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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Gift Wines and Wines for Turkey Dinner: Global Morning Show

Rosie, Anthony and I chat about great gift wines and wines for turkey dinner and the holidays on Global Morning Show. Get your custom shopping list of great wines showing the stock for each bottle at your closest liquor stores, including lots of Canadian wines. (A delivery of such didn’t make it to the studio in time.) Posted with permission of Global News.

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How to Write a Wine Review: Tasting Notes that Tell a Story

Each week, I issue a challenge to those who post reviews on our site. If you’d like to get the latest challenge when it goes out, please e-mail me at natdecants @ nataliemaclean.com. How Would an Historical Figure Talk about the Wine? Choose anyone you admire from the past, whether famous or not, and let them tell the reader about the wine. Even better, set the scene and discuss the wine with that person in a little dialogue. For example, I’d choose Dorothy Parker, one of the wits at the Algonquin Round Table in New York City in the 1920s. […]

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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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How Sweet is My Wine? What do Sugar Codes Mean for Wine?

How sweet is your wine? Have you ever wondered what those sugar codes mean on the liquor store shelf? There are several different sweetness charts and coding systems on the market, but they’re not that far apart from each other in describing the residual sugar level in wine. I believe that it’s critical to list the sweetness level of a wine with every review that I write to give more information about each wine to my readers, some of whom look for a bone-dry wine while others have a sweet tooth. Posting the sugar codes are also vital for health […]

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Brandy Cocktail Recipes with a Twist

Cocktails: Eye Opener Ingredients: 2 oz Cortel 5 oz energy drink 1 lime slice Preparation: Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour Cortel and add energy drink into the glass. Stir well. Place the lime slice in a glass and enjoy.   Cocktails: Life’s Bittersweet Ingredients: 2 oz Cortel 2 oz tonic water Grapefruit garnish Preparation: Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour Cortel and add tonic water and stir well. Place the grapefruit peel in a highball glass and drape one end of it over the rim of the glass.     Cocktails: Blackberry Bliss Ingredients: 1 oz Cortel […]

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Cognac Cocktail Recipes for Festive Entertaining

Cocktail Exotic Dream Ingredients: 4 cl Cognac GAUTIER 2 cl Banana Liqueur 3 cl fresh orange juice 1 cl fresh lemon juice Preparation: Add all ingredients in a shaker with some ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish: Twist of lemon Glass: Cocktail glass   Cocktail Golden Fizz Ingredients: 3 cl Cognac GAUTIER 4,5 cl fresh pink grapefruit juice 7,5 cl Champagne Preparation: Pour directly the cognac and the fresh grapefruit juice into a flute. Add champagne. Garnish: Sugar around the glass with grenadine or grapefruit syrup. Glass: Flute Cocktail recipe developed by Cognac Goutier.

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Pairing Wine and Cranberry Sauce, Chestnut Stuffing, Cream Corn

Can we be honest? Holiday turkey dinner is just an excuse for most of us to chow down on our favourite side dish, whether it’s cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing or sweet potatoes. Often they have more interesting flavours than that dry old bird in the middle of the table. So please, let’s stop kidding ourselves with wine matches for turkey and focus on those pocket cravings. And please pass me that bowl of mashed potatoes. Wine and Tangy Food Why don’t we eat cranberry sauce more often throughout the year? Let’s talk about that at dinner. In the meantime, try […]

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Chateau Palmer Tasting: Bordeaux Wine Seduces and Satisfies

Château Palmer By Melissa Pulvermacher Château Palmer is a much-respected winery in the Margeaux appellation d’origine contrôlée in Bordeaux, France. You may recognize Palmer better as one of the classified Third Growths of Bordeaux. Palmer has been known as one of the most popular of this classification and some even argue that its consistent delivery of quality held up against First Growth, Château Margeaux. I was given the opportunity to taste several of the Palmer wines at an organized tasting at The National Club in Toronto, Ontario. After tasting the 2004, 1999, 1995 and 1983 vintages up against one another, […]

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