Tapas, mezze, antipasti, canapes...
Small bites: olives, bruschetta, grilled artichokes, peppers and eggplant, salty bites of cheese and salami...
Things you serve on a platter with crusty bread and a side of EVOO.
Honestly, I could eat appetizers for every meal and be gloriously happy...
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Grilled foods, those cooked on the barbeque tend to have more depth of flavour and an intensity rounded out with char and smoked flavours. And often, they are accompanied by spicey/sweet and tangy sauces. Wines of equal intensity are recommended.
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Bargain Bottles
Wines under $14.00
(aka) Monday-Wednesday wines, (aka) I'm having a party wines, (aka) wines to serve to my inlaws who make their own...
Does this mean the quality is poor?
Nope, nada, nyet.
It simply means you get two awesome value bottles for the price of one!
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Cellar Keepers
Wines for your cellar. Whether you are just starting out building a cellar or if the wine just needs a little time-the following wines fit the bill.
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Cheese - Blue
Or Blue Veined cheeses have a marbled or veined appearance caused by mold cultures that have been injected into the cheese. Recognizable names are Stilton, Roquefort or Gorgonzola but there are an amazing selection of blue cheeses ranging from mild to sharp-soft to firm. Fourme d'Ambert, Cabrales and Cashel Blue. These cheeses need special wines...
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Cheese - Goat
Cheeses made from goat's milk are very different in flavour from cow's milk cheeses. They are sharper, more piquant and often have herbaceous, nutty or creamy/sweet flavours. Goat's cheeses are generally tangy and need a wine to complement, not overpower. Goat's cheese comes in virtually every size, shape and texture.
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Cheese - Hard/Aged
Probably the most recognizable firm cheeses are Aged Cheddar and Parmesan. Mimolette, Sbrinz and Aged Gouda are hard cheeses with amazing texture and flavour well paired with wines.
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Cheese - Semi Hard / Medium
Semihard cheeses can run the gamut from Tomme de Savoie, and Manchego to Gruyere. They can be smoked like Smoked Gouda, mild flavoured and chalky/buttery like Caerphilly or more powerfully flavoured like Appenzeller. Here are some suggestions...
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Cheese - Soft/Creamy
Soft, creamy or runny cheeses have much smoother texture than medium cheeses. Brie and Camembert are just the begining. There are some truly funky and powerful soft cheeses out there like; Epoisses, Pont L'Eveque or Vacherin Mont d'Or or decadently rich cheeses like Chaource and Saint Marcellin also recognizable triple creams such as Pierre-Robert, Brillat-Savarin and Explorateur.
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Pure dark chocolate is generally the easiest type of chocolate to pair with wine but often nuts and caramel will draw out similar characteristics found in the wine.
Think rich chocolaty Cabernet or Port with dark, a toasty-rich bubbly with chocolate covered nuts, a tawny port if there is caramel involved, white or milk chocolate with late harvest or icewine sweeties...and a spicy Shiraz (or sparkling Shiraz) with chocolates infused with chilis or pepper.
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Creamy Dishes
Fettucini Alfredo, creamy mashed potatoes, risotto or cream based soups - creamy dishes need some acidity to clean the palate but still some structure to stand up. Sometimes the nutty, creaminess of an oaked Chardonnay and sometimes the crisp power of a German Riesling depending on the depth of flavour in the cream. Herbed cream sauces like crisp wines and richer nutty sauces or pumpkin risotto prefer a buttery chardonnay...
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Eat your Greens
Salads are not just for rabbits...
Summertime salads, crisp green veggies, light-weight dishes with lemon or vinaigrettes need a fresh, crisp wine to partner not to overpower...
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Eat your Root Veggies

