Pierre Sparr Wines: Alsace Value and Taste Pair Well

Maison Pierre Sparr By Melissa Pulvermacher We’re all on a constant search of high-value wines for a great price. I always say that your chance of getting a great quality wine for a large price tag is high, and although the odds are less consistent, it feels great to find a killer bottle of wine that doesn’t break the bank. Maison Pierre Sparr, founded in 1680 by Jean Sparr, is a winery and brand located in Alsace, France. Sparr owns 15 hectares of their own Domaine, while also sourcing grapes from 130 hectares of trusted farmer-owned vines, to produce their […]

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What is Wine’s Role in Modern Madness? Finding Our Humanity Drop by Drop

Editor’s Note: I wrote this magazine piece on wine and civility 13 years ago, after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance than ever, with the riots in Ferguson, ISIS, Jian Ghomeshi, Gamergate, unfettered consumerism, and the mysogenous micro-aggressions that women face daily on social media. I welcome your thoughts here: never lose is your voice. In Vino Civilitatis The trouble with moderation is that it’s hard to get excited about it. Until now. After September 11, moderation seems to be rarer than a California cult cabernet. Finding the moderate and the civilized in everyday […]

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Recipe: Beef Empanadas and Malbec Wines

Argentinean-Style Beef Empanadas Empanadas Argentinas are beef empanadas that Argentineans serve as appetizers at parties or as a simple, everyday lunch or dinner. Empanadas Argentinas are always baked instead of fried, so your family can enjoy them regularly, too. These beef empanadas—seasoned like empanadas you find in Buenos Aires—will delight anyone, no matter where you are. Makes 24 Empanadas Prep time: 10 min. Total time: 1 hr. Ingredients: For the filling: 2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup) 2 tsp. Minced garlic, or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tsp. Paprika 1 […]

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Recipe: Argentinean Sorrentinos Paired with Malbec

Argentinean Sorrentinos Sorrentinos are round raviolis, filled with ham, mozzarella cheese and ricotta. They’re not from Sorrento – they were invented in the resort town of Mar del Plata. In Argentina you can buy a special type of deep ravioli mold called a “sorrentinero” that is used to make the exact sombrero-like shape of these pastas. If you make these from scratch, you can fill them with ham, mozzarella, and ricotta, and serve them with any sauce. Or buy widely available ricotta-filled raviolis, and serve them with this creamy ham and mozzarella cheese sauce on top – a sort of […]

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Bring on the Beaujolais! A Young Red Wine is Centre of Attention each November

Carol Anne and I chat about this year’s beaujolais nouveau in the video above. Catch our second video chat about more easy-drinking red wines for the holidays that aren’t nouveau. Here are my reviews and ratings of the 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau wines, French Primeur, Italian Novellos and Canadian nouveau-style wines: The Fool Reif Estate Gamay Nouveau VQA, Ontario The Hanging Man Reif Estate Kerner Nouveau VQA, Ontario Art’s Beaujolais Primeur Nouveau, France Catalans Primeur Syrah Merlot, France Negrar Novello Del Veneto, Italy Tollo Novello Rosso Terre di Chieti, Italy Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau, France Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Villages Nouveau, France George […]

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Beaujolais Nouveau arrives Thursday! Top 10 Food Matches …

In our first video chat, Carol Anne and I discuss beaujolais nouveau wines to try this year. However, for those who want to try other easy-drinking red wines this week and during the holidays, we’ve got more suggestions above for you. On the third Thursday of every November, Beaujolais produdcers in southern Burgundy, France, release wine from the new harvest. More than 60 million bottles make their way around the world to bistros, bars and restaurants. Nouveau is a knock-it-back kind of wine to be enjoyed in the spirit of celebrating the harvest! Here are my top 10 food matches […]

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Errazuriz Winery Puts Chile on the Wine Map with Cool Climate Viticulture

By Melissa Pulvermacher On October 31, I had the pleasure of joining Eduardo Chadwick and fellow industry professionals for lunch at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto. Bosk restaurant catered the intimate meal and Eduardo spoke about the wines that we tasted from Errázuriz Vineyards. Eduardo Chadwick Aconcagua Costa The majority of the wines tasted at the luncheon were from a relatively new wine region –Aconcagua Costa. About 12 km from the cool Pacific Ocean, Chile is able to successfully grow and harvest in a cool-climate zone that is very well suited to white varieties, as well as Syrah and Pinot […]

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Beaujolais Nouveau Wines Celebrate Vintage in November

Beaujolais Nouveau wine causes quite a stir on the third Thursday of every November. We spoke about this light red wine from the Beaujolais region of France on CBC’s Ontario Morning today (I’ll post the clip later). Beaujolais nouveau is meant to celebrate the current vintage. It’s harvested, fermented and bottled within weeks and is meant to be gulped now in bistros with friends, not cellared or analyzed. Here are some of my picks from this year’s crop below as well as beaujolais nouveau food pairings. You can also look for nouveau wines from other regions, including Canada, Italy and […]

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Sunday Brunch Benedict on Potato and Zucchini Fritter Recipe

Sunday Brunch Benedict on Potato and Zucchini Fritter Recipe by Courtney Flood Sunday brunch is my favourite. Long-weekend Sunday brunch is extra special. This meal is a little finicky but worth the trouble. Serves 4. Ingredients: 2 medium zucchini 4 large potatoes, peeled ¼ cup chickpea flour (besam) 9 eggs + 1 egg yolk (divided) 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp salt (divided) ¼  – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 tbsp + 2 tsp canola oil (divided) 6 tbsp butter 2 tsp lemon juice ¼ white vinegar 2 cups chopped kale 2 tomatoes, sliced Instructions: Fritters – Shred zucchini on […]

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Pairing Wine with Chocolate: Follow Your Nose

By Jessica Nagy Pairing wine with chocolate is about more than just rich desserts and powerful Ports or Amarones;  it’s a subtle art that can have a big impact on the entire meal if done well. I recently spoke with Sommelier Rebecca Meïr-Liebman about how she takes on this challenge in a series of Sweet & Savoury chocolate-inspired dinners that she hosts with her husband, Chef Eyal Liebman, in Toronto. The next dinner will take place November 8 with all proceeds going to support Second Harvest. “I start by choosing the winery,” says Rebecca. In this case, it’s Niagara’s Henry […]

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