Which Wine Pairings for turkey, fruitcake or cheese?

The holiday countdown is on and Canadians are scrambling for last-minute gifts for their hosts and loved ones. Wine and food seem like a natural option at this time of year, but with thousands of bottles lining the shelves at liquor outlets, where does one begin? “I’d start with pairing the wine that you’re going to bring to go with the dinner. Wild guess, might be turkey,” says sommelier Natalie MacLean, editor of the wine review site nataliemaclean.com. She suggests a sparkling wine like Cava from Spain, a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, a dry rose from France or a […]

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Find Your Holiday Gift Wine from Our Team Tasting Top Picks

Our last big team tasting for the year had 150 bottles on the tables, with a special focus on the wines of Austria as well as Prosecco Italian sparkling wines. You can watch the video reviews below of our team’s favourite discoveries.       Matt Steeves Wine Expert, CTV Morning Live                 Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Rachelle O’Connor Wine Blogger & Judge         Photo by Cherie Cole Cherie Cole Restaurant Wine Consultant         Sharon Prionas […]

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Which #Wine to Pair with Your Ugly Christmas Sweater?

In our second Day in the Life Photo Essay, we’ve assembled our pictorial interpretation of holiday spirit with the classic Ugly Christmas Sweater. Yes, there’s a wine for that. We’re also sharing these photos on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn. The hashtag is #WineFashion  and @RobertMondavi. You can see our first photo essay here. Jane Staples Wine Columnist, Ottawa Wedding Magazine           Jon Steeves Accredited Sommelier & Blogger         Matt Steeves Wine Expert, CTV Morning Live           Sean O’Regan Director, National Capital Sommelier Guild       […]

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Holiday Gift for Wine Lovers: Give the Gift of Great Wines Year Round

Wondering what to give the wine lovers in your life? How about a guarantee that they’ll enjoy every bottle they open? With a gift subscription to my wine reviews, they get exclusive access to my best value and top rated wines: red, white, rose, sparkling and dessert wines from around the world at all price points. They’ll discover wines they’ve never heard of that go amazingly well with a wide variety of dishes: bottles they would never have pulled off the shelf based on the label alone. No more disappointing bottles, no more paying too much for too little taste […]

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Plonk Wine Videos Stumble Blindly into Brilliant Insight

At last, wine web videos that actually blend humour and personality. The online series Plonk crushes tired old wine talk, yet slyly mixes in wine education without a bitter after taste. The creators of Plonk get it: you can’t begin to educate without entertaining … first, foremost, forever. My thanks to the intrepid Beppi Crosariol for featuring the series in his Globe and Mail wine column. It deserves the attention, and is certainly getting it with 98,000 views and climbing quickly.  Now that’s viral. My favourite scene is in episode four when Chris, the host, gets Rocky-style training on how […]

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Bring on the Beaujolais! A Young Red Wine is Centre of Attention each November

The annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau and other nouveau wines happens on the third Thursday of November. According to several liquor store chains, they are one of the fastest-selling products with about 80% selling out during the first week. The 2016 vintage experienced one of the coldest springs in more than 25 years, therefore the fall harvest was about three weeks later than usual. However, the grapes still ripened fully due to a warm July and August, with some of the highest degree of sunlight for more than 20 years. In the LCBO, there are usually two Ontario nouveau wines […]

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Holiday Wine and Food Pairing: CTV Morning Live

In the video above, Leanne and I chat about holiday wine and food pairings for the Joy to the World Holiday Wine Match. Nominations are still open until Friday, so name your favourite wine and vote daily! The Twitter hashtag is #WHWM. Cheers, Natalie Posted with permission of CTV Morning Live.   Holiday Wine and Food Pairing: CTV Morning Live Leanne: We are looking at some wonderful wines here and actually all under the price tag of $25, Natalie MacLean is joining us. You’ve had a ton of fun reaching out to your readers. Natalie: Exactly. Leanne: In terms of […]

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Beaujolais Nouveau arrives Thursday! Top 10 Food Matches …

In our first video chat, Carol Anne and I discuss beaujolais nouveau wines to try this year. However, for those who want to try other easy-drinking red wines this week and during the holidays, we’ve got more suggestions above for you. On the third Thursday of every November, Beaujolais produdcers in southern Burgundy, France, release wine from the new harvest. More than 60 million bottles make their way around the world to bistros, bars and restaurants. Nouveau is a knock-it-back kind of wine to be enjoyed in the spirit of celebrating the harvest! Here are my top 10 food matches […]

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Winner of Wines of South Africa International Sommelier Cup Announced

Marc Almert of Germany is the winner of the 2016 Wines of South Africa (WOSA) International Sommelier Cup, with Joe Yang of Macau and Nathan Morrell of Canada tying for second place. The top three finalists were amongst the elite group of eight contestants flown to the Cape Winelands to compete in the prestigious event this fall. The other participants were from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States of America and Kenya. Held every three years, the Sommelier Cup seeks to raise awareness of South Africa’s wine excellence amongst international restaurant, hotel and style-bar influencers. As they […]

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Pascual Toso Proves There’s More to Argentina Than Malbec

  By Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance The only thing better than enjoying a good bottle of wine is getting to meet the person who made it. We were fortunate to have that opportunity recently as we sat down with winemaker, Felipe Stahlschmidt from Pascual Toso. This Argentinian winery is celebrating it’s 125th anniversary. That’s a nice age for a “New World” region. They describe their production facility as “an old Chevy with a brand new Mercedes engine inside”. It’s a great analogy for an older building that has been completely updated with state-of-the-art production equipment. Alex: Pascual Toso is a fairly large […]

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