The Great Canadian Wine Match: The BBQ Edition

In May 2013, we launched the first People’s Choice Wine Awards with The Great Candian Wine Match. Thousands of wine lovers from coast to coast (and around the planet) voted for their favourite Canadian wines online and via social media. This friendly (and increasingly social ;) competition brought wine drinkers and winemakers together to celebrate the best of what we produce in this country, and garnered considerable media recognition for both nominees and winners. We’re building on that success this year with The Great Canadian Wine Match: The BBQ Edition, pairing Canadian wines with your favourite grilled or barbecued foods, […]

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Win a $3000 Weber Summit Gas Grill + Prizes in The Great Canadian Wine Match

Nominate your favourite Canadian wine in The Great Canadian Wine Match: BBQ Edition, and you could win the Grand Prize, The Weber® Summit® S-670™ gas grill, Weber’s top-of-the-line grill worth more than $3,000! You could also wine one of 25 Weber Cookbooks or one of 5 sets of grilling utensils. Nominate your favourite Canadian wines today! Grand Prize: Weber® Summit® S-670™ Gas Grill The Weber® Summit® S-670™ gas grill takes normal grilling up several notches with Weber’s innovative Sear Station™ technology. The Sear Station™ is a dedicated area in the middle of the grill which reaches temperatures of 800 to […]

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Rhone Red Wines from France Featured in the LCBO Vintages May 24

Rhone wines from France are the focus of the LCBO Vintages Release on May 24. This is just a sampling of wine ratings, the most quoted Canadian source of reviews in the Vintages Magazine. You can access the 81 wines that I reviewed for May 24 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. You can also see my wine reviews for May 10. You can also add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on […]

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Barbecue Bruschetta Cheddar Recipe

Cheddar cheese and tomatoes are naturally made for each other. Their combined acidity accented with fresh herbs is a great base for the following appetizer. Salsa Ingredients: 2½ cups Roma tomatoes, seeded & diced    625 mL ½ cup red onion, minced    125 mL ¼ cup cilantro, minced    50 mL 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded & minced    1 1 garlic clove, minced    1 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil    30 mL 2 tsp fresh lime juice    10 mL ½ tsp salt     2 mL ¼ tsp Ground black pepper    1 mL 1 baguette (approx. 18-inches/45 cm)    1 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive […]

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Australian Shiraz, Cabernet, Chardonnay: LCBO Vintages June 7

Shiraz, Cabernet and Chardonnay from Australia hit the spotlight in the LCBO Vintages Release June 7. This is just a sampling of wine ratings, the most quoted Canadian source of reviews in the Vintages Magazine. You can access the 66 wines that I reviewed for June 7 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. You can also see my wine reviews for May 24. You can also add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list […]

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20 Red Wines Under $20 > Nat’s Conscious Coupling of Quality and Price

I’m always making lists of wines for different occasions and different price points. Ever since my second book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Wines, was published, I’m frequently asked for the best wines priced less than $20. Here they are … I’ll be updating this list monthly. (My thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow for the inspirational title ;) Here’s your shopping list showing your closest liquor stores that have these wines in stock, and how many of each bottle. Cheers! Oscar’s Estate Vineyard Shiraz Viognier 2011 Barossa Valley, South Australia   $17.95 This could be the ultimate hamburger […]

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Wine Review of the Week: National Waiter’s Day Wine

Steve Cranny, a graduate of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) program, has selected our Wine Review of the Week to celebrate National Waiter’s Day, May 21. A toast to all those hard-working heroes of the restaurant industry! #NationalWaitersDay Here’s Steve wine review and rating: Until I became involved in the Industry I had no idea how hard service professionals work to make other people happy. So in honour of National Waiter’s Day and all of those great service people I would like to recommend a wine that I have enjoyed across several vintages. The Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino […]

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10 Best Merlot Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Merlot

Merlot became a brand name wine in the 1980s because of its smooth, rich, easy-drinking flavors and texture. It has less acidity and astringency (that furry mouth feeling from tannins) than many other grapes and a medium-body that appeals to many palates. You’ll find my Top 10 Merlot reviews and ratings here. Merlot has since been somewhat vilified, like Chardonnay, for being boring: the soft jazz of the wine world. Remember Miles’ scorn for Merlot in the movie Sideways? 5 Surprising Facts about Merlot: 1. Merlot is the leading grape in some of the world’s most famous wines such as […]

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Wine Review of the Week: Long Weekend Wine for Victoria Day

Sommelier Astrid Young has selected our Wine Review of the Week to celebrate the Victoria Day long weekend. Contrary to appearances in the prim picture to the left, Queen Victoria adamantly opposed abstinence from alcohol, calling it a “pernicious heresy.” Her majesty’s favourite tipple? A tumbler filled half with red wine and half with whisky. No wonder why she reined so long; she was completely “preserved.” Astrid, an International Sommelier Guild (ISG) graduate and candidate for Master of Wine, has a much more modern and palatable suggestion for the long weekend, especially if grilled grub is on the menu. Astrid […]

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Is Wine Gluten Free? Raise a Glass to Celiac Awareness Month!

Is wine gluten-free? Yes, for the most part. Wine is made from grapes, not grains. That’s good news for celiacs, those suffering from a digestive disease that makes them intolerant to gluten. May is Celiac Awareness Month so I thought it would be worth addressing this issue, especially since I’m asked about it occasionally. The boom in gluten-free foods makes me wonder why there hasn’t been wine labeled to that extent, though that is akin to labeling fresh fruit as trans-fat free. I’ve read The Wheat Belly and have followed various experts on this matter, not because I am intolerant […]

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