California Wine Fair 2019: Dates, Cities and Venues

    Let’s Toast with California Wines! The 2019 California Wine Fair is traveling across the country in April touching down on 5 cities coast to coast. California’s success has been built by a pioneering spirit that prides itself on its unique identity, lifestyle, personality and passion for the grape. This year, more than 150 wineries, 450 wines and numerous friends from the vineyards will be visiting Canada and meeting with lovers of California wine. NatalieMacLean.com Members receive $5 off the regular ticket price by using the promo code: cwfnatalie The ticket price includes all wine tasting samples and light hors d’oeuvres. Visit www.calwine.ca for […]

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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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The Secret to Sauvignon Blanc Wine? (Video)

Leanne and I had great fun chatting about Sauvignon Blanc on CTV as a lead up to Sauvignon Blanc Day May 4. You can watch the video segment above by clicking on the arrow. You can also watch our second wine video.         Santa Rita Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Casablanca Valley, Chile                 Sacred Hill Wine Company Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough, New Zealand                 Santa Rita 120 Reserva Especial Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Central Valley, Chile                 […]

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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 Often the latter were originally made by women.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 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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Kosher Wine: What is it? Why should I not Passover it?

Ten years ago, kosher wine was considered the cough syrup of the wine world: mostly made from nasty Concord grapes and often sweeter than Buckley’s—but without as much nuance. Today, it’s no longer the wine of affliction: many kosher wines, made from classic grapes, are complex and full of character. In fact, kosher wines sales are growing fast —  up 12% since 2013. While no one tracks buyer demographics, some producers claim that up to half aren’t even members of the Jewish faith—they’re just attracted to the wine’s quality and its preparation, which guarantees purity. Kosher wines, like fashionable organic […]

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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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Toronto Wine Tasting Shows Wide Diversity of Styles

By Mymi Myriam The wow factor as I walked into the sumptuous lobby of the Governor’s Room in the heart of the Exhibition Place is high. This is not just any room, it is a lavish, opulent and enormous ballroom. I proceeded through the enormous ornate wooden doors. Upon entering, I was warmly welcomed by a lovely lady who handed me an empty wine glass and my journey started. The Profile Wine Group is a coalition of three wine merchants: Barrique Wine Imports, VinVino Wine Merchants, and Du Chasse Wines and Spirits. They are one of Canada’s premier wine and […]

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