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? (Of course, the answer is no if she’s driving … non-alcoholic cider is a great alternative.) The holidays are right around the corner, when unexpected guests will be the norm. Are you ready with your house wine? If […]

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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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Autumn Shepherd’s Pie Recipe Paired with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir

Hosting made easy? There’s a recipe for that. There’s nothing better than inviting a few friends over for a nice dinner. Unless, of course, you end up spending so much time preparing it that you’re completely drained by the time they show up at your house. With that in mind, I give you this week’s recipe suggestion: Autumn Hash. A new twist on an old classic, this shepherd’s pie 2.0 will not only wow your guests, it’ll actually leave you time to enjoy their company. The recipe calls for all sorts of yummy ingredients, including Canadian Havarti. And if that […]

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Thanksgiving Wines: Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce

My latest column in Active Adult Magazine has lots of terrific wines for your Thanksgiving dinner, including pairings for roast turkey, stuffing or cranberry sauce. You can also find my tips for pairing Thanksgiving (or Christmas) turkey and wine in Reuters (second story), Kansas City Star, The Vancouver Province, The Star-Ledger, Contra Costa Times and The Star-Gazette. Let’s give thanks for all of these great bottles!

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Grilled Steak Recipe with Monterey Jack Cheese Rollups Paired with Rose or Red Wine

Enjoy eating outdoors with this great and easy recipe. Picnics have a reputation for being fun and festive events. The truth is that they often require a lot of work behind the scenes. You have to choose menu items that can keep for a long time, accommodate large groups and of course have lots of flavour. You then have to prepare the menu, as well as choose and bring along drinks that pair nicely with the food. And let’s not forget about all the other items, such as foldable chairs, coolers and sports equipment. So this week I’ve taken it […]

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How to Pair Wine and Cheese Plus Serving Tips

It’s been said that wine and cheese are not only the perfect marriage, but the one that never breaks up! The key here is to build up a momentum. Offering three separate servings, start with lighter cheeses accompanied by light wines or beers and move on to stronger cheeses and more full-bodied vintages. And don’t forget to look for the 100% Canadian milk symbol whenever you buy cheese. Presentation: It doesn’t take much to attract a crowd to cheese. So a simple, elegant plate can suffice. But a lovely assortment of cheeses luxuriously laid out on a prized marble or […]

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The first patio party of the year

I’m glad to announce that I am officially opening my patio. There have been enough warm, sunny afternoons to make me believe that I can safely take my garden furniture out of storage and organize a small get-together. You should do the same. I propose you host an afternoon wine and cheese party so that you can bask with your friends in the spring sunlight, whether it be on your patio or balcony. The cheese platter I have assembled was inspired by the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, a national competition that celebrates Canadian cheese-making excellence, awarding the best in each […]

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Recipe for Chorizo Cheese and Black Bean Dip Paired with La Posta Cocina Tinto, Argentina

Warm Chorizo Cheese and Black Bean Dip A crowd pleasing dip featuring oozing melted cheese and black beans with a touch of heat from jalapeno peppers and chorizo sausage. A perfect pairing to try would be La Posta Cocina Tinto 2010, a blend of Malbec, Syrah and Bonardo from Argentina. If you are unable to find chorizo, substitute hot Italian sausage or even turkey sausage and serve the dip with tortilla chips or pita triangles. Serves a crowd (8 to 10) 1 lb. bulk chorizo sausage 1 cup onion, diced finely 2 tbsp fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional) 1 […]

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Bites of Bliss – Holiday Cheese Hors d’Oeuvres Recipes and Wine Pairings Make for Festive Evenings

GOUDA ALL WAYS Holiday eating usually means large meals and I love the occasional feast as much as the next wine writer. But I also appreciate meals that give me a break in the middle of banquet season and still deliver sparkle and flavour. Let’s organize an event with no main course and enjoy tasty morsels of deliciousness: hors d’oeuvres! They’re perfect for a supper party because they can be eaten over a long period of time, delight the senses and still leave room for wine and conversation! So let’s have a great evening of appetizers and cheeses paired with […]

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