Summer Wine Time

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2020 by darmyers
10 Summer Wines Perfect for the Season
Summer is here

Nothing says Summer quite like the Canada Day holiday here in Canada and the 4th of July for our neighbours in the U.S. And as many parts of Canada and the U.S. are experiencing extremely high temperatures, there is a wine for that.

When I think the hot days of Summer, I think Rose. And I can’t remember if I discovered this particular one last Summer or the Summer before.

Arrogant Frog Rose

One of the great things about Rose wine, other than the taste, is that it doesn’t have to break the bank. This beautiful fresh Arrogant Frog Rose is just $15.99 a bottle here. From France, this Rose is made from the Syrah grape (think Shiraz), but of course limited contact with the skins. Harvested at night to avoid increased sugar levels, this wonderful wine is perfect for the patio or that Summer picnic.

Me too!

Between wild weather throughout much of Canada this Spring, (it snowed in Halifax May 13th) and Covid-19, people are ready to get out and enjoy Summer. Safely of course!

I’m also going to share a couple of beverages I love in the Summer that isn’t wine.

Sandpiper Pomegranate - We Can So You Can Take It Outside - Hike ...

Locally made in Nova Scotia, I love these refreshing Vodka soda coolers. Fun to drink with no added sugar, these are not the sweet coolers of past years. The top one is made by local brewer Nine Locks and is the delicious Pomegranate and the bottom one is the Blue Lobster Lemon Lime by the Nova Scotia Spirit Company. Fabulous delicious drinks for Summer, that are only about 5% or 6% alcohol content, so you can have more than 1.

Back to the wine

Last year on my Canada Day blog I wrote about a great Canadian red wine from the See Ya Later Ranch. Check it out here.

See Ya Later Ranch Riesling

This year I want to tell you about the Riesling from that same vineyard. Located in the Okanagan Valley in beautiful British Columbia, the See Ya Later Ranch gets its name from how the owner, Major Hugh Fraser, signed off on all his letters. He didn’t want to say Good-bye, so he said ‘See Ya Later’. And a vineyard was born. The Riesling is a great wine for under $20 and is light and refreshing. Another great wine for sipping on the patio or served with your favorite meal. Riesling is actually one of my favorite white wines to pair with food. I love it.

And now for my wine of the week…..

Conviction Pinot Noir

I love an interesting label on a wine bottle, and since I’m very adventurous when it comes to trying new wine, I will admit I’m a bit of a sucker for a great label. I am in Newfoundland. My father is not well and I’m on Day 11 of self-isolating, before I help get my Mom ready to go into a home, and hopefully see my Dad come out of the hospital. So while I’m in Newfoundland, I sent my brother-in-law to the liquor store for me and ask him to get me a Pinot Noir. I loved what he bought home. The great news is you can also get this wine at the NSLC in Nova Scotia, but I had never tried it before. Another great wine from British Columbia, it’s vibrant and delicious and went great with the chicken kabobs I did that evening on the BBQ. A decent price as well, coming in at around the $26 mark.

The extreme heat is a little much for me

That’s it for me for this week. Stay cool. This past weekend in Newfoundland it was in the mid-30’s and that’s very unusual temperatures for June. Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Darlene

I Miss Wine Tastings

Posted in Uncategorized on June 20, 2020 by darmyers
You never know!

I am in Newfoundland. In self-isolation. My parents are quite elderly and I drove to Newfoundland Tuesday (18 hours including a ferry) and started self-isolating for 14 days in the basement apartment in my sisters home. It’s given me some time to think, and I was thinking this week I really miss doing wine tastings. As a Certified Sommelier, I get asked a lot to do at home wine tastings for people. I go to their homes, or to the Common room of their apartment building, and I guide people through a wine tasting. I did one in January and one in February this year, and that was it. Normally March, April & May are quite busy with wine tastings, but then Coronavirus happened.

My favorite part is meeting new people and getting them to enjoy new wines. We all know wine is expensive, especially here in Canada, so we don’t want to waste it. Some people tend to buy the same wine over and over, and a wine tasting is a chance for people to step outside their comfort zones and try some new wines.

Here are some of my favorites from previous wine tastings.

It’s always a great time when friends gather
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Villa Conchi Brut

I always bring a sparkling wine to a wine tasting for two reasons. 1. Many people think all sparkling wines are sweet, ie Baby Duck or Reunite. Sparkling wine has come such a long way since those days. You can now buy Italian Prosecco or Spanish Cava at a fraction of the price of a ‘Champagne’ and get a great quality dry sparkling wine. One of my favorites to bring to a wine tasting is the Villa di Conchi Spanish Cava. Such a pretty bottle, such a great price. Just $19 for this sparkling wine that is made in same method as Champagne from France. A perfect way to welcome a guest, it made my Top 10 Wines of 2018. Hint: This is on sale in Nova Scotia right now for $17 a bottle, run out and buy more than 1.

There’s always a wide variety
Elouan Pinot Noir

Another wine I love bringing to wine tastings because of the misconceptions around it, is a good Pinot Noir. And we all know Oregon state, sandwiched between California to its South and Washington State to its North, is making spectacular Pinot Noir wines. I have bought them in all price ranges, but this is a fan favorite. The Elouan Pinot Noir is not the most expensive Pinot, just $33 a bottle, but it’s one of the tastiest. Many people tend to think Pinot is ‘wimpy’, I’ve been told that a dozen times. Because the skin of the grape is so thin, it doesn’t have the dark color of a Merlot or a Cabernet, but it packs a ton of full-bodied flavor. And so food friendly. I love Pinot Noir.

Botter Primitivo is Organic

Last but not least, I always love bringing a surprise wine. A wine that is such a good value, to drive home the point good wine does not have to be expensive. Primitivo, which is the same grape as Zinfandel in Italy, is another grape that can be a little higher priced. Not this Botter Primitivo. It’s under $15 a bottle and with Summer here, it’s the perfect BBQ wine. By the way, it was 33-degrees in Halifax yesterday, a heat wave. Here on the West Coast of Newfoundland, it was 10-degrees.

This was taken at 12 Noon
25+ Best Wine Tasting Memes | the Memes, Finish Memes, When Memes

Well that’s it for this week. Cheers

Darlene

How Coronavirus has changed The Wine Industry

Posted in Uncategorized on June 13, 2020 by darmyers
The new normal

At the beginning of every year since I started writing wine blogs, I do a blog on upcoming trends in the wine industry. You can read my January 2020 wine blog here. This past January I predicted Italian wines would continue to do well, Rose Prosecco was coming, and we could see a price increase in European wines. Never in a million years would I have predicted a global pandemic that saw wine tastings and social events come to a complete halt, and the sale of wine surpass those at Christmas time.

Who could have predicted a toilet paper shortage

We have witnessed the obliteration of public wine tastings and on-premise wine drinking of any kind. Wine industry experts expect this at-home wine drinking to continue. Even as the world starts to open up, people are still hesitant to eat out, and heaven knows when the next public wine tasting will be. Even as we start to open up, older adults especially are continuing their attention to catching an infection, and continuing to dine at home. Experts are saying the retail sale of wine will continue to be strong for a while yet.

My new mask

Next to toilet paper and hand sanitizer, the best selling product across Canada during the Coronavirus pandemic, was booze. There has been an unprecedented demand, and the industry has adjusted, with curbside pick-up and home delivery on the rise. Where as companies have seen lost sales from cancelled events, the retail sector has done just fine. Here in Nova Scotia, on the Eastern Coast of Canada, the NSLC reported the sale of alcohol increased by 14.4% in March alone, and we were only in lockdown for 2 weeks that month.

Ok, let’s talk some wine.

Another wonderful Italian Pinot Grigio, this time from the mountainous northern region of Italy. Given a ‘Best Buy’ designation from Wine Enthusiast and the #1 Italian wine sold in America, you can’t go wrong this crisp Pinot Grigio with its gorgeous citrus and green apple flavors. Here in Nova Scotia, it’s just $14.95 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week…

Cavit Red Blend

It’s the sister wine to the Pinot Grigio, Cavit Red Blend. Another award winner, and a 92 Point Wine that is under $15, because this wine is also $14.95 a bottle. It’s a very interesting blend of 40% Teroldego, 35% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah.  Teroldego is a deeply colored red wine grape variety grown mostly in the Trentino wine region of northern Italy where it is the main dark-skinned variety. Combined with the traditional grape varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, this is a winner.

That’s it for me for this week, till next week Cheers

Darlene

Merlot is Back!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 6, 2020 by darmyers

After the movie Sideways won an Academy Award for best Adapted Screenplay, Pinot Noir became a shining star in the wine world, and has stayed there. It is a mainstay in the California wine world, and winemakers attribute the film, calling it ‘The Sideways Effect’.

Doctor’s orders

Another grape didn’t fare as well, one of my all time favorites, Merlot. After Paul Giamatti, playing Miles Raymond, issued the famous line ‘ “No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any f****** Merlot!”. for 5 years following the films release, Merlot sales dropped 2% each year while Pinot Noir sales rose 16% each year. That is ‘The Sideways Effect’.

You had me at merlot - red wine | Meme Generator
I love Merlot

But in a recent poll in the U.S. from YouGov, Merlot has become the #1 drinking red wine at 19%, inching out Cabernet Sauvignon at 18%. You can read that article here. My friends, Merlot is back!

Grenache, Syrah & Merlot makes a great blend

So let’s start the blog off with a Grenache, Syrah & Merlot blend that is so easy to drink and so affordable. Normally a GSM is Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Patisserie’s aim is to offer simple, approachable and well-made French wines that are fruitier in style and reminiscent of some of the most popular French cakes usually found in pâtisserie shops. This blend offers flavours of black cherries and spicy vanilla, similar to a Clafoutis (a traditional French flan like cherry cake). And here in Nova Scotia, it’s $18 a bottle. That’s what I call Win-Win!

Jacob’s Creek Moscato

A little bit of a surprise, the poll showed that Moscato is the #1 drinking white wine. I know Moscato has been on the rise in popularity, because I’m hearing more and more people say they love it. And you are going to love this Moscato from one of the leading winemakers in the Barossa Valley in Australia, Jacob’s Creek. This Moscato is only $14 a bottle here, so everyone can afford to try it. Moscato has a tinge of sweetness and is known for tropical fruit flavors. It’s delicous served chilled, and goes very well with appetizers and charcuterie boards. The light bubbly wine can really cut through the salt of meats and cheeses on a charcuterie board. It goes well with Thai food as well, like my homemade Chicken Pad Thai and Sweet Thai Chili wings. I assure you, I eat very well.

Homemade Chicken Pad Thai & Thai wings

And now for my wine of the week..

Steak with butter in cast iron
I normally like mine a little pinker

I did a steak last night for the first time in a long time. I will tell you, I do a mean steak in a cast iron frying pan. Simple and easy to remember, butter, salt & pepper are the only 3 ingredients. I melt a lot of butter in a pan, get it hot, and put in my steak. Last night I had two smaller pieces of thick beef tenderloin. Sear it on both sides, and then I put it in the oven for 12 minutes. I will be honest, it was a little too long, I like my steak a little pinker. But it was tasty, as I kept basting the steak with the melted butter. It was good. Very good. here’s the wine I had with it.

A good full-bodied Bordeaux. Bordeaux is a always a blend, and consists of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and another grape variety approved for the region. This blend is 40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc. In a meeting of Wine Cellar Masters from Bordeaux during a blind tasting, this was one of the favorites picked. I had the 2018 vintage, which is still really new, but it wasn’t overly heavy. A great wine at a great price, under $17 a bottle.

That’s it for me for this week, till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Another Week of Wine & Food

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2020 by darmyers

Does anyone else feel they are getting used to the Quarantine lifestyle. I am happy restrictions are starting to lift, however, I do find it strange we can’t get my 85 and 90 year old parents into an old age home, but we can get them a tattoo! True story! As I’ve said in the past, unprecedented times.

I’ve gotten into somewhat of a comfortable routine here at home. It’s like for the first couple of weeks I didn’t know how to work from home. Now I have a groove going. I get up, shower, dress, put on coffee and sit down at my computer and get going. It’s very busy but I still like the freedom of being able to put on a load of wash in between calls, emails and Zoom meetings. And if I had to be honest, I’m not missing the commute.

And the fun continues with new recipes. Like Caprese chicken


Chicken done with Bocconcini cheese (you can use Mozzarella) and some Cheddar with sweet grape tomatoes and Basil

And crispy sweet and spicy wings done in my air fryer. The sauce is a mixture of Frank’s Hot Sauce, Maple Syrup, and a dash of Bulls Eye Sweet & Sticky BBQ sauce. Delicious.

And of course I’m always discovering new wines. I have a new white and a new red to share with you, but first the red.

Embrazen Red wine

I love the slogan on the website “Bold Wines Trailblazing Women”. They also make a Chardonnay which features Celia Cruz on the label, the most successful Latin artist, and a Cabernet Sauvignon that features Journalist & Explorer Nellie Bly. Then there is this red blend which features Josephine Baker, Entertainer & Undercover spy. There’s a movie that dates back to 1991 called The Josephine Baker Story starring Lynn Whitfield and Lou Gossett Jr, and it’s fabulous. Watch the trailer here. This wine is a blend of mostly Merlot & some Syrah and it is full-bodied and rich with a hint of mocha on the tongue. Delicious, and $10 off right now here in Nova Scotia. Normally, $26.98 it is on for $16.98. I bought several more since tasting it.

And now for my wine of the week…

Alluria Pinot Grigio

My wine of the week is a fantastic white wine. My friend Arla and I have the same taste in Pinot Grigio, we like them clean, crisp and with a hint of tropical notes. Arla & her husband are in my bubble and we shared a lot of wine last Saturday night, and this was one of them. Fantastic. And it’s under $14 a bottle.

Well, that’s it for this week. Enjoy the week, and till next weekend, Cheers

Darlene

Great Women Wine Writers

Posted in Uncategorized on May 23, 2020 by darmyers
Are Wine Blogs Considered the Ugly Stepsister of Wine Writing ...

I really appreciate everyone that reads by wine blogs every week. I’ve been doing this for over 9 years, and I love it. I started doing this when I just couldn’t read enough about wine, and wanted to share some basics. Then I took my readers along on my journey to become a Sommelier. Every once in a while I get a bit of writer’s block. And this is one of those weeks. So, I was reading a wine blog this past week, from one of my favorite wine writers. Her blog is called ‘The Wine Folly’ and I was thinking there are so many fantastic women writing wine blogs, that I thought I would share some of my favorites with you. So this blog is about some of my favorite wine writers, and of course there will be my Wine of the Week!

The Wine Folly

Wine Folly: Reading a Wine Label (Ep. 4) - YouTube

This is Madeline Puckett and she is one of the co-founders of The Wine Folly. She is such a knowledgeable woman when it comes to wine, who has a great easy-to-read style of blogging about wine. She is a certified Sommelier with the Court of Masters Sommelier and author of the New York Times Bestselling book: Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. 

Natalie MacLean

CBC.ca | Mainstreet Cape Breton | Wine on a budgetNatalie MacLean

Probably the best known wine writer in Canada would be Natalie MacLean out of Ottawa. She is a writer and wine reviewer. You’ve probably seen her on CTV Mornings on television. She also wrote a couple of great books including ‘UnQuenchable’ and my favorite Red, White and Drunk All Over.

Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape ...

Andrea Robinson

Andrea Robinson | Penguin Random House

The first time I ever saw a woman Sommelier was this lady. It was on a cooking show with Emeril Lagasse, and I thought she had the coolest job in the world. She is a world-renown Master Sommelier, which is the highest and most prestigious title awarded to Sommeliers around the world. There are only 269 Master Sommeliers in the world, only 28 of them are women. I mean ‘Wow!’ She has also been named the best Sommelier in the United States. This lady knows her stuff.

Jancis Robinson

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Probably one of the most famous wine writers in the world is this lady, Jancis Robinson. She is a British wine critic, journalist and wine writer, who started her career in 1975, which I can only guess was very male dominated at the time. Decanter Wine Magazine has called her the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world.

