Wine and Food Pairing Evening with the Visa Infinite Dining Series

It was an evening of spectacular wine and food at Sidedoor Restaurant recently with the Visa Infinite Dining Series. Chef Jonathan Korecki, a contender on the Food Network’s Top Chef Canada, welcomed fellow competitors Carl Heinrich (Richmond Station, Toronto) and Trevor Bird (Fable Kitchens, Vancover) for a wonderful pairing of French wines and tasty dishes noted below. Wine expert Nick Hamilton provided lively and informative commentary on the wines and why they paired well with each dish.   Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne, Champagne, France: A robust and tasty champagne that floods the senses with freshly baked bread and hazelnuts. Pair with: […]

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Huffington Post Wine Column

I’m excited to be starting a new weekly wine column for the Huffington Post. This online newspaper has a broad reach and so it’ll be great to share my passion for the grape with new readers. Let me know if you have suggestions for future columns. Here’s the second one … Here’s the full text of the article… Top 5 Wine & Book Pairings for the Holidays By Natalie MacLean I’m already savouring the books I plan to dive into this holiday season as much as the wines I’ll enjoy. Just for fun, I’ve paired some of this season’s bestsellers […]

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Lemongrass Acorn Squash Soup Recipe Paired with Nova 7

By Pamela Hatton My Mom microwaves pie pumpkins in pieces to speed up cooking time.  Failing her instructions, I accidentally discovered all squash cook like a charm whole – as long as you poke holes deep into the flesh allowing steam to escape.  A lesson quickly learned… Serves 8 first course Ingredients: 1 acorn squash 1medium onion, finely chopped 1 shallot, finely chopped 2 tablespoons butter 2-3 garlic cloves, finely diced 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed then finely chopped ½-1 tsp green curry paste 3-4 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock (1 tetra pack) or homemade ½ -3/4Cup whipping cream Salt and pepper […]

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Restaurant Wine Lists: Vintage Tips Video

In the video chat below, Lance Hurtubise, CEO of the Vintage Group, a collection of restaurants based in Alberta and Prince Edward Island, chats about great wine lists and service. Wine plays a central role in both Lance’s restaurants and in his life. He’s also just launched his own line of wines. Before we dive into this topic, tell me about your race-car driving mother. You were very young when you started in restaurants: how old were you and what did you do? You started Moxie’s restaurants in 1986: how did you come up with that concept? Let’s talk about […]

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Mediterranean Burger Recipe Paired with Gilles Louvet O Pinot Noir

Mediterranean Burgers Ingredients 4 fresh buns 4 beef burgers 1 tomato 1 onion Fresh salad leaves 2 pickles Fresh goat cheese –preferably a Languedoc Pélardon Fresh cilantro Tobasco Sauce Mayonnaise Ground cumin Ground cinnamon Ground ginger Garlic Salt and Pepper Preparation Slice the onion finely and fry at a medium heat with a splash of olive oil. Meanwhile, cut the tomato into thick slices, rinse the salad, cut the pickles into slices lengthways and slice the goat cheese. In a small bowl mix ½ cup of mayonnaise, 1 tbsp tobasco sauce, a pinch of cumin, cinnamon and ginger, 1 tsp […]

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Taste Canada: Wine, Food and Books

It was a spectacular evening celebrating Canadian wine, food and books at the Taste Canada awards November 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Here are some pictures of the event courtesy of Laura Berman, Greenfuse Photography I’ve posted a short video below with Alison Pryor, owner of Canada’s best culinary book store called the Cookbook Store in Toronto near Yorkville. You can find my first post about Taste Canada here. The food that evening was terrific … a full-on, dazzling display of culinary delights by a number of the country’s top chefs.     That’s Bonnie Stern above, the […]

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Stratus White, Yalumba Shiraz, Messias Port: Top LCBO Wines Vintages Release November 24

Here are my top picks from the November 24 Vintages Release. You can also get all 58 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. You can add my wine picks to your shopping list by clicking on the little shopping cart icon. You can also create a custom list just for this release that will be saved in your account. Print a text-only version of the reviews.   Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2009, Columbia Valley, Washington State Full-bodied, straight-forward pleasure with […]

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How a Wine Name Impacts Price: Dr. Antonia Mantonakis Video Chat

In this fascinating video chat, Dr. Antonia Mantonakis reveals the insights from her research on how the name of a wine affects both our perception of it and how much we’re willing to pay for it. Difficult to pronounce names score higher, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that wineries should use them… find out why below. Why does the ease with which we can pronounce the name of a wine influence our perception of both its quality and price? How much more were research subjects willing to pay for the difficult-to-pronounce wine name? Why is that significant? Who is more […]

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Canadian Brie Fondue Recipe and Sancerre

Canadian Brie Fondue Add a little warmth to the cooler months Let’s be honest. The time between the harvest and the holiday season can feel like an eternity. The weather grows colder by the minute and the sky seems to be perpetually grey, yet there’s no snow on the ground to lift our spirits. So how can you make the time pass a little faster? Why, with a tummy-pleasing appetizer, of course. A personal favourite of mine, and one that I know will put a smile on your face, is Canadian Brie Fondue. Now, you don’t need to be a […]

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Celebrating Canadian Wine, Food + Writing – Taste Canada

Monday evening was a terrific celebration of Canadian food, wine and writing at Taste Canada―The Food Writing Awards. According to Quill & Quire, the magazine for the Canadian publishing industry, the competition drew 73 book submissions this year, “a brilliant snapshot of the vibrancy and diversity of Canadian culinary publishing.” Karen Gelbart, National Chair of Taste Canada, commenetd, “The selection and diversity of the publishing and the cuisine in this country are breathtaking. Our judges were in the unique position of spending time with each of these books — reading the narratives and studying the presentation — to finally decide […]

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