Which Wine Pairings for turkey, fruitcake or cheese?

The holiday countdown is on and Canadians are scrambling for last-minute gifts for their hosts and loved ones. Wine and food seem like a natural option at this time of year, but with thousands of bottles lining the shelves at liquor outlets, where does one begin? “I’d start with pairing the wine that you’re going to bring to go with the dinner. Wild guess, might be turkey,” says sommelier Natalie MacLean, editor of the wine review site nataliemaclean.com. She suggests a sparkling wine like Cava from Spain, a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, a dry rose from France or a […]

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Cultivated Success: Prosecco’s Popularity is no Accident

 By Greg Hughes Some say the national drink of Italy is espresso, others say it’s Prosecco. Northeastern Italy’s distinctively aromatic sparkling wine is now beloved by the majority of the wine drinking world. Often, it is misrepresented as an inexpensive alternative to traditional sparkling wines, which are laborious and costly to produce. Could this be so? Is it merely a cost-saving mix for mimosas? Definitely not, especially considering it is priced in a similar bracket to local sparkling or even Cava, Spain’s traditionally made sparkling wine. There are plenty of other choices available to consumers, yet they overwhelmingly choose Prosecco. Sales […]

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Frothy Tales from the Vino in Villa Festival: A Primer on Prosecco

By Jacky Blisson In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Prosecco sales skyrocketed internationally. The popular explanation was that Champagne drinkers were trading down to accommodate shrinking wallets. This may have been a key factor spurring the initial upswing, but Prosecco sales continue to soar, unmatched by other non-Champagne sparkling wines. Many attribute Prosecco’s long term success to its vibrantly fruity and uncomplicated style. Others suggest that the refreshingly low alcohol, typically a modest 11 to 11.5%, is the main appeal. Yet this seems an to be over simplistic analysis. It fails to take into account the incredible expression […]

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A Sparkling Dilemma: What’s the Real Difference Between Champagne and Prosecco?

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance What’s the real difference between Champagne and Prosecco? Priya: Ahh bubbly! There are so many styles of sparkling wine but Champagne and Prosecco are undoubtedly the two most popular. Alex: You’re right about that my lady. However, they are distinctly different from one another. So much so that an experienced taster should almost never be fooled – though there are some Proseccos out there that bear similarities to iconic Champagne – but they are rarely encountered and cost equally as much. P: Interesting. As a not-so-experienced taster, I doubt I’d be able to […]

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Prosecco with Lemon Sponge Cake, Lemon Curd and Raspberry Ice Cream

Bottles & Bites by Shari Goodman Natalie’s Challenge: Find a bottle. Pair with bites. My Goals: Bottle must be under $25. Bites must be delicious. Lemon Sponge Cake, Lemon Curd and Raspberry Ice Cream Sun meets bubbles in this pairing of bottle and bites. With a light but refreshing drink and dessert combination, this is sure to cool you off in the middle of a heat wave. I love bubbles in the summer. And Prosecco was made for summertime sipping. This Italian sparkling wine (Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, $18.95) is a light, refreshing and affordable alternative to French […]

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Video: Prosecco and Pinot Grigio Primer for the Holidays with Santa Margherita

  What a terrific chat with Nicola Lovato, Brand Ambassador, Santa Margherita! Click on the arrow above to watch the video.   P.S. Join us Sunday October 8, at 6 pm eastern with John Williams, Winemaker, Frog’s Leap Winery. www.nataliemaclean.com/live Want to know when we go live Monday with John Williams? 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. Watch previous episodes of the Sunday Sipper Club (SSC) and find out who’s coming up next. […]

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Santa Margherita Wine Tasting: To Pinot Grigio and Beyond

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in our nation’s capital recently for a comprehensive tasting and overview of Santa Margherita wines. Their overall impressions and reviews are below. Click the arrow in any video to watch it. Monique Sosa Wine Columnist, Ottawa Life Magazine  Virtually everyone I know has had a taste of the eminent Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. It is the number one selling white wine in Canada and a consistent top seller in North America altogether. Not so long after the rise of their Grigio’s popularity, we started to notice more and more Santa Margherita labels of various styles of […]

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5 Dynamite Bubblies for a Sparkling Holiday and How to Find Wonderful Wines to Celebrate

By Melissa Pulvermacher ‘Tis the season for family, food and sparkling wine. Every year I feature my favourite bottle of bubbly before New Year’s Eve. This year, I decided to write about my top 5 picks to make sure everyone can ring in the new year with bubbles. To help you navigate the intimidating selection, all you need to know is the basics. Mostly you need to be able to navigate whether a bottle is traditional method or tank method and the level of dosage (sweetness added to the wine by concentrated grape juice). 1. Traditional Method This is the […]

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7 Secrets about Prosecco Sparkling Wine that you don’t know but should

By Rebecca Meïr- Liebman of Chef & Somm As New Year’s Eve approaches our thoughts turn to bubbles, after all, for pure joie de vivre, there’s nothing like a flute of sparkling wine. Invariably, Champagne comes to mind, but good luck finding a decent bottle for under $40. Hey, if you can spring for a Jeroboam of Armand de Brignac Gold at $2,239 a pop, go for it, but for the rest of us, the search for something of decent quality and good value continues. Prosecco to the Rescue Often thought of as merely a cheap and cheerful alternative to Champagne […]

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Find Your Holiday Gift Wine from Our Team Tasting Top Picks

Our last big team tasting for the year had 150 bottles on the tables, along a variety of Balderson Cheddar Cheeses in preparation for our pairing contest. .   You can watch the video reviews below of our team’s favourite discoveries.       Matt Steeves Wine Expert, CTV Morning Live                 Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Rachelle O’Connor Wine Blogger & Judge         Photo by Cherie Cole Cherie Cole Restaurant Wine Consultant         Sharon Prionas Wine […]

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