So, there you have some of the people I go to, when reading about wine.

And now, my Wine of the Week..

I had this beauty last night, and this Cabernet Franc from Argentina, which sells for under $18, tastes like a $30 bottle of wine. It is 100% Cabernet Franc, which in the past has been known as one of the grapes in a Bordeaux blend. Cabernet Franc, or Cab Franc as it is usually called, is not quite as a heavy as a Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is still full-bodied. It is, after all, a relative of Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a delicous wine that would pair very well with any meat dish.

KEEP CALM Good News Is Coming!! - Keep Calm and Posters Generator ...

As the world starts to open up, stay safe and keep well. We will get through this difficult time together.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Wining (I mean Working) From Home

Posted in Uncategorized on May 16, 2020 by darmyers

Welcome Letter 2019-2020 – Canadian International School of Egypt

First, welcome to all the new readers.  I really appreciate every one who takes time out of their day to read my wine blogs.  It’s something I started doing about 9 years ago, and somehow it became a weekly event.  It’s around the same time I started my studies to become a Certified Sommelier.  I thought it would be a good idea to chart my course.  Sometimes I get writer’s block, and sometimes the words just flow.  I’m just a girl from Newfoundland who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada that loves wine and food.  I saw a big spike last week in visitors, and I have to be honest, my heart swells.  I really appreciate people who enjoy this blog enough to share it with their family and friends.  So thank you.  Here’s this week’s ramblings!

Zoom meeting 1

Every week I do a handful of Zoom meetings, and in recent blogs have posted pictures of me and some of my colleagues, with their permission of course.  When I saw this I chuckled, because anyone who has been on a Zoom conference call is reminded of this scene from the Muppets.

Let’s talk some wine… and maybe some food.

I just finished my 9th week working from home.  For those of you don’t know, I am an Advertising Salesperson with 2 Radio stations here in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

working from home

I thought that was a cute meme to feature in my blog this week.  Let’s talk some wine.

I am a huge fan of Riesling.  I had Thai food recently and was disappointed that I didn’t have a bottle of Riesling in my wine rack.  I need to fix that.  Riesling does not have to be sweet.  As a matter of fact, this one, from Trius, is called Riesling Dry.  A great Canadian wine, priced at just $15.99 here in Nova Scotia, it’s light and crisp and has beautiful tropical flavors.  A great wine for all the white wine lovers to try, and it won’t break the bank.

Bourbon chicken

So the new recipe this week is Bourbon chicken, but without Bourbon.  Actually, if you look at some recipes on the internet for Bourbon chicken, not all of them contain bourbon.  I didn’t have any bourbon in the house, so I used a little rum.  Made this in the slow cooker, and it was so good. You don’t have to use a slow cooker, but it was a busy week work-wise for me, so the slow cooker made it super convenient.

I cut up boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs into bite size pieces.  Poured in the sauce which was 1) orange juice (many recipes call for apple juice, I didn’t have any, so I used orange juice)  2) soy sauce 3)olive oil 4) red wine vinegar 5) ketchup 6) garlic 7) a splash of rum 8) a cornstarch slue (equal parts cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce).  Put it over rice and voila, delicious meal.  

Here’s a great wine to go with that Bourbon Chicken, and it’s my wine of the week.

Anciano Garnacha

For the new readers, my wine blog does talk about ‘treat’ wines but for the most part, it’s a wine blog about find good wine at great prices.   Good wine does not have to be expensive.  And every week, I feature a new wine that I’ve discovered that fits those perimeters.  This week, the Anciano Garnacha (Spanish for Grenache, the same grape used in making Chateauneuf du Pape) is my wine of the week.  On sale right now for $13.99 and its a steal of a deal.  Regular readers know the Anciano Tempranillo aged 7 years, priced at $15 is a staple in my wine rack, well I may have to pick up a few more of these.  What a great wine at a great price.  The grapes are picked at the point of perfect ripeness, which means there is nothing bitter about this wine.  Easy to drink and food friendly, for under $14.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

Starbucks

A shout out to all the people who work at the Starbucks on my street in Halifax, Larry Uteck.  I was a regular and stopped in every day for a coffee, and chatting with the people who work there, you get to know and love them.  Well, since working from home has started, I’ve been making my coffee at home.  But yesterday I had some errands to run, so I grabbed a coffee, and this was the wonderful note that was on my coffee.  I’m so blessed to have many kind wonderful people in my life.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

 

 

 

Wining During A Pandemic

Posted in Uncategorized on May 9, 2020 by darmyers

Your pandemic alcohol bill is how much? I'm not even mad, I'm ...

Here in Nova Scotia Canada, we just completed eight weeks of working from home, and I’m reading news reports of alcohol and wine sales being on the rise.  No surprise there.  Hopefully, like me, you’ve had a chance to discover some new wines during this interesting time.

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Following proper protocols and sitting 6-feet apart, I shared a glass of wine with my friend Arla.  This is a wine she bought back from the States.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about its sister wine, the Stemmari Grillo.

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This past Sunday I got to try the crisp and delicious Pinot Grigio, sustainably-made in Sicily Italy.  A lot of work goes in to making this wine, including the fact the grapes are picked at night during the month of August, to maintain its fragrance.  It’s hard to believe this wine sells for $8 in the U.S.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we pay way too much for wine here in Canada.  If you can get this wine where you live, I highly recommend it.  I loved it.

As you know, I’ve been trying out some  new recipes while in isolation.  This chicken breast was a winner that I will do again in a heartbeat.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts can be dull and boring, but here’s what I did.  Stuffed it with feta cheese and bacon, and then I put butter in my small cast iron frying pan and browned it on all sides.  Then I added a bit of orange juice to the pan and let it finish cooking in the oven.  Delicious.  Easy and tasty.

And now for my wine of the week…

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I’ve been writing this wine blog for about 9 years, and if you’ve been reading it that long, this wine might look familiar.  Years ago I fell in love with this Merlot from Candor, so imagine my delight when I noticed it was back and $5 off.  Regular $25.00, it was on for $20 and what a steal of a deal.  Candor means ‘the art of being open and honest in expression’, and I loved how Hope Wines, the makers of Candor wines, express this Merlot.  You’ll notice in the left hand corner, you can see the words ‘Lot 3’.  Instead of doing a yearly vintage, they are able to bring quality wines to the table with Lot numbers, that represent whatever ‘years’ the grapes were harvested.  For example, Lot 3 Merlot is known to have grapes from a 2008 and a 2009 vintage.  It’s smooth, delicious and a great price.  This went beautiful with the pizza I had last night.

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Another Zoom conference call to wrap up the week.  Stay safe everyone, till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Food & Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2, 2020 by darmyers

food and wine

I’m confident if there were  2 words to describe my quarantine, food and wine would be at the top of the list.  I love to cook, and I love to drink wine, and an extended period of isolation is a great time to try new recipes and new wine.  And for that reason I have a whole set of different curves I’m trying to flatten!  LOL

Let’s talk about some wine.

One of the head buyers for the NSLC told me Italian Pinot Grigio is one of their most popular white wines.  You know me, I like to try a grape and then try it from different countries.  This Pinot Grigio is from Argentina, and is such a great value.  $14.99 for this bottle and it’s made by Las Moras, who is one of the biggest producers of wine in Argentina.  Started in 1993 by Richard Smart, this vineyard is putting out some great tasting wine at very reasonable prices.  This Pinot Grigio is fresh with a nice finish, and is a great wine for Thai, Chinese or any foods with a bit of spice.

I’m going to give you my new recipe for roasted potatoes,  it’s quick and easy and make the best roasted potatoes.  But first, let me tell you about the wine I treated myself to last night.

Centerstone Pinot

Regular readers of this blog know I love Pinot Noir from Oregon.  I think that state north of California is producing some of the best quality Pinot Noir wines since Burgundy France.  I thoroughly enjoyed this wine, although I do recommend decanting it.  The first sip was a little earthy before things settled down.  Once I decanted it (or you can let it sit for 30 minutes), the flavors came out.  This wine was only aged in oak for a very short time, so it’s not at all oaky.  Mild hints of the earthiness stayed, along with blended fruity notes of cherry, strawberry and vanilla.  Super food friendly wine.

Before I get to my wine of the week, let me take a few lines to tell you about the meal above.  Paired with a staple in my wine rack, the DaDa Merlot from Argentina.  The Pork chops were first seared in my cast iron frying pan seasoned with salt & pepper.

food and wine 2

Then I added a bit of beef broth to the pan, mixed up honey, ketchup, garlic powder, and a splash of soy sauce and added that while I finished cooking them in the oven.

food and wine 1 Honey garlic sauce

The secret to the potatoes were peeling, cutting them up, boiling them for 5 minutes, and draining them.  I then added olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted them in a hot oven at 395-degrees.  Took less than 25 minutes in the oven and they were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  I used to take an hour roasting potatoes, and this week I saw a ‘chef’s tip’ online of boiling them for 5-10 minutes before roasting them.  Try it, easy and delicious.

And now for my wine of the week…

Pepperwood Grove Zinfandel

Finding great wine at great prices is basically what my wine blog is all about.  This Gold Medal winner used to be a regular at our NSLC but about 5 or 6  years ago they stopped carrying it.  Well it’s back, and at $16.99 for an Old Vine Zinfandel, that’s a great deal.  Check out the last time I wrote about this wine, November 3rd, 2012 wine blog here.

This wine is medium-bodied, fruity and easy to drink with flavors of raspberry, plum and vanilla.  Delicious.

This is a fantastic wine from California, and Pepperwood Grove sources out the grapes, so they don’t grow grapes, they buy them and concentrate on making good wine at reasonable prices.   Pepperwood Groves also makes a Pinot Grigio and a Chardonnay for white wine lovers and a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot, if you want something a little more full-bodied.  Please, please, please, can we bring in more of these wines to Nova Scotia.

ryan reynolds

So, I saw this meme this week and it reminded me, this is basically my refrigerator, every time I open the door!  LOL.  You again?

Have a great week everyone, till next Saturday Cheers

Darlene

Virtual Wine Fest

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2020 by darmyers

Zoom meeting

Every get together is being done virtually these days.  So every Friday at 4;30 p.m., myself along with the crew I work with, get on Zoom, and do a virtual Happy Hour.  In this age of self isolation and social distancing, and the fact I live alone, I really look forward to these Friday afternoon get-togethers.   Here’s the group from yesterday, and the reason everyone is wearing red, was to honor and support Constable Heidi Stevens and the RCMP, who along with 21 other people lost their lives here last Sunday in Nova Scotia in Canada’ biggest mass shooting.  Heartbreaking and gut-wrenching, there really are no words.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon BlancBeringer Sauvignon Blanc

My GM at the radio station, orders from a local wine store where you can just pull up and they’ll put the wine in your truck.  He was asking me about Sauvignon Blanc for his next order.  Here were two of my recommendations.  Sauvignon Blanc, if you’ve never tried it, is a wonderful crisp light white wine.  The word Sauvignon Blanc actually means ‘wild white’.  This wild wine is a great food wine, and tends to come two ways, grassy and green and those that lean towards passion fruit.  I like the fruity ones.  The Kim Crawford on the left has those tropical fruit aromas and flavors and hails from New Zealand.  That one is about $20 a bottle.  The Beringer on the right is a great value at just $12 a bottle and comes from California.  It too has the tropical fruit flavors with hints of mandarin orange.  I love Sauvignon Blanc.

pork 1

I rarely post food pictures, but I did try a new recipe this past week, a pork tenderloin with a red wine peppercorn sauce, and I loved it, so I shared it on my Facebook page.  I told people I would share the recipe on my wine blog this weekend.  I had wanted a Pinot Noir wine, but I did’t have one, so I opened a Zinfandel.  This Zinfandel

Mcmanis

There are some Zinfandel wines out there that have manipulated flavors of bacon, and although it was pork tenderloin, I did not want that.  This Zinfandel from McManis was a gift from my friend Maggie, and I thought it went perfectly with my dish.  The sauce had lots of peppercorns in it and the wine had hints of pepper, so it was a match made in heaven.  As you can see, this wine is Certified Sustainable, and a fantastic value at about $21 a bottle.  McManis Wines was started in 1990 by Ron & Jamie McManis in Ripon California, known for being the almond Capital.  I’ve tried all the McManis wines and I love the family vineyard.  This is probably my favorite.

pork 2

As you can see, my pork tenderloin and red wine peppercorn sauce was a success.  So, when I cook, I don’t measure things.  I realize that makes it hard to share recipes, but I’m going to give it a try.

  1.  To start, I marinated my pork tenderloin for about 4 hours with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper.  That’s it.
  2. Then I took out my cast iron frying pan, I have two, a big one and a small one.  I love my small one for small steaks, etc.  For the tenderloin I used the large one.  I had taken the pork tenderloin out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature. cast iron
  3. Then I seared it for 1-2 minutes on each side.  I like the fact the grocery store on my street sells smaller tenderloins.  It’s very helpful for a person that lives alone.  So I had a small tenderloin and I enjoyed two meals with it.
  4. Then I had the oven pre-heated to 375 and finished cooking it to a medium in my oven, which took my tenderloin about 20 minutes.   A medium is 160-degrees, I took the tenderloin out of the oven at 155-degrees and wrapped it in aluminum foil for 5-10 minutes.  This lets the juices settle back in and it will finish cooking to that 160-degree perfection.  It took me a long time to cook pork tenderloin because I used to over cook it.  Life became simpler when I got a meat thermometer.
  5. For the sauce, in a saucepan I sauteed onions, sliced super small and thin, for about 2 minutes, and added some garlic and sauteed another minute.
  6. Then I added some red wine.  I opened the Zinfandel and added it, because that was the wine I was having for dinner, so that’s the wine I used in the sauce.  Let it simmer for 5 minutes or so, until it reduced down a bit.
  7. Then I added the Peppercorns, beef stock and heavy cream, playing with the amounts a bit to get the consistency I wanted.  Once it boiled, I let it simmer on low for about 10 minutes. I have a pepper grinder and I set it to a coarse grind, and put in quite a bit.  Maybe 1/8th of a cup.  If you are unsure, start with less, you can always add more pepper as you go.

And now for my wine of the week…. It’s a brand new Pinot Noir.

Cono Sur pinot

I loved this wine, because I found it full of flavor, and it’s only $20 a bottle.  This wine is from Chile, which makes it a warm climate Pinot Noir.  I’ll be honest, I tended to lean towards the cool climate Pinot wines – Go Canada, Burgundy France and Oregon!  However, I did very much enjoy this wine.  It was earthier than your cool climate Pinot, where as the cool climate ones tend to be fruitier and jammier.  100% of the wine was barrel aged for 11 months, and you can taste it.  I will definitely buy it again, but I will definitely try it with food next time.  I think it would have been a wonderful match with that pork tenderloin.  I may have to try that again.

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Stay safe everyone, and thanks for reading.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

National Pajama Day!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18, 2020 by darmyers

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This past Thursday, April 16th, marked “National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day” here in Canada.  Honestly, I didn’t make it up.  It made me chuckle because those of working from home due to self isolating and social distancing, I’d say there were a few ‘National Pajama Days’ in the past 5 weeks.  Who hasn’t been wearing pajamas a little more often than usual in the past five weeks?

wine glass covid 19

When I saw this glass on social media this past week, I knew I want to use it.  Believe  me when I tell you, most people are going through some sort of stress during this pandemic and time of isolation and social distancing.  I’m here to give you a little break from that, and I hope you enjoy reading my wine blog.  Let’s talk some wine!

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You don’t often hear me talk about South African wines, I don’t drink them all that often.  But I do have to share when I find a really great one.  The Ghost Corner Sauvignon Blanc was awarded 93 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards and 94 Points by Master of Wine Tim Atkin.  I really enjoyed this crisp Sauvignon Blanc with its tropical notes and hints of lemon zest.  It’s a real nice wine if you wanted to give yourself a bit of a treat, selling for $37 here in Nova Scotia and about $30 in other parts of Canada.

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Anyone else find their budget has changed slightly?  Gas consumption zero.  Food and wine … we’ll just leave it at that.

