National Wine Day Prompts These Thoughts

Introduction May 25 is National Wine Day and in honour of that, I think it’s worth exploring how wine, as a beverage, has influenced our culture. Wine has been an integral part of human history from ancient civilizations right through to the modern day. It has become deeply associated with culture, power and prestige in a way that no other beverage has. Most of what I’m going to share with you today is based on a magazine piece about wine and civility that I wrote two months after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance […]

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How to Become the World’s Best Sommelier with Arvid Rosengren

Introduction Arvid Rosengren is one of the most merited sommeliers in the world, holding a range of competition wins and titles, the crowning achievement being the 2016 A.S.I. Best Sommelier of the World, a competition held every three years for candidates representing sixty countries. It tests theoretical knowledge, blind tastings of various beverages and practical service skills. Born and raised in the south of Sweden, Arvid initially studied Nanotechnology Engineering but figured out half-way through that working with his true passion – food and wine – would be preferable to wearing a lab coat. After a brief time in Stockholm […]

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Organic and Biodynamic Wine with Thomas Bachelder

Introduction Thomas Bachelder is a Canadian winemaking superstar on a mission when it comes to cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After studying in France and having a successful winemaking career in Canada, Thomas started his own label where not only does he make wine in Ontario, but he also has vineyards in Burgundy and Oregon. The Bachelder project started with the 2009 vintage with the three terroirs series: Three regions; Three wines. As he describes it, the hands, techniques and the palates remain the same, only the terroirs change.   Highlights When did Thomas realize he wanted to make wine? […]

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Video: Penfolds Wine Tasting of Grange, RWT, Magill, Bin 707

Penfolds’ DLynn Proctor Captivates the Audience   What a spectacular evening writer Rachelle O’Connor and I had with DLynn Proctor, Brand Ambassador Penfolds Americas, as he guided us through a fascinating and entertaining tasting of Penfolds’ most iconic wines and vintages, including the 2002 flagship vintage of Grange.     We broadcast 7 Facebook Live Stream videos in real time to capture the entire event at the Cordon Bleu’s Signatures Restaurant, and to include people coast to coast via social media who could not attend in person. Don’t miss DLynn’s answer to a final question in the this video … […]

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The Godfather of Zin: Tasting Zinfandel of Ravenswood Wines with Joel Peterson

Last night, we were joined by special guest, founder and winemaker, Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery, discussing the history of Zinfandel. Click on the arrow above to watch the video. Listen to Joel’s witty stories about winemaking. Learn about the fascinating history of Zinfandel. Discover the best pairings for Zinfandel.   If you’d like to read the 42 comments for this tasting, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10155095648434845/ P.S. ​Want to know when we go live next Sunday with our special guest Rudi Rabl of Austria? Tune in here for our Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting: www.nataliemaclean.com/live Click on […]

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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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Niagara Integrated Film Festival June 2015

By Alex and Priya – A Vine Romance Watching movies under the stars sounds lovely, watching them in the beauty of vineyards with a glass of wine in hand and it’s downright poetic! That’s what awaits you if you head out to the Niagara Integrated Film Festival June 18-21. The festival is entering it’s second year and recently held a media tour to give a hint of what attendees will experience. Let us tell you, you’re not going to want to miss out on this unique collaboration of wine & film. In fact, we’re giving away a pair of tickets […]

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Duck Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella, Roasted Butternut Squash and Sauteed Mushrooms Recipe – Paired with Kaesler Stonehorse Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre 2008

A  swanky pizza with smoky, sweet and savoury flavours. Choose a wine with the same bold flavours such as Kaesler Stonehorse Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2008. The wine’s bright, concentrated fruit and hint of spice works well with this recipe. Leftover smoked duck or BBQ duck would be a great substitute. Makes four 6-inch or one 12-inch pizza pizza dough, purchased or homemade (recipe below) 1 whole head garlic 5 tbsp olive oil, divided 1 ½ cup butternut squash, peeled and diced 3 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces 2 cups mixed mushrooms (cremini and shiitake), sliced 1 duck breast […]

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