A Wonderful Life With Wine – Ottawa At Home

Raised by a single mother in Nova Scotia, Natalie MacLean learned the value of a deal, hard work and ambition at a young age. A strong work ethic and drive, combined with study at Oxford University and in Canada, has helped to shape her into the woman she is today: An award-winning author of two best-selling books and an internationally-acclaimed writer on wines. Natalie enjoys life to the fullest, sharing a love of movies with her 14 year-old-son Rian, and engaging in the family sport of dining out on weekends. There is nothing she likes more than great conversation and […]

read more …

Read More

Best Wine Bloggers Conference Ever: Penticton, BC 2013

The Wine Bloggers Conference is sort of a cross between a press junket, MacWorld and summer camp. It involves some work with a lot of play and often serves as the kick-start to a summer vacation. Some people leave their families at home for WBC. The majority of bloggers attend every year, so it gets quite old homey with the all the alumni and veterans hugging and kissing. To encourage fresh blood, though, the conference offers a scholarship fund to those who can’t afford the $95 “citizen blogger” fee. What citizen bloggers get is 2.5 days of wine tastings, wine […]

read more …

Read More

National Post on Wine Writers + Competitions: Critiquing the Critics

National Post drinks columnist Adam McDowell penned an excellent, thought-provoking editorial in the weekend edition of the paper on wine critics and competitions entitled “Are wine critics fooling us into buying pricier bottles?” He opens with the classic Roald Dahl short story Taste, in which a stockbroker makes a bet with his wine snob dining companion, to correctly identify a wine in a blind taste test. (Dahl is also the author of the bestselling children’s novels Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach: clearly a man who loves food and drink, but mercifully doesn’t take it, […]

read more …

Read More

Wine Quotes and Quips: Liquid Laughter

The true definition of a snob is one who craves for what separates men rather than for what unites them. – John Buchan Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art. – Ralph Waldo Emerson No man enjoys the true taste of life, but he who is ready and willing to quit it. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca Taste is the common sense of genius. – Victor Hugo Beauty fades, but dumb is forever. – My Grade 5 Teacher Here’s the previous round of wine quotes if you’re thirsting for more.

read more …

Read More

Best Places to Learn About Wine: Toronto Star

We were thrilled to be featured on the front page of the Toronto Star recently in a story on the best places to learn about wine, along with George Brown College which offers the sommelier certificate program and The Independent Wine Education Guild that teaches the respected Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) courses. Want to expand your wine knowledge but can’t afford the classes? Sign up for Natalie MacLean’s free e-newsletter and learn all about finding the best wines for your taste and budget. Natalie is a certified sommelier and has been named the World’s Best Wine Writer. Her […]

read more …

Read More

Posting Wine Reviews and Tasting Notes: Quick Tips

Here’s how to post your wine reviews and use the site features to share them with friends, create your own tasting journal and track your progress over time. Let me know if you have other tips to add here. You’ll also find tips on writing wine reviews. Here’s a short video to get you set-up quickly and optimize your profile: Quick Start: How do I post a wine review? First, download this custom wine toolbar for your browser to make finding wines and adding reviews fast. It works on all browsers except Safari, so if you use that one, skip […]

read more …

Read More

Wine Reviews and Tasting Notes

Here are some quick tips on writing wine reviews and tasting notes. I’ll be adding new tips to this list regularly. Got one to add? Please post it below. You can also find tips on posting your reviews on this site and how to get the most of the site features to organize your reviews. Have fun! Cheers, Natalie What information should be in every tasting note? The smell and taste of the wine are essential: aromas and flavours. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it gives people a sense of the style of the wine. The Wine Aroma […]

read more …

Read More

Wine Blogger Conference Comes to Canada

In two weeks, the city of Penticton, BC will be flooded with intrepid wine bloggers swarming the area with glasses in one hand and iphones in the other, tweeting and instagraming the Okanagan Valley into Internet fame. In case you haven’t heard of it, the Wine Bloggers Conference is a combination press junket, wine expo, and MacWorld, with shades of Meetup in between. After five years in the States, the Wine Bloggers Conference will finally cross the Canadian border, and Penticton organizers are working in overdrive to make sure the blogger’s impressions are favorable. There is still time to register […]

read more …

Read More

Pairing Wine and Cookies Video Tips

Pairing wine and cookies? Oooh yes! In the video chat below, Laura Englander and Leah Kuo, the founders of Cookies n Corks, talk about how you can match cookies and wine. They discuss the types of cookies that work best with white wine, red wine and sparkling wine — and they have great ideas on how to host a fun tasting party with friends. How did you came up with this idea? What were the challenges in starting this business? Don’t cookies make dry wine taste bitter? How did you adjust the recipes for the cookies to go well with […]

read more …

Read More

Funny Wine Quotes + Sayings: Liquid Laughter 5

My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses.  Drinks right out of the bottle.  ~Henny Youngman How come if alcohol kills millions of brain cells, it never killed the ones that made me want to drink?  ~Author Unknown Take life with a grain of salt, a slice of lime, and a shot of tequila.  ~Author Unknown They speak of my drinking, but never think of my thirst.  ~Scottish Proverb Bacchus has drowned more men than Neptune.  ~Giuseppe Garibaldi Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.  ~Seneca Be wary of strong drink.  It can make you shoot at tax collectors… […]

read more …

Read More