Mulled Wine: Christmas in a Glass

By Tania Thomas There is nothing that welcomes your guests and says Christmas like soul-warming aromas of slowly simmering red wine with sliced oranges and mulling spices; cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and cloves, star anise, cardamom, and ginger. Considered as a traditional holiday treat in the Old World countries, mulled wine has been warming people’s hearts for centuries. Very first mentions date back to the Roman times. Apparently, Cesar liked his wine heated and spiked with herbs and exotic spices. Mulled wine become especially popular during the Middle Ages warming up long winter evenings, especially around Christmas time. Mixing it with […]

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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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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Turkey

By Tania Thomas Thanksgiving is the time of the year when we remember what we are thankful for and a celebration that captures holiday spirit of home cooking like no other. Sharing this day with family and friend is what makes it even more special. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced to two separate events in our history. The arrival of the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who came with the French settlers to New France and celebrated their successful harvests, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area. The second is […]

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Garden Variety Wines: The Best Bottles for Outdoor Dining

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm Spring and summer means outdoor parties – casual barbecues to white-glove garden soirées – and there’s a perfect wine for every al fresco occasion. Flip Flops and Fine Wine – The BBQ When food is smoky and beefy, you might automatically think of an oaky Cabernet Sauvignon, but let’s not forget how hot and humid it can be, so a nicely chilled, oaky white wine or slightly chilled lighter red – may be just the thing! An oaky white – think Norman Hardie Chardonnay or La Crema Chardonnay will complement smoky, grilled chicken, […]

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Rediscover Bordeaux with Château Phelan-Ségur

By Mymi Myriam On the eve of a massive winter storm that threatened to shut down most of the eastern coast of the United States, I had the pleasure of briefly sitting down with Pamela Wittman prior to attending the LCBO sponsored Union des Grands Crus Bordeaux tasting at the Carlu. An oenologist by profession, she is now the US representative for Château Phélan-Ségur located in the Médoc St-Éstèphe region of Bordeaux. The estate’s story starts with a young Irish wine merchant name Bernard Phelan who settled into the area in the late 18th century and married a local girl […]

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Which Food Films Co-Star with Wine? The Oscar for Best Bottle Goes to …

Wine is often a co-star with food in the movies, especially films about food: The Big Night (1996) Like Water for Chocolate (1992) Soul Food (1997) Chocolat (2000) The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989) Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994) Tampopo (1985) Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978) Dinner Rush (2000) Rare Birds (2001). The three movies I most want to see right now in this genre are Chef, The Hundred Foot Journey and The Trip to Italy. The lush landscape of Italian wine country makes a bucolic backdrop for […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings February 20

You can access the 112 wines that I reviewed for February 20 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. You can also see my wine reviews for February 6. 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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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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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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LCBO Wines on Sale: May 24 to June 20

Sponsored Post by Philippe Dandurand Wine Agency You can get the complete shopping list of these wines in your closest liquor stores here.     Yellow Tail Sangria Australia Regular Price: $10.95  Sale Price: $9.95         [yellow tail] Pinot Grigio 2014 New South Wales, Australia Regular Price: $$10.95   Sale Price:  $8.95         Georges Duboeuf 2013 Beaujolais, France Regular Price: $12.95  Sale Price: $10.95         HobNob Wine Company Pinot Noir 2014 Languedoc I.G.T. France Regular Price: $12.95   Sale Price:  $11.95         Chapoutier Rasteau 2013 Rhone Valley A.O.C. France Regular […]

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