Spicy Food & Wine Pairings: Cinco de Mayo, Tex-Mex, Indian Food Matches

What better time to explore wine and spicy food pairings than to celebrate 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 […]

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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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Wine and Food Pairing with Memories and Laughter

  As part of the CBC’s Food Fantasy fundraiser for the Food Bank, I raffled myself off to visit the home of the winner and pair wines with a three-course meal. You can listen to our group chat above and discover some surprising tips on pairing wine and food. The winners were Merle and Richard (far right in the picture below), a lovely couple who hosted a fun evening filled with wine, laughter and memories.   Wines Tasted and Food Pairings Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand Grassy and smoky and absolutely great! This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc […]

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Pairing Wine and Cranberry Sauce, Chestnut Stuffing, Cream Corn

Can we be honest? Holiday turkey dinner is just an excuse for most of us to chow down on our favourite side dish, whether it’s cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing or sweet potatoes. Often they have more interesting flavours than that dry old bird in the middle of the table. So please, let’s stop kidding ourselves with wine matches for turkey and focus on those pocket cravings. And please pass me that bowl of mashed potatoes. Wine and Tangy Food Why don’t we eat cranberry sauce more often throughout the year? Let’s talk about that at dinner. In the meantime, try […]

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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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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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