8 Perfect Gift Wines and Spirits for Your Holiday List (Video)

As the holidays approach, we look forward to entertaining friends and family. Here with her tips and sips is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   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 these two:           Queenston Mile Brut Blanc de Noirs St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada                     Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco Veneto D.O.C., Italy         […]

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8 Great Holiday Wines & Spirits (Video)

On CTV’s Your Morning, we chat about the holidays. As they approach, we look forward to entertaining friends and family. 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 these two:             Township 7 Vineyards & Winery Seven Stars Sirius 2015 Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC, V.Q.A., Canada                 PondView Estate Winery Bella Terra Sparkling Rosé 2020 Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada         Both are zesty and […]

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9 Sparkling Wines That Make Great Holiday Gifts

On CTV’s Your Morning, we chat about how most people think of sparkling wine as the drink of choice for the holidays. What’s the difference between champagne and other sparkling wines, and the two you recommend?   Although champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, almost every other region of the country and many other countries around the world produce sparkling wines, often using the same winemaking methods and grapes as champagne.   I have two classic champagnes:           Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne Champagne A.O.C., France                 […]

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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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The Best Online Wine Tasting & Pairing Classes (Video)

As the kids head back to school, let’s chat about how the adults have changed the way they learn about wine, especially with online courses. It’s a virtual world of wine learning at your fingertips. Yesterday, I chatted with Nicole Dube on CTV’s Morning Live show.   First, tell us why online wine courses have become so popular?   Online courses offer the best of both worlds: they’re accessible to everyone no matter where you live, they’re more comprehensive than a one-off class, but not as technical and time-consuming as college courses.   Plus, there’s no drinking, then driving home, […]

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Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay Le Villa Loca Cocktail Recipe

Take a trip… from the comfort of your kitchen! Today we’re feeling a little bit Latin and heading for Italy, with a dish and cocktail by Charlotte Chalret and Gaetan Thabourin from the restaurant Agapé in Carcassonne. They have created artichokes in the El Padrino style (Artichauts façon El Padrino) and a cocktail called, “Le Villa Loca” made with Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay. Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay 2019 La Villa Loca Cocktail Serves 1 Put in a mixing glass: 4 ice cubes 1 oz. Cranberry juice 1 tsp. peach or apricot jam Lemon zest Mix ingredients […]

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Festive Wines with the Globe & Mail’s Christine Sismondo

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Christine Sismondo, writer, teacher and barfly who, when not teaching literature at York University, is tracking down the city’s best drinks and the bars in which they’re served for her columns. She also writes wine and cocktail articles for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest national newspaper. Enjoy!   Highlights Why shouldn’t you lump Cava, Prosecco and Champagne together? Why did Lambrusco have a bad reputation in the 70s and 80s? What is the Charmat Method for producing sparkling wine? How did Lambrusco become popular in North […]

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Pairing Wine & Charcuterie with Jennifer McLagan

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Jennifer McLagan, an author and expert in charcuterie. Sometimes, I think we’ve become so paranoid about fat in our diets that we forget that not all fats are alike. Jennifer talks about those that are good for us, and together, we discover some terrific wines to pair with them. Enjoy!   Highlights When did Jennifer realize she wanted to write about food? What is Jennifer’s favourite failure? How does Jennifer respond to people who are concerned about “healthy eating”? What was the best moment of Jennifer’s career […]

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A Game of Clones: A Journey into Croatian Wine

By Andrea Shapiro The Republic of Croatia, located in Eastern Europe is one of the oldest wine growing countries in the world, and yet is relatively unknown to the average Canadian like me. The region possesses both mediterranean and continental climates and a soil structure that travels the spectrum, from sandy to volcanic. The result is a terroir that is proficient at yielding a myriad of varietals – everything from global mainstays such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot to indigenous grapes such as Graševina, Pošip and Plavac Mali. During the Cold War, as part of The Socialist Federal Republic […]

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Blending Humour and Wine in South Africa with Charles Back, Fairview Wine

Introduction Charles Louis Back is the third generation owner of South African wine and cheese producer Fairview, in Paarl in the Western Cape Province. Charles Back studied winemaking at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. He officially joined his family’s company in 1978 and took over full control in 1995 after the death of his father, Cyril. Today, Charles Back is known as one of the great entrepreneurs and innovators of the wine world – an individual who likes nothing more to swim against the stream. From the start, he has done things differently, introducing Mediterranean grapes such as Viognier, Tempranillo, […]

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