What is Wine’s Role in Modern Madness? Finding Our Humanity Drop by Drop

​Editor’s Note: I wrote this magazine piece on wine and civility two months after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance than ever, with the riots in Ferguson, ISIS, Jian Ghomeshi, Gamergate, unfettered consumerism, and the mysogenous micro-aggressions that women face daily on social media. I welcome your thoughts here: never loose your voice. In Vino Civilitatis The trouble with moderation is that it’s hard to get excited about it. Until now. After September 11, moderation seems to be rarer than a California cult cabernet. Finding the moderate and the civilized in everyday life has […]

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Are Women Better Wine Tasters Than Men?

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, but are we on two different planets when it comes to tasting wine? International Women’s Day #IWD2017 is March 8 so it’s timely to look at this issue as well as the fact that women buy most wine. Dr. Linda Bartoshuk, at Yale University School of Medicine, discovered the super taster phenomenon in 1999, along with the fact that women are more than twice as likely to be super tasters than men. To test her theory, Dr. Bartoshuk dipped a thyroid medication on study participants’ tongues to test their sensitivity to bitterness. Based […]

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World Malbec Day Celebrates Argentina’s Flagship Red Wine

Last night, we chatted about Malbec World Day and food pairings. Tune in here for our next Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting: www.nataliemaclean.com/live P.S. Click on the “Follow” and “Like” buttons on this page to get notified when we go live. You’ll find upcoming and past Live Tasting Videos here. If you’d like to read 46 comments for this tasting, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10154975674214845/ Here’s a sampling of lively discussion from our tasting…  Natalie MacLean · 12:21 Here are the wines we’re tasting tonight: http://www.nataliemaclean.com/…/malbec-red-wine…/…See More  Lise Charest Gagne · 8:39 I like the mix. Try out […]

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Plonk Wine Videos Stumble Blindly into Brilliant Insight

In his book How to Love Wine, New York Times wine columnist Eric Asimov observes: “I’m sometimes dismayed that sommeliers confuse their professional training with what consumers need to know to enjoy wine. We don’t need to know whether you can identify wines blind. “Those are just parlor games for professionals. I think that professionals, like sommeliers, need to be able to communicate with the public in a language that they understand and that they find useful.” When I tasted wines blind with Eric at the paper’s headquarters several years ago, he lived those words. The blind tasting was to […]

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How to Taste Wine Like a Pro at a Winery or Restaurant

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about how to get the most from your winery visit, including what to bring, what to ask and how to spit your wine. You can watch the full video here. However, when you’re at home, please don’t spit the two lovely wines that I selected for this show: Rosehall Run Pinot Noir and Viewpointe Auxerrois ;) I absolutely love it when there’s a strong reaction to any segment we do on The Social: it means we’re engaged and passionate about wine! When I mention that there shouldn’t be sediment floating around in your […]

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Video: How Can you Become an Ontario Wine Specialist? IWEG Wine of-Course!

  We had a lot of fun this past Sunday sipping on our favourite Ontario wines and chatting about the New Ontario Wine Specialist Certificate! Click on the arrow above to play the video. You can read the 138 comments here (and comment yourself). Share your thoughts on your favourite Ontario wines and discover which wines others love that you might want to try. Also find out how you can become a Certified Ontario Wine Specialist. Sip with you soon!       P.S. If you click on the “Like” and “Share buttons on Facebook now, you’ll get the heads up when […]

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Video: Icewine Cocktails and Pairing with Chili Chips

Karen King, who co-owns The Ice House in Niagara with her husband Jamie Macfarlane. In the video above, she chats about how they’re literally shaking it up with icewine, from slushies to pairings with chili snacks and wasabi peas. Click on the arrow to play the video.     Questions: You did research that revealed surprising insights about icewine in terms of who’s drinking it and when? What kind of sensory food and wine research were you doing? Icewine is probably Canada’s most iconic wine, but you’re shaking up that perception: how is your style different? Tell me about being […]

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Can You Lose Weight While Drinking Wine?

Do we have to give up wine if we want to shed a few pounds? No! Click on the arrow above to watch the video … On CTV’s The Social, we put this notion to the test with a fun quiz show format on calories and wine. How many answers can you get right? Three of the wines we’ll taste are marketed as “diet wines” with just 70-80 calories: SkinnyGrape, SkinnyGirl and one other, plus two ringers. Two wines are not diet wines, but are naturally low in calories. The names of two wines give them away, but can you […]

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Top 6 Wine New Year’s Resolutions

Every New Year, I make—and break—several resolutions about exercise or housecleaning. However, I also make a resolution or two about wine, which have always been easy to keep because they’re fun. Here are a few of my favorites that you can try this year.   1. I resolve to try something new It’s easy to get into a rut with wine and buy the same brand every time. But the pleasure of wine is in its diversity. If you like full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from California, try one from Argentina, or even a different robust red, such as an Argentine Malbec. […]

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Wine Tasting Hackathon: New Way of Social Wine Discovery

Our second team wine tasting yesterday felt like a family reunion. Sommeliers and wine bloggers from Toronto and Montreal flew or drove in to join those from the east to west ends of Ottawa. There was an instant camaraderie among those gathered here who recognized each other as fellow contributors to our online community. What I admire most about these reviewers is that although they have sterling wine credentials and training, they keep it real and conversational — with an effort to connect, not to impress. The tasting also struck me as the wine version of a hackathon. In the […]

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