Fall Wines: A Warming Taste Trend

Wine styles are as seasonal as clothing. In the summer, I drink light, refreshing wines that remind me of a simple T-shirt and shorts: perfect for sun-baked beaches and country road strolls. But in the fall, my wine, like my clothes, becomes warmer, more layered and better able to combat those cool winds of October. In the video above, Leanne and I chat about fall fashions in wine, from the run-way to your dining room table. The wines featured in this show include: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay, California Toasted Head Chardonnay, California Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon, California Santa […]

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How Oyster Bay Tamed Prickly Pinot Noir in New Zealand

By Greg M.P. Hughes Winemakers who specialize in Pinot Noir are some of the hardest working viticulturists on the planet. This grape’s thin skin makes it extremely vulnerable to diseases, makes colour extraction torture to get right, and yields are minuscule (not a tremendous ROI compared to Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz). Pinot Noir’s idiosyncrasies are enough to make even hardened pro winemakers tear their hair out. That is why Pinot Noir is one of the most misunderstood selections that wine experts explain to their audiences. Most people understand it as byword for a quality wine, but have no idea what […]

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Easter Wines for Fish, Lamb + Ham: Video

Wines for Good Friday fish, Easter brunch, lamb and ham are the focus of our chat on CTV News. In particular, red wines often clash with fish not because of the wine tannin and fish iodine, as previously thought, but rather because of high iron content in the wine. The iron comes mostly from the soil where the vines are grown, but can also be due to winemaking methods. Generalizing about which wines will be high in iron content is difficult. The iron in wine is thought to break down the unsaturated (good) fats in fish and creates that fishy […]

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Which Wine Pairings for turkey, fruitcake or cheese?

The holiday countdown is on and Canadians are scrambling for last-minute gifts for their hosts and loved ones. Wine and food seem like a natural option at this time of year, but with thousands of bottles lining the shelves at liquor outlets, where does one begin? “I’d start with pairing the wine that you’re going to bring to go with the dinner. Wild guess, might be turkey,” says sommelier Natalie MacLean, editor of the wine review site nataliemaclean.com. She suggests a sparkling wine like Cava from Spain, a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, a dry rose from France or a […]

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South Africa’s Spier Wines Respect What the Vineyard Hands Them

New Life on the Old Werf Life on the Spier farm is textured, diverse, nurturing. Our Fair Trade accredited hotel and modern conference facilities offers peace in the vineyards, riverside rambles, food experiences and encounters with eagles. Our restored historical farmyard, the Werf, is surrounded by the original farm precinct buildings. These feature 21 architecturally noteworthy Cape Dutch gables – the most on any South African wine estate – making Spier a landmark destination in the Cape winelands. At our wine tasting room on the farm, we give visitors an opportunity to experience what we value most at Spier, in […]

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Rack of Lamb with Almond Crust Recipe Paired with Wits End Luna Shiraz

This dish is a classic Harvey family meal and incorporates ingredients famous in the region and blocks. Outside the Slate Creek school block, 1 mile from their organic, Wits End block, are rows of almond trees. These not only provide a beautiful, blossoming avenue to frame their country homestead but allow a bounty of almonds. This recipe compliments the robust, generous and fruit driven Shiraz that is our Luna and utilises quintessentially regional and foraged ingredients. This recipe compliments the robust, generous and fruit driven Shiraz that is their Wits End Luna Shiraz and uses quintessentially regional and foraged ingredients. This dish […]

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Wines for Easter Brunch and Passover Dinner

CTV News anchor Natalie Piero an I chat about wines for Easter brunch, Passover and other holiday weekend wines. Also check out The Essential Hip-Hop Guide to Easter Wines, which includes pairing ham and wine, lamb and wine, vegetables and wine, and chocolate and wine. You’ll find another video about Easter wines here. Posted with permission of CTV News.     Wines for Easter Brunch and Passover Dinner Natalie Piero: Passover starts tonight and of course Easter is coming up this weekend. So Natalie MacLean is here to talk about the best wines to pair with whatever meal you might be […]

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Video: Wine, Lamb and Ham Pairing for Easter

Here’s part two of our conversation about pairing wine with lamb and wine with ham for Easter, though the pairing tips apply year-round if you love these dishes and the wines that make them taste even better. I’ve also included tips on pairing wine with chocolate bunnies … it doesn’t matter whether you start with the ear or the tail!   Leanne: Really, the perfect Easter egg hunt takes place at LCBO for Natalie MacLean who is a celebrated wine writer, who’s here offering great tips for your weekend and we have to talk about chocolate. Natalie: Absolutely! Leanne: Just […]

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Top 10 Green Wine & Food Matches for St. Patrick’s Day

Which wines go best with the “green food” that we’ll enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew? How about those fresh spring vegetables that will soon be on our plates? Which wines go best with the “green food” that we’ll enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew? How about those fresh spring vegetables that will soon be on our plates? Green foods are the problem children of the wine world. But as a stubborn hedonist whose grandmother’s name was Brophy, I’ve found some terrific wines to […]

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Holiday Wine Team Tasting: Your Wines for Gift Giving and Entertaining

On Sunday, 22 wine-loving, football-sacrificing souls (it was Grey Cup) gathered to taste more than 70 spectacular wines. Click on the arrow above to hear about Jennifer’s favourite wine from the tasting, a Chilean Carmenere with bright acidity, nice little spice, great for a wide variety of foods. Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Monique explains her reasons for picking Taittinger Champagne to toast her celebration events.         Monique Ippolito Wine Columnist, Ottawa Living Magazine               Craig’s take on Beringer Quantum red […]

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