Grilling & Wine

It’s grilling season. Bring on the barbecue. And in my opinion, nothing pairs better with BBQ than wine. Regular readers of this blog know how much I love to grill, on both a BBQ and my pellet grill. I’m going to share a recipe for the BEST potatoes I’ve ever eaten in this blog, stay tuned. But first, let’s pair some great wines with grilled food.

I’m on my week off from chemo treatments, so my appetite has been good and I’ve been firing up both my BBQ and my pellet grill. I did a stuffed butterfly pork chop the other evening. Stuffed with bread crumbs, sauteed onions & carrots, apples, salt and pepper, and good old Newfoundland Savory. The best

This stuffed pork chop turned out so good and there are a few wines that would pair well with it. Some recommendations for pork would include a Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and a Riesling. Here’s what I had with it

I went with the Cigar Box Pinot Noir from Chile. A very light to medium pinot noir, that didn’t clash with some of the bold flavors I had in my stuffed pork chop. As you can see from the above picture I put my pork chop low on my pellet grill for about 30 minutes to add some smoke flavor and then seared it on the BBQ. Yum! This pinot noir also has some smoky notes and is really well priced at just $18 a bottle here.

Now the potatoes…..

I cubed the potatoes and boiled them for about 5-8 minutes to cook them halfway. My friends Fred and Arla picked me up some fresh garlic from the Annapolis Valley when they were there this week, and it was so good.

So I put cream cheese, mayonnaise, cream cheese, 2 cloves of the fresh garlic, salt and pepper, and shredded cheese. Then I put them on my pellet grill on low for about an hour to finish cooking and absorb all those great flavors.

I added some parsley towards the end. I grow my own, and you don’t want to add fresh herbs too early or they will char. You could finish these in the oven or on the BBQ, just be careful about having them on direct heat. On the BBQ, I would light one side and put the potatoes on the other side, the side with no heat.

We are getting a warm weekend here. Supposed to be 22-degrees today and 27-degrees tomorrow. It also may be our first 30-degree day. And warm weather means Rose. Here’s a Rose you may want to try this weekend.

At a mere $617 a bottle, it’s truly a weekend treat. If you’re like me, this may be more along your price point

This Arrogant Frog Rose wine is a delicious crisp wine that comes in at $18 a bottle, a little more affordable for most of us. It’s light and tasty and a great example of Rose.

One last wine before I go.

Look at that color. That dark purple says one thing….. Malbec

I try new wines all the time, and more and more I’m reaching for a Malbec, a wine that I really didn’t drink a lot. This wine appealed to me because of the Gran Reserva, which is aging. And the $17 price point. Gran Reserva wines tend to be aged and this one was delicious. It’s a big wine bursting with flavors of plums, vanilla and tobacco. Definitely worth a try and definitely a great wine for BBQ.

That’s it for me for this week. Have a wonderful weekend, and a great week,



A Tribute to Mom

That time of the year, when we honor our Mom’s, whether they are with us or not. I am lucky enough to still have my Mom, and this year, for the first time since I moved to Halifax, she is with me for Mother’s Day. She is 88 years young and going quite strong. Here she is in January on her 88th birthday.

And here we are yesterday evening, as we open a very special bottle of wine.

My brother-in-law Craig bought this back in March when he was here. And I was saving it for something special. And what’s more special than getting to spend Mother’s Day weekend with your Mom, who lives in another province.

Caymus is one of my favorite Vineyards in California, and they know how to make Zinfandel. This is a 95-Point Wine, beautifully full-bodied and lush with spicy herbal notes. One of my friends asked me yesterday evening if it was worth the treat price tag and I said yes. Absolutely yes. The Wagner family make amazing wines, including the line of Mer Soleil and Conundrum Wines, however, the Caymus line is their top notch line. Started in 1972, this vineyard is still in the family. This wine retails here for $75, so it is a treat wine, but my Mom is worth it. And I didn’t buy it LOL

Thank you to all the Moms. Thank you to all the Moms of fur-babies as well. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend



Drink The Good Wine

Most of the readers of my wine blog know I got diagnosed with a form of colon cancer the end of November. I started treatments January 30th with Radiation and Chemotherapy. And a couple of weeks ago started an aggressive 15 week Chemotherapy regimen. So I don’t want you thinking, well, she has Cancer, she’s drinking all good wine. That is not the case, but I will get into why I named my blog ‘Drink The Good Wine’ in a moment.

My friend Angie was down this past week

Still one of the best values in our liquor store. It’s under $13 here and one of the best wines under $15.

I had an experience this past week with non-alcoholic wine. A few weeks ago I mentioned I wanted to buy Proxies non-alcoholic wine, but held off because of the price tag of $30 + HST ($34.50)

Yesterday I had an infected tooth taken out, and was on anti-biotics and prescription pain killers. So I didn’t want to drink alcohol. So I splurged and bought a bottle.

Wasn’t impressed when I poured. It was very cloudy and murky. I thought, OK, so it’s not filtered. Odd. I made pasta for me and my Mom for dinner and thought this would be a great pairing.

I have to tell you, I took a sip, and thought it tasted more like tea than wine. I too another sip, and another, and then poured the glass and the bottle down the sink. It was awful. Terrible. I’ll take my Mom’s $7.99 non-alcoholic wine any day. I gave my Mom a sip and her words were ‘It has no taste’. I felt it smelled like a dirty pet store and tasted like stale tea. That’s why I named my blog Drink The Good Wine. If I can treat myself to a $35 bottle of wine with no alcohol, and pour it down the sink, treat yourself to one bottle of wine that’s in the $25 – $50 range. We all deserve it, and I’m betting you won’t pour it down the sink.

Last Saturday night I shared this wine with friends. I thought it was a great value at $19.99. I found out today if you’re driving through Quebec you can get a bottle for $12.95. Anyway, I digress. I don’t drink a lot of Malbec, but I do like it. This was a rich dark purple when we poured it, it was one of the first comments I made. 646 is named after the year a monk discovered the Cahors region. Cahors is located in Southern France and known for some great Malbec wine.

On Wednesday night, I treated my Mom and I to a great steak, tenderloin. Worth every penny of the $38 I paid for the two steaks. My Mom is worth it. We did corn, roasted potatoes and crispy wings as sides.

I like my steak medium normally, and I know this is more of a medium rare, it was still delicious. This was the day before I thought the tooth was coming out. Here’s the wine I had with it.

I’ve had this wine several times, and love the Peeps Old Vine Zinfandel. Aged in French oak for 2 months, this beautiful Zinfandel is delicious, and a great value at $22.99. The fruit of the wine shines and it has peppery notes, which paired with my steak perfectly.

My mom and I are cleaning cupboards today. I may fire myself. LOL.

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone. Because of the infected tooth, my IV chemo got moved to Monday. And my next 2 week regimen starts Monday as well. Till next week, Cheers



May The Wine Be With You

Is it just me, or did April fly by? Monday is May 1st already. I didn’t do a wine blog last Saturday, I had all my family land Saturday morning for the day. My Mom is here for 3 weeks, and my sister and her family are in St. Maarten for 3 weeks. It was a busy day and my Mom and I went to bed by 10 p.m. that night.

So my first 2 weeks of chemo has come to an end, and I did pretty good. Some pretty wild side effects from the IV chemo, it seems I was always cold. I have to wear gloves getting anything out of the fridge or freezer. Numb hands, lips, face and feet, I felt like I got Botox, I didn’t look like I did, but it felt that way! LOL But the biggest thing for me was I had to drink all my beverages at room temperature or hot. Well, you might be thinking, that works OK for red wine, but I didn’t drink much wine over the past 2 weeks, wasn’t feeling up to it.

But we are going to talk some wine. First, I want to tell you about a non-alcohol version. So, as I had mentioned, my Mom is up. She is 88 years old and she finds it difficult to drink alcohol, because it makes her unsteady. It affects her more. In my last wine blog, I had mentioned some non-alcoholic wines, and we bought my Mom this one from Superstore.

Hands down, this is the best non-alcohol wine I’ve had so far, and it was just $7.99 a bottle. Regular readers know my Mom is a white wine drinker and she likes Chardonnay, so we gave this a try. So far, this is the beverage that tastes more like real wine, than anything else I’ve tried. Which makes me want to try the two reds they have, Cabernet and Merlot.

Before we get to some real wine, I have to ask my readers. Have you ever cooked ribs with root beer?

When my nephew Brady was here last Saturday he told me about this recipe to cook ribs in root beer. I was Facetiming with my sister Jackie the other evening, and she sent me this picture, Brady had made ribs and kabobs. She said they are the best ribs she has ever had, even better than mine!! What? I am pretty well known among my family for my ribs, so this is definitely something I have to try. I searched online and found one recipe where famous chef Bobby Flay has used root beer, and you can find that here.

When we were at a work related dinner I tried this Atorrante Malbec from Chakana Vineyards in Argentina. Alberto Antonini a consultant for the Chakana Vineyards was a big force for the Super-Tuscan movement in Italy. Then in 1995 he went to Argentina. He is focused on using modern technology to express the terroir potential in making high end wines, while respecting the true nature of the grape. This was a great Malbec with a gorgeous rich mouthfeel on the palate, and the wine is only $21 a bottle.

I must be on a Malbec kick, because my friend Anthony told me about this wine, and I bought a bottle yesterday to have tonight with my friends.

I’ll tell you all about it next week. It’s a gorgeous Saturday morning here in Halifax. I hope all my readers have a wonderful weekend. I would also like to take a moment to thank everyone that reached out after I revealed here that I had Cancer. I am truly appreciative of your kind supportive words.

Till next week, Cheers



Round 2 Begins

Happy Saturday everyone. I’m sitting here enjoying my Saturday morning with a cup of coffee, and reflecting on my favorite day of the week. Saturday is my fun day, I sleep in a little bit and usually get together with friends on a Saturday evening. I am feeling great this morning, after Round 2 of my chemo started yesterday. It came as a little surprise.

On Tuesday afternoon I found out Round 2 of my chemo started Friday. So I have 15 weeks of chemo, in 3 week cycles. Every 3rd Friday I get to sit for 3 hours and have IV chemo. My first one was yesterday, and I’m feeling great today. Wild side effects though, I can’t eat or drink anything cold. It has to be room temperature or warm. It feels like shards of glass in my throat. That will last 3 – 5 days. The funniest part for me is I have to keep a pair of gloves by my refrigerator because I’m not allowed to touch anything cold from my fridge or freezer. It causes a lot of pain. Numb fingers, hands and arms, but that will go away in a few days.

So, this has been my beverage of choice for the last few days. It’s Vino Zero Merlot & Vino Zero Cabernet Sauvignon. I was invited to a dinner party Thursday evening and since I didn’t want to drink the day before my treatment, this is what I bought. It was ok and it served the purpose. Same thing, I visited some friends last night and had a glass of this wine. I was still shaky yesterday evening, and I can’t drink more than 1 glass of real wine while on treatments, I’m discovering the non-alcohol wines. The above wines can be found at your favorite grocery store and they are $11.99 a bottle. There’s one here in Halifax I’m dying to try, it’s called Proxies.

It’s $35 a bottle, which is a lot. At first, I said I can’t justify paying $35 for a bottle of wine, without getting a buzz. $35 is a treat bottle of wine, when there is alcohol present. But I’ve been doing a lot of research and it’s been recommended by Master of Wines, James Beard award winning chefs, Sommeliers and more. It’s supposed to be quite good. So I think I will treat myself and I’ll tell you all about it if I do get to try it.

In addition to the IV chemo, I’m on oral chemo for 2 weeks, and then I get one week off. These are my medications for the next two weeks. Honest to God, I felt like a drug dealer when I picked them up on Thursday. Because IV chemo is so much stronger and I’m on 10 chemo pills per day (instead of 6 last time) there is much more anti-nausea meds.

On to some food and wine. I have tried a few new wines over the 5 weeks I had off from treatments, so I’ll tell you about them one at a time, where I’m not drinking much wine at the moment. But first, OMG my homemade chicken nachos.

If you’ve ever bought the taco package from Costco, you’ve tried the lime and cilantro crema. Well here’s the knock off recipe.

BBQ chicken breast pieces and bacon over taco chips and cheese. With my homemade salsa and homemade lime and cilantro crema. I have actually gained a couple of pounds in the past two weeks because I’ve had these almost every evening. But that’s not a bad thing going into chemotherapy. Here’s my homemade salsa recipe. So good. You can use white sugar or brown sugar, I like using brown sugar, it just adds another flavor profile.

Ok, let’s talk some wine. Actual wine…. you know, with alcohol.

If you’re looking for a great wine at a great price, here it is. Montgras Day One Cabernet Sauvignon is your new wine. It’s new here to Nova Scotia and priced at just $17.99 a bottle. It’s full bodied, not oaky, and I think in this picture you can see my plate of nachos. This wine is also great for BBQ, meat and pork dishes, and if you’re like me, nachos. You should definitely try this wine, I think you’ll love it, and it won’t break the wallet.

That’s it for me for this week. Enjoy whatever you’re drinking this week.

Till next week, Cheers



Happy Easter

I’m not a big lover of chocolate, I like the salty snacks more, nuts and chips. I always hoped that the Easter bunny would bring wine, not chocolate, but that’s just me. Well, it happened this year.

Our Office Manager, Violet, organized a golden Easter Egg hunt this year, and I was the lucky person to find the golden egg. And what was the prize? A $50 gift card to the liquor store. Easter wine, my favorite gift from the best Easter bunny.

We also had the NS Auto Dealers dinner this past week. Hosted by our very own Bobby Mac and attended with Cassandra and the rest of the gang

My good looking works peeps, we have worked together a long time and I consider them family.

This was the white wine they were serving

A very popular white wine here in Nova Scotia, it sells at a store here in Halifax called Bishops Cellar. They sell them for $17 for a 1 litre bottle and regularly put them on sale for $14. A great wine at a great value. I’ve had this wine many times and it’s crisp and refreshing with gorgeous flavors of tropical fruit and zesty citrus. They also make a good red Rosso.

I’ve treated myself a couple of times in the past couple of wines, because the NSLC appear to be discontinuing some good wines and really reduced them. Here’s one my friends and I shared last weekend.

I wrote about this J. Lohr Merlot a few years back when I tried it at the Port of Wines tasting. One of the best Merlot wines I have ever had. It’s so rich and full-bodied and was like velvet going down. We enjoyed it so much with it’s rich fruit and notes of baking spices. There are still some stores that have some, it was $33, and it was reduced to $27. Delicious

My friend Angie and I kicked off the long weekend with a visit and this Zinfandel Thursday evening. The J. Lohr Merlot I just wrote about came from Paso Robles California, and this wine did as well. In my opinion, when you see Paso Robles on a label, you are getting some of the best wine California has to offer. Paso Robles offers warm days and chilly nights, perfect for wine. The Zinfandel grapes are picked at night, which makes for a better wine. Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave this wine 92 Points, and it’s $6 or $7 a bottle off right now.

If you live in Atlantic Canada, have a look around your favorite wine store. You may find some really good deals, and it’s a great way to enjoy a higher priced wine. I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend.

Till next week, Cheers



Hello April

I had to double check the calendar, it is April, right? It doesn’t look much like April here in Halifax.

I took this picture this morning. Hello April? It is April Fool’s Day, I guess Mother Nature is playing a bit of a joke on us.

Later in the blog, I’m going to share some great news I received this week. But for now, let’s talk some wine.

