Mulled Wine: Christmas in a Glass

By Tania Thomas There is nothing that welcomes your guests and says Christmas like soul-warming aromas of slowly simmering red wine with sliced oranges and mulling spices; cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and cloves, star anise, cardamom, and ginger. Considered as a traditional holiday treat in the Old World countries, mulled wine has been warming people’s hearts for centuries. Very first mentions date back to the Roman times. Apparently, Cesar liked his wine heated and spiked with herbs and exotic spices. Mulled wine become especially popular during the Middle Ages warming up long winter evenings, especially around Christmas time. Mixing it with […]

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Sex in a Glass: Getting up Close and Personal with Pinot Noir

By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman of Chef & Somm “Pinot Noir is like young love,” opined my private sommelier client in his luxurious house in Muskoka as I pulled the cork on a Romanée-Conti.  “You do not know what to expect, but it will always make the blood run hot; either melt your heart or break it, sometimes even both.” Pinot Noir has been described in many ways. Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon went so far as to call it “sex in a glass”. So what is it about this grape – a variety also known as the heartbreak grape – that inspires […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Turkey

By Tania Thomas Thanksgiving is the time of the year when we remember what we are thankful for and a celebration that captures holiday spirit of home cooking like no other. Sharing this day with family and friend is what makes it even more special. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced to two separate events in our history. The arrival of the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who came with the French settlers to New France and celebrated their successful harvests, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area. The second is […]

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Best Bottles for Outdoor Dining: Wines for the Wet & Wild

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm A couple of posts ago, I wrote about the best wines for summer entertaining – well, I have a bit more to say about the joys of summer sipping. Here’s Part Two, enjoy! Dip and Sip – The Pool Party Crunchy, oily, salty chips and hot dogs with all the fixin’s are so much fun under the sun, especially poolside! My preference is to wash this super-casual stuff down with an ice cold beer or cider, but there are a few playful wines practically made for chillaxin’ by the pool!   Adamo Estate Winery Rosé, Hockley […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Creamy Cheese Fondue

By Tania Thomas Wine and cheese are a truly perfect pair. An especially satisfying experience is to enjoy the two together after a hard day of playing in the snow. Imagine a roaring fireplace, snowed-in mountain lodge and a pot of warm and gooey cheese fondue. Heaven! As a national dish of Switzerland, fondue was associated with rustic mountain life from the lowlands of western, French-speaking, Switzerland. A rich and expensive Gruyère cheese was used for its preparation with the addition of wine and seasoning. If you feel inspired; get started by rubbing the pot with a halved garlic clove. […]

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Chili n’ Cheese Cornbread Muffins Recipe Paired with Pinot Blanc

Chili n’ Cheese Cornbread Muffins This November all I want to do is curl up by the fireplace with a good book, cozy sweater, and some comfort food – specifically cornbread. These little cornbread muffins are full of cheesy goodness and pack a punch with slow-cooked chili. So get ready to turn the heat right up with these Chili n’ cheese cornbread muffins. I like to start with quality ingredients made locally, like creamy Canadian Provolone cheese, which tastes like heaven when melted into these muffins. That’s best washed down with a fresh and crisp Niagara white wine, like the […]

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Discovering the Secret Side of Malbec Wine

By Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance “Come, let me show you another side of Malbec, my friend.” Winemaker Aurelio Montes Jr. spoke the lovely quote above. What distinguishes him from many of his peers is that he makes wines for consumers rather than for winemakers, because he considers himself “a consumer first and foremost.” Perhaps this is why both of us (Alex, the Sommelier and Priya the casual drinker) were able to enjoy the horizontal tasting of Kaiken wines in Toronto at Nota Bene restaurant last week. Over a lunch spanning a leisurely 3 hours (a lovely Argentinian custom we wish Canadians would […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Risotto, Seduction in Piedmont

By Tania Thomas Nestled in the Italy’s northwest corner, surrounded on three sides by the mighty Alps, lies the gastronomical regions of Piedmont. Unlike the rest of Italy, this is the land of butter and hearty fare due to a strong French influence from Savoy just across the border. In Piedmont, the meal always starts with antipasti. Usually risotto or polenta, followed by braised meats as a main course. Except in the case of risotto alla Milanese, made by adding beef bone marrow, flavoured by saffron and served as main course along Ossobuco, a classic Milanese dish of braised veal […]

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Organic Wines Podcast: Better for You or for the Environment?

Organic wines are among the fastest growing segments in the liquor store, but they’re also misunderstood, from how they’re made to their health benefits. This podcast sheds some light on these issues: Listen Your glass wine (or three) isn’t more healthful just because it’s organic. In fact, some organic wines can be more about marketing than about health or the environment. Fermentation, filtering and fining during winemaking eliminates pesticides. As well,”organically grown grapes” on the label refers only to the way the vines are farmed, and not necessarily to the way the wine is then made in the winery because […]

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