Save the salad for another day - in this category I'm talking about getting back to your roots. Think sweet and earthy veggies like: beets, squash, sweet potatoes or even, not-so-veggie mushrooms and not-so-rooty buttery corn on the cob.
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First Date
Avoid anything that you know will stick in your teeth (ie:spinach) and make sure you've clarified allergies and preferences. Besides that, you want wow wines, not too pricey but absolutely seductive and thoughful.
Wines with silky textures, wonderful fragrance and impressive length...
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French Food
French food is diverse. Its not just baguettes and cheese or coq au vin. French food is also fresh Provencal dishes, vegetable dishes with rich creamy sauces and earthy rustic tartes and dense meaty stews.
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Game Day Wines

Calling all armchair athletes!
It's game day and what's in your glass?
You need wines to pair with burgers, pizza, ribs and chilidogs, nachos and bean dip...
Whether you're watching hockey, football, football (the other football, aka soccer), tennis or heck even Pawn Stars, these are the wines you'll need...
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Girl's Night
Fun wines with no pretension. With the girls you need not worry about being judged and this is the perfect time to experiment-when you are among friends...
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Six delicious crackers - made specifically to go with wine.
They are very flavourful crackers, made from the highest quality of ingredients, while excluding yeast, sugar, and hydrogenated oils.
Flavours: Canadian Cheddar & Chive, Blue Cheese & Cracked Pepper, Parmesan & Rosemary, Olive Oil & Cracked Pepper, Roast Shallot & Herb, Undressed.

Good First Impressions
You only get one chance to make a first impression! Meeting her folks for the first time? Choosing a dinner wine for your boss' key account meeting? Meeting his best friends at a dinner party (and they loved his ex)? You need a wine that is intelligent, sophisticated and possibly unique. Let them know you're not schlep...
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Italian Food
You will probably agree that lumping Italian food into one category is insane. Italian food is as regional and diverse as the country itself. But in order to simplify I will touch on the basics from tomatoes and sauces, fish to pastas and antipasti platters - rustic and simple.
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Junk Food, Fast Food & Snacks
I don't recommend wine with Jelly Bellys (although I've tried, hard) but what about game day wines, wines to pair with: hot dog's, burgers, ribs, chili and pizza (most of those will work with Zinfandel), buttery pocorn and salty potato chips (both great with bubbly), wasabi rice snacks, take out sushi or pomme frites dipped in designer mayo (try an off-dry Riesling).
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Patio Sippers
Its summer, the sun is warm and the outdoors beckon. You are sippiing in the afternoon sun so you want to avoid high alcohol but crave something, crisp, clean and refreshing to go with that salad.
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Rich Meats

Hearty wines to pair with grilled beef, lamb, game and rich, thick, meaty stews.
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Ocean fish can be prepared in virtually any manner-grilled, poached or fried and adorned by virtually any sauce. Preparation and condiments play a big part in what wine you choose. Balance is the key.
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Shellfish differs from fish as it is often sweeter. The cooking methods for shellfish help determine the wine but fresh and crisp is generally a good rule of thumb.
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Spicy Food
Ay carumba. Spicy food is a broad term encompassing Mexican food with Poblano chilies, Thai dishes, Indian curries, Szechwan cooking or even Texas firehouse chile. Heat needs somthing with equal intensity or the wine tastes flat...
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We kooky-for-sushi West Coasters know our sushi! For those of us that have to travel outside of Lotusland periodically we are happy to see that its poularity has spilled over across the prairies and into the east. Sushi is clean and fresh and on the lighter side of the food weight spectrum. It also has the additional dilemma of WASABI...
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Tomatoes and Tomato Sauces
Tangy tomatoes are used on pizzas, in salads and pasta, in summer stews or soaking in olive oil and served on crusty bread - they have acidity and love to be paired with a wine with acidity...
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Wedding Wines
Are wines that you can serve to guests and not go broke.
Simple, tasty sparklers, multi-fuctional whites and crowd-pleasing reds.
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White Meat Chicken/Pork
Not as protein dense as red meat but often heartier than seafood, white meat needs a wine with substance but not too powerful.
Think Chicken, turkey, pork...
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