I’m not sure if our liquor stores here in Nova Scotia are getting rid of this, but it was on clearance. If you’ve been reading for a few years, you may remember this. The Bogle Vineyards Merlot was a favorite of mine. Any wine drinker in Nova Scotia knows that it seems every time you go to the liquor store, there’s another increase in the price. So, this wine was priced out of my weekly price range for a while. It’s a delicious full-bodied Merlot, and received an award as ‘America’s favorite Merlot’. I had pork last night and it was a perfect pairing, and right now you can get this wine for about $25 or $26. Try it while it’s on clearance.

I had a bit of a rough week procedure wise, but it was worth it with the good news I received. As you probably are aware by now, I was diagnosed with Cancer on November 25th. I have completed 25 rounds of Radiation and was doing oral chemotherapy at the same time, twice a day. I took a bit of a break from writing my wine blog. Well this past week I got the results of those rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. I had a scope on Wednesday that showed the tumor shrunk ‘a lot’ (doctor’s words) and the CT scan showed there was no spread. Phew! I start my next round of chemo in April. My friends and I did a toast Wednesday evening. And my friends Fred and Arla, who were kind enough to bring me down to my appointment on Wednesday, were drinking this.

Il Padrino makes a wonderful red Rosso and this Pinot Grigio is a favorite among my white-wine drinking friends. This 1 litre bottle is normally priced at $17, which is an excellent buy, but it was on sale this past week for $14, which makes it a steal of a deal. Crisp, refreshing, with gorgeous flavors of citrus and tropical fruits.

I tried something new in my air fryer. I pounded a chicken breast out, put it in with some shake and bake and cooked it in the air fryer for the first time. I will be honest, I over cooked the chicken. I was reading on the internet all kinds of different time frames, and because I was cooking two, I went with the higher number. Mistake #1. I cooked them 23 minutes. It was too long. The thing with an air fryer is, you should start in intervals, and check the produce along the way. You can always add more time, you can’t take away the time. I will definitely try it again but less time. The cheesy bacon mashed potatoes and buttered carrots were delicious. The wine I enjoyed with this meal was this one.

The Knotty Vines wine is becoming a staple in my weekly wine purchases. The label says Cabernet Sauvignon but its actually a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. Delicious.

Before I go, thought I would share this chart of the health benefits of wine.

Maybe it will help us all feel better about the sips we take this evening. Have a great weekend everyone. Stay warm



To Oak or Not to Oak

I love red wine that has been oaked. Many times you’ll hear people say ‘I don’t like oaky wine’. I am not a huge fan of what I call ‘manipulated oaky wine’. Unfortunately, some lesser priced wines can taste oaky, even though they have never seen the inside of an oak barrel. Some mass produced wines use oak chips or oak staves inside of tanks to give it an ‘oaky flavor’. This is why you’ll hear me say I’m not a fan of overly oaked wine, but I love wine that has been aged properly in oak. 50 of the world’s most expensive wines are oak aged in some way.

Old world winemakers have been using oak for hundreds of years and have it down to a science. There are 3 types of oak used for wine, and each imparts a different flavor and nuance. There is French oak, American oak and Hungarian oak (also called European oak). Most of the wines available to us here use mostly French oak or American oak. I have, however, had Hungarian oak.

This Mas Buscados Tempranillo, Syrah & Petite Verdot blend from Spain, which we used to be able to buy here, was aged in Hungarian Oak. The tannins were soft and the fruit of the wine highlighted. This was such a great wine at a great price, it’s too bad we can’t get here in Nova Scotia anymore.

The interesting part about oak is that the more an oak barrel is used, the more subtle the flavors it imparts. If you are into reading the back of the wine bottle, like I am, you’ll see sometimes they use ‘new and used’ oak. The newer a barrel, the more oak flavor it imparts.

MacMurray Wines used this technique a lot with their fantastic Pinot Noir wines. Run by Kate MacMurray, she is the daughter of Hollywood actors Fred MacMurray and June Havers.

American Oak imparts a lot of flavor, more so than French oak. Wine experts often describe the American Oak flavors as vanilla. You’ll often see the word ‘vanilla’ flavors mentioned on the back of a wine bottle, and that flavor comes from the oak. One thing is for sure, it adds ruggedness to clean, fruit-forward new world wines. An American oak barrel costs between $350 – $650 and a French oak barrel costs between $650 – $3600, depending on quality. Wow.

Let’s talk some new wines. This is so good, I’m going to call this my wine of the week.

From Central Chile, this beauty is called the perfect blend of wine and art on its label. Quatro means 4, which a perfect blend of 4 grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Shiraz, and Malbec. My friends Angie and Pat shared this wine with me, and they both loved it. So, there you have it, 3 opinions, all loving this wine. And it’s priced at $21, which is a great value for this wine.

Quick update for my readers and friends I have enjoyed a two week break from treatments, but that is coming to an end. On Monday, I have a CT scan, and on Wednesday another scope, which will determine how the first 5 weeks of Radiation and Chemo did to that tumor. Then the next round of treatments will be determined. Feeling great though.

I hope you have a great weekend.



The Wines of March

You’ve heard the saying “Beware the Ides of March”, well this wine blog is about the wines of March. I hope everyone had a wonder St. Patrick’s Day yesterday. I’m sure some celebrations will continue throughout the weekend. I had a busy but uneventful week, still feeling really good, and enjoying my time in between treatments.

I want to take a moment to share a fun story. At work, we had a contest. It was to try and identify your co-worker from their baby picture. This was my picture at 10 months old, weighing in at a whopping 36 pounds. Look at the size of the head on me, I’m glad I grew into that head. It’s a wonder my Mom is still speaking to me. LOL

I also have a recipe I tried this past week to share with you called Chicken Diane. OMG, I eat a lot of chicken, because I can’t eat fish. I’m always looking for new ways to do chicken. I found this on a site called http://www.outgrilling.com and had to give it a try. You can find the recipe here.

I used both boneless skinless chicken breasts and boneless skinless chicken thighs. I live alone, so I took one chicken breast, cut it in half, and pounded them to a uniform thickness.

I cooked my sauce ahead of time on the stove.

It turned out delicious. I hope the picture does it justice. This is how it turned out.

Grilling them first was yummy, but I think they would also be delicious if I had done them in a cast iron frying pan on top of the stove.

Ok, it’s time to talk some wine.

Last Saturday evening I had some friends in, and my friend Angie bought this wine. Josh Cabernet Sauvignon is a great wine priced at $25 a bottle. Named after his Dad, Josh Carr, Joseph Carr is the winemaker and started selling the wine out of the back of his truck. He started with one wine, this Cabernet. His vineyard now features many different wines, but it all started with this one. Delicious, full-bodied and a great pairing with meat of any kind.

So, remember last week I told you I visited my friend Rick, who manages The Port downtown Halifax. He told me if I was going to buy one wine from his store, make it this one.

I don’t buy many wines from South Africa, but Rick told me this wine was the best wine under $25, voted by their staff, and I believe he said it was two years in a row. Don’t quote me. At $22 it’s a big robust wine Internationally acclaimed wine journalist Jancis Robinson, who says when producers offer more than one tier of a particular wine, the ‘best buy’ at release is more often than not the second-tier wine. This Cabernet Sauvignon is considered a second tiered wine from this producer. It’s getting some good critiques, it was a little earthy and had notes of cedar and spice.

That’s it for me today. Thanks for reading. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.



I’m Baaack!

I’m back baby. For a while anyway. It’s been an interesting 6 weeks since my last blog. I’ve done 25 Radiation treatments and during those 25 days I did 2 chemo treatments per day for a total of 50. Everyday Monday to Friday except for holidays and weekends.

The Radiation techs who work in this department of the Cancer Clinic are amazing, kind and so understanding. Every day I would trek to the VG hospital in Halifax and change into these gowns to do my daily treatments.

Everyone that I had to deal with was wonderful. OMG, people are so heartwarming and helpful. Thank you to everyone who works helping people with Cancer. And all those who work in Health care. It takes a special person.

During the last couple of weeks of my treatments my Mom, my Sister, my Brother-in-law and of course Maggie came to visit.

My Sister and Brother-in-law have more money than me, LOL, and Craig decided I needed a wine treat because I was going through Cancer treatments. So he came home with 3 bottles of wine that cost $240.

The amazing line up includes a Zinfandel and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Caymus Vineyards and a Cabernet from Stags Leap. When he went to the Liquor Store he said ‘My sister-in-law likes California wine”. The lady said ‘I have some amazing ones, but you’re not going to like the price. He bought them anyway. The first one we tried was the Stag’s Leap.

Spectacular. And probably one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon wines I have ever tried. Now this wine sells for $70 a bottle here in Nova Scotia, so it’s definitely a treat wine. But if you have a special occasion coming up and would like to treat yourself, I recommend this beauty. So easy to drink, it was flavorful and nuanced and smooth. Fabulous.

My Mom drinks white wine, and Craig bought her the Conundrum White, Chardonnay based wine. Craig and I ended up finishing the bottle Saturday evening. This is one of my favorite white wines, because it’s a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, Muscat and Viognier. There are grapes with acidity and grapes with body. Together they make a great blend that is one of the most interesting white wines I have tried. In this case, I actually like the white blend better than the red. And it’s affordable at $25 a bottle.

After we finished the Conundrum and were playing some cards, we opened this beauty. It was actually my second time enjoying it, I went to visit my friend Rick, who manages the Port downtown Halifax, and they had it opened and he let me try it.

It was so great to see Rick and Taylor again. We danced, we laughed, we hugged. Now at $110 a bottle, I know this is a very special bottle of wine. Caymus is located in the heart of Napa Valley in California run by Chuck, Charlie & Jenny Wagner. This group also makes the Conundrum wine and several other brand names. Fantastic wine makers, but this Cabernet is the jewel in the crown. Like I said, it’s $110 a bottle but it’s Cabernet perfection. The other wine in the trio is the Caymus Zinfandel, which at $75 a bottle, is sitting in my wine rack.

I’m going to end the blog with something a little more affordable.

This is a treat wine for my pocketbook. This is a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon from Knotty Vines. This winemaker is all about taking wine and making it indulgent yet affordable. At just $21.99 this is an amazing wine with mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah and a splash of Zinfandel. Together they make a juicy full-bodied delicious wine that we all can afford. It’s new here to Nova Scotia, and I’ll definitely have it again.

I want to take quick moment to say thank you

When I wrote my last wine blog 6 weeks ago, telling you about my Cancer diagnosis, I heard from hundreds and hundreds of people. I am completely blown away by the love I was feeling from all my readers. This blog was something I started many many years ago, and never had I imagined I had so many wonderful people follow the blog. On March 27th I have another CT scan booked, they want to make sure it still hasn’t spread anywhere else. Around that date, I will also have another scope. This will determine if the radiation and chemo that I’ve done has shrunk the tumor. Then it looks like it will be another round of chemo, and then possibly surgery. I was lucky, I had minimal side effects. There were some, fatigue among the top one. I’ll keep you all up to date as I go.

Thank you again, it’s great to be back. Till next week, Cheers



The Last Blog! (For A While)

I have some news to share, which I will get to a little later in the blog. But first….although it’s not the last day of January until Tuesday, it is the last weekend of January 2023. I always found January the longest month of the year. The holiday day in this month is the 1st and then it tends to be 30 additional days of bad weather usually, however, this 28th day of January, looks like this in Halifax.

This was taken yesterday evening from my patio. Except for one snowfall last Friday, it’s been a pretty green January. Ok, enough about the weather, let’s talk some wine.

Over the Christmas season I tried a few new wines that I haven’t had the chance to tell you about them yet.

Chile continues to put out some great wines and the Chateau Los Boldos is a great example of this. The Tradition Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied and the grapes come from vines that have aged at least 60+ years. Leathery and spicy, this wine is priced at the amazing amount of $15.99. Great for hamburgers, beef, & charcuterie boards.

Staying in South America, let’s head to Argentina. I think I had this one when I was home in Newfoundland for Christmas. Priced under $20, this Cabernet is on sale in Nova Scotia right now. Rich with peppery notes, it’s a great Cabernet Sauvignon at a great price.

Ok, so for my news. I thought long and hard about including this in the blog, but I thought I owed it to my regular readers about a potential break in my blog writing (and my wine drinking)

On November 25th, I got diagnosed with colon cancer. Since then I have been poked and prodded, LOL, but honestly, lots of tests and scans. On Monday, I start both chemo and radiation at the same time. My first round is 5 weeks, Monday to Friday 5 days a week, both chemo and radiation. Although they told me I can have a glass of wine if I feel like it, I don’t know how much I’ll be sipping. And since fatigue is the #1 side effect I’ll be feeling, I can’t guarantee I’ll be in the mood to write a weekly wine blog. I’ll play it by ear. After the first 5 weeks, I’ll be scoped and scanned again to see if the tumor has shrunk enough to operate to remove it, or if more chemo is needed.

I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you that has come along for any part of my wine blogging journey, which I started doing almost 12 years ago. I’ll give you an update on my next blog.

Take care



Our First Snowfall

Would you believe our first snowfall of the year came yesterday! That’s very unusual for Halifax. My hometown of Corner Brook received 114.9 cms in November alone. Being home at Christmas felt like I was living in a snow globe. I have to admit, I do love a snow day.

However, it did not stop me from smoking and grilling some ribs. Hey, I’m from Newfoundland, outdoor cooking in the snow is something I grew up on.

A warm hat, jacket and scarf and I smoked some ribs, grilled some chicken and did some potatoes. I have an overhang over my balcony so I was fairly well protected. While cooking, I had one of the best red wine blends I’ve tried in a while.

You know I love an interesting label, and this one caught my attention. It was funny, I was strolling through Port of Wines and was in the New Zealand section, and I didn’t realize I was actually in the Australia section. This red blend from South Australia is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz and 20% Merlot. It was over the moon delicious, but I think our local NSLC may be clearing it out. It was $25 and I got it for $21, and it wasn’t on sale, it said clearance. So run, don’t walk to try this wonderful wine. It was full-bodied and rich and not oaky like some Australian wines. The Mo Sisters, are 3 sisters that grew up in a prominent wine family in Australia, and they have only just launched in 2019. This wonderful wine was from the 2017 harvest. I loved it and it was definitely my wine of the week, so it wouldn’t be fair to the other new wines I have tried recently. I had no intention of going out today, but I’m having friends in today and I want to share this wine. That’s how much I loved it.

Where ever you are, I hope the clean up is not too much of a pain. And if it’s snowing where you are, enjoy the snow day

Till next week, Cheers



Trends to Look for in 2023

Each year in January I do a wine blog on the wine trends to look for in the coming year or years. For example, a few years ago people thought I was crazy when I told readers to be on the look out for wine in cans. But here we are, and sales of wine in cans is expected to see double digit growth in 2023. Here are some of the trends to look for in 2023.

  1. Bubbles Surge in Popularity
    • Bubbly wines are no longer for special occasions. Bubbly wines will see a surge in 2023 as an everyday wine. Because great tasting sparkling wines are affordable, wine experts predict people will buy more at things like brunches, and afternoon sipping. Think Prosecco and Spanish Cava, just to name a few, most are priced at around the $20 mark.

2. The Environment is Very Important

More and more you are seeing the words ‘organic’, ‘vegan’ ‘natural’ and ‘sustainability’ on the wine bottles on the shelves of your favorite wine store. A recent poll found that 50% of American wine drinkers said sustainability was important to them. If you’ve tried some natural wines and didn’t really like them, you can still buy wines from vineyards that focus on sustainability. Sustainability winegrowers focus on biodynamics and environment friendly farming practices.

Errazuriz has a fantastic line of wines, a winery founded by Robert Mondavi & Eduardo Chadwick that uses sustainability. This Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon is priced at about the $20 range and represents how good Chilean wine is.

