Pairing Wine with Spicy, Sweet and Sour Dishes for Chinese New Year and Beyond

Whether you’re celebrating the Chinese New Year, or love Chinese fare year round, here are tips on pairing those dishes with wine. North Americans now enjoy a much broader and diverse fare that often includes a wide range of ethnic cuisines. The challenge? Although there are a number of spicy entrees in Chinese cuisine, there are also many with sweet and sour nuances, so choose a wine that can handle both. *** We’re celebrating the Chinese New Year by pairing wines with sweet and sour pork, orange chicken, wontons, dumplings and spring rolls.   Join us for our Sunday Sipper Club Live […]

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The Wine that Came in from the Cold: Icewine

Not a breath of wind caresses the snow-blanketed vineyards. The tar-black sky is pin-pricked with stars, and a full moon sends shadows slithering out between the scarecrow vines. Stooped figures in Arctic gear coax their bare fingers to snap off bunches of frozen grapes. That’s what the annual icewine harvest looks like in Niagara at this time of the year. It results in a wine that combines the sweetness of lusciously ripe fruit with a silver edge of acidity that’s as crisp as the winter wind. Despite its modern association with Canada, icewine was actually discovered in Germany, by accident, […]

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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 […]

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Top 5 Turkey Wine Pairings: Bottles for the Big Bird

In the second part of our holiday wine series on the CBC radio drive-home shows coast to coast we chatted about great wines to pair with your turkey dinner. You can listen to my tips above on choosing those wines plus my top 5 picks. Join us again next week, on December 30, when we chat about great sparkling wines for the New Year. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site, selects her top five wines for your holiday dinner to pair with turkey and the side dishes:   Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava Penedes, Spain A toasty […]

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Sex in a Glass: Getting up Close and Personal with Pinot Noir

By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman of Chef & Somm “Pinot Noir is like young love,” opined my private sommelier client in his luxurious house in Muskoka as I pulled the cork on a Romanée-Conti.  “You do not know what to expect, but it will always make the blood run hot; either melt your heart or break it, sometimes even both.” Pinot Noir has been described in many ways. Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon went so far as to call it “sex in a glass”. So what is it about this grape – a variety also known as the heartbreak grape – that inspires […]

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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 […]

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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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Facebook Live Video Posts

In this Facebook Live Video chat, we discuss terrific wines for Thanksgiving. You can click on the arrow above to play the video. If you’d like to read the comments, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10154411500734845/ You’ll find the most recent live video wine tasting at the top of the timeline here: www.facebook.com/natdecants We taste every Sunday evening at 6 pm eastern so add us to your calendar and grab a glass of wine. Click on Follow, Like and Signup on the page above to get notified when we go live.               Dom […]

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Trump versus Clinton Wine Debate: Vote for Your Favorite!

Last Sunday, we hosted a live video taste-off between three wines from Trump Winery in Virginia and Clinton Vineyards in New York. It was so much fun! You can watch the video replay below by clicking on the arrow for this first (and final) Great Whine Debate … and read the 60+ comments on Facebook … you can still comment and vote ;)     This “debate” was focused on the wines (not the candidates), though there was room to wonder if a wine lacks aromas and is going through a dumb stage, to another one having a long, bitter finish. I forgot to mention though that we […]

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Domaine Drouhin Wines Express Oregon Terroir

By Melissa Pulvermacher Carrying on the cool climate conversation, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Arron Bell, the winemaker of Domaine Drouhin, a winery in the cool climate region of Willamette, Oregon. The most popular varietals produced in Oregon include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling. We recognize most of these varietals for their ability to grow well in cooler climates. Oregon produces incredible expressions of these varietals, two of which I had the pleasure of tasting with Arron. Video: Meet Arron Bell “I didn’t know what to do after college. So what do you do? You […]

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