Wine Book and Bottle Pairings for the Holidays: CTV News at Noon

In the first of our two-part conversation, Leanne Cusack, host of CTV News at Noon, and I chat about six terrific book and bottle pairings that you can give as a gift set this holiday … don’t forget to treat yourself too! Here’s part two of our conversation, with more pairings, later today. Veuve Clicquot Non-Vintage Champagne Chardonnay Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier, A.C. Champagne, France Notes of green apples, orange zest and white peach on the nose with toasty goodness through the core and finish. Try the ultra-shabby chic combo here between French Champagne and a bucket of KFC chicken. […]

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Wine Tasting Hackathon: New Way of Social Wine Discovery

Our second team wine tasting yesterday felt like a family reunion. Sommeliers and wine bloggers from Toronto and Montreal flew or drove in to join those from the east to west ends of Ottawa. There was an instant camaraderie among those gathered here who recognized each other as fellow contributors to our online community. What I admire most about these reviewers is that although they have sterling wine credentials and training, they keep it real and conversational — with an effort to connect, not to impress. The tasting also struck me as the wine version of a hackathon. In the […]

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Are Expensive Wines Always Better? Are Screwcap Wines Always Plonk? Busting 7 Sacred Wine Myths

On CityTV’s Breakfast Television, we chat about six wines in three different price ranges, all of which offer terrific value: Dr. L Riesling, Torres Syrah, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Wente Cabernet, Burrowing Owl Chardonnay, Masi Amarone. Insider tip: go south for better bargains, such as Sicily in Italy rather than Tuscany or Provence rather than Bordeaux in France. They taste twice as expensive as they cost!       Meanwhile, Canadian Press (CP) published this story below this week in newspapers across the country … Putting a cork in wine myths December 15, 2016 Everyone who really enjoys wine seems […]

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Pairing Wine and Holiday Dishes and Treats

On Global Television’s Morning Show today, Carolyn, Jeff and I chat about pairing wine with holiday treats such as shortbread, chocolate Santas and fruitcake … … yes, we’re going there ;) Plus, here are bonus tips on pairing wines with other holiday favourite dishes … Can we be honest? Holiday turkey dinner is just an excuse for most of us to chow down on our favourite side dish, whether it’s cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing or sweet potatoes. Often they have more interesting flavours than that dry old bird in the middle of the table. So please, let’s stop kidding ourselves with […]

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Gift Wines: Tips on How Not to Send the Wrong Message in a Bottle

Leanne and I chat about how to find the right gift wine for everyone on your list on CTV News. Meanwhile, we’re chatting about the same topic with the Associated Press: Wine Gift-Giving Tips for Novice Vinophiles Trendy, tasty and one-size-fits-all, wine is a versatile holiday gift, whether you’re on your way to a house-warming or looking out for something for the in-laws. But navigating the world of wine can be a trial for the novice vinophile. Enter wine experts, who have a few tips on how not to send the wrong message in a bottle. Recon The Recipent A […]

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Col Solare Winery Takes Wine to the Top of the Mountain in Washington State

Several of Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers met recently with Darel Allwine, chief winemaker at Col Solare Winery based in Washington state.   Jane Staples Wine Columnist, Ottawa Wedding Magazine Sitting down with a winemaker to discuss his winemaking techniques is always a special experience.  Winemakers are like artists, who combine both creativity and science with complete focus, to achieve their unique products.  They are working with Mother Nature too, so every vintage can vary. I recently had the chance to discuss winemaking with Darel Allwine, winemaker at Col Solare.  The name “Col Solare” means “Shining Hill”, referring to the way […]

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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 […]

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Which Wine Pairings for turkey, fruitcake or cheese?

The holiday countdown is on and Canadians are scrambling for last-minute gifts for their hosts and loved ones. Wine and food seem like a natural option at this time of year, but with thousands of bottles lining the shelves at liquor outlets, where does one begin? “I’d start with pairing the wine that you’re going to bring to go with the dinner. Wild guess, might be turkey,” says sommelier Natalie MacLean, editor of the wine review site nataliemaclean.com. She suggests a sparkling wine like Cava from Spain, a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, a dry rose from France or a […]

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Mrs. Beachley’s Mulled Wine: A Heart-Warming Holiday Drink

Sponsored Post by Azureau Wine Agency While Mulled Wine is known by many names and enjoyed the world over–the Swedes call it Glogg; the Chileans Candola and the Dutch Bisschopswijn–this heart and tummy-warming beverage is best known for its British heritage. Mrs. Beachley’s Mulled Wine pays homage to the 1861 classic “Beeton’s Book of Household Management“, the go-to manual for how to run a home in Victorian England. In that book and in the 150 years since its publication, a wealth of usage occasions and mulled wine pairing ideas, have emerged. Whether you enjoy Mrs. Beachley’s out of a thermos […]

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