Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival: Vintage Pleasure

The Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival is Canada’s largest wine and culinary fundraiser for medical research, raising more than $11.4 million since it started in 2005. In the video below, chef Massimo Capra, who writes a column for the Globe & Mail and has appeared on the Food Network, is one of the celebrity chefs who will be cooking a special dinner this year. He reveals the details of this special meal in the video. You can also watch our second wine video chat here. Chef Massimo Capra has been involved with Grand Cru since it began in 2005, and […]

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A Tale of Two Ruffino Wine Tasting Dinners with Authentic Italian Food Pairings

Our second Ruffino wine tasting took place October 19 at La Cucina Ristorante with another team of our top-notch wine reviewers who share their observations of the wines, pairings and experience below. You’ll find the pictures, videos and notes from the Ocober 18 Ruffino wine tasting here, and reviews of all Ruffino wines here. “The more I drink Italian wines, the more convinced I am that they are made for the purpose of enjoying good food. And when you have the perfect pairing, it gives you the kind of evening we had at the great Italian restaurant La Cucina in […]

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Ruffino Wines: Tasting Italy in a Glass

Our third winemaker dinner team tasting on October 18 featured the wines of the Italian winery Ruffino. Our team did an excellent job of summarizing the wines, food pairings and overall experience of the evening. A second Ruffino wine dinner was held the following night at a different restaurant. You can see all of the Ruffino wine reviews, showing stock at your local liquor store. “Graffiti’s Italian Restaurant in Kanata was the perfect location for a Ruffino tasting dinner with Brand Ambassador Robert Ghezzo. Though dimly lit and boisterous at times, we were nonetheless transported to the Tuscan countryside as […]

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Stratus Wine and Food Pairing Dinner with Beckta Cuisine

Stratus Winery hosted a spectacular wine and food tasting dinner in Niagara on September 28 that featured the cuisine of Ottawa restaurateur Steve Beckta’s three establishments: Beckta Dining & Wine, Play and Gezellig.  I found that the Stratus wines paired beautifully with partner and executive chef Mike Moffatt and chef de cuisine Katie Brown Ardington’s dishes. Click on the arrow above to play the short Instagram video clip. The missing word at the end is windmill ;) Chef Moffatt is a two-time Gold Medal Plates winner and Katie is a rising star on the Ottawa restaurant scene. This dinner paired […]

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Taste Ontario: Wines + Event Make Spectacular Blend

“The evening function for Taste Ontario in Ottawa was beautiful. The Westin outdid itself with food stations all around the ballroom interspersed with ice sculptured bar tables and tree stands. The majestic Chateau Laurier was lit up in the background outside the room-length floor-to-ceiling windows. Music and mingling. Eating and drinking. My favourite pairing of the night was the sauteed shrimp in a rich cream sauce with the Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2011. The event gave us a chance to talk one-on-one with the owners, representatives and winemakers at some of the best wineries in Ontario. At the Closson Chase […]

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Kim Crawford Wines: Small Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir

“Several Ottawa sommeliers and wine professionals, along with noted author Natalie MacLean, enjoyed a wine tasting luncheon October 4, with an informative presentation from Kim Crawford’s Chief Winemaker, Anthony Walkenhorst and a scrumptuous meal from Maxwell’s Bistro. We were treated to several of Kim Crawford’s finest wines and each plate was introduced by the chef. The New Zealand winery Kim Crawford was launched in 1996 with a virtual vineyard … the actual land for the vines came later! With an unusual start, and in a relatively short time, the winery has made New Zealand as famous for its wines as […]

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Errazuriz Wines: Chile’s Cool Climate Grapes Shine

This is the first in a series of team tastings by top reviewers in our community, most of whom are graduates of either the Algonquin College Sommelier Program or La Cite Collegiale Sommelier Program. They share with us their overall impressions from the tasting, as well as reviews of each of the wines presented. You’ll also find their reviews shared on Twitter and Facebook as they are all very active on social media. “The Errazuriz wine tasting at Daly’s restaurant in Ottawa on September 26th was an absolute treat. Francisco Baettig, head winemaker at Errazuriz, is a supremely knowledgeable and […]

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Best Wine Bloggers Conference Ever: Penticton, BC 2013

The Wine Bloggers Conference is sort of a cross between a press junket, MacWorld and summer camp. It involves some work with a lot of play and often serves as the kick-start to a summer vacation. Some people leave their families at home for WBC. The majority of bloggers attend every year, so it gets quite old homey with the all the alumni and veterans hugging and kissing. To encourage fresh blood, though, the conference offers a scholarship fund to those who can’t afford the $95 “citizen blogger” fee. What citizen bloggers get is 2.5 days of wine tastings, wine […]

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6 Top Wine and Food Pairings – Huffington Post

Here’s my column in the Huffington Post about the winners of The Great Canadian Wine Match. I also profiled the finalists in each category in previous columns. I’ll be featuring the nominees and finalists of the next wine match this fall that will feature both international and Canadian wines under $25. Stay tuned! Posted with permission of the Huffington Post.

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1000 Islands Wine & Food Festival

What better way to enjoy a weekend than with a visit to a beautiful waterfront community, a fiesta with some friendly faces, and a good glass of your favourite wine? And that’s just what The Volunteer Centre of St. Lawrence-Rideau is offering the weekend on June 14th and 15th in picturesque Brockville, Ontario at the fourth annual 1000 Islands Wine and Food Festival. This delicious event is taking place at the Brockville Memorial Centre, and is working in partnership with Brockville’s Tall Ships Festival and 1000 Islands Jazz Festival, making this one weekend event you do not want to miss! […]

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