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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Father’s Day Gift Wines: Red Wine or Port?

Here are my top two wine picks for Father’s Day in the Ottawa Citizen. Wine writer Natalie recommends two full-bodied wines on her site at www.nataliemaclean.com for Father’s Day. She gives 90 points out of 100 to the Negrar Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico Cantina Sociale Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy (LCBO No: 44784,  $34.95). “It’s a juicy, full-bodied red, loaded with black fruit goodness,” she notes. “There are some fleshy black plum notes that dance along the background yielding to supreme satisfaction, especially for dedicated fathers who attend both ballet recitals and basketball games.” MacLean also gives 90 points to the the […]

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Romantic Pairing: Wine and Chocolate

In this month’s Costco Connection Lifestyle Magazine I chat with the editor about my favourite wine and chocolate pairings for Valentine’s Day. Here are my favourite wines for chocolate in liquor stores now. While many of us like to think we’re going to be creative with our Valentine’s Day gifts this year, let’s be honest. On February 13, we’re going to rush out and purchase our favourite standbys: wine and chocolate. And why shouldn’t we? Everybody likes this duo; they’re wildly delicious and indulgent, and they usually lead to a good time (insert suggestive eyebrow raise here). But what you […]

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Haunting Wines for Halloween Treats and Pairings that won’t Spook You

Something a bit scary happens on Halloween: we try pairing wine with mini Rolos, Mars bars and Smarties. Here are some tips on combinations that won’t frighten your palate … Count Dracula said, “I never drink … wine.” But for those of us who don’t enjoy his beverage of choice, wine is the way to go — even with Halloween treats. In between doorbell chimes, I like to polish off those mini chocolate bars with a glass of Messias 10 Year Old Tawny Port 1998 ($23.95, 91 points). This Portuguese dessert wine, with its river of almond and toffee flavour, […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Risotto, Seduction in Piedmont

By Tania Thomas Nestled in the Italy’s northwest corner, surrounded on three sides by the mighty Alps, lies the gastronomical regions of Piedmont. Unlike the rest of Italy, this is the land of butter and hearty fare due to a strong French influence from Savoy just across the border. In Piedmont, the meal always starts with antipasti. Usually risotto or polenta, followed by braised meats as a main course. Except in the case of risotto alla Milanese, made by adding beef bone marrow, flavoured by saffron and served as main course along Ossobuco, a classic Milanese dish of braised veal […]

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Fall Wines: A Warming Taste Trend

Wine styles are as seasonal as clothing. In the summer, I drink light, refreshing wines that remind me of a simple T-shirt and shorts: perfect for sun-baked beaches and country road strolls. But in the fall, my wine, like my clothes, becomes warmer, more layered and better able to combat those cool winds of October. In the video above, Leanne and I chat about fall fashions in wine, from the run-way to your dining room table. The wines featured in this show include: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay, California Toasted Head Chardonnay, California Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon, California Santa […]

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LCBO Wines on Sale: May 24 to June 20

Sponsored Post by Philippe Dandurand Wine Agency You can get the complete shopping list of these wines in your closest liquor stores here.     Yellow Tail Sangria Australia Regular Price: $10.95  Sale Price: $9.95         [yellow tail] Pinot Grigio 2014 New South Wales, Australia Regular Price: $$10.95   Sale Price:  $8.95         Georges Duboeuf 2013 Beaujolais, France Regular Price: $12.95  Sale Price: $10.95         HobNob Wine Company Pinot Noir 2014 Languedoc I.G.T. France Regular Price: $12.95   Sale Price:  $11.95         Chapoutier Rasteau 2013 Rhone Valley A.O.C. France Regular […]

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Chocolate and Wine Pairings for Valentine’s Day

In this short video, we pair wine and chocolate for Valentine’s Day … and every day in the year. Who needs a special occasion? You can find more tips on pairing chocolate and wine here. Explore delicious new matches that will surprise you with their flavour combinations. Here are my favourite wines for chocolate in stores now. This video is part of an ongoing wine series with Canadian Press and is posted with permission.

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Cool Climate Chardonnay: LCBO Vintages Release July 19

You can access the 87 wines that I reviewed for July 19 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. You can also see my wine reviews for July 5. You can add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on their smartphone. This is one of the benefits of becoming a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so. Here are […]

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10 Best Amarone Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Amarone

Amarone della Valpolicella, which roughly translates to “strongly bitter,” describes this robust, rich red wine made in Valpolicella, in the northeast region of Italy called Veneto. You’ll find my top 10 Amarone reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Amarone: 1. The best and ripest of the dark-skinned grapes that are blended to create Amarone include Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella. These are carefully selected during harvest and gently stored for several months after harvest in cool, well-ventilated rooms on straw mats so that they dry, dehydrate and concentrate their sugars and flavors. 2. When they’re almost shriveled like raisins, they’re […]

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