Now it’s time for my wine of the week….

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A person who is working at my local wine store, that I don’t know, told me this was the best Sangiovese he has ever had in this price range.  Perfect.  I love trying new wines and that was recommendation enough for me. The Santodeno Sangiovese Appasimento is a great wine for under $20.  Appasimento means the grapes goes through a drying process before fermentation.  That process is used in making Amarone, for example.  The drying process concentrates flavors and sugars in the grapes, but in no way makes the wine ‘sweet’.  From the Romagna region of Italy, known for Balsamic vinegard and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Parmesan), this region is also putting some dynamic wines.  I love the fact this full-bodied wine is under $20.

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Stay safe friends, and till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

Happy Easter (With Wine)

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11, 2020 by darmyers

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This is going to be the most unique Easter weekend I have experienced in my lifetime.  Like most of you, I won’t be seeing any family this weekend, as we continue with our social distancing and isolation.   However, like you, I’m sure there will be food and wine to celebrate this unusual long weekend.  Last weekend I cooked a turkey, because I hadn’t had it since Christmas, so this weekend it will be pork.

I know March 21st is the official first day of Spring, but growing up in Newfoundland it really didn’t start to feel like Spring until Easter weekend.  And as my friends and family in Corner Brook Newfoundland got a dumping of snow yesterday, we had everything from sunshine to snow to rain to hail here in Halifax.  Welcome to Spring in Canada.

The arrival of Spring also means the arrival of Rose wines for several of my readers.  Every time I bring a Rose wine to a wine tasting, at least 30% of the group is surprised it’s not sweet.  This is not your mother’s Rose wine.  This was my favorite find from last year.  Casillero Diablo Rose is made with the Shiraz grape.  Shiraz is a big, bold thick-skinned grape, which gives Shiraz wine its color and body.   Obviously a Rose is made with limited skin contact, but it’s still a delicious grape that makes a Rose wine that most red wine lovers will enjoy.  This wine can be enjoyed while cooking Easter dinner, served with any appetizers, or you can even serve it with the turkey.  It’s a spectacular value at $16 a bottle.

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Casillero del Diablo is made by Concha Y Toro, the biggest producer and distributor of wine in Chile.  It just so happens I had their Merlot last night.  Chile is putting out great drinkable wines at great prices and this Merlot is another great value at just $15.

The Rose wine is one great option to serve with turkey, here’s another one.

Sauvignon Blanc is another great wine to serve with turkey.  The name ‘Sauvignon Blanc’ means “Wild White”, and it’s one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the world so it has a wide range of styles and flavors. The Matua Sauvignon Blanc hails from New Zealand and some might having you thinking green and grassy, this one is more fruity with notes of pineapple and passion fruit.  Sauvignon Blanc is a great value wine as well, this one is $20.

And now for my wine of the week……

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I don’t very often buy Carmenere, but my boss had a great idea, that while we are in isolation, 4:30 every Friday, we are going to get together on Zoom to have a cocktail together.  This past week it was Thursday, and I opened this wine.  I always try a new wine every week, and this week it was the Casa Silva Gran Terroir 2018 Carmenere.  A good value for this Port of Wines selection, at just $19.  I would let it sit for 30 minutes, or decant it.  Upon first opening it, I found it to be a bit ‘woody’, the oak was really there, as well as leathery.  Full bodied and complex, every sip was interesting.   That’s what I really liked about the wine.  It had a full deep purple color, that on a blind taste, I would have guessed Malbec, just based on the color.  Dark bold fruit with hints of leather, tobacco and notes of pepper. A fantastic wine to pair with any hearty meat dish you were serving this weekend.  One Master of Wine (MW) called it Carmenere at its best.  Definitely worth the try at $19 a bottle.

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Happy Easter everyone.  Stay safe

Darlene

Stay Home (& Drink Wine)

Posted in Uncategorized on April 4, 2020 by darmyers

Grumpy stay home

These days every day is stay at home and drink wine with your cat (or dog) day!  Wine & liquor outlets across the country are reporting an increase in sales.  Not surprising, since people are spending most of their days safe and secure in their homes.  Let’s talk about some wine… and maybe even dabble with some food ideas.

Image for Rockway Vineyards Chardonnay/Riesling 2015 from LCBO

A friend of mine gave me a bottle of Chardonnay Riesling blend and I tried it this past week.  I was surprised that I loved it as much as I did, as I’m not sure if I had ever tried that particular blend before.  I can’t seem to find one in Nova Scotia, but sometimes if the secondary grape is under 10%, they don’t list it.  Here’s an example of a Chardonnay and Riesling blend that you can get in other parts of Canada, as it is made in Ontario, Canada.  The Rockway blend is 60% Chardonnay, aged in oak, and 40% Riesling, which is unoaked.  Vivid flavors of peach and citrus, with some body from the Chardonnay.  Great wine for pulled pork and fish and chips.  It has both the body and some acidity.  And it’s under $15 a bottle, so it’s nice and affordable.

Ribs and winggs

I find I have much more time for cooking now that I’ve been working from home for 3 weeks.  This is my favorite meal, baby back ribs, with hot wings done in my air fryer and homemade chicken fried rice.  It’s more perfect if corn on the cob was in season.  Anyway, with my favorite meal, I pair my favorite rib wine, Zinfandel.  In my opinion, Zinfandel is a great pairing with baby back ribs.

Botter

This is Primitivo, which is Zinfandel in Italy.  I love this Botter Primitivo, it’s organic and a great value at just $15 a bottle.  Medium-bodied with a bit of spice.  Here’s another great Zinfandel to have with ribs.

Image for 7 Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel from LCBO

Lodi California is the home of great Zinfandel wine and the 7 Deadly Zins are Zinfandel grapes from 7 different growing lots in California.  This Zinfandel is a more full-bodied wine packed with flavor.

For those of you curious, I did my wings in an air fryer which makes them just as crispy as if they were deep-fried.  This is the one I own.  I paid $70 for it and since I love wings, this gets used a lot!

Air fryer

The baby back ribs, I slow cook for 3 hours in my oven on a low 250-degrees.  And then finish them off on the grill.

Now for my wine of the week…

Prophecy

Every once in a while you have to give yourself a little treat, and this was mine last weekend.  The Prophecy Pinot Noir is still a great value at just $23 a bottle and showcases a great California Pinot Noir.  Ripe raspberry flavors with some toasted oak, it was delicious.  I savored every sip.

I hope everyone is staying safe and keeping busy.  Here’s one of my projects I completed this past week, a 1000 piece puzzle.  It’s been years since I tackled a puzzle, and I really enjoyed. it.

puzzle

Till next week, stay home and drink some wine.  Cheers

Darlene

An At-Home Wine Tour

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2020 by darmyers

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As we continue to practice social distancing and self isolating, to help flatten the Covid-19 curve, thank you to the people who are supplying the humour.  We could all use a little chuckle every day, especially in these trying times.  I thought this one graph was a very cute way of sticking with the rules and doing a little wine tour all at the same time.  Welcome to my in-home wine tour.

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This beautiful white wine was a gift from a friend who bought it back from the States. Don’t worry, all protocols were followed.  The Stemmari Grillo hails from Sicily, and Grillo is the most planted white grape variety in Sicily.  I’m pretty confident she told me she paid less than $10 for this wine, which breaks my heart because we pay way too much for wine here in eastern Canada.  I loved the tropical flavors, mango and papaya, it had a delicate acidity, and this wine would pair well with any meal you served.  It also has a 13% alcohol content, which is high for a crisp white wine.  Great wine, great price.  You can’t get it where I live, but if you see it, buy it!

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If I had to describe my social distancing in one picture, this would probably be it.  Two of my favorite things.  Wine & books!  Oh, and food.  I really love to cook, and I really love to eat!  I tried a new recipe last week of beef tips in a red wine gravy.  I did it in my slow cooker and it turned out so good.  I served it with mashed potatoes and carrots, just like the author of the recipe, and forgot to take a picture, so I’m using hers.  I was so hungry, and it was so delicious, I meant to take a picture.  The gravy just made the meal.  Here’s the recipe I used.  Although the recipe doesn’t call for red wine in the gravy, I added about 1/4 cup, and I think it really complimented the taste.

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Here’s the wine I served with it, and it’s my wine of the week…

Barossa GSM

A beef dish with a bold vibrant gravy deserves a wine that will pair well.  It should compliment, without over-powering the dish.  Your wine and your food should never compete, they should enhance each other.  I could have had Cabernet Sauvignon with this dish, but another full-bodied wine I just love is a GSM blend, Grenache, Shiraz & Mourvedre.  It’s called Shiraz in Australia, where this wine hails from, but in France, where the blend originated, the ‘S’ stands for Syrah.  Same grape, Old world wine regions call it Syrah, New world regions call it Shiraz.  I had the 2017 vintage, which was delicious, but I could have kept this wine in my rack for a couple more years.  I decanted the wine, which really made a difference.  Another big difference, was many New world wine regions like American oak, but these guys used French oak, which aged the wine for 12 months, and made the wine subtle and smooth.  This wine is only $21.99 here and I loved it.

You know who doesn’t know the word social distancing?   My cat Gabriel.

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This is how I woke up the other morning.  He was ready to be fed.

Take care everyone, stay safe.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

My Quarantined Wine List

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2020 by darmyers

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Let’s face it, there’s no doubt about it, these are challenging times for many many people.  I understand the challenges people have as we enter Week 2 of self-Quarantine/working from home, with no end in sight.  But during all challenges, sometimes we need a little levity, and hopefully my wine blog will be a little bit of an escape for you for a few minutes.

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This looks about right, doesn’t it?

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One of my favourite white wines comes from New Zealand, and I had this for the first time at my friend Joan’s place.   Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular white wines in the world, and I really enjoy it.  Pinot Gris, although the same grape, is it’s lesser-known sister and they are made very differently.  The #1 difference I can tell you about is that Pinot Grigio is more acidic, it’s very lively on the palate.  Pinot Gris has less acidity and tends to lean towards tropical flavours, with usually a higher alcohol content.  Where Pinot Grigio is light and refreshing, Pinot Gris has more body, making it a great white wine for those big hearty dinners.
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Pinot Grigio is a vibrant delicious wine that’s always a good value, this Canaletto from Italy is just $13.99 a bottle.  This is a great wine for fish & seafood dishes, light cheeses, lightly sauced pasta dishes and salads.  Also great wine for sushi lovers!C742BCF9-1417-43F6-A305-DF1F140AD560
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Many people at this challenging time is feeling a bit of a financial crunch, and this is always a great value and it’s on sale right now here in Nova Scotia.  Right now this is less than $15 a bottle and it’s a delicious Argentinian Merlot that is rich and full-bodied and organic to boot.  Dada, actually makes three wines 1, 2 & 3, all different grapes but the only one we can get here right now is the Dada 2 which is a Merlot.  Dada 1 is a Malbec / Bonarda blend and Dada 3 is a Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz blend. I’ve had all three, great wines at a great price.  So wherever you’re reading this from, if you head to your favourite wine store and see a Dada label, you won’t be disappointed at what’s in the bottle.

Wine Saturday 1
One guarantee I can make to all of you, there is always a bottle of Zinfandel in my wine rack…
This is what I have been marinating for the past 12 hours or so…

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Baby back ribs.  I love the fact the grocery store on my street sells these smaller racks of baby back ribs.  My deep freeze is full of these perfect size servings for a single person.  So this evening I’m grilling ribs and Zinfandel is my favourite wine pairing.

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The Kenwood Zinfandel from Sonoma County in California is smoky (perfect for smoky ribs), and peppery and a great wine for bbq foods and hearty meat dishes.  Many times a great Zinfandel will start at $30 and go up from there, however I love this particular one, and it’s priced at only $22 a bottle.

I love wine

That’s it for this week,

I’d like to say a great big welcome to all the new visitors to my site and my Facebook page.  I am humbled and grateful for the over 20,800 people that discovered my wine page this week.  I was thinking of you as I wrote this wine blog, I hope you enjoy it.  To my new visitors, every Saturday morning I sit down with a cup of  coffee and write a wine blog.  Thanks for sharing in journey to find great wines at great prices.

Cheers

Darlene

Stock Up On Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2020 by darmyers

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I certainly do not want to poke fun at the seriousness of the Coronavirus, as the World Health Organization has called it a pandemic, but I will poke a little fun at those hoarding toilet paper.  I don’t want 600 rolls of toilet paper, but I wouldn’t mind having a few extra bottles of wine in the rack.  As a matter of fact, I was coming into my building this morning with some groceries, one package of toilet paper, and some wine.  One of my neighbours said “stocking up for Armageddon”, to which I replied yes – one package of toilet paper and lots and lots of wine!

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Remember I was telling you I had a wine tasting last Saturday night and it went fantastic.  It was a group of ladies and we had some good food, some great wine and a lot of laughs.  I really enjoy doing the winetasting, and a big thanks to Lucy for having me over with her friends.  Let me tell you about some of the wines we enjoyed!  I do have permission to use this picture.

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We started with a sparkling wine, the Mionetto Prestige Prosecco Brut.

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I explained to the group, some people think that all sparkling wines are sweet.   I bring a sparkling wine to most of my wine tastings, and so many people are always surprised that it’s never a sweet one.  So I’m going to tell you what I told them, if you see the word Brut on the label you can rest assured it’s not sweet, it’s dry.  This fantastic Italian Prosecco is just $19.99 a bottle, such a great deal because it’s really good.  The hostess laid out beautiful charcuterie board last weekend and this was a perfect way to start the wine tasting, because sparkling dry Prosecco always goes well with appetizers and charcuterie boards.

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I bought this wine which I was telling you about last weekend, because it’s one of my new favourite white wines.  It’s new to the NSLC, so if you haven’t tried it pick it up it’s only $18 a bottle and very good.

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One of the other white wines we had was a pleasant surprise to some of the ladies, as there was some people who thought they didn’t like Chardonnay.  This particular Chardonnay is from Chile, Caliterra was actually started in the mid 90s by Robert Mondavi, of the famed Mondavi Vineyards in the Napa Valley.  It’s not an overly oaky Chardonnay, and a great value in my opinion it just $18 a bottle.

my wine of the week was the winner of last weeks wine-tasting….

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From Battle Creek Cellars comes the Unconditional Pinot Noir from Oregon.  Unconditionally delicious, and unconditional quality make for a vibrant Pinot Noir.  The vineyard slogan is “Elegance without the Ego”.  It’s a treat at $33 a bottle, but everyone deserves a treat every once in a while.  Wine critic James suckling gave it 90 points and I love that they only use 10% new oak in making this great wine, the oak softened the wine without making it oaky.

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That’s it for this week, till next week, cheers

Darlene

Spring Forward with Great Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2020 by darmyers

Wine Daylight Savings

The clocks go ahead one hour tonight, and some of you might lament about losing an hour sleep, however, there are those of us that lament about losing an hour of enjoying wine. Speaking of switching to white wine, here’s one to try.  It could be my new favourite white wine.

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Cune Rioja Blanco Semidulce is new to our NSLC in Nova Scotia, hailing from Spain.  The wine is 85% Viura with the remaining 15% Malvasia and White Grenache.  Viura is also known as Macabeo, commonly used in making Spanish Cava, a traditional-made Sparkling.  Spanish cava is made the exact same way as Champagne is, at about 1/3 the price.  This is a dry wine, however, not a Sparkling.  There is a tinge of sweetness on the tip of the tongue because the grapes were left on the vine for so long.   There used to be a saying “the longer on the vine, the sweeter than wine”.  A fantastic value at $18 a bottle. It’s new, try it.

I have a surprise for you…

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I heard my friend Brenda from the NSLC on my street recommend this wine to a customer.  I heard her say Merlot, which immediately got my attention, and I said hmmmm?  I will be honest, I probably would never have picked up a bottle of French Merlot that cost me $11.99, if it wasn’t for Brenda’s recommendation.  That’s not a typo, this bottle of wine cost $11.99.  And this wine comes from the Languedoc-Roussillion region of France which has been making quality Merlot for decades.  Here’s the area and here are the grapes.

