How to Read a Wine List, Vertical Tastings and Sommelier Sips

Ryan Campbell, formerly sommelier at Toronto’s Crush Wine Bar, now works with the wine lists at the parent company, Vintage Hotels in Niagara. Wine is such a big part of your restaurant, how do you ensure that your staff, who aren’t sommeliers, are still knowledgeable? We hold an informal “wine school” once a month for about 15 staff members.  For the last class, we focused on chardonnay with a vertical tasting. Vertical tastings mean one type of wine, like chardonnay, from different producers, but all from the same vintage. A horizontal tasting would be, say chardonnays, all from one producer, […]

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Sloppy Jane with Mozzarella Recipe Paired with Cabernet Franc

  The New Barbeque We all know the drill: summer entertaining comes with the summer stress of deciding what to make. Classic barbeque fare is delicious, but it has become somewhat expected and tiresome. So if you’re looking for an alternative to the trusty old BBQ, why not try something different and fun: the Sloppy Jane. This recipe for Sloppy Janes with Mozzarella is prepared on the stove top rather than the grill, but you can make a big batch of the delicious turkey filling and serve it beside BBQ-toasted buns and a bowl of shredded Canadian Mozzarella. Then, guests […]

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Spicy Tuna Melt Recipe with Chardonnay Wine Pairing

Spicy Tuna Melt Spice it up this Spring Yes, it’s still cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn up the heat. Warm up with your favourite sweater and glass of wine to melt away the last of your winter worries. Maximize your “me time” with a simple yet delicious tuna melt. A childhood classic that will take you back to the days of sticky hands and messy faces. My favourite version is the Spicy Tuna Melt, a modern twist on this much-loved sandwich. Toast some multi-grain bread and top it with a mix of tuna, peppers, and red […]

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Wine and Food Pairing with Memories and Laughter

  As part of the CBC’s Food Fantasy fundraiser for the Food Bank, I raffled myself off to visit the home of the winner and pair wines with a three-course meal. You can listen to our group chat above and discover some surprising tips on pairing wine and food. The winners were Merle and Richard (far right in the picture below), a lovely couple who hosted a fun evening filled with wine, laughter and memories.   Wines Tasted and Food Pairings Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand Grassy and smoky and absolutely great! This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc […]

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Asparagus and Brie Tartlets Recipe Paired with Riesling or Merlot

Eat Green this St. Patrick’s Day I love the month of March because it is a sign of fresh things to come. The weather is beginning to warm up and green is starting to poke out from under the snowy landscape. And of course that’s not the only green we’re seeing; St. Patrick’s Day will bring a whole new slew of green things. And there’s no better way to incorporate the festive colour into your St. Patty’s day than with a delicious asparagus and Canadian Brie-based appetizer. Impress your guests with these Asparagus and Brie Wonton Tartlets – trust me, […]

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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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Finding Your Sole-mate: Pairing Sparkling Wine and Seafood

By Melissa Pulvermacher The Vino Enthusiasts wine club is a gathering for people who appreciate wine and want to learn more about it. The group gets together to taste, pair and learn on a monthly basis. At the most recent wine club, the group drank sparkling wine paired with seafood to discover the array of types and how they all pair differently with food. The goal was to compare and contrast the most popular sparkling styles with local, Ontario options that are made and accessible in our own backyards. The food pairings included crab and goat-cheese crostini, lemon-butter calamari, salted […]

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How do you serve icewine? Food pairings with icewine?

How do you serve icewine? Serve icewine chilled; an hour or two in the fridge will allow it to reach the ideal drinking temperature of 10C-12C. The traditional time to serve it is at the end of the meal, when most people already feel full. Many producers feel that icewine shouldn’t be called a dessert wine, as it stereotypes the wine into being consumed only at the end of a meal, when most people are already full. Conversely, French sauternes is also served at the beginning of a meal with dishes such as foie gras and cheeses. Icewine works equally […]

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Canadian Icewine: Extreme Winemaking

A wine columnist is urging Canadians to drink icewine while cheering on the country’s Olympians next month. “It’s Canada’s winter gold. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our Canadian winters. I kind of think about our Canadian athletes too and I think we all should be drinking icewine while watching the Olympics,” says Natalie MacLean, editor of a wine review site, which has more than 156,000 members. “It’s uniquely Canadian in that we are the biggest producer and the best producer, I think, in terms of quality. It’s just such an all-Canadian treat that I think people need […]

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Icewine: Canada’s Gold in a Glass

Icewine: Canada’s golden winter elixir … that’s the hot topic of our segment above on CTV’s The Social. What is icewine and how is it different from other sweet wines? Why is Canada the world leader in producing it? What are the best icewines and which treats do you pair with it? You’ll find all of the icewines we discussed in this segment in this custom shopping list, along with dry red and white wines, showing you the stock for each wine at your closest liquor stores so that you can try them this weekend. Where was icewine first made? […]

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