The Eater: Natalie MacLean is Canada’s best-known wine writer and self-styled “wine cheapskate”. She is the author of Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines, which was recently awarded a Taste Canada food writing award for the best English-language culinary narrative.
The Place: I learned my lesson dining out with MacLean a few months ago at Brothers Beer Bistro; for her food is an afterthought, all roads lead to wine. I thought she might be curious about what was happening in the world of craft beers but instead she called ahead and made sure they had a decent wine list before agreeing to join me there. Since my love of food led to an appreciation of wine, I had assumed (wrongly) the opposite would be true for her. As MacLean herself says, “I only care about foods as it intersects with wine.”
So when it came time to choose a destination for Eggville, MacLean was stumped — eggs apparently do not pair well with wine. All anxiety was alleviated when I mentioned in my email that we could go to Oz Kafe’s Hangover Brunch. I assured her that there were mimosas on the menu. She wrote: “My god, that’s perfect!!!! I haven’t even heard that place but it’s already my absolute favourite.”