Pairing Wine & Creative Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Video)

Carolyn, Jeff and I chat about pairing wine and grilled cheese sandwiches for Canada Day on the national edition of Global Television’s Morning Show. These aren’t your ordinary grilled cheese sammies: step it up on July 1 or 4, and create one of these for yourself and for your guests. Loblaw’s Executive Chef, Mark Russell, created these terrific grilled cheese sandwich recipes. The accompaniments are part of Loblaw’s From Our Chef line. Here are my favourite Canadian wines that I’ve tasted recently, plus wines from around the world in the spirit of international peace and diversity through food and drink!         Baldersen Extra […]

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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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What is Wine’s Role in Modern Madness? Finding Our Humanity Drop by Drop

​Editor’s Note: I wrote this magazine piece on wine and civility two months after 9/11. However, the search for civility in everyday life has more resonance than ever, with the riots in Ferguson, ISIS, Jian Ghomeshi, Gamergate, unfettered consumerism, and the mysogenous micro-aggressions that women face daily on social media. I welcome your thoughts here: never loose your voice. In Vino Civilitatis The trouble with moderation is that it’s hard to get excited about it. Until now. After September 11, moderation seems to be rarer than a California cult cabernet. Finding the moderate and the civilized in everyday life has […]

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Recipe: Blue Cheese Hamburger with Red Wine Pairing

In celebration of National Hamburger Day, pair this savoury recipe for Blue Cheese Hamburger with the full-bodied red wine, such as Shiraz, Cabernet or Malbec. Please feel free to share this on social media with the hashtag #nationalburgerday Prep time: 30 minutes Total time, including cooking: 2 hours and 30 minutes Serves: 6 Ingredients: 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef 2 ounces of crumbled blue cheese ¼ cup of minced fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon of coarsely-ground black pepper ¾ teaspoon of salt ½ teaspoon of dry mustard 6 hamburger buns   Directions: […]

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Salmon Dill Crepe Recipe Paired with Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Salmon Dill Crepes Paired with Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc By: Shari Goodman When you need a break from the busyness of the holiday season, it’s nice to catch up over a delicious but deceivingly simple make-ahead brunch. I used to think crepes were too difficult to make home. I thought of them as something special to be ordered when dining out. But I’ve discovered that although the first crepe often ends up in the garbage, a batch of crepes is easy to make and impressive to serve guests. You can make the crepes ahead of time and store them layered […]

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Versatile Vinho Verde: Spring Splendor in the Glass

Last night, we were joined by special guest, Pedro Costa, Head Winemaker of Aveleda Winery chatting about his Vinho Verde wines and why they’re such a great wine style for spring. This was actually a 2-part video series as I managed to melt down my computer’s CPU with multiple simultaneous broadcasting streams to Facebook Live, Twitter Live vis Periscope and YouTube Live Stream ;) You can watch part one above by clicking the arrow, then part two below. Cheers, Natalie Join us on the Sunday Sipper Club, April 9​ at 6 pm eastern (Toronto time)​ ​with special guest Food Network […]

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Plonk Wine Videos Stumble Blindly into Brilliant Insight

In his book How to Love Wine, New York Times wine columnist Eric Asimov observes: “I’m sometimes dismayed that sommeliers confuse their professional training with what consumers need to know to enjoy wine. We don’t need to know whether you can identify wines blind. “Those are just parlor games for professionals. I think that professionals, like sommeliers, need to be able to communicate with the public in a language that they understand and that they find useful.” When I tasted wines blind with Eric at the paper’s headquarters several years ago, he lived those words. The blind tasting was to […]

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Instant Spiced Apples Recipe Paired with Icewine

The Apple of my Wine Get ready to bust out the BBQ, because its finally grill season. Mmm, I can practically taste the sizzle of tender steaks and juicy ribs, waiting to be devoured. Nothing says spring is here like a backyard BBQ. Best enjoyed with your friends and family over burgers, sausages and Canadian Cheese. Just don’t forget to leave room for dessert, or a scrumptious snack, like Spiced Apple with Canadian Brie. This light snack is sure to be a hit with its simple ingredients locally sourced from the farm. Slice up some apples with a dash of […]

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The Wine that Came in from the Cold: Icewine

Not a breath of wind caresses the snow-blanketed vineyards. The tar-black sky is pin-pricked with stars, and a full moon sends shadows slithering out between the scarecrow vines. Stooped figures in Arctic gear coax their bare fingers to snap off bunches of frozen grapes. That’s what the annual icewine harvest looks like in Niagara at this time of the year. It results in a wine that combines the sweetness of lusciously ripe fruit with a silver edge of acidity that’s as crisp as the winter wind. Despite its modern association with Canada, icewine was actually discovered in Germany, by accident, […]

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Rocky Road Cream Cheese Fudge with Port or Icewine

Make the festive season even more festive The calendar has flipped to December and you know what that means. Parties. Lots and lots of parties. And while we all look forward to going out and having a good time with friends and family, it’s not always easy to think of a nice gift to bring the hosts. Until now. This week I’m happy to share the recipe for Rocky Road Cream Cheese Fudge, which, I have to tell you, is as good as it sounds. Featuring Canadian Cream cheese, this particular recipe has a lot going for it. Yes, it’s […]

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