Haunting Wines for Halloween Treats and Pairings that won’t Spook You

Something a bit scary happens on Halloween: we try pairing wine with mini Rolos, Mars bars and Smarties. Here are some tips on combinations that won’t frighten your palate … Count Dracula said, “I never drink … wine.” But for those of us who don’t enjoy his beverage of choice, wine is the way to go — even with Halloween treats. In between doorbell chimes, I like to polish off those mini chocolate bars with a glass of Messias 10 Year Old Tawny Port 1998 ($23.95, 91 points). This Portuguese dessert wine, with its river of almond and toffee flavour, […]

read more …

Read More

Fall Wines: Grapes, Regions and Food Pairings: BNN Video

In the video above, we discuss the best wines of fall food pairings from Canada and around the world on the Business News Network (BNN). You don’t have to pay a lot to get great value in your glass these days. Find out which wines over-deliver on their price point. Pamela: As the season changes your wine list should change too. We could all use some tips on picking a good bottle of wine, with great value. I caught up with Natalie MacLean who is a wine writer and also author of “Unquenchable: a Tipsy Search for the World’s Best […]

read more …

Read More

Grilled Polenta Bites with Friulano Recipe

Grilled Polenta Bites with Friulano A Trick-or-Treat Treat Fall is in full swing. And now that Thanksgiving is over, my next favourite festive event is here: Halloween. If you’re looking to add some scrumptious to your scary, I have a recipe that will do just the trick (or treat). These Grilled Polenta Bites with Friulano are a simple and easy snack for you to make just before you and your little ones head out for a night of spooky fun. They are a Canadian take on an Italian classic, with a delicious Canadian Friulano cheese. If you’ve never tried it […]

read more …

Read More

The Grapes of Laugh: How to Host a Wine Tasting or Start a Wine Club

There are many excellent reasons to host a wine tasting party—or even to form a wine club. For one thing, wine is a social beverage—one that’s meant to be shared with friends. And it’s more fun to drink than to buy Tupperware—unless, of course, you’re drinking from the Tupperware. The only goal is to enjoy yourself and perhaps find a new favorite bottle. Although wine does lend itself to serious technical analysis, that’s not really necessary. You don’t need a PhD to talk about it: anyone can share opinions about the wine. Most people just want to socialize over a […]

read more …

Read More

Wine Tasting Club Checklist

Continued from How to Host a Wine Tasting Here’s a checklist for how to host a wine tasting or start a regular wine tasting club. 1. One Month Before the Tasting Decide who you want to invite Your tasting club could be for your existing friends, or a means to get to know new friends via work or other venues, or a mix. Invite six to twelve guests. These days, trying to find an unscheduled evening with six to twelve busy people is a challenge so you may need to give your group even more lead time than a month. […]

read more …

Read More

Vegetarian Poutine with Miso-Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Vegetarian Poutine with Miso-Mushroom Gravy Recipe by: Courtney Flood This recipe has several of my favourite ingredients that I love to promote. They sound somewhat “exotic”, but once you know how to use them they are great ingredients to have on hand and all have a great shelf life. Nutritional yeast is high in protein and B vitamins and has a cheesy flavour that is a great vegan substitute for cheese. You can find it in bulk food stores. Miso paste is made from fermented soybeans and adds a great vegetarian umami flavour. It’s a live food that is rich […]

read more …

Read More

Pairing Wine with Weird Holiday Turkey Recipes

Maple-Brined, Wood-Smoked Grilled Turkey To stuff some life into this year’s obligatory wine and turkey pairing column for Thanksgiving (or Christmas), I asked the creators of some strangely wonderful turkey recipes for their permission to post them here and pair them with wine. I’m still on the hunt for beer can turkey, turducken, tofurkey (tofu-shaped turkey), and believe or not, that new chocolate-glazed with sprinkles dessert favourite, turdunkin (!) Maple-Brined, Wood-Smoked Grilled Turkey Recipe Allow a total of 4 to 4-1/2 hours to start the fire, cook the turkey, and let it rest. Have a full bag of charcoal on […]

read more …

Read More

Recipes from Wine Country: Warm Mushroom Salad with Reif Estate Cabernet Merlot

Warm Wild and Domestic Mushroom Salad Sponsored Post Falling for Cabernet Merlot Autumn is the perfect time for you to start living the Reifstyle, an ideal time to enjoy the bounty of the fall harvest with Reif Estate’s VQA wines.  Chef Robin Howe from Wine Country Catering makes it easy with his warm mushroom salad that will pair expertly with a medium bodied rich red wine like Reif Estate Winery’s 2012 Cabernet Merlot. A perfectly balanced blend of two classic red Bordeaux varietals with black berry and sweet spiced oaky flavours on the palate. You can find this great recipe […]

read more …

Read More

Fall Wines: A Warming Taste Trend

Wine styles are as seasonal as clothing. In the summer, I drink light, refreshing wines that remind me of a simple T-shirt and shorts: perfect for sun-baked beaches and country road strolls. But in the fall, my wine, like my clothes, becomes warmer, more layered and better able to combat those cool winds of October. In the video above, Leanne and I chat about fall fashions in wine, from the run-way to your dining room table. The wines featured in this show include: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay, California Toasted Head Chardonnay, California Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon, California Santa […]

read more …

Read More

5 Tips to Pick Wines for Thanksgiving

No other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. Wine is a taste of the harvest along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavors to match. Relax. Have a drink. And try some of my suggestions for great wines to pair with Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings that Leanne and I chat about in the video above. You can also watch our first video on fall wines here. In my free online matching tool, you can click on “turkey holiday dinner” […]

read more …

Read More