A little side note. It’s January, comfort food time. I made a pot of chili this past week and it was probably one of the best ones I’ve ever made. You want to know the secret? Bacon. I’ve never put bacon in chili before, but it adds a nice smoky flavor. I also put a rind of parmesan cheese in the slow cooker. That adds amazing flavor. If you Google ‘best chili recipe’, you’ll get this recipe from Sugar Spun Run and that’s the recipe I used. Plus, I did chop up a jalapeno pepper and put in the chili because I like a little kick.

Add some cheese, a few tortilla chips and a great wine, you’ve got yourself some comfort food. Here’s the wine I enjoyed with the chili

If you go to your favorite wine store and the label is black, it’s the same wine. This is new to our NSLC and the Birdman has a red label. This fantastic wine is $16 a bottle and was tasty and easy to drink. I also made a stuffed pork tenderloin this past week and this wine would have paired great with that wine as well. From Chile, it’s another example of the quality of wines that are coming out of Chile.

To my friends and readers doing dry January, best of luck, you are almost halfway through. Me, I’m keeping the wine.

Have a great week, till next weekend, Cheers



My Favorite New Finds from 2022

2022 was a mix of revisiting new favorites and trying new wines. I am always trying new wines. This blog is a look back at some of the great new wines I tried in 2022 as well as some of my favorite recipes.

I love Chinese Food and I love trying to make my favorite recipes at home. Trying to make them a little healthier, one of my accomplishments from 2022 was this General Tso Chicken recipe. You can get the recipe here.

And the Riesling I told you about last week, which I tried in Newfoundland, is the perfect pairing, and my new favorite Riesling.

The Mosseland Ars Vita Riesling out of Germany, which is priced at about $20, is one of my favorite finds from 2022. In case you missed last week’s blog, I have not tried many Riesling wines out of Germany, because some can be sweet. This is not. It’s crisp and dry and just lovely on the palate, with just a hint of sweetness.

I was talking to someone in my apartment building about the difference in December and January. December flies by because every day there are lights and cheer, and January seems so long, maybe because we lose the lights and decorations. My decorations are down and the apartment looks a little blah.

The biggest highlight for me in 2022 was my river cruise to Bordeaux France. I want to take a moment to thank the entire gang at Atlantic Tours & Travel for giving me this opportunity to travel with a wonderful group of people to the wine region of Bordeaux.

Too many great wines to mention, and the food. It was amazing. I was experiencing some health issues on that trip, but that didn’t take away from the wonderful people and the fantastic experience.

I love Cabernet Sauvignon and just before I went to France I tried this one. Leaping Horse Cabernet out of Lodi, California. Lodi California is known for some great Zinfandel and they are putting out fabulous wines overall. This wine was 80% Cabernet, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Syrah. Fantastic wine for just $19 a bottle.

On Thursday, my Mom turned 88. My wonderful sister Jackie & her husband Craig took her to the nicest restaurant in Corner Brook, the Carriage Room in the Glynmill Inn. Regular readers know my Mom is a Chardonnay drinker, and this was our favorite Chardonnay find of 2022.

Casillero del Diablo is the biggest winery in Chile and I love their slogan, The Whisper That Became A Legend. This Chardonnay has won many awards, and is more on the fruity side, than on the oaky side. Pineapple, peach and a clean fresh palate, and the fact it’s priced under $18 is a win!

At work, I’m pretty well known for my burgers. This monster of a burger, which my friend Cassandra calls ‘spaceship burgers’, was one of the best new recipes I tried in 2022. Several different kinds of cheeses, carmelized onions and balsamic glazed tomatoes. You can find the recipe here.

2022 also saw me connecting with childhood friends, and meeting new ones. Especially my childhood friend Shane and his husband Ken.

And let me tell you, they have amazing taste in wine. Here’s one of my favorites from 2022 that I had at this dinner party with Shane & Ken.

The Caymus Vineyards Zinfandel was just as good as I had hoped it would be. It’s a treat at about $60 a bottle, but worth it. Rich and full-bodied, many wine critics have given this wine 93 – 96 ratings.

And my favorite wine from 2022. My nephew Brady gave it to me for Christmas last year and I shared it with my friend Angie.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Director’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon was full-bodied and full of flavor. We sipped slowly and savored every drop of this bottle. It sells for about $50 a bottle but again, everyone deserves a treat.

I hope the first week of 2023 was great for you.




Happy New Year

Here we are, the very 1st day of 2023, and a special edition of my wine blog. I just got back from 10 days in Newfoundland, and it was a great Christmas and a very quiet New Year for me. I was in bed by 10:30 p.m. It’s been a couple of weeks, and I was in the mood to write a new blog. The last blog was on Saturday December 17th and that Wednesday I headed for my hometown.

I had to drive because the price of airline tickets were atrocious, at around the $2200 mark. So I took the night crossing and when I got off the next morning, I was greeted by snow, lots of snow. That was a big of a white knuckle drive, and I’m thankful for the 18-wheeler in front of me clearing the way. I had to get out and take a picture. I got there the morning of the 22nd, and December 23rd is a very special day in Newfoundland. It’s called Tibb’s Eve, and it’s a time to celebrate. The tradition started in Newfoundland because starting Christmas Eve you were with family for the next few days, so it was a chance to party with friends.

It also happened to be a Friday and my sister threw a Tibb’s Eve party for her staff and friends and family. This wonderful 9 piece band volunteered to play, and they were fantastic.

You could say the party went to the dogs. Maggie was well behaved as a guest.

There was lots of dancing, my nephew Riley was home from St. FX University and we had a great time. I was designated driver that day.

Saw a few friends over Christmas, even my adopted nephew, Ryan. Ryan lives in St. John’s now, and is so much fun. He is basically the unofficial son of my sister Jackie, even my Mom called him her adopted grandson. He also has good taste in wine.

We were playing games and Ryan bought this wonderful Riesling one evening. It’s been a while since I had a Riesling, and this one was absolutely wonderful. I had forgotten how much I love Riesling, and this one was so good.

The Moseland Ars Vitis Riesling is a Riesling out of Germany. Priced in the $20 range in Newfoundland, it was dry with a hint of sweetness, and gorgeous flavors of pear, apple and peach. An absolute perfect wine to pair with spicy food, Thai food or any Asian cuisine. And it comes in a gorgeous bottle that would also make a great gift.

I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve. Me, I had a quiet one. I was in bed by 10:30 p.m. and had the best night sleep in a long time. There were some late nights in Newfoundland, so I’m trying to get back on track. I did however, enjoy a glass of wine that my nephew Brady gave me.

My nephew Brady was also home, so the whole gang was home and it was wonderful. Brady always seems to give me a bottle of wine for Christmas, and this was the selection for this year. He’s a big hockey fan and once he says Wayne Gretzky’s name he really wanted me to try it.

The Wayne Gretzky Winery was one of the wineries we had planned to visit during our planned tour of the Niagara region we were trying to pull off in 2021. Twice it had to be cancelled because of Covid restrictions. We are hoping to do it eventually. This was a full bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, medium to full-bodied and not overly oaky. I found it delicious and priced under $21.

2022 had some great ups and a few challenges. 2023 will bring some challenges to me personally as I fight some health issues. My wish for you is a wonderful 2023 with all the good health and happiness that it hopefully brings. Find joy in the small things.

Next week is my favorite wines of 2022. Cheers



Merry Christmas to my Readers

Here we are, the Saturday before Christmas Eve. It will also be my last blog of 2023. Heading to Newfoundland on Wednesday for Christmas for 10 days. When I return, I will do my annual blog on my favorite new finds of 2022. I would like to take a moment to wish each and every one of you, the readers of this blog, a very special holiday season and the best Christmas & the New year has to offer. Although 2022 has had its challenges, there have been many blessings as well.

Let’s talk some wine and food

My friend Joan came down last Saturday night and bought this wine.

Wow. The Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay was fabulous. A Chardonnay that is not overly oaky, it was clean and fresh and just fantastic on the palate. Great body and a nice lasting finish. I loved this and will be buying it for my Mom when I head home for Christmas.

So I tried a new pork tenderloin recipe this past week….

I sauteed some onions and celery in buttery until they were softened. Then I added that to bread crumbs, added bacon and feta cheese, and stuffed my pork tenderloin.

I then seared it on my BBQ on each side, and then I put it on my pellet grill. Using a combination of apple, maple and hickory chips, I let that my cook low and slow.

It came out perfect. As you can see I tend to buy a smaller pork tenderloin, because I live alone and its just me. Well, I’ll be doing this again. I like my pork tenderloin done medium, with some pink.

I served it with a chow, that I bought from a local company here in Halifax.

I don’t know much about Gator pickles, only that I discovered them at a craft fair, and everyone at the Radio Station where I work love these pickles. I bought the Gator pickles (not pictured) and this Yellow Squash Chow Chow. Wow! A bit of sweet, a bit of heat, I loved this with the pork tenderloin.

I bet you’re curious as to which wine I had with this?

Many wines go wonderful with pork tenderloin. On the white side you could have a Chardonnay, like the one I talked about above. Or a crisp Pinot Grigio. In my opinion, there are more reds that pair well, but that’s just me. I didn’t have a Pinot Noir on hand, because I probably would have gone that route. Perfect pairing. But this was good too.

The Morgan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon was one of the easiest drinking $20 Cabs I have ever tasted. From the Silverado Trail in California, this Cabernet was not overly tannic, which I liked. Soft tannins and rich fruit, I really enjoyed this Cabernet and will definitely buy it again.

Before I go, if you live locally here in the Halifax / Dartmouth area, you should give Delectable Desserts a try.

Dennis & Melissa Mbeba are wonderful real life husband and wife who opened Delectable Desserts just before the pandemic hit. She does the baking, he does the business. They make amazing desserts, cheesecakes, scones and this wonderful holiday cake they gave me as a gift. Check them out at www.delectabledesserts.ca

Have a wonderful Christmas season. Enjoy to the fullest.

Till next year, Cheers



It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I’m willing to bet you sang the title of this blog. It’s that time of the year, Christmas party season!

This is my work family, or I should say a portion of them. Because of some other commitments, some people had to miss the Christmas party, and we missed you. And they are my family here in Halifax. I am so lucky to work with some of the greatest people in the world. For those of you that don’t know, wine is a bit of a hobby for me. I started studying to become a Certified Sommelier to meet new people when I first moved to Halifax. I work at 2 local Radio Stations here in Halifax, Q104 & 96-5 The Breeze. That’s what pays the bills, and I love what I do. We had our Christmas party Thursday night and it was one of the best ones ever.

So when I got there, my friend Anthony was drinking the Pinot Noir, and I joined in. This is the Pinot Noir we were drinking that evening.

Anthony was saying he didn’t have a lot of experience drinking French Pinot Noir, but if you see Bourgogne, or Burgundy in the wine store, it’s Pinot Noir in the bottle. This wine had a gorgeous dark color, and was very tasty. Hints of cherry and herbs, and no sharp edges or tannins. We continued drinking this wine all evening, and they served prime rib that night, and it was a dream pairing with this wine. The Puy de Dome is a great Pinot Noir that sells for $24.

I’m trying to slow down this month. I love the month of December, homes are decorated so nicely, the inside of my home looks warm and cozy and I love my Christmas decorations. And the month is flying by way too fast. Plus, I’m way behind. I don’t have all my Christmas shopping done, which is a first for me. And I have a lot of wrapping and baking left to do. Whew. It’s a good thing there is wine.

I’ve had people tell me that they don’t like Zinfandel, because it’s too ‘jammy’. That is one of the notes that you often see associated with Zinfandel. Well, this is for all you people who don’t think you like Zinfandel. This is Peeps Old Vine Zinfandel. I was telling Anthony that in a blind taste test, I wouldn’t have guessed Zinfandel. It was clean on the palate, a bold flavorful wine, but not the ‘jamminess’ usually associated with Zinfandel. I loved it. At $23 a bottle, I’ll be having this again.

I know many of us are feeling this way this month. LOL Tis the Season

Enjoy every day in December. Cheers



Tis The Season To Treat Yourself

Most weeks this wine blog focuses on great tasting wines that tend to be under the $25 mark. I started this wine blog many years ago to let people know you can find good wines at prices that won’t break the bank. We’ve also had some treat wines along the way. I’ve been very blessed lately, between gifts from dear friends, and a little treat for myself, this wine blog is about some fantastic wines that are great for special occasions, gift giving, or just to treat yourself after a busy week.

Let’s talk some jingle juice…

Last Saturday night I wanted to try something new. So I picked up this wine. Frenchie Collage wine is a blend, and quite the blend it is. 35% Petite Verdot, 29& Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Petite Sirah and finished with Malbec and Tempranillo. The dog featured on the label is the French bulldog owned by the owner of the winery. This wine was made in California with grape varietals from all over. It’s been aged mostly in stainless steel with a little bit aged in American oak. So not much in the way of oak notes so very fruit forward. Here was my only issue with the wine. It wasn’t filtered, so after the first glass I was left with a mouthful of grit and must, and I had to rinse my glass. Then I shared the wine with two friends, but had to pour it through a paper towel to filter it. I don’t mind paying $30 for a good wine, and the wine was very good, but I don’t want to have to filter it through a paper towel.

December is here. The month for Christmas parties and get togethers. It’s the season for family and friends. And it’s the season for gift giving. My friend Cassandra gave me a pretty Starbucks cup and my favorite Christmas blend coffee this week. Perfect with coffee & Baileys!! Another kind of jingle juice.

My friend Anthony pictured here with me about 9 years ago, enjoying a great Pinot Noir called Sea Smoke.

We’ve both gotten a little greyer since than, and maybe even a little wiser. Hmmm maybe LOL. Well, we still work together and he’s been a rock of support for me and this week he gave me a very special gift, and it’s my wine of the week.

This past year I had the honor of going to Bordeaux France with a wonderful group of people. This wine is one of the best Bordeaux wines I have ever had. Now this is a treat wine, selling here for $47 a bottle so definitely a treat. I had it last night after the end of a challenging week, while enjoying my happy place, at my grill.

My nephew Riley is coming up tonight so I did some ribs for him on the pellet grill. Considering these take about 5 hours, I got a head start. It was a nice evening and Anthony gave me that wonderful wine to enjoy. Some great tunes and it was a great Friday night.

D’Angelus has been making wines in Bordeaux for 120 years, and I’ve read it was the wine responsible for turning martini drinking James Bond into a lover of Bordeaux wines. Merlot with some Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this delicious wine is delicious to drink now and it also could age it if you wanted.

That’s it for this week. Stay safe my friends. Till next week, Cheers



It’s Beginning To Look….

You guessed it… it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

I know it’s not December yet, but it’s hard to avoid. This week if you go out, you’re going to hear one of two things, Christmas and/or Black Friday.

One of the things I enjoy most about this time of the year, are the get togethers. Let’s face it, the Christmas parties start around the 1st of December. If you’re invited out this holiday season, maybe I can help with some wine ideas to bring along, which will make you the hit of any party.

I don’t care what the occasion is, you can’t go wrong giving a nice sparkling wine. I always have one in my wine rack.

Normally I have a Prosecco, which I love over the holidays. Especially when you make it a Mimosa. Plus Prosecco and Spanish Cava are excellent sparkling wines, that are super affordable. This Champagne was a gift, and I’m saving it for a special occasion because it’s pricier than most wines I write about in this blog. I have had this Champagne before, and it’s lovely and light and perfect for a special occasion. Gorgeous light flavors of toast, pear and apple, and the Brut tells you it’s very dry, not sweet.

A long time reader of my wine blog, Jean from Ottawa came for a visit last week. She bought some amazing wines, and here’s one we tried.

