California Wines: Grapes, Styles, Regions and What to Buy

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about why Californian wines are among the most popular at the liquor store.  You can buy these wines in liquor stores now as well as a selection of premium wines available now for a limited time online at the LCBO. You can also watch our second chat about Napa Valley wines here.   How the wildfires impacted California wineries?   Thankfully, 2021 is a “drama free harvest.” It’s small but mighty, as drought is the defining feature in Napa and Sonoma, as it was the third-driest year in more than a century, and the […]

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9 Best Napa Valley Wines to Drink Now

On CTV news, Leanne and I chat about terrific  Napa Valley wines you can buy now for a limited time online at the LCBO. You can watch our first chat about California wines on CTV News here.   We’re narrowing our focus on Napa Valley wines in this segment. Tell us about this region.   What would surprise us about Napa Valley?       It’s the most famous wine growing region in the U.S. but it’s actually tiny, producing just 4% of Californian wine and only 0.4% of the world’s wine production. The valley floor is just 30 miles long […]

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11 Best Wines to Pair with Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

No other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. But which wines to pair with turkey and all the side dishes? Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine pairing classes at nataliemaclean.com   What’s your top tip when it comes to pairing wine with Thanksgiving dinner?   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 flavors to match from sweet creamed corn to more bitter greens and veggies, plus […]

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How to Choose the Best Wine Class or Course

  Back to Wine School Now that the kids have headed back to school, let’s chat about how the adults have changed the way they learn about wine, especially with online courses. It’s a virtual world of wine learning at your fingertips. Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   Welcome, Natalie Great to be here!   First, tell us why online wine courses have become so popular? Online courses offer the best of both worlds: they’re accessible to everyone no matter where you live, they’re more comprehensive than a […]

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What You’ll Learn in Online Wine Classes and Courses

Back to Wine School Now that the kids have headed back to school, let’s chat about how the adults have changed the way they learn about wine, especially with online courses. It’s a virtual world of wine learning at your fingertips. Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   Welcome, Natalie Great to be here!   First, tell us why online wine courses have become so popular? Online courses offer the best of both worlds: they’re accessible to everyone no matter where you live, they’re more comprehensive than a one-off […]

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Wine Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe Paired with Hester Creek The Judge

Created by Terrafina Restaurant chef Adair Scott, this recipe is chock full of savoury flavours and easy to source ingredients. The wine braised lamb shanks are so deliciously tender, they melt right off the bone. Serve them on a bed of cous cous with roasted vegetables with our rich and refined Judge. A beautifully structured wine, that pairs wonderfully with this flavourful and hearty dish. INGREDIENTS 6 lamb shanksSea salt and fresh ground pepper to evenly coat2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil2 onions, chopped3 large carrots, chopped10 cloves garlic, minced3 bay leaves1 bottle Hester Creek Estate Winery Judge2L beef broth5 […]

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The Best Online Wine Tasting & Pairing Classes (Video)

As the kids head back to school, let’s chat about how the adults have changed the way they learn about wine, especially with online courses. It’s a virtual world of wine learning at your fingertips. Yesterday, I chatted with Nicole Dube on CTV’s Morning Live show.   First, tell us why online wine courses have become so popular?   Online courses offer the best of both worlds: they’re accessible to everyone no matter where you live, they’re more comprehensive than a one-off class, but not as technical and time-consuming as college courses.   Plus, there’s no drinking, then driving home, […]

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7 Best Wine and Book Pairings: What to Drink While You Read (Video)

Alex and I had so much fun chatting about pairing bottles with books on CTV’s morning show.   What’s the first pairing you recommend?   We’re starting on the west coast with The New York Times bestselling memoir, Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. After Cheryl loses her mother to cancer and her own marriage is destroyed, she decides to hike the Pacific Northwest Trail, more a thousand miles, from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State alone and without any training. It’s a deeply moving story of how this young woman heals through this treacherous journey     […]

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Pairing Wine & Creative Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

  Carolyn, Jeff and I chat about pairing wine and grilled cheese sandwiches for Canada Day on the national edition of Global Television’s Morning Show.   These aren’t your ordinary grilled cheese sammies: step it up on July 1 or 4, and create one of these for yourself and for your guests.         Loblaw’s Executive Chef, Mark Russell, created these terrific grilled cheese sandwich recipes. The accompaniments are part of Loblaw’s From Our Chef line.   Here are my favourite Canadian wines that I’ve tasted recently, plus wines from around the world in the spirit of international peace and diversity through food and […]

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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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