Celebrating Canadian Wine and Cheese with Great Pairings

One of our lead writers, Matt Steeves, chats with Leanne on CTV’s Morning Live Show about great Canadian wine and cheese pairings featured in The Great Canadian Wine Match.

Various types of cheese and white wine on wooden backgroundWell done Matt!

You can also watch clips from CTV News, Global Television and CBC News with more pairings, as well as radio interviews on Sirius XM, syndicated nationally on satellite, and CJAD, Montreal’s most popular talk show.






Celebrating Canadian Wine and Cheese with Great Pairings

Leanne: We are going to celebrate with some good Champagne and we’re going to do it Canadian style. Joining us from the National Capital Sommelier Guild we have Matt Steeves.  It’s always a pleasure to have you here and we’re being really patriotic today.

Matt: Absolutely.

Leanne: But it’s easy to be patriotic because you’re saying there are some amazing wines across the country.

Matt: That’s right Leanne. In Canada we have over 500 wineries coast to coast. There’s no shortage of excellent wine and Canada is producing world-class wines, again coast to coast. I’ve got some real beauties here. Recently, Natalie MacLean ran a Canadian wine and Canadian cheese pairing match. So I have a few of those winners here along with a few others that I brought.

Leanne: I love this.

Matt: Yes.

Leanne: The first thing is a lot of people are going to have their Canada Day festivities and they’re going to have barbecues or they’re having parties and so first of all keep them cold.

Matt: Keep them cold, good point yes.

Leanne: Keep them on ice and then have some fun and be able to do the comparisons. Let’s start at one and we’ll work our way through.

Matt: So starting off, celebration wouldn’t be complete without Sparkling wines. I’ve got a beautiful one here from Featherstone Winery. This was recently nominated and awarded best Canadian Sparkling wine.

Leanne: Do you mind? I mean it’s tough on a Friday with the sun coming down for me to do this.

Matt: Yes exactly and it is nice and cold.  It’s a gorgeous one at $35, roughly half the price of Champagne and made the exact same way as Champagne. Lots of patriotic pride there you know.

Leanne: This is fantastic and where is it from?

Matt: That’s from Featherstone Winery in Niagara.

Leanne: The Niagara region? This is great, okay.

Matt: Great wine.

Leanne: Perfect and especially if you’re looking for some of the bubbly.

Matt: Exactly and great with cheese. Next I’ve got a Riesling from British Columbia, from the Kelowna Area. It is Tantalus and the 10th anniversary of this nice winery.  Tantalus  is really crisp and refreshing. This Riesling for some reason is very food-friendly. I’d highly recommend this with food, some of these nice cheeses would be great.

Leanne: That’s going down like juice, Matt.

Matt: Well it’s so hot in here.

Leanne: Oh my God!

Matt: Exactly.

Leanne: Oh my gosh, that’s great!

Matt: Nice and chilled, a summer sipper too.

Leanne: I’m going to break this up because you got the Balderson, right?

Matt: Yes, this Balderson cheese, Ontario quality, a high quality Canadian cheese and it’s great with wine. I’ve got a selection here.  They make these vintner’s cheese that are designed to go perfectly with white and red wine.

Leanne: Okay, this is fantastic.

Matt: Here is Handsome Brut, another Sparkling. I’ve got three Sparkling wines because I love Sparkling wines.

Leanne: Right.

Matt: And celebrating is great.

Leanne: I’m finding at restaurants or going to dinner parties, it seems that it’s being served a lot more often.

Matt: Is it okay, yes.

Leanne: Maybe it’s just my age bracket now but I find that Champagne is flowing a lot more.

Matt: Yes.

Leanne: Or the bubbly – Sparkling wine.

Matt: Sparkling wine is so food friendly. Its great to celebrate. With a wine stopper you don’t have to drink the whole bottle but why wouldn’t you, right?

Leanne: But you can stop it.

Matt: But you can stop it.

Leanne: Let’s keep moving.

Matt: Viognier from Black Hills Estate is another great wine. Moving on here from Prince Edward County we have the Huff Estates, $40 premium Sparkling wine a 2010 vintage that is great with soft cheese.

Leanne: We’re looking for price-point here? What were you saying?

Matt: About $40 for that one.

Leanne: Okay.

Matt: It is really high-quality. If you would like to try a red wine, this is the Baco Noir Reserve from Henry of Pelham at $25. Every year they excel in this wine, vintage to vintage. It is high-quality, very robust with lots of stuff going on. It would be great with smoked Balderson and barbecue food as well … a terrific wine.

Leanne: And that’s the look because they’ve done incredibly well. It’s been a recognizable name Henry of Pelham.

Matt: Yes. Henry of Pelham, they have done great, the three brothers. Then… The Nova 7 lovely wines look at the colour.

Leanne: Hey! Look at this colour. This was something you brought on the show a couple of months ago?

Matt: Yes, last Christmas.

Leanne: Okay.

Matt: So this is from Benjamin Bridge in Nova Scotia. It’s a beautiful salmon coloured hue. It’s a lightly fizzy wine, semi-sweet, so refreshing and low in alcohol.  It is high in taste and great with summer fruit.

Leanne:  It is great with anything really.

Matt: Exactly. It’s nice at lunch time, it’s a beautiful wine at $25.  It’s available from the winery and sometimes at the LCBO…

Leanne: Yes. This is just beautiful and there’s something really appealing about the colour of this wine.

Matt:  It’s so cosmopolitan really.

Leanne: Yes, that’s a good word for it.

Matt: Finally we have a Port-style wine. It is a fortified wine that is great with blue cheese. It is from Harwood Estate in Prince Edward County. Like Port, it’s very sweet with rich refreshing notes and yet it’s quite potent.

Leanne: Okay, wait…

Matt: It is Probably 19% alcohol so a little…

Leanne:  I could sense that right away.

Matt: … a little bit of it goes a long way and it would go very well with blue cheese. I didn’t bring it here today but that would be a great pairing or any dessert after dinner. Have a little sip of this … very nice.

Leanne: This is a light sipping one for sure.

Matt: That’s right and…

Leanne: But really interesting and beautiful.

Matt: Yes exactly.

Leanne: You could (inaudible) the bottle.

Matt: Very nice and proudly from Prince Edward County. I brought a couple of ciders. I love craft beer and Canadians make great craft beer. They also make great craft cider. Here from Spirit Tree and Forbidden is an excellent one.  If you have friends with gluten intolerance, this is a great product to have on hand. Have a few in your fridge for when those people come over. This will be great on Canada Day.

Leanne: This is a great example. What’s nice is to hear the passion and kind of just how great we have it and that Canadian wines are something that you want to try. On Canada Day, be Canadian, be patriotic and if you haven’t try them, try something different. There’s a great selection right here. Take a snapshot and of course you can find more information on your website which is listed on the screens.

Matt always a pleasure.



Leave a Reply