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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How Sweet is My Wine? What do Sugar Codes Mean for Wine?

How sweet is your wine? Have you ever wondered what those sugar codes mean on the liquor store shelf? There are several different sweetness charts and coding systems on the market, but they’re not that far apart from each other in describing the residual sugar level in wine. I believe that it’s critical to list the sweetness level of a wine with every review that I write to give more information about each wine to my readers, some of whom look for a bone-dry wine while others have a sweet tooth. Posting the sugar codes are also vital for health […]

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Brandy Cocktail Recipes with a Twist

Cocktails: Eye Opener Ingredients: 2 oz Cortel 5 oz energy drink 1 lime slice Preparation: Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour Cortel and add energy drink into the glass. Stir well. Place the lime slice in a glass and enjoy.   Cocktails: Life’s Bittersweet Ingredients: 2 oz Cortel 2 oz tonic water Grapefruit garnish Preparation: Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour Cortel and add tonic water and stir well. Place the grapefruit peel in a highball glass and drape one end of it over the rim of the glass.     Cocktails: Blackberry Bliss Ingredients: 1 oz Cortel […]

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Cognac Cocktail Recipes for Festive Entertaining

Cocktail Exotic Dream Ingredients: 4 cl Cognac GAUTIER 2 cl Banana Liqueur 3 cl fresh orange juice 1 cl fresh lemon juice Preparation: Add all ingredients in a shaker with some ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish: Twist of lemon Glass: Cocktail glass   Cocktail Golden Fizz Ingredients: 3 cl Cognac GAUTIER 4,5 cl fresh pink grapefruit juice 7,5 cl Champagne Preparation: Pour directly the cognac and the fresh grapefruit juice into a flute. Add champagne. Garnish: Sugar around the glass with grenadine or grapefruit syrup. Glass: Flute Cocktail recipe developed by Cognac Goutier.

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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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Chateau Palmer Tasting: Bordeaux Wine Seduces and Satisfies

Château Palmer By Melissa Pulvermacher Château Palmer is a much-respected winery in the Margeaux appellation d’origine contrôlée in Bordeaux, France. You may recognize Palmer better as one of the classified Third Growths of Bordeaux. Palmer has been known as one of the most popular of this classification and some even argue that its consistent delivery of quality held up against First Growth, Château Margeaux. I was given the opportunity to taste several of the Palmer wines at an organized tasting at The National Club in Toronto, Ontario. After tasting the 2004, 1999, 1995 and 1983 vintages up against one another, […]

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City Hall New Home for a Baby Grand

I’ve back-dated this post so that it doesn’t appear at the top of the blog since it’s not wine-related, unless I offer some wine and music pairings, but I’ll spare you that … for now. I just wanted to collect together some memories here of a very special day.           Donated piano brings music to the lobby at Ottawa City Hall Ottawa City Hall’s lobby will be a livelier place for the holidays, now that a baby grand piano has arrived, the donation of an Ottawa woman. Mayor Jim Watson took delivery of the piano from […]

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Gift Wines: 5 Tips on How to Pick a Great Bottle

Want to give someone a bottle of wine this year? Here are quick tips on how to choose a great gift wine this holiday that we discussed on CBC Ontario Morning in the audio clip below. Click on the arrow above to listen to the clip. You can get all my wine reviews of great gift wines (including those for yourself) showing the stock for each bottle at your closest liquor stores. 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 […]

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Panettone Brie Tower Recipe Paired with Merlot Wine

Panettone Brie Tower The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Holiday Entertaining Made Easy Can you feel that? It feels like the holidays are here. There is an exuberant amount of energy that surrounds us as people rush to finish last-minute shopping and prepare for their upcoming family festivities. It’s an exciting time of the year, and one that calls for a recipe that’s packed with pleasure and deliciously creamy Canadian Brie. Hopefully, this simply delicious recipe for Panettone Brie Tower will be the perfect little dinner party dessert idea. If you’re not familiar with Panettone, it’s a traditional Italian cake […]

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Pairing Wine and Lunch in the CBC Fridge for the Food Bank

CBC All in a Day host Alan Neal and I sneak into the CBC kitchen to snoop into employee lunches and pair them with wine. You can listen to our chat above from the drive-home show. It’s actually not as weird (or creepy) as it sounds … we’re kicking off the final 3 days of Food Fantasy fundraising for the Food Bank, with prizes like having a sommelier come to your home and pair wine and food for you and 11 friends. In addition to being your personal sommelier for an evening, I’ll also bring along 12 signed copies of […]

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