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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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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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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8 Best Wines for St. Patrick’s Day + Irish Food Pairings (Video)

St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated with a pint or two, but what if you love wine? On CTV News, we chat about the best pairings for Irish food and classic dishes. Is there a wine that pairs with corned beef and cabbage? This begs the question: Can we skip the corned beef and cabbage and just have wine? My Irish grandmother is probably turning over in her grave.     Traditional matches for this meal usually include Irish stout, like Guinness. But what about wine? Corned beef is salty and cabbage can be skunky, so you’ll avoid those wines […]

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How to Find Budget-Friendly and Splurge-Worthy Wines? (Video)

On Global’s Morning Show, we chat about how to find budget-friendly and splurge-worthy wines.         Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco Veneto D.O.C.G., Italy                   Henry of Pelham Winery Cuvee Catharine Rosé Brut Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada                 Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne Champagne A.O.C., France                     Westcott Vineyards Chardonnay 2020 Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A.                   Joseph Drouhin Chablis de Vaudon Chablis 2010 […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings February 19

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 February 5th. 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 about what […]

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Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about pairing wine with romantic movies for Valentine’s Day. Got a favourite that we didn’t include?   Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day   Michael: As we look ahead to Valentine’s Day you may be interested in some wine pairings. Leanne Cusack and a very special guest aren’t suggesting pairings with food though, very interesting. Leanne: Not the typical at all, Michael. And not just wine and chocolate because Natalie MacLean, wine writer extraordinaire says, “Too ordinary for you right now”. Natalie: Exactly! Been there, done that. It’s time to pair wine with romantic movies […]

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6 Low-Alcohol Wines That Taste Great

If you love vino but want to lower your alcohol intake, there are lots of wines out there that fit the bill. But which ones are worth giving a try? Here to recommend some of her favourite low-alcohol wines is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes. Lovely to see you, Natalie! Let’s start by explaining what is considered low alcohol in wine? • Most dry table wines are about 13% alcohol • Anything under that, I consider low alcohol and you’ll find that usually on the front or back label in tiny mice type Do low-alcohol […]

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8 Best California Wines to Drink Now

  A new crop of Californian wines are hitting liquor store shelves this month. Here to tell us about which ones we should look for is Natalie MacLean, who offers North America’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com. Give us an overview of California wine, Natalie.   California wine country is vast, stretching from the Oregon border in the north, down to Mexico in the south: wine grapes grown in 49 of California’s 58 counties.   California accounts for more than 80%of U.S. wine production and is the fourth leading wine producer in the world. That said, many wineries […]

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Top 6 Wine New Year’s Resolutions

Every New Year, I make—and break—several resolutions about exercise or housecleaning. However, I also make a resolution or two about wine, which have always been easy to keep because they’re fun. Here are a few of my favorites that you can try this year. 1. I resolve to try something new It’s easy to get into a rut with wine and buy the same brand every time. But the pleasure of wine is in its diversity. If you like full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from California, try one from Argentina, or even a different robust red, such as an Argentine Malbec.   […]

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