Best Canada Day Wines: CTV

Marci and I chat about the winners of The Great Canadian Wine Match on CTV this morning. We focused on the winning wines that paired best with cheese, chicken, beef, seafood, pizza and dessert.

You can find the complete list of Canadian wines here that were nominated. Here’s a text shopping list of more wines in stores now to celebrate July 1.

Happy Canada Day!


Marci: Thousands of Canadians have spoken and out of 279 entries six Canadian wines have emerged victorious in the first ever Great Canadian Wine Match. Here this morning to unveil the winners is wine writer Natalie McLean. It’s always nice to see you, Natalie

Natalie: It’s great to see you, too.

Marci: So tell us about this competition and how it differs from other competitions, because there are a lot of them right there.

Natalie: There are, and most competitions are judged by experts, so sommeliers, wine writers, that sort of thing. But this is the first People’s Choice Awards; I call it the bottoms up because it’s coast to coast. Canadians nominating the wines they love, so we really had a terrific showing and people voted online at so there was a lot of social media engagement and these are the winners.

Marci: So 279 entries and we’ve come down to these, so let’s start.Quails' Gate Optima

Natalie: Absolutely! So let’s start with the West Coast because Quails’ Gate Optima won the Best Wine with Cheese and I’ve paired it with some Canadian cheeses like the Balderson Cheddar and Avonlea Cheesecloth from P.E.I, they’re terrific and as I keep going, I hear you’re a sweet wine fan?

Marci: I love sweet wines.

Natalie: This is a nice wine but it’s a late harvest wine so they pick the grapes late in season so that’s why it goes with the creamy cheeses and the cheddars.

Marci: Oh, so it off-set the flavors of the cheese.

Natalie: Absolutely.

Marci: So that makes sense.

Natalie: It’s a great combination. So if we keep going now we’re going to jump the to East Coast as I pour and talk at the same time, let’s see if I can do that.

Marci: Oh, thank you.

Natalie: The winner for the best wine with red meat was Luckett Vineyards from Nova Scotia. Now this is a robust red. What’s happening in the different parts of the country is that vintners are understanding what grapes work, what their soils and climates are producing and this is a terrific wine from Nova Scotia that , you know if you are doing grilled meats for Canada Day this would be a great one.

Marci: Perfect for that, okay.

Natalie: Absolutely. And then we keep going. Now we’re back to Nova Scotia again, this seems to make a lot of sense in terms of Grand Pre, Domaine de Grand Pre, won for best seafood. Nova Scotia, best seafood.

Marci: Yes, wonderful seafood in Nova Scotia.

Natalie: And I have a lovely wine called Tidal Bay which is a fresh style of white wine down there. L’Acadie Blanc, it’s like Chardonnay but crisper, won for the seafood.

Marci: Okay, excellent. And now we move on to the poultry.Le Clos Jordanne

Natalie: Yes, so now we’re into Ontario. Le Clos Jordanne Chardonnay won for best chicken wine. And so you might say well, there’s a million ways to do chicken but what we’re looking at is some favorite recipes on the website, grilled chicken, or this herb, roasted.

Marci: Roasted

Natalie: Roasted, yeah. And these wines here, the Chardonnay, have some buttery texture that goes really well with chicken.

Marci: And again all of these are available at the LCBO.

Natalie: Yes. And I’ve also posted them on my website if people are trying to find them.


Natalie: That’s it.

Marci: Perfect. Okay.Norman Hardie

Natalie: Okay, so we’re going to keep moving. Now we’re still on Ontario for the best pizza wine. Now, this was a lot of fun as a category. What came out as the winner was the Norman Hardie Pinot Noir. And I think some people might think that might be some shabby chic combo, Pinot Noir-Pizza?

Marci: Yeah.

Natalie: But it really works because the acidity in the Pinot Noir goes with tangy tomato sauce and what’s really neat about Norman Hardie if you visit his winery in the Prince Edward County, he has an open air, wood burning oven and he makes his own pizzas. So he’s a real expert when it comes to it.

Marci: He knows when it comes to pizza and wine.

Natalie: Exactly.

Marci: Okay.Black Sage

Natalie: Alright, so now we are moving to the dessert category and we are back into BC with the Black Sage. They make a port style wine and I’ve paired it with red velvet cupcakes for Canada Day.

Marci: Very nice.

Natalie: But you could also pair it with chocolate, or other desserts, fruit flans, that kind of thing. What you’re looking for with the dessert wine is that the wine should be sweeter than the dessert itself. Otherwise the wine will taste bitter.

Marci: So that’s quite sweet.

Natalie: Yeah, exactly. So that’s a rich full body fortified wine. That wine would also take us right back to the beginning if we wanted with the cheeses. It would be great with blue cheese, cheddar, that sort of thing.

Marci: Fantastic, always good to see you.

Natalie: Nice to see you, too.

Marci: Happy Canada Day.

Natalie: Happy Canada Day.

Marcie: In advance.

Natalie: Oh here we go, cheers.

Marci: Oh, thank you.

Natalie: Let’s not forget.

Marci: Let’s not.

Natalie: Cheers!

Posted with permission of CTV.



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