Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival: Vintage Pleasure

The Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival is Canada’s largest wine and culinary fundraiser for medical research, raising more than $11.4 million since it started in 2005. In the video below, chef Massimo Capra, who writes a column for the Globe & Mail and has appeared on the Food Network, is one of the celebrity chefs who will be cooking a special dinner this year. He reveals the details of this special meal in the video. You can also watch our second wine video chat here. Chef Massimo Capra has been involved with Grand Cru since it began in 2005, and […]

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LCBO Best Wines: St Hallett Shiraz, Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Featherstone Merlot: October 26 Vintages

Here are my top wine picks from the October 26 Vintages Release, the most quoted Canadian source of reviews in the magazine. VIP Members can access all 67 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. You can also see my reviews for the October 12 LCBO Vintages Release or take a sneak peak at the November 9 LCBO Vintages Release. […]

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A Tale of Two Ruffino Wine Tasting Dinners with Authentic Italian Food Pairings

Our second Ruffino wine tasting took place October 19 at La Cucina Ristorante with another team of our top-notch wine reviewers who share their observations of the wines, pairings and experience below. You’ll find the pictures, videos and notes from the Ocober 18 Ruffino wine tasting here, and reviews of all Ruffino wines here. “The more I drink Italian wines, the more convinced I am that they are made for the purpose of enjoying good food. And when you have the perfect pairing, it gives you the kind of evening we had at the great Italian restaurant La Cucina in […]

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Ruffino Wines: Tasting Italy in a Glass

Our third winemaker dinner team tasting on October 18 featured the wines of the Italian winery Ruffino. Our team did an excellent job of summarizing the wines, food pairings and overall experience of the evening. A second Ruffino wine dinner was held the following night at a different restaurant. You can see all of the Ruffino wine reviews, showing stock at your local liquor store. “Graffiti’s Italian Restaurant in Kanata was the perfect location for a Ruffino tasting dinner with Brand Ambassador Robert Ghezzo. Though dimly lit and boisterous at times, we were nonetheless transported to the Tuscan countryside as […]

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Stratus Wine and Food Pairing Dinner with Beckta Cuisine

Stratus Winery hosted a spectacular wine and food tasting dinner in Niagara on September 28 that featured the cuisine of Ottawa restaurateur Steve Beckta’s three establishments: Beckta Dining & Wine, Play and Gezellig.  I found that the Stratus wines paired beautifully with partner and executive chef Mike Moffatt and chef de cuisine Katie Brown Ardington’s dishes. Click on the arrow above to play the short Instagram video clip. The missing word at the end is windmill ;) Chef Moffatt is a two-time Gold Medal Plates winner and Katie is a rising star on the Ottawa restaurant scene. This dinner paired […]

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Black Hills Winery: Tasting Vintages of a BC Flagship Wine

By Valerie Stride Located on one of the most arid and sunny sites in the Okanagan, Black Hills Estate Winery is abundant in many things – including quality wines. Spread across a 27-acre vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon are carefully grown and handled by the Black Hills team. The microclimate on property, in addition to long hours of sunlight and cool nights, offers this west-facing orientation vineyard added value. The vineyard manager, Steve Carberry, works closely with winemaker Graham Pierce to ensure that the authenticity of Black Hills wines remains bona fide. On October […]

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Wine Score Bottle Decals

   For more information on the gold score bottle decals, please email natdecants@nataliemaclean.com. 15 second in-store video clip (click on the arrow above to play).   Please note: The scores that you use on the bottle stickers must be Natalie’s scores out of 100 points. Please do not use the Community Score out of 5, or convert them to a score out of 100 for the stickers.       Also available in non-metallic black and white:

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Italian Wines: Brunello, Amarone and Barolo Tasting

By Tania Thomas Fall has definitely arrived to the West Coast of Canada. After an incredibly warm and sunny summer, the rain has returned to Vancouver. The air is cool and heavy with moisture; it is the perfect time to cozy up by the fire and enjoy some hearty comfort food, good friends and smooth, velvety reds. Arrival of fall also signals the beginning of the celebratory season and every celebration, big or small, calls for some bubbles. Sparkling wine has been an undeniable celebratory drink over the ages. Stylish and chic, fizz has been associated with fun since the […]

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Squash Herbs Soup Recipe Paired with Riesling

Be thankful for good food and wine. This is my favourite time of the year. Not only is the air crisper and the weather perfect, it is a time when I’m constantly reminded about all the wonderful things in my life that I’m thankful for. Like great family and friends (which I’m constantly surrounded by). In fact, the only thing that makes this time any better is being surrounded by amazing food and wine as well. I like to keep cooking during the holidays as easy and stress-free as possible so I can focus on what’s really important: quality family […]

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Pairing Steak and Red Wine and Other Robust Matches

In the CTV News video above, we talk about fall wines for comfort foods. When the weather outside turns frightful, there’s nothing more satisfying than staying home with a warm meal and a good glass of wine. A steaming bowl of stew, a mouth-watering prime rib or a heaping plate of pasta can bring comfort on the worst winter nights. But the meal just isn’t complete without the right wine on the table. And just as our meals become heartier and richer in the winter, the wines that pair perfectly with comforting fare are of the full-bodied kind. Here are […]

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