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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Liquid Seduction: 9 Wines for your Valentine

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. Wine has long been associated with romance. Here are my top 10 wines for Valentine’s Day, not only because of their sexy names, but also because the wine in the bottle is equally as seductive.   Fifty Shades Of Grey Red Satin 2011 California, United States No mention of the book that inspired this wine, but no matter, it was launched this month as the liquid seduction tie-in to the book. Of course, there are lots of aromas of fresh and tanned leather on the nose and it’s voluptuously full-bodied … Natalie’s full […]

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Video: Game of Thrones Wines: Royal Taste?

Last night on the Sunday Sipper Club, we tasted the Game of Thrones Wines. Click on the arrow above to watch the video. Are they fit for royalty? What’s the back story on these HBO series-branded wines? Game of Thrones Wine Reviews You can read the 30 comments for this tasting, and/or make a comment yourself: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10155222867009845/ P.S. ​Want to know when we go live next Sunday with our ​next ​special guest? Tune in here for our Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting: www.nataliemaclean.com/live Click on the “Follow” and “Like”  buttons on the page above to get notified when we go […]

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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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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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Wine and Comfort Food Pairing: Revel in Your Rut

Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be forward-looking to spring with a chirpy article about zesty white wines to pair with fresh vegetables, but it’s so cold outside … and I’m tired of writing seasonally-appropriate editorial content. So let’s make wallowing fun, and turn to comfort wines paired with comfort food. In our continuing video series with Canadian Press, we look at quick tips on pairing those old favourites, from braised meat to pasta in cream sauce with wine. It’ll make you (almost) care what time of year it is when you have bottled sunshine. Here are my favourite […]

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Wine Tasting Hackathon: New Way of Social Wine Discovery

Our second team wine tasting yesterday felt like a family reunion. Sommeliers and wine bloggers from Toronto and Montreal flew or drove in to join those from the east to west ends of Ottawa. There was an instant camaraderie among those gathered here who recognized each other as fellow contributors to our online community. What I admire most about these reviewers is that although they have sterling wine credentials and training, they keep it real and conversational — with an effort to connect, not to impress. The tasting also struck me as the wine version of a hackathon. In the […]

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Pairing Wine with Weird Holiday Turkey Recipes

Maple-Brined, Wood-Smoked Grilled Turkey To stuff some life into this year’s obligatory wine and turkey pairing column for Thanksgiving (or Christmas), I asked the creators of some strangely wonderful turkey recipes for their permission to post them here and pair them with wine. I’m still on the hunt for beer can turkey, turducken, tofurkey (tofu-shaped turkey), and believe or not, that new chocolate-glazed with sprinkles dessert favourite, turdunkin (!) Maple-Brined, Wood-Smoked Grilled Turkey Recipe Allow a total of 4 to 4-1/2 hours to start the fire, cook the turkey, and let it rest. Have a full bag of charcoal on […]

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Is Zinfandel the World’s Most Misunderstood Wine?

ZINZEN, ZINZEST, ZINFUL: The licence plates in the parking lot warn me that this is no tweedy wine tasting. Closer to the wharves, a line of three thousand people, thick as an anaconda, snakes its way along San Francisco’s waterfront. Behind them soars the Golden Gate Bridge; Alcatraz Island sits brooding in the distance; and the glinting bay is dotted with tiny tissue sails. But no one’s admiring the postcard view: all eyes are fixed on the warehouse’s paint-peeled doors, waiting for them to open on the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers tasting, the world’s largest single-varietal wine event according to […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings June 25

You can access the 115 wines that I reviewed for June 25 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. You can also see my wine reviews for June 11. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or […]

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