Pairing Wine and Cranberry Sauce, Chestnut Stuffing, Cream Corn

Can we be honest? Holiday turkey dinner is just an excuse for most of us to chow down on our favourite side dish, whether it’s cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing or sweet potatoes. Often they have more interesting flavours than that dry old bird in the middle of the table. So please, let’s stop kidding ourselves with wine matches for turkey and focus on those pocket cravings. And please pass me that bowl of mashed potatoes. Wine and Tangy Food Why don’t we eat cranberry sauce more often throughout the year? Let’s talk about that at dinner. In the meantime, try […]

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Chateau Palmer Tasting: Bordeaux Wine Seduces and Satisfies

Château Palmer By Melissa Pulvermacher Château Palmer is a much-respected winery in the Margeaux appellation d’origine contrôlée in Bordeaux, France. You may recognize Palmer better as one of the classified Third Growths of Bordeaux. Palmer has been known as one of the most popular of this classification and some even argue that its consistent delivery of quality held up against First Growth, Château Margeaux. I was given the opportunity to taste several of the Palmer wines at an organized tasting at The National Club in Toronto, Ontario. After tasting the 2004, 1999, 1995 and 1983 vintages up against one another, […]

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City Hall New Home for a Baby Grand

I’ve back-dated this post so that it doesn’t appear at the top of the blog since it’s not wine-related, unless I offer some wine and music pairings, but I’ll spare you that … for now. I just wanted to collect together some memories here of a very special day.           Donated piano brings music to the lobby at Ottawa City Hall Ottawa City Hall’s lobby will be a livelier place for the holidays, now that a baby grand piano has arrived, the donation of an Ottawa woman. Mayor Jim Watson took delivery of the piano from […]

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Why is Rose Champagne More Expensive than Regular Champagne?

Rosé Champagne is often more expensive than white champagne because making it is  more labor-intensive and time-consuming, and therefore, more costly to produce. The most common method in Champagne is to blend non-sparkling red wine into the champagne. The other approach is more difficult because it involves carefully limiting contact between the red skin and the juice during the part of fermentation called maceration (soaking the grapes in their own flesh, juice and skins to extract the colour, tannin and flavour compounds into the must or juice) to create the coveted pale salmon color known as oeil-de-perdrix or partridge eye. […]

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What is Blanc de Blancs Champagne?

Most Champagne is white wine made from red grapes. Two of the region’s three grapes are red: pinot noir and pinot meunier. Pinot meunier, found mostly along the rich floor of the Marne Valley and in Aube, is considered a simple workhorse grape, giving the wine a fruity, perfumed roundness and early maturity. Pinot noir, grown mostly on the slopes of Reims Mountain, contributes aromas of cherries, berries and other red fruit; it also gives the wine structure, length and body. The third grape is white, chardonnay from the south-facing Côte des Blancs; it offers aromas of daisies, white peaches […]

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Veal Chop Recipe with Portabello Mushrooms Paired with Merlot

Veal Chop with Portabello Mushrooms Preparation Time: 25 MIN Total Time: 40 MIN Servings: 2 INGREDIENTS: 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 tablespoon butter 2 veal chops 1 portobello mushroom, sliced 1½ cups chicken broth 1½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped ½  cup red wine INSTRUCTIONS: Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil with butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chops until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Once browned, stir in mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and rosemary; cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in red wine, increase heat, and cook, uncovered, until sauce is […]

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Gift Wines: 5 Tips on How to Pick a Great Bottle

Want to give someone a bottle of wine this year? Here are quick tips on how to choose a great gift wine this holiday that we discussed on CBC Ontario Morning in the audio clip below. Click on the arrow above to listen to the clip. You can get all my wine reviews of great gift wines (including those for yourself) showing the stock for each bottle at your closest liquor stores. Wine is a great gift because: –    one size fits all –    doubles are fine –    it’s easy to re-gift Also: – it’s easy to return for cash […]

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Custom Crafted Heirloom Wine Cabinets: Shrine to Wine

The three-cabinet wine cellar design above features the finishes and design touches from the last era of custom-built cabinetmaker craftsmanship from the 1850s, when designing and building heirloom pieces were meant to be passed down from one generation to the next. Details include hand-carved columns affixed to a breakfront cabinet structure. The upper sections are composed of  crown and frieze moldings with inset clamshell (modeled after the Oval office in the White House, and representing the bounty of land and sea) and wood panels. The doors and drawers are cock beaded and slide seamlessly. The doors are fitted with bevelled […]

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Panettone Brie Tower Recipe Paired with Merlot Wine

Panettone Brie Tower The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Holiday Entertaining Made Easy Can you feel that? It feels like the holidays are here. There is an exuberant amount of energy that surrounds us as people rush to finish last-minute shopping and prepare for their upcoming family festivities. It’s an exciting time of the year, and one that calls for a recipe that’s packed with pleasure and deliciously creamy Canadian Brie. Hopefully, this simply delicious recipe for Panettone Brie Tower will be the perfect little dinner party dessert idea. If you’re not familiar with Panettone, it’s a traditional Italian cake […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews and Ratings: Vintages December 6

You can access the 136 wines that I reviewed for December 6 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. You can also see my wine reviews for November 22. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or […]

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