Making Scents of Wine: How to Describe Wine’s Aromas

We had a great chat on Global Television’s Morning Show Friday about how to recognize and describe the aromas in wine.   Describing wine often has a faint whiff of condescension over a robust layer of barnyard by-product. The adjectives seem to be the fruit of over-ripe imaginations: when I hear “muscular,” “tight,” “rakish,” it’s hard to tell whether the critic is talking about wine or Brad Pitt. “Perfectly integrated” is how I’d describe my son’s multi-racial nursery school; and “legendary concentration” is what I need to figure out my income tax return. However, “opulent” is indeed a legitimate wine […]

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Mother’s Day Gifts: Pairing Books and Bottles (Wines & Spines)

Mother’s Day is coming up and you may be thinking about getting Mom a special wine. But why not pair that bottle with a great book? Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean, who offers North America’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com. Welcome, Natalie. What’s the first book and bottle you recommend?         I have Loving Large: A Mother’s Rare Disease Memoir by Ontario author Patti M. Hall, who discovers her teenaged son is diagnosed with gigantism, a condition that could make him grow uncontrollably, and shorten his life without aggressive treatment. She makes it […]

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Spicy Food & Wine Pairings: Cinco de Mayo, Tex-Mex, Indian Food Matches

On Global Television’s Morning Show today, we chatted about wine and spicy food pairings than to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. What better time to explore these than on May 5, the day in 1862 when a rag-tag Mexican army defeated the far larger French forces under Emperor Napoleon III. Sure, you could toast with a cerveza or tequila, but which wine? The growing Mexican wine industry is gaining respect, particularly the region of Baja California, and among the leading producers is L.A. Cetto, creating exceptionally well-priced red wines. But let’s broaden the field, and look at wines from around the […]

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The 11 Best Wines for Easter and Passover This Year

  Easter and Passover are right around the corner. That means it’s time for traditional holiday favorites like roast lamb and chocolate bunnies. But what are the best wines to pair with your celebrations? Wine expert Natalie MacLean is here with some tips.   So when it comes to chocolate we need to have wine that’s sweeter, if we don’t do that, the wine will taste bitter by comparison. So the number one pick that I recommend for chocolate is port. I love a good tawny port like this one. It’s a fortified wine, meaning it has higher alcohol, so […]

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Video: Wine, Lamb and Ham Pairing for Easter

Here’s part two of our conversation about pairing wine with lamb and wine with ham for Easter, though the pairing tips apply year-round if you love these dishes and the wines that make them taste even better. I’ve also included tips on pairing wine with chocolate bunnies … it doesn’t matter whether you start with the ear or the tail!   Leanne: Really, the perfect Easter egg hunt takes place at LCBO for Natalie MacLean who is a celebrated wine writer, who’s here offering great tips for your weekend and we have to talk about chocolate. Natalie: Absolutely! Leanne: Just […]

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Easter Wines for Fish, Lamb + Ham: Video

Wines for Good Friday fish, Easter brunch, lamb and ham are the focus of our chat on CTV News. In particular, red wines often clash with fish not because of the wine tannin and fish iodine, as previously thought, but rather because of high iron content in the wine. The iron comes mostly from the soil where the vines are grown, but can also be due to winemaking methods. Generalizing about which wines will be high in iron content is difficult. The iron in wine is thought to break down the unsaturated (good) fats in fish and creates that fishy […]

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Video: Wine + Cheese > Who Wore It Best? Perfect Pairings

Wine and cheese: two of life’s greatest pleasures … On CTV’s The Social, we search for the perfect pairing with a fun take on the fashion quiz: Who wore it best? Which one of two wines paired best with a particular cheese? Find out who got it right and who didn’t ;)     7 Unusually Great Wine & Cheese Pairings Guide     Here are the wines we featured on the show … see links below for reviews and to find them in your local liquor store.     Cheddar Hard cheeses like cheddar become not just stronger, but […]

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6 Spring Wines You Should Try This Season + Food Pairings

Spring has sprung and as we cast off the heavy sweaters and coats, it’s also time to lighten up our wine wardrobe. Here to share what’s in fashion with vinos this season is Natalie MacLean who offers North America’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com   So nice to see you, Natalie! Can you give us a bit of an overview of what trends we’re seeing in the wine world this spring?     · Today we’re talking about Riesling, Rosé, and Gamay! · They’re all wines meant to be consumed young, rather than aged. · They’re fresh and […]

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How to Find Budget-Friendly and Splurge-Worthy Wines? (Video)

On Global’s Morning Show, we chat about how to find budget-friendly and splurge-worthy wines.         Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco Veneto D.O.C.G., Italy                   Henry of Pelham Winery Cuvee Catharine Rosé Brut Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada                 Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne Champagne A.O.C., France                     Westcott Vineyards Chardonnay 2020 Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A.                   Joseph Drouhin Chablis de Vaudon Chablis 2010 […]

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Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about pairing wine with romantic movies for Valentine’s Day. Got a favourite that we didn’t include?   Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day   Michael: As we look ahead to Valentine’s Day you may be interested in some wine pairings. Leanne Cusack and a very special guest aren’t suggesting pairings with food though, very interesting. Leanne: Not the typical at all, Michael. And not just wine and chocolate because Natalie MacLean, wine writer extraordinaire says, “Too ordinary for you right now”. Natalie: Exactly! Been there, done that. It’s time to pair wine with romantic movies […]

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