5 Romantic Wine & Chocolate Matches for Valentine’s Day

Bev and I chat about 5 to-die-for wine and chocolate pairings on Canada AM. Bev: Valentine’s Day is famous for flowers and romance and decadence. Mix in a little vino and a sweet treat and you’ve got quite a celebration. Natalie MacLean is the author of Unquenchable. She’s an expert when it comes to wine pairings, and this morning she’s in our studio to help us choose fine wine and chocolate combinations. Which is so perfect. Does it get any better than that? Natalie: No, especially if you like to layer your vices. So, don’t just have wine or chocolate. […]

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8 Sexy Wine + Food Pairings: Aphrodisiac Wines

  Pairing wine with aphrodisiac foods sparked a passionate debate on CTV’s Canada AM. (It’s never to early too think about it … wine, that is.) We’ll match libido-lifting dishes with different wine types to stimulate all of your senses. Many ingredients have historically been considered aphrodisiacs, sometimes because the food physically resembled male private parts (avocados, which according to the Aztecs, grew on the testicle tree) to their female counterparts (oysters and figs). Other foods, such as chili peppers, provoked the fiery passion of love, with its increased heart beat and sweating. Yet other foods may have contained minerals […]

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50 Ways to Keep Your Lover: Matching Wine and Chocolate

50 Ways to Keep Your Lover this Valentine’s Day Want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Just share a glass of wine (or three) with your sweetheart. Wine is liquid sensuality: Its heady bouquet stimulates the appetite and its velvet caress soothes that desire. What other drink is described as both ‘voluptuous’ and ‘muscular’? And when you pair wine with the mouth-coating luxury of chocolate, the combination is impossible to resist. The creamy flavors of chocolate go best with sweet, full-bodied, high-alcohol wines. Find wines to complement 50 chocolate dishes in my matching tool at www.nataliemaclean.com/matcher. Just click on “desserts” […]

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Video: Valentine’s Day Wine and Chocolate Pairings

In the video chat above, Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho shares his tips for pairing wine and chocolate for Valentine’s Day and any other time of the year when you want to indulge. He knows his sweet stuff having won gold at the Culinary Olympics in the categories of sugar, chocolate, wedding cakes and dessert presentation. How did you train for the culinary Olympics? Your secrets to making great chocolate? What is the strangest chocolate sculpture you’ve created? Tell me about some of your specialized tools for making chocolate: induction burners, ganache frames, guitars, robot-coupes, heat guns and automatic enrobers? […]

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Wine + Chocolate Killer Combos: Valentine’s Day Video

In our second video chat above, Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho reveals more of his secrets for pairing wine and chocolate, especially for Valentine’s Day. He’s also designed some lovely chocolate creations, and suggests rosemary-infused chocolate with habanero sea salt as an aprodisiac that pairs amazingly well with prosciutto and cheese (and a bear skin rug in front of a blazing fireplace) … What are your tips on pairing solid chocolate with wine? How about chocolate with raspberry or blackberry filling? How about Valentine’s Day? Anything special for the chocolate versus chocolate we enjoy at other times of the […]

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Video: Icewine Cocktails and Pairing with Chili Chips

Karen King, who co-owns The Ice House in Niagara with her husband Jamie Macfarlane. In the video above, she chats about how they’re literally shaking it up with icewine, from slushies to pairings with chili snacks and wasabi peas. Click on the arrow to play the video.     Questions: You did research that revealed surprising insights about icewine in terms of who’s drinking it and when? What kind of sensory food and wine research were you doing? Icewine is probably Canada’s most iconic wine, but you’re shaking up that perception: how is your style different? Tell me about being […]

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Holiday Wine Team Tasting: Your Wines for Gift Giving and Entertaining

On Sunday, 22 wine-loving, football-sacrificing souls (it was Grey Cup) gathered to taste more than 70 spectacular wines. Click on the arrow above to hear about Jennifer’s favourite wine from the tasting, a Chilean Carmenere with bright acidity, nice little spice, great for a wide variety of foods. Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Monique explains her reasons for picking Taittinger Champagne to toast her celebration events.         Monique Ippolito Wine Columnist, Ottawa Living Magazine               Craig’s take on Beringer Quantum red […]

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Gourmet Spreadable Cheese Recipes and Wine Pairings

Gourmet Spreadable Cheese Terrine with Toasted Pecans Recipe Ingredients 8 oz. Rondelé® by Président® Garlic & Herbs Cheese Spread, room temperature 8 oz. Cream Cheese, room temperature 3/4 cup Toasted Pecans, chopped 2 tbs Parsley, chopped 1 tsp Orange Zest Instructions Line a small loaf pan completely with plastic wrap, allowing several inches of overhang. Blend Rondelé® by Président® Gourmet Spreadable Cheese with cream cheese in food processor until completely combined. Layer in pan: 6 tablespoons pecans, half of cheese mixture, parsley, orange zest, remaining half of cheese mixture, finishing with 6 tablespoons pecans. Wrap over-hanging plastic wrap over top […]

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Pairing Wine and Halloween Candy: The Monster Match

Buzz Lightyear and the Wine Witch chat about great wine pairings with Halloween treats on Breakfast Television. Dina: Just call Natalie MacLean for pairing wine and Halloween treats, she’s an online sommelier and what a brilliant idea. Great to see you all festive Natalie. Natalie: Great to see you Dina. Dina: Or as well you are at the door trick-or-treating, the kids are at the door you thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’ We tend to dip into the kids snacks, well I do anyways- Natalie: Yes! Dina: A lot of parents do. Natalie: You bet. Dina: So you are […]

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5 Tips to Pick the Best Thanksgiving Wines: Gobbling Good

In the CTV News video above, we chat about how no other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. Wine is a taste of the harvest along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavors to match. Relax. Have a drink. Try some of my suggestions for great wines to pair with Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings. These are some of my favourite wines for Thanksgiving. Here are my five quick tips for choosing a terrific Thanksgiving wine: 1. Start with bubbly. […]

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