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Wine

Niagara Vine Laureate Klaus Reif: Ontario Wine’s Future

Natalie Decants - May 6, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction What profound impact does buying your local wine have on your economy? Why will supporting the “Free My Grapes” campaign improve your choice and access to wine? How have Ontario wines changed since the 80s? What are the biggest challenges facing the Canadian wine industry? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Klaus Reif of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Reif Winery. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How is the younger generation of Ontario winemakers impacting the industry? How has the perception of Ontario wines changed since the 80s? What are the four […]

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Categories: Wine

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings May 2

Natalie Decants - May 3, 2020 - 3:23pm

You can access the 103 wines that I reviewed as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. You can also see my wine reviews for April 18. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the […]

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Categories: Wine

Dr. Laura Catena on Malbec, Wine’s Health Benefits and Winemaking in Argentina

Natalie Decants - April 29, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction Have you tasted an Argentine Malbec? Which foods pair best with Malbec? Why is Malbec more like Pinot Noir than Cabernet? What are the health benefits of wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Dr. Laura Catena, a fourth-generation Argentine vintner, physician and author. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights How does Laura’s scientific approach to winemaking improve the taste of the Malbecs you drink? What is the significance of the pyramid-style of the Catena winery? Why is Malbec the flagship grape of Argentina? What differences can you see […]

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Categories: Wine

Celebrating Mother’s Day with the Great Women of Champagne

Natalie Decants - April 28, 2020 - 7:20am

On CTV’s The Social yesterday, we chatted about the top Champagnes made by women for Mother’s Day. (Click on the arrow above to play the video.) They were all young women whose families owned the great champagne houses at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. When they lost their husbands to war or illness, they didn’t sell the businesses or remarry. They took control of the chateaus to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world. In an era when few women were in business at all, these women headed what were, at the time, some […]

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Categories: Wine

Mother’s Day Brunch Wine and Champagne Pairings

Natalie Decants - April 28, 2020 - 5:49am

Jeff and I had such fun chatting about wines for Mother’s Day gifts on Canada AM, especially champagne for brunch. There’s even a “live action” shot with uncorking a sparkler. (Okay, not so much.) Here are my Top 20 Wines for Mother’s Day, either made by women or named for them. Often the latter were originally made by women. You’ll also find more suggestions in my Mother’s Day wines for Epicurious as well as for More Magazine. Jeff: It’s Mother’s Day, of course, on Sunday, and if you are planning on taking her out for brunch, you might want to […]

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Categories: Wine

Gifts for Mother’s Day: Wine Trumps Flowers (and Tastes Better)

Natalie Decants - April 28, 2020 - 5:14am

My wine column in the May issue of More Magazine, with more than 500,000 thirsty readers, features three wines to celebrate Mother’s Day as gifts: three spectacular bubblies. A toast to Mom! The cover features an actress whom I admire for her depth, strength and guts, Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife, Canterbury’s Law, ER). I also love that she’s often drinking a glass of wine as she reviews her legal briefs in the evening at home. (Guess that doesn’t play so well in the ER.) At the start of the season, it was white wine, but I notice that it’s […]

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Categories: Wine

Video Interview: “Wine Girl: The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America’s Youngest Sommelier” author Victoria James

Natalie Decants - April 24, 2020 - 8:33am

My guest is Victoria James, the author of two books, her most recent, a gripping memoir called Wine Girl, which has been on the national bestseller list for four weeks. She’s also the youngest person in the world to pass the certified sommelier exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers at just 21 and has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants ever since. Today, she’s the partner and beverage director at New York’s Cote Korean Steakhouse restaurant. Her journey to this stellar position, however, was a difficult one as the sub-title of the book alludes: The obstacles, humiliations, and triumphs of a young […]

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Categories: Wine

What Happens to Wine with Salt or Lemon?

Natalie Decants - April 24, 2020 - 7:30am

One of my students recently told me how much he misses going out to restaurants right now, and asked if there was anything fun and educational that he could try at home with wine. My mind immediately went to the salt and lemon taste test. You can try this too at home to see just how profoundly these two ingredients or garnishes can change the taste of your wine. Doing this tasting will also give you terrific insight on how to better pair your wine with a variety of dishes. These are the kind of tips that I teach in […]

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Categories: Wine

Stave & Steel Wines Aged in Bourbon and Canadian Whisky Barrels

Natalie Decants - April 23, 2020 - 1:27pm

Steve & Steel Winemaker James Foster was raised on a family farm, the historic Roseland Plantation in Eufaula, Alabama, where they farmed peanuts, hay and cotton.   James FosterWinemaker   Although James grew up in Alabama, his father worked in the California wine industry, and James began to follow in his footsteps.           Stave & Steel Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 California, United States             Great pairings include grilled burgers, ribs, steak and charcuterie.           Curious about the winemaking process and inspired to learn more, he […]

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Categories: Wine

Slow-Basted BBQ Ribeye Recipe Paired with Slow Press Cabernet Sauvignon

Natalie Decants - April 23, 2020 - 12:48pm

SLOW-BASTED BBQ RIBEYE Thick-cut boneless ribeyes are seasoned with cocoa, sea salt and ground pepper, then basted in a Slow Press Cabernet Sauvignon BBQ sauce for juicy taste and smoky-sweet-savory flavor. PREP TIME: 5 minutes COOK TIME: 15 minutes PORTIONS: 4 SERVING SIZE: 1 beef ribeye steak INGREDIENTS: ½ cup Slow Press Cabernet Sauvignon4 12 oz. boneless ribeye steaks½ cup smoky style BBQ sauce2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper2 tsp. sea salt METHOD: Prepare the Slow Press Cabernet Sauvignon BBQ sauce: Place Slow Press Cabernet Sauvignon and bbq sauce in a mixing bowl and whisk to […]

