The Ultimate Super Bowl Wine and Snack Pairings

This Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting above, we chat about pairing wine with Super Bowl snacks. You can click on the arrow above to play the video. We’re joined by guest winemaker, David Joeky of Casella Family Brands to help us get ready for the big game. You’ll find our most recent live video wine tasting here: www.nataliemaclean.com/live We taste every Sunday evening at 6 pm eastern so add us to your calendar and grab a glass of wine. Click on the buttons for “Share” and “Like” on the page above to get notified when we go live. If you’d like to […]

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Mother’s Day Gifts, Wines and Pairings

By Natalie MacLean How to thank Mom for all those kisses, compliments and band-aids? Try a great bottle of wine with Mother’s Day gift, brunch or dinner pairing. As a mother myself now, I call my glass of wine at 5 p.m. “Mommy’s little helper.” Here’s to you Mom! Here are my Top 20 Wines for Mother’s Day, either made by women or named for them. Often the latter were originally made by women. Try these wines that I recommended on the Conde Nast site Epicurious.com or more choices on Canada AM and in More Magazine: Veuve Clicquot Champagne France […]

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Win a Trip to London, England, with a Toast to 19 Crimes Wine

The full-bodied Australian wine “19 Crimes” pays tribute to British criminals who were punished by transportation. The name 19 Crimes comes from a list of 19 violations that, in the 18th-century Britain, would get someone banished from Britain and shipped to what is now Australia. You can win a trip to London, England, and help three convicts get a royal pardon, by entering this contest before November 15: 19Crimes.com/RoyalPardon There are also hundreds of secondary prizes to be won, so enter today! The wine labels feature black and white mug shots of real-life convicts who were handed a sentence in the 18th-century.   The […]

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Pairing Wine with 7 Turkey Dishes from Bacon to Turducken

Yesterday, Leanne and I chatted about great wine with Thanksgiving trukey on CTV. We started with “basic” roast turkey, but went way beyond with citrus and Cajun turkey, and even that oddity turducken. Click on the arrow above to play the video. You can also watch our second chat about pairing wine with turkey left-overs from turkey tetrazzini to (oh yes) turkey pizza! (1) Roast Turkey         Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco Veneto D.O.C.G., Italy                 Wits End Luna Shiraz 2014 Wine Review Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia   […]

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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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Balderson Cheddar Cheese and Wine Pairings: Spot On!

Cheese expert Cecilia Smith and I had so much fun filming this spot for Balderson Cheddar. Of course, we had to be thorough with our research and played with various wine and cheese pairings throughout the day of the shoot. This spot airs on The Food Network, The Lifestyle Network, Home & Garden Television, W Network and other channels. I was fascinated with the production behind a 30-second spot: it took all day. The film crew were pros. Although I was ready to drop at the end of the day, it was so worthwhile. Lots of camera angles, lighting scenes […]

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Blending Family, Tradition and Place: Peter Lehmann Wine Tasting

It is a pleasure to meet any winemaker, especially one who makes a journey across the world to share his wine personally with us. Our group had the pleasure of meeting Ian Hongell from Peter Lehmann wines who led us through a tasting, at Sidedoor restaurant, with their wide range of wines paired with tapas. Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen Peter Lehmann is located in the Barossa region, a small wine region of Australia producing only about 65,000 tonnes of fruit per year. It contains some ancient Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Semillon vines, some are 150 or 160 years old. Their remote […]

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How to Get the Most from a Wine Show? 17 Insider Tips

You’ll find my Top 10 Wine Shows in Canada list, as well as a tongue-in-cheek story of attending a show. And here are my top tips on how to get the most from a wine show: 1. To build your stamina in the weeks leading up to the show, walk around Price Club during the weekends. Eat lots of the cheese-doodles and toothpick wieners. And be nice to the Demo Lady: she may well be pouring your sample at the show. 2. Eat before you come to the show even though there are often lots of food exhibitors. A full […]

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Sparkling Wine for New Year’s Eve versus Champagne

Most people think of champagne as the drink of choice to ring in the New Year. But when the price of one bottle averages $60, you might want to consider sparkling wine, which offers great taste for a fraction of champagne’s price. Although champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, almost every other region of the country and many countries around the world produce sparkling wines, often using the same techniques and grapes as champagne. Most sparklers are a blend of the traditional champagne grapes—Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Like champagne, they’re labeled according to their dryness, […]

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How to Read a Wine List, Vertical Tastings and Sommelier Sips

Ryan Campbell, formerly sommelier at Toronto’s Crush Wine Bar, now works with the wine lists at the parent company, Vintage Hotels in Niagara. Wine is such a big part of your restaurant, how do you ensure that your staff, who aren’t sommeliers, are still knowledgeable? We hold an informal “wine school” once a month for about 15 staff members.  For the last class, we focused on chardonnay with a vertical tasting. Vertical tastings mean one type of wine, like chardonnay, from different producers, but all from the same vintage. A horizontal tasting would be, say chardonnays, all from one producer, […]

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