Is Chardonnay Too Cool to be the Teacher’s Pet? Video Report Card

On CTV News, we chat about Chardonnay: it’s rise to popularity, fall from grace and resurgence. We also discuss the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4c) and which Chardonnays you should be drinking now. Let’s start with why Chardonnay became so popular in the first place? · It’s the second most widely planted white wine grape on the planet, but the most popular among drinkers. · The most widely planted white wine grape is a Spanish workhorse grape called Airen that’s often in rustic blends, to put it politely, and it’s gradually being replaced with Chardonnay. · If Chardonnay got […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Online Release Ratings May 14th

    You can access the wines that I reviewed as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. 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. You can also see my wine reviews for April 30th. 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 two before the release based on the LCBO doing so. Curious […]

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Mother’s Day Gifts: Pairing Books and Bottles (Wines & Spines)

Mother’s Day is coming up and you may be thinking about getting Mom a special wine. But why not pair that bottle with a great book? Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean, who offers North America’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com. Welcome, Natalie. What’s the first book and bottle you recommend?         I have Loving Large: A Mother’s Rare Disease Memoir by Ontario author Patti M. Hall, who discovers her teenaged son is diagnosed with gigantism, a condition that could make him grow uncontrollably, and shorten his life without aggressive treatment. She makes it […]

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Celebrating Mother’s Day with the Great Women of Champagne

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about the top Champagnes made by women for Mother’s Day. (Click on the arrow above to play the video.) They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they didn’t sell the businesses or remarry. They took control of the chateaus to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world. In an era when few women were in business at all, these women headed what were, at the time, some […]

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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 Casablanca Valley, Chile                 Sacred Hill Wine Company Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand                   Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand                   Henry of Pelham […]

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The 11 Best Wines for Easter and Passover This Year

  Easter and Passover are right around the corner. That means it’s time for traditional holiday favorites like roast lamb and chocolate bunnies. But what are the best wines to pair with your celebrations? Wine expert Natalie MacLean is here with some tips.   So when it comes to chocolate we need to have wine that’s sweeter, if we don’t do that, the wine will taste bitter by comparison. So the number one pick that I recommend for chocolate is port. I love a good tawny port like this one. It’s a fortified wine, meaning it has higher alcohol, so […]

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World Malbec Day Celebrates Argentina’s Flagship Red Wine

Leanne and I had a great time chatting about Malbec on CTV. Did you know that April 17 is Malbec World Day (#MalbecWorldDay), celebrating the flagship red grape for the wines of Argentina, as well as a blending grape in Bordeaux and other regions? You’ll find my most reviews and ratings of Malbec Wines here. The Malbec grape produces wines that stylistically fall between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with more plummy richness and roundness than Cabernet, but firmer tannins and structure than Merlot. Pair Malbec with beef, turkey, spicy dishes, tomato sauces, meaty casseroles, hamburgers, sausages, steak and kidney pie, […]

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Video: Wine, Lamb and Ham Pairing for Easter

Here’s part two of our conversation about pairing wine with lamb and wine with ham for Easter, though the pairing tips apply year-round if you love these dishes and the wines that make them taste even better. I’ve also included tips on pairing wine with chocolate bunnies … it doesn’t matter whether you start with the ear or the tail!   Leanne: Really, the perfect Easter egg hunt takes place at LCBO for Natalie MacLean who is a celebrated wine writer, who’s here offering great tips for your weekend and we have to talk about chocolate. Natalie: Absolutely! Leanne: Just […]

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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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