Eat, Drink and be Wary: The Prose & Cons of Wine Shows

The Ottawa Wine and Food Show is the opposite of the Betty Ford Center: lots of booze and free advice, but no beds. (Why isn’t there a napping booth?) It arrives just in time to launch my fall re-toxification program: I come from a long line of hard drinkers, and a summer of sound sleep, diet and exercise has made me irritable. In the exhibit hall, gastronomic gusts waft up and over me from different corners — some carrying alcohol laced with spicy meatballs, others sweat and cheese, new leather and yeasty crackers, perfume and vanilla waffle cones. Sounds, too, […]

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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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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in LCBO Vintages August 8

By Jane Staples The LCBO Vintages August 8 Release offers an exciting collection of wines from the Pacific Northwest, namely British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. All three regions have undergone dramatic changes over the past five years, making great stride in both quality and diversity of the wines they produce. Yet the three regions are also vastly different, despite the fact they’re often grouped together geographically in the wine world. Oregon winemaking has its roots in the 1970s, and has since taken the silky, medium-bodied red wine, Pinot Noir, to great heights. Now it also produces a zesty white wine […]

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Summer Smoked Cheese Platter Recipe Paired with Shiraz, Merlot

Pool-Side Pickers Backyard pool parties are the best. But staying in the sun all day can leave you and your guests fatigued and most of all, hungry. If you find yourself hosting or invited to a backyard bash, serve something that’s always a satisfying crowd pleaser: a delicious Canadian cheese platter. Of course, when preparing the perfect platter there are questions that arise, like which cheeses should you serve and which wine pairings work best with them? That’s why I’ve compiled a list of my summer go-to’s that will satisfy the most discerning palettes. So here it is, my list […]

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Pairing Canadian Wine and Cheese: Why are They so Natural Together?

Liza, Jeff and I chat about pairing Canadian wines and cheese on Global Television Morning Show. You can watch the video above by clicking on the arrow. We’re just a few weeks away from Canada Day, and what could be better than celebrating with a glass of Canadian wine, and of course pair that with some Canadian cheese. Here to show us how which wine and cheese pairings are is Natalie MacLean, the editor of Canada’s largest wine review web site. So why do wine and cheese pair well together? – both start as natural liquids and are products of […]

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Instant Spiced Apples Recipe Paired with Icewine

The Apple of my Wine Get ready to bust out the BBQ, because its finally grill season. Mmm, I can practically taste the sizzle of tender steaks and juicy ribs, waiting to be devoured. Nothing says spring is here like a backyard BBQ. Best enjoyed with your friends and family over burgers, sausages and Canadian Cheese. Just don’t forget to leave room for dessert, or a scrumptious snack, like Spiced Apple with Canadian Brie. This light snack is sure to be a hit with its simple ingredients locally sourced from the farm. Slice up some apples with a dash of […]

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The Wine that Came in from the Cold: Icewine

Not a breath of wind caresses the snow-blanketed vineyards. The tar-black sky is pin-pricked with stars, and a full moon sends shadows slithering out between the scarecrow vines. Stooped figures in Arctic gear coax their bare fingers to snap off bunches of frozen grapes. That’s what the annual icewine harvest looks like in Niagara at this time of the year. It results in a wine that combines the sweetness of lusciously ripe fruit with a silver edge of acidity that’s as crisp as the winter wind. Despite its modern association with Canada, icewine was actually discovered in Germany, by accident, […]

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Sommelier Loves Pairing Wine with PEI Shellfish and Seafood

Lesley Quinn, Sommelier, Sim’s Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar in Charlottetown, PEI Was wine a part of your family’s meals when you were young? I grew up in a small farming community on Prince Edward Island, with two older brothers. Wine wasn’t a part of our meals at home. However, my mother worked in the tourism industry, and she was host to journalists from around the world. She’d take me with her to meals with them, and it was during one of those dinners, that I had my first sip of wine. Apparently, I described it as tasting like sour grape juice. What […]

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How do you serve icewine? Food pairings with icewine?

How do you serve icewine? Serve icewine chilled; an hour or two in the fridge will allow it to reach the ideal drinking temperature of 10C-12C. The traditional time to serve it is at the end of the meal, when most people already feel full. Many producers feel that icewine shouldn’t be called a dessert wine, as it stereotypes the wine into being consumed only at the end of a meal, when most people are already full. Conversely, French sauternes is also served at the beginning of a meal with dishes such as foie gras and cheeses. Icewine works equally […]

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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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