Which Women Shine with Wine in the Movies?

Wine, women and … the movies. As we celebrate the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF 2014), here’s a look at some of the cameo roles that wine and women have played in film as terrific co-stars. In The Seven Year Itch (1955), Marilyn Monroe, moves into a Manhattan apartment above Tom Ewell, a married man whose family has gone to Maine for summer vacation. When the two get together for an innocent glass of champagne, the bottle explodes—and he gets his thumb stuck while trying to stop the overflow. That makes for lots of double-entendres about pent-up pressure and powerful thumbs. […]

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The Dark Side of Wine in the Movies: Days of Wine and Thorns

In films such as the Godfather series, wine and food are expressive of Italian culture, and its fierce loyalty—wine is part of family gatherings, and presented as something simple, without pretense. It’s often consumed from shot glasses. But also represents the darker side: the brooding nature of the family members, and the blood ties that bind. You’ll find my TIFF and Oscar-worthy, award-winning wines here, with all-star ratings. Looks alone have made red wine the preferred drink of horror movies, often an omen of evil. The Dracula movies associate wine with blood. “Aren’t you drinking?” inquires the guest, as Count […]

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Walk in the Clouds: Winemaking in the Movies

In anticipation of the Toronto Film Festival #TIFF kicking off this week, this is the first in a series of articles about wine in the movies. First, I’d like to nominate a few of my favourite Oscar-worthy Canadian wines in honour of TIFF being held in Toronto: Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir Painted Rock Red Icon Blue Mountain Brut Sparkling Luckett Vineyards Phone Box Red Stay tuned for more nominations this week. Now let’s travel back to 1995. Although not written as a comedy, the movie A Walk In The Clouds offered many laughs for […]

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Top 10 Wines for your Valentine: Liquid Seduction

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. Wine has long been associated with romance. Here are my top 10 wines for Valentine’s Day, not only because of their sexy names, but also because the wine is the bottle is equally as seductive.   Fifty Shades Of Grey Red Satin 2011 California, United States No mention of the book that inspired this wine, but no matter, it was launched this month as the liquid seduction tie-in to the book. Of course, there are lots of aromas of fresh and tanned leather on the nose and it’s voluptuously full-bodied … Natalie’s full […]

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Days of Roses and Red Wine: A New App for Your Valentine

By Olivia Villalta Valentine’s Day and roses go hand in hand. Want to tell someone you love them? Roses. Want to show someone you missed them? Roses. Want to get out of the dog house? Roses. But there’s more to these flowers than a beautiful gesture, composed in an elegant vase. Let me share some secrets with you on how to plan the perfect date night using roses in some surprising and creative ways. First, you’ll need two bouquets… one red, for your loved one, and one with a rainbow of many colours, just for fun. The Perfect Delivery With […]

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Romantic Pairing: Wine and Chocolate

In this month’s Costco Connection Lifestyle Magazine I chat with the editor about my favourite wine and chocolate pairings for Valentine’s Day. Here are my favourite wines for chocolate in liquor stores now. While many of us like to think we’re going to be creative with our Valentine’s Day gifts this year, let’s be honest. On February 13, we’re going to rush out and purchase our favourite standbys: wine and chocolate. And why shouldn’t we? Everybody likes this duo; they’re wildly delicious and indulgent, and they usually lead to a good time (insert suggestive eyebrow raise here). But what you […]

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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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Sparkling Wine for New Year’s Eve versus Champagne

Most people think of champagne as the drink of choice to ring in the New Year. But when the price of one bottle averages $60, you might want to consider sparkling wine, which offers great taste for a fraction of champagne’s price. Although champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, almost every other region of the country and many countries around the world produce sparkling wines, often using the same techniques and grapes as champagne. Most sparklers are a blend of the traditional champagne grapes—Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Like champagne, they’re labeled according to their dryness, […]

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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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