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7 steps to pairing great wines with hearty winter roasts

Nothing pairs quite so well with a midwinter day as an herb-crusted slab of meat roasting alongside a few root vegetables. And to toast that roast you’ll want a rich, flavourful wine that can stand up to the snappiest of cold snaps.

Here, experts dish up seven tips to pair with heartier fare.

IT’S OK TO ORDER THE MERLOT

Want easy elegance for an Oscars party? Go with crostini

They sound simple. Crostini, that is. Slices of bread that have been brushed with olive oil and toasted, then topped with something that need be no more complex than a sprinkle of salt and a generous rub with a fresh garlic clove. Of course, something more complex is nice, too. I’m talking to you, tomato and Parmesan and anchovy.

Serving up cocktails with a cinematic twist for the Oscars

Silver shakers and the silver screen go back a long time. Think French 75 from “Casablanca” and Agent 007’s dry martinis.

So for those of you planning to drink along at home for the Feb. 28 showing of the Oscars this year, now might be a good time to get your cocktail act together. And Tim Federle, author of “Gone with the Gin,” has a few ideas about that.

LAMB AND DATE KOFTA

Hollywood’s biggest night also is one of the best excuses to get your friends together and get glamorous in the kitchen. But glamorous doesn’t have to be onerous. The best party food is something that will get your guests talking, something that is a crowd pleaser, something that can be eaten as a finger food but ‚Äî vitally ‚Äî also is really easy to assemble.

A slice of white bread is the trick to healthier Oscars food

Finger food can be tricky for the healthy eater. Tiny bites that explode with flavour often are loaded with empty calories and little nutrition. If I’m not paying attention at a party, I can easily inhale a day’s worth of calories, just because, well, I’m hungry. And finger food is so, you know, small. So I eat a lot.