Fall Wines: A Warming Taste Trend

Wine styles are as seasonal as clothing. In the summer, I drink light, refreshing wines that remind me of a simple T-shirt and shorts: perfect for sun-baked beaches and country road strolls. But in the fall, my wine, like my clothes, becomes warmer, more layered and better able to combat those cool winds of October. In the video above, Leanne and I chat about fall fashions in wine, from the run-way to your dining room table. The wines featured in this show include: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay, California Toasted Head Chardonnay, California Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon, California Santa […]

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5 Tips to Pick Wines for Thanksgiving

No other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. Wine is a taste of the harvest along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavors to match. Relax. Have a drink. And try some of my suggestions for great wines to pair with Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings that Leanne and I chat about in the video above. You can also watch our first video on fall wines here. In my free online matching tool, you can click on “turkey holiday dinner” […]

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Braised Lamb with Giant White Beans Recipe Paired with Cheval Noir

Sponsored Post Braised Lamb with Giant White Beans ACTIVE: 30 MIN TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS PLUS 8 HR FOR SOAKING THE BEANS SERVINGS: 6 Ingredients: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 10 garlic cloves, 4 minced, 6 peeled 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 medium carrot, finely chopped 1¼  pounds dried giant haricots blancs or giant lima beans, soaked overnight and drained 2 large thyme sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon chopped thyme 1 quart plus 1 cup chicken stock 1 quart water One 6-ounce piece of slab bacon Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon minced parsley 4-pound boneless lamb shoulder roast, […]

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Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken Recipe Paired with Cheval Noir

Sponsored Post Pair this cool-weather recipe for Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken with the full-bodied Cheval Noir, a full-bodied, supple merlot from Bordeaux. Find this wine in your closest LCBO store now. Winemaker’s Notes: Cheval Noir has a fine, complex nose which combines ripe, red fruits with notes of grilled toast and spices. In the mouth it is rich, structured and powerful, perfectly balanced between fruit and tannins, with a long finish. TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN SERVINGS: 6 Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 cup dry bread crumbs 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon dried basil […]

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Blue Cheese Burgers Recipe Paired with Cheval Noir

Sponsored Post Pair this savoury recipe for Blue Cheese Burgers with the full-bodied Cheval Noir, a full-bodied, supple merlot from Bordeaux. Find this wine in your closest LCBO store now. Winemaker’s Notes: Cheval Noir has a fine, complex nose which combines ripe, red fruits with notes of grilled toast and spices. In the mouth it is rich, structured and powerful, perfectly balanced between fruit and tannins, with a long finish. ACTIVE: 25 MIN TOTAL TIME: 2H25 SERVINGS: 6 Ingredients: 1½ pounds lean ground beef 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled ¼ cup minced fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce ½ […]

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How to Import Wine, Craft Beer, Spirits into Ontario

Industry veteran Steven Trenholme will guide you through the intricate process of importing & selling beverage alcohol in Ontario & Quebec. The morning will be focused on understanding the dynamics of the industry and have the know-how to organize private imports for your personal consumption. With this ‘taste’ of what is involved in importing beverage alcohol, you will have the fundamentals to embark on a new or part-time career as an importer. In the afternoon, Steven will highlight the various marketing and distribution channels available to agents in Ontario and Quebec including how to deal with the LCBO and SAQ […]

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How to be a Pro When You Visit a Winery

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about how to get the most from your winery visit, including what to bring, what to ask and how to spit your wine. You can watch the full video here. However, when you’re at home, please don’t spit the two lovely wines that I selected for this show: Rosehall Run Pinot Noir and Viewpointe Auxerrois ;) I absolutely love it when there’s a strong reaction to any segment we do on The Social: it means we’re engaged and passionate about wine! When I mention that there shouldn’t be sediment floating around in your […]

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Canadian Wine Harvest 2014: BC, Ontario, Quebec, NS Winemakers Weigh In

Join us Friday morning on Global Television as we discuss how the Canadian wine harvest is going from coast to coast. In the meantime, here are reports from the field: winemakers from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia give their impressions of how the 2014 harvest is looking so far. Tantalus Vineyards David Paterson, Winemaker, Tantalus Vineyards, British Columbia How is the 2014 harvest going so far? So far the 2014 harvest has been ideal. We are in the home stretch now and a couple more weeks of warm days and cool nights to finish off with will be […]

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Hot Child in the City: Beckta Restaurants Ignite Ottawa Dining

Note: I’m finally posting this story online: it was originally published in Ottawa Magazine, the sister publication of Toronto Life, back in 2003 when Steve Beckta opened his first restaurant on Nepean Street. Why now? Two reasons. First, the story still gives you an insider peak backstage at a top-notch restaurant and what’s like to be in a small, hot, high-performance kitchen. Second, Steve is about to move from his original location on Nepean to Grant House at 150 Elgin Street, which was built in 1875 and is undergoing a $3.5 million renovation (pictured above) for a November 19 opening. […]

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The Passion of Steve Beckta: Hospitality and Service

Continued from Part 1: Steve Beckta Restaurant Eight months later, the capital has become bricks and mortar. This morning, the restaurant is dark, cool and silent like a stage set. Even in shadow, the Mediterranean tones are soothing: the azure sky splashed on the walls, the amber setting sun on the suede chairs and the field-flower dappled yellow of the maple floors. The glassware on the tables glints like sun catching on the sea. Paul Quinn, the general manager, comes out from the back to the bar and offers me a cup of tar-black coffee, then, with a shaky hand […]

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