The Strata Cabernet Sauvignon is out of Australia, and it’s a gorgeous blend of 85% Cabernet and 15% Petite Verdot. It’s a medium-bodied Cabernet that is easy to drink and the price is easy on the wallet, just $15.99 a bottle. It will definitely have a home in my wine rack again.

I have a confession to make, I love Hallmark Christmas movies. And this is by far my most favorite movie so far this year.

3 Wise Men & A Baby was one of the funniest movies I’ve seen. Great movie for the entire family, so when I went to our local liquor store last week and saw this, I just had to buy it.

If you look closely at the label you will see this wine, called Jingle, and at the top you will see Hallmark Movie Channel. So is there a more perfect wine when watching Hallmark Christmas movies? I don’t think so! And the wine was good too. Really good. It’s a California Cabernet Sauvignon with hints of holiday spice. Delicious, and priced under $19. There’s also a Jingle Sauvignon Blanc available for my white wine loving friends and readers. Hallmark Channel Wines were handcrafted by the winemaking team of Evan and Andrew Nelson – recently named 2020 Wine Enthusiast’s ‘40 Under 40 Tastemaker’. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.

As we start planning Christmas parties and get togethers, please don’t drink and drive, and please don’t text and drive, I see way too many people doing that here in Halifax. Stay safe.

Till next week, Cheers



Wine Me Up & Watch Me Go

My work sister Violet, gave me this t-shirt this past week. It absolutely made my day and I can’t wait to wear it. So I’m dedicating this week’s wine blog to this awesome saying. Her sister customizes t-shirts and made this one. I love it.

I have a confession to make. My profile picture was taken about 8 years ago. Hair was longer and during the start of the pandemic in 2020, I decided to go au naturel and short. I am in the process of changing over my profile pictures. I do not take a good picture, every time I smile, my eyes disappear, LOL.

This was taken Thursday at work by my friend, and fellow wine lover, Anthony. Ok, let’s talk some wine.

Thursday evening, my work family and I attended a dinner, and on the table was this wine. Any time you’re at a work event, and the wine is 90-Point wine, well you have to try it. It also happens to be the first Argentinian wine that carries the Bodegas De Argentina Certified Sustainable Seal on its label. This Malbec was fabulous and sells for $19 a bottle here in Halifax. It was rich and full-bodied and I could really taste the terroir of the Mendoza region of Argentina, kind of an earthiness. I hope that makes sense.

This wine was also on the table, and I love this white wine. Not only is it good, it’s one of the best values you can get. Same goes for the red.

Il Padrino Pinot Grigio comes in a 1-litre bottle for about $17. It’s fresh and crisp and has lemony and citrus flavors. You get a few extra glasses of delicious wine, and it doesn’t break the bank.

And last but certainly not least….

My friend Anthony and I were talking about how much we love Cabernet Franc, and although he is not a huge Cabernet Sauvignon fan, I am. So when I saw this blend for the first time, I had to pick it up and give it a try. It’s priced at $20 and it’s not a heavy wine. I was kind of surprised that it was more medium bodied, because both Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc tend to be more full bodied wines. And the oak did not over power. To any readers in Ontario, it’s only $14 there. (insert eye roll here) We pay way too much for wine here on the East Coast.

I would just like to take a moment to recognize Remembrance Day yesterday and say a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who is serving, and who has served in the past. I loved this when I saw it, ‘We don’t know you all, but we owe you all’.

Have a great week.



Fall Back With Some Great Wine

Many of us are not big fans of time changes. Although I find Spring Ahead a little harder personally, many people don’t like the Fall one because it gets darker earlier in the evening. Hey, it’s probably acceptable to start at 4 p.m

I have to apologize to my white wine loving friends and readers. I don’t have a white wine to share with you this week. My apologies and I will definitely have one next week. I do have a couple of new reds to share with you.

The first one I’m calling this one my wine of the week.

This is the best $17 wine I’ve tasted in a long time. And to my Newfoundland friends and wine-lovers, it’s the same price. I shared a bottle with some friends Thursday night, and had it again last night with my smoked baby back ribs and wings. Delicious. Nice rich feeling on the palate, deep fruit flavors and hints of black pepper. I can’t talk about this wine enough, I loved it.

Back in September of 2020, I wrote about the Cabernet Sauvignon. One of my lockdown wines. I have to say the Cabernet was good, I liked the Merlot better.

Some personal news to share, about my kitty Gabriel.

Gabriel is a kitty I started fostering 4 and a half years ago. He was badly abused and it took him months to trust me and feel at home here. Well, he has turned into a baby. He now trusts people, because everyone that comes here gives him love and attention. Well he had surgery on Thursday to remove a cyst. Look at how much they shaved. I feel I should get him a sweater. But he’s doing good, and he’s getting his stitches removed on the 16th.

One more wine to share before I call it a day.

RH Phillips is the same is the same company that makes this wine, which I’ve written about before. The Toasted Head Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon. This was an easy to drink Cabernet, well priced at $17, and went well with food.

The oak on the RH Phillips Cabernet was not as prominent as on this one, but this label tells you it’s going to be oaky. When they toast the oak, it accentuates those flavors.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Enjoy the extra hour this weekend.

Till next week, Cheers


More Adventures in Newfoundland

So I’m back in Newfoundland. My Mom was with me for 2 weeks in Halifax, and now I’m working from my sister’s home for two weeks, while making sure my Mom is OK and babysitting Maggie

She goes with me everywhere I go.


Corner Brook Newfoundland is just gorgeous in the Fall of the year. The colors are in full bloom and we have been getting some really nice sunny days.

I have to tell you, I’ve started binge watching Yellowstone. I’m not able to get Amazon Prime on my TV, but my sister has it. I just started Season 4 and I’ve only been here a week. Wow, what a good show. I love Kevin Costner.

Also, my sweet Mom has been doing some of her favorite recipes for me, including homemade cabbage rolls and homemade beef stew. Great Fall recipes. Comfort food. Not only because it’s savoury and delicious, but this is the food I grew up on.

Also while I’m here, I’m trying to buy wine that we can’t get in Nova Scotia. Here’s one I’ve had while I’ve been here.

Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi California. It’s $2 off right now in Newfoundland, and a fantastic wine for just $20 per bottle. It’s been given 92 Points by Wine Align. It’s the perfect wine to pair with comfort food. Deep and rich with notes of nutmeg and toasted oak. I may have to get another one this weekend.

As you know, my Mom is a Chardonnay wine drinker, so I picked her up this one the other evening.

Aged for a year in both French and American oak, this wine was surprisingly fruity on the palate. She loved it, I really enjoyed it and it’s a great price at $16. A nice full-bodied Chardonnay with some banana and pineapple flavors, and some toasty oak.

It’s not all binge watching Yellowstone while I’m here. I just finished this book.

I’ve been on a bit of a David Baldacci kick recently and this one features his great characters Will Robie and Jessica Reel. This is the 3rd or 4th book I’ve read with these characters and I really enjoy his suspenseful writing.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Would you believe I’m heading out to do a little Christmas shopping. When my Mom was in Halifax we got a big head start on her Christmas shopping. I’ve started as well. It’s just too much to do in December, I have to start early. December is busy enough as it is, I like to have most of my shopping done by then. Hard to believe, isn’t it. Christmas shopping time.

I have to tell you, I’m really missing my grills, and can’t wait for next week to get grilling again. I’m back in Halifax this coming Friday, October 28, and I’ll probably be grilling Friday night!

Till next week, Cheers. I hope you have a fantastic week.



Busy Busy

It’s been such a busy week, I almost didn’t write a wine blog this week. But I really wanted to, so my apologies it didn’t come out on Saturday. I hope you enjoy reading the on his holiday Monday. Work has been super busy, my mom is visiting and we’ve been keeping super busy, getting her Christmas shopping done. Plus our Social Committee in my apartment building, which I am the President, kick-started the new year with a Meet & Greet last night.

But it’s my favorite long weekend, Thanksgiving, and I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m thankful for many people and many things, especially the people who take time out of their week to read my wine blog.

So, my Mom is here and she is a Chardonnay drinker.

Great value

We got her this one and she loved it. I have to say, I liked it too. It is a full-bodied Chardonnay from Chile. Rich and velvety, with hints of pineapple, citrus and apple. This is priced at just $11.45 here in Nova Scotia, which is a fantastic value.

Cornect Bee Sting Honey Mustard

My friend Cassandra gave me this gift this past week, from Cornect Farms here in Nova Scotia. Savory and sweet with a hint of heat, delicious. And I’ve been trying it on different things, including my BBQ pork chop.

My red wine this week is a Chilen Cabernet Sauvignon

This Espino Cabernet Sauvignon was very tasty. Full-bodied and juicy with notes of dried fruit and coffee, this Cabernet Sauvignon has a splash of Carmenere and Cabernet Franc. it’s priced at $19 a bottle here, which is a spectacular value given the fact it was awarded 94 Points at a competition, along with several gold medals.

Finished this puzzle last week. And heading to Newfoundland next Friday for 2 weeks. I’m flying back with my Mom, and staying at my sister’s for 2 weeks, taking care of Maggie. My sister is in Hawaii for 4 weeks and my Mom doesn’t drive anymore, so someone has to be here.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you had a wonderful long weekend, I know I did. My mom and I didn’t do traditional turkey for Thanksgiving, we did filet mignon steaks. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I’m very thankful for each and every one of you.




It’s October, Already?


Ok… What happened to September? I feel like I blinked Labor Day Weekend and here we are October 1st. Thanksgiving is next weekend.

I know, right?

I swear the older I get, the faster time flies. My Mom arrived yesterday. Speaking of time, she is 87, she’ll turn 88 in January. Still looking great an still on the go.

My Mom

My Mom lives on her own, in the Senior’s cottages in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. But she doesn’t drive anymore. So my sister Jackie, and her husband Craig, who also live in Corner Brook, are her primary care-givers. Today, they leave for Hawaii for 4 weeks. Lucky!! They deserve it though. They work so hard and they also do so much for my Mom, since my sister is the only sibling that lives in the same town as my Mom. So my Mom is here for 2 weeks and then I fly home with her and work from home from my sister’s house for 2 weeks. I’m staying at my sister’s house, because my Mom’s cottage is really small, and I’ll be taking care of this baby. I’m dogsitting Maggie.

So with my Mom here, I’ll be doing some cooking. She says she is really craving BBQ, and you know I’m her girl. I’m sure next week, I’ll have more recipes to share. I made my maple curry chicken pasta this past week for some colleagues of mine who loved it. I forgot to take a picture. But it turned out well. I have shared it before, in this previous wine blog.

I have one wine this week. And it’s my wine of the week, and an amazing wine.

Gauchezco Reserve Cabernet Franc

My friend Anthony and I were talking this past week about how much we love Cabernet Franc. And I had to tell him about this one.

Master of Wine Tim Atkin gave it 91 Points

This is the perfect wine for all your favorite Fall comfort foods. A full-bodied wine with hints of pepper and spice, it has a long lasting finish and was a beautiful treat. Priced under $25, this is a perfect example of a great wine price under $25. Someone at work was asking me about $25 wines and $100 wines, and I said ‘You can get a great wine for $25’ and this is one of those examples.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers



Oh Fiona

Fiona kicked some ass

As I sit here Sunday morning, with the beautiful sunshine pouring in, I think back to how Fiona kicked some ass this weekend. And thankfully, here in Halifax, we didn’t get hit as hard as I had expected. I was a little nervous, especially reading when it could have been worse than when Hurricane Juan paralyzed Halifax 19 years ago.

Dartmouth got hit hard

Areas of Halifax and Dartmouth got hit harder than I did and people are still struggling without power. We lost our power for about 19 hours, so I’m grateful, as I sit here sipping a hot coffee. I was lucky in that the wind was coming down the street, so the front of our building got hit harder. Being on the back of the building, I was sheltered.

I would like to take a moment to send a prayer to people in the Southwestern Newfoundland. Port aux Basque, Newfoundland is the entryway to Newfoundland, when travelling by ferry.

They got hit so hard by Fiona, my heart is broken for the devastation in this beautiful town.

I hope everyone is safe. This beautiful community got battered, and my heart goes to out to everyone who lives there and the family and friends of people who live there.

Other parts of Southwestern Newfoundland got hit hard including Burgeo, and a friend of mine, Olive, her sister’s home got completely destroyed. So sad.

On another note, some stressful moments when my Gabriel developed a cyst on his back.

A big thanks to Dr. Hartman at The Cat Clinic for taking care of my boy. All good now

I know many people go crazy for storm chips when a storm is on the way. As a matter of fact, here in Halifax, someone posted chips sell out a lot faster than vegetables.

This made me chuckle

Some people do storm potato chips. I do storm potatoes

Butter, Olive oil, salt, pepper and some Trader Joe’s seasoning my friend Arla gave me. You can use your favorite seasoning. I melted the butter first, added the olive and seasonings, and put them on my pellet grill.

One of the things I love most about my pellet grill, is that you can adjust the smoke by adjusting the temperatures. The higher you go, the less smoke. It can grill or sear without adding lots of smoke flavor. So when I cooked these potatoes, I added just a hint of smoke flavor and then grilled them. Delicious.

And of course during this storm, there was some wine.

Tried a new wine last week. The Lost Poet.

This was the saying on the back of the bottle. ‘Don’t be scared to change the name of the Prince’s name in your story’. I loved that. I also loved the fact the winemaker said ‘wine is poetry’, and that’s where the name came from. This is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah (Shiraz). Delicious. It’s juicy and plush and priced under $22.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. To all my friends in Cape Breton and Newfoundland, send me your pics from the storm. Also, feel free to s hare the wine you were enjoying during the storm. Stay safe. Thinking of all of you.




Welcome to the ‘Ber’ Months

I love the colors of Fall

We are in my favorite time of the year. I heard someone call them the ‘Ber’ months, September, October, November & December. I love these months. Gorgeous colors, cool breezes, comfortable sleeping, comfort food and of course wine!

And for all my white wine loving friends, it’s still cool to drink white any time of the year. Last weekend was an extra long weekend for me, so I got to try and share a few new wines.

This was one I tried, when I did ribs for the first time on my new smoker / pellet grill. the Carnivor Zinfandel. I had tried the Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon in the past but never the Zinfandel. I loved it, and it was the perfect wine for ribs.

Lodi California has earned a reputation of great full-bodied Zinfandel wines. A Mediterranean climate with its warm days and cool nights, has given this region the nickname of ‘The Zinfandel Capital of the World’. Let’s not forget old vines and great winemakers, check out this Zinfandel wine.

Zinfandel vines in Lodi

The Carnivor Zinfandel is a product of this great history of wine-making.

I’ve been reading that the 2019 vintage was one of the best in years. Achieving perfect harmony and balance, this wine is normally priced just under $21, which is a good price for a Lodi Zinfandel. But right now, here it is on sale, so you may want to stock up. It was my favorite new wine I’ve tried recently, and it’s definitely my wine of the week.

One quick note that has nothing to do with wine or food (What?)

I finished this book this past week, and it was sooooo good! I can’t wait to see the movie. So, if you’re looking for a good read this Fall, try this one.

Now back to some wine. We are heading to Spain.

My friend Angie bought this wine last Saturday night for our weekly game night. It was a nice wine at a nice price point. It was a medium bodied wine, light and easy to drink. Priced under $17, this is also a very food friendly wine with notes of dried spices.

So, a little news before I go. My mom is coming to visit for 2 weeks.

My sister in Corner Brook, who is her primary care-giver, is going to Hawaii for almost 4 weeks. So my Mom is coming September 30th for 2 weeks. Now, my Mom is a Chardonnay drinker, and she likes some Moscato. So, I’ll be trying some new whites in those weeks. And then I’m flying with her back to Corner Brook, to take care of Maggie till Jackie gets home.

