Spicy Food & Wine Pairings: Cinco de Mayo, Tex-Mex, Indian Food Matches

What better time to explore wine and spicy food pairings than to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (May 5), the day in 1862 when a rag-tag Mexican army defeated the far larger French forces under Emperor Napoleon III. Sure, you could toast with a cerveza or tequila, but which wine? The growing Mexican wine industry is gaining respect, particularly the region of Baja California, and among the leading producers is L.A. Cetto, creating exceptionally well-priced red wines. But let’s broaden the field, and look at wines from around the world to complement the fiesta dishes that include the diverse and spicy […]

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Remy Pannier Tasting with Fresh Wines for Spring

Remy Pannier Winemaker Tasting with Pierre Charon By Priya and Alex, A Vine Romance It’s not often you get invited to an exclusive and intimate lunch with a talented winemaker visiting all the way from France, but we were lucky enough to do just that this past week. The Novotel on the Esplanade was the setting for this lovely event and they put out a great spread to match with the wines, with lots of cheese and seafood. They were kind enough to accommodate Priya, who’s a vegan, by having some vegetable antipasto and green salad along with mixed nuts […]

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Tasting from the Tank: Barrel Samples and Wine Reviews

Most of the wines that I taste are bottled and on the liquor store shelves, or about to be there. However, when I attend a tasting with a winemaker who is visiting my city or when I travel to wine regions, I am often tasting tank or barrel samples. Sometimes, these samples get sent to my office in a generic wine bottle with a hand-written sticker telling me when the wine will be bottled, which is a future date. This is because the winemaker is keen to show you his or her new baby, even if that child is still […]

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Moet & Chandon Champagne Tasting 2006 Vintage Rosé Wine

By Melissa Pulvermacher Moët & Chandon is one of the world’s leading producers of Champagne. Moët produces more than 26,000,000 bottles of Champagne on an annual basis. Elise Losfelt, one of the 10 winemakers of Moët & Chandon, joined a group of tasters in Toronto, Ontario to introduce the new release of the 2006 Rosé in Canada in December, 2015. Elise helped the tasters understand that behind the label and well-recognized brand, there is a product and that the winemakers are extremely dedicated to achieving the expected style, while exceeding quality and expectations of its consumers. The tasting began with […]

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Gifts for Mother’s Day: Wine Trumps Flowers (and Tastes Better)

My wine column in the May issue of More Magazine Canada, with more than 500,000 thirsty readers, features three wines to celebrate Mother’s Day as gifts: three spectacular bubblies. A toast to Mom! The cover features an actress whom I admire for her depth, strength and guts, Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife, Canterbury’s Law, ER). I also love that she’s often drinking a glass of wine as she reviews her legal briefs in the evening at home. (Guess that doesn’t play so well in the ER.) At the start of the season, it was white wine, but I notice that it’s […]

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Mother’s Day Gifts, Wines and Pairings

By Natalie MacLean How to thank Mom for all those kisses, compliments and band-aids? Try a great bottle of wine with Mother’s Day gift, brunch or dinner pairing. As a mother myself now, I call my glass of wine at 5 p.m. “Mommy’s little helper.” Here’s to you Mom! Here are my Top 20 Wines for Mother’s Day, either made by women or named for them. Often the latter were originally made by women. Try these wines that I recommended on the Conde Nast site Epicurious.com or more choices on Canada AM and in More Magazine: Veuve Clicquot Champagne France […]

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The Fruit Whisperer: California Vineyards Speak in Beringer Wine Tasting

Beringer’s Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook, leads our team tasting of an impressive line-up of red and white wines from select vineyards of California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Laurie’s Hippy Approach to Winemaking … aka The Fruit Whisperer A-oiy! Look out for that ship bearing down on you at 70 knots, setting a course right through your Chardonnays! Our shipshape crew on deck for this tasting: Jennifer MacDonald, Wine Writer, Ottawa Citizen Jane Staples, Wine Writer, Windsor Star and Ottawa Wedding Magazine Matt Steeves, Wine Expert, CTV Morning Live Heather Wall, Wine Writer, Huffington Post Canada Monique Ippolito, Wine Writer, Ottawa […]

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Organic Wine: What is it? Toast Earth Day with Wine, Naturally

By Natalie MacLean Earth Hour has passed, and Earth Day is almost upon us. Naturally, you might think about pouring yourself a glass of organic wine on April 22. But what is organic wine and how is it different from “inorganic wine”? Back in the 1970s, the concept of “organic wine” conjured up images of pony-tailed vintners in tie-dyed T-shirts, producing wines more for ideology than taste. Thankfully, those days are just a watery memory now. Today, organic wines are no longer just for health nuts and tree-huggers. Wine lovers drink them for their quality. They’ve gone mainstream and represent […]

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Organic Wines Podcast: Better for You or for the Environment?

Organic wines are among the fastest growing segments in the liquor store, but they’re also misunderstood, from how they’re made to their health benefits. This podcast sheds some light on these issues: Listen Your glass wine (or three) isn’t more healthful just because it’s organic. In fact, some organic wines can be more about marketing than about health or the environment. Fermentation, filtering and fining during winemaking eliminates pesticides. As well,”organically grown grapes” on the label refers only to the way the vines are farmed, and not necessarily to the way the wine is then made in the winery because […]

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Biodynamic v Organic Winemaking – Southbrook’s Ann Sperling Video

In this video below with Southbrook Vineyards’ winemaker Ann Sperling, we chat about biodynamic and organic winemaking. (What’s with burying cow’s horns, witchcraft and astrology?) Also: – can you taste the difference in the wine? – why take this approach and is it difficult and expensive to do in a cool climate like Ontario? Click on the arrow to play the video: Here are my Top 20 Organic Wines for Earth Day April 22, and year round. When Ann Sperling was a child, she had a miniature version of every farm tool—a child-sized hoe, shovel and so on so that […]

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