Pairing Wine with Helicopter & Quail at Malivoire Winery

On a recent visit to Niagara, I was fortunate to spend time with Martin Malivoire of Malivoire winery, a producer of spectacular Pinot Noirs. We arrived at his gravity-flow winery by helicopter along with Magdalena Kaiser-Smit of the Ontario Wine Council. This gave us a terrific overview of the region (though I was glad to be on firm ground again when we landed) We tasted through a range of his lovely Pinots, both from the estate vineyard and from the coveted Moire Vineyard. You’ll find my reviews of the current and past vintages here.     Then we went on […]

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Cheddar Orzo Salad Recipe Paired with Red Wine

Cheddar Orzo Salad The only thing scary this Halloween is not having tried this tasty Cheddar Orzo Salad. This salad comes packed with flavour from the bold characters of the Canadian Smoked Cheddar to the refreshing green Swiss chard. This salad is so delicious even the trick-or-treaters will want a taste! To get the best ingredients I shop local – right down to the cheese I use. Right now I’m obsessed with the intensity of Cows Creamery Appletree Smoked Cheddar and love how it tastes mixed with orzo, grapes, and chicken. To top it off I pair it with a […]

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Video: Why is Rosé One of the Fastest Growing Wine Categories?

One of the fastest growing categories in the liquor store is rosé wine. Here to tell us why and which ones we should buy is Natalie MacLean, the editor of Canada’s most popular wine review site at nataliemaclean.com – why has rosé had such a bad reputation in the past? – how are modern rosés different in terms of how they taste? – how are they different in terms of how they’re made? – you’ve brought some today: which regions should we be looking for in the liquor store? – how are Canadian rosés different from French ones? – is […]

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Jane’s Gems: Ontario Shines in September 19 Vintages Release

Exciting Times for Ontario Wines By Jane Staples Exciting things are happening in Ontario’s wine industry and wine tourism is developing in great strides. One trend is that women now participate in every facet of the business and perform in every role, whether as winemaker, planting in the vineyards, or in marketing. Women like Ann Sperling, Winemaker at Southbrook Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, are making waves.  Southbrook’s winemaking philosophy is based on biodynamic, organic farming practices.  Every aspect of their operations reflects their commitment to these principles. Carolyn Hurst co-owns Westcott Vineyards in Niagara Peninsula with her husband, Grant Westcott.  Victoria […]

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5 Tips to Pick Wines for Thanksgiving

No other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. Wine is a taste of the harvest along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavors to match. Relax. Have a drink. And try some of my suggestions for great wines to pair with Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings that Leanne and I chat about in the video above. You can also watch our first video on fall wines here. In my free online matching tool, you can click on “turkey holiday dinner” […]

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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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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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Best Wine for Canada Day? Blockbuster Bottles for Backyard BBQ

Our Canada Day BBQ party on the studio patio of Canada AM this morning was a blast! We revealed the winners of The Great Canadian Wine Match: BBQ Edition, as well as delicious food pairings. (Click on the arrow to play the video above as well as on the one below for the second video.) We had such fun out there … I could have lolled on the patio all day, especially with those wonderful wines! Please congratulate the finalists by clicking on the social media buttons for each wine – the script and links are already there for you, […]

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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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