Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Canadian Gouda

By Tania Thomas Gouda, one of the oldest and most popular cheeses in the world dates back to 1100’s in its native Holland and is still made today. It is named after the city of Gouda as it has historically been traded there for centuries. Today, the name describes general style of cheese made similar to the old traditional Dutch way, as well as the Dutch original. Brought to Canada with the skilled Dutch cheese-making immigrants who used their centuries-old secret recipes and their native cultures, Canada’s Goudas are every bit as delicious and as high in quality as the […]

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Rutherford Wines: A Taste of Sunny California

By Tania Thomas Recently, several wine writers had a rare opportunity to taste Rutherford Wine Company wines from their extensive portfolio over an intimate dinner at the Mezzanotte Restaurant in Ottawa’s ByWard Market Hosted by the winery’s agency, Majestic Wines Cellars, and Rutherford’s Director of Export Sales, charming Dick Wallingford. The history of the winery starts with Napa’s Zaninovic family, the third generation Croatian immigrants, who had owned and farmed produce throughout Californian Central Valley since the 1940s. They purchased 180 acres in the highly acclaimed Arroyo Seco area of the Salinas Valley in the early 1970s and started planting […]

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Ferrari: Mountain Sparkling Wine of the Alps

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital recently for an extraordinary tasting of Ferrari wines, Italy’s benchmark sparkling wine producer. Matteo Lunelli, president of Ferrari, explains in the video above how the Ferarri winery survived unscathed during World War II and out of that fortunate chaos, founder Giulio Ferrari discovered longer aged vintages. Click on the arrow to play the video. With the help of a slide show, Matteo shares the beauty of the countryside at Villa Margon. As well as being a wine growing area during the summer months, there is skiing in winter. Tuna […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Creamy Cheese Fondue

By Tania Thomas Wine and cheese are a truly perfect pair. An especially satisfying experience is to enjoy the two together after a hard day of playing in the snow. Imagine a roaring fireplace, snowed-in mountain lodge and a pot of warm and gooey cheese fondue. Heaven! As a national dish of Switzerland, fondue was associated with rustic mountain life from the lowlands of western, French-speaking, Switzerland. A rich and expensive Gruyère cheese was used for its preparation with the addition of wine and seasoning. If you feel inspired; get started by rubbing the pot with a halved garlic clove. […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Risotto, Seduction in Piedmont

By Tania Thomas Nestled in the Italy’s northwest corner, surrounded on three sides by the mighty Alps, lies the gastronomical regions of Piedmont. Unlike the rest of Italy, this is the land of butter and hearty fare due to a strong French influence from Savoy just across the border. In Piedmont, the meal always starts with antipasti. Usually risotto or polenta, followed by braised meats as a main course. Except in the case of risotto alla Milanese, made by adding beef bone marrow, flavoured by saffron and served as main course along Ossobuco, a classic Milanese dish of braised veal […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Turkey

By Tania Thomas Thanksgiving is the time of the year when we remember what we are thankful for and a celebration that captures holiday spirit of home cooking like no other. Sharing this day with family and friend is what makes it even more special. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced to two separate events in our history. The arrival of the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who came with the French settlers to New France and celebrated their successful harvests, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area. The second is […]

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Moet & Chandon Champagne Tasting 2006 Vintage Rosé Wine

By Melissa Pulvermacher Moët & Chandon is one of the world’s leading producers of Champagne. Moët produces more than 26,000,000 bottles of Champagne on an annual basis. Elise Losfelt, one of the 10 winemakers of Moët & Chandon, joined a group of tasters in Toronto, Ontario to introduce the new release of the 2006 Rosé in Canada in December, 2015. Elise helped the tasters understand that behind the label and well-recognized brand, there is a product and that the winemakers are extremely dedicated to achieving the expected style, while exceeding quality and expectations of its consumers. The tasting began with […]

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Wine Writers Behaving Like Critics: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

By Natalie MacLean They called it a tempest in a wine glass: two of the world’s most respected wine writers facing off against one another over one bottle of wine. Of course, there’s nothing unusual about critics disagreeing, even vehemently. But this time, the debate degenerated into a rumble over the definition of wine itself—and the integrity of the critics. In the American corner was Robert Parker, whose wine scores carry so much weight that they move the market. From Britain, was author Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine and columnist for the Financial Times of London. Both have written more […]

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How to Write a Wine Review: Tasting Notes that Tell a Story

Each week, I issue a challenge to those who post reviews on our site. If you’d like to get the latest challenge when it goes out, please e-mail me at natdecants @ nataliemaclean.com. Use All Five Senses Use all five senses to describe a wine. We tend to lean on just two as wine writers: smell and taste. But what about colour, texture (mouth-feel, weight) and even sound as you pour the wine, or other ambient sound in your environment, such as what’s playing on your stereo to make this wine even more memorable? Evoking all five senses will make […]

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Chateau Palmer Tasting: Bordeaux Wine Seduces and Satisfies

Château Palmer By Melissa Pulvermacher Château Palmer is a much-respected winery in the Margeaux appellation d’origine contrôlée in Bordeaux, France. You may recognize Palmer better as one of the classified Third Growths of Bordeaux. Palmer has been known as one of the most popular of this classification and some even argue that its consistent delivery of quality held up against First Growth, Château Margeaux. I was given the opportunity to taste several of the Palmer wines at an organized tasting at The National Club in Toronto, Ontario. After tasting the 2004, 1999, 1995 and 1983 vintages up against one another, […]

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