Best LCBO Wine Reviews and Ratings: Vintages January 10

You can access the 76 wines that I reviewed for January 10 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. You can also see my wine reviews for December 6. 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 or […]

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Canadian Icewine: Extreme Winemaking

A wine columnist is urging Canadians to drink icewine while cheering on the country’s Olympians next month. “It’s Canada’s winter gold. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our Canadian winters. I kind of think about our Canadian athletes too and I think we all should be drinking icewine while watching the Olympics,” says Natalie MacLean, editor of a wine review site, which has more than 156,000 members. “It’s uniquely Canadian in that we are the biggest producer and the best producer, I think, in terms of quality. It’s just such an all-Canadian treat that I think people need […]

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A Wine Lover’s Guide to Becoming a Cheese Addict

I’ve decided. This year, 2015, will be the Year of the Big Cheese. My goal is to learn (almost) as much about cheese as I have about wine. However, wine has a head start of 17 years, thus the qualifier “almost.” This ambitious goal is not based on a great epiphany or even a Road to Damascus realization. However, I had a “come to cheeses” moment. Friends in Toronto sent me a gift box of artisanal cheeses from a local gourmet shop here in Ottawa called Jacobson’s for the holidays. I was fascinated with the various cheeses, and their similar […]

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Icewine: Canada’s Gold in a Glass

Icewine: Canada’s golden winter elixir … that’s the hot topic of our segment above on CTV’s The Social. What is icewine and how is it different from other sweet wines? Why is Canada the world leader in producing it? What are the best icewines and which treats do you pair with it? You’ll find all of the icewines we discussed in this segment in this custom shopping list, along with dry red and white wines, showing you the stock for each wine at your closest liquor stores so that you can try them this weekend. Where was icewine first made? […]

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Ontario Sparkling Wine for New Year’s and All Year

On CBC’s Metro Morning we chat about terrific Ontario sparkling wines for New Year’s Eve, plus one splurge-worthy Champagne. More sparkling wine chats here. Plus, why is sparkling wine the most food-friendly wine on the planet? Shabby-chic pairings, from potato chips to buttered popcorn. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site, picks her favourite sparkling wines for New Year’s Eve: Henry Of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Blancs De Blanc 2009 Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada Zesty, refreshing and balanced Niagara sparkling wine with crisp notes of green apple and baked bread. Superb quality. Great persistence of […]

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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. […]

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Why is Champagne the Wine of New Year’s Eve?

On CBC Ontario’s CBC drive-home shows we chat about bubblies for the New Year’s in the third part of our holiday wine series. We also chatted about this on CBC’s Alberta at Noon as well as The Morning Edition in Saskatchewan and Metro Morning in Toronto. Champagne is the traditional sparkling wine to ring in the new year, but there are other alternatives. Further below are the wines we talked about in the audio clip above. Do you know the answers to these bubbly questions? Why is Champagne the wine of New Year’s Eve? Savvy champagne producers have managed to […]

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How to Make New Year’s Sparkle with Great Wine?

ON CBC’s Alberta at Noon, we chat about why Champagne is the wine of celebration, not just to welcome the new year, but also to celebrate life’s other highlights. Listen to more chats about sparkling wines. Why is sparkling the most food-friendly wine on the planet? How did savvy product placement make champagne a luxury brand? How to best chill sparkling wine quickly?   Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site, recommends her favourite wines for New Year’s Eve and Day: Veuve Clicquot Non-Vintage Champagne Champagne A.C., France This classic, well-known Champagne is a traditional blend of Chardonnay, […]

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Best Bubbly for New Years? There’s a Wine for That

In our continuing holiday wine series with Canadian Press (CP), we chat about great sparkling wines for New Year’s Eve.   You don’t have to go for Champagne, even though this is the tradition treat. There are terrific options from around the world, including Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco and sparkling wine from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States, among many other regions. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site at www.nataliemaclean.com, chooses her favourite sparkling wines:   Kim Crawford Fizz Methode Traditionnelle 2009 Henry of Pelham Estate Winery Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut Henry of Pelham Estate […]

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The Wrath of Grapes: Hangover Causes and Cures

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 […]

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