Fall Wines: A Warming Taste Trend

Wine styles are as seasonal as clothing. In the summer, I drink light, refreshing wines that remind me of a simple T-shirt and shorts: perfect for sun-baked beaches and country road strolls. But in the fall, my wine, like my clothes, becomes warmer, more layered and better able to combat those cool winds of October. In the video above, Leanne and I chat about fall fashions in wine, from the run-way to your dining room table. The wines featured in this show include: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay, California Toasted Head Chardonnay, California Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon, California Santa […]

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6 Tips to Make You Wine Smart Quick (Video)

    1. Expensive Doesn’t Mean Better: Do you need to pay a lot to get a great wine? Ruffino Prosecco, Santa Margherita     Ruffino Prosecco Tuscany, Italy                 Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco Veneto D.O.C.G., Italy       2. Look for Second Labels Mondavi           Woodbridge Winery Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 California, United States                 Robert Mondavi Winery Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Central Coast, California, United States           3. Quick Pairing Tip: […]

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Tasting Across Time and Terroir: The 9 Bordeaux Wine Appellations of Dourthe

Recently, Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital for a Dourthe portfolio tasting with Head Winemaker, Frédéric Bonnaffous. Established in 1840, Dourthe is recognized as a leader in the Bordeaux of France, with a particular passion for the various soil types and the wines best suited to them. The nine estates that comprise Dourthe all focus on the unique character of their respective appellations. Here are the team’s notes and impressions.   Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen   What an honour to meet head winemaker, Frédéric Bonnaffous, and to learn about the various châteaux of Dourthe in Bordeaux. […]

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Tasting History with Washington’s Chateau Ste Michelle Winery

Yesterday, Canada’s top writers and sommeliers gathered in our nation’s capital for two tastings with Chateau Ste. Michelle Head Winemaker, Bob Berteau. These were historic tastings, with mature vintages drawn from the winery’s library, as well as new vintages in the market now (or soon). It was also an historic first for a Facebook Live Video Winemaker Event in Canada, as we were joined virtually by many other wine lovers in real-time who were also able to ask Bob questions. You can see a snippet of that live stream above by clicking on the arrow, and watch the complete wine […]

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Pairing Wine & Creative Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Video)

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 drink!         Baldersen Extra […]

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Tasting Wine Out in Left Field with this New Zealand Winery

Last night, we were joined by special guest winemaker, Richard Painter of Te Awa Wines, helping us pair food with New Zealand wines. Click the arrow on the video above to watch ​our chat. P.S. ​Want to know when we go live next Sunday with our special guest? Tune in here for our Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting: www.nataliemaclean.com/live Click on the “Follow” and “Like” buttons on this page to get notified when we go live. We’ll be simultaneously broadcasting on Facebook Live, YouTube Live Stream and Twitter Live Video via Periscope. You’ll find upcoming and past Live Tasting Videos […]

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The Wine that Came in from the Cold: Icewine

Not a breath of wind caresses the snow-blanketed vineyards. The tar-black sky is pin-pricked with stars, and a full moon sends shadows slithering out between the scarecrow vines. Stooped figures in Arctic gear coax their bare fingers to snap off bunches of frozen grapes. That’s what the annual icewine harvest looks like in Niagara at this time of the year. It results in a wine that combines the sweetness of lusciously ripe fruit with a silver edge of acidity that’s as crisp as the winter wind. Despite its modern association with Canada, icewine was actually discovered in Germany, by accident, […]

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Wine and Comfort Food Pairing: Revel in Your Rut

Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be forward-looking to spring with a chirpy article about zesty white wines to pair with fresh vegetables, but it’s so cold outside … and I’m tired of writing seasonally-appropriate editorial content. So let’s make wallowing fun, and turn to comfort wines paired with comfort food. In our continuing video series with Canadian Press, we look at quick tips on pairing those old favourites, from braised meat to pasta in cream sauce with wine. It’ll make you (almost) care what time of year it is when you have bottled sunshine. Here are my favourite […]

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Surprising Pairings for Villa Maria Wines from Antipasto to Steak

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital for a comprehensive tasting of Villa Maria wines from New Zealand.   Terry Jeans Wine Writer, Ottawa Wine Guide   What an elaborate tasting! We had the chance to have an amazing tasting with one of the viticulturists from Villa Maria– Ollie Powrie, who presented us with an insightful session of tasting over a dozen wines from one of the only New Zealand owned and family operated wineries. Founded and owned by the venerated Sir George Fistonich, a real icon of the wine industry, who has been part of […]

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Austrian Wine is more than Gruner: Embrace the Unique

By Mymi Myriam Mozart, the Alps, Baroque architecture and Schnitzels are some of the things that spring to mind when thinking of Austria. This alpine country is sadly not often first associated with wine, but when it is, the perception is that it produces mainly sweet wines. That’s quite odd for a country that has been making wine for over four centuries, whose value of recent exports has grown by an impressive € 6 million, amounting to an outstanding sales record of € 145 million (according to the 2014 Austrian Wine Statistics report). Austria ranks at #19 as a wine producing […]

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