Mom, Jackie & Maggie

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers. And thank you for reading.



My X-Tra Long Weekend

Ahhh, everyone loves a long weekend. I made this one extra special by taking Friday off, making it a 4-day weekend. Rest, relaxation, food and of course wine. Plus, a new grill has been added to my collection.

Master Chef Turrismo Pellet Grill

My amazing sister, who had a birthday yesterday, gave me this as a birthday present for turning 60. It’s the MasterChef Turismo pellet grill and smoker.

A nice addition

Along with the barbeque she gave me for Christmas 2 1/2 years ago, I think she likes it when I cook. Last night I fired it up for the first time.

Did sweet Thai chili chicken drumsticks, a turkey breast and glazed turkey wings. I loved cooking on this grill. The smoke flavor was amazing.

Turned out pretty yummy, if I do say so myself.

Lots of people were asking about the wine in the glass. It was pretty yummy too.

Pasqua Passimento Rosso

With subtle smoky notes, this wine paired perfect with my meal done on my new smoker. This wine is known as Pasqua Romeo & Juliet Passimento Rosso, and it’s a blend of dried or “appassimento” grapes of 40% Merlot, 30% Corvina and 30% Croatina. Appassimento means dried, and the process is quite unique. The Merlot and Corvina grapes, selected and hand harvested with great care, are then left to dry for 1 month into wooden trays in the Fruttaio, a special room used for drying grapes. Here, thanks to the dry and well ventilated environment where the humidity level is carefully controlled, the grapes loses around 30% of their water content and gain high flavor concentration. It is normally priced under $20, but here in Nova Scotia it’s on sale right now for about $17. Stock up. Several wine critics have given this wine 91 Points.

That’s it for me this week. Wanted to share this, a picture taken 13 years ago. My nephews Brady & Riley, ages 11 and 7

Brady & Riley 11 & 7

Last weekend my two nephews came to visit.

Last weekend my nephews came to visit. They are now 24 & 20

Brady works at the Iron Ore Company of Canada in Labrador City and Riley returns to Nova Scotia on Monday to start his 3rd Year at St. FX University in Antigonish. Yes, there are days I feel old. LOL

Till next week, Cheers



619 & Counting

When I went to write this blog this morning, my page told me I’ve written 618 blogs to date. Which makes this one Number 619. That’s a lot of blogs on a Saturday morning. I know I’ve written about my writers block before, as a matter of fact, looking back, it was one year ago today that I wrote about it the last time. I don’t know what it is about the second last weekend of August, but it seems to happen about this time each year. I’ve incorporated my love of cooking, and my love of food in my blogs. Because let’s face it, wine and food are a match made in heaven.

I haven’t done a wine tasting in a while, and I’m finding myself in a bit of a wine rut. I was at the wine store last evening, and although I looked around the different sections, I found myself heading right back to the California section. I’ve been on a bit of a California kick lately. However, this week I enjoyed a bottle of wine given to me at my birthday. This week I tried a new wine from Australia.

The Kings of Prohibition Cabernet Sauvignon is a really nice Australian Cabernet. It’s not overly oaky, it was aged in French oak. which adds subtle oak notes. The wine is named after the famous bootleggers during Prohibition in the 1920’s, Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel to name a few. It’s an easy-to-drink Cabernet Sauvignon that’s well priced under $22.

Margarita Monday

Sometimes in the Summer, you just have to have a Margarita Monday. My friend Maggie who lives above me, had Margarita Monday this past Monday. That lady can make an awesome Margarita. We had a great spread of Mexican-themed food and of course some great Margaritas. Hey, a girl can enjoy more than a glass of wine! Thank you Maggie

It’s also corn season here in Nova Scotia. Fresh peaches and cream corn from the Annapolis Valley made its way to my plate several times this week. I really enjoyed it with a steak and herbed potatoes. Feel free to share your favorite corn recipes in the comment section! Would love to hear them.

Stay cool everyone. It’s supposed to be a hot weekend. It’s also a shorter blog today, I’m heading to Antigonish for the night.

Till next week, Cheers



Red, White & Rose – Summer Favorites

We are into the doggy days of Summer, almost mid-August. I know a lot of people switch to Rose and White wines during the Summer. There are also those of us who like the lighter reds we can chill with. There is no such thing as a wrong choice, when it comes to your favorite wine.

Benjamin Bridge Rose

My favorite Rose wines are made from red grapes that would produce full-bodied red wines. Like the Cabernet Franc grape, used in making this Benjamin Bridge Rose, made here in Nova Scotia, but available to my Newfoundland friends as well. Obviously to make it a Rose wine, there is very limited contact with the skin of the grape. But the grape itself makes an interesting and complex rose wine. This is not your grandmother’s rose wine.

When I decided to call this week’s wine blog Red, White & Rose, I had in mind to feature a red wine, a white and a rose. There are so many great white wines out there, it’s really hard to choose. And I also like to feature wines you can get in most places across the Country. I had a friend from Newfoundland send me a note a few months back, saying they liked my wine blog but couldn’t get many of the wines I talked about. So I like to feature wines that you can get in both provinces.

Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc

If you’re looking for a bright crisp white wine to enjoy on this hot and muggy day, try the Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc. You’ll love the passionfruit flavors and it’s one of the most food friendly wines.

Speaking of food….

I have to share this quick and easy recipe for Cashew Chicken. Yesterday evening was one of those evenings I had no idea what I wanted for supper. I considered going up to the grocery store and getting a steak, but honestly was too lazy to go to the store. LOL

10 Minutes from start to finish

Cashew Chicken

I cut up a chicken breast in bite size pieces, coated them in corn starch, and put them in a frying pan. I cut up red pepper in chunks and added unsalted cashews to the pan. The sauce is so easy, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey and hoisin sauce. If you’re not familiar with hoisin sauce, it’s a little sweet and a little salty. A thick sauce known for being used in Cantonese cuisine, your sauce will thicken a bit with the corn starch from the chicken.

I let that simmer while I warmed up some leftovers from the night before

Some leftover rice and wings, and a spring roll, and I had supper made in 10 minutes. If you’re feeling lazy any night of the week, try my Cashew Chicken dish.

And yes, I had a glass of wine with it. It was, after all, a Friday night. It’s not a new wine, but it is a favorite.

La Mascota Cabernet Franc

La Mascota Cabernet Franc hails from Argentina and makes a regular appearance in my wine rack. Priced under $20, it’s an elegant, well-balanced wine. Deep rich flavors with notes of black pepper, it’s a great wine at a great price.

That’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers



Warmth, Wind & Wine – My Trip to Newfoundland

Approaching Newfoundland

I’m back from 8 days in Newfoundland. I left on Saturday the 23rd, and took the night crossing. This was my view as the ferry was ready to dock Sunday morning in Port aux Basques, on the province’s West Coast. It was a Come Home Year in Newfoundland and I was one of many thousand who went home for a time this Summer.

I left the day after I turned the big 60! Here’s to another great decade. My friend Cassandra took me out to lunch on my birthday. The restaurant was kind enough to serve me a special dessert, which I thoroughly enjoyed. She also introduced me to a new drink.

Cold Stream Rum Cream

OMG, you have to try the Cold Stream Rum Cream. She gave me Starbucks Iced Coffee and a bottle of the rum cream and it is sooooo good!! I know it’s not wine, but I do enjoy other cocktails, and this one tops the list. Coldstream is a local company founded by a young man and his family and friends. It opened in 2015 and makes top quality products. Check out their story here.

Coldstream Rum Cream

Another highlight of the trip was my friend Angie flew down and joined us for 4 days.

Angie flew into Deer Lake

She flew down on the Wednesday and then we drove back together on Sunday. We took in many sites including Gros Morne National Park with my Mom, who turns 88 on her next birthday.

My Mom & Angie
Gorgeous panoramic views

We stayed at my sister and brother in law’s cabin in George’s Lake, which also had some pretty impressive views. Do you know what I found out? I’m really good at building fires. Built one every night I was there. However, a big thanks to my brother-in-law for cutting all the wood and kindling for us beforehand.

My fire building
Mom & Angie enjoying a sip

Angie and I both drink red wines for the most part, and being in Newfoundland, we tried a couple of wines that we hadn’t had before. For example….

Confessions Cabernet

This should be a wine of the week, because it was a great Cabernet Sauvignon blend at a fantastic price. It comes from California, and is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot & Petite Sirah to make a deliciously interesting wine. And while we were there, it was on sale for $13.99 a bottle. You can get this wine across Canada, but not here in Nova Scotia, and it’s too bad, because it was an amazing value.

Did I mention that although we stayed in a cabin, we didn’t really rough it!

Sipping in the hot tub
We had a good time

Craig & Jackie have a hot tub on their deck, yeah it was really rough. So one evening we poured a sip and enjoyed the hot tub which overlooks George’s Lake. One of Angie’s son’s had a great line, ‘George has a really nice lake’. It was a great trip home and I really loved having Angie join us. My mom really enjoyed it as well. The drive home was a little long, 16 hours. Whew.

My wine of the week has to be the wine my brother-in-law bought for us to enjoy. As you all know, I was in Bordeaux France this past April, and my brother-in-law Craig had a special bottle of French wine for us to enjoy.

We enjoyed the 2015 and so it had time to age nicely. It’s a Merlot dominant wine with Cabernet Sauvignon blended in, and it was the best Bordeaux wine I’ve tasted in the $23 price range. This is one of the best values under $25 I’ve tasted from Bordeaux.

It was a great trip home and I want to thank my family for being awesome hosts.

Also, got to spend some time with my girl Maggie.

Love the Yellow bow

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Enjoy the Summer, and stay safe.

Till next week, Cheers



Pour Decisions of Summer

The Lazy Days of Summer

There’s no such thing as a ‘poor’ decision in the Summer, is there? Whatever you are pouring, it always tastes a little better in the Summer. Well, things are starting to heat up here on the East Coast of Canada. It’s supposed to hit 28-degrees today. This is my last wine blog for 2 weeks. I am heading to Newfoundland on vacation next Saturday the 23rd. I don’t mind sharing this with my wine friends, next Friday on the 22nd, I turn 60 years old. So I’m visiting family and friends, and doing a little celebrating on the side.

Gross Morne National Park

My friend Angie is flying down for a few days, and it’s going to be her first time in Newfoundland. I love showing people around my home province. It’s very unique, filled with wonderful people, places and food. One of my goals is to do the spectacular Gros Morne Boat Tour, which is a boat tour that takes you through the fjords of Gros Morne National Park. I live on the West Coast of Newfoundland,(Corner Brook) so we are definitely going to be heading to Gros Morne, so hopefully weather permits we are able to do the boat tour. My Dad is originally from Bonne Bay, so I’m very familiar with the area. It’s a gorgeous drive and you are pretty well guaranteed to see some interesting wildlife.

Can’t wait to see my family and of course this family member…. Miss Maggie

I have something to share with you. I made homemade pasta for the first time this week. Yup, from scratch.

Flour, eggs, olive oil and salt. I formed a ball and let it rest for 30 minutes.

My friends Fred & Arla lent me their pasta machine, which smoothed the dough out. However, I had a little trouble with the attachment that made fettucine, so I cut it myself.

I made a green olive paste from scratch, which consisted of olives, olive oil, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, garlic and lime juice. And then I added 4 cheeses, mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan with just a sprinkle of cheddar on top and baked it.

It turned out tasty but here’s where I went wrong on my first attempt. The instructions with the pasta machine said to boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Now I know homemade pasta takes less time to cook than boxed pasta, but because I cut it myself, it was a little thicker. I definitely should have let it boil for another 2 minutes. I would say 5 minutes. It was a little more toothsome than al dente. I ate it though. That’s the beauty of trying to make pasta from scratch, you learn as you go, and you get to eat your results.

The wine you are seeing in the picture is this one

655 Cabernet Sauvignon

Here’s the 655 Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi California and it’s on sale right now, priced under $15 at our local liquor store. To my reader friends in Newfoundland, it’s available there too. Great wine, with mostly Cabernet and a little Petite Sirah and Syrah (2 different grapes) added in to make a complex interesting wine at a great price.

If in the hot weather, you like something iced cold, me and some friends tried this last weekend. OMG! This is good. As a kid, I used to love creamsicle ice cream. If you did too, you’ll love this. Black Fly Vodka Orange Crush.

Black Fly Orange Crush

And now for my wine of the week……

Chronic Cellars

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a great wine label. And every once in a while, you have to treat yourself. So this was my treat last night, Chronic Cellars Red Blend. This gorgeous blend, dominated by 70% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah and 4% Grenache, won’t disappoint. Wow. Given 91 Points and an Editor’s Choice by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. And it’s still priced at just $25 here. A big welcome to our new readers from the U.S. Obviously the price is quite different where you live. Your neighbours to the North pay a lot more for wine.

Stay safe in the heat my friends. I’m on the road next Saturday and in Newfoundland the following Saturday. I’ll be back in 3 weeks with some new adventures, lots of pictures and a new wine or two.



Meet the Mighty Grape

I love reading about wine and recently I read an article about the amazing grape, and there were a few fun facts in there I didn’t know that I thought I would share on this Saturday.

We all know grapes as the berries used to make our favorite beverage. But did you know that the grapes you put on your charcuterie board are different than the grapes used in the production of wine. The grapes you eat as a snack have a thin skin and have been bred by farmers over the years to be seedless. Wine grapes have a thick skin, are smaller and have lots of seeds.

It also takes a lot of grapes to make wine, about 1200 of the smaller grapes, or 2.5 lbs, to make one bottle of wine. Grapes also have more uses than just wine or as a snack, it’s used in the making of jams, jellies, and dried out they become raisins. Grapes dried out become raisins, and dried wine grapes become Amarone.

There are 8,000 different grape varieties, and by far my favorites are used to make my favorite beverage.

Speaking of grapes and our favorite beverage, let’s talk some wine….

First, a new white I tried recently with my friend Arla. Arla is a huge fan of Pinot Grigio and she recently tried and loved this Pinot by Riff. Arla always shares her new finds with me, for which I am very grateful.

Riff Pinot Grigio

With the weather warming up, here is a crisp cool white wine that pairs wonderfully with Summer. Originating from the Northern Italian Alps, the area is known for straightforward clean citrus Pinot Grigio. This is a gorgeous wine with notes of pear, citrus and melon, and a great value at $21 here in Nova Scotia.

I also tried a new red wine recently.

McManis Petite Sirah

If you haven’t tried McManis Wines before, what are you waiting for? I’ve written about the Zinfandel, which I love and the Cabernet Sauvignon, which I also love. I have also tried the North Forty Red blend, which unfortunately we can’t get here in Nova Scotia anymore. You can read about it here though. Recently I’ve tried the Petite Sirah from the McManis family of wines. Petite Sirah is an extremely rare grape, also known as Durif, named after French Botanist Francois Durif. Known widely for blending because it adds structure and tannins, many California winemakers are taking this unique grape and making it the star. McManis is one of those. And Petite Sirah is the best when grown on old vines. As the saying goes, ‘the older the wine, the better the wine’. This was a wonderful wine, priced at about $22.

My colleague BJ Wilson

Yesterday the Radio station I work at had it’s 13th Annual Linnks for Lymphoma Golf Tournament, raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It was a great sunny day and we had a ton of fun. A big thank you to everyone who came out and joined us. My co-worker BJ Wilson, who hosts BJ & The Q Morning Crew, worked with me on hole #10. We cooked pepperoni and did the ‘Closest to the Pin’.

Till next week, Cheers



You Gotta Love a Long Weekend

Who doesn’t love a long weekend? A day late, but I hope everyone had a wonderful Canada Day yesterday.

