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Falling for Kascadia and Canadian Wines

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The world has fallen in love with Canadian wines, vintages that are delighting
international critics and landing themselves on the pages of leading wine magazines, gracing the tables of famed restaurant critics and being found on the lists of leading sommeliers and collectors.

Renowned for its expertise, unparalleled knowledge and unwavering commitment to hunting down Canada’s most exclusive drops, Kascadia Wine Merchants is an online marketplace focused on giving Canada’s vintages a global platform.

Kascadia Wine Merchants specializes in showcasing award winning vintages and artisan winemaking from the quiet family-run boutique vineyards and world-class operations of British Columbia’s wineries. The business’ vision is to give clients a taste of the refinement and excitement embodied in the varietals from across the length and breadth of the diverse Okanagan Valley renowned for its lush valleys and micro climate conditions that produce a range of award winning wines, from full-bodied intense reds to vivacious, fresh and crisp whites.

Kascadia’s solid growth is testament to the stellar talent, palate and epicurean taste of founder, CEO and Canadian entrepreneur, VJ Gandhi. Her deep love for the complexity in a glass of wine as well as her genuine passion to market the award winning and wide range of varietals produced in Canada, has meant that Kascadia Wine Merchants has been swift to secure its place at the forefront of the US and Canada’s wine scene.

In addition to its consummate range, each wine sourced and sold by Kascadia Wine Merchants is subjected to strict quality and complexity standards. Each bottle has been tasted, assessed and approved to ensure every drop on the premises is of excellent quality. VJ is also a wine connoisseur who values insight from bloggers whom she will feature on Kascadia’s website, while sharing sommelier insights and interviews with the wine makers she works with. She regularly hosts wine tastings and pairings which are open to curious novices and die hard enthusiasts alike.

The focus of Kascadia Wine Merchants is on truly pushing the boundaries of what is possible for Canadian wine and in exploring and searching for the undiscovered - the very best exclusive and boutique selections for Kascadia’s discerning customers and buyers. By working closely with vintners to select the very best vintages as well as offering customers a bespoke online shopping experience that is unparalleled, Kascadia Wine Merchants is reinventing how the world sees, tastes and experiences Canadian wine.

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It's Senorita Time!

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¡Hola! Over the holidays, we had the opportunity to connect with the fabulous Amanda and Christina from @itssenoritatime! These beautiful ladies are fun-loving wine lovers and influencers from the New York City and South Florida area. Read below for our exclusive interview and dance your way into the evening while listening to their specially curated playlist on Kascadia Spotify! You can also read their review of our 50th Parallel Pinot Gris which won GOLD at the  2017 Los Angeles International Wine Competition here.

We absolutely love the dynamic you two have! How did you meet each other? We met in high school and have been friends ever since. We both love wine so we decided to take our passion to the next level and start our wine blog in April 2017. 

itssenoritatime
Have you ever tasted Canadian wine?
Prior to our partnership with Kascadia Wine Merchants and 50th Parallel, we have never tried Canadian wine. Canadian wine isn't really well known on the East Coast, unfortunately. But it should be! There are two major US Markets on the east coast: New York metro and South Florida. We're hoping that Canadian wine can make an appearance on the shelves at our local liquor stores soon!
What would you suggest pairing our 50th Parallel Pinot Gris with?
We ended up having the Pinot Gris with salmon, salad, and roasted acorn squash. The creaminess of the wine paired well with this meal. However it is also perfect as an aperitif. 
pinot gris wine
Purchase the award winning 2016 50th Parallel Pinot Gris wine featured in this post on our website. Click here
Make sure to tune into the @itsSenoritaTime 's awesome playlist while enjoying your next glass of wine too! You can find it on our Spotify Account here
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Top 6 Wine Accounts On Instagram

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Are you looking for some new people to follow on Instagram who love wine? Well, pour yourself a glass of vino, get your scrolling finger ready and be prepared to be WINED out! See below for the list you don't want to miss out on.
Michael Landucci, the founder of WineWeirdos takes his audience on a voyage through the tastes, smells and the unique attributes of each bottle of wine he reviews on his youtube channel- usually with a trusty sidekick. His friendly personality and intriguing content will keep you interested from day one! We are hooked!
 
Hana-Lee is a  Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and Sommelier who loves wine and exploring the world! She's not only a total wine expert, but she has an awesome social presence and personal brand. This California beauty's photographed and intriguing content is something you won't want to miss out on. 
WanderAndWine
Amanda and Christina are two girls who just love to have fun! From New York and South Florida, these best friends stay in touch through their love of wine, adventures and true bliss. Their entertaining social presence, beauty and lightheartedness is something to note. Keep up the great work, ladies! 
Its Senorita Time
Okay, full disclosure, we have girl crushes on this woman! Ashley has over 10 years of experience in the wine and service industry. S he has launched and managed hospitality/wine programs for some of the best LA restaurants, so clearly she's got it going on! Oh, and did we mention she's a total babe with a unique personal brand that's romantic and elegant, yet fun and exciting. Props, lady!
pour this
This LA woman is someone you just want to be friends with. Cecily's casual, but elegant approach to wine brings joy to her content. She's a total girls girl who is always looking fabulous. Her taste in wine and food matches her personality which we are not ignoring! You go, girl! 
April is a talented Chicago home-based chef, food blogger and social media socialite. We love her comforting personality, funny demeanour and mouth watering recipes. Yes, her food is amazing, but so are her wine pairings. We would pay big bucks to be at her Christmas dinner table this season, that's for sure! 
TheTipsyHouseWife
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An Interview with @WanderAndWine

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We recently had the opportunity to interview the beautiful Hana-Lee who is responsible for the @WanderAndWine account on social media. Hana-Lee is a writer, Certified Specialist of Wine and Sommelier who lives in Santa Barbara, CA. Her travels have not only inspired her to enhance her wine skills, but also her perspective on life. Her content is always intriguing and keeps her audience engaged. See below for more information on her and her experience with Kascadia wines! 

