tuned and please come back and visit the tasting calendar regularly to not miss any occasion to discover and taste exceptional products!

Happy Holiday Season !

Dear Wine/Whisky Enthusiast,

Ambiance Vins’ 2014 tasting calendar is over and I would like to thank you all for your business and your loyalty to my tasting events.

It has been an amazing and exciting year, full of many tasting events and great wine and spirits experiences! 2015 will be even greater with exceptional tasting events.

In the coming days, a newsletter will be sent to you with the calendar or Winter/Spring 2015 events.

If you wish to join Ambiance Vins’mailing list, please send an email

Thank you and I wish you a wonderful Holiday Season, Merry Christmas and my best wishes of health, happiness and prosperity to you and your family.

Your Sommelier,
Igal Amsallem

Single Malt Aging Series Part 1: 18 Year Old Malts – Dec. 9 – CSI Regent Park Toronto

Ambiance Vins presents 3 series of single malts tasting with at a different age: 18, 21 and 25 year. Igal Amsallem, certified Sommelier and Wine & Spirits Educator will introduce the first serie of 18 year old malts.
Six malts from famous distilleries in Scotland willl illustrate each theme. Please join us at the CSI Regent Park to this special single malt tasting.








Platters of fine cheeses & charcuteries served with assorted crackers,
baguette slices and fruits.

Admission price: $85 . Click here to book online

Champagne Sabering Academy – Dec. 2 – The Vintage Conservatory – Toronto

For the first time at the Vintage Conservatory, Ambiance Vins will present a Champagne Sabering session. Have you ever wanted to saber a bottle of champagne on a perfect way? This is the great occasion for you to become a Master champagne saberer.

Each of the guest will saber a bottle of champagne with an authentic hand crafter Laguiole Champagne saber. The sabering session will be followed by a champagne tasting paired with fine hors-d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Andrew Carleton-Smith.

A diploma delivery ceremony will close the event.

Admission price: $80.


Explore Kentucky Bourbon Whiskies – Dec.16 – CSI Regent Park Toronto

Kentucky Bourbon Lovers, it is your time ! Ambiance Vins invites you to a great bourbon tasting event on Tuesday December 16 at CSI Regent Park.

Bourbon Tasting Program

-Jim Beam, Basil Hayden
– Buffalo Trace, Stagg Jr.
– Four Roses, Single Barrel
– Maker’s Mark 46

– Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare 10 Year Old
– Rittenhouse Straight Rye 100 Proof

Platters of cheeses, charcuteries, fruits, crackers and fresh sliced baguettes served.

Admission price: $45.   Click here to book online

The Grain & The Milk: Scotch Single Malts and Cheese Tasting – Chabichou – Nov. 12

The Grape & the Milke makes a break with wine and becomes the Grain & The Milk Tasting, the time to explore and taste together amazing Scotch single malts, paired with a nice selection of fine cheeses. An unpublished tasting concept at Chabichou that will delight all the Scotch single malt enthusiasts.

Five single malts from the main whisky regions of Scotland will be featured: Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, Western Islands, Islay.

Admission fee: $45    Click here to book online.