Balderson Cheddar Cheese and Wine Pairings: Spot On!

Cheese expert Cecilia Smith and I had so much fun filming this spot for Balderson Cheddar. Of course, we had to be thorough with our research and played with various wine and cheese pairings throughout the day of the shoot. This spot airs on The Food Network, The Lifestyle Network, Home & Garden Television, W Network and other channels. I was fascinated with the production behind a 30-second spot: it took all day. The film crew were pros. Although I was ready to drop at the end of the day, it was so worthwhile. Lots of camera angles, lighting scenes […]

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Jean Claude Mas Wines: Bringing Le Luxe Rural to Ontario!

Winemaker Jean Claude Mas Sponsored Post by Paul Mas Wines When the hustle and bustle of everyday life has us over-committed and rushing from one thing to the next, it’s especially comforting to remember a simpler time, when we could derive pleasure from life’s everyday luxuries. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we give up modern conveniences, or even (heaven forbid) put down our phones, but simply take the time to appreciate life’s simple pleasures, like a delicious glass of wine. It’s really quite achievable and can be as easy as treating yourself to a quiet evening, a […]

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Blending Family, Tradition and Place: Peter Lehmann Wine Tasting

It is a pleasure to meet any winemaker, especially one who makes a journey across the world to share his wine personally with us. Our group had the pleasure of meeting Ian Hongell from Peter Lehmann wines who led us through a tasting, at Sidedoor restaurant, with their wide range of wines paired with tapas. Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen Peter Lehmann is located in the Barossa region, a small wine region of Australia producing only about 65,000 tonnes of fruit per year. It contains some ancient Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Semillon vines, some are 150 or 160 years old. Their remote […]

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How to Pair Wine with Chips, Nuts and Snacks?

On Global Television’s Morning Show yesterday, we paired wine and snacks, from fish tacos to Sriracha chips from Loblaws’ President’s Choice Black Label line. Yes, there is a wine for sea salt giant corn nuts ;) Click the arrow above to play the video.     Wine: Yalumba The Strapper GSM Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2013           Food: PC 85% Cocoa Solids Extra Dark Chocolate Bar (100g): imported extra dark chocolate.     Food: PC 70% Cocoa Solids Dark Chocolate: Irresistibly delectable, imported pure dark chocolate. Excellent for snacking or baking.           Wine: Yalumba […]

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Celebrating Mother’s Day with the Great Women of Champagne

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about the top Champagnes made by women for Mother’s Day. (Click on the arrow above to play the video.) They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they didn’t sell the businesses or remarry. They took control of the chateaus to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world. In an era when few women were in business at all, these women headed what were, at the time, some […]

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Mother’s Day Brunch Wine and Champagne Pairings

Jeff and I had such fun chatting about wines for Mother’s Day gifts on Canada AM, especially champagne for brunch. There’s even a “live action” shot with uncorking a sparkler. (Okay, not so much.) Here are my Top 20 Wines for Mother’s Day, either made by women or named for them. Often the latter were originally made by women. You’ll also find more suggestions in my Mother’s Day wines for Epicurious as well as for More Magazine. Jeff: It’s Mother’s Day, of course, on Sunday, and if you are planning on taking her out for brunch, you might want to […]

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Wine for Tax Time: Which Wines to Return To?

At this time of the year, most of us need some liquid assets. So pairing the right wine with your tax return should not be taken at face value. As well as vinous savvy, you’ll also need financial acumen to calibrate the wine to your T4. Regardless of the wines you chose, you can’t go wrong as about 65% of the price is of wine is tax, so you’ll get to contribute one way or the other. After sending in the cheque, it’s time to eat repentant bologna sandwiches for six weeks. If you owe, it’s off to the bargain […]

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Gifts for Mother’s Day: Wine Trumps Flowers (and Tastes Better)

My wine column in the May issue of More Magazine Canada, with more than 500,000 thirsty readers, features three wines to celebrate Mother’s Day as gifts: three spectacular bubblies. A toast to Mom! The cover features an actress whom I admire for her depth, strength and guts, Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife, Canterbury’s Law, ER). I also love that she’s often drinking a glass of wine as she reviews her legal briefs in the evening at home. (Guess that doesn’t play so well in the ER.) At the start of the season, it was white wine, but I notice that it’s […]

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Mother’s Day Gifts, Wines and Pairings

By Natalie MacLean How to thank Mom for all those kisses, compliments and band-aids? Try a great bottle of wine with Mother’s Day gift, brunch or dinner pairing. As a mother myself now, I call my glass of wine at 5 p.m. “Mommy’s little helper.” Here’s to you Mom! Here are my Top 20 Wines for Mother’s Day, either made by women or named for them. Often the latter were originally made by women. Try these wines that I recommended on the Conde Nast site Epicurious.com or more choices on Canada AM and in More Magazine: Veuve Clicquot Champagne France […]

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Top Restaurants for Food, Wine and Fun

Here are the restaurants I love in various cities. I hope you find this a helpful list, and let me know if you enjoy your dining experience at any one of these. My favorite restaurants in Ottawa, Ontario are Wellington Gastro Pub (613-729-1315), Fraser Café (613-749-1444), The Shore Club (in The Westin, but not owned by it 613-569-5050), Fauna (613-563-2862),  Taylor Wine Bar (613-730-5672), Sidedoor (613-562-9331), Social (613-789-7355), Eighteen (613-244-1188), Soif Wine Bar (819-600-7643), Earling’s (613-231-8484), The Pomeroy House (613-237-1658), The Albion Rooms in Novatel (613-760-4771), Mena (613-233-6462), Play (613-667-9207), Absinthe (613-761-1138), Navarra (613-241-5500), Atelier (613-321-3537) and Supply and Demand (613-680-2949). For a […]

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