WanderAndWine

How did you get into wine? Is there a specific story you can share with us describing how wine sparked an interested for you?

Though I drank wine while spending a semester abroad in Italy (but let’s be honest, I wasn’t exactly drinking the finest Italian wines!). It wasn’t until I lived in San Francisco after college that I really started to get into wine. San Francisco is a foodie paradise, and since I love good food and trying new restaurants, I naturally started getting more interested in what I was drinking when I went out to eat. Being so close to wine regions like Napa and Sonoma and having access to cool San Francisco wine bars made it easy for me to explore the world of wine. My friends and I would take day trips to wine country, meet at local wine bars and attend wine events in the city, and I soon realized that I didn’t just enjoy drinking wine, but wanted to learn as much as I could about it. Learning about wine became a passion very quickly!

Do you have any food pairings you would suggest for any of the wines we sent you? Do you have any recipes you'd like to share?

While I’m a firm believer that you should drink what you like, regardless of whether it technically pairs well with your food, you can’t argue with a great wine and food pairing! It can be eye-opening when you get to experience the magic of a great match.

I tried the 50th Parallel Pinot Gris with prosciutto and local goat Gouda and it was a fantastic pairing. Given the touch of sweetness in the wine, I think it would also be a great match with Asian or Thai food. I also tried the Meyer Family Mclean Creek Pinot Noir, which was a bit heartier than some PInot Noirs, and had a nice blend of red fruit, baking spice and savory characteristics. I’d probably pair it with duck or pork roast, or something heartier like Beef Bourguignon. Yum! The Painted Rock Red Icon, on the other hand, had a more tannic structure, full of black pepper, dark chocolate and earthy notes. I’d hold onto this one for a while to let it age a bit, but if you want to enjoy it now, try decanting and serving it with a delicious steak.

Kascadia Wine

Who is your biggest inspiration in the wine world and why?

That’s a tough question! It’s impossible for me to say I have one major inspiration, because I find so many different people, places and wines inspirational. When I travel to different wine regions and meet winemakers and producers, I’m always inspired by their stories of how they got into wine. More often than not, they were on a very different path in life but a chance job at a winery or restaurant changed their course. It’s really cool to hear!

That being said, I find so much inspiration in Santa Barbara’s wine community. The dedication, passion and knowledge of winemakers and wine professionals in this area is infectious. It’s a community of generous, welcoming and hardworking people who are dedicated to crafting exceptional wine from our region, but aren’t afraid to have fun along the way. Wine can be serious on some levels, but this community reminds us to find time to pop open bottles, cook a great meal in your backyard, and share laughs and stories with friends. Finding a balance of working hard, doing what you love and making time to enjoy life, that’s inspirational!

 

To view Hana-Lee's Wander & Wine website click here

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Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Creamy Burrata with Sourdough Crostini

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Here at Kascadia, we never need an an excuse to make our ultimate burrata dish. It’s fresh, delectable and perfectly compliments every season and every reason. Close your eyes and imagine yourself...sinking your teeth into a crunchy sourdough crostini, smothered in juicy slow roasted cherry tomatoes and velvety smooth burrata cheese. Exactly...I had you at Burrata.

Now open up that bottle of wine that you’ve been eyeing all week and play something from our Kascadia playlist for goodness sake. We are going to tell you how to make the yummiest burrata appetizer that you’ve ever had! Don’t take our word for it. Your guests won’t be able to keep their hands off!

INGREDIENTS:

Burrata cheese

Heirloom cherry tomatoes or any yummy bite size tomatoes your heart desires

Fresh basil

Olive oil for roasting and Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling 

Aged balsamic

4 medium cloves of garlic peeled; not chopped

Salt

Sourdough loaf to make crostini

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place whole cherry tomatoes and cloves of garlic in a minimum 1” inch deep baking pan.
  2. Generously drizzle regular olive oil all over the tomatoes and garlic.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and mix well.
  4. Bake tomatoes and garlic in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Remember to stir at 20 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, let’s cut up the bread! Cut your sourdough bread into crostini size pieces.
  6. Lightly brush regular olive oil onto the cut sourdough crostini pieces and pop those babies onto a medium heat skillet on the stove. Cook each side of the crostini until it is golden brown. We like our crostini golden and slightly crispy on the outside!
  7. So now your pan of tomatoes, olive oil and garlic should look like a juicy roasted tomato tapenade. You can pull that out of the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Arrange your delicious tomatoes and burrata cheese together on a dish. Julienne chop the basil and throw that on top.
  9. Drizzle Extra Virgin olive oil and aged balsamic over your burrata and tomato masterpiece.
  10. Last step - take your crunchy and yummy crostini and take a dip in the roasted tomato and burrata.
  11. You’re welcome :)

Click here to listen to our Kascadia Happy Hour Spotify Playlist



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