Best LCBO Wine Reviews and Ratings: Vintages January 24

You can access the 56 wines that I reviewed for January 24 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. You can also see my wine reviews for January 10. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or […]

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Sommelier Loves Pairing Wine with PEI Shellfish and Seafood

Lesley Quinn, Sommelier, Sim’s Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar in Charlottetown, PEI Was wine a part of your family’s meals when you were young? I grew up in a small farming community on Prince Edward Island, with two older brothers. Wine wasn’t a part of our meals at home. However, my mother worked in the tourism industry, and she was host to journalists from around the world. She’d take me with her to meals with them, and it was during one of those dinners, that I had my first sip of wine. Apparently, I described it as tasting like sour grape juice. What […]

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Warm Cheddar Pretzels Recipe Paired with Merlot

Cheddar Pretzels Find Comfort in the Cold And just like that, the holidays are over; they’re gone as fast as they came. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing else to look forward to this winter. It may be cold and snowy, but that means you can have fun sledding in the park and skiing. And the best part about that is: you get to have some après-skiing snacks. Like this yummy recipe for Cheddar Pretzels. They’re easy to make, and so, so delicious. Made with Canadian Medium Cheddar, they are the perfect salty, sharp, and savoury snack to warm you […]

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Canadian Icewine: Extreme Winemaking

A wine columnist is urging Canadians to drink icewine while cheering on the country’s Olympians next month. “It’s Canada’s winter gold. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our Canadian winters. I kind of think about our Canadian athletes too and I think we all should be drinking icewine while watching the Olympics,” says Natalie MacLean, editor of a wine review site, which has more than 156,000 members. “It’s uniquely Canadian in that we are the biggest producer and the best producer, I think, in terms of quality. It’s just such an all-Canadian treat that I think people need […]

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Icewine: Canada’s Gold in a Glass

Icewine: Canada’s golden winter elixir … that’s the hot topic of our segment above on CTV’s The Social. What is icewine and how is it different from other sweet wines? Why is Canada the world leader in producing it? What are the best icewines and which treats do you pair with it? You’ll find all of the icewines we discussed in this segment in this custom shopping list, along with dry red and white wines, showing you the stock for each wine at your closest liquor stores so that you can try them this weekend. Where was icewine first made? […]

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Best Bubbly for New Years? There’s a Wine for That

In our continuing holiday wine series with Canadian Press (CP), we chat about great sparkling wines for New Year’s Eve.   You don’t have to go for Champagne, even though this is the tradition treat. There are terrific options from around the world, including Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco and sparkling wine from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States, among many other regions. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site at www.nataliemaclean.com, chooses her favourite sparkling wines:   Kim Crawford Fizz Methode Traditionnelle 2009 Henry of Pelham Estate Winery Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut Henry of Pelham Estate […]

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The Champagnes of James Bond and Rappers: Bollinger and Cristal

Part 2: Champagne Widows By the 1930s, French winemakers faced even greater challenges: a country about to go to war, a worldwide Depression that made running any business difficult, and U.S. Prohibition, which made selling luxury champagne to the lucrative American market almost impossible. This was the forbidding business environment that Camille Olry-Roederer stepped into when she took over the champagne house Louis Roederer after losing her second husband in 1932 (her first husband had died in World War I). Sales were 264,000 bottles that year, compared to 2.3 million bottles in 1876. But like the other women of Champagne […]

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Veuve Clicquot Champagne: Riddle Me This!

Above: Designer Karim Rashid created a Love Seat for Veuve Clicquot’s Yellow By Design exhibition, a modern take of an 18th century love seat blended with the rose colour seats to complement the Veuve Clicquot wine. Part 1: Champagne Widows Madame Clicquot wasn’t just a saleswoman, she also developed the technique called remuage or riddling, to remove sediment from the wine – a method that was quickly adopted throughout the Champagne region. Veuve Clicquot Riddling Table The second fermentation in the bottle that gives champagne its carbon dioxide also creates sediment, which gives the wine an unsightly cloudy appearance.  To […]

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The Merry Widows of Mousse: Champagne Widows

They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they did not do what was expected: step aside or sell the business.  Nor did they marry again (though they were still in their twenties and thirties), handing over the reins to a new husband. Instead, these celebrated veuves, or widows, took control of their châteaux to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world – wines that still bear their names: Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, Laurent-Perrier, Roederer and […]

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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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