Natalie McLean, Homefront's wine expert is Canada's most quoted wine writer and editor of the country's largest wine review website. Here is a sample from her recent choices for us.

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By Natalie MacLean

With the holiday season fast approaching, get into the festive spirit with these great wines for gift- giving and entertaining.

 

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Ridge Monte Bello 2012, Santa Cruz Mountains, California, United States (LCBO: 711085, $190.95): Menthol and fleshy voluptuous black fruit on the nose and palate. Super supple and satin smooth and full-bodied. Gorgeous length, depth and concentration yet sheer elegance. Pair with rare filet mignon.Alcohol: 13.8%  Sweetness: Extra dry. 750 ml.  Drink: 2015–2020. Score: 92/100.

 

 

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2013 Kistler Vineyards Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley, California, United States (LCBO #183921, $98.95): Toasted almond on the nose with some butterscotch. Wakes up the senses on the palate with great acidity and green apple vibrancy. Most Kistler Chardonnays are sourced from a single vineyard but this is the winery’s only multi-vineyard site Chardonnay. Chardonnay food pairings: panko-crusted grilled chicken, salmon steaks. Alcohol: 14.1%. Sweetness: Extra dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2014–2019. Score: 92/100.

 

 

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La Ferme Du Mont 2011, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Rhone, France (LCBO: 78857, $80.00): Incredible depth and concentration of black fruit, smoke and spice flavour on the nose and palate for this full-bodied French red wine. This wine is a blend of classic grapes including Grenache 80%, Syrah 10% and Mouvedre 10%. Long finish inflected with dried herbs and graphite. Pair with roast beef. Alcohol: 14.5%  Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2016–2023. Score: 93/100.

 

 

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2010 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States (LCBO #943472, $106.95): Elegant with great concentration and a high price tag. Is it worth it? Only you can decide. Aromas of black fruit and toasty oak. Complex. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: lamb Bolognese, grilled New York strip loin, barbecued ribs in sauce, hard cheese, braised pork shanks. Alcohol: 13.9%. Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2015–2019. Score: 90/100.

 

 

 

 

HF Spa Diaries…

Running wild Now you can run for your life at a women’s only running and wellness retreat organized on some of the world’s best trail-running destinations. This year’s newest addition, the Vancouver Island Trail. British Columbia’s old-growth rainforests and Pacific

Culture, Chianti and cocooning

By Kylie MacKenzie Since the 12th century, Castello Del Nero’s historic 740-acre estate has been home to traditional Tuscan farming with its vineyard, olive groves and beehives. Now, as part of Christina Ong’s COMO Group, its much-awaited Shambhala Wellness Retreat

Leaping leopards

Located high on a ridge of the world-famous Sabi Sand Wildtuin, Kirkman’s Kamp has a gracious and rich history.

Summer splurge

What better way to celebrate the arrival of summer than with outdoor grilling?

HF Spa Diaries…

Running wild Now you can run for your life at a women’s only running and wellness retreat organized on some of the world’s best trail-running destinations. This year’s newest addition, the Vancouver Island Trail. British Columbia’s old-growth rainforests and Pacific

Culture, Chianti and cocooning

By Kylie MacKenzie Since the 12th century, Castello Del Nero’s historic 740-acre estate has been home to traditional Tuscan farming with its vineyard, olive groves and beehives. Now, as part of Christina Ong’s COMO Group, its much-awaited Shambhala Wellness Retreat