Which Wine Pairings for turkey, fruitcake or cheese?

The holiday countdown is on and Canadians are scrambling for last-minute gifts for their hosts and loved ones. Wine and food seem like a natural option at this time of year, but with thousands of bottles lining the shelves at liquor outlets, where does one begin? “I’d start with pairing the wine that you’re going to bring to go with the dinner. Wild guess, might be turkey,” says sommelier Natalie MacLean, editor of the wine review site nataliemaclean.com. She suggests a sparkling wine like Cava from Spain, a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, a dry rose from France or a […]

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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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Panettone Brie Tower Recipe Paired with Merlot Wine

Panettone Brie Tower The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Holiday Entertaining Made Easy Can you feel that? It feels like the holidays are here. There is an exuberant amount of energy that surrounds us as people rush to finish last-minute shopping and prepare for their upcoming family festivities. It’s an exciting time of the year, and one that calls for a recipe that’s packed with pleasure and deliciously creamy Canadian Brie. Hopefully, this simply delicious recipe for Panettone Brie Tower will be the perfect little dinner party dessert idea. If you’re not familiar with Panettone, it’s a traditional Italian cake […]

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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 13 years ago, 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 lose is 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 […]

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Recipe: Argentinean Sorrentinos Paired with Malbec

Argentinean Sorrentinos Sorrentinos are round raviolis, filled with ham, mozzarella cheese and ricotta. They’re not from Sorrento – they were invented in the resort town of Mar del Plata. In Argentina you can buy a special type of deep ravioli mold called a “sorrentinero” that is used to make the exact sombrero-like shape of these pastas. If you make these from scratch, you can fill them with ham, mozzarella, and ricotta, and serve them with any sauce. Or buy widely available ricotta-filled raviolis, and serve them with this creamy ham and mozzarella cheese sauce on top – a sort of […]

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Beaujolais Nouveau arrives Thursday! Top 10 Food Matches …

In our first video chat, Carol Anne and I discuss beaujolais nouveau wines to try this year. However, for those who want to try other easy-drinking red wines this week and during the holidays, we’ve got more suggestions above for you. On the third Thursday of every November, Beaujolais produdcers in southern Burgundy, France, release wine from the new harvest. More than 60 million bottles make their way around the world to bistros, bars and restaurants. Nouveau is a knock-it-back kind of wine to be enjoyed in the spirit of celebrating the harvest! Here are my top 10 food matches […]

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Grilled Polenta Bites with Friulano Recipe

Grilled Polenta Bites with Friulano A Trick-or-Treat Treat Fall is in full swing. And now that Thanksgiving is over, my next favourite festive event is here: Halloween. If you’re looking to add some scrumptious to your scary, I have a recipe that will do just the trick (or treat). These Grilled Polenta Bites with Friulano are a simple and easy snack for you to make just before you and your little ones head out for a night of spooky fun. They are a Canadian take on an Italian classic, with a delicious Canadian Friulano cheese. If you’ve never tried it […]

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Wine Tasting Club Checklist

Continued from How to Host a Wine Tasting Here’s a checklist for how to host a wine tasting or start a regular wine tasting club. 1. One Month Before the Tasting Decide who you want to invite Your tasting club could be for your existing friends, or a means to get to know new friends via work or other venues, or a mix. Invite six to twelve guests. These days, trying to find an unscheduled evening with six to twelve busy people is a challenge so you may need to give your group even more lead time than a month. […]

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Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken Recipe Paired with Cheval Noir

Sponsored Post Pair this cool-weather recipe for Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken with the full-bodied Cheval Noir, a full-bodied, supple merlot from Bordeaux. Find this wine in your closest LCBO store now. Winemaker’s Notes: Cheval Noir has a fine, complex nose which combines ripe, red fruits with notes of grilled toast and spices. In the mouth it is rich, structured and powerful, perfectly balanced between fruit and tannins, with a long finish. TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN SERVINGS: 6 Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 cup dry bread crumbs 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon dried basil […]

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Blue Cheese Burgers Recipe Paired with Cheval Noir

Sponsored Post Pair this savoury recipe for Blue Cheese Burgers with the full-bodied Cheval Noir, a full-bodied, supple merlot from Bordeaux. Find this wine in your closest LCBO store now. Winemaker’s Notes: Cheval Noir has a fine, complex nose which combines ripe, red fruits with notes of grilled toast and spices. In the mouth it is rich, structured and powerful, perfectly balanced between fruit and tannins, with a long finish. ACTIVE: 25 MIN TOTAL TIME: 2H25 SERVINGS: 6 Ingredients: 1½ pounds lean ground beef 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled ¼ cup minced fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce ½ […]

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