Sparkling Wine from Cava to Cremant: Festive Fizz

Sparkling wines and champagne for New Year’s Eve is our topic in the CTV News clip above. Here’s a list of the bubblies we discussed, including cava from Spain, cremant from France and sparkling wines from Canada and the US. Let me know which sparkling wine you’re opening for New Year’s Eve in the comments below. You can get a shopping list with my top sparkling wines showing the stock at your closest liquor stores when you join as a  VIP Member.         Girls Night Out Sparkling Wine Ontario V.Q.A. Clean, crisp and refreshing: this is a terrific […]

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How to Sabre Champagne + Sparkling Wines

Leanne and I chat about sparkling wines and Champagnes for the holidays. Click on the arrow to play the video above.   Napoléon visits the Moët & Chandon cellars in 1807   Napoleon is credited with inventing the sabering technique and is famous for his phrase: “In victory we deserve Champagne, in defeat, we need it.” The famous Champagne maker Veuve Clicquot, who lost her husband when she was just 27, was a wealthy young widow. She would entertain Napoleon’s officers (early day sampling program). They, in turn, tried to impress her by sabering the tops of the Champagne bottles […]

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Best Bubbly for New Years? There’s a Wine for That

In our continuing holiday wine series with Canadian Press (CP), we chat about great sparkling wines for New Year’s Eve.   You don’t have to go for Champagne, even though this is the traditional treat. There are terrific options from around the world, including Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco and sparkling wine from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States, among many other regions. Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site at www.nataliemaclean.com, chooses her favourite sparkling wines:         Kim Crawford Small Parcels Fizz Sparkling Wine Marlborough, New Zealand             […]

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Which Wine Pairings for turkey, fruitcake or cheese?

  The holiday countdown is on and Canadians are scrambling for last-minute gifts for their hosts and loved ones. Wine and food seem like a natural option at this time of year, but with thousands of bottles lining the shelves at liquor outlets, where does one begin? “I’d start with pairing the wine that you’re going to bring to go with the dinner. Wild guess, might be turkey,” says sommelier Natalie MacLean, editor of the wine review site nataliemaclean.com. She suggests a sparkling wine like Cava from Spain, a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, a dry rose from France or […]

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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. 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 with spiced nuts, olives, cheese and other pre-dinner […]

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5 Tips to Pick Wines for Thanksgiving

No other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. Wine is a taste of the harvest along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavours to match. Relax. Have a drink. And try some of my suggestions for great wines to pair with Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings that Leanne and I chat about in the video above. You can also watch our first video on fall wines here. In my free online matching tool, you can click on “turkey holiday dinner” […]

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Bordeaux Wines, Politics and Wine, Monastrell & Spanish Food Pairings with Lori Budd of Exploring the Glass

Introduction What is it like to participate in the coveted en premiere tasting of the new vintage of Bordeaux wines in France while they’re still in the barrels aging? Which Spanish foods should you pair with the fabulous red wine Monastrell? How does politics influence wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with winemaker, writer and podcast host, Lori Budd who graduated from the prestigious UC Davis enology program. She and her husband own Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles. She’s also the host of the podcast called Exploring the Glass. You can find the wines we discussed […]

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Easter Wines for Fish, Lamb + Ham: Video

Wines for Good Friday fish, Easter brunch, lamb and ham are the focus of our chat on CTV News. In particular, red wines often clash with fish not because of the wine tannin and fish iodine, as previously thought, but rather because of high iron content in the wine. The iron comes mostly from the soil where the vines are grown, but can also be due to winemaking methods. Generalizing about which wines will be high in iron content is difficult. The iron in wine is thought to break down the unsaturated (good) fats in fish and creates that fishy […]

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Easter Wines: The Essential Hip-Hop Guide to Earmark

Some of my favourite meals are those we savour to celebrate Easter: fresh asparagus omelets and ham for brunch. But which Easter wines to serve with them? As a determined hedonist, I like something more than orange juice, thank-you—unless it’s a mimosa. The wines that work best are zesty, mouth-watering and lighter than those we drink in the winter—and they’ll put some spring in your glass.     When the coming of spring heralds warmer weather, we feel like celebrating. One of the best ways is by drinking fresh, vivacious wines that suit the season and complement lighter fare. You […]

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Sherry, Rioja, Cava and Other Spanish Wine Gems with Interpreting Wine’s Lawrence Francis

Introduction Why is Sherry one of the most complex wines on the planet and also one of the most misunderstood? What’s it like to visit the underground caves in Spain where the sparkling wine Cava is aged? How can you choose between Cava, Prosecco and Champagne for different occasions? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Lawrence Francis, host of the Interpreting Wine podcast. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram […]

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