Holiday Wines and Spirits Plus Hosting Tips (Video)

As the holidays approach, we look forward to entertaining friends and family. On CTV’s Your Morning we chat about terrific wines and spirits for the holidays.   Welcome Natalie.   What’s a good drink to serve to guests when they arrive?   Sparkling wine is the drink of celebration, especially at this time of year. I’d recommend two from Nova Scotia:         Avondale Sky Winery Benediction Sparkling Wine Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada                   Blomidon Crémant Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada         Both are zesty and […]

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Wine for Sex and the City, Casablanca, Bridget Jones, Sideways

What can make watching your favourite movie even more fun? A great bottle of wine. Here with her tips and sips is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com   Welcome Natalie   Hello Bob!   You’re going to share some of your favourite wine moments in the movies, then suggest a pairing. What are we looking at first?   In Best Supporting Role, I’d like to nominate this Cupcake Light-Hearted Chardonnay from California, with just 100 calories.           Cupcake Vineyards Light Hearted Chardonnay California, United States         […]

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9 Best Napa Valley Wines to Drink Now

On CTV news, Leanne and I chat about terrific  Napa Valley wines you can buy now for a limited time online at the LCBO. You can watch our first chat about California wines on CTV News here.   We’re narrowing our focus on Napa Valley wines in this segment. Tell us about this region.   What would surprise us about Napa Valley?       It’s the most famous wine growing region in the U.S. but it’s actually tiny, producing just 4% of Californian wine and only 0.4% of the world’s wine production. The valley floor is just 30 miles long […]

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Wine Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe Paired with Hester Creek The Judge

Created by Terrafina Restaurant chef Adair Scott, this recipe is chock full of savoury flavours and easy to source ingredients. The wine braised lamb shanks are so deliciously tender, they melt right off the bone. Serve them on a bed of cous cous with roasted vegetables with our rich and refined Judge. A beautifully structured wine, that pairs wonderfully with this flavourful and hearty dish. INGREDIENTS 6 lamb shanksSea salt and fresh ground pepper to evenly coat2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil2 onions, chopped3 large carrots, chopped10 cloves garlic, minced3 bay leaves1 bottle Hester Creek Estate Winery Judge2L beef broth5 […]

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Pairing BC and Ontario Wine with Books (Video)

The long weekend is coming up, and you might be celebrating with a glass of Canadian wine or two, but what should you pair with your vino beyond BBQ? How about some Canadian books?   Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com   So we’re going to start on the west coast Natalie. What do you recommend?   We’re starting with Nk’Mip Cellars (pronounced in-ka-meep) Winemaker’s Series Talon, the first Indigenous-owned winery in North America. Nk’Mip means “Bottomland” because the vineyards are planted at the southern tip of the Osoyoos […]

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Oregon’s Peak Destinations for Food, Wine and Golf

Nestled in a pastoral Oregon valley between the Cascade Mountains and the Coastal Range lies some of the best cool-climate wineries in North America. While some would say the terroir of the Willamette Valley rivals that of Burgundy, that claim can only be tested when tasted. There are seven American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the Willamette Valley and these diverse areas are home to over 800 wineries with the vast majority in the hills of the north. For the most part this region is best known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals with a growing reputation for Pinot Gris, […]

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10 Best Pinot Noir Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Pinot Noir

Leanne and I had fun chatting about Pinot Noir this past Wednesday on CTV News! I’ll be posting the wines we featured soon. Pinot Noir is a wine of great sensuality, a silky texture and seductive aromas. “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot Noir,” winemaker André Tchelistcheff once remarked. This thin-skinned berry is known as the “heartbreak grape” because it’s difficult to grow and is unstable even bottled. That’s why you often pay more for Pinot Noir than most other red wines. You’ll find my top 10 Pinot Noir reviews and ratings here,  including pinot noirs that […]

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Randall Grahm: A Californian Blend of Wine, Wit and Wisdom

Introduction Randall Grahm was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where he was a permanent Liberal Arts major. Sometime later he found himself working at the Wine Merchant in Beverly Hills sweeping floors. By dint of exceptionally good karma, he was given the opportunity to taste an ungodly number of great French wines and this singular experience turned him into a complete and insufferable wine fanatic. He returned to the University of California at Davis to complete a degree in Plant Sciences in 1979, where owing to his single-minded obsession with […]

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Austrian Wine is more than Gruner: Embrace the Unique

By Mymi Myriam Mozart, the Alps, Baroque architecture and Schnitzels are some of the things that spring to mind when thinking of Austria. This alpine country is sadly not often first associated with wine, but when it is, the perception is that it produces mainly sweet wines. That’s quite odd for a country that has been making wine for over four centuries, whose value of recent exports has grown by an impressive € 6 million, amounting to an outstanding sales record of € 145 million (according to the 2014 Austrian Wine Statistics report). Austria ranks at #19 as a wine producing […]

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How Oyster Bay Tamed Prickly Pinot Noir in New Zealand

By Greg M.P. Hughes Winemakers who specialize in Pinot Noir are some of the hardest working viticulturists on the planet. This grape’s thin skin makes it extremely vulnerable to diseases, makes colour extraction torture to get right, and yields are minuscule (not a tremendous ROI compared to Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz). Pinot Noir’s idiosyncrasies are enough to make even hardened pro winemakers tear their hair out. That is why Pinot Noir is one of the most misunderstood selections that wine experts explain to their audiences. Most people understand it as byword for a quality wine, but have no idea what […]

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