Easter Wines for Fish, Lamb + Ham: Video

Wines for Good Friday fish, Easter brunch, lamb and ham are the focus of our chat on CTV News. In particular, red wines often clash with fish not because of the wine tannin and fish iodine, as previously thought, but rather because of high iron content in the wine. The iron comes mostly from the soil where the vines are grown, but can also be due to winemaking methods. Generalizing about which wines will be high in iron content is difficult. The iron in wine is thought to break down the unsaturated (good) fats in fish and creates that fishy […]

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Vertigo Flights of Wine: CN Tower Restaurant Wine List Dazzling (and Dizzying)

James Muir, is the sommelier and maitre d’ at the 360 The Restaurant at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. James manages the world’s highest wine cellar and has served many celebrities from Michelle Obama to John Travolta. What was your first wine experience? It was likely some low-end import wine from the depanneur, the corner convenience store where I lived in Montreal. I also tried Baby Duck at some point back then. However, more interesting wines were those from British Columbia in the 1980s. At that time, I experimented with pricier, imported bottles when I went out […]

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Drinking Beside the Box: The Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine and Fast Food

Knowing that saffron-flavored mille-feuille of red mullet and langoustine pairs perfectly with Dom Perignon, or that prime fillet of Kobe beef with braised oxtail and potato rosti will make Château Pétrus sing is useful if you have a fat trust fund and a kitchen staff of twenty. But when most of us are racing from work to soccer practice to ballet class and then home again, we’re far more apt to grab some take-out food or heat a frozen TV dinner than to prepare a multi-course dinner every night of the week. We’re more aware than ever of health issues […]

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Sommelier Secrets on Weird Wine and Food Pairings, and Dream Cellar

In our latest sommelier profile, Jay Whiteley, who has been the sommelier and wine director at several of Canada’s best restaurants, most recently, The Chase in Toronto, shares his favourite and weirdest food and wine pairings, as well as tips on choosing from a restaurant wine list. What was your first wine experience? Learning how to say the word Gewürztraminer. Why did you move from BC, where you were working at one of the top restaurants in Vancouver, to join The Chase in Toronto? I moved for some personal reasons, but also to learn about the LCBO distribution system. Toronto […]

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Starbucks Barista is No Joe Job: The Real Story

When I open the door to Starbucks on O’Connor Street, long shafts of September sunlight stream in, ricocheting off the chrome espresso machine and the cellophane-wrapped bags of coffee. The smoky, dark chocolate aroma of brewing coffee snakes down my central nervous system. I feel faint with the need for caffeine. On most Sunday mornings, I’m less bright-eyed squirrel, more startled raccoon. A young auburn-haired woman named Bethany Wade bounds to the door and greets me with the perky inflection of the highly caffeinated. “Welcome!” she says. “We’re so glad you can join our group.” Wade trains Ottawa recruits to […]

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Wine Pairing: Corned Beef and Cabbage

Do you really need to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the liquid abomination of green beer? You bet your lucky stars, no! “Green wine” can be magically delicious. No, I’m not talking about wine that’s the colour green, but rather about wine that has green aromas and flavours such as lime, peas, asparagus (stay with me), green apple and herbaceous notes. These zesty wines dance a jig with corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and colcannon (mashed potatoes and green cabbage). When I think of ‘green’ wines, those that come to mind are zippy whites with herbal notes such as […]

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Top 10 Green Wine & Food Matches for St. Patrick’s Day

Which wines go best with the “green food” that we’ll enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew? How about those fresh spring vegetables that will soon be on our plates? Green foods are the problem children of the wine world. But as a stubborn hedonist whose grandmother’s name was Brophy, I’ve found some terrific wines to drink with them on Tuesday. Top 10 Green Wine & Food Matches 1. Corned beef and cabbage: Pinot Blanc 2. Irish Stew: Cabernet Franc 3. Spring Asparagus: Gruner Veltliner 4. Field greens salad: Riesling 5. Tomatoes: Pinot […]

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Drinking the Green: St. Patrick’s Day Wines

Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day … which begs the question: Is there any wine that pairs with corned beef and cabbage? This in turn begs the question: Can we skip the corned beef and cabbage and just have wine? No matter. Traditional matches for this Irish meal usually include Irish stout, like Guinness. But what about wine? Corned beef is salty and cabbage is skunky: is there a wine for that? Yes, as long as you avoid those wines with a strong sulphur smell or taste, as well as big red wines with heavy tannins and oak. Your best bet […]

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How to Import Wine into Canada for Pleasure and Profit

By Steven Trenholme Since 1993, hundreds of people have attended my seminar, many going on to establish agencies or finding employment in the trade. A short list of graduates includes: Alex Patinos – Dionysus Agencies – agents for Fuxion Ted Warren – RKW Wines – agents for Goats Do Roam Howard Wasserman – B&W Wines – agents for Kendall-Jackson Margaret Hobbs – Hobbs & Co. –agents for  Tabali Ken Hayden – Appellation Wines – agent for Champagne Couche  It is the only training seminar for wine agents in Canada. There are still many suppliers who are not represented in Ontario. […]

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Wine and Food Pairing with Memories and Laughter

  As part of the CBC’s Food Fantasy fundraiser for the Food Bank, I raffled myself off to visit the home of the winner and pair wines with a three-course meal. You can listen to our group chat above and discover some surprising tips on pairing wine and food. The winners were Merle and Richard (far right in the picture below), a lovely couple who hosted a fun evening filled with wine, laughter and memories.   Wines Tasted and Food Pairings Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand Grassy and smoky and absolutely great! This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc […]

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