Gobble, Gobble, Turkey.

Turkey, is a beautiful, smart creature and I have to admit pretty tasty, as well. But all that prep and all that time for a turkey dinner is not fun. As a young woman, who loves hosting big family get togethers, at some point especially during the holidays I’ll have to cook one. It was 13 pounds heavy. So, I did a practice run this weekend in honour of my mom coming home from a month long vacation.

I looked all over the internet for video recipes and which one is the easiest for me to follow along, too. This turkey recipe  video is easy and not as much prep as I thought it would take. It also has a little bit of time for a gravy recipe for a turkey.

The wine that paired well with the turkey and side dishes was The Tragically Hip Grand Reserve Red produced by Stoney Ridge Estates Winery.

Since, I’m not the biggest fan of red, I had to some extra research on to find a red that suits the taste of turkey. I found a great article that not only helps you find a wine that is right for a turkey but helps find a wine for different kinds of turkeys, i.e fried, baked or dry turkeys.

The Tragically Hip Grand Reserve Red is a dry wine with undertones of star anise, toffee and clove spice but has top notes of plum and blueberries which gives it a tart sweetness. With the undertones it also went great with my sweet potato side dish.

*Try the recipe and pairing at home and let me know what you think in the comments below*

P.s the feature photo is of the turkey I made, it’s my third attempt and it turned out great!

The Tragically Hip Grand Reserve Red

caprese portobello stuffed mushrooms

Caprese Portobello Stuffed Mushroom

I did a very quick and easy recipe this week and this by far was the easiest. It was simple to make but was delicious though it was a mushroom dish!! Mushrooms has always been a weird vegetable for me, I can’t stand them raw but sliced and diced with the right spices and you’ve got me sold. So, to my wine friends who love a good mushroom dish, here’s to you! “Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushroom” will be a smash low carb hit for any dinner, but again the question to ask what will pair with such meal?

Well, mushrooms are usually paired with white wines but we are dealing with the king of mushrooms, portobello. It is usually called the vegetarian steak, it’s hearty and flavourful. With steak the golden rule is to find a nice red wine but in the recipe we

Open Merlot

have another strong key flavour, the balsamic reduction that’s drizzled on top. Luckily, with a balsamic reduction it takes a lot of the acidity out and leaves you with a bit more of a sweet taste that pairs well with a red wine. But wait a minute, there are so many reds what kind will be the preferred one?

Well, for me I figured if the balsamic goes with a red I’ll go back to the portobello mushroom and it’s like a steak. So,  what wine do I like having with my steak, that would be a merlot.

I would recommend the Open VQA Merlot, it’s a well balanced and medium-bodied, which if your not a big red fan it is not to over powering in tannins. It has a crisp tastes than a bitter taste, that you usually fine in full-bodied reds.  It is available at the LCBO or The Wine Rack stores.

*Try the recipe and pairing at home and let me know what you thought in the comments below.

jerk flattened chicken

All The Right Spices, In All The Right Places

One of my favourite dishes to make and will make again in the near future, flatten Jerk Chicken.  Jerk chicken is all about the spices, if you ever had the dish before you would know it’s a bold dish. It’s aromatic, flavourful and delights all senses of a good palette. Plus, with this dish it has a heat to the seasoning sauce so a warning goes out if you don’t like any heat don’t use the peppers in the video. You can find the recipe video under the header, recipe videos or click the name for the direct link to the video.

In the video, they show you how to cut the chicken to flatten it but you can always go to a butcher shop and ask them to do it for you, that’s

Cave Spring Pinot Gris

what I did because well the idea kinda creeped me out.

Now with some dishes you want to find something that is bold in a wine but compliments the dish but in this case the dish is such a bold blend of spices the wine needs to be less noticeable and play in the background of the flavours. This dish has has sweet, savoury and heat how can you find something that can pair with all that? Well, go with the sweet. Sweet spices are one of the easier tastes to pair when mixed with a combination. My recommendation of wine would be a nice, cold Pinot Gris.

Pinot Gris wines are called the “orange wines” due to the dark yellow colour they are when bottled and when the name is translated into English it means “Grey Pinecone”.  The flavour undertones you can taste range from ripe tropical fruit notes like melon and mango.

The VQA wine that I found was a hit with the dish was, Cave Spring Pinot Gris. It had the hints of melon and sweetness but also of thyme which is a spice used in the dish, so that was a nice surprise.

*Try the dish with the recommendation and let me know what you think in the comments below*


A Cream Filled Matcha Dessert has a Surprising Pairing

There is a first for everything! In my household, me baking in the kitchen is not one of them. I love the sweet aroma that fills the whole space but it was a first for using green tea and a first for creating something that has a filing.  I’ve never made a dessert with a filing, it was a scary thought.

