My Roman Holiday: A Food and Wine Lover’s Paradise

Just back from a mouth-watering journey through the streets (strada) of Rome. Here are some pictures and videos to whet your appetite, from olive oil and bruschetta tastings to thin-crust pizza and fresh tomato sauce pasta. Click on each picture at the link above if you want to see the comments to the right about the food and wine. Have you been to Rome? I’d love to hear about your favourite food haunts and restaurants. Ciao! Natalia

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Cheese and Wine Pairing Tips: From Brie to Blue

Few things go together as naturally, simply and deliciously as wine and cheese. The question is, what kind of wine? And what kind of cheese? Pairing the two is more complex than you might think. “No rules apply because we all taste things differently,” says Alice Spurrell, owner of Les Amis du Fromage cheese shops in Vancouver as well as the cheese-themed restaurant Au Petit Chavignol. “The best thing is to be adventurous and just try a cheese with a wine. You want a good taste in your mouth. And the only way to discover that is to put them […]

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Drinkin’ the Green: Matching Vegetables with Wine

Matching Green Food & Wine Green food and green wine go well together: vegetables dance with wines that have herbal, grassy aromas, such as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, if there were an award for Veggie Wine of the Century, it would go to this one. Not only does it have complementary aromas of asparagus and canned peas, but it also has bright citrus notes that complement most vegetables. While white wines often work better than red wines with vegetables, light reds like Pinot Noir and Gamay also work because they have soft tannins, juicy berry flavors and good […]

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Wine and Comfort Food Pairing: Revel in Your Rut

Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be talking about zesty white wines to pair with fresh spring vegetables today, but it’s snowing outside … and I’m tired of writing seasonally-appropriate editorial content. So let’s make wallowing fun, and turn to comfort wines paired with comfort food. In our continuing video series with Canadian Press, we look at quick tips on pairing those old favourites, from braised meat to pasta in cream sauce with wine. It’ll make you (almost) care what time of year it is when you have bottled sunshine. Comfort Wines Finally, I had an assignment that would […]

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Pairing Steak and Red Wine and Other Robust Matches

In the CTV News video above, we talk about fall wines for comfort foods. When the weather outside turns frightful, there’s nothing more satisfying than staying home with a warm meal and a good glass of wine. A steaming bowl of stew, a mouth-watering prime rib or a heaping plate of pasta can bring comfort on the worst winter nights. But the meal just isn’t complete without the right wine on the table. And just as our meals become heartier and richer in the winter, the wines that pair perfectly with comforting fare are of the full-bodied kind. Here are […]

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Ratatouille au Gratin Paired with Chianti or Pinot Blanc

Ratatouille au Gratin How to Cook Two Meals at Once Hosting adults is one thing. Hosting families is another. While children aren’t exactly demanding when it comes to decoration and music, they can be extremely picky with food. This typically leaves you with two options: “dumb down” your entire meal to accommodate everyone or make an entirely different meal for the kids. But here’s a third, far-better alternative: a ratatouille au gratin for the adults, which turns into a delicious spaghetti sauce for the kids. The beauty of this meal is that you are minimizing time and effort spent, while […]

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Pasta Recipe Sagne e Fagioli All’Abbruzzese and Illuminati Riparosso

Zucca Trattoria tweets: “@TrialtoON that’s right! We are so impressed with Illuminati Riparosso ($12.55) we made a pasta especially for it.” Sagne e Fagioli All’Abbruzzese Recipe created by Andrew Milne-Allan, Owner/Chef (Serves 4) Ingredients 250 g all-purpose  flour 150 ml warm water salt 250 g romano beans, fresh or frozen garlic, sage 2 good quality Italian pork sausages wild fennel seed, toasted and crushed extra virgin olive oil 28 oz can plum tomatoes, basil, onion pecorino cheese, grated small glass of red wine … Montepulciano d’Abbruzzo would suit the mood In a mixing bowl mix the salt and flour together […]

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Recipe: Tagliatelle Mushroom Ragù and Illuminati Riparosso

Tagliatelle with Mushroom Ragù A rich, hearty pasta dish featuring earthy mushrooms in a tomato red wine sauce. The recipe is fairly quick to prepare for an easy weekday meal. Enjoy the dish with a fruity, lush red like Illuminati Riparosso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009, a terrific bargain at $12.95. Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 1 ½ cups mixed dried wild mushrooms (any mixture of porcini, shiitake and morels) 3 tbsp quality olive oil 1 onion, peeled and chopped finely 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced 2 cups cremini mushrooms, stems removed […]

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Baked Ziti Recipe with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper, Fennel and Mozzarella Paired with Alamos Malbec, Argentina

Crowd pleasing and soul satisfying.  This hearty pasta dish is the ultimate comfort food.  The recipe can be prepared ahead and refrigerated overnight making it the perfect dish to serve game day.  Pair it with a fruit forward, full-bodied red like Alamos Malbec 2010. Serves 8 to 10 1 lb. ziti or rigatoni pasta 1 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 small fennel bulb, diced 1 lb. Chorizo sausage, casings removed 1 can diced tomato with juice (28 oz.) ½ can crushed tomato (14 oz.) ½ cup roasted red pepper, diced ¼ cup parsley, […]

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Italian Sausage and Beef Shank Ragu Recipe Paired with Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon

  Italian Sausage and Beef Shank Ragú Paired with Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon Fall is upon us. Here’s to cozy sweaters, comfort food and full bodied reds. This hearty, meaty ragú, is made with flavourful bone-in beef shanks and hot Italian sausage, slowly simmered in a rich red wine tomato sauce. Don’t be daunted by the cooking time. The dish is the ideal thing to make on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Curl up with a good book and a glass of wine while the house fills with delicious aromas.  A concentrated, full bodied red like Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 would be […]

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