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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Henry of Pelham’s Paul Speck on Cool Climate Chardonnay

By Melissa Pulvermacher To kick off the annual International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C) in Niagara, Ontario, I visited Paul Speck of Henry of Pelham Winery on the Short Hills Bench in St. Catharines. The Henry of Pelham winery has been owned by the Speck family since 1988. While tasting the wines, we explored this concept of cool climate viticulture. Ontario’s weather can be somewhat unpredictable from year-to-year, which is why our local wines tend to have a lot of vintage variance. Beginning with some of my favourite Niagara bubbles, the 2011 Cuvee Catharine Carte Blanche had me salivating right […]

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Pairing Wine with Weird Holiday Turkey Recipes

Maple-Brined, Wood-Smoked Grilled Turkey To stuff some life into this year’s obligatory wine and turkey pairing column for Thanksgiving (or Christmas), I asked the creators of some strangely wonderful turkey recipes for their permission to post them here and pair them with wine. I’m still on the hunt for beer can turkey, turducken, tofurkey (tofu-shaped turkey), and believe or not, that new chocolate-glazed with sprinkles dessert favourite, turdunkin (!) Maple-Brined, Wood-Smoked Grilled Turkey Recipe Allow a total of 4 to 4-1/2 hours to start the fire, cook the turkey, and let it rest. Have a full bag of charcoal on […]

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Pairing Wine and Tomato Dishes (Video)

In the video clip above, Jeff and I chat about pairing wine with different types of tomatoes and tomato dishes. What’s your favourite pairing?   Jeff: Stores and Farmer’s Markets are lush right now with colourful products including tomatoes of every colour ripe off the vine or cooked up in a sauce. Nothing can complement a tasty dish like a great glass of wine. And here with her picks for perfect pairing is wine expert Natalie MacLean, nice to see you. Natalie: It’s great to see you, Jeff. Jeff: Now listen, before we get to the tomato, which, to me, […]

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Balderson Cheddar Cheese and Wine Pairings: Spot On!

Cheese expert Cecilia Smith and I had so much fun filming this spot for Balderson Cheddar. Of course, we had to be thorough with our research and played with various wine and cheese pairings throughout the day of the shoot. This spot airs on The Food Network, The Lifestyle Network, Home & Garden Television, W Network and other channels. I was fascinated with the production behind a 30-second spot: it took all day. The film crew were pros. Although I was ready to drop at the end of the day, it was so worthwhile. Lots of camera angles, lighting scenes […]

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Rediscover Riesling: The World’s Most Versatile Varietal

By Melissa Pulvermacher The number one question I receive is: “What is your favourite wine”? I could give a long-winded answer about how it all depends on the situation, the people I’m with, the food I have or don’t have, the weather, my mood and several other ridiculous factors that would probably influence what my favourite would be in that exact moment, but if forced to answer simply, I would choose a varietal that I admire most. Of course, I have off and on romances, newly discovered lust and evenings with old flames, but if I had to settle down and […]

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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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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. Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day Michael: Well, as we look ahead at Valentine’s Day you may be interested in some wine pairings. Well Leanne Cusack and a very special guest are suggesting pairings with food though, very interesting. Leanne: Not the typical at all, Michael. And not just wine and chocolate because Natalie MacLean, wine writer extraordinaire says ‘too ordinary for you right now’. Natalie: Exactly! Been there, […]

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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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