Discovering the Secret Side of Malbec Wine

By Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance “Come, let me show you another side of Malbec, my friend.” Winemaker Aurelio Montes Jr. spoke the lovely quote above. What distinguishes him from many of his peers is that he makes wines for consumers rather than for winemakers, because he considers himself “a consumer first and foremost.” Perhaps this is why both of us (Alex, the Sommelier and Priya the casual drinker) were able to enjoy the horizontal tasting of Kaiken wines in Toronto at Nota Bene restaurant last week. Over a lunch spanning a leisurely 3 hours (a lovely Argentinian custom we wish Canadians would […]

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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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Thanksgiving Wines Top 10 Best Bottles

Here are my top 10 gobbling-good wines that I recommended on CBC radio this week. (You can listen to the radio interview below.) Got a favourite? I love matching wine with side dishes … pinot noir and cranberry sauce or riesling with green beans. The bonus is that they both work well with the big bird. Enjoy your holiday weekend! Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley, BC Terrifically fresh and vibrant! Like a basket of white melons on a summer afternoon. Lovely as an aperitif or companion to many dishes. Pair with: roast turkey, grilled fish, […]

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Weddings: Champagne & Wine for the Happy Couple

This interview with James Tidwell, Master Sommelier was published as one of my columns in Four Seasons Resorts Magazine. James has lots of terrific tips … Champagne is the ultimate drink of celebration, especially at weddings, according to James Tidwell, Master Sommelier at Four Seasons’ Cafe on the Green in Las Colinas, Texas. “Champagne toasts many milestones in life,” Tidwell says, “but one of the most important is the dedication of two people to spend a life together.” We asked Tidwell for his insights on how champagne makes a wedding more memorable at the resort. James Tidwell, Master Sommelier How […]

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Wine and Food Pairing with Memories and Laughter

  As part of the CBC’s Food Fantasy fundraiser for the Food Bank, I raffled myself off to visit the home of the winner and pair wines with a three-course meal. You can listen to our group chat above and discover some surprising tips on pairing wine and food. The winners were Merle and Richard (far right in the picture below), a lovely couple who hosted a fun evening filled with wine, laughter and memories.   Wines Tasted and Food Pairings Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand Grassy and smoky and absolutely great! This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc […]

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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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BBQ Wines, Grill Tips and Cookbook, Thai Steak Recipe: Chef Rob Rainford

In the video below, Food Network celebrity chef Rob Rainford shares his grilling tips, his favourite BBQ wines and his new cookbook Born to Grill. There’s also a delicious recipe for his barbecued Thai flank steak and Asian noodles below. Rob has always loved cooking, but his consistent theme has always been his love for the grill. Rob Rainford is a Canadian chef with a world renowned reputation. Born in Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica on November 30, 1966, Rob moved to Canada with his family when he was three. Rob enrolled in culinary school at George Brown College in 1994 […]

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How to Pick a House Wine: 5 Tips + Why You Need One

You’ve just finished your yoga class with your friend and the two of you agree it would be great to have a glass of wine together. Do you invite her back to your place? If so, which wine to serve? The mother of your child’s playmate arrives to pick up her child. Do you invite her in for some vino? Which one? The holidays are right around the corner, when unexpected guests will be the norm. Are you ready with your house wine? If not, here are 5 tips on choosing a great house wine: 1. Why wine? Wine is […]

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Recipe: Homemade Nachos and Cottage Cheese Dip with Chianti

Add some sophistication to your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a Sunday soiree full of good wine and Canadian cheese. When throwing a St.Patty’s Day get-together, I recommend making this fabulous homemade nachos and cottage cheese dip. Made with Canadian Cottage Cheese, guests will swoon over the dip’s soft and creamy texture. Splashes of green chives and cilantro make it perfectly on theme for the occasion. The best part? It only takes about ten minutes to prepare. A great wine to go with the […]

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Canadian Brie Fondue Recipe and Sancerre

Canadian Brie Fondue Add a little warmth to the cooler months Let’s be honest. The time between the harvest and the holiday season can feel like an eternity. The weather grows colder by the minute and the sky seems to be perpetually grey, yet there’s no snow on the ground to lift our spirits. So how can you make the time pass a little faster? Why, with a tummy-pleasing appetizer, of course. A personal favourite of mine, and one that I know will put a smile on your face, is Canadian Brie Fondue. Now, you don’t need to be a […]

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