Secret Book Club Reading of Red, White and Drunk All Over

Introduction Are you curious about what’s behind the covers of my book, Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass, which you’ll hear me refer to as “RWD”? In this episode, I’m inviting you to pull up your most comfortable imaginary chair for a secret book club reading of the juiciest bits of RWD, which was named one of the best books of the year by the Globe and Mail, New York Times and Amazon.   Highlights When did I have my first experience with tasting good wine? What were my earliest interactions with wine like? […]

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Video: Which Wines for Turkey, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie?

CTV’s Your Morning Host Ben Mulroney and chat about which wines to pair with your holiday turkey dinner, from appetizers and the big bird to side dishes and dessert. Click on the arrow above to play the video. Happy holidays! Natalie Start with an aperitif As the heady aroma of the turkey wafts through the house, and sounds of Miracle on 34th Street come from the livingroom, offer family and friends an aperitif. This pre-dinner drink will whet their appetites before they sit down to the table. An excellent choice is a chilled dry sherry. Its nutty flavours go well […]

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Why Do You Like the Wines You Do with Marnie Old and Jean-Charles Boisset

Introduction Sommelier and author Marnie Old is a breath of fresh air in the wine world. An engaging performer and gifted teacher, she is refreshingly direct and down-to-earth. Marnie’s focus on matters of real-world relevance to consumers, not winemakers or brewers, puts her in demand as an expert speaker on wine and beer around the country, most notably as a featured seminar presenter at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. She is also the founder and organizer of Philly Bierfest, an annual festival celebrating Pennsylvania’s German brewing heritage. Jean-Charles Boisset was born into the world of wine in […]

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San Pedro Tasting Past and Present

Photo: Andrea Shapiro Jane Staples Wine, Food &Travel Writer,Accredited Sommelier Viña Tarapacá and San Pedro 1865 Winetasting at ZOE’S LOUNGE Exciting things are happening in Chile’s winemaking industry! The world is recognizing the fine craftsmanship and distinctive personality of Chilean wines. Chile is also becoming a world leader in organic and sustainable viticulture. I recently attended a tutored tasting with two award-winning winemakers, Sebastian Ruiz from Viña Tarapacá and Matias Cruzat from San Pedro 1865. Our team of wine writers happily gathered at the comfortable Zoe’s Lounge in Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier. Matias Cruzat Photo: Jane Staples Each winemaker led highly […]

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Pairing Wine and Halloween Treats (Video)

 Lots of laughs on CTV’s The Social this week! Click the arrow above to watch the video. The hosts chose the theme of a Royal Halloween, so Lainey dressed as Prince George, Cyn was Daenerys from Game of Thrones, Mel was Megan Markle and Marci was Queen Ramonda from the Black Panther movie. I channeled my inner (royal) wine witch and brought my broom shtick to the show. What a hoot we had together! Here are the tips, tricks and wines we discussed … Something a bit scary happens on Halloween: we’re surrounded by lots of treats, but will […]

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Second Chance: Austrian wine is back and better than ever

By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman Chef & Somm Austria is a little gem in the heart of Europe, with a population of only 8.7 million. The country finds itself being surrounded by countries either without an instantly recognizable wine culture – Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic – or by contrast, ones with world-famous, longstanding wine cultures: Italy, Germany, and to a lesser extent, Hungary. This little powerhouse is fighting to get the recognition it deserves. It hasn’t been easy. For starters, their wine production is extremely small – their entire vineyard area is less than a half the size of France’s Bordeaux […]

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Video: A Sensory Journey Through Austrian Wines

This spring, I attended a stellar tasting of Austrian wines at Toronto’s Alo, named Canada’s Best New Restaurant by several publications. In the video above, Birgitta Samavarchian of the Austrian Wine Marketing Group, explains why the country’s iconic  grape, Gruner Veltliner, is a white wine unlike any other. This is a sampling the wines we tasted, but you can access more than 300 Austrian Wine Reviews here, along with those of our team members at Ottawa-based tastings. The dishes that Alo presented to pair with the wines were simply spectacular. These pictures tell a thousand words (and sensory sensations).   […]

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A Wine Waltz through Austria’s Weinviertel Region

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm In North America, many of us are entranced by commercialism, shopping, the latest must-have piece of tech, and novelty. Sometimes, it feels as if we’ve lost touch with our history and our past. This is especially true you have an opportunity to compare and contrast our values with those of another culture, as I have recently. Then you gain insight into a culture that very much holds on to, and celebrates, its history, music, art and architecture, fashion and food. This contrast became vivid when I visited Austria, courtesy of the Austrian Wine […]

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A Vine Celebration: The 120th Anniversary of Nino Negri Wines

In October, I traveled to Italy with great excitement to participate in Nino Negri’s 120th Anniversary celebration.  As I drove through the historic wine region of Valtellina, I was captivated by its breathtaking beauty and eager to participate in this year’s wine harvest. Valtellina is a serene valley at the foot of the Lombardy Alps, on the Italian-Swiss border. The “vine”, the heart of this difficult mountainous terrain, has found perfect growing conditions here. The vineyards are protected by two high mountain chains, the Retiche Alps and the Orobie Pre-Alps. Exposure to the sun at high altitude, as well as a significant […]

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Austrian Wine and Food Pairing: Wiener Schnitzel Recipe

This post is sponsored and written by the Wines of Austria When you think of Austrian cuisine, you need to think bigger than the Austria we know today. Austrian cuisine, or Viennese cuisine, as it’s known throughout the country, is a mixture of all the culinary traditions of the many “Crown Lands” of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. Recipes flowed in to the imperial kitchens from all the Empire’s peoples, and from there they made their way to dukes’ castles and eventually to middle-class tables. © Flow Film/ Mark Ryan The 19th century saw a vast increase in the variety of […]

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