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Full-bodied and aromatic, I would recommend opening it and letting it breathe.  I tried it immediately after opening it and it was a little boozy on the back of the throat to start, but once it sat for 30 minutes, that went away because the air helps evaporate the alcohol taste.  You gotta try this wine.

And now for my wine of the week, it’s a white and red sister combo….

Murta 2

Hailing from Portugal the red Murta is a beautiful Syrah with Portugal’s most famous red grape, Touriga Nacional.   The grapes are hand harvested and hand sorted, with any green grapes and rotten grapes thrown away.  What that means for wine, is that you don’t tend to find any bitterness. Very food friendly wine.

I got to try the white Murta this week as well, which is also a great value because they are both priced less than $18 a bottle.

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With the clocks going ahead this evening, and many people thinking Spring and Summer, this is a perfect one for Summer.  Made 100% with a grape I don’t remember ever having, the Arinto grape.  It’s a very refreshing grape, the wine is acidic so it’s a great wine for an appetizer or an oily fish.  It has delicious notes of lemon and lime which will have you thinking of summer even if it’s snowing outside.

I have a wine tasting tonight, and I’m very excited about the wines.  I will tell you all about them next week.

Should you drink today? Or should you drink today and tomorrow? It's always tough decision, that one. One thing that you can decide on, though, is how much you love wine - and it's definitely more than people if you understand exactly what these funny wine jokes are getting at. So kick off yo...

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

My Leap Year Blog

Posted in Uncategorized on February 29, 2020 by darmyers

 

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Today is Saturday February 29th.  I have to say, I think Google won today’s leap year meme.  I don’t know what I was thinking last Saturday when I sat down with my cup of coffee and decided to name my wine blog ‘Leaping Into Some Great Wines’, thinking I had to write that blog last Saturday.  I literally woke up this morning and thought ‘I wrote my Leap Year Wine Blog a week too early’.  So today I’m calling my wine blog My Leap Year Wine Blog.  Let’s say Happy Birthday and Congratulations to all those leap year babies that are finally allowed to drink wine.  You’re only 84!

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I always try to feature a white wine in my weekly wine blogs, I have a lot of friends that drink white wine.  My next question would be have you had Albarino lately?

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I bought this to a winetasting in December and the white wine drinkers really enjoyed it.  Albarino is a grape that’s grown mostly in Spain and Portugal, however, because of its growing popularity Chile, Uruguay and the United States is also growing Albarino.  It’s very aromatic in the glass, with gorgeous aromas of lemon, apple and citrus.  If you like Pinot Gris white wine, you will love Albarino.  This Garzon Albarino comes in around the $25 mark here in Eastern Canada.
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I laughed when I saw this meme, I am really good at drinking wine LOL

My wine of the week this week is a Bordeaux red that’s a great value…

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when I tasted this wine last night for the first time, I said to my friend Joanne from the NSLC, “That’s a big wine for the price point”.  A Bordeaux red wine is always a blend and this is a delicious blend of 70% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.  I bought another bottle because I think I’m going to have a steak tonight, and this is a great steak wine.  As you can see, I have the 2016 vintage, which is very tasty now, however you can store it and drink it in years to come.  Full-bodied, fruit forward with some woody and spicy notes.  Hard to believe this wine is only $18.99 a bottle.  A very tasty Bordeaux for under $20.

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Have a great weekend

Darlene

 

Leap Into Some Great Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2020 by darmyers

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Hello February 29th, the day we get to celebrate once every four years and this year it falls on a Saturday.  How nice that we have an extra day to drink a glass of wine.

Water over wine

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I had to share this meme because it reminds me of my kitty cat Gabriel LOL

This past Tuesday was also National Drink Wine Day.  For some of us in Canada and the U.S., it was a holiday Monday, so Tuesday was a very ‘Monday-like’ day.  It was a great day for National Drink Wine Day.

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I loved seeing the social media posts celebrating National Drink Wine Day for two reasons.  I mean, first of all, most days are ‘drink wine day’ in my opinion.  But I really enjoyed reading about people’s favorite varietals and why they loved that particular wine.  February 18th was all about the sharing our love for wine.

Even the celebrities joined in on the celebrations.  Kerry Washington, who played wine-loving Olivia Pope on Scandal, shared this gif.

Olivia Pope drinking wine

Let’s start this wine blog by breaking a common wine myth!

One of the most common wine myths that “Wine Enthusiast” managing editor Lauren Buzzeo  helped dispel in honor of National Drink Wine Day is the broad generalization when people say, “I don’t like Chardonnay.”  In her words,

The grape is so versatile and easily influenced by both terroir and winemaker influence, that final wines from around the world run a huge spectrum,” she explained. “If you think you don’t like Chardonnay, instead pinpoint what about Chardonnay you don’t like, because I’m pretty sure there’s a counterpoint to that bad experience you had and it might be amazingly delicious.”

Many people I meet tell me they don’t like Chardonnay because of the ‘oakiness’.  Here are 2 fine Chardonnay wines where oak will not get in the way.753DB2E2-BBC1-4BFE-B20A-8136B3FAAAB8C2B4C486-C633-4D93-920F-FB3CADB74EB2

The first is a local Nova Scotia wine from Blomidon and wine-maker Simon Rafuse.  This is a wine I had the pleasure of trying 3 years ago when Simon was teaching one of the courses for my Sommelier training.  This is a perfect example of a Chardonnay where the fruit and winemaking gets to shine and oak doesn’t get in the way.  You should really give this a try if you are a white wine drinker who wants to broaden their wine palates.

The second wine hails from Joel Gott in California, and again the fruit shines.  You’ll taste melon, pineapple, and citrus, but you won’t taste oak.  I’ve written about Joel Gott wines before because I am such a huge fan of their Pinot Noir.


And now for my wine of the week…. 

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I have had the Don David Mel back in the past but last night was my first time trying the Cabernet Sauvignon. This made my wine of the week because it’s rare when you get a 91-point rated for $15.99, and that’s what this wine is selling for right now.  A wine is not a good value, no matter how much you pay for it, unless it’s delicious, and this wine is delicious.  The smoky notes of this rich Cabernet Sauvignon makes it a great wine for a barbeque fare and any hearty meat dish you might be serving up on this leap year.
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Enjoy your extra day of the year, and feel free to leave a comment about which one you’re enjoying this leap year!

Cheers

Darlene

 

Feeling The Love… For Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on February 15, 2020 by darmyers

Wine Valentines day

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and everyone was on Facebook professing their love for their significant other.  I was almost tempted to post a picture with a bottle of wine LOL!  As an unattached single lady in her 50’s, I was singing karaoke with friends and drinking wine!  We had a fabulous night.  I can’t sing to save my life but the audience was cheering and roaring ‘bon bon bon’ during a rowdy version of  Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’.  I hope everyone reading this had a fabulous Valentine’s Day.   Now let’s talk about our true love…. wine!

Too all my white wine loving friends, this weekend I encourage you to leave your comfort zone and try this wine.

Sancerre

You like Sauvignon Blanc, right?  That is what Sancerre is, Sauvignon Blanc.  Sancerre is a region in the famed Loire Valley in France, and the region grows about 20% Pinot Noir, but this region is famous for Sauvignon Blanc.  Sancerre is often compared with its neighbour, Pouilly-Fume, also a region known for Sauvignon Blanc.  The wine professionals agree its hard to tell the difference but people growing the wine will tell you Sancerre has more body and the Pouilly-Fume is more perfumed.  I have tried them both and I think they are wonderful examples of Sauvignon Blanc.  This wine is a perfect pairing with any appetizer dish or any dish in which you want to cut through spice or grease.
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I always tell people I’m saving corks for a Pinterest project.
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This Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon is actually 92% Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Merlot, Petite Syrah, & Cabernet Franc, which probably explains why this wine had so many great layers of flavour.  Sadly, we can’t get this wine in Nova Scotia or Newfounfland anymore, but you can score a bottle in other provinces across Canada including neighbouring New Brunswick.  And because this wine hails from Napa Valley California, I’m guessing any of my American friends won’t have trouble finding this wine.
And now for my wine of the week……

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I recently got re-introduced to this wine, and had to share it with you as my wine of the week.  Do you know why?  This is a fabulous Syrah wine and I still can’t believe it’s priced under $20 a bottle at just $18.99.  Here in Halifax we had a low of -14° C last night come up with a windchill of -21C.  In a word this is cold!  As I’m sitting here on a Saturday morning writing this wine blog, I am contemplating what comfort food dish am I going to cook up for supper.  And there is no better wine to have with your comfort food dish then this Syrah, with notes of black pepper and spice.
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On a bright note, it is a long weekend and you know what long weekends mean? More wine!

Till next weekend, have a great week

Cheers, Darlene

Keep Calm & Drink the Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on February 8, 2020 by darmyers

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Welcome to February, where freezing rain and snow storms make us all thankful it’s the shortest month of the year.  I’m here with some advice for my friends…. Keep calm and drink the wine.  This morning as I sit here and write my one blog, it is -15° outside.  So, stay cosy my friends and let me introduce you to some great wine.
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Sometimes people think that with your favourite hearty comfort food you should have a hearty red wine.  I’m here to tell you there are some hearty full-bodied white wines out there that go deliciously with your favourite comfort foods.  Take this Trio white, a combination blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc. This is a hearty wine because it’s 96% Chardonnay, 2% Pinot Grigio, and 2% Pinot Blanc, so that big Chardonnay really dominates this wine.  Hailing from Chile and made by the biggest winery in Chile, Concha Y Toro, Winemaker Max Weinlaub offers a fruity Chardonnay with hints of acidity.  You’ll love the price at just $16 a bottle.
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Speaking of hearty, one of my favourite steak wines is the Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  In 1868, Jacob Beringer left Germany and settled in California, the rest is history!  Mark Beringer, great great grandson of Jacob Beringer made this  spectacular wine.  Mark was born in the heart of Napa Valley,  wine has been a part of his entire life, so it comes as no surprise to me he makes a great one.  It’s about $38 a bottle here in Nova Scotia, worth every penny, and I encourage you to try this wine with your next meal of beef, whether it’s a steak or stew.

And now for my wine of the week……

7 Deadly Zinbs

I’m pretty confident I’ve written about this wine before, but it’s been a couple of years and I wanted to remind you of a favourite.  Zinfandel is one of the heartiest grapes around because it has a very thick skin.  This is 7 Deadly Zins, appropriately named because it contains Zinfandel grapes from seven different vineyards in California.  This is one of the easiest wines to drink, and a great wine to share with friends, I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like this wine.

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Have a great weekend and a wonderful week.

Darlene

Who’s Ready for February?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2020 by darmyers

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Is it just me or did January seem really long?  I swear its the only month of the year that feels like 3 months.  But it’s over now, and we say ‘Hello February’ starting today.  Here on the East Coast of Canada, we had some snow and we had some bitterly cold temperatures.  At least in February, the days are getting longer!

Last week we talked about some hearty winter wines, and here’s one from my friend Anthony.  Here’s a picture of Anthony and myself, taken a few years back!

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Anthony is a producer at the radio station I work at and we share a love of wine.  I asked him yesterday to share a new favorite.  Here’s one of the wines he’s loved lately.

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Here’s what Anthony had to say about this wine.  “It’s deliciously smooth with ripe fruit and oak.  A bit of spice. “

Personally, I love Italian wine and this particular wine is from the Campania region of Italy, where Naples is the capital.  Anthony has wonderful taste in wine, so if you’re up for a treat, try this wine.  It sells here for about $52 a bottle.

Italy is home to some great whites as well, and I’ve written about different Pinot Grigio wines.  But there’s more to Italian white wine than just Pinot Grigio.   Trebbiano for example.  Trebbiano is a grape that makes a wonderful white wine.

Antinori white

The Antinori Family is one of the biggest winemaking families in Italy, and played a huge role in the making of the ‘Super Tuscan’ wine movement of the 70’s.  It is the 10th largest family owned company in the world.  They can date making wine back to the 1300’s.  This Antinori Villa Bianco is a wonderful expression of Tuscan white wine and in my opinion, is a great value at $18.99 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week…

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For this weeks wine of the week we had to the Mendoza region of Argentina.  This is the wine I bought to Happy Hour last night.  A great Malbec-based blend, from Lebanese winemaker Karim Mussi Saffi.   It’s a great wine for under $20!

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Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Hearty Winter Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2020 by darmyers

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As most readers of this wine blog know, I’m from Newfoundland, however I am living in Halifax Nova Scotia.  I do have a lot of friends and family still in Newfoundland and last week they were clearly hit with the storm of the decade.  Snowmageddon 2020.

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And although my family lives on the West Coast, I lived in St. John’s, until I transferred to Halifax, and  have many friends there who had to dig their way out of one of the biggest snow storms I’ve ever seen.  People were asked to stock up for 3 days, but a state of emergency was declared and the stores didn’t open until 5 days later to very long line-ups.

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I know my friends are O.K., Newfoundlanders are very resilient.  And I really hope no one ran out of wine.  This is one of the reasons it’s a great idea to have a wine rack.  Spare wine!! So this unbelievable storm that many of my friends are digging out from, got me thinking about hearty wines suitable for winter.  Listen, I’m a red wine drinker all year round, but lets face it, 80 cms of snow makes a person think of comfort food and hearty dishes.  So if that’s whats on your menu, here are a couple of wines that might help ease the aches and pains of shoveling.

When I think of big bold white wines, I usually think a big Chardonnay from either California or Australia.  This 19 Crimes Chardonnay is big enough to take on beef stew or any other hearty dish.  Big rich butterscotch and vanilla flavors along with some substantial oak.  This is not for the weak hearted.  Still a great value for $19 a bottle.

Nothing says hearty like Zinfandel

And the Brazin’ Zinfandel from Lodi California doesn’t disappoint.  Grown on vines that range in age from 40-years to 100 years old, this wine has the mocha and spice notes from the fruit come to life.  A great wine for beef, ribs or sausage and is one of the most reasonably priced Zinfandel wines at just $24.99

And now for my wine of the week…

Gringo

There is no better way to kick start a new year and a new decade than to find a great wine at a great price.  I’m sharing this one with all my friends.  It’s the El Gringo Tempranillo from Spain.  It’s  new to the liquor store, and my friends there say its selling like hotcakes, and with good reason.  The story goes that El Gringo was an extra working on a Western movie set, and loved Spain and the wines of the region so much that he never went home. Beautiful smooth wine with hints of coffee bean and milk chocolate and it won’t break the bank.  This bottle of fantastic wine is just $15.99 a bottle.  With a great  wine at this great price, why would anyone do dry January?  I’m not!

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Stock up my friends, you never know when the next winter storm could hit.  You don’t want to be left in the cold when it comes to your wine stash.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Wine Trends to Watch for in 2020

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2020 by darmyers

2020 wine trends

First, allow me to apologize.  It’s been a while since I posted a blog, the last one being my Top 10 of 2019.  Between travelling for Christmas and having family come to Halifax for the first week in January, it’s been a busy one.

Each year I have a bit of fun talking about upcoming wine trends.  And although none of us have a crystal ball, a few years back I did talk about wine in cans, and low and behold, they are all over the liquor store now.  Check out that wine blog here 2017 Wine Trends.   So keep in mind, this is just a bit of fun.

  1.  Rose Prosecco

This is long overdue.  Two of the hottest crazes combined, and following a lengthy approval process in Italy, looks like it could happen soon.  Decanter Magazine says producers would be able to use up to 15% of Pinot Noir alongside Glera grapes in order to make rosé under the Prosecco DOC name.  I realize there are Rose sparkling wines, but a Rose Prosecco wine would be just a quality all of its own.  Can’t wait to try that wine!

2.  Italian Wines will continue to flourish

Last year I said we could see some explosive growth in Italian Wines.  Italy has some of the oldest wine producing regions in the world, and it’s really good wine, a real favorite of mine.  In 2018 Italy accounted for 19 percent of global production, ahead of  France at 17%.  Here are a couple of my favorite staples.

