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 Pairings for the Late Summer Bounty

By Tania Thomas With so many choices in an array of dazzling, vibrant colours, late summer at the farmers’ market is a true sensory overload. I can never resist the urge to buy a little bit of everything and then try to come up with some creative ways to use it all up before it passes its prime. Golden corn, juicy red tomatoes, shiny plump eggplants, sunny-yellow squash and sunset-hued ripe peaches, it’s hard to choose. Summer is the time for effortless entertaining and relaxed patio dinners, and the wine that accompanies it should be exactly that; simple and effortless. […]

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Free-Spirited New Zealand Tasting Pairs Nobilo Wines with Adventurous Foods

Photo Credit: Melissa Pulvermacher By Melissa Pulvermacher A huge trend in the Canadian wine market right now is not only New Zealand wines, but more specifically, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with its grassy notes and aromas of gooseberry and tropical fruit. It’s been pretty easy to identify for consumers and the demand from the LCBO is still on the incline. Trends exist for multiple reasons, but there is something to be said about a wine that easily identifies with a large group of people. A beautiful aromatic wine that finishes refreshing and clean obviously isn’t very difficult for everyone to enjoy. […]

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First Families of Wine Tasting: Primum Familiae Vini Bring Family and Place to the Glass

By Mymi Myriam At 11:30 a.m. on a windy Thursday, I walked into a sumptuous room at the Four Seasons Hotel.  Immaculately decorated, it had high ceilings and an incredible view of Toronto’s affluent Yorkville neighbourhood. In the center of the room was a very large and beautifully dressed… dining room table! I was at the right place: the long-awaited Primum Familiae Vini (PFV) luncheon. The PFV is an international association of some of the world’s finest wine producing families from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It was created in 1992 by Robert Drouhin and Miguel Torres as they […]

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Sommelier Secrets on Weird Wine and Food Pairings, and Dream Cellar

In our latest sommelier profile, Jay Whiteley, who has been the sommelier and wine director at several of Canada’s best restaurants, most recently, The Chase in Toronto, shares his favourite and weirdest food and wine pairings, as well as tips on choosing from a restaurant wine list. What was your first wine experience? Learning how to say the word Gewürztraminer. Why did you move from BC, where you were working at one of the top restaurants in Vancouver, to join The Chase in Toronto? I moved for some personal reasons, but also to learn about the LCBO distribution system. Toronto […]

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Peanut Noodle Salad Recipe Paired with Sparkling Wine

Peanut Noodle Salad Recipe by Courtney Flood This dish is a good go-to for me. I love the myriad of flavours in peanut satay sauce and I could eat almost anything that has it slathered on. It’s also a good way to use some fresh veggies you might have on hand. I used cucumber and carrot, but you could also use cabbage, zucchini, green onion, bell pepper, bean sprouts, peas, etc. You could also top with grilled chicken, pork, or beef if you are a meat eater. Ingredients: 1 large English cucmber 2 large carrots ½ small onion, thinly slice […]

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Recipe: Argentinean Sorrentinos Paired with Malbec

Argentinean Sorrentinos Sorrentinos are round raviolis, filled with ham, mozzarella cheese and ricotta. They’re not from Sorrento – they were invented in the resort town of Mar del Plata. In Argentina you can buy a special type of deep ravioli mold called a “sorrentinero” that is used to make the exact sombrero-like shape of these pastas. If you make these from scratch, you can fill them with ham, mozzarella, and ricotta, and serve them with any sauce. Or buy widely available ricotta-filled raviolis, and serve them with this creamy ham and mozzarella cheese sauce on top – a sort of […]

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My Roman Holiday: A Food and Wine Lover’s Paradise

Just back from a mouth-watering journey through the streets (strada) of Rome. Here are some pictures and videos to whet your appetite, from olive oil and bruschetta tastings to thin-crust pizza and fresh tomato sauce pasta. Click on each picture at the link above if you want to see the comments to the right about the food and wine. Have you been to Rome? I’d love to hear about your favourite food haunts and restaurants. Ciao! Natalia

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Cheese and Wine Pairing Tips: From Brie to Blue

Few things go together as naturally, simply and deliciously as wine and cheese. The question is, what kind of wine? And what kind of cheese? Pairing the two is more complex than you might think. “No rules apply because we all taste things differently,” says Alice Spurrell, owner of Les Amis du Fromage cheese shops in Vancouver as well as the cheese-themed restaurant Au Petit Chavignol. “The best thing is to be adventurous and just try a cheese with a wine. You want a good taste in your mouth. And the only way to discover that is to put them […]

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Drinkin’ the Green: Matching Vegetables with Wine

Matching Green Food & Wine Green food and green wine go well together: vegetables dance with wines that have herbal, grassy aromas, such as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, if there were an award for Veggie Wine of the Century, it would go to this one. Not only does it have complementary aromas of asparagus and canned peas, but it also has bright citrus notes that complement most vegetables. While white wines often work better than red wines with vegetables, light reds like Pinot Noir and Gamay also work because they have soft tannins, juicy berry flavors and good […]

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