How do You Pick a Great Gift Wine? 5 Tips for Festive Sips

Want to give someone a bottle of wine this year? On Global Television’s Morning Show, we chat about quick tips on how to choose a great gift wine this holiday. Wine is a great gift because: –    one size fits all –    doubles are fine –    it’s easy to re-gift Also: – it’s easy to return for cash without a receipt – wine doesn’t have to be cared for and it should never be watered – it’s consumable so it doesn’t create clutter adding to more stuff in your home How to decide which wine to give? – match the […]

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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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Find Your Holiday Gift Wine from Our Team Tasting Top Picks

Our last big team tasting for the year had 150 bottles on the tables, along a variety of Balderson Cheddar Cheeses in preparation for our pairing contest. .   You can watch the video reviews below of our team’s favourite discoveries.       Matt Steeves Wine Expert, CTV Morning Live                 Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Rachelle O’Connor Wine Blogger & Judge         Photo by Cherie Cole Cherie Cole Restaurant Wine Consultant         Sharon Prionas Wine […]

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Climate Change Impact on Wine? It’s Not What You Think (Video)

Recently, I worked with TVO on the impact of climate change on wine. Is it simply a matter of wine regions getting warmer and therefore, wine styles getting bigger? No. With this weekend’s cool climate chardonnay event in Niagara, this issue is not just timely, but also important to all wine lovers who value a nervy energy in their wine. Click on the arrow above to watch the video, as well as the wine below.     My thanks to Daniel Speck, Henry of Pelham Winery, and to Paul DeCampo, Southbrook Vineyards, for their expert guidance on this subject. Notes: Ontario has grown […]

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The 31 Most Difficult Wine and Grapes Names: How to Pronounce Them

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about the most difficult wine and grape names to pronounce. Click the arrows to watch the videos both above and below. As anglophones, we find many of these names difficult since their origins are often European, with accents and inflections that are new to us. Tip: often e and i are pronounced in the reverse when in the middle of a word, and an e at the end of a name often sounds like a long a. Why bother? We often overlook these terrific wines, and don’t ask for them in liquor stores […]

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Mother’s Day Gifts, Wines and Pairings

By Natalie MacLean How to thank Mom for all those kisses, compliments and band-aids? Try a great bottle of wine with Mother’s Day gift, brunch or dinner pairing. As a mother myself now, I call my glass of wine at 5 p.m. “Mommy’s little helper.” Here’s to you Mom! Here are my Top 20 Wines for Mother’s Day, either made by women or named for them. Often the latter were originally made by women. Try these wines that I recommended on the Conde Nast site Epicurious.com or more choices on Canada AM and in More Magazine: Veuve Clicquot Champagne France […]

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Wines for Easter Brunch and Passover Dinner

CTV News anchor Natalie Piero an I chat about wines for Easter brunch, Passover and other holiday weekend wines. Also check out The Essential Hip-Hop Guide to Easter Wines, which includes pairing ham and wine, lamb and wine, vegetables and wine, and chocolate and wine. You’ll find another video about Easter wines here. Posted with permission of CTV News. Natalie Piero: Passover starts tonight and of course Easter is coming up this weekend. So Natalie MacLean is here to talk about the best wines to pair with whatever meal you might be serving or having for the holidays. Natalie MacLean: Absolutely, we […]

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Kosher Wine: What is it? Why should I not Passover it?

Ten years ago, kosher wine was considered the cough syrup of the wine world: mostly made from nasty Concord grapes and often sweeter than Buckley’s—but without as much nuance. Today, it’s no longer the wine of affliction: many kosher wines, made from classic grapes, are complex and full of character. In fact, kosher wines sales are growing fast —  up 12% since 2013. While no one tracks buyer demographics, some producers claim that up to half aren’t even members of the Jewish faith—they’re just attracted to the wine’s quality and its preparation, which guarantees purity. Kosher wines, like fashionable organic […]

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Wine’s Salad Daze: The Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine and Vegetables

My partner Miles, an unrepentant carnivore, claims that “salad is what food eats.” I wouldn’t go that far, but my problem with vegetables is that they are among the most challenging foods to match with wine. Here are my favourite wines to pair with vegetables and vegetarian dishes. Finding veggie-friendly wines, however, is important: on the one hand, many of us are now filling our plates with more greenery and less wine-friendly meat dishes; on the other, as the health benefits of wine become better known, more vegetarians are pouring a glass with their meatless meals. We’re all more health […]

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California Wine Fair Comes to Canada: Dates for Your Calendar

Sponsored Post The 2016 California Wine Fair is traveling across the country in April touching down on 7 cities coast to coast. California’s success has been built by a pioneering spirit that prides itself on its unique identity, lifestyle, personality and passion for the grape. This year, more than 111 wineries, 400 wines and numerous friends from the vineyards will be visiting Canada and meeting with lovers of California wine. Visit www.calwine.ca for more info and a complete list of participating wineries in each city. The 2016 California Wine Fair promises to deliver sparkling and knowledgeable personalities, fabulous wines and […]

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