Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Creamy Cheese Fondue

By Tania Thomas Wine and cheese are a truly perfect pair. An especially satisfying experience is to enjoy the two together after a hard day of playing in the snow. Imagine a roaring fireplace, snowed-in mountain lodge and a pot of warm and gooey cheese fondue. Heaven! As a national dish of Switzerland, fondue was associated with rustic mountain life from the lowlands of western, French-speaking, Switzerland. A rich and expensive Gruyère cheese was used for its preparation with the addition of wine and seasoning. If you feel inspired; get started by rubbing the pot with a halved garlic clove. […]

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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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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Risotto, Seduction in Piedmont

By Tania Thomas Nestled in the Italy’s northwest corner, surrounded on three sides by the mighty Alps, lies the gastronomical regions of Piedmont. Unlike the rest of Italy, this is the land of butter and hearty fare due to a strong French influence from Savoy just across the border. In Piedmont, the meal always starts with antipasti. Usually risotto or polenta, followed by braised meats as a main course. Except in the case of risotto alla Milanese, made by adding beef bone marrow, flavoured by saffron and served as main course along Ossobuco, a classic Milanese dish of braised veal […]

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Jenn’s Grape Discoveries: Is Sauvignon Blanc Salad in a Glass?

By Jennifer Havers Let’s start with Sauvignon Blanc, my go-to wine when I’m eating anything that challenges other wines such as spinach quiche, salads and even asparagus. Sauvignon Blanc can handle all of these foods with ease. Why is that? First of all, what is Sauvignon Blanc anyway? It is a “vitis vinifera” grape originally from the Bordeaux region of France. It’s also considered one of the noble grapes, which describes grape varieties that are internationally planted and more widely recognizable. Widely grown today, this varietal thrives in cooler climates, though it is also planted in warm areas such as […]

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Butternut & Swiss Cheese Ravioli Soup Recipe Paired with Merlot

Butternut & Swiss Cheese Ravioli Soup Autumn is the perfect time of year to stock up on flavourful squashes as they’re in season. This harvest-inspired soup will be an instant hit – whether you’re entertaining guests or getting the family together. And the delicious combination of fall squash and Canadian Swiss cheese will have everyone asking for seconds. This Butternut & Swiss Cheese Ravioli Soup is so delicious it’s worth every second spent in the kitchen making it. All you’ll need is some tasty cheese, wontons, and squash, and you’re halfway there. The finishing touch is finding the perfect wine […]

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Best Sauvignon Blanc Wines Tasting Video

Mouth-watering sauvignon blanc wines are the focus of the wine tasting video below. Sauvignon blanc is a zesty white wine that pairs well with vegetables, quiche and seafood. It’s often described as having “green aromas” such as canned peas and asparagus. I think of it as fresh liquid salad in glass! Sauvignon Blanc wines featured in this video: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc, Chile Best Sauvignon Blanc Under $20 Top Rated Sauvignon Blanc

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Wolf Blass Yellow Label Wines Go Regional

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut Sparkling White South East Australia Green apple fresh with zesty lime. Terrific bubbly for this price. Perfect for any large festive gathering. Alcohol: 11% Sweetness: Extra Dry Drink: 2015-2017 Score: 88 Price: $17.95 LCBO #: 708290   Smoked Chicken, Pancetta and Roasted Pear Pizza Recipe Makes:  2 pizzas Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 2 brown pears (Beurre  Bosc) ½ cup Wolf Blass Yellow Label Padthaway Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 1 tablespoon brown sugar 50g butter 2 large par-baked plain pizza bases 250g grated mozzarella cheese 8 thin slices pancetta 1 smoked […]

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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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Toronto Sommelier at Four Seasons Pours a Glass for Chef Thomas Keller

Drew Walker, wine director at Café Boulud & D Bar in Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Niagara, in Port Dalhousie, with my parents Bruce and Nancy, and my older sister Kate. Tell us about a time when your life was different? When I was 19 years old, I lived in the Caribbean and worked long hours as a bartender in a great little bistro in the Cayman Islands. It was my first experience in the food and beverage industry, and it shaped me quite a lot.  I learned so much from the […]

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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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