So, I decided to battle my fear and make a cream filled dessert and how could I not love making  matcha green tea muffins. So for my fellow caffeine friends, this one is for you! It is sweet with vanilla and sugar but has that tangy lemon and ginger zest that green tea offers.  If you like lots of sugar in your tea, you can also use a light vanilla frosting to top off your dessert but I recommend the sugar topping as seen in the video. The filing is rich and creamy, almost like a custard, it demolishes all worries I had before of cream filled desserts.

Inniskillin’s Riesling Icewine

The recipe video was easy to follow and I think I will make some new baked goods with a cream filing. My only advice is be a good time keeper. I found if you left the muffins in too long the cream filing became thick and if taken out early, the muffin didn’t cook all the way through.

Now, with sweets can wine be paired? Well it can here, in the Niagara region, with our delicious ice-wine. Just like with wines, ice-wines has many different flavours in both red and white. To find a ice-wine that suits a unique dessert like the muffins, you find one that compliments the lemon and ginger zest of the green tea. I found that Inniskillin’s  Riesling Icewine can add a zeal of sweet but undertone of lemon to taste of the dessert.

*Try the recipe and pairing at home and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Asian-styled ribs

One Recipe, Two Wines

For me to find a wine that pairs well with pork anything is hard. Pork is “white wine” meat but depending on spices, sauces and style of cooking it doesn’t always have that taste and texture. Most people think whites are only good with pork while reds are only good for pork. The crossroads of wine pairing.

For my recipe, this week, it was in the Asian spice pallet. Ginger, garlic, soy sauce and hoisin and sesame oil, all staples in the spice wheel of Asian cooking. It can make some wines though metallic and dull and usually beer is preferred instead. But I knew there would be challenges to finding pairings for some international cuisine.

As for the recipe, it is a bit harder than I imagined. Some tips be careful of the oil (super-hot and splashes everywhere and on anything) The recipe also has a lot of ingredients that are not at all local grocery stores, if you’re a local of the Niagara region, I recommend Dinh Dinh.

Angel’s Gate          Chardonnay



                     Angel’s Gate Pinot Noir



For this challenge, I tried a few different glasses with each rib and found that a pinot noir was best for the dish. Angel’s Gate Pinot Noir and I found it had the low tannins and it helped the tastes not become lost in the spices. The fruit hints in the wine taste great with the honey and sesame oil in the sauce of the ribs.

For my friends, who have dietary restrictions and cannot have pork and want to do the ribs with beef such as for my best friend. I found that Angel’s Gate Chardonnay worked best. The floral tones with the hints of spice to it made the dinner taste of the marinated beef aromatic.

*Try the recipe and pairing at home and let me know what you think in the comments below.

sweet fries

A Little Sweet, A Little Curry

Recipe: Curry sweet potato fries with honey mustard.

For my first recipe, I decided to make something light and snack worthy but can also be a great side dish or full meal, curry sweet potato fries. To see the full recipe video, where I found my instructions, check out recipe videos on the top of the page.

The best about this recipe it was quick and simple.  You slice the sweet potatoes into fries, I used two sweet potatoes and that gave me plenty. Then I coated them with a bit of oil before dashing on curry powder, garlic powder (instead of red pepper flakes like in the video) and ginger powder, with a pinch of salt and pepper you can put them in the oven. I was a little heavy handed with the pepper and curry but with cooking sometimes it’s up to the cook to decide how strong of a flavour they want. You want to bake them at 400’C for 30 minutes but I kept them in for 20 minutes. To make the mustard dip, I used yellow mustard, maple syrup and a couple squirts of shriracha. Chef beware! Shriracha is flavourful and a very strong HOT sauce.  If you can’t handle heat, I wouldn’t recommend using it for the dip.

The fries were soft with a slight crisp to them and they tasted so delicious and the dip was tangy, sweet and spicy.

The wine I found that was the best for this dish is Cave Spring 2013 Gewürztraminer wine. 

Cave Spring 2013 Gewurtztraminer

This wine has hints of citrus fruits like orange and sweet fruits like pear. It has a strong aroma but doesn’t over power the sweetness of the fries and it compliments the curry and ginger flavouring. The wine was a balanced delight to this dish.

*Try the recipe and pairing at home and let me know what you think in the comments below.



Image result for food and wine freeWe’ve all seen those recipe videos on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media platforms, they look delicious and easy to make but are they really? We’ve saved the links and waited to see if any one we know has attempted to make these recipes then wait for their review to see if it’s worth trying yourself. Well, this blog will be about me creating the international cuisine recipes and since I’m a advent lover of Niagara wines, I will find the perfect wine that pairs with these dishes!



Chinese Food paired with Wine