Apps we Love for Condo Living: Dining and Entertaining

Having friends over for a dinner party, BBQ or for drinks on the patio can sometimes be more stressful than it should be. It can take a lot of careful thought and planning to find the perfect combination of food and drinks to serve that all your friends and family will like. With that in mind, we found some great apps that will help you plan the perfect meal. Natalie MacLean’s Wine Picks & Pairings The app uses the GPS technology on your phone to connect with real-time inventory numbers at your local LCBO store. It also gives you the […]

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Best Wines: Sterling Chardonnay, J Lohr Cabernet LCBO July 20

Here are my top wine picks from the July 20 Vintages Release. Full Members can access all 79 wines that I reviewed as a text shopping list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. (Stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so.) They can also add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on their smartphone. This is one of the benefits of becoming a Full Member. The reviews […]

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Wine of the Week: Cousino-Macul Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile

“A bargain is anything a customer thinks a store is losing money on.” – Kin Hubbard, American humourist and writer, 1868-1930 While I doubt that the LCBO loses money on anything it sells, this robust, delicious red is quite a deal at this price. Cheers, Natalie Sale Ends: July 21, 2013 Sale Price: $13.95 | Save: $2.00 (Usually $15.95) Natalie’s Score: 88/100 Cousino-Macul Cabernet Sauvignon Chile An amazing value on the liquor store shelf! Full-bodied and smooth with classic aromas of cassis, blackberry and blackcurrant. A nice smoky finish. Pair with grilled steak or hamburgers. Drink: Now LCBO Code: 212993 […]

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Wine of the Week: Fifth Leg Shiraz, Australia

The true definition of a snob is someone who craves what separates people, rather than what unites them, according to writer John Buchan. So true when it comes to wine. Fortunately, a bargain-priced wine that’s tasty, like this shiraz, can bring most of us together around the table. Cheers, Natalie The true definition of a snob is one who craves for what separates men rather than for what unites them. – John Buchan – See more at: http://www.nataliemaclean.com/blog/wine-quotes-and-quips-liquid-laughter/#sthash.WXQwRU7I.dpuf Sale Ends: June 23, 2013 Sale Price: $13.95 | Save: $2.00 (Usually $15.95) Natalie’s Score: 89/100 Fifth Leg Shiraz Australia Terrific lush […]

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Reporting Live from the LCBO: Which Wines are Hot Now?

Here’s a little story about the power and reach of social media … it started with food blogger Anne Waters who was shopping in the LCBO and noticed one of my wine reviews posted on the shelf. Physical world, paper review, glass bottle, liquid wine. That’s where it would have ended three years ago. However, Anne took the Instagram picture above with her smartphone and shared it on Twitter. (The Bila-Haut M. Chapoutier 2011 is a robust red wine that’s perfect for summer barbecues … you can’t beat the price-quality ratio at 91 points for $14.95.) I forwarded Anne’s tweet […]

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Wine of the Week: Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc, Chile

I guess this week’s bargain bottle will have to celebrate Thirsty Thursday rather than Wine Wednesday. Never too late though for a tasty wine that’s well-priced. Cheers, Natalie Sale Ends: June 23, 2013 Sale Price: $11.45 | Save: $1.50 (Usually $12.95) Natalie’s Score: 89/100 Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc A lovely citrus-infused Sauvignon Blanc that has a rich mouth-filling texture and vibrant, refreshing acidity. Not too grassy, just lime-zesty. Perfect as an aperitif or accompaniment to seafood, vegetarian dishes and salads. Drink: 2010-2013 LCBO Code: 263574 Sugar Code: Extra Dry Find this wine  in your closest LCBO stores now. Feel free to […]

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LCBO Ottawa Rideau and SAQ Gatineau Wine Tastings

Here’s a list of wines offered for tasting at the Rideau Street LCBO in Ottawa and the SAQ Selection Store in Gatineau across from the casino. I’ll update this as I get new lists of the wines. You may also want to inquire about the classes held at these stores that provide additional opportunities to taste more wines. Here are the wine tastings in Toronto and Oakville. I find it doesn’t take long to taste the wines and I fit it in when I’m doing errands in the neighbourhood where the store is located. There is a minimum fee to […]

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Wine of the Week: Gloria Ferrer Sparkling, California

Shopping tip: you can get shoes for 85 cents at the bowling alley. With the left-over cash, why not splurge on a bottle of bubbly? Cheers, Natalie Sale Ends: May 26, 2013 Sale Price: $25.95 | Save: $1.00 (Usually $26.95) Natalie’s Score: 90/100 Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Cuvee Toasty and robust with lovely green apple and white peach notes. This sparkling wine is a terrific value, even without the buck off. Enjoy it with potato chips, fried chicken or three strikes at the bowling alley. Drink: 2012-2015 LCBO Code: 200790 Sugar Code: Dry Find this wine  in your closest LCBO stores […]

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Wine of the Week: Cusumano Syrah, Italy

Shopping is the fine art of acquiring things you don’t need with money you don’t have. However, with this bargain bottle, you won’t have to worry about that … for a while. Enjoy, Natalie Sale Ends: May 26, 2013 Sale Price: $9.95 | Save: $1.00 (Usually $10.95) Natalie’s Score: 87/100 Cusumano Syrah Incredible for this price point! Luscious and full-bodied with layers of fleshy-rip dark fruit. Smooth and tasty. Drink: 2011-2013 LCBO Code: 145490 Sugar Code: Extra Dry Find this wine  in your closest LCBO stores now. Feel free to share this thrifty wine find on Facebook or on Twitter […]

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Wine of the Week: Ste. Michelle Wine Estates 14 Hands Hot to Trot

As a wise woman once observed: There is only one shopping day left until tomorrow. Here’s your bargain bottle for this week’s wine shopping list. Sale Ends: May 26, 2013 Sale Price: $13.15 | Save: $2.00 (Usually $15.95) Natalie’s Score: 89/100 Ste. Michelle Wine Estates 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills, Washington Dynamite for the price! Simply wow. Smooth, full-bodied and packed with luscious dark plum and blackberry aromas. This wine takes its name from the time when wild mustang horses ran freely around the hills of eastern Washington State where this wine is made. Heavenly […]

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