Easter Wines for Fish, Lamb + Ham: Video

Wines for Good Friday fish, Easter brunch, lamb and ham are the focus of our chat on CTV News. In particular, red wines often clash with fish not because of the wine tannin and fish iodine, as previously thought, but rather because of high iron content in the wine. The iron comes mostly from the soil where the vines are grown, but can also be due to winemaking methods. Generalizing about which wines will be high in iron content is difficult. The iron in wine is thought to break down the unsaturated (good) fats in fish and creates that fishy […]

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Henry of Pelham Wine Tasting Reveals Deep Roots in Niagara

Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen   What a lovely opportunity to sit down with the Speck Brothers (well, two of three – Paul and Daniel) from Henry of Pelham winery to learn more about their family’s winemaking as well to taste across their portfolio of wines. Their Henry of Pelham portfolio is generally set up along three tiers; Classic, Estate, and the Speck Family Reserve.   Photo by Jennifer MacDonald Havers By adhering to rigorous quality standards and keeping production at modest levels for the higher tier (Speck Brothers Reserve), the resulting high quality wines trickle down to […]

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Getting Nutty at Alvear Montilla-Moriles Fortified Wine Tasting

Greg Hughes Wine Writer & Sommelier   For 18 generations, (300 years) the Alvear family have been making wine.  All of these wines are Sherry-esque in style, but they are all constructed with Pedro Ximenez from Montilla Moriles instead of the traditional Palomino. We had the chance to taste the wines and discuss them with Maria Auxiliadora; the winemaker responsible for their continued quality. Pedro Ximenez (Pronounced Peh-droh ee-MAY-neth) is a small grape with a thin skin of dark colouration.  It is renown among wine enthusiasts for being super sweet, concentrated, and fermenting to naturally high alcohol. Of the four […]

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Pairing Wine with Love Songs

Leanne and I chat about pairing wine with love songs. Got a favourite that we didn’t include? Click on the arrow above to play the video. Here’s part one of our conversation on pairing wine with romantic movies.   “Whose bed have your boots been under?” – Shania Twain Menage A Trois Midnight Red 2013 California, United States             “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” – The Righteous Brothers Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2014  Marlborough, New Zealand                 “I Want to Know What Love Is” – Foreigner Inniskillin […]

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5 Romantic Wine & Chocolate Matches for Valentine’s Day

Bev and I chat about 5 to-die-for wine and chocolate pairings on Canada AM. Bev: Valentine’s Day is famous for flowers and romance and decadence. Mix in a little vino and a sweet treat and you’ve got quite a celebration. Natalie MacLean is the author of Unquenchable. She’s an expert when it comes to wine pairings, and this morning she’s in our studio to help us choose fine wine and chocolate combinations. Which is so perfect. Does it get any better than that? Natalie: No, especially if you like to layer your vices. So, don’t just have wine or chocolate. […]

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Best Bubbly for New Years? There’s a Wine for That

In our continuing holiday wine series with Canadian Press (CP), we chat about great sparkling wines for New Year’s Eve.   You don’t have to go for Champagne, even though this is the traditional treat. There are terrific options from around the world, including Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco and sparkling wine from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States, among many other regions. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site at www.nataliemaclean.com, chooses her favourite sparkling wines:   Kim Crawford Fizz Methode Traditionnelle 2011  Marlborough, New Zealand                 Henry of […]

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Sparkling Wine from Cava to Cremant: Festive Fizz

Sparkling wines and champagne for New Year’s Eve is our topic in the CTV News clip above. Here’s a list of the bubblies we discussed, including cava from Spain, cremant from France and sparkling wines from Canada and the US. Let me know which sparkling wine you’re opening for New Year’s Eve in the comments below. You can get a shopping list with my top sparkling wines showing the stock at your closest liquor stores when you join as a  VIP Member. Girls Night Out Sparkling Wine Review VQA, Lake Erie North Shore, Ontario Clean, crisp and refreshing: this is […]

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How do You Pick a Great Gift Wine? 5 Tips for Festive Sips

Want to give someone a bottle of wine this year? On Global Television’s Morning Show, we chat about quick tips on how to choose a great gift wine this holiday. Wine is a great gift because: –    one size fits all –    doubles are fine –    it’s easy to re-gift Also: – it’s easy to return for cash without a receipt – wine doesn’t have to be cared for and it should never be watered – it’s consumable so it doesn’t create clutter adding to more stuff in your home How to decide which wine to give? – match the […]

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Top 5 Turkey Wine Pairings: Bottles for the Big Bird

In the second part of our holiday wine series on the CBC radio drive-home shows coast to coast we chatted about great wines to pair with your turkey dinner. You can listen to my tips above on choosing those wines plus my top 5 picks. Join us again next week, on December 30, when we chat about great sparkling wines for the New Year. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site, selects her top five wines for your holiday dinner to pair with turkey and the side dishes:   Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava Penedes, Spain A toasty […]

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Wine Tasting Hackathon: New Way of Social Wine Discovery

Our second team wine tasting yesterday felt like a family reunion. Sommeliers and wine bloggers from Toronto and Montreal flew or drove in to join those from the east to west ends of Ottawa. There was an instant camaraderie among those gathered here who recognized each other as fellow contributors to our online community. What I admire most about these reviewers is that although they have sterling wine credentials and training, they keep it real and conversational — with an effort to connect, not to impress. The tasting also struck me as the wine version of a hackathon. In the […]

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