Music and Wine Pairing: Cabernet in C Major

Leanne and I chat about pairing wine and music. Click on the arrow to play the video. More information about the wine auction here. “Notes” on Pairing Wine and Music Both music and wine evoke emotion so it makes sense that music could influence our emotional reaction to and perception of wine. However, are there right and wrong wine and music pairings? Or perhaps even, better or worse? When I attend wine tasting for the media, there are no distractions, such as food or perfume, and the room is almost always silent except for the gurgling and sloshing noises of […]

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The Ancient Greeks Invented Invented Map Making — to Help You Find Their Wines

The ancient Greeks invented map making. They had to help people find their wines.  As the third-most mountainous country in Europe, Greece’s distinct topography enables the cultivation of cool weather grapes in a warm weather climate, an unexpected attribute of Greek wines and their diverse terrior.  But it can also make them hard to find. Hence, the need for maps. One of Greece’s greatest white wines comes from the Moschofilero (MOHS-koh-FEE-leh-roh) grape. If you’ve been looking for a dry Riesling but always find them too sweet, Moschofilero is for you. It has an aromatic, floral bouquet so its dryness will […]

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The Ancient Greeks Invented Money — Thanks to Wine

The ancient Greeks invented money. Bring back the old days when wine was free. We don’t know who the individual was who first conceived of money, but we suspect it may have been a prescient winemaker who understood he could become rich and happy at the same time. It figures then, that if you go to some of the finest (and priciest) restaurants in the country, you’ll find wines made from the Assyrtiko (ahs-SEER-tee-koh) grape on their wine list. (British wine writer, Jancis Robinson, named Assyrtiko as the wine she would have if she could only have one.) Sign up […]

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The Ancient Greeks Invented the Concept of Pairing Wine and Food Together

  Last night, we were joined by a special guest, Christina Boutari, North America Brand Ambassador of her family’s wines, to chat about them as well as the surprising changes in Greek wines. ​Join us on the Sunday Sipper Club, March ​26​ at 6 pm eastern (Toronto time)​ ​with special guest Mark Beringer to chat about the new wave of California wines​. Tune in here for our 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. […]

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The Ancient Greeks Created the Idea of Pairing Wine and Culture

How lucky that wine and culture pair so well together Let us introduce you to wines made from the Xinomavro (ksee-NOH-mah-vroh) grape.  These are wine lovers wines, for those who want to debate the great statues of ancient Grecian temples, or perhaps the writings of philosophers like Homer. Yes, it was Homer who famously said, “Sorry Marge.  Some wise guy stuck a cork in the bottle.”  (Same Homer, right?) Regarded by many as Greece’s best red wine, Xinomavro has many similarities to Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo producing a wine that has a nice amount of acidity. If you love wines from Burgundy or […]

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Ontario’s Best Sommelier to Compete for National Title

  Last night, we were joined by special guest Emily Pearce-Bibona who has just been named Ontario’s Best Sommelier in a gruelling day-long competition. Click on the arrow above to watch the video. We went behind the scenes with Emily to chat about what it was like to compete (and win) in this competition hosted by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. Plus, she shared her expert tips on tasting and enjoying wine, including how to choose a great bottle from a restaurant list, with the help of your sommelier, of course ;) You can read 69 comments here and make […]

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Henry of Pelham Wine Tasting Reveals Deep Roots in Niagara

Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen   What a lovely opportunity to sit down with the Speck Brothers (well, two of three – Paul and Daniel) from Henry of Pelham winery to learn more about their family’s winemaking as well to taste across their portfolio of wines. Their Henry of Pelham portfolio is generally set up along three tiers; Classic, Estate, and the Speck Family Reserve.   Photo by Jennifer MacDonald Havers By adhering to rigorous quality standards and keeping production at modest levels for the higher tier (Speck Brothers Reserve), the resulting high quality wines trickle down to […]

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Getting Nutty at Alvear Montilla-Moriles Fortified Wine Tasting

Greg Hughes Wine Writer & Sommelier   For 18 generations, (300 years) the Alvear family have been making wine.  All of these wines are Sherry-esque in style, but they are all constructed with Pedro Ximenez from Montilla Moriles instead of the traditional Palomino. We had the chance to taste the wines and discuss them with Maria Auxiliadora; the winemaker responsible for their continued quality. Pedro Ximenez (Pronounced Peh-droh ee-MAY-neth) is a small grape with a thin skin of dark colouration.  It is renown among wine enthusiasts for being super sweet, concentrated, and fermenting to naturally high alcohol. Of the four […]

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Santa Margherita Wine Tasting: To Pinot Grigio and Beyond

  Monique Sosa Wine Columnist, Ottawa Life Magazine  Virtually everyone I know has had a taste of the eminent Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. It is the number one selling white wine in Canada and a consistent top seller in North America altogether. Not so long after the rise of their Grigio’s popularity, we started to notice more and more Santa Margherita labels of various styles of Italian wines in our market.  Their Prosecco, for example, is another popular, approachable, crowd-pleasing, value-priced wine. Two vastly different wines made in different styles, from different grapes, grown in different regions, under different viticultural and vinification […]

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Orange, Poppy Seed & Apricot Loaf Recipe Paired with Oyster Bay Pinot Grigio

ORANGE, POPPYSEED & APRICOT LOAF   Sunshine can be fleeting, particularly in the depths of winter, which makes the bright spring flavours of the stunning 90 point Oyster Bay Pinot Grigio an absolute delight! Limited stock is now available at the LCBO so get your hands on some while you still can, and then pair it with this beautiful orange and apricot loaf. It’s incredibly moist, with crunchy poppy seeds topped with fragrant apricots and an orange glaze; the perfect accompaniment to a splash of Oyster Bay Pinot Grigio. Welcome to spring!   Orange, Poppy Seed & Apricot Loaf Recipe […]

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