The Ultimate Treat!

I really enjoy pouring a cup of coffee every Saturday and sitting down and writing my wine blog.  I take great pride in trying to share delicious wines at reasonable prices.  However, no wine blog would be complete without a treat wine now and then.

Allow me to introduce the 2008 Antinori Guado Al Tasso.  At $80 a bottle here in Nova Scotia and $93.00 a bottle in Newfoundland, this is not a wine I’ll be having every week, but what a week it was for wine!  Given 98 Points by Wine Enthusiast, it was also the #1 pick on the Top 100 Cellar Selection Wines for 2012.   Wine Spectator gave it 93 Points and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave it 95 Points.  So there you have the ‘Ratings’, the expert’s opinion if you will.  Now it’s time for my opinion.  (After all, that’s what the blog is called.)

Smooth!  That’s the first word that came to my mind.  This Italian blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 12 Cabernet Franc, and 3% petit Verdot hit it out of the ballpark.   If all wine from Tuscany tastes this good, I know where I’m going on my next vacation.

On the palate it tasted of toasted oak, plums, cherries and spices, it wasn’t over-powering – but it had great length.   The flavor of the wine stayed with you after each taste.  I read somewhere that is wine was one of the wines voted ‘most likely to age well!”

Last night was a night of treats.  I had another wine that scored 93 Points by Wine Spectator, at half the price.  I’ll tell you all about that one next week.

Till next week, In Vino Veritas.  In wine there is truth.


Revisiting Some Old Favorites!

Ever have a meal that you haven’t had in a while and think “Why have I waited so long to make this”?  Ever run into an old friend and said ‘Next time I won’t wait so long to call’?  The same can be said for a glass of wine.

This week I have revisited some of my old favorites that I haven’t had in a while, and it was a pleasurable visit to say the least.
Cookoothama Shiraz 2009, Darlington Point, New South Wales Bottle

Last night I had a 2009 Cookoothama Shiraz.  This wine always reminds me of my good friend Gary Kelly, as we both discovered the wine at about the same time about 5 years ago.   Both Gary and I are big fans of a big Shiraz grabbed our attention.   I love the smokey flavors of black currant and cranberries found in this wine and prices range anywhere from $14.99 to $18.99 a bottle, depending on where you live.

Several years ago I spent my vacation in the Napa Valley in California, and visited many vineyards.  One of my most memorable was a visit to the Robert Mondavi Vineyard.  This is a picture of the entrance to the vineyard.  Beautiful.

So when I left to move to Nova Scotia, some wonderful friends gave me a bottle of a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.  I was really missing my friends this week, and decided to toast our friendship by opening this bottle.   I think most people who drink wine like Robert Mondavi, especially some of his higher end wine.

This wine is spectacular.  I have another bottle of the same year, given to me on my birthday this year.  And I can’t wait to share it with friends.  This is an easy to drink Cab with hints of cocoa, cinnamon, and toasty oak.   Robert Mondavi has been quoted as saying “I’ve always wanted to improve on the idea of living well.  In moderation wine is good for you – mentally, physicially and spiritually”.   I think he nailed it with this wine.

Have a great week, and let me know if you get a chance to revisit some old friends.



Food & Wine On This Long Weekend!


There’s nothing like a long weekend to have fun experimenting with Wine & Food.  George Bernard Shaw says “There’s no sincerer love than the love of food” and Robert Louis Stevenson says ‘Wine is Bottled Poetry”, then it’s no wonder we love to combine the two.

On the menu this weekend is an Apple Cranberry Stuffed Pork Tenderloin that I am making for my family.

Cranberry Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

With bread, apples cut up, fresh cranberries, toasted walnuts, savoury, chopped onion and salt and pepper,  I will serve a couple of different wines.  For the red wine drinker I am going to serve my favorite Merlo, The Velvet Devil from California. I love this smokey Merlot with pork and the silky soft finish just makes it one of my favorites.  For the white wine drinkers a Bella Sera Piniot Grigio, a wonderful crisp light Pinot Grigio.  And  for those who like their white wine a little sweeter, a Riesling.  I can drink small amounts of Riesling, but not much, because I find it too sweet for my taste.  But for the Riesling selection I will go to Germany with this Guntrum Riesling.


What are you serving this weekend.?  And which wines have you chosen?  I would love to hear from you.

And I would like to take a moment to say a big Thank You to the men and women who have served this country, both past and present, to allow us the freedom to enjoy a long weekend.  The celebration of wine and food with family is not lost on us.  I know there are many families who have sacrificed loved ones so that the rest of us may enjoy it.



The Wonderful World of Zinfandel

a brake is urgently required

I have an apology to make to Zinfandels everywhere.  I used to think you were weak wimpy wines.  The Charles Atlas of wines we’ll say, the 97-pound skinny weakling who got sand kicked in his face.  (I know, I’m aging myself).  Then one day during our Wine Fundamentals class, this wine made a believer out of me.



It’s from the Caymus Vineyard in the Napa Valley and it’s heaven in a glass.  And at over $48 a bottle, it should be.  This is a great gift for someone.  This family has been making wines since 1972 and this Zinfandel was surprisingly full-bodied.  And I loved the long finish.

However, most of us don’t spend $48 on a Friday night wine, so I decided to be adventurous and try a different California Zinfandel.  This one just under the $20 range.

Pepperwood Grove Zinfandel

Last night I had the Pepperwood Grove Old Vine Zinfandel, and I loved it.  A big mouth-filling wine, it went perfect with the Mango Chicken I cooked last night.   This wine could fit well with pasta as well, pasta with rich cream sauces.   I liked the spicy and blackberry palate.  I have found out since that Pepperword Grove makes a couple of white wines as well as a Pinot Noir.  I am going to try the Pinot Noir, however, in reviews, it has been said that the Zinfandel was the ‘best of the bunch’.

I enjoyed this wine while I was cooking and with the meal as well.  After doing some research this wine is less expensive in some other provinces in Canada as well as the United States.  Here in Nova Scotia it was about $18, and I thought good value for the money.

Have you tried a Zinfandel that you especially liked?  I would love to hear about it.