Wines of the Week

Ntalie Maclean's wine pick of the week

By Natalie MacLean
This week, I’m focusing on the finalists for Canada’s Best Wine with Beef in The Great Canadian Wine Match. These four hearty-full-bodied red wines and a vibrant, full-flavoured cider can muscle in beside grilled steaks, hamburgers and beef ribs. There are just 4 days left to vote for your favourite wine and food pairings in this competition. Enjoy!

Luckett Vineyards Phone Box Red
Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia
Deborah Hemming of Montreal selected this wine because it has “the bold ripe-fruit flavour that pairs perfectly with beef: spicy grilled hanger steak or braised beef short ribs. I first tried this wine while enjoying the amazing view of the Annapolis Valley from the Luckett Vineyard’s patio on a gorgeous summer day. Every time I drink it, I’m transported back to that place and time.” Price: $20

Black Prince Winery Cabernet Franc
Prince Edward County, Ontario
Joe Hache of Picton likes this wine with beef because “both the trees for the oak barrels and the grapes for the wine grow side by side in the county. It was aged for 18 months in county oak. Peppery aromas with mouth-filling berry fruit and hints of tobacco, soft tannins and an enticing chocolaty finish make it a perfect match for a pepper beef dish.” Price: $30

Smoke & Gamble Reserve Cabernet Merlot
Port Dover, Ontario
Nicole Campbell of Simcoe nominated this “merlot-dominated blend that has both the structure and fruit to fully compliment a juicy rare rib-eye. I’m sure not everyone has heard of the wines from Dover Vineyards out of Norfolk County, but you definitely should become familiar with this emerging region that will soon have its DVA status!” Price: $19

Sandhill Vineyards
Okanagan, British Columbia
Lesley Quinn of Vancouver says this “Cab Sav’s tannins love the gristle in steak, but it also has ripe dark fruit notes, and hint of Chai spice that make it hard to set the glass down while you cut into your beef. To make the tannins work a little harder, I’d try this wine with bacon-wrapped tenderloin in a mushroom sauce.” Price: $25

Pom’Or Tradition Crackling Cider
Saint-Nicolas, Quebec
Barbara Murphy of Toronto “first had this with spaghetti and was pleasantly surprised that you could pair a light sparkling cider with a beef dish! It was delicious with the tomato based meat sauce but I can see it going perfectly well with pork tenderloin, turkey, cheeses, warm apple crumble with custard.” Price: $14

Natalie MacLean is the author of Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Wines. Check out more of her wine picks and food pairings at