The Botter Primitivo at $14.99 a bottle is a steal of a deal.  Prosecco is a favorite, being food friendly and your wallet will love it because it’s such a great price point.  The one featured is the Bolla.  And one of my favorite Italian wines is a Ripasso, always rich and smothh, and this one got 96 Points and is under $22 a bottle.

3.  You’ll be hearing more about Vegan wines.

What?  Yes, as more and more people go with a Vegan lifestyle, you’ll be hearing more about it in the wine world.  You see, all wines are not Vegan!  That may come as a surprise to some people because you may think ‘it’s grapes’!   But winemakers sometimes use animal products to clarify the wine, called the ‘fining process’.  Traditionally the most commonly used fining agents were casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein). These fining agents are processing aids to help get rid of ‘haze’.

4.  Wine From Europe could see a price increase

If US President Donald Trump gets his way, tarriffs will be imposed on European wine, which means the price could be affected.  That means your favorite French wine could cost more.  I’m reading more and more that proposed tarriffs could send the price of some wines out of reach, and some winemakers say if they lose the U.S. as a customer, that could be very bad for business.  Fingers crossed this gets worked out.

It would be a sad day for many if the proposed tarriffs go through.  We would miss out on such great wines as the the Duval Leroy Champagne on the left, the amazing Rose that is priced at just $16.99 a bottle and one of my favorite values from the Port of Wines show, the Felix & Lucie blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

And now for my wine of the week….

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When I was home for Christmas, would you believe I only had one bottle of wine the entire time I was there.  I drove my Mom and Dad around a lot who are in their late 80’s, so wine was not part of the menu for me.  But I did have a wonderful new Merlot.  A couple of evenings we stayed home and played some cards, and my Mom and I enjoyed a glass of wine.  I love discovering new wines, and this Merlot did not disappoint.  This Merlot hails from Central Valley in California and is a great price at just $17.48 a bottle.  Very smooth and silky with delicious flavors of plum, mocha and vanilla.   Unfortunately, I can’t get it here in Halifax, so it’s a Newfounfland treat.  I loved it.

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That’s it for this week,  Have a great week everyone.  Cheers

Darlene

My Top 10 of 2019

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2019 by darmyers

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Today is the last day of 2019 and the last day of another decade.  For the most part, I do a wine blog most Saturday’s.  Out of the 48 – 50 wine blogs I do every year, each week I feature a new ‘Wine of the Week’!  This is the time of the year when I look back at my choices and choose 10 of my best new finds for the year.  Here’s that list, I hope you enjoy.  There’s something for everyone on the list, in all price points.

10.  Botter Primitivo – $14.99

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Anyone that knows me knows I love finding a great value wine.  And this one definitely makes the list.  Botter Primitivo is not only a great value under $15, it is also organic.  This medium-bodied wine has flavors of plums, cherry and spicy tobacco notes.  A winner and a great wine for pasta and/or ribs.

9.  Castano GSM – $19

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This wine hails from Spain and is a blend of Garnacha, (Grenache), Syrah and Mourvedre.  More on the full-bodied side, I love this rich wine and another wonderful value at just $19 a bottle.  GSM’s, as they are called, will usually make any Top 10 list I do, as this is a classic blend that goes so well together.  This wine has enough body to pair with steak.

8.  Moma White – $17.99

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I had a year filled with wine tastings.  And this one accompanied me to many wine tastings because it was loved by every one who tried it.  Moma white blend is a combination of Trebbiano, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.  Chardonnay and Trebbiano give this wine body while the Sauvignon Blanc gives it some acidity.  Probably one of the food-friendliest wines on the shelf.  And it’s under $20 a bottle.

7.  Chateau Cantenac Saint Emillion – $36

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I love wines from the Right Bank of Bordeaux, where the wines tend to be Merlot heavy, and this Chateau Cantenac did not disappoint.  I got to enjoy the 2013 vintage, and it was silky and smooth and an absolute delight.  This wine is a Grand Cru, which means it’s a superior designation.  Very much worth the $36 price tag, and I recommend we all treat ourselves at least once this year.

6.  Hola Brut Cava – $21.99

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I can’t have a top 10 list without including a good sparkling wine.  I know I’m always talking about what great value Spanish Cava is, made traditionally like Champagne, but so much easier on the wallet.  This Hola Sparkling Cava from Spain was one of my favorites from the Fall 2019 wine show.  In Spain, Hola is how people greet each other, and that was the premise behind the wine.  Trust me when I tell you, it’s a great way to greet your guests this holiday season or anytime of the year!

5.  Luna di Luna Merlot Primitivo – $17.99

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Not only did I love the red bottle, I loved the wine that came in the bottle.  The Luna di Luna Merlot Primitivo blend from Italy was awesome.   I really hope the NSLC brings it back, it was a winner in my mind.  From the “heel of the boot” in Italy, the Salento region of Puglia really makes some great wines.  Full-bodied and rich, I loved this wine with pasta and it was under $18 a bottle.

4.  Bread & Butter Chardonnay – $22.69

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This was my favorite white wine that I had tried at both tastings of the Festival of Wines show in September.  The Bread and Butter Chardonnay from the United States is not overly oaky like some Chardonnay wines that come out of the U.S.  This is very smooth with hints of vanilla bean and tropical fruit.  Food friendly that will pair with everything from lobster to chicken to pork.  Honorable mention goes to its sister wine, the Bread and Butter Pinot Noir.

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3.  Felix & Lucie Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah – $15.99

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Value wise, this may have won my wine of the year.  It was a toss up.  This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from France, made my top wine out of the Festival of Wines.  I chose this wine because of the combination of great taste and great price point.  I bought a full case of it.  It’s full-bodied with spicy notes and great fruit.  A fabulous wine and you can’t beat the price.

2. Rose D’Anjou Gamay

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Rose wine are for so much more than just Summer, it’s a great way to bring in the New Year.  This Gamay grape based rose wine was given anywhere from 92 Points to 95 Points by wine critics.  It’s that good.  And it’s only $16.99 per bottle.  I’m sad I didn’t buy more.  Crisp and refreshing, I really hope they bring it back here.  Fingers crossed for Rose wine season 2020, that this is among the list.

  1.  Argyle Pinot Noir – $55

Argyle

If you’re going to treat yourself, try this wine.  Argyle Pinot Noir is one of the best Pinot Noir Wines I have tried in a long time.  From Oregon, only 25% of this wine gets aged in new French oak, which means the oak does not over-power the wine, but adds subtlety and nuances to make the wine even more smooth.  The winery says it hangs it hat on the silky texture of their wine, and I have to agree with them.  The Reserve Pinot 2013 vintage is what I enjoyed, and when I took it to a wine tasting in early December, everyone seemed to agree, this wine was the winner!

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I hope 2019 was a good year and I hope 2020 will be even better.  Here’s to another great decade of drinking wine.

Darlene

 

 

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2019 by darmyers

Deck the halls

Well it’s Christmas Time again.  I felt this year went by so fast, it feels like I just took down my Christmas decorations not long ago.  It is, however, my favorite time of the year, and I’m in Newfoundland hanging out with family.

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Christmas is a great time to get together with friends and family, and if your celebrations are like mine, there is wine to be consumed.  I’ve had a wonderful December so far hanging out with friends, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.  We’ve had a few good wines as well.

Recently, I told you about this wonderful Botter Primitivo

Botter

And in recent weeks I’ve had the opportunity to try the Pinot Grigio from the same family

The Botter Boira Pinot Grigio from the Veneto region of Italy was a wonderful delight.  Pinot Grigio is becoming so popular, so many of my friends drink it.  Peter Rockwell, wine writer and buyer for the NSLC told me that they could have 10 Italian Pinot Grigio wines and all would sell well.  People love Italian Pinot Grigio.  And why not.  It’s delicious, food friendly, crisp, refreshing and reasonably priced.  This particular Pinot Grigio is only $16.75 a bottle.

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Lately someone asked me how to save Sparkling wine, and until recently sparkling was a wine that I felt needed to be finished in a day or it would love its sparkle.  Well, you can take plastic wrap and an elastic band and seal it air tight, and then put it in the fridge standing up.  Something to try over the holidays if you don’t finish it in one sitting.

Here’s a fun wine for Christmas.  It’s a pink sparkling from Hola, which is the word Hello in Spanish.  There’s no better way to greet family and friends this holiday season than with a pink sparkling wine.  This Hola Cava is traditionally made using a grape from Spain used in many Cava wines, Xarel-Lo.  This is a wine high in acidity so your taste buds will come alive. Perfect for Christmas appetizers and priced at just $21.99 a bottle.

While we are in Spain, let me tell you about this gem.  I had this GSM the other evening, and it is fantastic.  Garnacha (Grenache), Syrah and Mourvedre grapes make for a perfectly smooth blend. Ripe berry fruits with hints of spice from the Syrah, a great red wine that is only $19 a bottle.

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And now for my wine of the week…

This is such a good wine you’re going to find it hard to believe it’s only $18 a bottle.  Asio Otus Vino Rosso is a blend, any time you see Rosso, it tends to be a blend.  It’s 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 30% Syrah.  Did I mention it’s 100% delicious.  It’s full-bodied with flavors of plum, vanilla and hints of chocolate.  Once you’re done with turkey and ham, and you want some nice beef or pork, try this wine.  A great pairing.

I love wine

Merry Christmas everyone, and here’s to a wonderful 2020

Darlene

 

Birthday Wine Tasting

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2019 by darmyers

Wine Tasting Daphne 3

Last weekend I had the pleasure of facilitating a wine tasting for a very special 60th birthday.  This is Daphne and Terry, and Terry celebrated a birthday last weekend, and I got to be a part of it.

They had many good friends there

And we drank some really good wine.

We had a lot of fun and it was a great tasting because we had some really good values and some really good treat wines.

We opened the night with a toast to Terry for his birthday, using this fantastic Spanish Cava.  The Villa Conchi Brut is about $18 and is delicious, crisp and easy on both the palate and the wallet.

Then we had this unique wine


Most people associate white Burgundy with Chardonnay, however Aligoté has always been there.  Bouchard Pere decided to highlight Aligoté in this interesting complex white wine.  It’s a crisp dry white wine with flavours of citrus and apple.  It’s $26 a bottle and would be a fabulous pairing with Christmas turkey.

One of my personal favourite treats of the evening was this white wine, another great pairing with turkey.

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Before last Saturday night, I can honestly say I have never had a wine from Uruguay, and what a delicious treat it turned out to be.  The Garzon Albarino was amazing and recommended by Peter Rockwell himself, the head buyer from our NSLC.. I loved this wine, however, it is only at our local liquor store for a limited time, so if you’d like to try it, try it soon.  Beautiful citrus, and pear flavours make it very food friendly and a very nice unique wine for $26.

One of the red wines we had was one of my favourite staples in my wine rack, the Anciano Temprano aged years for $15 a bottle.  I have written about it quite a bit in the past.  One of our treat wines was this lovely Primitivo from Italy.

 

The grapes are hand-picked from vines that are at least 70 years old.  Beautiful full-bodied wine with notes of tobacco and herbs.  Everyone at the party really seemed to enjoy this Primitivo, and I think for some it was their first time ever having an Italian Primitivo wine.  It’s a Christmas treat though, at $48 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week… it’s a treat

People who know me, know I love Pinot Noir, and this is one of the best I’ve had in a long time.   I rarely bring wines to a wine-tasting that I have never tried, but I took a chance because of how much I love Pinot Noir from Oregon.  25% of the wine has been aged in new French oak, and what that means is that the oak will never overpower this wine but it was used to smoothen the wine.  It’s a treat at $56 a bottle but it was so delicious.
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Enjoy December events and stay safe.

Darlene

Relieving Holiday Stress

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2019 by darmyers

Holiday stress

There’s no denying it, we are in the middle of the holiday season.  Christmas parties, shopping, baking, wrapping and a million other chores that have to be done before Saint Nick makes his appearance on the night of the 24th.  It’s no surprise many people get stressed out this time of the year.  I try to tackle a ‘Christmas chore’ each evening.  That way I feel accomplished.  And then I pour myself a glass of wine.  Nothing says stress reliever like a bubble bath and a glass of wine……unless you have a cat!

Gabe & the tub

This is Gabriel and I swear he wants to jump in with me sometimes.  But I digress.  Stress relieving wines for all my friends is what this wine blog is all about.  Let’s get started, and what better way than a sparkling bubbly!

This can be an expensive time of the year for many people, so any time you can find a good value, especially in a sparkling wine, you may want to grab it. The Freixenet Cordon Negro Sparkling is on sale right now in Nova Scotia.  It’s still a good value at full price, $17.99, but while they are on sale for $15.99 it’s worth picking up a couple.  The packaging is beautiful and makes for a great gift that won’t break the bank. It’s a Spanish Cava that is made in the traditional method, and is dry and crisp and a great wine for the first course, or even just for a Christmas toast.

The above wine may look like a red, because of the dark bottle, however it’s a white wine.  I have a wine tasting tonight, and when I was in the store picking out the wines, I had a chat with Peter Rockwell, head buyer for the NSLC.  He said we love our Pinot Grigio, and here’s another one that is packaged beautifully and won’t break the bank.  This Beringer is from California, it’s dry and fruity with gorgeous hints of pear and citrus.  And it sells for $12.99 a bottle.  This will make you happy happy.

Giro

So this was a new wine I tried this week, as it’s fairly new in our liquor stores.  The Giro Sangiovese / Merlot blend from Fantini was made to commemorate the ‘Giro d’Italia’ bicycle race.  Sangiovese is not usually described as a full-bodied wine, but once blended with the Merlot, it gives it that extra edge.  The tannins are prominent, especially when first opened.  I also made the comment, ‘I detect smoky flavors’.  This would probably come from the Merlot.  You can enjoy it now, or it can definitely age for a couple of years.

And now for my wine of the week….

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From Chile comes this wonderful Pinot Noir.  Climate can really change the way a grape tastes, the same grape from a warm climate compared to a cool climate can really vary.  Someone wine critics feel Pinot Noir taste better coming from a cooler climate, and I do love a good Pinot from Canada.  However this Montes Pinot Noir really impressed me.  It’s medium-bodied, fruity with some great acidity.  And its $17 a bottle!  Win win!
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Have a great weekend

Cheers, Darlene

December – Wine & Christmas Meme’s

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2019 by darmyers

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Tomorrow is December 1st.  So many wine memes, so little time.  I always try to end off my blogs with a chuckle from a good wine meme.  And there are a lot of good ones out there.  So tomorrow being December 1st, I thought I would have a little fun with this blog.  I’m going to share some of my favorite wine meme’s, and a few favorite wines.

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The meme that probably got the most likes from my social media posts was this one, featuring Karen from the television show ‘Will & Grace’.  I’m pairing it with one of my favorite finds this past year in a white wine.  The Liano from Umberto Cesari in Italy is a great wine under $20.  It is a blend of Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc from the Rubicone region.  I have brought this wine to several wine tastings this year, I just love it.  It’s got some great body from the Chardonnay, so it can hold up to meaty dishes, but the Sauvignon Blanc really ads some nice acidity, so it’s not dull and flat on the palate.

Wine abs

There’s another meme I’ve used recently that said ‘my abs are hidden underneath my love of wine”, but this one featuring Winnie the Pooh really hits the spot some days.  I’m going to pair this meme with a sparkling wine, a Spanish Cava.

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Personally, I’m not making through the holidays without a sparkling wine, and neither should you.  Spanish Cava is a great value, this wine is just $21.99 here in Nova Scotia.  Spanish Cava is a great way to enjoy a great sparkling wine without breaking the wallet.  It’s crisp and refreshing, and a great way to say ‘Hello’, which is what Hola means.  It also makes a great Christmas gift.  Speaking of Christmas Gifts….

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Honestly, I’ve never  been told I’m hard to shop for.  After all, everyone knows where to buy wine.  Pairing this meme with a wine that is still a staple in my wine rack.  The Anciano Tempranillo from Spain, that comes in a bottle beautifully wrapped in gold netting, aged for 7 years, and is priced at $14.99.  Hard to beat the value on this wine, and the great wine inside the bottle.

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And for my wine of the week….

