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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Sparkling Wine for New Year’s Eve versus Champagne

Most people think of champagne as the drink of choice to ring in the New Year. But when the price of one bottle averages $60, you might want to consider sparkling wine, which offers great taste for a fraction of champagne’s price. Although champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, almost every other region of the country and many countries around the world produce sparkling wines, often using the same techniques and grapes as champagne. Most sparklers are a blend of the traditional champagne grapes—Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Like champagne, they’re labeled according to their dryness, […]

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Gift Wines: 5 Tips on How to Pick a Great Bottle

Want to give someone a bottle of wine this year? Here are quick tips on how to choose a great gift wine this holiday that we discussed on CBC Ontario Morning in the audio clip below. Click on the arrow above to listen to the clip. You can get all my wine reviews of great gift wines (including those for yourself) showing the stock for each bottle at your closest liquor stores. 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 […]

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Oyster Bay Wine Tasting: Fresh and Food Friendly

Oyster Bay By Matt Steeves New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Canada, Mr. Simon Tucker, hosted a lovely tasting of Oyster Bay wines at his official residence recently.  A small group of trade professionals attended to sample and assess the portfolio of New Zealand wines that Delegat Canada Limited (agent and owner of Oyster Bay) were showcasing.  Jason Hands and Camille Gemmell Johnston of Delegat kindly walked us through the tasting of their Oyster Bay portfolio. My overall impression from the tasting was that each wine Oyster Bay produces is done very well, and sold at a very reasonable price point […]

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Errazuriz Winery Puts Chile on the Wine Map with Cool Climate Viticulture

By Melissa Pulvermacher On October 31, I had the pleasure of joining Eduardo Chadwick and fellow industry professionals for lunch at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto. Bosk restaurant catered the intimate meal and Eduardo spoke about the wines that we tasted from Errázuriz Vineyards. Eduardo Chadwick Aconcagua Costa The majority of the wines tasted at the luncheon were from a relatively new wine region –Aconcagua Costa. About 12 km from the cool Pacific Ocean, Chile is able to successfully grow and harvest in a cool-climate zone that is very well suited to white varieties, as well as Syrah and Pinot […]

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Sunday Brunch Benedict on Potato and Zucchini Fritter Recipe

Sunday Brunch Benedict on Potato and Zucchini Fritter Recipe by Courtney Flood Sunday brunch is my favourite. Long-weekend Sunday brunch is extra special. This meal is a little finicky but worth the trouble. Serves 4. Ingredients: 2 medium zucchini 4 large potatoes, peeled ¼ cup chickpea flour (besam) 9 eggs + 1 egg yolk (divided) 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp salt (divided) ¼  – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 tbsp + 2 tsp canola oil (divided) 6 tbsp butter 2 tsp lemon juice ¼ white vinegar 2 cups chopped kale 2 tomatoes, sliced Instructions: Fritters – Shred zucchini on […]

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Pairing Wine with Weird Holiday Turkey Recipes

Maple-Brined, Wood-Smoked Grilled Turkey To stuff some life into this year’s obligatory wine and turkey pairing column for Thanksgiving (or Christmas), I asked the creators of some strangely wonderful turkey recipes for their permission to post them here and pair them with wine. I’m still on the hunt for beer can turkey, turducken, tofurkey (tofu-shaped turkey), and believe or not, that new chocolate-glazed with sprinkles dessert favourite, turdunkin (!) Maple-Brined, Wood-Smoked Grilled Turkey Recipe Allow a total of 4 to 4-1/2 hours to start the fire, cook the turkey, and let it rest. Have a full bag of charcoal on […]

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Canadian Wine Harvest 2014: BC, Ontario, Quebec, NS Winemakers Weigh In

Join us Friday morning on Global Television as we discuss how the Canadian wine harvest is going from coast to coast. In the meantime, here are reports from the field: winemakers from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia give their impressions of how the 2014 harvest is looking so far. Tantalus Vineyards David Paterson, Winemaker, Tantalus Vineyards, British Columbia How is the 2014 harvest going so far? So far the 2014 harvest has been ideal. We are in the home stretch now and a couple more weeks of warm days and cool nights to finish off with will be […]

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First Argentine Wine: Malbec Calling Catena

Continued from Part 1 of Catena Wine That robust work ethic has been in the Catena family for generations. In 1898, his grandfather Nicola left a small village in Sicily for Argentina. He started planting vines in 1902 and raised a family. His eldest son, Domingo, married Angelica Zapata, a daughter of a large land owner, increasing the family’s holdings. By 1973, the winery had become the country’s largest producer of cheap wines, pumping out 240 million bottles a year. Nicolás, the son of Domingo and Angelica, was a brilliant boy and finished high school at 15. At the request […]

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Argentina’s Wine Visionary Sees the Future Rooted in the Past

Continued from Part 4 of Argentine Wine The 1982 Falklands War with Britain also didn’t help the economy or exports. Then there was hyper-inflation that exceeded 3,000 percent a month, which discouraged foreign investment. Vintners made up for the lost revenue by producing high volumes of poor-quality wines that smelled like bananas rotting in an attic. Meanwhile, neighboring Chile’s economy was much more stable and the country was already producing more wine than it could consume, so it was focused on export in the 1980s. Chile took advantage of this to position itself at the very low end of the […]

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