What is Wine’s Role in Modern Madness? Finding Our Humanity Drop by Drop

​Editor’s Note: I wrote this magazine piece on wine and civility two months after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance than ever, with the riots in Ferguson, ISIS, Jian Ghomeshi, Gamergate, unfettered consumerism, and the mysogenous micro-aggressions that women face daily on social media. I welcome your thoughts here: never loose your voice. In Vino Civilitatis The trouble with moderation is that it’s hard to get excited about it. Until now. After September 11, moderation seems to be rarer than a California cult cabernet. Finding the moderate and the civilized in everyday life has […]

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Recipe: Blue Cheese Hamburger with Red Wine Pairing

In celebration of National Hamburger Day, pair this savoury recipe for Blue Cheese Hamburger with the full-bodied red wine, such as Shiraz, Cabernet or Malbec. Please feel free to share this on social media with the hashtag #nationalburgerday Prep time: 30 minutes Total time, including cooking: 2 hours and 30 minutes Serves: 6 Ingredients: 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef 2 ounces of crumbled blue cheese ¼ cup of minced fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon of coarsely-ground black pepper ¾ teaspoon of salt ½ teaspoon of dry mustard 6 hamburger buns   Directions: […]

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Celebrating Mother’s Day with the Great Women of Champagne

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about the top Champagnes made by women for Mother’s Day. (Click on the arrow above to play the video.) They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they didn’t sell the businesses or remarry. They took control of the chateaus to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world. In an era when few women were in business at all, these women headed what were, at the time, some […]

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Video: Why is Rosé One of the Fastest Growing Wine Categories?

One of the fastest growing categories in the liquor store is rosé wine. Here to tell us why and which ones we should buy is Natalie MacLean, the editor of Canada’s most popular wine review site at nataliemaclean.com – why has rosé had such a bad reputation in the past? – how are modern rosés different in terms of how they taste? – how are they different in terms of how they’re made? – you’ve brought some today: which regions should we be looking for in the liquor store? – how are Canadian rosés different from French ones? – is […]

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Music and Wine Pairing: Cabernet in C Major

Leanne and I chat about pairing wine and music. Click on the arrow to play the video. More information about the wine auction here. “Notes” on Pairing Wine and Music Both music and wine evoke emotion so it makes sense that music could influence our emotional reaction to and perception of wine. However, are there right and wrong wine and music pairings? Or perhaps even, better or worse? When I attend wine tasting for the media, there are no distractions, such as food or perfume, and the room is almost always silent except for the gurgling and sloshing noises of […]

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Facebook Live + Vine Oscars: Wine-Loving Sunday Sippers Snacks

This Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting above, we chat about Oscar-worthy wines to drink while watching this year’s Academy Awards.. You can click on the arrow above to play the video. We were joined by guest winemaker, Helen Morrison of Villa Maria to help us get ready for the big show. You’ll find our most recent live video wine tasting here: www.nataliemaclean.com/live We taste every Sunday evening at 6 pm eastern so add us to your calendar and grab a glass of wine. Click on the buttons for “Share” and “Like” on the page above to get notified when we […]

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5 Romantic Wine & Chocolate Matches for Valentine’s Day

Bev and I chat about 5 to-die-for wine and chocolate pairings on Canada AM. Bev: Valentine’s Day is famous for flowers and romance and decadence. Mix in a little vino and a sweet treat and you’ve got quite a celebration. Natalie MacLean is the author of Unquenchable. She’s an expert when it comes to wine pairings, and this morning she’s in our studio to help us choose fine wine and chocolate combinations. Which is so perfect. Does it get any better than that? Natalie: No, especially if you like to layer your vices. So, don’t just have wine or chocolate. […]

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Top 5 Turkey Wine Pairings: Bottles for the Big Bird

In the second part of our holiday wine series on the CBC radio drive-home shows coast to coast we chatted about great wines to pair with your turkey dinner. You can listen to my tips above on choosing those wines plus my top 5 picks. Join us again next week, on December 30, when we chat about great sparkling wines for the New Year. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site, selects her top five wines for your holiday dinner to pair with turkey and the side dishes:   Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava Penedes, Spain A toasty […]

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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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Getting Clearer on Glera, the Grape of Prosecco Sparkling Wine

By Greg Hughes Prosecco has become, possibly, the most sought after sparkling wine after Champagne. It showcases wonderful aromatics and freshness, as well as value.  As one might imagine, there is still a fairly broad range of styles that this tiny northeastern appellation in Italy can offer. What makes Prosecco distinct from other sparkling wines are the well-preserved aromatics and the perceived “creaminess” the gentle carbonation creates on the palate. This distinctiveness is partially due to the obscure family of grape varietals used, but these flavours can only be harnessed so effectively because of the innovative production method behind Prosecco. […]

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