Wine Review of the Week: Cinco de Mayo + Mexican Food Pairing

Our Wine Review of the Week commemorates Cinco de Mayo (May 5), the day in 1862 when a rag-tag Mexican army defeated the far larger French forces under Emperor Napoleon III. Sure, you could toast with a cerveza or tequila, but which wine? The growing Mexican wine industry is gaining respect, particularly the region of Baja California, and among the leading producers is L.A. Cetto, creating exceptionally well-priced red wines. But let’s broaden the field, and look at wines from around the world to complement the fiesta dishes that include the diverse and spicy dishes of Mexico such as tacos, […]

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Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin and Spinach Salad Recipe with Southbrook Cabernet Franc Rose

Spice rubbed pork tenderloin and spinach salad with summer fruit and curry vinaigrette This spice mix is a blend of sweet and heat. A bright, vibrant rose with touch of sweet fruit freshness would be a terrific match for this main course salad. A delicious choice would be Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rose 2011, an organic wine from the Niagara Peninsula. Serves 4 Ingredients for the pork one 2¼  to 2½ lb pork tenderloin, trimmed ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp cumin seed ½ tsp fennel seed ½ tsp chili powder ¼ tsp black pepper 1 tsp […]

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Moroccan Lamb Tagine Recipe Paired with Tait The Wild Ride Shiraz 2007

Moroccan Lamb Tagine Paired with: Tait ‘The Wild Ride’ Shiraz 2007 Tagines, in Moroccan cuisine, are slow cooked stews braised at low temperatures. This recipe features lamb but beef would be another option. The key ingredient in this dish is a spice mix, Ras El Hanout, which contributes to the sweet spicy flavours. Ras El Hanout can be found at some specialty food shops but is easy to put together from your own spice cupboard. The flavours in this dish would work well paired with a ripe new world Shiraz which displays aromas of dark fruit, pepper and some savoury […]

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Zinfandel and Spicy Barbeque Sauce Make a Terrific Wine and Food Match

By Shari Goodman You can quickly make a complex and intense homemade barbecue sauce that sizzles. Simply blend all ingredients, then add smoke and meat, and you’ll have a license to grill. Sip some Zin with this ‘Que. Redemption Zinfandel 2007 ($21.95, LCBO) is peppery and full of blackberries worthy of tasting on its own, but it can easily battle it out with a steak. This bottle is from the Sonoma County in California where Zinfandels have a well-earned reputation. Barbeque is a summer ritual: gathering around the grill, catching up with friends and sipping something sippable. It’s quick, easy […]

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Food & Wine 24

It used to be so simple: Red wine went with red meat, white wine went with white meat, and that, essentially, was that when it came to pairing food and wine. These days, it’s a bit more complex. For one thing, wines are being made in more styles and more regions than ever before. For another, our diets now include flavours from all over the world as well as casual fare that once we would never have dreamed of enjoying with wine. The old rules don’t always apply. But what has replaced them? Are there any rules at all? Well, […]

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Food & Wine 19

It wasn’t long ago that I decided to set out to learn more about wine. As I immersed myself in the subject, I begrudgingly discovered there was more to learn than I ever wanted. The simple fact is, I, like most people, wanted a few simple, easy-to-follow rules to pair wine with my food. Much to my surprise, I learned that a lifetime of eating experiences gives us all the basic tools we can use to understand food flavor combinations and wine compatibility. Instinctively we know that corn-on-the cob tastes best with butter. Or a splash of lemon on seafood […]

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Food & Viognier

I like to pair wine with foods. I also like simplicity. There are dozens of food types and styles that will go with most wines. I am however not a food critic. It would be very unfair of me to give my thoughts on someones hard work and creativity in the kitchen unless I am entitled to do so! The web (blogs especially), magazines and, I must admit, even the daily broadsheets, have endless examples of self made critics. There is nothing wrong with having a view and expressing it. There is a subtle difference between that and being a […]

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Ethiopian Fare & Wine

Ethiopians have for centuries made a honey wine known as tej. You can sometimes find this mead-like beverage for sale at some Ethiopian restaurants. Or, you could try a mead made domestically. For most diners looking for that Ethiopian meal out at a restaurant or for takeout, the drink of choice most likely will be beer or a grape-based wine. The question is: What sort of wine to pour with Ethiopia’s highly seasoned meat and vegetable dishes, most of which are served on rounds of injera, the tart Ethiopian flat bread made from teff flour. Tom Benezra of Sal’s Beverage […]

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Holiday Wines

Opening the door to a tart gust of pine and a knot of jubilant loved ones may be the peak winter holiday moment. But preparing for this season of recurring revelries from Thanksgiving through Kwanza, Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s takes some planning, especially when the format can range from cockails to dessert parties, family dinners to an intimate soiree for two, fundraising galas to impromptu gatherings after a snowball fight. So we’ve asked veteran hosts and wine professionals, who face the same dilemma, for tips on the best way to stock a home cellar for the busy weeks ahead. […]

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Fast Food & Wine

A bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken suits Natalie MacLean just fine, thank you. It creates a challenge to do what she does best — pairing wines with food. This internationally renowned wine aficionado and expert admits without abashment that she can’t cook. “But I’ve learned how to compensate for my lack of cooking skills by matching wines with every kind of meal, including fast food,” says MacLean. She and her family indulge in all sorts of ready prepared foods from dining out, takeout, TV dinners and deli stuff to canned beans and “even our son’s mac and cheese, which by […]

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