5 Romantic Wine & Chocolate Matches for Valentine’s Day

Bev and I chat about 5 to-die-for wine and chocolate pairings on Canada AM. Bev: Valentine’s Day is famous for flowers and romance and decadence. Mix in a little vino and a sweet treat and you’ve got quite a celebration. Natalie MacLean is the author of Unquenchable. She’s an expert when it comes to wine pairings, and this morning she’s in our studio to help us choose fine wine and chocolate combinations. Which is so perfect. Does it get any better than that? Natalie: No, especially if you like to layer your vices. So, don’t just have wine or chocolate. […]

read more …

Read More

Video: Valentine’s Day Wine and Chocolate Pairings

In the video chat above, Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho shares his tips for pairing wine and chocolate for Valentine’s Day and any other time of the year when you want to indulge. He knows his sweet stuff having won gold at the Culinary Olympics in the categories of sugar, chocolate, wedding cakes and dessert presentation. How did you train for the culinary Olympics? Your secrets to making great chocolate? What is the strangest chocolate sculpture you’ve created? Tell me about some of your specialized tools for making chocolate: induction burners, ganache frames, guitars, robot-coupes, heat guns and automatic enrobers? […]

read more …

Read More

Wine + Chocolate Killer Combos: Valentine’s Day Video

In our second video chat above, Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho reveals more of his secrets for pairing wine and chocolate, especially for Valentine’s Day. He’s also designed some lovely chocolate creations, and suggests rosemary-infused chocolate with habanero sea salt as an aprodisiac that pairs amazingly well with prosciutto and cheese (and a bear skin rug in front of a blazing fireplace) … What are your tips on pairing solid chocolate with wine? How about chocolate with raspberry or blackberry filling? How about Valentine’s Day? Anything special for the chocolate versus chocolate we enjoy at other times of the […]

read more …

Read More

Biodynamic v Organic Winemaking – Southbrook’s Ann Sperling Video

In this video below with Southbrook Vineyards’ winemaker Ann Sperling, we chat about biodynamic and organic winemaking. (What’s with burying cow’s horns, witchcraft and astrology?) Also: – can you taste the difference in the wine? – why take this approach and is it difficult and expensive to do in a cool climate like Ontario? Click on the arrow to play the video: Here are my Top 20 Organic Wines for Earth Day April 22, and year round. When Ann Sperling was a child, she had a miniature version of every farm tool—a child-sized hoe, shovel and so on so that […]

read more …

Read More

Top Sommeliers Compete for National Title: Video Part 2

I’ve updated this blog post that was published previously with the details of this year’s sommelier competition. The discussion in the video remains relevant. You can get more details and to get tickets to this year’s competition for Canada’s Best Sommelier here. You can also read other sommelier profiles here. We continue our video chat below with Master Sommelier Bruce Wallner about Canada’s Best Sommelier Competition in Halifax this month. We find out why the Quebec sommeliers are such fierce competitors (think Cobra Kai in the Karate Kid) and the next competitions for the successful candidate. You can also watch […]

read more …

Read More

Canada’s Best Sommelier Competition: Bruce Wallner Video

In the video chat below Bruce Wallner, recently named Ontario’s Best Sommelier, talks about participating in the Best Canadian Sommelier Competition this month in Halifax. He’s already a certified Master Sommelier and has worked in restaurants around the world, including Australia, Spain and the UK. We also talked about what made him want to become a sommelier originally (some interesting comparisons with the world’s oldest profession), the role of a sommelier and what he enjoys most about the job. Tell us about the competition: who enters and what do you have to do to compete? This event is hosted by […]

read more …

Read More

Bring Your Own Bottle BYOB Wine to Restaurants Tips

Bringing your own bottle of wine to restaurants is now legal in many provinces and states, but what are the rules of engagement? I shared some tips on CBC radio this week on the etiquette of doing so, including the types of wines to bring, corkage fees and tipping. You can listen to that conversation below … Does the thought of bringing your own wine to a restaurant make you feel cheap and arrogant? Get over it by practicing good BYOB etiquette. 1. Even when the practice is legal, check if the restaurant allows or encourages it. When you make […]

read more …

Read More

Mobile Wine App is Your Pocket Sommelier in the Liquor Store

Anthony and I chat about how mobile wine apps are changing the way we learn about wine, and buy it. You can get my new wine app here as well as watch a video clip about it on CTV News. We also chat about great wines for summer barbecues and casual gatherings. Post with permission for Global Television. Mobile Wine App is Your Pocket Sommelier in the Liquor Store   Anthony: Just in time for the summer. Have you ever gone to the LCBO and been so overwhelmed by the amount of choice? You don’t know if this goes with that […]

read more …

Read More

BBQ Wines, Grill Tips and Cookbook, Thai Steak Recipe: Chef Rob Rainford

In the video below, Food Network celebrity chef Rob Rainford shares his grilling tips, his favourite BBQ wines and his new cookbook Born to Grill. There’s also a delicious recipe for his barbecued Thai flank steak and Asian noodles below. Rob has always loved cooking, but his consistent theme has always been his love for the grill. Rob Rainford is a Canadian chef with a world renowned reputation. Born in Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica on November 30, 1966, Rob moved to Canada with his family when he was three. Rob enrolled in culinary school at George Brown College in 1994 […]

read more …

Read More

Gorgeous Wine Book Maps Wine Regions and Grapes

  Want to learn about wine without falling asleep? Want to engage your visual senses while you taste wines from around the world? The Wine Lover’s Coloring Book is a great place to start. In the video above, author Louise Wilson and I chat about how she conceived the idea while taking the International Sommelier Guild courses. While the book may sound like it’s for children, don’t be deceived (or have preconceived notions). It’s part of next evolution of wine books that engage our senses. Really? Yes. Currently, a scratch and sniff wine book by a master sommelier is #11 […]

read more …

Read More