Vine Oscars: Celebrity Wines to Sip During the Show

By Natalie MacLean On CTV’s The Social, we we chat about winemaking movie stars … can you guess who made which wine? When I think of the Oscars, I think wine. Why? For many film industry luminaries, conspicuous consumption such as owning a yacht or even a restaurant is so 2019. These days, if you really want to show some class, you own a winery. There’s no better photo opp than one with you and your trophy wife or boy toy pruning the vines or pressing the grapes.       That’s why movie actors, directors and producers are getting […]

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8 Sexy Wine + Food Pairings: Aphrodisiac Wines

Pairing wine with aphrodisiac foods sparks a passionate debate on CTV. (It’s never to early too think about it … wine, that is.) We 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 that increase energy, […]

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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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10 Best Merlot Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Merlot

Merlot became a brand name wine in the 1980s because of its smooth, rich, easy-drinking flavors and texture. It has less acidity and astringency (that furry mouth feeling from tannins) than many other grapes and a medium-body that appeals to many palates.               Reif Estate Winery First Growth Merlot 2016 Niagara River, Ontario VQA, Canada         You’ll find my Top 10 Merlot reviews and ratings here. Merlot has since been somewhat vilified, like Chardonnay, for being boring: the soft jazz of the wine world. Remember Miles’ scorn for Merlot in the […]

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Icewine: Canada’s Gold in a Glass

Icewine: Canada’s golden winter elixir … that’s the hot topic of our segment above on CTV’s The Social. What is icewine and how is it different from other sweet wines? Why is Canada the world leader in producing it? Which are the best icewines to buy right now and which food pairs best with icewine? You’ll find all of the icewines we discussed in this segment, along with dry red and white wines, showing you the stock for each wine at your closest liquor stores so that you can try them this weekend. Where was icewine first made? Icewine is believed […]

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Canadian Icewine: Heroic Harvest = Epic Wine

On Global Television yesterday, we discussed the Canadian Icewine harvest. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the wines that we’ll be featuring, along with reports from the field.   Fun Facts: The Upside of the Deep Freeze   Our deep freeze recently turned out to be bonus for Ontario icewine winemakers. The sustained cold snap and arctic temperatures allowed them to harvest grapes in an unusually short time. Who makes the most Icewine? Ontario produces about 80% of Canadian icewine, with the remainder mostly in British Columbia though some is also made in both Quebec and Nova Scotia. About 60 […]

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How to Sabre Champagne + Sparkling Wines

Leanne and I chat about sparkling wines and Champagnes for the holidays. Click on the arrow to play the video above. Napoléon visits the Moët & Chandon cellars in 1807 Napoleon is credited with inventing the sabering technique and is famous for his phrase: “In victory we deserve Champagne, in defeat, we need it.” The famous Champagne maker Veuve Clicquot, who lost her husband when she was just 27, was a wealthy young widow. She would entertain Napoleon’s officers (early day sampling program). They, in turn, tried to impress her by sabering the tops of the Champagne bottles that she […]

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Gift Wines and Wines for Turkey Dinner: Global Morning Show

Rosie, Anthony and I chat about great gift wines and wines for turkey dinner and the holidays on Global Morning Show. Get your custom shopping list of great wines showing the stock for each bottle at your closest liquor stores, including lots of Canadian wines. (A delivery of such didn’t make it to the studio in time.)   Posted with permission of Global News.                 Sterling Vineyards Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay 2014 Central Coast, California, United States                 Chivite Gran Feudo Rosé 2017 Navarra DO, Spain

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Video: Which Wines for Turkey, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie?

CTV’s Your Morning Host Ben Mulroney and chat about which wines to pair with your holiday turkey dinner, from appetizers and the big bird to side dishes and dessert. Click on the arrow above to play the video. Happy holidays! Natalie Start with an aperitif As the heady aroma of the turkey wafts through the house, and sounds of Miracle on 34th Street come from the livingroom, offer family and friends an aperitif. This pre-dinner drink will whet their appetites before they sit down to the table. An excellent choice is a chilled dry sherry. Its nutty flavours go well […]

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How to Pair Wine with People on Your Gift List (Video)

‘Tis the season for holiday entertaining and gift giving. What if you’d like to give someone a bottle of wine? How do you know which one to choose? How much do you spend? Here to help us with that is wine expert Natalie MacLean.   Welcome Natalie. So if choosing the right wine is so tricky, why should we give wine as a gift at all? When you give the gift of wine, doubles are fine unlike toaster ovens, there are no wrong sizes unlike that ugly sweater and re-gifting is so much easier compared to fruit cake or a […]

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