Our Canada Day BBQ party on the studio patio of Canada AM this morning was a blast! We revealed the winners of The Great Canadian Wine Match: BBQ Edition, as well as delicious food pairings.

We had such fun out there … I could have lolled on the patio all day, especially with those wonderful wines!

Please congratulate the finalists by clicking on the social media buttons for each wine – the script and links are already there for you, though you can edit it of course ;)

You can also find out the prize winners of the Weber Summit Gas Grill, 25 BBQ Cookbooks and 3 sets of Weber grilling utensils.

In May 2013, we launched the first people’s choice awards for Canadian wines, and the first competition to fully engage social media and online, real-time voting with the hashtag #GCWM.

This year, there was a grassroots groundswell of support as thousands of Canadians nominated and voted for their favourite Canadian wines.

The media coverage of the wine competition in addition to Canada Am has included all of the major daily newspapers from coast to coast, as well as Metro News, CBC, CTV News and hundreds of wine blogs.

If you click on the wines, you can see multiple reviews and scores from passionate wine bloggers and sommeliers.

Got suggestions for next year’s competition? Let me know at natdecants AT nataliemaclean DOT com.

Now we’re all set for the best Canada Day (and summer) ever!

Grilled lamb to make you drool and a great wine to pair with it ;)

This year, nominations and voting were done like last year in real-time, online, and open to anyone. However, one of the improvements we made for our second annual match was not to have another round of voting for the finalists to select the winners, which essentially would have given the same results as the nomination round.

Instead, we invited a group of 11 wine bloggers taste the finalist wines blindly. This means that the bloggers could not see the identCanadaFlagWineBottle small slimity of the wines (labels etc) as the bottles were all covered in the same bags. The wines were then poured in ISO tasting glasses to be judged as a group for each category.

So the vote counts got the top six regional wines into the finals for each category, but then every wine stood on a level playing field for that finalist round of blind tasting.

Our goal was to bring together the best of all worlds: the people’s choice in nominating the wines, the people’s voice in voting for them and the bloggers’ advice on quality.

Participation and engagement meets evaluation and quality. The blend is where the magic happens, not to mention a national conversation about the wines we make and love, since everyone is invited to the table.

bloggers tasting 1At the end of the judging rounds, we had a dilemma as everyone felt that the spectacular dry sparkling wine that was a finalist in the dessert category would be a little too dry for most desserts, but it would pair brilliantly with seafood.

Since the spirit of the competition is to provide Canadian wine drinkers with a starting point for delicious food pairings, we made an executive decision to move that bubbly to seafood. This wine shines beside planked salmon or grilled shellfish. Try it!

After the judging was complete, everyone was keen to see which wines they had tasted so we removed the bags …

bloggers tasting bottlesAnd had an interesting discussion about the diversity of styles in Canadian wine from coast to coast …

bloggers tasting 2We also had a number of technical safeguards to ensure that the voting process was both fun and fair, including limiting any one IP address to registering and using only one e-mail address to vote (so one person could vote for one wine only once a day).

As well, one person could only nominate one wine in each of the six food categories. Next year, we will further widen participation by limiting each person to one nomination only, so participants will have to choose just one category for their wine.

Read more about this year’s guidelines, and give us suggestions for how to make next year’s competition even better!

So here is the fruit of our labour, and more importantly, the fruit of the labour of our terrific wineries from coast to coast: the wine competition winners of The Great Canadian Wine Match: BBQ Edition. Crack a bottle (or three) open this Canada Day!

Posted with permission of CTV.