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Categories: Wine

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings April 18

Natalie Decants - April 16, 2020 - 12:28pm

You can access the 94 wines that I reviewed as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. You can also see my wine reviews for April 4. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the […]

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Categories: Wine

Orange Wines are Trending with Winemaker Ann Sperling

Natalie Decants - April 15, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction What is orange wine? How does fermenting with the stems and leave give you a more complex flavour profile? Can you find orange wine on restaurant wine lists? Which types of food should you pair with orange wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Ann Sperling, winegrower and Director of Winemaking and Viticulture at Southbrook Vineyards. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What is orange wine? How does orange wine give you a glimpse into ancient wines? Why would you see less waste from the winemaking process with orange […]

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Categories: Wine

British Columbia’s Best Wineries with Wine Writer John Schreiner

Natalie Decants - April 8, 2020 - 2:58am

Introduction What defines an icon wine? What are the hottest trends in BC wines right now? Which British Columbia wines are worth adding to your cellar? What will surprise you about BC wines? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with John Schreiner, author of Icon: Flagship Wines from British Columbia’s Best Wineries, whom I consider to be the godfather of Canadian wine writing. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What defines an icon wine? Why should you pay attention to the BC wine industry, despite how young it is? How does […]

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Categories: Wine

Wine Paired with Ham for Easter and Beyond

Natalie Decants - April 7, 2020 - 9:45am

One of the classic Easter dishes is ham. Most hams are wet-cured with brine or saline solution and then smoked. Popular finishes are a sweet glaze of bourbon and brown sugar or maple syrup or orange marmalade. This gives the meat a glistening finish and an appetizing salty-sweet taste. The dish is often accompanied by tangy dressings such as cloves, dried fruit chutney or apricot preserves. All those powerful fruit and spice flavors are delicious, but they’re tough on many wines. What works best is usually a zippy white with a touch of sweetness, such as an off-dry Canadian or […]

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Categories: Wine

World Malbec Day Celebrates Argentina’s Flagship Red Wine

Natalie Decants - April 7, 2020 - 8:55am

Leanne and I had a great time chatting about Malbec on CTV yesterday. Did you know that April 17 is Malbec World Day (#MalbecWorldDay), celebrating the flagship red grape for the wines of Argentina, as well as a blending grape in Bordeaux and other regions? You’ll find my most reviews and ratings of Malbec Wines here. The Malbec grape produces wines that stylistically fall between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with more plummy richness and roundness than Cabernet, but firmer tannins and structure than Merlot. Pair Malbec with beef, turkey, spicy dishes, tomato sauces, meaty casseroles, hamburgers, sausages, steak and kidney […]

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Categories: Wine

Easter Wines for Fish, Lamb + Ham: Video

Natalie Decants - April 7, 2020 - 6:29am

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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Categories: Wine

Wines for Easter Brunch and Passover Dinner

Natalie Decants - April 7, 2020 - 6:19am

    CTV News anchor Natalie Piero an I chat about wines for Easter brunch, Passover and other holiday weekend wines. Also check out The Essential Hip-Hop Guide to Easter Wines, which includes pairing ham and wine, lamb and wine, vegetables and wine, and chocolate and wine.   You’ll find another video about Easter wines here. Posted with permission of CTV News. Wines for Easter Brunch and Passover Dinner Natalie Piero: Passover starts tonight and of course Easter is coming up this weekend. So Natalie MacLean is here to talk about the best wines to pair with whatever meal you might […]

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Categories: Wine

Video: Wine, Lamb and Ham Pairing for Easter

Natalie Decants - April 7, 2020 - 6:08am

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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Categories: Wine

Easter Wines: The Essential Hip-Hop Guide to Earmark

Natalie Decants - April 7, 2020 - 5:47am

Some of my favourite meals are those we savour to celebrate Easter: fresh asparagus omelets and ham for brunch. But which Easter wines to serve with them? As a determined hedonist, I like something more than orange juice, thank-you—unless it’s a mimosa. The wines that work best are zesty, mouth-watering and lighter than those we drink in the winter—and they’ll put some spring in your glass. When the coming of spring heralds warmer weather, we feel like celebrating. One of the best ways is by drinking fresh, vivacious wines that suit the season and complement lighter fare. You can pair […]

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Categories: Wine

Wine and Lamb, Brisket, Asparagus, Chocolate – Readers Digest Magazine

Natalie Decants - April 6, 2020 - 12:52pm

    I imagined all those thirsty readers in doctors’ and dentists’ offices when I wrote my first column for Readers Digest Magazine in April. I hoped that by thinking about wine as they waited for a root canal or a vaccine they would be a little distracted with thoughts of a mouth-watering wine for lamb or brisket. I love the approach of this magazine: practical, short sips of info you can use now. I guess that’s why it has more than 7 million readers. They’ll drink to that!       Inniskillin Reserve Riesling 2014 Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., […]

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Categories: Wine