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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Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day

Leanne and I chat about pairing wine with romantic movies for Valentine’s Day. Got a favourite that we didn’t include? Click on the arrow above to play the video. Here’s part two of our conversation with more movies and also pairing wine with love songs.     Like Water For Chocolate     Maverick Distillery Chantilly French Cream Oakville, Ontario, Canada             Moonstruck   Marchesi de Frescobaldi Tenuta Di Castiglioni 2013 Tuscany I.G.T., Italy               Titanic   Fonseca Porto Bin 27 Douro Valley, Portugal           […]

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Top 20 Canadian Icewines of 2015

It’s always a tough task choosing your favourite wines from any category, but when it comes to icewine, it’s even harder. I find there are few duds in this august group. However, here are my favourites that I tasted in 2015. I’d love to hear which ones you love, and which ones I’m missing. Click on the links below for the full wine reviews, food pairings and stock in your closest liquor store.     Henry of Pelham Winery Riesling Icewine 2014 Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada Alcohol: 9.5%  Sweetness: Sweet  Size: 375 ml  Drink: 2014‐2022 LCBO: 430561 Score: 93/100 […]

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From Snout to Tailfeather: Wine Takes Wing in Niagara

Approaching Featherstone Winery, I can see a pepper storm of starlings flying over the vineyard. Husband and wife team David Johnson and Louise Engel have a passion for all things fowl. Before they became winemakers, they ran a gourmet poultry shop, selling tasty birds, from turkeys to quails. (That’s where the “feather comes from; the “stone” is the Niagara Escarpment.) However, those hungry starlings that feed on the ripening grapes are no friends of David and Louise. That’s why I’m going to meet their latest avian associate today, a Harris Hawk that’s trained to hunt those pesky birds. In 1989, […]

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Jane’s Gems: A Festive Lineup of 90 Point Wines in Vintages November 14, 2015

By Jane Staples With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to pick out some special wines. For parties, to give as gifts, and to stock up on classic favourites for entertaining with family and friends. Some of the sections at the LCBO will expand at this time of year with a wonderful selection of sparkling wines, liqueurs, cognac and specialty products. So many choices! Not to worry! Many of the larger LCBO’s have an in-store Product Consultant with extensive wine knowledge and training. These individuals are a goldmine of information on the latest Vintages release wines and […]

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Pizza Wine: Perfect Pairings for Your Pie

Liza, Jeff and I chat about pairing pizza and wine on Global TV’s Morning Show (while the cameramen and studio crew edge in ever closer to the set). Click on the arrow to watch the video above. Queen Margherita Pizzeria made these mouth-wateringly delicious pizzas fresh and hot, featuring first the classic Margherita Pizza. This pizza was named in honor of Queen Margherita, the wife of King Umberto I, in 1889, when the couple visited Naples and wanted to taste the local pie. Queen Margherita Pizzeria’s Margherita Pizza A chef selected patriotic toppings with the colors in the Italian flag: […]

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Mac and Cheese Pizza Recipe Paired with Pinot Noir

Mac and Cheese Pizza What’s true comfort food?  Hint: it involves the words “mac”, “cheese” and “pizza”. Say no more. Mac and Cheese is really having its moment. And, well, why wouldn’t it- it’s amazing! Take a break from take-out and whip up this mouth-watering and fun take on an old classic: Mac and Cheese Pizza. With cheesy grated Canadian Mozzarella, it’s sure to become a family favourite fast. Here are some excellent wine pairings to complement the melted Canadian mozzarella in the mac. The first is a medium-bodied Pinot Noir from Mission Hill Five Vineyards. It’s a beautifully complex […]

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Chili n’ Cheese Cornbread Muffins Recipe Paired with Pinot Blanc

Chili n’ Cheese Cornbread Muffins This November all I want to do is curl up by the fireplace with a good book, cozy sweater, and some comfort food – specifically cornbread. These little cornbread muffins are full of cheesy goodness and pack a punch with slow-cooked chili. So get ready to turn the heat right up with these Chili n’ cheese cornbread muffins. I like to start with quality ingredients made locally, like creamy Canadian Provolone cheese, which tastes like heaven when melted into these muffins. That’s best washed down with a fresh and crisp Niagara white wine, like the […]

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Pairing Wine and Halloween Candy: The Monster Match

Buzz Lightyear and the Wine Witch chat about great wine pairings with Halloween treats on Breakfast Television. Dina: Just call Natalie MacLean for pairing wine and Halloween treats, she’s an online sommelier and what a brilliant idea. Great to see you all festive Natalie. Natalie: Great to see you Dina. Dina: Or as well you are at the door trick-or-treating, the kids are at the door you thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’ We tend to dip into the kids snacks, well I do anyways- Natalie: Yes! Dina: A lot of parents do. Natalie: You bet. Dina: So you are […]

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Can Organic Wine Survive Niagara? The Chilling Answer …

Under heavy gunfire, we run for the chopper. Grey clouds roil overhead as the wind whips our faces. The ground man signals us to scramble in, but then stops and waves for us to turn around. As we do, we’re blinded by white flashes. We’re not being fired at though: it’s just the smiling tour guide snapping photos of us. The shotgun blasts are automatic “bird bangers” to scare birds away from the fields of Niagara grapevines around us. This isn’t Baghdad, but it is war. These birds travel in black clouds of peckish delight swooping down to strip vineyards […]

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