Wine of the Week: Summer White Blend, Ontario

This week’s bargain bottle reminds me of a quote from the writer Bill Bryson: “My first rule of consumerism is never to buy anything you can’t make your children carry.” Although I never made my young son carry wine when we were in the LCBO, I did wonder what others thought of a 4-year-old being on a first-name basis with all of the product consultants. Here’s a light white that you can easily carry out to the deck or dock this weekend. Cheers, Natalie Sale Ends: August 18, 2013 Sale Price: $13.95 | Save: $1.00 (Usually $14.95) Natalie’s Score: 90/100 […]

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Apps we Love for Condo Living: Dining and Entertaining

Having friends over for a dinner party, BBQ or for drinks on the patio can sometimes be more stressful than it should be. It can take a lot of careful thought and planning to find the perfect combination of food and drinks to serve that all your friends and family will like. With that in mind, we found some great apps that will help you plan the perfect meal. Natalie MacLean’s Wine Picks & Pairings The app uses the GPS technology on your phone to connect with real-time inventory numbers at your local LCBO store. It also gives you the […]

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Wine Chicken Pairing with Le Clos Jordanne

In the video above, we chat with two Gold Medal winners in The Great Canadian Wine Match: winemaker Sebastien Jacquey and wine lover Darlene Meyers, who rallied thousands of votes for Sebastien’s Le Clos Jordanne Grand Clos Chardonnay to be named Canada’s Best Wine with Chicken. Sebastien joins me from his winery in Niagara, Ontario and Darlene from her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia: –    Darlene describes how her first taste of Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay changed her from drinking red wines all the time –    Darlene and Sebastien talk about why this wine pairs well with […]

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Grilled Fruit Salad, Bocconcini, Mint Recipe and Dessert Wine

Harvest in the Flavours This Season   Fresh fruit abounds this summer. So when I came across this light and refreshing recipe for Grilled Fruit Salad with Bocconcini and Mint, I knew I had to try it. Jam-packed with juicy fresh fruits and fresh Canadian Bocconcini cheese, your mouth will water just thinking about it.   A fruity recipe like this calls for a fruity wine. Rossignol Estate Iced Liberty Blossom is a sweet wine from Prince Edward Island that is made with three different kinds of apples. Another great match is Clos de Caveau Fruit Sauvage, a sweet, yet […]

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Wines for Summer BBQ, Picnics, Seafood: CJAD Radio

Which wines to crack open for summer BBQs: big reds for meats and flavourful whites for seafood and veggies. Seven Deadly Zins, Menage a Trois, Innsikillin Riesling, St. Nicholas Cider and Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc.   Do you have to pay much a lot for good wine? No, and here’s why.   We chat about this and other tasty topics on CJAD radio, one of the largest morning talk shows in the country.

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Best Wines: Sterling Chardonnay, J Lohr Cabernet LCBO July 20

Here are my top wine picks from the July 20 Vintages Release. Full Members can access all 79 wines that I reviewed as a text shopping list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. (Stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so.) They can also add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on their smartphone. This is one of the benefits of becoming a Full Member. The reviews […]

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Wine of the Week: Cousino-Macul Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile

“A bargain is anything a customer thinks a store is losing money on.” – Kin Hubbard, American humourist and writer, 1868-1930 While I doubt that the LCBO loses money on anything it sells, this robust, delicious red is quite a deal at this price. Cheers, Natalie Sale Ends: July 21, 2013 Sale Price: $13.95 | Save: $2.00 (Usually $15.95) Natalie’s Score: 88/100 Cousino-Macul Cabernet Sauvignon Chile An amazing value on the liquor store shelf! Full-bodied and smooth with classic aromas of cassis, blackberry and blackcurrant. A nice smoky finish. Pair with grilled steak or hamburgers. Drink: Now LCBO Code: 212993 […]

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Sommelier Program Graduates: Algonquin College

Although those who enroll in the Algonquin Sommelier Program are primarily from the National Capital Region, the program also has graduates who have traveled from other regions, provinces and the United States for the express purpose of taking the program, a testament to the Algonquin Sommelier Program’s wide reach and respect. Veronique Rivest, pictured above, is the double winner of ‘Canada’s Best Sommelier’, winner of ‘The Best Sommelier of the Americas’ 2012, top-12 finalist ‘The Best Sommelier of the World’ competition 2007 and 2010 and second in the 2013 ‘The Best Sommelier in the World Competition’. Véronique is also a […]

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The Making of a Sommelier: Who Makes the Cut?

Algonquin College Wine Tasting Lab There’s been lots of debate lately over the definition of a sommelier: Is it someone who has taken a few courses? Graduated from a recognized program? Works full-time in a restaurant? It’s a great discussion, and one that was prompted recently by a National Post article on wine critics and their expertise in tasting wine. The Algonquin College Sommelier Program in Ottawa has played an important role in training many sommeliers, however you may define that role. The Program is the first, and still the only, sommelier program in the province sanctioned by the Ministry […]

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Best Wine Bloggers Conference Ever: Penticton, BC 2013

The Wine Bloggers Conference is sort of a cross between a press junket, MacWorld and summer camp. It involves some work with a lot of play and often serves as the kick-start to a summer vacation. Some people leave their families at home for WBC. The majority of bloggers attend every year, so it gets quite old homey with the all the alumni and veterans hugging and kissing. To encourage fresh blood, though, the conference offers a scholarship fund to those who can’t afford the $95 “citizen blogger” fee. What citizen bloggers get is 2.5 days of wine tastings, wine […]

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