Oregon’s Peak Destinations for Food, Wine and Golf

Nestled in a pastoral Oregon valley between the Cascade Mountains and the Coastal Range lies some of the best cool-climate wineries in North America. While some would say the terroir of the Willamette Valley rivals that of Burgundy, that claim can only be tested when tasted. There are seven American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the Willamette Valley and these diverse areas are home to over 800 wineries with the vast majority in the hills of the north. For the most part this region is best known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals with a growing reputation for Pinot Gris, […]

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Support Ontario Wineries: Buy Direct and Ship to Your Home (Video)

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about how Ontario wineries are particularly hard hit by Covid-19, what they’re doing to pivot and how you can help support these local businesses: – Tasting rooms are closed as are major clients, restaurants in general – Most wineries didn’t have wines in the LCBO to begin with because they don’t produce enough wine to fill that channel – The majority of the 180 wineries have fewer than 20 employees – Many are turning to direct shipping   You can get free shipping and other deals here: nataliemaclean.com/niagara   When you buy a […]

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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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5 Terrible Food and Wine Matches (Video)

On Global’s Morning Television Show, I asked Carolyn and Jeff to try five terrible food and wine matches … their expressions are priceless. We chatted about why these pairings don’t work, and then how to fix them: either with the food or the wine. I can’t cook, so I go the wine route ;) However, a squeeze of lemon or a dash of salt will often help. Here are the wines and pairings we featured below.   We all know that a big red wine pairs well with a steak, but what about more difficult dishes like vegetables and sushi? […]

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The 31 Most Difficult Wine and Grapes Names: How to Pronounce Them

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about the most difficult wine and grape names to pronounce. Click the arrows to watch the videos both above and below. As anglophones, we find many of these names difficult since their origins are often European, with accents and inflections that are new to us. Tip: often e and i are pronounced in the reverse when in the middle of a word, and an e at the end of a name often sounds like a long a. Why bother? We often overlook these terrific wines, and don’t ask for them in liquor stores […]

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Fancy Farm Girl Sue-Ann Staff Makes Down-to-Earth Wines (Video)

Our guest this evening is a fifth-generation grape grower who grew up on the largest privately-owned vineyard in Canada, the Sue Ann Staff Estate Winery. Today, she is one of Canada’s top winemakers, winning more than 500 national and international wine awards, including being twice recognized by the International Wine and Spirits Awards of London, England as one of the top four “Women in Wine” in the world . And she joins me live now from her winery: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club Sue-Ann Staff! What was the exact moment when you realized that you wanted to make wine? […]

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New Zealand Wine: An Unexpectorated Journey

Awatere River vineyards Photo: David Skinner   By David Skinner When Peter Jackson decided upon his native New Zealand to serve as middle earth for his rendering of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, nationalistic nepotism served him less than the splendor of the rich and varied landscapes found in his home islands. The films depicted rugged terrain and lands carved from the mountains by the relentless influence of wind and water and there is still a sense of that primal constitution to the landscapes that now support modern viticulture in the “Shaky Isles”. Marlborough The South Island […]

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A Dionysian Tasting with Thornbury Wines Winemaker Simon Fell

Recently, Canada’s top wine writers gathered in the nation’s capital for a comprehensive tasting of Thorbury wines with head winemaker Simon Fell. You can watch our Live Video Wine Tasting on Facebook right here.     David Skinner Wine & Travel Columnist, Outdoor Magazine   In New Zealand the wine trail always seems to lead to one of Villa Maria’s cellar doors. The flagship brand is represented by over 60 labels but founder, Sir George Fistonich, has been adding other great regional wineries to the family with quality and diversity driving his search for excellence. Thornbury, one of the more […]

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Oregon’s Path to Pinot Perfection (and beyond)

By David Skinner Nearly 15 million years ago, nature exploded in a maelstrom of chaos that cast a blanket of molten rock upon the marine-rich land where a receding ocean once lay. As the newly born volcanic terrain matured, the hillsides softened and westerly flowing flood waters receded enrobing the land in nutrient-rich soil. It would take until 1965 for winemakers to begin transforming the gentle slopes of the Willamette Valley from woodlands to the now familiar landscape lined with rows of vines eager to yield some of the best quality vinifera grapes anywhere. Since then, more than a dozen […]

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Cirque du Soleil is a Mind-Bending Blend with Kim Crawford Wines

    Cirque du Soleil’s forty-first production, Volta, was a thrilling circus for the senses, blending athleticism, artistry, acrobatics, lights and laughter. The show’s name Volta is a nod to both a quick about-turn or pivot in the present, as well as to a return to the past. It also seemed to refer to high-voltage, given the show’s energy and a dazzling displays meant to jolt us out of our everyday lives. If there ever was an event to undo ordinary, this is it. Our team was graciously hosted by Kim Crawford Wines for an evening under the big top […]

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