Starbucks Barista is No Joe Job: The Real Story

When I open the door to Starbucks on O’Connor Street, long shafts of September sunlight stream in, ricocheting off the chrome espresso machine and the cellophane-wrapped bags of coffee. The smoky, dark chocolate aroma of brewing coffee snakes down my central nervous system. I feel faint with the need for caffeine. On most Sunday mornings, I’m less bright-eyed squirrel, more startled raccoon. A young auburn-haired woman named Bethany Wade bounds to the door and greets me with the perky inflection of the highly caffeinated. “Welcome!” she says. “We’re so glad you can join our group.” Wade trains Ottawa recruits to […]

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Wine Pairing: Corned Beef and Cabbage

Do you really need to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the liquid abomination of green beer? You bet your lucky stars, no! “Green wine” can be magically delicious. No, I’m not talking about wine that’s the colour green, but rather about wine that has green aromas and flavours such as lime, peas, asparagus (stay with me), green apple and herbaceous notes. These zesty wines dance a jig with corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and colcannon (mashed potatoes and green cabbage). When I think of ‘green’ wines, those that come to mind are zippy whites with herbal notes such as […]

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Top 10 Green Wine & Food Matches for St. Patrick’s Day

Which wines go best with the “green food” that we’ll enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew? How about those fresh spring vegetables that will soon be on our plates? Green foods are the problem children of the wine world. But as a stubborn hedonist whose grandmother’s name was Brophy, I’ve found some terrific wines to drink with them on Tuesday. Top 10 Green Wine & Food Matches 1. Corned beef and cabbage: Pinot Blanc 2. Irish Stew: Cabernet Franc 3. Spring Asparagus: Gruner Veltliner 4. Field greens salad: Riesling 5. Tomatoes: Pinot […]

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Drinking the Green: St. Patrick’s Day Wines

Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day … which begs the question: Is there any wine that pairs with corned beef and cabbage? This in turn begs the question: Can we skip the corned beef and cabbage and just have wine? No matter. Traditional matches for this Irish meal usually include Irish stout, like Guinness. But what about wine? Corned beef is salty and cabbage is skunky: is there a wine for that? Yes, as long as you avoid those wines with a strong sulphur smell or taste, as well as big red wines with heavy tannins and oak. Your best bet […]

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How to Import Wine into Canada for Pleasure and Profit

By Steven Trenholme Since 1993, hundreds of people have attended my seminar, many going on to establish agencies or finding employment in the trade. A short list of graduates includes: Alex Patinos – Dionysus Agencies – agents for Fuxion Ted Warren – RKW Wines – agents for Goats Do Roam Howard Wasserman – B&W Wines – agents for Kendall-Jackson Margaret Hobbs – Hobbs & Co. –agents for  Tabali Ken Hayden – Appellation Wines – agent for Champagne Couche  It is the only training seminar for wine agents in Canada. There are still many suppliers who are not represented in Ontario. […]

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Peppercorn Roasted Beef Tenderloin Recipe Paired with Carmenere

Peppercorn Roasted Beef Tenderloin Prep: 5 min Inactive: 10 min Cook: 25 min Ingredients: 1 whole beef tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat Salt 2 teaspoons sugar ½ cup tri-color peppercorns, crushed with a rolling pin 1 stick butter 2 cloves garlic, crushed Directions: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Place the tenderloin on a roasting rack. Sprinkle generously with salt and sugar, which will deepen the savory flavors. Press the crushed peppercorns all over the surface of the meat. Insert a meat thermometer and place in the oven until the beef registers 120 to 125 degrees F for […]

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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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Wine Prices: Is the Price Right?

I love CTV’s The Social, with its hybrid of old and new media: they do such a great job of integrating social, especially Twitter and Facebook, with their national television show. No wonder its ratings are flying up the charts – congrats to the hosts! In this segment, we chat about how wines are priced: does a $100 wine taste ten times better than a $10 one? How can you spot the bargains in the liquor store? What clues can you find on the bottle label about quality and price? You can watch the video clip above. You can get […]

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California Wine Fair 2015: Taste Bottled Sunshine

Sponsored Post The 2015 California Wine Fair travels across Canada in April and features tasting events in eight cities from coast to coast. This year, there’ll be more than 400 wines poured representing more than 100 wineries, with lots of winemakers on hand to chat. The Californian Wine Fair is one of the best organized and most comprehensive wine events in Canada, so get your tickets now because they do sell out and there are no tickets at the door: Call the California Wine Fair Hotline 905-336-8932 or 1-800-558-CORK (2675) Visit www.calwine.ca Tastings are held in the evenings, but check […]

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Wine’s Salad Daze: The Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine and Vegetables

My partner Miles, an unrepentant carnivore, claims that “salad is what food eats.” I wouldn’t go that far, but my problem with vegetables is that they are among the most challenging foods to match with wine. Here are my favourite wines to pair with vegetables and vegetarian dishes. Finding veggie-friendly wines, however, is important: on the one hand, many of us are now filling our plates with more greenery and less wine-friendly meat dishes; on the other, as the health benefits of wine become better known, more vegetarians are pouring a glass with their meatless meals. We’re all more health […]

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