Wine Buying and Pairing for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

You’re asking me what’s the way to a woman’s heart? Forget flowers and candy … I’d like Pinot Noir please! Wine is the drink of conversation. You’re usually over a glass of wine watching each other, you’re talking, it’s over an evening, it lasts a long time, just like love should. Think about it. You don’t give a six-pack of beer for Valentine’s Day; you give a bottle of wine and often a bottle of sparkling wine and flowers or chocolates. It’s meant to be shared. It’s meant to be savoured slowly. But which bottle do you buy? How much […]

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Video: Valentine’s Day Wine and Chocolate Pairings

In the video chat above, Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho shares his tips for pairing wine and chocolate for Valentine’s Day and any other time of the year when you want to indulge. He knows his sweet stuff having won gold at the Culinary Olympics in the categories of sugar, chocolate, wedding cakes and dessert presentation. How did you train for the culinary Olympics? Your secrets to making great chocolate? What is the strangest chocolate sculpture you’ve created? Tell me about some of your specialized tools for making chocolate: induction burners, ganache frames, guitars, robot-coupes, heat guns and automatic enrobers? […]

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Surprising Pairings for Villa Maria Wines from Antipasto to Steak

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital for a comprehensive tasting of Villa Maria wines from New Zealand.   Terry Jeans Wine Writer, Ottawa Wine Guide   What an elaborate tasting! We had the chance to have an amazing tasting with one of the viticulturists from Villa Maria– Ollie Powrie, who presented us with an insightful session of tasting over a dozen wines from one of the only New Zealand owned and family operated wineries. Founded and owned by the venerated Sir George Fistonich, a real icon of the wine industry, who has been part of […]

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5 Dynamite Bubblies for a Sparkling Holiday and How to Find Wonderful Wines to Celebrate

By Melissa Pulvermacher ‘Tis the season for family, food and sparkling wine. Every year I feature my favourite bottle of bubbly before New Year’s Eve. This year, I decided to write about my top 5 picks to make sure everyone can ring in the new year with bubbles. To help you navigate the intimidating selection, all you need to know is the basics. Mostly you need to be able to navigate whether a bottle is traditional method or tank method and the level of dosage (sweetness added to the wine by concentrated grape juice). 1. Traditional Method This is the […]

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How do You Pick a Great Gift Wine? 5 Tips for Festive Sips

Want to give someone a bottle of wine this year? On Global Television’s Morning Show, we chat about quick tips on how to choose a great gift wine this holiday. Wine is a great gift because: –    one size fits all –    doubles are fine –    it’s easy to re-gift Also: – it’s easy to return for cash without a receipt – wine doesn’t have to be cared for and it should never be watered – it’s consumable so it doesn’t create clutter adding to more stuff in your home How to decide which wine to give? – match the […]

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Wine Tasting Hackathon: New Way of Social Wine Discovery

Our second team wine tasting yesterday felt like a family reunion. Sommeliers and wine bloggers from Toronto and Montreal flew or drove in to join those from the east to west ends of Ottawa. There was an instant camaraderie among those gathered here who recognized each other as fellow contributors to our online community. What I admire most about these reviewers is that although they have sterling wine credentials and training, they keep it real and conversational — with an effort to connect, not to impress. The tasting also struck me as the wine version of a hackathon. In the […]

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Pairing Wine and Holiday Dishes and Treats

On Global Television’s Morning Show today, Carolyn, Jeff and I chat about pairing wine with holiday treats such as shortbread, chocolate Santas and fruitcake … … yes, we’re going there ;) Plus, here are bonus tips on pairing wines with other holiday favourite dishes … Can we be honest? Holiday turkey dinner is just an excuse for most of us to chow down on our favourite side dish, whether it’s cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing or sweet potatoes. Often they have more interesting flavours than that dry old bird in the middle of the table. So please, let’s stop kidding ourselves with […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Find Your Holiday Gift Wine from Our Team Tasting Top Picks

Our last big team tasting for the year had 150 bottles on the tables, along a variety of Balderson Cheddar Cheeses in preparation for our pairing contest. .   You can watch the video reviews below of our team’s favourite discoveries.       Matt Steeves Wine Expert, CTV Morning Live                 Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Rachelle O’Connor Wine Blogger & Judge         Photo by Cherie Cole Cherie Cole Restaurant Wine Consultant         Sharon Prionas Wine […]

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