Sommelier Secrets on Weird Wine and Food Pairings, and Dream Cellar

In our latest sommelier profile, Jay Whiteley, who has been the sommelier and wine director at several of Canada’s best restaurants, most recently, The Chase in Toronto, shares his favourite and weirdest food and wine pairings, as well as tips on choosing from a restaurant wine list. What was your first wine experience? Learning how to say the word Gewürztraminer. Why did you move from BC, where you were working at one of the top restaurants in Vancouver, to join The Chase in Toronto? I moved for some personal reasons, but also to learn about the LCBO distribution system. Toronto […]

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Wine’s Salad Daze: The Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine and Vegetables

My partner Miles, an unrepentant carnivore, claims that “salad is what food eats.” I wouldn’t go that far, but my problem with vegetables is that they are among the most challenging foods to match with wine. Here are my favourite wines to pair with vegetables and vegetarian dishes. Finding veggie-friendly wines, however, is important: on the one hand, many of us are now filling our plates with more greenery and less wine-friendly meat dishes; on the other, as the health benefits of wine become better known, more vegetarians are pouring a glass with their meatless meals. We’re all more health […]

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LCBO Wines on Sale: Bargains and Best Buys March 2015

Sponsored Post by Philippe Dandurand Wine Agency You can get the complete shopping list of these wines in your closest liquor stores here.       Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2012 Marlborough, New Zealand Regular Price: $21.95   Sale Price: $19.95  March 1 to March 28         Folonari Valpolicella 2012 Vénétie, Italy Regular Price: $14.45   Sale Price: $12.45  March 1 to March 28         Les Jamelles Merlot 2012 Vin de Pays d’Oc, France Regular Price: $12.95   Sale Price: $10.95  March 1 to March 28         Folie À Deux Menage A […]

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Canada’s Best Sommelier Competition: Bruce Wallner Video

In the video chat below Bruce Wallner, recently named Ontario’s Best Sommelier, talks about participating in the Best Canadian Sommelier Competition this month in Halifax. He’s already a certified Master Sommelier and has worked in restaurants around the world, including Australia, Spain and the UK. We also talked about what made him want to become a sommelier originally (some interesting comparisons with the world’s oldest profession), the role of a sommelier and what he enjoys most about the job. Tell us about the competition: who enters and what do you have to do to compete? This event is hosted by […]

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Hollywood + Vine Oscars: Wine-Loving Movie Stars

By Natalie MacLean On CTV’s The Social, we we chat about winemaking movie stars … can you guess who made which wine? When I think of the Oscars, I think wine. Why? For many film industry luminaries, conspicuous consumption such as owning a yacht or even a restaurant is so 2013. These days, if you really want to show some class, you own a winery. There’s no better photo opp than one with you and your trophy wife or boy toy pruning the vines or pressing the grapes. That’s why movie actors, directors and producers are getting their hands dirty, […]

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Which Food Films Co-Star with Wine? The Oscar for Best Bottle Goes to …

Wine is often a co-star with food in the movies, especially films about food: The Big Night (1996) Like Water for Chocolate (1992) Soul Food (1997) Chocolat (2000) The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989) Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994) Tampopo (1985) Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978) Dinner Rush (2000) Rare Birds (2001). The three movies I most want to see right now in this genre are Chef, The Hundred Foot Journey and The Trip to Italy. The lush landscape of Italian wine country makes a bucolic backdrop for […]

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LCBO Wines on Sale: February 2015 Bargains and Best Buys

Sponsored Post by Philippe Dandurand Wine Agency You can get the complete shopping list of these wines in your closest liquor stores here.   Trapiche Reserve Syrah 2013  Argentina Regular Price: $11.95   Sale Price: $10.95  February 1 to February 28       [yellow tail] Shiraz 2013 New South Wales, Australia Regular Price: $23.75   Sale Price: $21.75  February 1 to February 28         HobNob Wine Company George Duboeuf Pinot Noir 2009 Languedoc, France Regular Price: $12.95   Sale Price: $11.95  February 1 to February 28       Yellow Tail Bubbles Sparkling Wine 2010 South Eastern Australia Regular […]

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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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The Champagnes of James Bond and Rappers: Bollinger and Cristal

Part 2: Champagne Widows By the 1930s, French winemakers faced even greater challenges: a country about to go to war, a worldwide Depression that made running any business difficult, and U.S. Prohibition, which made selling luxury champagne to the lucrative American market almost impossible. This was the forbidding business environment that Camille Olry-Roederer stepped into when she took over the champagne house Louis Roederer after losing her second husband in 1932 (her first husband had died in World War I). Sales were 264,000 bottles that year, compared to 2.3 million bottles in 1876. But like the other women of Champagne […]

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The Merry Widows of Mousse: Champagne Widows

They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they did not do what was expected: step aside or sell the business.  Nor did they marry again (though they were still in their twenties and thirties), handing over the reins to a new husband. Instead, these celebrated veuves, or widows, took control of their châteaux to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world – wines that still bear their names: Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, Laurent-Perrier, Roederer and […]

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