Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, Montes Carmenere, Chile Among Best Wines for Vintages Release February 4

Here are four fantastic wines from the February 4 Vintages Release. You can also get all 83 of my Best Value Wines and Top Rated wines for red, white, rose, sparkling and dessert wines that encompass many price points, styles and regions. It always helps to have some back-up choices in case those below are already sold out. You can also add my Top Wine Picks to your custom shopping list by clicking on the little shopping cart icon. Stock up for the weekend, then enjoy! Natalie   Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Sp Spitfire, Marlborough, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc raised […]

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A boldly irreverent approach expertly crafting a pleasing concoction of seamless storytelling and voluptuous food and wine writing – The Globe and Mail

By Kate Parsons In this ambitious and thoroughly entertaining book, Natalie MacLean chronicles her travels to five continents and eight countries in search of quality wines at good prices. Along the way, she meets the quirky personalities behind the wine and picks up a wealth of practical information about where they’re made, what to pair them with and how to find out more on your own. Like some of the winemakers profiled, MacLean is a master blender, expertly crafting a pleasing concoction of seamless storytelling, voluptuous food and wine writing and easy-to-use punch lists. This book is also part personal […]

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Wine Book is Witty, Engrossing and Entertaining

  I can’t remember the last  time I picked up a book and could not wait until I had some free time to pick it up again. I am only on page 72 of Unquenchable and I just love the way you are able to set the scene, it’s witty, engrossing and thoroughly entertaining. As a chef for the past 31 years and a passionate wine lover for the past 20 years or so, it is so refreshing to read a book so full of my own thoughts and beliefs. Too many books and writers making the subject of wine […]

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3 Tips for Buying the Rosés of Provence + Pair with Salmon, Roast Chicken, Asian Dishes and Salads

The last chapter of my new book Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines is about the lovely rosés of Provence. I was fortunate not only to sample many mouth-watering, bone-dry, food-friendly rosés, but I also cooked a multi-course meal with one winemaker and met the rosé-drinking donkey of another. (You’ll just have to read the book : ) Here are my top tips for finding great rosés in your local liquor store, no matter where you live. Cheers, Natalie My Top 3 Insider Tips to Finding Tasty Rosés Forget those notions of pink wine being sweet: […]

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Rainbow Trout Recipe with Brown Butter, Lemon Capers and Pine Nuts Paired with Foxglove Chardonnay, California

A simple but elegant way to prepare rainbow trout. Pair this dish with an un-oaked Chardonnay with citrus notes and a zesty acidity such as Foxglove Chardonnay 2009 from California Serves 2 12 oz. rainbow trout filet, pin bones removed flour for dredging 2 tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp unsalted butter 2 lemons, segments cut away from skin and pith (This technique is called supremed – here’s a quick video on how to supreme a lemon) 1 tsp lemon juice 2 tsp capers, chopped 2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped 2 tbsp pine nuts salt and pepper In a large skillet, […]

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Pairing Wine with Spicy, Sweet and Sour Dishes for Chinese New Year and Beyond

Editor’s Note: I thought I’d add a few more tips to this article below to help with those who plan to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Although there are a number of spicy entrees in Chinese cuisine, there are also many with sweet and sour nuances, so choose a wine that can handle both. My favourite is off-dry Riesling from either Canada or Germany because it has a touch of sweetness, but it also has the acidity to go with the sour element in Asian cuisine. The wine that is bone dry is going to taste bitter with Chinese food. […]

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Drylands Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, Ravenswood Zinfandel, California Best Wine Picks for Vintages Release January 21

Here are four fantastic wines from tomorrow’s Vintages Release. You can also get all 53 of my Best Value Wines and Top Rated wines for red, white, rose, sparkling and dessert wines that encompass many price points, styles and regions. It always helps to have some back-up choices in case those below are already sold out. You can also add my Top Wine Picks to your custom shopping list by clicking on the little shopping cart icon. Stock up for the weekend, then enjoy! Natalie  

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Descendientes De J. Palacios Pétalos, Domaine De Cristia, Beronia Gran Reserva Among Best Cellar Wines in the LCBO Vintages Release January 21

By Gaby Israel 2009 Turkey Flat Butchers Block Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre – $19.95 For all of you out there that love a GSM blend. This one is by Turkey Flat – an excellent consistent wine producer. Obviously, for this price it’s their entry level wine. Nevertheless, got a very good review by JH (94) and RP (90) and seems to be a QPR wine. 2009 Descendientes De J. Palacios Petalos – $21.95 From Bierzo DO, part of the Castilla y León region in Spain (north-west. “above Portugal”). Great vintage in this area (RP rated the vintage as 91). The wine […]

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Baked Ziti Recipe with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper, Fennel and Mozzarella Paired with Alamos Malbec, Argentina

Crowd pleasing and soul satisfying.  This hearty pasta dish is the ultimate comfort food.  The recipe can be prepared ahead and refrigerated overnight making it the perfect dish to serve game day.  Pair it with a fruit forward, full-bodied red like Alamos Malbec 2010. Serves 8 to 10 1 lb. ziti or rigatoni pasta 1 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 small fennel bulb, diced 1 lb. Chorizo sausage, casings removed 1 can diced tomato with juice (28 oz.) ½ can crushed tomato (14 oz.) ½ cup roasted red pepper, diced ¼ cup parsley, […]

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