Tasting Wine Out in Left Field with this New Zealand Winery

Last night, we were joined by special guest winemaker, Richard Painter of Te Awa Wines, helping us pair food with New Zealand wines. Click the arrow on the video above to watch ​our chat. P.S. ​Want to know when we go live next Sunday with our special guest? Tune in here for our Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting: www.nataliemaclean.com/live Click on the “Follow” and “Like” buttons on this page to get notified when we go live. We’ll be simultaneously broadcasting on Facebook Live, YouTube Live Stream and Twitter Live Video via Periscope. You’ll find upcoming and past Live Tasting Videos […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

Surprising Pairings for Villa Maria Wines from Antipasto to Steak

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital for a comprehensive tasting of Villa Maria wines from New Zealand.   Terry Jeans Wine Writer, Ottawa Wine Guide   What an elaborate tasting! We had the chance to have an amazing tasting with one of the viticulturists from Villa Maria– Ollie Powrie, who presented us with an insightful session of tasting over a dozen wines from one of the only New Zealand owned and family operated wineries. Founded and owned by the venerated Sir George Fistonich, a real icon of the wine industry, who has been part of […]

read more …

Read More

Wine and Books: Holiday Gifts – Breakfast Television

This past Thursday, we chatted about book and bottle pairings as holiday gifts on Breakfast Television. Words and wine seem like a natural pairing to me … here are my favourites. What are yours? 1. Books are Beautiful The publisher selected 30 classic works of literature and assigned each a beautiful colour. Then the editors organized them in a rainbow of words so spectacular that you’re going to want to line them up on your shelves and just look at them.         Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut, South East Australia, Australia: Green apple fresh with zesty […]

read more …

Read More

The Makeover Miracle of Israeli Wines: Finding New Life in the Desert

  By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman of Chef & Somm Some of the most brilliant minds come from Israel. Their creative thinking often challenges what many see as unchanging truths. The USB flash drive, GPS, WIX, and Solaris Synergy were all invented in Israel. Lucky for us, some of those creative minds are hard at work in Israel’s burgeoning winemaking industry, leading recently to substantial gains in quality and complexity. More and more Israeli wine professionals are traveling to Europe to learn from leading winemakers and educate and expand their palates. And, on a quest for the ultimate expression of Israeli […]

read more …

Read More

Are Expensive Wines Always Better? Are Screwcap Wines Always Plonk? Busting 7 Sacred Wine Myths

On CityTV’s Breakfast Television, we chat about six wines in three different price ranges, all of which offer terrific value: Dr. L Riesling, Torres Syrah, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Wente Cabernet, Burrowing Owl Chardonnay, Masi Amarone. Insider tip: go south for better bargains, such as Sicily in Italy rather than Tuscany or Provence rather than Bordeaux in France. They taste twice as expensive as they cost!       Meanwhile, Canadian Press (CP) published this story below this week in newspapers across the country … Putting a cork in wine myths December 15, 2016 Everyone who really enjoys wine seems […]

read more …

Read More

Austrian Wine is more than Gruner: Embrace the Unique

By Mymi Myriam Mozart, the Alps, Baroque architecture and Schnitzels are some of the things that spring to mind when thinking of Austria. This alpine country is sadly not often first associated with wine, but when it is, the perception is that it produces mainly sweet wines. That’s quite odd for a country that has been making wine for over four centuries, whose value of recent exports has grown by an impressive € 6 million, amounting to an outstanding sales record of € 145 million (according to the 2014 Austrian Wine Statistics report). Austria ranks at #19 as a wine producing […]

read more …

Read More

Chilean Cool Climate Wines at Casas del Bosque Have Historic Roots

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in our nation’s capital recently for a tasting of Casas del Bosque Chilean wines with head winemaker, Grant Phelps. Grant’s presentation style is a perfect blend of wit and education. Monique Sosa Wine Columnist, Ottawa Family Living Magazine Have you ever met someone when, after hearing them speak for like five minutes, you think, “What a smart dude, and funny too!” Imagine meeting a winemaker like that. It sure made a portfolio of wine tasting both refreshing and fun. Our group of Ottawa-based sommeliers and wine writers got a real treat meeting Casas del Bosque’s head […]

read more …

Read More

Why Washington Wines Will Surprise You: Videos + Reviews

Recently, Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital for a spectacular tasting of Washington State wines led by head winemaker at Columbia Crest Winery, Juan Munoz Oca. This also included wines from Chateau St. Michelle, H3 and Two Hands, which are part of the winery’s portfolio. Here are their surprising insights and insider tips on discovering Washington state wines. Heather Wall Wine Columnist, Huffington Post Canada Juan weaves a familiar story of most winemakers I have had the pleasure of meeting. Wine is in his blood and prior generations have taught him a love and respect for wine […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More