Il Grigio

I bought this wine in Italy when I was there almost 3 years ago and decided this week I needed to treat myself.  While in Italy, I was very blessed to have lunch and a wine tasting at the San Felice Winery, which is a beautiful restored vineyard that was once a town.  The owners bought the town and restored the beautiful buildings in the town and created a winery.  The church, as part of the property, goes back to the Etruscan era, which is 8 thousand years BC.  The history is amazing, and so is the wine.  It’s a bit of a treat here, as it does sell in Nova Scotia.  I paid $13 Euros for the wine in Italy, which is about $20 Canadian.  The wine sells for around $45 here, so it is a treat.  But this year if you want to end the year with a treat wine, may I recommend this one.  It is smooth and delicious and was the wine featured at the beginning of the movie ‘Hannibal’, the follow up movie to Silence of the Lambs.  Anthony Hopkins is seen drinking a glass of wine, and the bottle on the table in the movie is this wine.  Not only is it a treat, but there’s a great story to tell your guests.

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And on that note, have a great weekend. Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

 

National Zinfandel Day

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2019 by darmyers

I didn’t write a wine blog last weekend as my brother-in-law suffered a heart attack last Friday and I was with my sister at the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit over the weekend and in the early part of the week.  It’s been a crazy week.  Let’s talk some wine.

This past week we celebrated National Zinfandel Day, it was Tuesday November 19th.

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I love Zinfandel.  Archaeological evidence indicates this grape dates back to 6000 B.C., and is said it has been enjoyed by Popes.  It arrived in California in the 1850’s during the California Gold Rush.  Lodi California is considered the home of California Zinfandel, however many parts of California are creating outstanding Zinfandel wines.  Also known as Primitivo in Italy, this wine is flavorful and full-bodied and the perfect partner for any meat done on the barbecue.  Let’s have a look at some of my favorites.

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You mention Zinfandel, and the #1 wine people think of the most is 7 Deadly Zins.  Getting its name from the 7 different locations the Zinfandel grapes are harvested from, this is considered the flagship Zinfandel.  Even when I was telling my co-workers about a Primitivo I recently tried, his first response was ‘Compare it to 7 Deadly Zins’.  Jammy fruit with hints of hickory smoke and vanilla.  Classic!

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I can’t get this Zinfandel here in Nova Scotia, but its a definite purchase when I head home to Newfoundland for a visit.  Winemaker Andy Robinson creates a beautiful wine from Sonoma County in the Napa Valley.  Given 91 Points by Wine Spectator magazine, this is worth the $33 price tag.

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Four Vines Zinfandel hails from the Central Coast California which runs from Santa Barbara to Monterey Bay.  Their slogan is ‘We make interesting wines for interesting people’.  The slogan represents all different people from different walks of life including Cowboys, farmers, artists and rebels.  Sadly, they stopped carrying it here in Nova Scotia, so if you see it, give it a try, and let me know what you think.

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This is my ‘go-to’ Zinfandel, another beauty from Sonoma County, Kenwood offers a tremendous value at just $22 a bottle.  Kenwood started producing Zinfandel in 1970 and it’s a little unique because its 97% Zinfandel, 1% Merlot, 1% Petite Sirah, and 1% Syrah, so it’s a very interesting wine to drink.  I love it because of the complex layers and the great price point.

And now for my wine of the week….

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We head to Italy to try a brand new wonderful Primitivo.   Salento is a region if Puglia in the southern part of Italy.  This medium-bodied wine, which I shared with friends last night, and one of the comments was “this is easy to drink”.  And that’s what good wine is all about.  It is in the $18 range so it’s a great wine at a great value.

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Have a wonderful weekend everyone

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

Money Saving Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2019 by darmyers

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Hey, Christmas is coming, and if the rest of the year is any indication, it’s coming fast.  This time of the year brings extra financial responsibilities for many people, Christmas parties, extra food, extra liquor, and of course presents.  It’s a time when finding fabulous wines at great prices is more important than ever.

For my first wine, I am going to stay locally and tell you about Tidal Bay.

Tidal Bay was created by the Wine Association of Nova Scotia to reflect the terroir of Nova Scotia.  It is our signature wine.  It is the perfect compliment to seafood, but I like it with just about anything.  I was at a  dinner party last week and one of the ladies made the comment she had tried Tidal Bay but didn’t like it much.  She was shocked to discover most wineries in Nova Scotia put out a form of Tidal Bay and they are all different.  They have guidelines they have to follow, but they are all a little different.

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Last night my friend Arla bought the Jost Tidal Bay.  I think this is the very last one I had yet to try of all the Tidal Bay wines from all the different vineyards in Nova Scotia.  Personally,  I like them all.  The 2  pictured above, the Saint Famille and the Blomidon Tidal Bay.  They sell for about $21 a bottle here and go great with seafood, chicken, appetizers, and salads. The Jost sells for $20.

For my next wine, we are going to look at a spectacular value.

So many of my friends drink Pinot Grigio, and there are many reasons I love this wine.  First of all, it’s an elegant dry wine that is crisp and refreshing and very food friendly.  Also, it’s always one of the best values in the wine store.  Take this Canaletto Pinot Grigio from Italy for example, it’s $13.99 a bottle.  This wine pairs well with pasta dishes, white meat dishes, fish or delicious all on its own.  If you love white wine, and haven’t tried an Italian Pinot Grigio yet, run don’t walk, to the liquor store now.  You’ll love it.

If you’re looking for a tasty red wine that’s easy on the wallet, pick up this Spanish beauty.  It’s on sale right now here in Nova Scotia, so you’re only going to pay $12.99 a bottle.  It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo in an easy to drink medium-bodied wine.  The title, Liberado, was inspired by Spain’s transition to a democracy in the 1970’s, celebrating Spanish people’s newfound liberties.  With the temperatures dropping, if you’re looking for a great red wine that pairs well with your comfort food, give this one a try.

I’m so excited to share with you my wine of the week…

Botter

First of all, I love the packaging.  Second, this is a fantastic wine that is under $15.  I was at Fred & Arla’s the other evening, and they opened this bottle of wine.  I immediately went and got one… ok two, but who’s counting.  Primitivo, or Zinfandel as it is known outside of Italy, is delicious and one of my favorite reds.  This wine hails from Salento Italy, which is directly on the heel of the boot.  It is rich and smooth with notes of plum and hints of tobacco.  This wine is also designated organic.  Did I mention it’s under $15.

Wine long weekend

It’s a long weekend here in Canada.  I do have to work on Saturday, but I think I’ll find time for a glass….. or two.  Like I said, who counts them on the long weekend.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Wine & Writing

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2, 2019 by darmyers

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I was just looking at a list of my previous posts, when I noticed that I have written 492 wine blogs to date. This is wine blog number 493!  The reason I’m telling you this, is that sometimes I wonder what I’m going to write about. Sometimes the ideas come really easy, and sometimes on Saturday mornings I sit here with my cup of coffee and struggle with the topic.  The reason I started writing a wine blog, is that I’m very adventurous when it comes to trying new wines, and I wanted to share great tasting wines at good value to those a little hesitant about spending money on wines they weren’t sure about. For this one blog, where I’m struggling a little, let’s start there.

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I’ve tried two wines recently from the Saint Roch Family.  Jean-Marc Lafage and his wife Elaine both own the property and are the main winemakers for the estate.  The white is Grenache Blanc and it’s a very dry wine perfect for food pairing.  Flavors of floral and citrus and believe it or not, this wine is aged in concrete for the most part.

The red wine from the family is a blend of Syrah and Grenache.  These wines hail from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France and they do a fantastic job with Grenache.  Remember, Grenache is the main grape used in making Chateauneuf du Pape, which starts at about $50 a bottle and increases from there.  Both these wines, the red and the white, are just $19.99 a bottle here in Nova Scotia, making them a tremendous value.  I love finding great wines under $20.

An article I read this past week, started with the statement, ‘Spanish Cava is dead’!  It certainly got my attention as I love Cava.  I will say I don’t believe Cava is dead.  The article hinted that high priced quality Cava was dying, in favor of lesser priced sparkling wines like some Cava’s and Italian Prosecco’s.  Here’s my thought of that.  If someone is going to fork out the money for an expensive quality sparkling, they are probably going to buy from Champagne, France.  In my opinion, Cava’s and Prosecco’s, will always have a place in the world, because many people want to enjoy a good sparkling without paying hundreds of dollars.  Just like there will always be room in the world for a Rolex watch and a Timex watch.  Spanish Cava’s tend to be a couple of dollars more expensive than an Italian Prosecco, because many of them are made in the traditional method.  Which is time consuming and ensures quality.  This Cava is the Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvee Brut Cava, Brut signifying that it is not sweet, but dry.  It is $23 a bottle and I have brought this to many wine tastings, to show people you can get a traditionally made Sparkling that is affordable to everyone.

And now for my wine of the week…

The picture is a little dark, my apologies.  It is the Lignum Vitis Frappato Shiraz from Italy, and as you can see it is under $20.  This is made from a grape I’ve never written about before – Frappato.  Frapatto is a red Italian grape variety planted primarily in Sicily.  My friend Fred loves red Sicilian wines, so I’m hoping he’ll try this one.  This is a great wine with juicy jammy flavors and hints of dark chocolate.  I can honestly say I think it was my first time drinking Frappato and I liked it.  Although, I have had several wines from Sicily while visiting my friends Fred and Arla, so I’m going to have to start taking pictures.

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Have a great weekend everyone.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

Spooktacular Great Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2019 by darmyers

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This coming Thursday children will be dressing up and going door to door looking for treats.  As adults, we joke about the concept of going door to door and asking for wine.  I’ve been on a bit of a roll lately with some great new wines, so I thought I would share them with you.  Let’s start with a bubbly

The Zonin Prosecco Special Cuvee is a fantastic sparkling wine at a stunning prize.  If the name Zonin sounds familiar, it’s sister red Ripasso made my top wine of 2018.

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The Zonin Prosecco Special Cuvee is just $19 a bottle, so a very affordable sparkling wine.  It’s also been named ‘The Official Prosecco of National Brunch Day”.  Perfect all on its own, or mixed with orange juice for a delicious Mimosa.  It’s been given 95 Points by one critic, it’s that good.

Ok., I have a bit of a shocker to share.  In the past couple of weeks I have tried not one, but two wines from Barefoot.  (Whispering) I really liked them both.  I tried Barefoot many years ago and was not impressed, and honestly, I’ve stayed away.  But recently I’ve tried the Pinot Grigio & the Merlot.

The Pinot Grigio is priced at $11.99 here, and it’s fresh and crisp.  It’s an easy to drink Pinot Grigio with flavors of citrus and pineapple.  It’s also a great value.  The bigger surprise to me was the Merlot.  I love Merlot, and I’m a little picky.  It’s on sale right now for $12.99 and I bought one, to try it.  I liked it.  It’s not overly complex, it’s a simple easy to drink red wine that has no bitterness, and there us no fake oaky flavours.  It’s juicy and I had it with dinner, which was a pork tenderloin and I sat there chuckling because I really really enjoyed this wine.  Last weekend someone told me they were nervous about serving me certain wines because I’m a Sommelier.  Well, you can put those fears to rest. LOL  What can I say, they are easy to drink wines that do not break the wallet.

And now for my wine of the week…

Cote du Rhone

We head to France with a spectacular Cotes du Rhone.  The Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre and these GSM’s from the South of France are moving quickly to the top of my list.  These are full-bodied wines, smooth from aging in subtle oak and rich fruit.  And they are tremendous values.  This wine is less than $20 per bottle.  I loved this wine and will definitely buy it again.

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Have a safe Halloween everyone.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

October is #MerlotMe Month!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 19, 2019 by darmyers

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I have been writing about my love of Merlot for a long time.  More so since Paul Giamatti spoke those infamous words in the movie Sideways, ‘I don’t want to drink any f*&king Merlot”!

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Many reports have stated Merlot sales dropped for a while, while Pinot Noir flourished, causing no damage to the wine industry overall.  I love Merlot.  Merlot loves me.  We have a fantastic relationship.

I love Merlot

Let me start by sharing some of my favourite Merlot wines.  My first one is a staple in my wine rack because it’s such a great value.

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Dada 2 is an Argentinian organic Merlot.  Delicious.  The price recently went up, however it is still only $16.48 a bottle here in Nova Scotia.  It’s a very lush wine, with hints of mocha from the oak, however in no way does the oak dominate.  Got together with some friends last night to drink a glass of wine and this is the one I bought down.

Festival of Wines J Lohr Merlot

This J. Lohr Merlot wine from California won best Merlot at the Festival of Wines show last year, and I’ve enjoyed it several times since then.  Steve Peck, Director of Winemaking at J. Lohr says they’ve added a bit of Malbec because it accentuated the fruit flavours.  It would also add some structure to the wine.  I had this last year with a steak and it was stunning, and it sells for $29.99 here.  However, if you’re down California way, it sells for $15 a bottle at the Vineyard, heartbreaking isn’t it?  Being a wine lover in Canada it’s not always easy on the pocketbook

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Here’s another Merlot that I absolutely love, and this hails from California as well.  Barrel aged in American oak for 12 months, the oak is a little more noticeable in this wine, but the Merlot is so full bodied and juicy that the grape does shine.  It sells for about $25 a bottle here, and it’s a great one.

And now for my wine of the week,,,

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To show my white wine loving friends I haven’t forgotten about them, this was one of my favorite white wines at the  Festival of Wines.  The Bread and Butter Chardonnay will have you thinking of creme brule with its notes of vanilla bean and almond.  Things I loved about this Chardonnay?  The oak did not dominate the wine, it had some very bright acidity and the flavors were vibrant, not always words used to describe Chardonnay.  I loved it and will definitely buy it again.

Wine Underachievers

I hope you over-achieve this weekend!!  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

International Champagne Day

Posted in Uncategorized on October 12, 2019 by darmyers

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Coming up this Friday is International Champagne Day.  And I have to share a few new sparkling wines I’ve had recently, including some from Champagne.  So let me start by giving you a little Champagne history.  Champagne is a region in Northern France, as far north as you can go and still grow grapes.  They have been perfecting this bubbly wine for hundreds of years, to the point, the traditional method of making sparkling wine, is also called the Champagne method.  A sparkling wine can be made in the traditional method, but unless it hails from the Champagne region in France, it cannot be called Champagne.  It’s called ‘Cava’ in Spain, Any time you see Cremant, it is also traditional made sparkling wine, but not from the Champagne region.

I recently had a wonderful Cremant wine at the Festival of wines from Bordeaux

Celene

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Made from Semillion, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc, this bright vibrant sparkling wine is a great substitution when you have something to celebrate but don’t want to spend the money associated with Champagne.

Here’s another great bubbly that won’t break the bank

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My friend Youjeen was pouring this wonderful Spanish Cava at the Festival of Wines.  In Spain, the word Hola is how people greet each other.  And that was the premise behind the name of the wine.  This Cava was made deliciously dry with hints of apple and citrus.  A beautiful sparkling wine ready to celebrate at under $22 a bottle here.

If, however, nothing but the real deal will cut it, try this one authentic Champagne from Duval-Leroy

 

The Champagne house of Duval-Leroy was founded in 1859 so they have been producing top quality Champagnes for many many years.  However, this Champagne house is known for more than just Champagne, it was a pioneer when it came to promoting sustainability in the vineyard.  I personally like a dry Champagne, which you will be able to tell if the word Brut is in the title.  Champagne doesn’t come cheap, which makes it the ultimate treat.

And now for my wine of the week…..

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Critics are giving this wine 91 points, and I have to agree whole heartedly.   Super smooth combination of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.    A GSM blend is one of my favourites and this wine did not disappoint.  Velvety blueberry and blackberry notes and although I know it saw some oak, except for the smoothness you couldn’t tell.  It is priced at $20.99 a bottle so it’s a really good value.

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Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone

Cheers

Darlene

 

 

Festival of Wines Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2019 by darmyers

So many great wines, so little time.

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My friend Cassandra and I took a few hours last Saturday afternoon and spent it tasting wine at one of the grand tastings during the Festival of Wines in  Halifax.  Although the country to be featured this year, Wines of South America’, all countries are represented and we tried some great wines.  We had a great time, and I had the opportunity to speak to many people about the wine they were featuring.