This is the 155th year that we celebrate Canada Day, which honors the anniversary of Confederation, when Canada became a country separate from the British Empire.   It was known as Dominion Day until 1982, which is why my home province of Newfoundland had a beer called Dominion Ale. And it wouldn’t be from Newfoundland without a picture of a moose on the bottle.

Dominion Ale

But today we are here to talk about wine!   Are you grilling this Canada Day?  It was a beautiful day here yesterday in Halifax so I fired up the grill last night. Did some ribs which I’m going to finish this evening. My favorite wine to go with ribs? Regular readers know what a huge fan I am of Zinfandel with ribs. Whether it’s a 100% Zinfandel, or Zinfandel is part of the blend, I’m a fan.

Cline Ancient Vine

Cline makes a beautiful smooth Zinfandel. Natalie Maclean, Canada’s most prolific wine writer, gave this wine 92 Points. From Contra Costa County close to the San Francisco Bay area, this rich wine has notes of plum and black pepper, which makes it perfect for anything on the grill.

Robert Mondavi said it best “Wine, Food & Art – incorporating these three things will enhance your life”.  No wonder he was a legend.

Robert Mondavi

Here’s my recipe for BBQ ribs.

  • Take the membrane off the back of the ribs. It adds nothing to the ribs.
  • I like to marinate my ribs. Brown Sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, liquid smoke, hot sauce, and some BBQ sauce.
  • I also slow cook them first in a 275-degree oven for 2 – 3 hours.
  • Then I finish them on the grill, adding more BBQ sauce. I like Bulls Eye Sweet & Sticky.
  • They are fall off the bone delicious.

For my white wine drinking friends, a good hearty white wine goes great grilled food, like this one from Trinity Oaks.

With flavors of apple and pears, and delicately used oak, this is a great Chardonnay.

That’s it for me for today. Have a wonderful and safe long weekend.

Sorry, not sorry, Kale



A France Reunion

Last Saturday night, the group of us who went to France, plus some other friends, got together for a wine tasting.

The Gang

We sure did miss Ed & Juanita, who live in PEI and wasn’t able to make it over. But we had a fabulous evening of amazing food and some good wine. First of all, I have to say Wow at the food we had that night. Cathy put out an unbelievable spread. Appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, and a charcuterie board that would put a professional chef to shame.

A work of art

It was a wonderful night of stories and some good laughs. We featured some great white wines.

Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc

From the Marlborough region of New Zealand, Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc is a family owned winery and Peter Jackson is the head winemaker. Gorgeous structure and bright acidity, Richard guessed the grape immediately because of it’s tropical fruit notes on the nose. If you are a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, like I am, this one is definitely worth trying.

Centerstone Chardonnay

I’ve bought Chardonnay to wine tastings from all over the world. One of the things many people don’t like about Chardonnay is how oaky it is. Well, this one from the Willamette Valley in Oregon is unoaked and very tasty. Apple and pineapple flavors shine, and is not over-powered by any oak.

We also had a Rose, one of my favorites, Gerard Bertrand Rose. I’ve written about this one before. I love this rose wine.

We also had a local Nova Scotia wine, Benjamin Bridge Tidal Bay.

Benjamin Bridge Tidal Bay

Representing the terroir of Nova Scotia, this crisp wine was perfect with the charcuterie board, but ultimately was designed for seafood.

You know it is impossible for me to write a wine blog without featuring a red. And what a red wine I have to feature.

Bear with me while I tell you a short story. On Tuesday, it was my friend Angie’s birthday. We were getting together Wednesday to have a sip, I bought this special bottle of wine to celebrate my friend’s birthday. But when I got there, she had another one opened. So I never got to try it that night. Last night, I went downstairs to our Common Room for Happy Hour, and one of the ladies had bought this bottle of wine and offered me a glass. Wow! I have had the J. Lohr Merlot, the Red Blend, the Zinfandel and now I’ve had the Cabernet Sauvignon. I love J Lohr wines and this Cabernet has been named one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the United States in 2021. Full-bodied and rich, this wine, perfect beef wine, is a treat bottle at $32 a bottle. But so worth it.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. One of our red wines was skunky last weekend, so we didn’t drink it. I’ll have some new wines for next weekend as well. Till next week, Cheers



A Weekend of Celebration

Well this is turning out to be a busy weekend of celebrations. First of all, it is Father’s Day weekend, so many people are celebrating. Today also happens to be my Brother-in-law’s birthday. Craig is one of my favorite people on the planet, so kind and so sweet. And he is so good to my Mom, so I hope you have a wonderful birthday Craig.

Jackie’s Husband Craig

Yesterday also saw the arrival of a friend I met last year, and a huge fan of this wine blog, that lives in Ottawa, Jeanne.

Jeanne & Judy

Jeanne has 2 sisters that live here in Halifax, so she is down visiting. And the get together was also an opportunity to celebrate one of my very good friends, who is having a birthday on Tuesday, June 21st.


I’ve never met anyone who loves to celebrate like my friend Angie. It was a wonderful night last night. Many many bottles of vino were consumed. And we had a spectacular meal hosted by our friends Sue and Larry in their beautiful home.

Sue & Larry

We sat around a table with fabulous food and great friends, and laughed and told stories. It’s my favorite kind of meal. I am getting to know new friends through Angie, like her son Mike and his partner Darlene. So I’m new to this group of wonderful people, and they call this Darlene ‘Dar’ too. My family and friends have been calling me Dar for years, so this will be fun. Any time someone calls out ‘Dar’, both of us will probably answer.

Angie’s son Michael & Darlene

Last week also saw my first attempt of making Coq au Vin. You might remember I had it on my recent trip to France for the very first time.

Coq au Vin in France

So I’ve been wanting to make it since I got back. And here’s an interesting note. The Coq au Vin I had in France was made with drumsticks, dark meat. I don’t normally eat dark meat chicken, but I loved it. So I used both chicken breast and drumsticks again in my slow cooker.

My Coq au Vin

I have to be honest, I preferred the dark meat in this dish. It is slow cooked for 7 hours, and the chicken falls off the bone. I had it with garlic cheesy mashed potatoes and it was heavenly. I not only shared some with the birthday girl, I also had enough for 2 meals. Chicken slow cooked with carrots, mushrooms, onions in a red wine sauce / broth. Very yummy.

My Sunday meal

I will definitely be making it again. And it was easy. I didn’t have any brandy in the house, I bet that adds a nice flavor. You’ll see some recipes add a splash of brandy, and I will probably try that next time. The recipe I used is here. I used Merlot instead of Cabernet, and some recipes call for Pinot Noir. I think any red will do.

Speaking of wine, let’s check out some wines.


If you are looking for a new refreshing white wine this Summer, check out Picpoul. Picpoul, also known as Folle Blanche, is a vibrant white wine that originates from the Rhone region in southern France. It’s a beautiful wine, and every time I bring it to a wine tasting, people love it. And it’s priced under $20, so it’s affordable. (I’m not bringing it tonight BTW)

Kenwood Zinfandel

It’s BBQ season, and that brings out the Zinfandel. Kenwood from Sonoma County is a gorgeous deep and delicious red wine. Rich and flavorful, it goes with anything you put on the grill this Father’s Day weekend.

My Group in France

I have a wine tasting tonight with the people I went to France with, with some new wines I look forward to sharing next week.

Have a great weekend. Till next week, Cheers



Wine Trivia

In my wine tastings I always include a little trivia. Fun facts about wine that most people find surprising and cute. Like did you know most people don’t know that authentic champagne uses both red and white grapes. The 3 grapes used are Chardonnay (white), Pinot Noir (red) and Pinot Meunier (also red). The color comes from the skins, so there is limited contact with the skins.

Do you know what the primary grape in Chianti Classico is? Or even just Chianti? Years ago before I studied wine, I’ll be honest, I thought Chianti was the grape varietal. But it’s a region in Tuscany Italy, where Sangiovese reigns dominant. I’ve heard people say they find Chianti dry, I think because the tannins in the Sangiovese grapes are so high. I really like the Super Tuscan wines, where Sangiovese is paired with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or other non-Italian grapes. Like this wine.

Monte Antico – 90 Points

I almost bought this again last evening. It’s a great Italian Super Tuscan wine. Made with Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s priced around the $20 mark. Another piece of trivia, Monte Antico means ‘ancient mountain’ and the husband & wife team of Neil & Maria Empson have put 40 years of passion and experience in this wine. Look for it in the Italian section of your closest liquor store.

I googled it, and discovered some mouthwash contains an alcohol level of anywhere between 14% and 26.9%.  Wine, unless it’s a port, on the higher end would be 14.5% for some reds while some white wines can contain as little as 6%.  Plus it’s no fun to swallow mouthwash and even less fun spitting wine.

Speaking of wines with a lower alcohol content, here’s a very popular one

Jacob’s Creek Moscato

Jacob’s Creek Moscato has an alcohol content of about 8%, and is affordably priced under $15. Remember, in the wine making process, yeast turns sugar to alcohol, so some low alcohol wines can be on the sweeter side, including this one.

I had the opportunity to visit the Napa Valley region in California in 2001, and I really really want to go back. It was amazing. I still love California wine and drink it on a regular basis. One winery I visited twice was Francis Ford Coppola’s winery, and here is a fantastic wine that my nephew gave me for Christmas this past year.

Director’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon

I’m sad we can’t get Director’s Cut wine here anymore. Both the Zinfandel and this Cabernet Sauvignon were spectacular. My nephew lives in Labrador City and got this in Fermont Quebec, which is about 25 minutes away. We are both going to be home in October, and I’m going to ask him to bring me another one. Another bit of wine trivia, upstairs at the tasting room of his winery, Francis Ford Coppola has a display with something from each movie he’s made. And he has one of his Oscar statuettes on display. Plus he grows olive trees and produces and sells his own olive oil.

That’s it for me for this week. Have a wonderful weekend, Cheers



Summer is Almost Here

Hello June. June can be a busy month for me. First day of Summer is in June. Also, some special Anniversaries in the month of June for my family.

Mom & Dad

Tomorrow, June 5th, would have marked Mom & Dad’s 64th wedding Anniversary. My Dad passed away in 2020, 3 months shy of his 90th birthday. My Mom is celebrating with a special dinner with my sister and her husband.

Jackie & Craig 35 years ago

Happy 35th Anniversary to one of my favorite couples on the planet. My sister Jackie, and her husband Craig celebrates 35 years of marriage tomorrow, June 5th .

Jackie & Craig more recently

These two people are two of the kindest, most giving people you could ever meet. When they got married Jackie was a nurse and Craig worked for Newfoundland Light & Power. Since then, they have built a very successful business, Simms Financia,l and they are always giving back to their family and to their community. Most of it anonymously. They are also some of the funniest people you’ll ever meet, and I can’t wait to see them in July, because I know it will mean a good side-stitching laugh. Happy Anniversary Jackie & Craig! I miss you both so much.

La Vielle Ferme White

On a warm sunny day, I love a nice white wine with tropical fruit flavors, reminds me of being down South. This wine fits the bill, and affordably priced under $16. It’s less than that in other parts of Canada, we tend to pay a little more for wine than in other parts of Canada. Still a great value.

Ribs in the air fryer

I’m having fun discovering new ways to use my air fryer. Most people I work with have one, and apparently hot dogs are awesome, done in the air fryer I haven’t had hot dogs yet, but last night I tried ribs for the first time, using the air fryer for the finishing touches. So, last night I had my favorite meal. Ribs and wings. I know it’s hard to believe, but I wasn’t in the mood to start the BBQ last night, so I tried a new way. I’m a bit of a rib purist, I’m very picky when it comes to ribs.

I slow cooked a small rack of baby back ribs in the oven, 250-degrees for two and a half hours. To crisp them up I put them in the air fryer. Came out great. 10 minutes on each side. It may have beat the BBQ for timing and convenience, but not in taste. After slow cooking my ribs for a while, I put them on bbq, top rack, and continue to slow cook them. And put them on the flame at the very last minute for the grill marks and crispy char bits. When it comes to ribs, nothing beats slow and low.

Here’s the wine I had with it.

Kenwood Cabernet Sauvignon

I’ve written about the Kenwood Zindandel previously and last night I had the Cabernet Sauvignon. On clearance for about $19, it’s still under $25 regular priced. Making great wine from the Sonoma Valley in California since 1970. Sonoma is located in the perfect location, between the Pacific Ocean and the Mayacamas Mountains. In my opinion, the effects of both the ocean and the mountains, provide the perfect environment for wine grapes.

That’s it for me for this week

Have a great week.



More Great Wines Under $20

I had a bit of a scare this morning. When I first got up this morning, I decided to do a few housekeeping things before getting my first coffee. Then, when I was just about to get my first coffee of the day, when Bam! The power went out. Then I read a notice on my phone that my friend Cassandra sent me said it was going to be out all day. Well, there was almost no wine blog, as I had no internet for a while. But luckily it came on a short while later, just as I was getting dressed to go out for coffee. I wasn’t taking any chances, I made two. A quick Nespresso while my other coffee was brewing.

Last Friday night I went out to dinner with some friends, and they were surprised when I took an ice cube and put it in my red wine. They were shocked. I know regular readers of the blog know how I feel about ‘room temperature’, but I’ve added a lot of new readers recently, and I thought I would share it again.

The room temperature of wine is the temperature of the wine cellars where winemakers store the wine. This is usually 55-degrees Fahrenheit or 13 – 16-degrees Celsius. Some big bold reds can be served at 18-degrees Celsius. The lighter fruitier wines should be served a little cooler. When I was recently in France, I encouraged everyone I went with to touch the bottles of wine in the cellars we toured. Most were underground and the bottles were very cool to the touch. Wine was never meant to be served at 24-degrees Celsius. And wishing my friends Judy & Gary a very Happy 50th Anniversary.

I have always promoted this blog as being about great wine at affordable prices. Today, I’m going to focus on some wines that are under the $20 mark that you and your friends will love.

It’s Rose Season!

Here’s a great one from the Niagara region and to my Newfoundland friends and readers, you can get it there as well. The Lola Cabernet Franc rose from Pelee Island is priced under $20 and perfect for patio sipping.

To my white wine loving readers, here’s a new white. Last week I told you about the Burnt Ship Sauvignon Blanc, I’m still on that kick. Here’s a great value, the Canyon Road Sauvignon Blanc.

Priced at $12, you read that right, $12. They make a Chardonnay as well, but I love the Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp and fresh with tropical fruit notes. Very good.

And last but not least, a new red I’ve tried that is under $20.

Malbec is not normally a go-to wine for me, but did I ever enjoy this Argentinian one from Gauchezco. To my friends in Newfoundland, it has a different label, but you can get this brand there. It looks like this

Priced in the $17 range, this rich deep Malbec is was perfect with my favorite meal.

BBQ baby back ribs, crispy wings, corn on the cob and rice.

Great wine doesn’t have to expensive. Be adventurous, you might be surprised, like I was with this wonderful Malbec.

That’s it for me for this week. Thank you for reading. And a big hello to our new readers over seas.

Till next week, Cheers



I Love Long Weekends

Who doesn’t love a long weekend. Especially the May long weekend, it’s like the unofficial kick off to Summer.

Me 5 p.m. Yesterday

I’m sitting here, writing this blog, and I have my patio doors open and the sun is shining. Perfect. My apologies for no blog last weekend. After working all week, the Covid fatigue really got to me, and I just didn’t have it in me.

As you all know, the price of gas is over the top atrocious here in Canada. And the price is not changing once a week, sometimes it’s a couple of times per week. Well, I have the perfect picture my boss sent to me yesterday. So for this weekend, I’ll save gas and drink wine. It’s much cheaper and makes me feel better than gassing up my vehicle.

