Drinking Wine in the Mountains

This weekend, I’m heading to Banff for the annual food and wine festival at the Fairmont Hotel. I’m looking forward to breathing in the crisp air of the Canadian Rockies, while sipping on some mouth-waterings wines. I’ve heard great things about this festival, but have never attended. On the agenda this year: Hennessy Bertrand Steip, General Manager of Hennessy Canada, takes you through a very exclusive tasting of five of the famed Cognac house’s cognacs including Richard Hennessy. Vintners Reception Enjoy six interactive food stations showcasing the talents of The Fairmont Banff Springs Culinary team. The evening would not be […]

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Sumptuous Pinot Noir Dinner in Niagara

  While in Niagara, I was fortunate to indulge in a Pinot Noir tasting dinner at Peller Estate Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in the Niagara region. Chef Jason Parsons chatted with me in the busy kitchen about his philosophy of fresh, local and wine inspired cuisine. Here’s the menu: the wines and dishes were matched deliciously well! CHEF’S SIGNATURE CHIICKEN LIIVER PARFAIIT Pinot Noir, Plum Preserve ~ Andrew Peller Chardonnay “Sur Lie” 2007 LOBSTER LIINGUINI Icewine Poached Lobster, Alberta Parmesan, Chardonnay “Sur Lie” Cream Sauce   ~ CHESTNUT ROASTED DUCK Spiced Autumn Ragout and Pinot Bacon Sauce ~ […]

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Working the Grape Sorting Table at Canada’s Benchmark Pinot Noir

They put me to work on the grape sorting table at Le Clos Jordanne a few weeks ago. This Niagara winery makes some of the finest, if not the finest, pinot noirs in Canada. Elegant, silky, seductive, these wines draw you head first into the glass. Winemaker Thomas Bachelder is absolutely fanatical about grape selection: that’s the monumental foundation on which he contructs his wines. Here are the grapes coming in… juicy, fleshy and sweet like the fall…     Thomas and I drove out to all of the vineyards to taste the grapes and then compared these to barrel […]

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Drinks Matcher Mobile App in December Chatelaine

In the December issue of Chatealine magazine, the editors have chosen their favorite food and drink mobile apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and other smartphones. I was thrilled that my Drinks Matcher app was among them. The review notes that the app has 380,000 pairings, with new ones added daily. Why, yes indeed it does. You can find more info here. Got a match I’ve missed? E-mail me and I’ll add it. Natalie

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New Wine Reviews

Number of Wines Recommended: 48 Review date: October 24, 2009 The highlights in this Vintages release include:  – 16 wines under $20 – Best value white: Lime-fresh German Riesling for tuna $13.95 – Favorite white: Mouth-watering Niagara Riesling for salads and salmon 92/100 – Best value red: Robust Italian red for pizza and lasanga $12.95 – Favorite red: A Spanish red with blackberry and violet notes for veal 93/100   You can see a complete free sample set of reviews here. Here is the text-only shopping list for the October 24 reviews with wine names, tasting notes, scores, food matches […]

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Pairing Wine with Helicopter & Quail at Malivoire Winery

On a recent visit to Niagara, I was fortunate to spend time with Martin Malivoire of Malivoire winery, a producer of spectacular pinot noirs. We arrived at his gravity-flow winery by helicopter along with Magdalena Kaiser-Smit of the Ontario Wine Council. This gave us a terrific overview of the region (though I was glad to be on firm ground again when we landed) We tasted through a range of his lovely pinots, both from the estate vineyard and from the coveted Moire Vineyard. You’ll find my reviews of the current and past vintages here.     Then we went on […]

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Send back that wine bottle in a restaurant? Yikes!

Anyone who’s ordered a bottle of wine at a restaurant knows the ritual. The server brings the wine to the table, displays it for the customer’s inspection, then uncorks it with a flourish. A small portion is poured for the diner to sniff, taste and evaluate. If there’s something wrong with the wine, this is the moment for the taster to send it back. But few do… By China Milman Natalie MacLean, editor of one of the largest online wine newsletters, at www.nataliemaclean.com, said 5 percent to 10 percent of wines are “corked,” or tainted by a chemical compound introduced […]

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My Wine Reviews: The Movie

Wondering why you should subscribe to the wine reviews? Here’s the short but gripping movie of wines lost (on liquor store shelves) and found again, consumed, shared and savored. Click on "continue reading" to play the video … there’s a happy ending You can see a sample set of my wine reviews here. Join me in tasting on the wonderful wines that this plante produces for our pleasure! Natalie

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Talkin’ Turkey on CBC Today

I’ll be chatting with the hosts of the CBC drive-home radio shows from coast to coast today about wines for Thanksgiving. Tune in if you can and let me know your suggestions before we go live. I’ve posted some of my thoughts on this mouth-watering topic previously. Here’s the schedule (most are live chats, and the times noted are local to that city, but some are taped to be played at some point during the drive-home show today.) 4:10 pm – Live CAPE BRETON (Sydney) 3:20 pm – live WINNIPEG 4:30 pm – taped REGINA 4:50 pm – live SUDBURY 5:20 […]

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