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 can pair […]

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From Snout to Tailfeather: Wine Takes Wing in Niagara

Approaching Featherstone Winery, I can see a pepper storm of starlings flying over the vineyard. Husband and wife team David Johnson and Louise Engel have a passion for all things fowl. Before they became winemakers, they ran a gourmet poultry shop, selling tasty birds, from turkeys to quails. (That’s where the “feather comes from; the “stone” is the Niagara Escarpment.) However, those hungry starlings that feed on the ripening grapes are no friends of David and Louise. That’s why I’m going to meet their latest avian associate today, a Harris Hawk that’s trained to hunt those pesky birds. In 1989, […]

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Tania’s Magical Matches: Wine Pairing for Creamy Cheese Fondue

By Tania Thomas Wine and cheese are a truly perfect pair. An especially satisfying experience is to enjoy the two together after a hard day of playing in the snow. Imagine a roaring fireplace, snowed-in mountain lodge and a pot of warm and gooey cheese fondue. Heaven! As a national dish of Switzerland, fondue was associated with rustic mountain life from the lowlands of western, French-speaking, Switzerland. A rich and expensive Gruyère cheese was used for its preparation with the addition of wine and seasoning. If you feel inspired; get started by rubbing the pot with a halved garlic clove. […]

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Can Organic Wine Survive Niagara? The Chilling Answer …

Under heavy gunfire, we run for the chopper. Grey clouds roil overhead as the wind whips our faces. The ground man signals us to scramble in, but then stops and waves for us to turn around. As we do, we’re blinded by white flashes. We’re not being fired at though: it’s just the smiling tour guide snapping photos of us. The shotgun blasts are automatic “bird bangers” to scare birds away from the fields of Niagara grapevines around us. This isn’t Baghdad, but it is war. These birds travel in black clouds of peckish delight swooping down to strip vineyards […]

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Pairing Wine with Helicopter & Quail at Malivoire Winery

On a recent visit to Niagara, I was fortunate to spend time with Martin Malivoire of Malivoire winery, a producer of spectacular Pinot Noirs. We arrived at his gravity-flow winery by helicopter along with Magdalena Kaiser-Smit of the Ontario Wine Council. This gave us a terrific overview of the region (though I was glad to be on firm ground again when we landed) We tasted through a range of his lovely Pinots, both from the estate vineyard and from the coveted Moire Vineyard. You’ll find my reviews of the current and past vintages here.     Then we went on […]

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Matching Cheese and Wine for Entertaining

Sirius XM talk show hosts Christine, Kate and Sharon and I chat about The Great Canadian Wine & Cheese Match in the clip above (click on the arrow to listen) You can also watch clips from CTV News, Global Television, CBC News and CTV Morning Live with more pairings, as well as a radio interview on CJAD, Montreal’s most popular talk show.   Matching Cheese and Wine for Entertaining Christine: Hi there, I’m Christine Bentley and I don’t think Kate Millers going to let me say one word here because we are talking about wine with Natalie MacLean. Hi there Natalie! […]

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LCBO Wines on Sale: Bargains and Best Buys May 2015

Sponsored Post by Philippe Dandurand Wine Agency You can get the complete shopping list of these wines in your closest liquor stores here.   [yellow tail] Big Bold Red 2014 New South Wales, Australia Regular Price: $13.95 Sale Price: $11.95 May 1 to May 25           Georges Duboeuf Gamay 2013 Beaujolais-Villages, France Regular Price: $13.95  Sale Price: $12.95  May 1 to May 25         Frescobaldi Remole 2013 Tuscany, Italy Regular Price: $12.95  Sale Price: $10.95  May 1 to May 25         Roodeberg 2013 Western Cape W.O., South Africa Regular Price: […]

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LCBO Wines on Sale: Bargains and Best Buys April 2015

Sponsored Post by Philippe Dandurand Wine Agency You can get the complete shopping list of these wines in your closest liquor stores here.   Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2012 Mendoza, Argentina Regular Price: $14.95 Sale Price: $12.95 April 1 to April 30            Yellow Tail Merlot 2013 South Australia Regular Price: $11.95 Sale Price: $10.95 April 1 to April 30           35 South Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2012 Chile Regular Price: $12.95 Sale Price: $10.95  April 1 to April 30            Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Valle de Aconcagua, […]

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Frolicking with Sheep and Hawks in Niagara

One of the highlights of my recent visit to Niagara was meeting husband-and-wife Louis Engel and David Johnson at Featherstone Winery. They, in turn, introduced me to one of their hawks, Zeke. He was an adorable little fellow that we took out into the vineyard with us. I noticed that as we walked down the rows of vines, the birds went silent. That’s because Zeke is a hunter, trained to go after the number one enemy of ripened grapes: starlings. Other birds, such as robins and orioles, also attack the fruit, but starlings cost the industry hundreds of thousands of […]

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