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 […]

read more …

Read More

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: […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

Bring on the Beaujolais! A Young Red Wine is Centre of Attention each November

The annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau and other nouveau wines happens on the third Thursday of November. According to several liquor store chains, they are one of the fastest-selling products with about 80% selling out during the first week. The 2016 vintage experienced one of the coldest springs in more than 25 years, therefore the fall harvest was about three weeks later than usual. However, the grapes still ripened fully due to a warm July and August, with some of the highest degree of sunlight for more than 20 years. In the LCBO, there are usually two Ontario nouveau wines […]

read more …

Read More

Beaujolais Nouveau arrives Thursday! Top 10 Food Matches …

In our first video chat, Carol Anne and I discuss beaujolais nouveau wines to try this year. However, for those who want to try other easy-drinking red wines this week and during the holidays, we’ve got more suggestions above for you. On the third Thursday of every November, Beaujolais produdcers in southern Burgundy, France, release wine from the new harvest. More than 60 million bottles make their way around the world to bistros, bars and restaurants. Nouveau is a knock-it-back kind of wine to be enjoyed in the spirit of celebrating the harvest! Here are my top 10 food matches […]

read more …

Read More

Facebook Live Video Posts October 23, 2016

  In this Facebook Live Video chat, we discuss the rising levels of alcohol in wines. You can click on the arrow above to play the video. If you’d like to read the comments, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10154411500734845/ You’ll find the most recent live video wine tasting at the top of the timeline here: www.facebook.com/natdecants We taste every Sunday evening at 6 pm eastern so add us to your calendar and grab a glass of wine. Click on Follow, Like and Signup on the page above to get notified when we go live.         […]

read more …

Read More

Something to Wine About: The Mystique of French Wine Decoded 

It’s understandable to be intimidated by French wine — even if you know enough about wine to know which varietals you like. Intimidated by the French section in your local wine store? That’s understandable — even if you know enough about wine to know which varietals you like. In fact, your question might be, “Why don’t they just put the varietal on the bottle?” It was while reading the book, “Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass” by Natalie MacLean, that I got the answer to my question. Wine and Chocolate Make a Perfect […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

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 […]

read more …

Read More

Best Bottles for Outdoor Dining: Wines for the Wet & Wild

By Rebecca Meïr-Liebman of Chef & Somm A couple of posts ago, I wrote about the best wines for summer entertaining – well, I have a bit more to say about the joys of summer sipping. Here’s Part Two, enjoy! Dip and Sip – The Pool Party Crunchy, oily, salty chips and hot dogs with all the fixin’s are so much fun under the sun, especially poolside! My preference is to wash this super-casual stuff down with an ice cold beer or cider, but there are a few playful wines practically made for chillaxin’ by the pool!   Adamo Estate Winery Rosé, Hockley […]

read more …

Read More