Holiday Wine Team Tasting: Your Wines for Gift Giving and Entertaining

On Sunday, 22 wine-loving, football-sacrificing souls (it was Grey Cup) gathered to taste more than 70 spectacular wines. Click on the arrow above to hear about Jennifer’s favourite wine from the tasting, a Chilean Carmenere with bright acidity, nice little spice, great for a wide variety of foods. Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Monique explains her reasons for picking Taittinger Champagne to toast her celebration events.         Monique Ippolito Wine Columnist, Ottawa Living Magazine               Craig’s take on Beringer Quantum red […]

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Chili n’ Cheese Cornbread Muffins Recipe Paired with Pinot Blanc

Chili n’ Cheese Cornbread Muffins This November all I want to do is curl up by the fireplace with a good book, cozy sweater, and some comfort food – specifically cornbread. These little cornbread muffins are full of cheesy goodness and pack a punch with slow-cooked chili. So get ready to turn the heat right up with these Chili n’ cheese cornbread muffins. I like to start with quality ingredients made locally, like creamy Canadian Provolone cheese, which tastes like heaven when melted into these muffins. That’s best washed down with a fresh and crisp Niagara white wine, like the […]

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Discovering the Secret Side of Malbec Wine

By Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance “Come, let me show you another side of Malbec, my friend.” Winemaker Aurelio Montes Jr. spoke the lovely quote above. What distinguishes him from many of his peers is that he makes wines for consumers rather than for winemakers, because he considers himself “a consumer first and foremost.” Perhaps this is why both of us (Alex, the Sommelier and Priya the casual drinker) were able to enjoy the horizontal tasting of Kaiken wines in Toronto at Nota Bene restaurant last week. Over a lunch spanning a leisurely 3 hours (a lovely Argentinian custom we wish Canadians would […]

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Niagara Integrated Film Festival June 2015

By Alex and Priya – A Vine Romance Watching movies under the stars sounds lovely, watching them in the beauty of vineyards with a glass of wine in hand and it’s downright poetic! That’s what awaits you if you head out to the Niagara Integrated Film Festival June 18-21. The festival is entering it’s second year and recently held a media tour to give a hint of what attendees will experience. Let us tell you, you’re not going to want to miss out on this unique collaboration of wine & film. In fact, we’re giving away a pair of tickets […]

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Charles Smith Rocks the Wine Scene with Music and Vino

By Melissa Pulvermacher We all think of pairing food and wine, but have you ever thought of pairing music with wine? Charles Smith, a self-taught winemaker, has brought a new element to the world of wine – soul. Smith is undoubtedly a full-bodied personality with a genuine passion for both music and wine. The only way to truly describe the experience of Charles Smith and his wines is to crank rock music and pour yourself a big glass of red or white… or both and just enjoy. During a 1999 road trip, when Smith was managing rock bands and concerts, […]

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Peppercorn Roasted Beef Tenderloin Recipe Paired with Carmenere

Peppercorn Roasted Beef Tenderloin Prep: 5 min Inactive: 10 min Cook: 25 min Ingredients: 1 whole beef tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat Salt 2 teaspoons sugar ½ cup tri-color peppercorns, crushed with a rolling pin 1 stick butter 2 cloves garlic, crushed Directions: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Place the tenderloin on a roasting rack. Sprinkle generously with salt and sugar, which will deepen the savory flavors. Press the crushed peppercorns all over the surface of the meat. Insert a meat thermometer and place in the oven until the beef registers 120 to 125 degrees F for […]

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Recipe: Steak Au Poivre Paired with Merlot

Steak “Au Poivre” Preparation Time: 15 MIN Total Time: 30 MIN Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS: 3 tbsp. black peppercorns 4 6-oz. beef filets, about 1½“ thick Salt 2 tbsp. butter 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 1 cup beef stock ½ cup heavy cream INSTRUCTIONS: Wrap peppercorns in a clean dish towel and crush them. Transfer pepper to a plate, then roll filets in it so that they are evenly coated. Season liberally on both sides with salt. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add filets and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes on each side for […]

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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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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. […]

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Blue Cheese Burgers Recipe Paired with Cheval Noir

Sponsored Post Pair this savoury recipe for Blue Cheese Burgers with the full-bodied Cheval Noir, a full-bodied, supple merlot from Bordeaux. Find this wine in your closest LCBO store now. Winemaker’s Notes: Cheval Noir has a fine, complex nose which combines ripe, red fruits with notes of grilled toast and spices. In the mouth it is rich, structured and powerful, perfectly balanced between fruit and tannins, with a long finish. ACTIVE: 25 MIN TOTAL TIME: 2H25 SERVINGS: 6 Ingredients: 1½ pounds lean ground beef 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled ¼ cup minced fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce ½ […]

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