Wine Critic Writes with Humor and Contagious Passion

By Jessica Yadegaran For someone who grew up in a whiskey-drinking Scottish family, Natalie MacLean has come a long way in wine. Today, the Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Award winner is Canada’s answer to Jancis Robinson. She is a critic who writes about wine with humor and contagious passion. She counts Kermit Lynch, Rex Pickett and Gary Vaynerchuk among her fans. Her best-selling books, “Red, White, and Drunk All Over” (Bloomsbury, 2007) and “Unquenchable” (Perigee, 2011), share tips on hunting the world’s best bargain wines. But these days, MacLean’s website, which she launched in 2000, is a go-to […]

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5 Romantic Wine & Chocolate Matches for Valentine’s Day – Canada AM

Bev and I chat about 5 to-die-for wine and chocolate pairings on Canada AM. Here are my top 10 matches to give you some more wines for your sweetie: Dark Chocolate and Masi Costasera Classico Amarone, Italy. Chocolate-Covered Biscotti and Henry of Pelham Vidal Icewine, Niagara. Chocolate-Orange Cake and Quinta de Ventozelo Reserva Ruby Port, Portugal. Chocolate with Nuts and Fonseca Bin No 27 Port, Portugal. Milk Chocolate and Puklus Pinceszet Tokaji, Hungary. Bittersweet Chocolate and La Pieve Barolo, Italy. Chocolate-Dipped Fruit and Inniskillin Wines Vidal Icewine, Niagara. Chocolate Ganache Truffles and Château Guiraud Sauternes, Bordeaux, France. Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake […]

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Wine and Books: Holiday Gifts – Breakfast Television

This past Thursday, we chatted about book and bottle pairings as holiday gifts on Breakfast Television. Words and wine seem like a natural pairing to me … here are my favourites. What are yours? 1. Books are Beautiful The publisher selected 30 classic works of literature and assigned each a beautiful colour. Then the editors organized them in a rainbow of words so spectacular that you’re going to want to line them up on your shelves and just look at them.         Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut, South East Australia, Australia: Green apple fresh with zesty […]

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Want a wine bargain? Consider South Africa and Canada – Providence Journal

Looking for some wine advice for Thanksgiving? Or any part of the holiday season? Check out Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines now in paperback. In it, sommelier and award-winning wine writer Natalie MacLean shares her expertise to reveal wines that aren’t commonly considered but that many will find stunning. Basically, these wines are affordable because demand doesn’t drive up their prices. Argentinean Malbec, for example, doesn’t have the cachet or brand awareness of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, so producers have to compete aggressively on price. Its flavor falls somewhere between the two noble red grapes. […]

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How to Taste Wine in 5 Steps Video

In this video, I read a few short sections from Unquenchable, including the parts about meeting Wolf Blass in Australia and Charles Back in South Africa. We also do a quick wine tasting with the 5 steps to tasting wine. It’s tongue-in-cheek but will give you the basics for getting more from each glass. What’s your favourite wine for tasting, or drinking? You can also watch a shorter wine video of the Airmiles Gold event at Willow Park Wine & Spirits. 10801 Bonaventure Dr SE Calgary, Alberta T2J 6Z8 Phone: 403.296.1640 http://willowpark.net

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Huffington Post Wine Column

I’m excited to be starting a new weekly wine column for the Huffington Post. This online newspaper has a broad reach and so it’ll be great to share my passion for the grape with new readers. Let me know if you have suggestions for future columns. Here’s the second one … Here’s the full text of the article… Top 5 Wine & Book Pairings for the Holidays By Natalie MacLean I’m already savouring the books I plan to dive into this holiday season as much as the wines I’ll enjoy. Just for fun, I’ve paired some of this season’s bestsellers […]

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Food and Wine Books with Wines Matched for Gifts: CTV Video

Here’s part two of our conversation about books and bottles that you can give as holiday gifts. (You’ll find part one of our conversation here.) Do you have a favourite wine and word pairing? Do you belong to a book club that likes to crack open a bottle? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Gassier Sables D’azur Rosé 2011, A.C., Côtes De Provence, France I love it! (I also just shouted that out the window to some surprised people on the sidewalk.) So very pretty with a basket of fresh field strawberries. Bask in the sun and pretend you are […]

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Wine Book and Bottle Pairings for the Holidays: CTV News at Noon

In the first of our two-part conversation, Leanne Cusack, host of CTV News at Noon, and I chat about six terrific book and bottle pairings that you can give as a gift set this holiday … don’t forget to treat yourself too! Here’s part two of our conversation, with more pairings, later today. Veuve Clicquot Non-Vintage Champagne Chardonnay Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier, A.C. Champagne, France Notes of green apples, orange zest and white peach on the nose with toasty goodness through the core and finish. Try the ultra-shabby chic combo here between French Champagne and a bucket of KFC chicken. […]

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Taste Canada: Wine, Food and Books

It was a spectacular evening celebrating Canadian wine, food and books at the Taste Canada awards November 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Here are some pictures of the event courtesy of Laura Berman, Greenfuse Photography I’ve posted a short video below with Alison Pryor, owner of Canada’s best culinary book store called the Cookbook Store in Toronto near Yorkville. You can find my first post about Taste Canada here. The food that evening was terrific … a full-on, dazzling display of culinary delights by a number of the country’s top chefs.     That’s Bonnie Stern above, the […]

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