This was one of my favorites.

 

I have written about Tommassi wines previously but this was my first time trying the Tommasi Ripasso.  This is what the winemaker had to say

“Tommasi “Ripasso” is the unique result of refermenting Valpolicella Classico Superiore on the warm grape skins from which Amarone has been fermented. This process, used only in rare vintage years, imparts the richness of character and personality of a great wine to an already superior wine.”

It was elegant and delicious and one of my favorite finds at the Festival of Wines.  If you get a chance, try it.

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Both Cassandra and I loved the look of this bottle, and the wine in it was so good I bought a few home with me, because I’m pretty sure at the moment the only place you can buy it was at the show.  Sadly, it’s not available at the NSLC yet, but if you can find it where you live, grab it.  A blend of Merlot and Primitivo (Zinfandel), this is a fantastic wine for $17.99.  In my opinion it was a luscious and rich wine that is the perfect compliment to any pasta dish.

We had some fantastic rose wines while we were there, but this one stood out for me because it was delicious and the price point is amazing.

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This wine has earned 92 Points by some wine critics and it’s under $17 a bottle.  Again, one of those great wines not yet available at my liquor store, but this is a fantastic find.  Now, I have to be honest, I drink the majority of my rose wines in the Summer, but this is a wonderful wine for appetizers and meet and greets.  Crisp and refreshing, both myself and Cassandra really liked it.

And now for my wine of the week….

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And one of the best values I found at the Festival of wines. From the Languedoc region of France, this beauty is only $15.99 a bottle.  Yes, you’ll notice the bottle is empty, don’t judge!  LOL  I did, however, buy a full case of it.  Great wine at a great value.  It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, so it’s full-bodied with a hint of spice.  Easy to drink and super food friendly, there’s no guilt when you open this great wine on a Tuesday night.

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It’s the weekend, feel free to be awesome all weekend.  Till next weekend, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

 

 

Festival of Wines Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2019 by darmyers

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Yes, part 1, because there are so many events and so many wines to try during the Festival of Wines, that one wine blog just won’t cut it.  I went to my first event Wednesday evening, which was the “Tasting:  The World of Wines Experience” at the Casino Nova Scotia.  Only 120 tickets, and it’s all about the wine.  I love it.

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This is one of my favorite finds of the Festival of Wines so far, this beautiful sparkling Cremant from France.  It is Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, and Muscadet and it is refreshing, bright and fruity.  It’s also a fantastic price for a well made Cremant from Bordeaux.  Cremant sparkling wines are made in the same method as Champagne, and is a great option if you have a ‘Champagne taste on a beer budget’, as my father would say.  Bordeaux France is best known for its red blends, but this was a fabulous surprise find.

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One of the thrills for me at this event was Chef Renee Lavallee, winner of Top Chef Canada.  What was even more exciting was to learn she has teamed up with a Champagne house, Duval Leroy, who have been making Champagne for 160 years.  Renee says this Champagne is in harmony with her own style of cuisine.  It was well aged, but so very vibrant on the palate.  When I tasted, I told her it woke my mouth up in a big way;  A treat at $87 a bottle, but a great Champagne.

And my Wine of the Week,

The handsome Chris from the NSLC is pouring my favourite wine from Wednesday evening’s event, the 2015 Chateau Guillou Montagne Saint Emilion.   Comprised mostly of Merlot, it also contains small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.   I tasted wines Wednesday evening that were way over $100 a bottle, and this was still my favourite – it’s that smooth!   And because I like great values, it is difficult to get a Bordeaux wine of this quality for this price point.

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I have another festival of wines event this afternoon, the general tasting.  Till next week, cheers

Darlene

Fall Into Some Great Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2019 by darmyers

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Monday marks the first day of Fall this year, my favorite time of the year.  Crisp fresh air, cool nights and great wine.  What more could a girl want!

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It’s a gorgeous day here in Halifax, the sun is shining and the temperatures are supposed to hit 23-degrees Celsius.  I have some great wines to share with you to enjoy these beautiful Fall days.

First I have to tell you about a wine my friend Steve told me about.

Toro Bravo

I have yet to try this wine, but my friend Steve and his wife are regular wine drinkers and I trust their opinion.  I know you can get this in Ontario, but it has yet to make an appearance here in Nova Scotia.  This Spanish blend of Tempranillo and Merlot sells for $7.95 a bottle in Ontario, and they just love it.  LESS THAN $8!  I’m heartbroken you can’t get this wine here, but if you can find it, please share your comments below.  The LCBO website says it is medium-bodied and smooth and perfect for grilled pork.   Steve says he is going to bring me a bottle the next time they visit Halifax, so when he does, I’ll tell you all about it.  There’s also a white for the same price.

Image for Toro Bravo Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc DO La Mancha from LCBO

The white Toro Bravo comes in at $7.95 as well and is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Veredejo.  I know, I’m telling you about wines I haven’t tried, but we’re all friends.  And I want to share these great value wines.  Great wine for $8, sign me up!

Ok, on to a wine I have tried.

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This limited edition label looks awesome and the Cabernet Sauvignon inside the bottle is a favourite that’s been around a while.  Chile makes some incredible Cabernet Sauvignon and Casillero del Diablo has probably been doing it the longest and is owned by Concha y Toro.  It’s full-bodied and flavourful and is priced ay just $20.

And now for my wine of the week,,,

I’m so excited about this wine.  1) It’s delicious and 2) It’s priced under $19.   I love finding great wines, in this case a 92-Point wine, at reasonable prices.   Coming from Valle Del Maipo, one of the most prestigious growing areas in Chile.   This wonderful wine is elegant and has some amazing complex flavours, think vanilla- think chocolate and think rich bold fruit.

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Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Wines of South America

Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2019 by darmyers

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The Festival of Wines is coming up the last week of September here in Nova Scotia, and this year I am attending a couple of the events.  I will tell you all about them in future blogs.  People often ask me where the best values are coming from and I have to say South America tops the list each time.  Chile and Argentina are putting out some fantastic wines at great value.  And although they are considered ‘New World’, they have actually been making wine since the 1500’s.

Nova Chardonnay

If the ‘Nova’s’ name seems familiar, it’s because I have written about the two sister red wines in the past.  They are regular visitors to my wine rack.  This past week I’ve had the opportunity to try the white Chardonnay.  If you like American Chardonnay, you will like this one.  The oak is a little more prominent, than say in a French  Chardonnay.  The apple and pear flavors are very delightful and it’s a great value at $16 a bottle, which is a great price for an organic wine.  Yes, you read that right, it’s organic.

Alamos

Certain regions are known for certain wines, like Tidal Bay coming out of Nova Scotia, or a Cabernet Sauvignon coming out of the Napa Valley in California.  The same could be said for Malbec coming out of Argentina.  Even though Malbec originated in Bordeaux France, it got wiped out in the late 1800’s due to disease, and Argentina made it its National Grape.  Altitude, climate and soil all play a role in the tremendous success Argentina has seen with Malbec, and this one from Alamos is no exception.  It’s $18 a bottle and grown in the mountainous region of Mendoza.  The winemaker is a knowledgeable female by the name of Lucia Vaieretti.  She was not only born in Argentina, but her parents worked at vineyards, so she has been hanging around vineyards since she was a small child.  This wonderful wine has rich plum flavors and hints of cocoa that helps make it another fantastic value out of Argentina.

And now for my wine of the week…

If this wine bottle looks slightly familiar, its because its sister wine was my wine of the week last week.

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Although the Black Label is slightly more expensive, at $28 a bottle, it is still an amazing value.  Argentina is also famous for its ‘Flying Winemakers’, winemakers from other other countries like France and the United States, coming to help produce an excellent product.  The Black Label wine started for me when I gave it to a friend for his 50th birthday, and he raved about it.  I don’t usually give wine for gifts unless I’ve tried the wine first, but I fell in love with the label and I knew I would get a great wine out of Argentina for that price.  When he raved about it, I went out and bought one myself, and have had it several times since.  Fantastic full-bodied wine with lots happening on the palate.  This is a big wine that would really compliment hearty meat dishes.  If you try it, let me know what you think in the comments.

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One day, with the advancement of technology, they may happen.  I think that’s how they can improve on Alexa, get her to fetch wine!

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

 

Storm Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on September 7, 2019 by darmyers

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I was really hesitant to call this week’s wine blog ‘Storm Wine’.  I would not want to give the impression I was making light of the catastrophic outcome Hurricane Dorian has had on places like the Bahamas.

I am sitting in my home in Halifax Nova Scotia, sipping a coffee, watching it rain, watching the wind pick up, and waiting for Dorian to hit as a Category 1 later this afternoon.  Mild, compared to the devastation of how it has hit other places, but scary just the same.  Wind and rain can wreak havoc and cause a lot of damage in communities.

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I’m on the third floor, it can get breezy.  So please don’t take this as making light of that situation, but if you’ve seen the line-ups at the Liquor stores in Nova Scotia the past two days, you would probably smile.

Here’s what’s in my wine rack, as I ride out this storm.

I always like to have a few white wines on hand, and I thought I would pick up the Arrogant Frog Chardonnay.  This wine is made by Paul Mas who had one of my top wines from 2018, so I was excited to try this one.  From my wine blog, The Top 10 of 2018, the Paul Mas GSM made #2.  Read that blog Top 10 of 2018

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Needless to say I wanted to try this excellent priced Chardonnay ($16.99).  Although the Languedoc is not the most notable Chardonnay region in France (think Burgundy), but I really liked this wine and found it to be a great value.    It also contains some Viognier, which brings some acidity and mango flavours.  It’s dry, and fruity, it had some tropical notes, and I found it not to be overly oaky.  I will definitely buy this wine again.

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The festival of wines is coming up at the end of this month, and it’s one of my favourite times of the year .  This year’s theme is South American wines, and Trapiche is one of the most well-known names in Argentinian wine.  I had this wine last night, tasting it with my friend Amber at the NSLC.   Well, I tried it, she watched, as she is expecting her second child.   I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  I am not a huge Malbec drinker,  but I found the toasty plum flavours in this particular wine really really good.  It’s $24 a bottle, great value.

And now for my wine of the week,,,

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Yes, you are looking at an empty bottle, don’t judge!   I still find it really hard to believe that this wine is $18 a bottle.  It’s the Castano GSM, Grenache, (Garnacha in Spain), Syrah and Mouvedre.    A spectacular blend of the three grapes, and a perfect pairing for all those comfort foods you may want to be enjoying during the storm.

That’s it for me for this week.  Stay safe everyone

Darlene

 

 

Hello September

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2019 by darmyers

Hello September

Don’t hate me, but I’m excited for September.  I love Autumn.  I live in Eastern Canada in Halifax Nova Scotia, grew up on the West Coast of Newfoundland, and I love Fall.  I love the pretty colors, the cooler temperatures and the way the air feels.  I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of extreme weather either way.  Too hot or too cold, it’s hard to get outside.  But Autumn, I love being outside in Autumn.  It’s also a great time for comfort food and big bold wines.  I love that part of it too.

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Take this Tuscan beauty for example.  If you’re like me, colder weather brings some of my favourite foods like pasta, and this is a perfect match for any Italian food that tickles your palate.   This Italian blend is made up of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 20% Sangiovese.  If you’re looking for a superhero, let the Dark Knight thrill you this weekend with its bold rich fruit and subtle spice notes.   A great Italian wine for only $20 a bottle.

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In 1843, Dr. Lindemann started a winery, and one of his goals was to offer some local ruffians a distinguished drop of wine, thus the basis for the Gentleman’s Collection.   It comes in a stand-alone Cabernet Sauvignon, but this past week I bought the red blend, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Shiraz.  Delicious hearty blend, perfect for grilled meats, with notes of black pepper.   A great value at just $18 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week,

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Please excuse the wine stains on the bottle LOL   I forgot to take the picture before I opened the wine and started enjoying it.   The Three Thieves Pinot Noir will steal your heart.   I can’t begin to list the number of awards this wine has won.  It is 76% Pinot with some Syrah and Petite Sirah.   This is nobody’s wimpy Pinot Noir.  Very flavourful with great structure and made my wine of the week because its $19 a bottle.

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Happy long weekend everyone, till next week cheers

Darlene

Great Wines Under $25

Posted in Uncategorized on August 24, 2019 by darmyers

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I conducted a wine tasting last Saturday night with a new group of people, which is always a lot of fun.  This time we had 10 wines, which honestly is probably too many for a tasting.  The host of the event asked that we do wines that were all reasonably priced so except for two that were around the $28 mark, we kept it for the most part under $25.  I love discovering great new wines under $25.  Here are a couple from that night.

The first wine of the evening was a new rose wine from Argentina.

Earlier in the Summer I had discovered another rose wine from Argentina and it was fabulous.  I took it to several events.  That wine is sold out so I tried this one, and loved it.  I think a couple of people at the tasting were pleasantly surprised this wine was not sweet, as at one time most people felt all rose wines were sweet.  This rose is made from the Syrah grape, so it had very limited skin contact, as the Syrah grape is a thick-skinned grape with lots of color.  This was crisp and light and very dry.  A fantastic wine that sells for $16 a bottle.

The Bila Haut Red from Chapoutier is a staple in my wine rack, I just love it.  Last Saturday I bought both the red and its sister white wine.  This was amazing, Chapoutier is one of the most respected wineries in the Languedoc region of France.  These grapes were picked by hand so it’s a pleasant surprise that it’s only $16 a bottle.  This was so close to making my wine of the week for that reason.  This white blend is Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu.  It is a very vibrant fresh white wine with great acidity and it’s a great wine for food.  Try it with chicken, shellfish or with your favorite appetizer.

The sister red wine was also a hit, this a little more expensive at $18 a bottle, but still a wonderful value.  This red blend is predominately Syrah with Grenache and Carignan.  Georgeous notes of black cherry and spice and a great wine to go with any red meat dish you may be serving.

And now for my wine of the week…

Bordeaux

What?  A Bordeaux under $25.  Bordeaux wines can be some of the most expensive in the world.  One wine critic called this  Bordeaux wine “A classic Bordeaux for everyday meals”.  Using modern methods but respecting traditional values and principles, The Jury of Grand Cellar Masters says this wine is a full-bodied wine with a beautiful garnet appearance.   And it’s only $20 a bottle.  You have to try this wine!

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I had writers block last weekend, and could not come up with a wine blog.  I appreciate everyone that came back this weekend!

Also, a note to all the wonderful people that have hired me for wine tastings in their home.  I really enjoy doing this, and I always look forward to them.  My Fall is booking up fast, I only have one date left in November.  So don’t hesitate to reach out if this is something you are thinking about doing in the Fall.

Cheers,

Darlene

 

Top 5 Wine & Food Pairing Tips

Posted in Uncategorized on August 10, 2019 by darmyers

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As I sit here preparing for another wine-tasting next weekend, I always try to think of some of the questions people might ask, so I can be prepared to answer them.   One of the questions that I always get asked, in a variety of ways, it’s how to pair wine and food properly.  Gone are the days where it is expected you drink white wine with fish and red wine with red meat.   It’s all about choosing a wine you like, to make the meal more enjoyable.   You are not going to enjoy your meal, if you don’t like the wine!

There are some basic things you can keep in mind.

  1.  Salt vs Acidity

Saltiness in food is a great contrast to acidity in wine.   I really love Thai food and Chinese cuisine, which I really enjoy pairing a Riesling with.   A lot of these dishes contain soy sauce, which is salty and the Riesling cuts through that saltiness .   Think smoked salmon and Champagne/ Sparkling Wine or Parmesan cheese with a Chianti wine.  A wine with a bit of acidity will really cut through and compliment the saltiness of food.

2.  High Fat Foods with Full-bodied Wines

There is a reason a big bold Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with a big juicy steak.  Foods high in fats, like red meat, or dishes that contain heavy cream, usually calls for a more intense full-bodied wine.   Think Chardonnay for white wine drinkers and Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for the red wine drinkers.

