Zinfandel: Tasting and Understanding America’s Great Grape and Wine






By Travis Oke When it comes to American wine I think you need to understand Zinfandel.  It’s as misunderstood as how Al Gore invented the internet.  Zinfandel used to be your Grandmother’s pink sweet wine. In fact, I had somebody at a party recently ask me, “How is this red wine a Zinfandel, I thought it was a pink wine.”  I had the owner of a café recently ask me not to select a Zinfandel for their wine list because people wouldn’t buy it. I am here to sing the praises of Zin as the great American grape – which […]






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Terre Nere Brunello Di Montalcino, Corte Riva Cabernet Sauvignon, Finca Sobreno Crianza Best Cellar Wines in LCBO Vintages Release March 31






By Gaby Israel For the cellar France – Chateau Haut-Surget 2009 – $24.95 So much has been said and written about this amazing vintage in Bordeaux especially in terms of  comparing its quality to other legendary vintages such as 1990 and 1982. This wine from Lalande-de-Pomerol is a typical Right-bank blend of 70% Merlot, 15% Cab Sauv, 15% Cab Franc. An excellent review in WS scored it 90-93 and thought the wine a good value. This wine could probably be cellared for 8-12 years, which makes it a GPCi bargain. So if you like good Bordeaux wines and want to try […]






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Stag’s Leap Chardonnay, Rufus Stone Shiraz, Flagstone Cabernet: Best LCBO Wines






Here are my top picks from the March 31 Vintages Release. You can also get all 77 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. I’ve also already posted my picks for April 14. You can also add my wine picks to your custom shopping list by clicking on the little shopping cart icon. Stock up for the weekend, then enjoy! Natalie     Zuccardi Chardonnay, Argentina A terrific, lovely white with floral and white peach notes. No heavy oak. Summer day wine. […]






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Recipe: Tagliatelle Mushroom Ragù and Illuminati Riparosso






Tagliatelle with Mushroom Ragù A rich, hearty pasta dish featuring earthy mushrooms in a tomato red wine sauce. The recipe is fairly quick to prepare for an easy weekday meal. Enjoy the dish with a fruity, lush red like Illuminati Riparosso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009, a terrific bargain at $12.95. Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 1 ½ cups mixed dried wild mushrooms (any mixture of porcini, shiitake and morels) 3 tbsp quality olive oil 1 onion, peeled and chopped finely 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced 2 cups cremini mushrooms, stems removed […]






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Spring Lamb Recipe with Don Maximiano Cabernet Sauvignon or Tyrrell’s Semillon






My good friend and chef extraordinaire Tracey Black developed this tender and juicy recipe for Spring Navarin of Lamb. Tracey will be re-opening her fine food store and Ottawa-based catering and gourmet take-away store in early April. Details below along with my wine pairings for this dish. Serves 4 Ingredients 2 pounds boneless lamb leg or shoulder Salt and pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 1 cup red wine 1 cup canned tomatoes with juice, seeded and crushed 3 cups […]






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Recipe for Chorizo Cheese and Black Bean Dip Paired with La Posta Cocina Tinto, Argentina






Warm Chorizo Cheese and Black Bean Dip A crowd pleasing dip featuring oozing melted cheese and black beans with a touch of heat from jalapeno peppers and chorizo sausage. A perfect pairing to try would be La Posta Cocina Tinto 2010, a blend of Malbec, Syrah and Bonardo from Argentina. If you are unable to find chorizo, substitute hot Italian sausage or even turkey sausage and serve the dip with tortilla chips or pita triangles. Serves a crowd (8 to 10) 1 lb. bulk chorizo sausage 1 cup onion, diced finely 2 tbsp fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional) 1 […]






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Jazz and Wine Matching: Ontario Wine Society Toronto March 22






Thursday, March 22, 2012 6:30pm Reception 6:30 7:15pm Jazz and Wine Matching After a year off, our unique Jazz and Wine Matching event is back by popular demand … this time at Casa Loma in partnership with the Kiwanis Club. The live jazz will be performed by Elise Legrow and friends. The wines for the event have been specially selected for this event and include many award winners. Food to match with the jazz and wine will be provided by the Castle’s caterers – Pegasus. 8 different jazz tunes will be matched with 8 different VQA wine types and 8 […]






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Wine and Cheese Pairing Awaken your senses in Reif Estate’s Wine Sensory Garden at Canada Blooms






Reif Estate Winery invites you to explore their Wine Sensory Garden at Canada Blooms March 16 through 25 at the Direct Energy Centre, in Toronto. Contemplate the colours, aromas and flavours used to describe wines in a relaxed garden oasis created by Mori Gardens. It is sure to inspire! Reif Estate will share VQA wines that will pair perfectly with cheese samples presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada. Choose from a Riesling or Cabernet Merlot or try our Trend Wines by Steven and Chris. Great giveaways include garden party charms, recipe cards and special offers to visit the winery this […]






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LCBO Wine Buying List with Bottle Stock Numbers in LCBO Stores Near You






How do you know which LCBO stores closest to you have the wines you want? Easy! Just takes 4 clicks… no more running from store to store to shop. 1. Join our community (you get two free months to try this premium service, basic is always free) and half way down your account page, fill in your postal code, click on the Update button. Now the 5 LCBO stores closest to you have been automatically selected for you. 2. Have fun picking the wines: just click on the Shopping Basket symbol. A green check mark appears after you do. (If […]






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