Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Wine App Gives You the Top 10 Wines in Your Closest LCBO Store

Buying wine for Valentine’s Day and everyday meals is a snap

Toronto, February 6, 2012 – A new free mobile application gives you the top 10 wines in your closest LCBO store using GPS technology and real-time inventory data.

“Ever stood in front of a wall of bottles in the liquor store wishing someone would just tell you which one to buy?” asks Natalie MacLean, the editor of Ontario’s largest wine web site at www.nataliemaclean.com. "This app knows which LCBO store you're in, or the closest one to you, and gives you my top ten list of wines that are in stock right now."

The new app delivers a top ten list by wine type, score or price. No searching, no shopping lists, just the answer you want right here, right now.

Wondering which white wines under $15 taste best? How about a high-scoring gift wine for a birthday or the best red wine for a Valentine’s Day dinner? You get the answer with one click.

Another new feature allows you to scan your entire cellar collection to your virtual cellar log. You can zip through your entire collection with one click per bottle or add optional information as you go, such as where you bought the wine, when you want to drink it, etc.

“Even if you don’t have a large stash of bottles, it’s helpful to know which wines you already have and which ones you need to buy when you’re shopping,” Natalie adds. “You also won’t forget to drink that special bottle before it’s too late.”

The new Wine Picks & Pairings app is the next generation of Natalie’s mobile app, the only Canadian wine app featured on Apple’s iTunes store under App Essentials for “Apps for Foodies” and “Pocket Sommelier.”

The app is also available for Android and BlackBerry. Other smartphones can access the mobile site. The app’s key features allow you to:

- Instantly access tasting notes, scores, prices, recipes and food pairings

- Search 150,000 wines at the LCBO and other wine retailers across the country

- Find out how many bottles of each wine are in stock at the LCBO you’re in as well as nearby stores via GPS real-time inventory search

- Track your purchases in your virtual cellar with just a few clicks

- Create a wine journal with your own wine notes and pictures in the app

- Share your wines and pairings on Twitter and Facebook

Natalie’s Top 10 Wines for Valentine’s Day

1. Dark Chocolate and Banyuls, France
2. Chocolate-Covered Biscotti and Recioto Della Valpolicella, Italy
3. Chocolate-Orange Cake and Liqueur Muscat, Australia
4. Chocolate with Nuts and Tawny Port, Portugal
5. Milk Chocolate and Tokaji, Hungary
6. Bittersweet Chocolate and Amarone, Italy
7. Chocolate-Dipped Fruit and Icewine, Canada
8. Chocolate Ganache Truffles and Sauternes, France
9. Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake and Framboise, California
10.Chocolate Hearts with Cream Filling and Cream Sherry, Spain

How to find the app:

iPhone and iPod Touch (iTunes Canada):


iPhone and iPod Touch (iTunes Canada):


The app is available on all other country iTune stores as well: search on Natalie MacLean wine

Android :




Mobile format for other smartphones:


Friday, February 3, 2012

Discover Your Winter Cocktail

Ready for a little WINTER fun? Simply answer the questions and shake your way to a personalized winter cocktail. Plus, find fun "little known cocktail facts" and add a winter twist to 4 classic cocktails.

Plus, enjoy these bonus winter cocktail recipes courtesy of Robb Report!

Chocolate Snowball

2 oz coconut rum
2 oz Irish cream
1 oz hazelnut liqueur
3 1/2 oz melted chocolate
3 1/2 oz cream
1 dash chocolate syrup

Place the chocolate syrup around the glass then place the other ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into glass.

Spring Fever

3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz mango syrup
1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz blood orange juice

Shake well over ice cubes in a shaker, and strain into a collins glass half-filled with crushed ice.

Winter Breeze

1 oz creme de cacao
1 oz vanilla schnapps
1 oz Irish cream

Pour liquors into a beer mug, and fill with milk. Stir, and serve.

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling toasty already!

Super Bowl Recipes From Maker's Mark Bourbon‏

So I hear there is some sort of sporting event happening this weekend.....

Luckily our friends at Maker's Mark are on top of these things.

Super Bowl parties are as much about great snacks and drinks as they are watching the game. So, with the showdown between the New York Giants and New England Patriots fast approaching, we at Maker’s Mark would like to share with you easy ways to kick-up fun finger foods with bourbon, as well as how to mix the right drink to serve with them. Below is a recipe for a Tailgate Toddy, the perfect cocktail to warm up frozen fans. Plus, Maker’s Mark Cookbook Editor Lee Anne Wong has created savory recipes for finger lickin’ good Bourbon Apple Glazed Chicken wings and Maker’s Mark Onion Dip.

Made from corn, barley and soft red winter wheat at the world’s oldest operating bourbon distillery, Maker’s Mark is a premium, handcrafted Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. With notes of toasted oak, caramel and vanilla it is the only bourbon that is as versatile in the kitchen as it is behind the bar.  For more great bourbon food and drink recipes, visit www.makersmark.com.

Tailgate Toddy

1 part Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
½ tsp. sugar
2 whole cloves
1 small cinnamon stick
1 lemon slice


Measure all ingredients into a heat proof mug or glass. Place teaspoon in glass; add boiling water to fill glass (teaspoon prevents glass from breaking when boiling water is added). Stir mixture and serve immediately.

Bourbon Apple Glazed Chicken Wings
Notes: These tangy sweet wings get the benefit of being braised then baked, no frying involved!
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Level: Easy
Serves 4

2 lbs chicken wings, trimmed
1 cup Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
1 can frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed (12 ounces)
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon maple syrup


1.      Combine all of the ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to boil on high heat and then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes until the wings are tender and the glaze has reduced, coating the wings.

2.      Preheat the oven to 325°F. Remove the wings from the pot and transfer to a parchment lined sheet tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the wings begin to color and the glaze becomes shiny. Garnish with minced scallions and apple. Serve immediately.

Bourbon Onion Dip

Notes: Greek yogurt and ricotta cheese lighten up this usually mayonnaise heavy party favorite.
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Level: Easy
Serves 6-10

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large sweet onions/Vidalias, peeled, halved, sliced thinly with the grain
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, plus 1 tablespoon
¾ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
½ cup sour cream
Few drops lemon juice
Pinch sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Crudité vegetables and chips for dipping

1.      In a wide heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the sliced onions and the teaspoon of salt. Sauté the onions, stirring often until they begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to stir and cook the onions until they begin to color, about another 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of bourbon to the pan and stir in. Reduce the heat to low and cook the onions for another 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have colored and caramelized. Remove the onions from the pan and spread on a plate or baking sheet to cool in the fridge.

2.      Using a food processor or blender, combine the ricotta and yogurt and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Fold in the sour cream. Once the onions have cooled, rough chop them briefly. Fold into the mixture and season to taste with lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Serve the dip cold with crudité and chips.