Liquor up Your Lover on Valentine’s Day

  I’ll be chatting with the hosts of the CBC radio drive-home shows from coast to coast this Thursday and Friday about wines for Valentine’s Day. But we’re going to depart from the usual natter about which wines are most seductive or how to pair them with chocolate. We’ll go straight to the heart of the matter: how do you liquor up your lover on February 14? More specifically, we’ll talk about why wines are getting more alcoholic these days and how does that affect their taste and ours? Is this just a cultural trend of winemakers responding to the market? […]

read more …

Read More

Romantic Pairing: Wine and Chocolate

In this month’s Costco Connection Lifestyle Magazine I chat with the editor about my favourite wine and chocolate pairings for Valentine’s Day. Here are my favourite wines for chocolate in liquor stores now. While many of us like to think we’re going to be creative with our Valentine’s Day gifts this year, let’s be honest. On February 13, we’re going to rush out and purchase our favourite standbys: wine and chocolate. And why shouldn’t we? Everybody likes this duo; they’re wildly delicious and indulgent, and they usually lead to a good time (insert suggestive eyebrow raise here). But what you […]

read more …

Read More

Top 10 Wines for your Valentine: Liquid Seduction

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. Wine has long been associated with romance. Here are my top 10 wines for Valentine’s Day, not only because of their sexy names, but also because the wine is the bottle is equally as seductive.   Fifty Shades Of Grey Red Satin 2011 California, United States No mention of the book that inspired this wine, but no matter, it was launched this month as the liquid seduction tie-in to the book. Of course, there are lots of aromas of fresh and tanned leather on the nose and it’s voluptuously full-bodied … Natalie’s full […]

read more …

Read More

Top 20 Canadian Icewines of 2015

It’s always a tough task choosing your favourite wines from any category, but when it comes to icewine, it’s even harder. I find there are few duds in this august group. However, here are my favourites that I tasted in 2015. I’d love to hear which ones you love, and which ones I’m missing. Click on the links below for the full wine reviews, food pairings and stock in your closest liquor store.     Henry of Pelham Winery Riesling Icewine 2014 Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada Alcohol: 9.5%  Sweetness: Sweet  Size: 375 ml  Drink: 2014‐2022 LCBO: 430561 Score: 93/100 […]

read more …

Read More

Pairing Wine with Spicy, Sweet and Sour Dishes for Chinese New Year and Beyond

Whether you’re celebrating the Chinese New Year, or love Chinese fare year round, here are tips on pairing those dishes with wine. North Americans now enjoy a much broader and diverse fare that often includes a wide range of ethnic cuisines. The challenge? Although there are a number of spicy entrees in Chinese cuisine, there are also many with sweet and sour nuances, so choose a wine that can handle both. My favourite is off-dry Riesling from either Canada or Germany because it has a touch of sweetness, but it also has the acidity to go with the sour element […]

read more …

Read More

Video: Icewine Cocktails and Pairing with Chili Chips

Karen King, who co-owns The Ice House in Niagara with her husband Jamie Macfarlane. In the video above, she chats about how they’re literally shaking it up with icewine, from slushies to pairings with chili snacks and wasabi peas. Click on the arrow to play the video.     Questions: You did research that revealed surprising insights about icewine in terms of who’s drinking it and when? What kind of sensory food and wine research were you doing? Icewine is probably Canada’s most iconic wine, but you’re shaking up that perception: how is your style different? Tell me about being […]

read more …

Read More

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings January 9

You can access the 93 wines that I reviewed for January 9 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. You can also see my wine reviews for December 12, 2015. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day […]

read more …

Read More

Can You Lose Weight While Drinking Wine?

Do we have to give up wine if we want to shed a few pounds? No! Click on the arrow above to watch the video … On CTV’s The Social, we put this notion to the test with a fun quiz show format on calories and wine. How many answers can you get right? Three of the wines we’ll taste are marketed as “diet wines” with just 70-80 calories: SkinnyGrape, SkinnyGirl and one other, plus two ringers. Two wines are not diet wines, but are naturally low in calories. The names of two wines give them away, but can you […]

read more …

Read More

Top 6 Wine New Year’s Resolutions

Every New Year, I make—and break—several resolutions about exercise or housecleaning. However, I also make a resolution or two about wine, which have always been easy to keep because they’re fun. Here are a few of my favorites that you can try this year.   1. I resolve to try something new  It’s easy to get into a rut with wine and buy the same brand every time. But the pleasure of wine is in its diversity. If you like full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from California, try one from Argentina, or even a different robust red, such as an Argentine Malbec. […]

read more …

Read More

The Wrath of Grapes: How to Cure a Hangover

Do your eyelids creak when they open? Has your tongue been scrubbed with sandpaper? Is the Little Drummer Boy playing on your cerebral cortex? At this time of year, we make merry in haste and then repent in waste, the next day. Thousands of years ago, man discovered alcohol; the next day he discovered the hangover. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about what causes hangovers but not what cures them. Their effects are as immutable as Newton’s law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Of course, the only way to avoid a hangover is not […]

read more …

Read More