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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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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Pairing Wine and Halloween Treats (Video)

 Lots of laughs on CTV’s The Social this week! Click the arrow above to watch the video. The hosts chose the theme of a Royal Halloween, so Lainey dressed as Prince George, Cyn was Daenerys from Game of Thrones, Mel was Megan Markle and Marci was Queen Ramonda from the Black Panther movie. I channeled my inner (royal) wine witch and brought my broom shtick to the show. What a hoot we had together! Here are the tips, tricks and wines we discussed … Something a bit scary happens on Halloween: we’re surrounded by lots of treats, but will […]

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10 Best Pinot Noir Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Pinot Noir

Leanne and I had fun chatting about Pinot Noir this past Wednesday on CTV News! I’ll be posting the wines we featured soon. Pinot Noir is a wine of great sensuality, a silky texture and seductive aromas. “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot Noir,” winemaker André Tchelistcheff once remarked. This thin-skinned berry is known as the “heartbreak grape” because it’s difficult to grow and is unstable even bottled. That’s why you often pay more for Pinot Noir than most other red wines. You’ll find my top 10 Pinot Noir reviews and ratings here,  including pinot noirs that […]

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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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How to Pair Wine with Any Hamburger (Video)

On Global Television’s Morning Show Thursday, we paired wine with many types of hamburgers. Nothing says summer like a juicy two-fisted burger and beer – it’s casual and a good pairing. But what if you want wine with your patti? Wine is also a great pairing, but we think it’s too fancy for the backyard and burgs. However it’s not, and it has a wide range of flavours and styles for the imaginative burgers we have here today.   The Daniel – Vegan Patty Grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, crushed hot peppers, spicy vegan sauce. In the beginning, Shant Mardirosian, […]

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This is Why Summer Wines are Different from Winter Wines (Video)

We has such fun chatting about spring and summer wines on CTV’s The Social yesterday!   Are the wines we drink in the winter that different from the ones we drink in the spring and summer? · Yes, most people’s drinking habits change with the seasons. · We typically drink heavy, alcoholic, heavily oaked wines in the winter because they comfort us and keep us warm. · “Drink what you like” remains in effect no matter the weather, but for most people, lighter drinking in the summer generally means more consumption of white wines.     LIGHT & COLD This […]

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Video: Why is Rosé One of the Fastest Growing Wine Categories?

One of the fastest growing categories in the liquor store is rosé wine. Here to tell us why and which ones we should buy is Natalie MacLean, the editor of Canada’s most popular wine review site at nataliemaclean.com – why has rosé had such a bad reputation in the past? – how are modern rosés different in terms of how they taste? – how are they different in terms of how they’re made? – you’ve brought some today: which regions should we be looking for in the liquor store? – how are Canadian rosés different from French ones? – is […]

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Music and Wine Pairing: Cabernet in C Major

  On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we had so much fun pairing wine and music. Click on the arrow above to play the video. This was also the topic on CTV News with Leanne further below. MARCI Welcome back. Would you add heavy metal music to your playlist if someone told you it’d make your wine taste better? Well, our next guest says it’s something you should consider because a growing body of research suggests music may influence the way our brain interprets the flavour of wine. LAINEY Natalie MacLean is the editor of Canada’s largest wine review site and […]

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About Natalie MacLean

How can you help me? You love wine and you want to know which bottles to buy and what dishes to pair with them. I’m here to help. Think of me as your red-nosed superhero, using my jaw-dropping powers for your wine-drinking pleasure: Buy wines you love in your price range with my wine reviews that include food pairings. Download my free mobile apps that have front label scanners and barcode readers to instantly access my reviews and tell you which liquor stores closest to you have the wines in stock. Learn about how to taste wine and pair it […]

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