Garden Variety Wines: The Best Bottles for Outdoor Dining

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm Spring and summer means outdoor parties – casual barbecues to white-glove garden soirées – and there’s a perfect wine for every al fresco occasion. Flip Flops and Fine Wine – The BBQ When food is smoky and beefy, you might automatically think of an oaky Cabernet Sauvignon, but let’s not forget how hot and humid it can be, so a nicely chilled, oaky white wine or slightly chilled lighter red – may be just the thing! An oaky white – think Norman Hardie Chardonnay or La Crema Chardonnay will complement smoky, grilled chicken, […]

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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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Holiday Wine Team Tasting: Your Wines for Gift Giving and Entertaining

On Sunday, 22 wine-loving, football-sacrificing souls (it was Grey Cup) gathered to taste more than 70 spectacular wines. Click on the arrow above to hear about Jennifer’s favourite wine from the tasting, a Chilean Carmenere with bright acidity, nice little spice, great for a wide variety of foods. Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Monique explains her reasons for picking Taittinger Champagne to toast her celebration events.         Monique Ippolito Wine Columnist, Ottawa Living Magazine               Craig’s take on Beringer Quantum red […]

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The Good Life (and Good Wine) in Prince Edward County

By Tania Thomas We drove into The County across the Bay Bridge from Bellville on a hot and sticky mid-July morning. The shimmering waters of Lake Ontario beneath us looked refreshing and exceptionally inviting. Sunset on the beach and a swim is definitely on our agenda, but before that there are wineries to visit and winemakers to talk to. Just a few hours away from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston, nestled on Quinte’s Isle are the vineyards of Prince Edward County, Ontario’s newest VQA wine Appellation and the fastest growing wine region of Ontario. With close to 40 wineries, and […]

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Jane’s Gems: Ontario Shines in September 19 Vintages Release

Exciting Times for Ontario Wines By Jane Staples Exciting things are happening in Ontario’s wine industry and wine tourism is developing in great strides. One trend is that women now participate in every facet of the business and perform in every role, whether as winemaker, planting in the vineyards, or in marketing. Women like Ann Sperling, Winemaker at Southbrook Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, are making waves.  Southbrook’s winemaking philosophy is based on biodynamic, organic farming practices.  Every aspect of their operations reflects their commitment to these principles. Carolyn Hurst co-owns Westcott Vineyards in Niagara Peninsula with her husband, Grant Westcott.  Victoria […]

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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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Vegan and Vegetarian Wine Food Pairings

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance One of the most interesting things I’ve realized since meeting Alex is that although wine and food pairings are common, it is extremely rare that wine pairings are offered for vegetarian or more specifically, vegan foods. With Meatless Mondays gaining momentum and scores of celebrities (Beyonce, Jared Leto, Bill Clinton, Ellen Degeneres) going vegan and since I have my own, in-house sommelier to help me out, I thought I’d pay it forward and offer some general thoughts on how to pair wine with vegan foods. To begin, I should clarify ‘vegan’ from ‘vegetarian’. […]

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Best Wine for Canada Day? Blockbuster Bottles for Backyard BBQ

Our Canada Day BBQ party on the studio patio of Canada AM this morning was a blast! We revealed the winners of The Great Canadian Wine Match: BBQ Edition, as well as delicious food pairings. (Click on the arrow to play the video above as well as on the one below for the second video.) We had such fun out there … I could have lolled on the patio all day, especially with those wonderful wines! Please congratulate the finalists by clicking on the social media buttons for each wine – the script and links are already there for you, […]

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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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