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3.  Fruity dishes + Fruity Wine

Any dishes that have a fruit component, for example, duck with figs, chicken with an orange or peach glaze, or pork with apples or apple sauce, think a fruity wine.   If you are a red wine drinker think Pinot Noir!  If you’re a white wine drinker, think Riesling again or a fruity Pinot Grigio.  The fruitiness of the wine won’t compete with the fruit in the dish, they go hand in hand.

4.  Sweet with Sweet

Pairing dessert wines with dessert can be a little tricky.   In one of my very first classes when I was learning to become a Sommelier, the instructor said the wine in the glass should be sweeter than whatever’s on the dessert plate.  If the desert is sweeter than the wine, your wine is going to taste dull and flat.  And if you are not a fan of sweet dessert wines, no worries, enjoy your dessert with your favourite hot coffee.

5.  Keep It Simple

It’s really easy to overthink wine and food pairing.   I always say to people, keep it simple.   If you are a white wine drinker, experiment with different white wines and different foods.   You’ll not only become a pro at recommended pairings, you’ll have a lot of fun in the process.   Same goes for my red wine loving friends.   Don’t be afraid to step out side of your wine comfort zone and try a new wine with a favourite dish.  A person doesn’t have to be a professional to recommend a wine with a dish, if you like the pairing, chances are one of your friends will like it.

Wine per gallong

Have a great weekend, until next weekend, cheers

Darlene

Chilled Red Wines for Summer

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3, 2019 by darmyers

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Ahhh, the warm days of Summer.  Temperatures are soaring and many people think its time to put away all red wines and just drink whites and rose wines.  But that doesn’t have to be the case.  I’m going to share some great red wines that can be served chilled and are perfect for Summer.  Keep in mind the ‘room temperature’ of red wines was the temperature of the underground wine cellars in Europe, hundreds of years ago, and still to this day.  The room temperature of these cellars is about 15-degrees Celsius, so remember as our temperatures hover around the 30-degree Celsius mark, this is not a good temperature to serve any red wine.  When served too warm the flavors of red wine will be very muted and sappy.  So don’t be afraid to introduce your red wine to the refrigerator.  Believe me when I say, this time of the year they’ll be great friends.

Gamay is a great red wine and should be served chilled all year round.  Gamay is the grape used in Beaujolais, the region at the very south of Burgundy.  In all other 4 regions of Burgundy, Pinot Noir is the red grape, but in Beaujolais it’s Gamay.  Gamay is a light grape with candied fruit flavors and perfect for the patio.  It’s also a great wine to go with charcuterie boards, with cheese and cured meats.  This Fougeres Beaujolais is just $17 a bottle and you white wine lovers might really enjoy this wine as well.

Elouan

Speaking of Pinot Noir, this is another grape that chilling brings out its complex flavors.  I love this Elouan Pinot Noir from Oregon and have featured it at many wine tastings.  It’s a gorgeous medium to full-bodied wine with blueberry and spice flavors and this is a wonderful wine to have at your next Summer BBQ.  At $35 a bottle, it’s a treat, but so worth it.

With wines like Gamay and Pinot Noir, it is recommended you refrigerate them for 1 hour before serving, especially with the temperatures we’ve been seeing.  Even with your big bold reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz, keeping them in the fridge for even 30 minutes will liven them up and bring them to life.  You’ll also notice that once the wines are out on the table, in the heat, the flavors will start to change.

And now for my wine of the week…..

If this bottle looks slightly familiar, it’s because its sister wine is a staple in my wine rack.  The aged 7 years Tempranillo from Anciano is one of the best deals in the wine store, and now it has some competition from its sister.

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The red label Anciano is made from the Grenache grape, which is another grape that tastes great chilled.  Grenache is a wonderful grape, used in making Chateauneuf du Pape, but you don’t need to spend $50 – $200 on a bottle.  You can enjoy this Grenache for just $15 a bottle with this wonderful wine.  It’s a diverse grape and extremely food friendly, and an all around great deal.

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It’s a long weekend here in Nova Scotia, and I know I’m going to enjoy it to the fullest.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

40+ Years of Friendship

Posted in Uncategorized on July 27, 2019 by darmyers

 

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I didn’t have a wine blog last weekend because I was home on vacation, and while I was there I attended my 40th high school reunion.   It is hard to believe that we all graduated high school 40 years ago.    I had the chance to reconnect with friends that I went through my school years with and it was the most wonderful time.   Many of them I haven’t seen in years.

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My friend Paula and I reminisced about a school trip we took in Grade 6, when we were 12 years old, to Northwest River Labrador.  Susan and I talked about the joys of her becoming a grandmother recently,

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My friend Jackie’s daughter got married recently and all of us had things to share but the underlying theme was how happy we were to get together and have a drink.   Sadly, I had to leave a little early and we were just getting into the wine really good.    I didn’t take any pictures of the wines that evening but I will share a couple of good wines I had while on vacation

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My dad was intent on buying me a bottle of wine while I was home visiting, so I chose this one.  Here in Nova Scotia, we can get Dada #2, and it’s a staple in my wine rack because it’s a really good organic Argentinian Merlot at $15 a bottle.  What a treat it was to get #1 while I was home, which is a blend of 50% Malbec and 50% Bonarda.   Although Bonarda is not a very well known grape,  it was planted about 3000 years ago in the Padana region of Italy but nowadays most of the Bonarda in the world is grown in Argentina.   Great wine for about a $15 price point.

And now for my wine of the week…

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I love Spanish wine.   I also love the Grenache grape, or as it is known in Spain, Garnacha.   Grenache, or Garnacha, was once mostly used as a blending grape especially in France with Syrah and Mouvedre.    I love how more and more wine makers are taking the chance and having Grenache (Garnacha) the star of the show. This particular wine is mostly Garnacha with some Carignan blended in.   Gorgeous flavours of cherry and raspberry with some vanilla from the toasted oak.   A fantastic wine for just $16 a bottle.

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Here’s to great friendships and good wine, may they always go together!

Till next week, cheers

Darlene

 

 

 

 

 

Vacation Time!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2019 by darmyers

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I’m officially on vacation and a little later today I’m flying to my hometown of Corner Brook Newfoundland, on Canada’s East Coast.   Visiting family, attending my 40th High School Reunion and maybe even enjoying a glass of wine.  (or 2?).   Corner Brook is located on Newfoundland‘s west coast, and is very picturesque.   Very close by would be the famous Marble Mountain ski hill and we’re also only about 45 minutes from Gros Morne National Park.  Thought I would share a couple of more pictures.

 

For me it’s also a chance to enjoy some of my favorites, that I can’t get here in Nova Scotia.  It may be a small island but the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation has done a wonderful job with wine selection.  My colleague Marc is asking me to bring back this wine.

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Although Nova Scotia does carry a big selection of Las Moras wine from Argentina, they do not carry this beauty.  It’s the Las Moras Pacha-Mama.  This Malbec is easy to drink, and easy on the pocketbook at $16 a bottle.  Check for it in your favorite wine store, I think it’s a great value wine.

I know when I’m home, my family will get me to cook up a feed of barbeque ribs, they always do.   Doing barbeque ribs is an artform, the secret being ‘slow and low’, and this will be my wine of choice.

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The Seghesi Zinfandel from Sonoma County is splendid.  Seghesio planted its first Zinfandel vines back in 1895.  Winemaker Edward Seghesio says his grandmother’s favourite word was “Pazienza”, which means patience.  I’m so sad this is not available where I live, but I do look forward to the treat when I go home.    If you see it, try it and let me know if you love it as much as I do.

And now for my wine of the week….

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It’s summertime and that means I’m drinking more white wines then I do the rest of the year.  I always keep a bottle of Pinot Grigio in my fridge because a lot of my friends that come to visit love Pinot Grigio.  Beringer makes one of my absolute favourite steak wines, so I couldn’t wait to try this Pinot Grigio.  It’s refreshing and light with crisp flavours of pear and citrus and at $12.99 a bottle, it’s one of my new favourite finds this Summer!   This is truly a steal of a deal.

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I love Karen from the television show Will & Grace.  There will be no wine blog  next Saturday as I will be in Newfoundland and travelling.

See you in two weeks

Darlene

 

 

Heat Wave

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2019 by darmyers

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There is a heat warning in effect for Halifax, as there is in many parts of the world.  And although I love a glass of wine as much as anyone, and most days two, don’t forget the water and I encourage you all to stay safe.  Extreme heat is no different than extreme cold, in that you have to be very careful, because it can be dangerous.  Stay safe and stay hydrated.

Now back to why you visit this site each week, wine!

Sandhill Pinot Gris

I tend to drink a variety of beverages during a heat wave, including local craft beer and I’ve been known to imbibe with a vodka soda as well.  I find them refreshing.  I also tend to drink more white wine, including this beauty from Canada.  Winemaker Howard Soon is so good at what he does and I love the Pinot Gris he created.  Pinot Gris is different than Pinot Grigio, in that it doesn’t have the acidity the Grigio does.  It’s a very easy to drink refreshing wine with tropical flavors and hints of pear.  A great wine for smoked salmon, delicate fish or your favorite pork tenderloin.

As you know, I’ve have been doing a lot of wine tastings lately, and I always get asked about a red wine that a regular white wine drinker might enjoy.  I always say Pinot Noir or Beaujolais.  Beaujolais is made from the Gamay grape which features ‘candied’ flavors.  Honestly, when you sip it you will taste flavors of candy.  And a Beaujolais wine is served very chilled, so white wine drinkers tend to like that.  Keep in mind with this heat wave, please do not serve any red wine at current ‘room temperature’.  Heavens, 30-degrees is too warm for any wine.  Red wine should be served anywhere from 11-degrees to 18 degrees at the absolute maximum.  So please put your red wine in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes.  Or you can do what I do, and keep it in the fridge and take it out about 20-30 minutes before I go to serve it.  I had a couple of glasses of wine with a great group of friends last night, and one lady bought her wine and it was so warm I encouraged her to chill out a little.   She thought room temperature was room temperature no matter what the room temperature was.   Remember, it’s the room temperature of the old underground wine cellars hundreds of years ago in places like France and Italy.

And now for my wine of the week.  It is a wine I enjoyed for the first time this past week in a long time….

Corbiere bottle

This Corbiere from Gerard Bertrand is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, and is from France.  It is so well made and so easy to drink.  It’s also $3 off right now, and a steal of a deal at just $16.99 a bottle.  Great for Summer BBQ!

I have to say hello to one of my American readers and fellow wine blogger who is always amazed at the prices of wine here in Eastern Canada.   So while I’m rejoicing at paying $16.99 a bottle for this wine, Allison will probably be able to get it for half that.   Allison writes a wonderful wine blog under the name ‘Okie Wine Girl’ and you can find it at http://www.okiewinegirl.com.  Check it out!

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Have a great weekend everyone.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Happy Canada Day!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2019 by darmyers

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Monday is Canada Day and who doesn’t love a long weekend in the Summer.  This girl does.  I had another great wine tasting with a great group of people last weekend.  We not only had a few laughs, we had some amazing food and we tried a couple of really great wines.

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We enjoyed a total of 7 wines last weekend, we opened with a sparkling, had 2 more white wines and finished off with 4 red wines.

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The opening sparkling wine was the first one I wanted to talk to you about

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This is a exceptional sparkling wine, it’s the Benjamin Bridge Non-Vintage Brut which originates right here in Nova Scotia.  Non-vintage means the grapes doesn’t necessarily come from the same vintage year, as a matter of fact, winemaker Jean-Benoit Deslausiers uses grapes from up to 13 vintage years.   It’s a spectacular sparkling wine, everybody enjoyed it, with no bitterness just a refreshing effervescence.

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We tried to more white wines after the sparkling, one was enjoyed by some the other was enjoyed by no one, LOL!  I don’t normally talk about wines that I don’t like, just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean other people won’t.   And apparently when this was poured for a food tasting event at a previous occasion everybody loved it.   At this party not so much.

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The Bukettraube grape is also called Bouquet Blanc, and it is very aromatic.   Originating from Germany, this group is only grown in Germany France and South Africa.  I found it it had similarities to Gewurztraminer, which is another grape  you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it.

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The other white wine we had that evening was the Morgan cellars Chardonnay from California.  Personally I loved it because I didn’t find it overly oaky, but the crowd was definitely split on this one.  I live in Nova Scotia, originally from Newfoundland, and this wine would be perfect for things like lobster and other seafood favourites.  I loved the fact that only 33% of this wine sees French oak, so the oak is subtle not overpowering.   I also found the acidity really nice for a Chardonnay, it was smooth and easy to drink with notes of citrus and it’s under $18.

My wine of the week this week……

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The red wines we enjoyed included some favourites I’ve written about before.   The 3-finger Jack Zinfandel was my wine of the week a couple of weeks ago, Labaume Syrah from France is so good I have about four bottles of it in my wine rack right now.

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The San Fabiano Chianti Classico from Italy.   There are nine Chianti regions in Italy, only one of them designated Classico which is evident on the bottle by the picture of the black rooster.

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Chianti is a very dry red wine from Italy, but I think it’s a super wine for food including food from the region which includes pasta and pizza.   A Chianti wine can cut through those tomato sauces and bring out the flavour of both the food and the wine.   This is a bit of a treat at $27 a bottle,  but a great Italian red wine.

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Have a great long weekend, till next week

Cheers

Darlene

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Wine Lovin’!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 22, 2019 by darmyers

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Yesterday at 12:54 p.m. Halifax Nova Scotia time, it officially became Summer.  It’s about time Mother Nature, we have waited a long time.  Summer means BBQ’s, get-togethers with friends and wine.  Here’s a few of my favorite Summer time wines.

Pinot Grigio

Had a group of friends in Thursday evening and opened this Pinot Grigio from Italy for the first time.  And what a hit it was.  Sartori Pinot Grigio Arco Giovi is a fabulous crisp Pinot Grigio and at $15 a bottle, you’ll be able to enjoy it all year round.  Great for appetizers, salads, or just sitting on the patio, this was deemed a winner from all the white wine drinkers Thursday evening.

The second bottle of white wine we opened Thursday evening was this one.

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Although we opened it Thursday evening, I bought the remainder down to a gathering of friends last night.  My friend Jean really liked it, and I was kind of on the fence about it at first.   This Chardonnay had the oak a little dominant,  but I had just come from a winetasting in which we tasted a Chardonnay that practically had no oak, so I have to wonder if my taste buds were compromised .   It’s a big Chardonnay with an alcohol content of 14% .  At $22 a bottle I thought it was very fairly priced.

Jacob's creek.jpegJacob's Creek Moscato rose

I have been recommending this wine a lot lately, because it tastes very similar to a very popular locally made Moscato with some effervesence.  The Jacob’s Creek Moscato comes in a white or a rose style, and both contain a tinge of sweetness, as is very common with Moscato wines.  This wine comes in at $14 though, making it an affordable refreshing patio wine for Summer.

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At another tasting I was at last night at our local NSLC, they were celebrating the first day of summer with ribs and wine.  The ribs were done by a local restaurant and were fantastic and one of the wines they were featuring was the Zinfandel  I wrote about last week.   So I’m going to feature one of my all-time favourite Zinfandel wines, the 7 Deadly Zins!   Named for its sinfully good taste, the 7 also represents 7 different growing areas the Zinfandel grapes came from.   It belongs in the blog with great summer wines because it’s the ultimate barbeque wine in my opinion.

And for my wine of the week, we take a trip to Italy….

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From the Piedmont area of Italy that brings you the Barolo and Barbaresco wines, comes this  wonderfully priced Nebbiolo.  Both Barolo and Barbaresco wines can fetch hundreds of dollars for a bottle, and this gem is a steal of a deal at $22.   I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared this with you, but when red wines age they develop a brownish tint.   The wine is still perfectly good.  You’ll notice a brownish tint in this wine even though I had a fairly young vintage, 2017.   It was a delicious wine, very well structured, with great fruit and light herbal notes.   The oak was very soft and gentle.   I loved it, and will definitely buy it again.

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We’ve waited all winter for summer, I hope you enjoy yours.

Till next week, cheers

Darlene