Ontario Sparkling Wine for New Year’s and All Year

On CBC’s Metro Morning we chat about terrific Ontario sparkling wines for New Year’s Eve, plus one splurge-worthy Champagne. More sparkling wine chats here. Plus, why is sparkling wine the most food-friendly wine on the planet? Shabby-chic pairings, from potato chips to buttered popcorn. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site, picks her favourite sparkling wines for New Year’s Eve: Henry Of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Blancs De Blanc 2009 Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada Zesty, refreshing and balanced Niagara sparkling wine with crisp notes of green apple and baked bread. Superb quality. Great persistence of […]

read more …

Read More

Top 6 Wine New Year’s Resolutions

Every New Year, I make—and break—several resolutions about exercise or housecleaning. However, I also make a resolution or two about wine, which have always been easy to keep because they’re fun. Here are a few of my favorites that you can try this year.   1. I resolve to try something new  It’s easy to get into a rut with wine and buy the same brand every time. But the pleasure of wine is in its diversity. If you like full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from California, try one from Argentina, or even a different robust red, such as an Argentine Malbec. […]

read more …

Read More

Why is Champagne the Wine of New Year’s Eve?

On CBC Ontario’s CBC drive-home shows we chat about bubblies for the New Year’s in the third part of our holiday wine series. We also chatted about this on CBC’s Alberta at Noon as well as The Morning Edition in Saskatchewan and Metro Morning in Toronto. Champagne is the traditional sparkling wine to ring in the new year, but there are other alternatives. Further below are the wines we talked about in the audio clip above. Do you know the answers to these bubbly questions? Why is Champagne the wine of New Year’s Eve? Savvy champagne producers have managed to […]

read more …

Read More

How to Make New Year’s Sparkle with Great Wine?

ON CBC’s Alberta at Noon, we chat about why Champagne is the wine of celebration, not just to welcome the new year, but also to celebrate life’s other highlights. Listen to more chats about sparkling wines. Why is sparkling the most food-friendly wine on the planet? How did savvy product placement make champagne a luxury brand? How to best chill sparkling wine quickly?   Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site, recommends her favourite wines for New Year’s Eve and Day: Veuve Clicquot Non-Vintage Champagne Champagne A.C., France This classic, well-known Champagne is a traditional blend of Chardonnay, […]

read more …

Read More

The Champagnes of James Bond and Rappers: Bollinger and Cristal

Part 2: Champagne Widows By the 1930s, French winemakers faced even greater challenges: a country about to go to war, a worldwide Depression that made running any business difficult, and U.S. Prohibition, which made selling luxury champagne to the lucrative American market almost impossible. This was the forbidding business environment that Camille Olry-Roederer stepped into when she took over the champagne house Louis Roederer after losing her second husband in 1932 (her first husband had died in World War I). Sales were 264,000 bottles that year, compared to 2.3 million bottles in 1876. But like the other women of Champagne […]

read more …

Read More

Veuve Clicquot Champagne: Riddle Me This!

Above: Designer Karim Rashid created a Love Seat for Veuve Clicquot’s Yellow By Design exhibition, a modern take of an 18th century love seat blended with the rose colour seats to complement the Veuve Clicquot wine. Part 1: Champagne Widows Madame Clicquot wasn’t just a saleswoman, she also developed the technique called remuage or riddling, to remove sediment from the wine – a method that was quickly adopted throughout the Champagne region. Veuve Clicquot Riddling Table The second fermentation in the bottle that gives champagne its carbon dioxide also creates sediment, which gives the wine an unsightly cloudy appearance.  To […]

read more …

Read More

The Merry Widows of Mousse: Champagne Widows

They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they did not do what was expected: step aside or sell the business.  Nor did they marry again (though they were still in their twenties and thirties), handing over the reins to a new husband. Instead, these celebrated veuves, or widows, took control of their châteaux to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world – wines that still bear their names: Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, Laurent-Perrier, Roederer and […]

read more …

Read More

Which Wine Pairings for turkey, fruitcake or cheese?

The holiday countdown is on and Canadians are scrambling for last-minute gifts for their hosts and loved ones. Wine and food seem like a natural option at this time of year, but with thousands of bottles lining the shelves at liquor outlets, where does one begin? “I’d start with pairing the wine that you’re going to bring to go with the dinner. Wild guess, might be turkey,” says sommelier Natalie MacLean, editor of the wine review site nataliemaclean.com. She suggests a sparkling wine like Cava from Spain, a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, a dry rose from France or a […]

read more …

Read More

Sparkling Wine for New Year’s Eve versus Champagne

Most people think of champagne as the drink of choice to ring in the New Year. But when the price of one bottle averages $60, you might want to consider sparkling wine, which offers great taste for a fraction of champagne’s price. Although champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, almost every other region of the country and many countries around the world produce sparkling wines, often using the same techniques and grapes as champagne. Most sparklers are a blend of the traditional champagne grapes—Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Like champagne, they’re labeled according to their dryness, […]

read more …

Read More