I pick wine

Remember the wine salt I told you about last week, the combination of wine and salt I bought in Bordeaux. Wishing I bought more!!

Wine salt combines sea salt, super-reduced wine, citrus zest and fresh herbs, adding a fruity tang and also making a great salt substitute for all sorts of things. I’ve been having fun using it on meats of all kinds. If you find it online, buy it and try it.

That’s mango chicken

I love it on pork chops, I also used it in the top picture in my au jus gravy for my mashed potatoes. It adds a really interesting taste and I’m kicking myself I didn’t buy more.

Ok, let’s talk some wine. With one of those meals above, this is the wine I had with it.

Burnt Ship Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite white wines, and this one from Canada was fantastic. My friend Arla gave me this last week and it was delicious with my pork chop and mango chicken. Now that Summer is almost here, I am definitely going to add more Sauvignon Blanc to my wine rack. It’s such a food friendly wine. It goes with just about everything. The Burnt Ship Sauvignon Blanc sells for about $19 here in Nova Scotia at the NSLC, and it’s a beautiful wine with notes of citrus and tropical fruit. I loved it.

And for the red wine this week, this is my wine of the week.

Leaping Horse

Before I went to France, I went down to a locally owned independent wine store in Halifax, and picked up this beauty. The Leaping Horse Cabernet Sauvignon is 80% Cabernet, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Syrah (Shiraz). What an interesting wine, and priced at just $19 a bottle. It’s made by Ironstone Vineyards in Lodi California, reflecting their love of horses. It was so good, I was sad I only bought one.

That’s it for me for this week. Enjoy your long weekend, stay safe.

Till next week, Cheers



Bordeaux Part 2 – My Journey Home

Last night was my first time in a week having a glass of wine!

I know right? Well, I arrived home from France last Thursday night and woke up Saturday morning with a headache, sore throat, cough and run down feeling. Booked a PCR test, and the next morning it confirmed what I already knew, I had Covid-19. Although France is in Level Alert 3, they don’t have mask mandates. There were only 63 passengers in total on the river cruise, and we wore masks everywhere, so I’m thinking it was the airport in Paris. Shoulder to shoulder and most people weren’t wearing masks.

So, I guess you could say I had lots of time to recuperate from the 23-hour journey home and boy did I sleep lots. I definitely feel 10,000 times better than I did earlier in the week, and after having wine for lunch and dinner for a full week, my body didn’t object from taking time off from the vino.

Chateau Lafitte Rothschild

I had a wonderful trip before hit by Covid. One of the highlights of the trip for me was getting to see the winery of Chateau Lafitte Rothschild. We didn’t get to go in, but check your local liquor store and check out the prices of the wine from this winery. Here in Nova Scotia they start at $1000 per bottle and go up from there.

Although most people think all Bordeaux wines are red, they do make some mighty fine white wines as well. The grapes are Sauvignon Blanc and/or Semillion or a blend of both.

Bordeaux Blanc

White wines in Bordeaux cannot be labelled to a specific regions or appellations, for example Saint Emilion or Margaux, or Pomerol. White wines in Bordeaux are labelled as Bordeaux, like the above Bordeaux Blanc.

Saint Emilion = luscious Merlot

We enjoyed some fantastic wine, and fantastic foo.

Amazing Food

But my favorite part of the entire trip, were the people I went with. I met some great new people and we had so much fun.

Mark & Janet
Ed & Juanita
Our last night
Richard & Cathy
Gary & I
Gerard & I
Cathy & I

I didn’t do a lot of shopping while there, I really soaked up the area and the culture and enjoyed time spent with these fun & fabulous people. I did however, buy one item very unique to the area.

Wine salt! It’s a real thing

Wine Salt

It came to by an accident. Salt was a very valuable commodity and a wine barrel tipped over and coated the salt. They couldn’t afford to throw away the salt and wine salt was born. It’s delicious on meats and vegggies. I had it on a steak and it was so flavorful.

So what was the wine I had last night?

Gran Passione Rosso

Gran Passione Rosso is an Italian blend made of Merlot and Corvina. It hails from the Veneto region around Venice and is priced at $20 a bottle here. Delicious, full-bided and fruity, it’s a great wine at a great price.

That’s it for me for this week. This is Day 8 and I’m feeling much better. Staying put for today. Stay safe everyone, and till next week, Cheers.



Bordeaux Part 1

Our fun & friendly group

Where do I start? I just got back from the trip of a lifetime. A River Cruise aboard the Ama Waterways ship Amadolce. The river cruise definitely made the experience, with the amazing staff and spectacular food and wine. But I can’t go any further without thanking Richard, Gary, Duane and the staff of Atlantic Tours & Travel. We ran into some difficulties getting over there, with a delay from the start in Halifax, but Richard made it all stress free for all the guests. I cannot say enough about Atlantic Tours. I am living proof that when it comes to their slogan of ‘Worry Free World Travel’, that they not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk. If you are thinking of travelling anywhere, I recommend you check out the website or give them a call.

Richard Arnold & my friend Cathy

If this lady looks familiar, it’s because I went to Italy with Cathy 5 years ago, and she was on this trip. I love travelling with Cathy, and she has the most courageous palate of anyone I’ve ever met. She inspires me to try new things. Thanks to Cathy, I tried Carpaccio for the first time, which is an Italian appetizer that has thinly sliced raw beef and herbs tomatoes.


And Duck

And I finished both dishes. I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about all the wines I tried, as we can’t get them here. I did enjoy many reds

As well as white wine. I liked most, there were a couple that weren’t my favorite. But that’s to be expected.

France is gorgeous, and the city of Bordeaux is beautiful, day and night. I could do a full vacation in the city of Bordeaux.

France is beautiful
At the airport in Bordeaux

Now I’ll tell you about a wine we can get here.

Il Padrino Rosso

This was an easy to drink wine. It’s Il Padrino Rosso from Italy. Less than $20 per bottle, and if you can’t get this particular brand, try a different brand. Rosso is a red fruity wine from the village of Montalcino in Tuscany, the same village I stayed at when I visited Italy 5 years ago. They are Sangiovese based and sometimes can be blended with other grapes. Give one a try, it’s so food friendly.

That’s it for me for this week. It’s a bit short, still have some jet lag.

Till next week, Cheers


Easter Wine Pairings

It’s not only Easter Weekend, this will be my last wine blog for a couple of weeks. In case you weren’t aware, on Wednesday, I am heading to Bordeaux France to taste some of the world’s finest wines. I’m doing a full tour of Bordeaux, which includes the regions Saint-Emilion, Bourg, Paulliac and Libourne, to name a few.

Now, I know this is a weekend of sweets. I am not a fan of sugary candy and wine, however, I did fine this wine pairing chart for you courageous few who would like to try.

A wine for every candy

So for my last blog in a couple of weeks, I have a great wine for you. I also did a stuffed pork tenderloin and had wings and asparagus. I know, not a meal medley that you’ll see on any menu, but I thought it was tasty. Different textures and flavors, some spicy, some savory, it worked.

Didn’t use the BBQ this time, I used a cast iron frying pan. And I have to admit, I think it’s my new favorite way to do pork tenderloin. Finishing it in the oven. Stuffed it, sealed it with toothpicks, seared on both sides in a hot pan, and put the entire pan in the oven. It took about 15 minutes.

What wine did I enjoy with this meal? I’m so happy you asked. I had a new wine, and it was out of this world delicious.

Three Thieves Cabernet Sauvignon

From the Monterey and Lodi regions of California, this medium to full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon didn’t disappoint. And it’s priced under $21. I loved every sip. The Three Thieves are 3 long time friends, winemakers Joel Gott, yes, this Joel Gott.

The group of 3 also includes Charles Bieler from the Bieler Family Wines, which has a really diverse portfolio, and I’ve enjoyed The Show Cabernet in the past.

The Show Cabernet Sauvignon

The 3rd member of the Three Thieves is Roger Scommegna, who has many titles in addition to winemaker.

These guys also make a Pinot Grigio, a Chardonnay, a Rose, a Pinot Noir and a Red Blend. I will be keeping my eye out for more of the Three Thieves line. Fantastic wines at great prices.

That’s it for me for this week. Happy Easter. Stay well, I will share details of my trip when I return.




Spring Has Finally Arrived

I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m sitting here on this Saturday with my patio door open, and birds have been chirping since 6:30 this morning. It would appear Spring has finally arrived. It’s soon time for drinking outside.

I hope to do some of that when I head to France later this month. But in the meantime, let’s look at some affordable wines for Spring.

If you walk into your favorite wine store, you’ll probably see a display for Rose wine. It’s that time.

Rose is a favorite of mine, especially for food pairings. It’s perfect for a lunch / brunch wine or to have with your salad or appetizer of choice.

Gerard Bertrand Rose

I like a dry Rose wine, and this is my favorite Rose wine that I discovered last Summer. Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses is made with mostly red grapes, with limited skin contact. Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah sounds like a favorite Cote du Rhone, and this rose version does not disappoint. It’s round $22 and just a gorgeous rose wine, in a gorgeous bottle, that also makes it a wonderful gift.

Balsamic tomatoes with basil

Food wise I don’t have much for you this week. I made burgers for my work colleagues, and one of the condiments I bought were these tomatoes. One of my work peeps called it the best condiment he’s ever tasted, and started naming other foods these could be used with. They are grape tomatoes, sliced thin, with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, balsamic glaze and fresh basil. I have a basil plant that is doing very well this Spring. Then I cooked it down a bit, just put it in the corner of my BBQ. I have to say, it was pretty tasty.

And now I’m going to tell you about the wine I had last night, that is one of my new favorites.

Wee Angus Merlot

I have to be honest, I don’t spend a lot of time in the Australian section of the wine store. I find many of the wines over-oaked. However, I took a stroll down that lane because I wanted to try a new wine and I didn’t know what I wanted.

My love affair with Angus the Bull wines started with this one.

Angus the Bull Cabernet

My first experience with this vineyard was Angus the Bull Cabernet Sauvignon. Marketed as ‘red meat’s perfect partner’, it really is. A great steak wine, priced around the $26 mark here.

Then I got introduced to Wee Angus.

Back when I was living in Newfoundland, I was introduced to Wee Angus Cabernet Merlot. Loved it. Priced around the $20 mark.

And now there is Wee Angus Merlot

Wee Angus Merlot

Love love love this wine. I’m going back to buy more today. Priced around $20, this yummy delicious Merlot tastes like a much more expensive wine. Not overly oaky, it’s smooth and juicy and I just loved it. I had it with my supper (pork) and I can’t wait to have it with ribs, or a steak.


That’s it for me for this week. Stay safe. Till next week, Cheers


The Patio Will Have to Wait

As I sit here on the first Saturday in April, I just finished reading a Special Weather Statement from Environment Canada calling for a snow storm on Monday. Halifax could receive up to 25cms. (insert eye roll here). It’s April, it’s time for flowers and rain showers. Well, April for me, brings a trip to Bordeaux France. I leave on Wednesday April 20th, and after 2 cancellations last year of our trip to the Niagara region of Ontario, this trip to Bordeaux France, which was planned 2 years ago, is going ahead.

Bordeaux Wine Region

Bordeaux is known as the Wine Capital of the World. Some of the most expensive wines in the world come from the Bordeaux region of France, including Chateau Lafitte. We are doing the tour of Bordeaux on a riverboat cruise, my first one. I’m very much looking forward to cruising the two rivers of Bordeaux on the Ama Dolce.

Our first stop is in my favorite wine region of France, Saint Emilion. Bordeaux grapes are limited, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a couple of others. The region is divided into ‘Left Bank’ & ‘Right Bank’, with the Left Bank being Cabernet Sauvignon dominant and the Right Bank being Merlot dominant. Saint Emilion is on the Right Bank, and feature full-bodied juicy Merlot dominant wines. Saint Emilion wines can be expensive but this past week I found a great one at a great price.

Chateau De Courtillac

This is the Chateau De Courteillac is available everywhere in Canada, and is a Merlot Cabernet Franc blend. Delicious. My friend Angie left for a month in Florida yesterday and on Wine Wednesday we got together for a sip. This is the wine we enjoyed. Although we had the 2020, which is young, 2020 is still listed as one of the vineyards greatest vintages. There is still room for aging here. Well structured and full-bodied with lots of fruit, and priced under $18. Not a typo. It’s under $18 a bottle. Try it, I think you’ll really enjoy it.

The other wine I want to tell you about was recommended by my friend Joan Decker Hilton. I was writing about the Bread & Butter Merlot, and she said her husband loved the Cab.

Bread & Butter Cabernet Sauvignon

So last night I had this wine, for the first time, and I loved it. Again, it was a 2020, with lots of time for aging, it was still delicious last night. California has gained a world-class reputation for great Cabernet Sauvignon, and this is a prime example of that. Full-bodied with toasty notes of black pepper and ripe fruit, a great wine to pair with red meat.

That’s it for me for this week. Here’s to a mild April for all my readers. Thank you for reading!


My New Crush

I have a new crush. It’s crushed grapes, but still. I’m also crushing on these two wonderful people, who I am very blessed to call friends. Friends that are like family.

Angie & Shane

Regular readers have met my friends Shane and Angie in previous blogs. Last night we all got together at my place for dinner. What a great night, friends that are like family, some good food and some great wines.

I was given this gorgeous bottle of Sartori Ripasso by the great group at Univin Wines and my friend Nancy. It was amazing.

My favorite meal

I’ve had this wine previously with my one of my favoite meals. I love baby back ribs, and I really love them when they’re accompanied by crispy hot wings and some chicken fried rice that I made myself. An epic meal like this deserves an epic wine. The Sartori Ripasso is that wine. The 2015 vintage, which we had, is perfectly aged and full of complex notes and flavours. It’s a treat at around $35, but who doesn’t love a good treat.

We consumed a few bottles last night, including this one my friend Shane bought.

2014 La Brutta Cabernet Sangiovese

When I first see a Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend, I think of a Super Tuscan wine from Italy. However this wine hails from Australia. When I was doing some research on this wine today, I discovered that the 2014 vintage is the highest rated vintage in this wine, and it was fantastic. my friend Shane, when he retired from the banking industry, found he was a little bored so worked part time at the NSLC for 3 years. He says we don’t carry this wine anymore here, and it’s too bad because it was really really good. This red wine goes through a very unique process of being made, I won’t get into all of it here, but you can read about it by clicking here.

I didn’t take any pictures of the food last night. I was busy consuming some great wine. LOL. I served glazed carrots, rice, a salad and my caprese chicken. Easy and elegant. Here’s the recipe.

Chicken cutlets

I started with chicken cutlets. I buy them, and I love how they are pounded out and the same thickness. It makes cooking them so much easier. I browned them in butter and olive oil in a cast iron frying pan till they were brown on both sides. Then I added mozzarella cheese and grape tomatoes that were soaking in balsamic vinegar and some salt. Put the cast iron frying pan in the oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkled with fresh basil leaves and a balsamic glaze once it came out of the oven. Easy and delicious.

And last but not least, I would like to feature a gift that Shane bought me.

Villa Conchi Cava

Anyone who has been at one of my wine tastings has probably tried this wine. This is my favorite example of a delicious sparkling wine at a fantastic price point. It’s from Spain and it’s bright and vibrant with nutty and citrus notes. It’s nice and dry and not at all sweet.

That’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers


Ciao! Hello to Italy

I’m not sure if you know this but when I got my Certified Sommelier Certification in 2017, I celebrated by taking a trip to Italy. It was amazing. I went with amazing people, the food was spectacular and the wine… well, the wine was out of this world. A lot of it was consumed.

