The Making of a Wine Lover: That First Glass

I remember the night I tasted my first good wine. My future husband Andrew and I had just graduated from university and were enjoying our “wealth” relative to our student days. We dined out a lot and our favorite place was a small Italian restaurant around the corner from our apartment. The first time we went there, the owner, a tall, burly man with fierce dark eyes, asked us if we’d like to try the Brunello. We thought at first it was a regional dish, but it turned out to be a red wine from central Italy. We were relieved […]

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What are Your Earliest Memories of Drinking Wine?

Continued from Part 1 of The Making of a Wine Lover When we finally got up to leave, we realized that the restaurant was empty. We said good night to the owner and he slapped Andrew on the back as if he were choking on a bread stick. That was the first of many happy evenings there and we drank that Brunello for a year. A pilot light had been ignited inside me; over time it would grow into the flames of full-blown passion. Today, I joke that I started drinking seriously when I met Andrew. However, my earliest experiences […]

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Wine Critic Writes with Humor and Contagious Passion

By Jessica Yadegaran For someone who grew up in a whiskey-drinking Scottish family, Natalie MacLean has come a long way in wine. Today, the Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Award winner is Canada’s answer to Jancis Robinson. She is a critic who writes about wine with humor and contagious passion. She counts Kermit Lynch, Rex Pickett and Gary Vaynerchuk among her fans. Her best-selling books, “Red, White, and Drunk All Over” (Bloomsbury, 2007) and “Unquenchable” (Perigee, 2011), share tips on hunting the world’s best bargain wines. But these days, MacLean’s website, which she launched in 2000, is a go-to […]

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Gorgeous Wine Book Maps Wine Regions and Grapes

Want to learn about wine without falling asleep? Want to engage your visual senses while you taste wines from around the world? The Wine Lover’s Coloring Book is a great place to start. In the video above, author Louise Wilson and I chat about how she conceived the idea while taking the International Sommelier Guild courses. While the book may sound like it’s for children, don’t be deceived (or have preconceived notions). It’s part of next evolution of wine books that engage our senses. Really? Yes. Currently, a scratch and sniff wine book by a master sommelier is #11 on […]

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Learn About Wine and Wine Regions with this Book

Louise Wilson, author of the Wine Lover’s Colouring Book, and I chat about which wine regions she’s most passionate about now and we taste one of her favourite wines in the video above. How do you suggest wine lovers and wine students use this book to learn about wine? Why are you passionate about the wine region of Tasmania, and which wines in particular in that region? Tell me about the Errazuriz Max Reserva wines that we’re tasting today. You can also watch our first video chat about her wine book and find out where to buy the book online […]

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Food and Wine Pairing Book: Inspired by The Flavour Principle

In the video above, two of Canada’s most respected food and drink writers, Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol, discuss their new book The Flavour Principle. It’s packed with delicious recipes that are paired with wine and other drinks, based on 11 key flavour categories. The two writers are also weekly columnists for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper. They share their tips on pairing and some surprising insights they discovered while writing the book that make it different from other cookbooks and pairing guides. You’ll question your assumptions about red wine and cheese and find out why texture and […]

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Good Wine & Laughs for Girlfriend Get-Togethers

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to three women who blend friendship and fun in their approach to wine: Lynne Everatt, Deb Mangolt and Julie Smethurst. The three met when they worked at the same multinational company in Canada years ago, and all decided to pursue their passions instead. In the meantime, they’ve written a book together that has lots of ideas for girlfriend get-togethers, always of course, involving wine. You can buy their book  in print or the the electronic edition on their web site Drink Wine and Giggle or from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indigo/Chapters. Here are […]

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Wine and Books: Holiday Gifts – Breakfast Television

This past Thursday, we chatted about book and bottle pairings as holiday gifts on Breakfast Television. Words and wine seem like a natural pairing to me … here are my favourites. What are yours? 1. Books are Beautiful The publisher selected 30 classic works of literature and assigned each a beautiful colour. Then the editors organized them in a rainbow of words so spectacular that you’re going to want to line them up on your shelves and just look at them.         Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut, South East Australia, Australia: Green apple fresh with zesty […]

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Huffington Post Wine Column

I’m excited to be starting a new weekly wine column for the Huffington Post. This online newspaper has a broad reach and so it’ll be great to share my passion for the grape with new readers. Let me know if you have suggestions for future columns. Here’s the second one … Here’s the full text of the article… Top 5 Wine & Book Pairings for the Holidays By Natalie MacLean I’m already savouring the books I plan to dive into this holiday season as much as the wines I’ll enjoy. Just for fun, I’ve paired some of this season’s bestsellers […]

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Food and Wine Books with Wines Matched for Gifts: CTV Video

Here’s part two of our conversation about books and bottles that you can give as holiday gifts. (You’ll find part one of our conversation here.) Do you have a favourite wine and word pairing? Do you belong to a book club that likes to crack open a bottle? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Gassier Sables D’azur Rosé 2011, A.C., Côtes De Provence, France I love it! (I also just shouted that out the window to some surprised people on the sidewalk.) So very pretty with a basket of fresh field strawberries. Bask in the sun and pretend you are […]

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