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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9 Best Wines to Pair with Holiday Turkey Dinner (Video)

The holidays are right around the corner. So here with her tips to make your holiday entertaining a breeze is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   What’s your first tip?   Keep it simple. I’m not sure why many of us turn into frantic mini-Martha Stewarts at this time of this year, wanting everything to be perfectly matching, preparing everyone’s side dish, stocking our cellars with more wine than we could possibly drink in a month, but we do. So take a breath, relax and start with bubbly. Sparkling wine is a great […]

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7 Best Wines to Pair with Takeout Dishes and Fast Food (Video)

It’s easy to pair a gourmet meal with wine, but what about our favourite take-out dishes? Here to help us with her tips and sips is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   Welcome Natalie.   Natalie: Great to be here with you!   Pairing #1: Fried chicken We’re starting with fried chicken – got a wine for that?   Yes, and it’s not what you’d expect! I’m going to get you to drink outside the box (or bucket) with this one. When you dig into deep-fried chicken or fish, you perceive the taste […]

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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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7 Mouth-Watering Comfort Food and Wine Pairings

As the weather cools, we enjoy heartier dishes, including comfort food. But which wines should you pair with them? Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   First off, are there such things as comfort wines?   After much research on this topic, I concluded there were no “uncomfortable wines” since I found them all of great comfort. However, I found that certain wines tend to pair better with comfort food than others.   Great! Tell us about your first pairing.   Comfort food tends to have rich, robust flavours. […]

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Pairing Bestselling Books With Best-Cellaring Wines

We’re back with Natalie MacLean. You can watch our first segment on book and bottle pairings here.  This time we’re going outside the wine category of books with these pairings. What do you have for us first? We’re starting with one of my favorite authors, Candace Bushnell, who wrote this book, Is There Still Sex and the City? a fantastic follow-up to her blockbuster hit, TV series, several movies and now a theatrical production.         I’d pair this book with this Rosé sparkling wine from La Marca because it’s just fabulous, as the four women in the […]

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Pairing Books & Bottles, Organizing Wine Tastings

Introduction What do great books and great wine have in common? Why does it feel like the wine changes when you taste the same vintage years later, apart from it maturing (and possibly you as well)? How can you pair books and bottles? How can you organize an informal wine tasting with friends or your book club? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Sam Hiyate on his podcast, Agent Provocateur. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Which Niagara wine pairs well with haunting books that stay with you long after you finish them? […]

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Books & Wines With Great Structure & Finish

We often chat about pairing wine and food, but what about pairing bottles with books? You can also watch part two of our book and bottle pairings from CTV yesterday.   What’s the first pairing you recommend?   We’re starting with one of my favorite wine books, The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil. It’s sold more than a half a million copies worldwide and is a go-to reference book that’s also engagingly well-written.         Karen lives in Napa Valley, so I’d pair this book with this full-bodied, complex Cabernet Sauvignon from Charles Krug, Napa Valley’s oldest winery […]

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11 Best Wines to Pair with Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

No other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. But which wines to pair with turkey and all the side dishes? Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine pairing classes at nataliemaclean.com   What’s your top tip when it comes to pairing wine with Thanksgiving dinner?   Wine is a taste of the harvest along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavors to match from sweet creamed corn to more bitter greens and veggies, plus […]

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