Enjoying a glass of wine at the Villa in Tuscany

We stayed in the Villa at the Carpazo winery in Montalcino, in the province of Sienna in Tuscany. The views were spectacular and we enjoyed amazing wine every night.

Well, I would like to introduce you to a special lady, and I’m very blessed to call her a friend. This is Nancy, who is a wine rep with the company Univins.

My friend Nancy

This past week Nancy gave me some Italian wines to try. Oh My God, I’ve only had two of them so far, but they were amazing. I’ve never had them before, and I love trying new wines. I am so grateful for her sharing these wines with me, because so far, they’ve been unbelievably good.

Amazing Italian Reds

When we met up on Tuesday, I had planned to make pasta that evening. I love trying new wines, and regular readers of this blog know how much I love Ripasso. Nancy gave me 2 Ripasso wines and an Amarone, the king of Italian wines. I’ll tell you about that one in a bit.

My mid week treat

The story of Sartori dates back 120 years. They are located in Valpolicella, a region known for wine, olive and cherry trees. This wine, a spectacular value at $25, is made with 4 Italian grape varietals, Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and Croatina. Ripasso means ‘to pass again’ and is a technique that’s been used for centuries in Valpollicella. The grape juice is ‘passed over’ Amarone must and skins to give it a more complex flavor. Sometimes called ‘Baby Amarone’ or ‘Poor Man’s Amarone’, I absolutely loved this wine. It was complex and interesting, with gorgeous flavours of dried fruits and spice. Which is why I had to enjoy it with my pasta mid week, but everyone deserves a treat mid week, right?

I always save really special wines to enjoy with special friends, and the Amarone Univins provided me was no exception.

My friend Angie

Regular readers of this wine blog know my friend Angie. We both share a love of red wine, so I wanted to share the special Amarone with her. It was her first time ever having Amarone, so what a treat that evening turned out to be. We enjoyed the 2016 vintage, and this wine still had lots of room for aging, if you wanted to keep it for a while.

Look at that gorgeous color. Amarone has been called the King of Italian wines for good reason. It gets its richness from the drying process, which lasts 3-4 months. This process is called appassimento or rasinate (to dry and shrivel) in Italian. This really accentuates flavor. Once the Amarone is pressed, the remaining pomace is used in the production of Ripasso Valpolicellas.

Sartori Amarone 2016

Amarone is a treat wine, but well worth the treat. It’s also a great wine for food. My co-worker Rick asked me this past week what would be a great wine to go with game meat, and this is perfect. It would have also been perfect with my meal from last Sunday.

Stuffed pork tenerloin

As a person who lives alone, I love it when grocery stores sell smaller pork tenderloins. Last Sunday I stuffed one and grilled to sear. Then finished it by using the BBQ as an oven. It turned out perfect, for me, I like my pork medium, so it’s perfect when I see pink. I sauteed onions, celery, carrots and apples in butter for a few minutes on the stove and then added it to bread crumbs with a bit of parmesan cheese. Yum!


With the price of gas all over Canada, it’s true, wine is cheaper than fuel. Even the treat wines. Also, restrictions here in Nova Scotia are lifting on Monday, and I’m hoping to get back to doing some wine tastings. Reach out if you are looking at a wine tasting this upcoming year and live in the Halifax area.

That’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers



Daylight Savings Time

Seriously, though?

I do not like time changes. It messes with my sleep, with Gabriel’s feedings, and I just don’t get it. But if we are going to have time changes, why do they happen 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning? Who decided this? 4 p.m. on a Friday, now that’s something I can get behind.

So we lose an hour of our weekend, but on a very bright note, the evenings are getting longer. People tend to think of sitting on their patios, enjoying a glass of wine. Not this weekend, however. We are in for this

Rain & Wind for the weekend

You know the weekend is here when they are calling for another storm. For us here it’s rain and strong winds. For my friends in parts of Newfoundland they are calling for blizzard like conditions with high winds and snow. Either way it’s a great day to stay inside and drink some wine.

I would love to hear what’s on your wine menu and food menu this weekend. You know how some people don’t like seeing food pictures on social media. I’m the exact opposite. I love seeing food pictures on Facebook and Twitter. And I’m always curious on how they made it and how it turned out. Keep the food and wine pictures coming!

First, I want to share a food picture. I don’t eat much steak because the prices of groceries has gotten atrocious and red meat has become a treat.

But I did get a steak on sale this past week and because the weather was bad, decided to do it in the cast iron frying pan. I love that method. I also decided to try a red wine reduction for my steak for the first time. Decided to go simple for my first time and used this recipe here.

I didn’t have shallots so I used onions. Shallots are a milder form of onion and really delicious. But I simmered the red wine and beef broth till it reduced and then added butter and herbs.

It turned out delicious and I will be doing that again. I didn’t have fresh rosemary, so I used the spice. Fresh herbs are not the easiest to get in winter months here in Eastern Canada. It still worked for me. And I made these baby potatoes with maple butter seasoning, added some bacon and fresh parsley and some balsamic glazed mushrooms. Yum

This kind of meal calls for a big bold red. And this fit the bill.

Chilean Merlot

I know most people would go for a Cabernet Sauvignon, but I do love me a good full-bodied Merlot. This is a great deal when it’s not on sale, and last week it was on sale here $2 off, making it a spectacular deal. Casillero del Diablo translates to ‘The Devil’s Cellar’. And Concha Y Tor’s Don Melchor spread the rumor that the devil lived in the cellar to protect his top quality wine. To my readers and friends in Newfoundland, you can get it there as well.

For my white wine loving friends, it comes in two white varietals.

They make a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Grigio, and they are just great wines at fantastic prices.

And now for my new wine of the week…

Longshot Cabernet Sauvignon

Last night for dinner I did a stuffed pork tenderloin. With it, I had a great new Cabernet Sauvignon. Longshot Cabernet Sauvignon originates from Modesto California and is a bold red wine with notes of plum, nutmeg and chocolate.

This wine is on sale right now here, priced under $16, and is a great wine to try, especially with the weather starting to warm and more people are grilling. To my friends in Newfoundland, you can get this wine there, and you can also get the Longshot Red Blend. It’s a blend of Shiraz, Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Doesn’t that sound interesting? I can guarantee that red blend is a must on my list, the next time I go home to Newfoundland for a visit. (psst, it’s on sale for $14 there now)

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Have a great weekend. Stay safe, and enjoy the wine



For The Love of God, Stop Snowing!

We had a wacky week of weather here in Halifax this past week. I saw a chart the other day that said we had over 400 mm of rain and over 100 cm of snow. Not exact numbers, but it seems we have had at least one storm per week since January came in. Whether it was a rain, wind or snowstorm, we’ve had a challenging winter to say the least. This week we had 10 on Wednesday, and they called for 10 cms on Thursday, but we got 15.

Lots of snow this week

The sun did come out yesterday but the temperature plummeted to -16 with a windchill of -24. So let’s stay inside and get cozy with some wine and comfort food.

Remember the blue cheese I told you about last week? It’s Bleu D’Auvergne, and I not only used it in a cheese sauce for pasta, I also made blue cheese burgers this week. Twice!

I bought the President brand

The cheese is that good. It’s named for its place of origin in Auvergne, in Southeastern France. It has less salt than most blue cheese, and is creamier, which makes it excellent for cooking.

I put the blue cheese right in

Here are the burgers I made, with blue cheese right in meat, along with salt, pepper, garlic powder and worcestershire sauce. I realize it looks like a lot of blue cheese, but it melts, and it’s very mild, so it didn’t overpower the burger. Then I carmelized some onions with butter, brown sugar and a bit of balsamic glaze. And then added bacon (duh!) and smoked gouda.


It not only looks tasty, it was delicious . Top with your favorite toppings.

A great wine to go with that? I’m glad you asked!

Sterling Vintner Collection Merlot

This is the wine I enjoyed with my burger last night. Sterling Vintners Collection Merlot from 2018. This full bodied supple Merlot with fresh fruit jam notes is on sale here in Nova Scotia right now for $15.99, which is a fabulous price. it’s normally around the $18 mark, which is what this wine costs for my friends in Newfoundland. Some wine critics have given this wine 90 points. it’s a great wine at a very affordable price.

And my wine of the week this week, is a white wine.

Amaral Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite white wines and it’s so distinct in its flavors. It was the very first wine I had on the final exam for my first wine course. It was a blind tasting and the fact it was Sauvignon Blanc was unmistakable. Some are grassy with notes of green pepper, but my favorite Sauvignon Blanc wines are those with tropical fruit flavors, and this one fits the bill. A friend bought it to my place last Saturday night and I loved it’s crisp and tropical fruit flavors. And it’s priced under $19.


That’s it for me for this week. I had a Twitter friend from Newfoundland send me a note last night saying he was looking forward to my wine blog. Thank you, that was very kind, and it made my day.

Till next week, cheers



We All Deserve A Treat

We are almost 2 full years into a pandemic that has crippled society. There have been lockdowns, restrictions, and loneliness for so many people. If anyone deserves a treat, it’s us. Am I right?

Last Friday, February 18, was National Drink Wine Day. And although it was a long weekend I didn’t get a wine blog out, because it was a fun filled weekend with family and friends. Like every Friday since January came in, we had a storm. A wind storm. Last evening we had a snowstorm. I’m not kidding when I say there’s been a storm every Friday. My nephew Riley’s flight got cancelled so we had a great evening Friday evening together.

And then on Sunday, I got together with an old friend, Shane, and a new friend, his husband Ken.

Shane & Ken

And boy oh boy, did they bring some great wine to the party. Normally this blog is about great wine at great value. Today we are going to cover a couple of treat wines. Like I said, we all deserve a treat.

The first wine we had that evening was a wine I’ve been dying to try for a few years. Total treat wine!

2018 Caymus Zinfandel

The Wagner family has been making great wine in Napa Valley for decades. The winery was started in 1906 when Carl Wagner bought land in Napa Valley and today is run by Chuck, Charlie and Jenny Wagner. Generations of great wine-makers. This wine retails for anywhere from $60 to $70 in Canada and it was spectacular. The Wagner family who has the Caymus label, also has Mer Soleil, Connundrum and Emmolo, just to name a few. Josh Wagner, from this Wagner family, has Belle Glos Vineyards and makes great Pinot Noir. This wine is the ultimate food wine. Shane had put out an amazing cheeseboard, and the combination was awesome.

Austin Hope Cabernet

So my friends have an amazing wine collection. And my apologies for the blurry picture, this was the 3rd bottle we opened, after a martini! My mistake was suggesting we open the Italian Ripasso that I bought before this one. This was another spectacular treat. I couldn’t find it anywhere in Nova Scotia, but elsewhere in Canada it sells for about $80 a bottle. Paso Robles in California is putting out extraordinary wine, and this one definitely tops the list. I love how they age this wine in oak. Lots of grapes are aged separately for a minimum of 11 months in a combo of 10% new oak, 25% once used oak and 65% in 2 – 3 times used French oak. Then as a whole, the blended wine is aged an additional 3 months in 75% new and 25% once used French oak. Wow. I’ve never heard that before. This creates a gorgeous complex wine on the palate, and the proof is in the glass.

Spinach Chicken & Bacon Penne

Before I go, I wanted to share an awesome recipe for Penne pasta. I had made a similar pasta a few weeks back that just didn’t have a lot of flavor. So I decided to make a roux for the sauce and add in more cheese and seasonings. Normally in the Summer, I have lots of fresh herbs, but they are all gone. And because this was a spur of the moment decision, I didn’t run up to the grocery store to buy some herbs. So I will definitely make it again, but adding some fresh basil is necessary, and chives or parsley, I feel, would really add a bit of zest as well. Here’s the recipe I started with, but tweaked along the way. Cook the pasta al dente, and set aside, including the pasta water. That is flavor that can thin your sauce, because it can get thick. Cook the bacon. Then use the bacon drippings to cook chicken and onions. I also marinated my cherry tomatoes in balsamic, salt and basil. They can handle a lot of flavor thrown at them. This recipe doesn’t call for a roux, but after I took out the chicken, I added butter and flour, made a roux, added both cream and chicken broth, and a couple of different types of cheeses, including parmesan, mozzarella and smoked gouda. It was very good, and I’ll definitely make it again. You can add your favorite cheese to make it a little different each time.

On the cheese board last weekend my friend Shane served the best blue cheese I’ve ever had. Blue cheese can be a love or hate thing with many people. And I’ve had some that is over-powering. This was mild and beautiful, and I can’t remember the brand name, but I’ll find out and share it with you. That would even go well in this pasta.

Loved this wine last night

Last night it was back to reality for me and wine. I did enjoy this beauty, a Primitivo made by Tommassi, called Surani Hercules Primitivo. Full-bodied, delicious, and $20 a bottle.

Before I go, I have to share some cuteness.

You all know Maggie

I was Facetiming with my sister Jackie, and Maggie, who you all know, seems to think she’s 10 lbs. She is a real lap dog, who doesn’t believe in personal space. Can’t wait to see her in March.

That’s it for me for this week. I hope you have a wonderful week, and let’s take a moment and pray for the people in Ukraine.



Making Valentine’s Day Sparkle

If you’re looking for love advice, I am definitely not the person to come to for Valentine’s Day. However if you would like to add some spark to your Valentines day meal, then I’m your girl. Because if there’s one thing I know, it’s wine! And nothing adds spark to a great meal more than wine.

Since we are talking about adding sparkle to a meal, let’s start with a sparkling wine

Villa Francesca Prosecco

You can’t go wrong with Prosecco, the Italian favourite. The majority of these wines are priced under $20 and it’s a super cost efficient way to enjoy a delicious sparkling wine. Crisp, light and tasty all on its own, it’s also a great pairing with shellfish, vegetables, sushi and cured meats. Prosecco is a great way to enjoy a sparkling wine without blowing the budget.

Instead of roses, try rose wine!

Rose wines have become so popular over the past few years, and with good reason. They are reasonably priced and delicious to drink. As a matter of fact, it’s made a huge surge in ‘day drinking’. There is no better wine to have with lunch or brunch.

Angie with the Arrogant Frog

My friends and I found this delicious rose wine, made from Shiraz (Syrah) grapes. Arrogant Frog is a wine packed with flavor, and priced under $15. It is a little heavier on the alcohol side than many rose wines, coming in at 13%. But it’s so delicious, and food friendly as well.

Ribs with a dry rub

Normally when I make ribs, I marinate for several hours and then slow cook them for a few hours, before finishing them on the grill. Everyone knows I am a huge fan of the Food Network and Bobby Flay and Michael Symon hosted a show called BBQ Brawl. Susie Bulloch was the underdog and ended up coming in 2nd place. She has a website called Hey Grill, Hey! I love it, she is a barbecue Queen1 And this is where I got the recipe for the dry rub. It’s Suzie’s Dry Rub recipe and you’ll find it here. I still slow cooked them and finished them off on the grill with sauce, and they were soooo good!

Have I made you hungry for ribs on Valentine’s Day? Here’s your wine!

7 Deadly Zins

7 Deadly Zins is a delicious full-bodied wine that is so food friendly. I love the ‘peppery’ flavor of a Zinfandel and this one really highlights that. If the $28 – $30 price tag is a bit more than you wanted to spend, here’s another option.

Cupcake Red Blend

It’s been a while since I’ve had this, so I had to use a stock photo. But this blend of Merlot, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah is so rich and decadent, it’s sinful. And this one is priced under $18 in most places. Juicy ribs deserve a juicy wine, and this fits the bill.

That’s it for me this week. Enjoy the Super Bowl tomorrow and Valentine’s Day on Monday. Till next week, Cheers