Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in LCBO Vintages August 22

By Jane Staples The August 22 Vintages Release is all about wines that have achieved a score of 90 points or more out of 100 from various wine critics. There’s a certain magic in that score of 90 or above, as we all remember test grades from childhood so we can relate easily to them. There’s even a great difference, perceptually, between 89 and 90 for many consumers, even though there may not be for the critic giving the score. The 100-point wine scoring system wasn’t invented by the US critic Robert Parker Jr., but he certainly brought it to […]

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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in LCBO Vintages August 8

By Jane Staples The LCBO Vintages August 8 Release offers an exciting collection of wines from the Pacific Northwest, namely British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. All three regions have undergone dramatic changes over the past five years, making great stride in both quality and diversity of the wines they produce. Yet the three regions are also vastly different, despite the fact they’re often grouped together geographically in the wine world. Oregon winemaking has its roots in the 1970s, and has since taken the silky, medium-bodied red wine, Pinot Noir, to great heights. Now it also produces a zesty white wine […]

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Video: These Summer Wines Will Surprise Your Taste Buds

Global News Host Carolyn and I chatted about great summer wines yesterday to please your palate and keep your cool. Here are the wines we featured: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc Cave Spring Cellars Csv Riesling Cave Spring Cellars Estate Bottled Cave Spring Vineyard Pinot Noir Ruffino Ducale Riserva Chianti Classico Clos Du Bois Rouge Alamos Malbec McWilliams Wines JJ McWilliam Shiraz Cabernet Barefoot Zinfandel Cave Spring Cellars Indian Summer Late Harvest Riesling

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Wedding Wine: A Marriage of True Vines

Liza and I chat about wines for weddings and parties on Global Morning Television. Here are my Top 50 Wines Under $15 also showing you your closest liquor stores that have them in stock now. As a bonus, here are my 20 Best Bubblies Under $20 for wedding toasts, and the most Gorgeous Gift Wines for the happy couple. I love Liza’s gift idea for the happy couple: a wine crate with 3-4 bottles of wine. Notes on each wine indicate the bottle to drink now, the one drink on their first anniversary, fifth and tenth. Add another special touch […]

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How to Read a Wine List, Vertical Tastings and Sommelier Sips

Ryan Campbell, formerly sommelier at Toronto’s Crush Wine Bar, now works with the wine lists at the parent company, Vintage Hotels in Niagara. Wine is such a big part of your restaurant, how do you ensure that your staff, who aren’t sommeliers, are still knowledgeable? We hold an informal “wine school” once a month for about 15 staff members.  For the last class, we focused on chardonnay with a vertical tasting. Vertical tastings mean one type of wine, like chardonnay, from different producers, but all from the same vintage. A horizontal tasting would be, say chardonnays, all from one producer, […]

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Sloppy Jane with Mozzarella Recipe Paired with Cabernet Franc

  The New Barbeque We all know the drill: summer entertaining comes with the summer stress of deciding what to make. Classic barbeque fare is delicious, but it has become somewhat expected and tiresome. So if you’re looking for an alternative to the trusty old BBQ, why not try something different and fun: the Sloppy Jane. This recipe for Sloppy Janes with Mozzarella is prepared on the stove top rather than the grill, but you can make a big batch of the delicious turkey filling and serve it beside BBQ-toasted buns and a bowl of shredded Canadian Mozzarella. Then, guests […]

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Spicy Tuna Melt Recipe with Chardonnay Wine Pairing

Spicy Tuna Melt Spice it up this Spring Yes, it’s still cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn up the heat. Warm up with your favourite sweater and glass of wine to melt away the last of your winter worries. Maximize your “me time” with a simple yet delicious tuna melt. A childhood classic that will take you back to the days of sticky hands and messy faces. My favourite version is the Spicy Tuna Melt, a modern twist on this much-loved sandwich. Toast some multi-grain bread and top it with a mix of tuna, peppers, and red […]

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Wine and Food Pairing with Memories and Laughter

  As part of the CBC’s Food Fantasy fundraiser for the Food Bank, I raffled myself off to visit the home of the winner and pair wines with a three-course meal. You can listen to our group chat above and discover some surprising tips on pairing wine and food. The winners were Merle and Richard (far right in the picture below), a lovely couple who hosted a fun evening filled with wine, laughter and memories.   Wines Tasted and Food Pairings Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand Grassy and smoky and absolutely great! This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc […]

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Asparagus and Brie Tartlets Recipe Paired with Riesling or Merlot

Eat Green this St. Patrick’s Day I love the month of March because it is a sign of fresh things to come. The weather is beginning to warm up and green is starting to poke out from under the snowy landscape. And of course that’s not the only green we’re seeing; St. Patrick’s Day will bring a whole new slew of green things. And there’s no better way to incorporate the festive colour into your St. Patty’s day than with a delicious asparagus and Canadian Brie-based appetizer. Impress your guests with these Asparagus and Brie Wonton Tartlets – trust me, […]

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Hollywood + Vine Oscars: Wine-Loving Movie Stars

By Natalie MacLean On CTV’s The Social, we we chat about winemaking movie stars … can you guess who made which wine? When I think of the Oscars, I think wine. Why? For many film industry luminaries, conspicuous consumption such as owning a yacht or even a restaurant is so 2013. These days, if you really want to show some class, you own a winery. There’s no better photo opp than one with you and your trophy wife or boy toy pruning the vines or pressing the grapes. That’s why movie actors, directors and producers are getting their hands dirty, […]

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