19 Crimes & Baby Back Ribs!

It’s almost criminal how good this wine is and really good value for the money.  I am a fan of a good Shiraz, love it with grilled foods.  And 19 Crimes 2011 Shiraz Durif from Australia did not disappoint.   I love a big red wine in the glass, and 19 Crimes delivered.  With flavors of licorice and a small hint of vanilla, the ripe red fruits were pleasant on the nose and great in the mouth.  I had this wine with BBQ Baby Back Ribs (see recipe below) and they were magnificent together.

I often get asked for my recipes and all my friends know I am not just a lover of wine, but a foodie as well.  I love to cook and it’s a hobby that I practice almost every day.  So, I have decided to include some of my recipes on my blog, especially those that I had with the wine I am featuring.  If the food and wine really compliment each other, I will share the recipe.  The reason I have hesitated to do this, is that I don’t use measuring spoons or measuring cups.  I just add ingredients and test recipes that way.    I am appreciative of any and all  feedback.

Natalie Maclean

The biggest thrill of my week was being asked by Natalie Maclean, Sommelier, wine writer and author of the books ‘Unquenchable’, and ‘Red Wine & Drunk All Over’ to write wine reviews for her website.  I have been a big fan of Natalie’s website and reviews for a long time.  Check out her website at www.nataliemaclean.com and I know you will become a big fan as well.   This is one of my favorite videos – here she is  with Wolf Blass here on CTV  www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq9wEBcSaaY

Thank you again for reading.   I am truly blessed and humbled by the new followers each week, and a big thank you to all of you who share and retweet.



Darlene’s Baby Back Ribs

– Baby Back Ribs with the fat trimmed

About 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar

– A few shakes of Hot Sauce  (I like about 10, but I like the kick)

– teaspoon of minced garlic

– A couple of splashes of Worcestershire Sauce

– Freshly squeezed Lime Juice from half a Lime

– Fresh Ground Pepper

-A splash of orange juice

– Half a bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce

Combine all the ingredients and slow cook in an 300-degree oven for 90 minutes.  Remove then from the oven and slow grill on the top rack of a BBQ until you get those nice grill marks.  Baste with BBQ sauce.  And Enjoy!

Let’s Take a Journey to South Africa

… And discover the wonderful world of Pinotage.


This week I had the pleasure of trying 2 very different Pinotage wines from South Africa.

The first one is Cafe Culture Pinotage from the Western Cape region.   It was recommended by a colleague of mine at work.  Thanks Anthony!

Talk about your flavor.  I didn’t have to lift the glass to my nose before the aromas of Mocha, Chocolate, Coffee, and Oak hit me.  And it was quite powerful on the palate as well.  All those flavors listed above are almost trying to compete for dominance with one another.  The winemaker himself, Bertus Fourie, was quoted as saying “is the most controversial style of Pinotage wine in the world. Most people crave it”.  

That’s an interesting statement to make.  I asked my friend Gary if he had ever tried it, and he said “About a dozen times, and I still don’t know what to make of it”.  It is one of the most interesting wines I have ever tried.

Now, if the “in your face” kind of flavor is not your thing, and you like all those flavors in a more subtle glass, I have the Pinotage for you.  My friend Sue recommended this.

This is the Ja-Mocha 2011 Pinotage , also from the Western Cape region of South Africa.  I loved this wine.  All those flavors of coffee, Mocha, chocolate, oak – in a more subtle wine.  Soft tannins and very well-balanced, I found it both extremely pleasant on the nose and on the palate.  I enjoyed it immensely both before the meal and after the meal.

Both are great wines.  Like all wines, it a matter of personal preference.  I think what I loved about these two wines the most, is that they are guaranteed to be great conversation starters.

I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you that read my blog.  The week before readership hit an all-time high, and last week we blew that record out of the water.   I am extremely grateful for the Shares and Retweets on social media, as it has allowed me to share and receive from people all around the world.

Thanks again, till next week, Cheers!


Heating things up in January with Great Wine!

Well, as we are almost at the half way mark in January, and I have some great wines to help keep you toasty warm this winter.

When you’ve had one of those weeks, and you need a treat – I have the treat for you.


This is the 2005 Resalte Ribera del Duero Crianza.  It was voted the Number 1 Spanish wine in the world in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of 2010 and #26 on the list.  And let me tell you it is spectacular.  For those of you that have been reading this wine blog for a while, you know I am a huge fan of the Marquis de Riscal Rioja wine.

With its gold netting, it’s a nice looking bottle, and a great wine with tastes of cedar and plum.  A great smooth Spanish wine.  Well, you can’t buy the Marquis de Riscal in Nova Scotia.  But I feel I have found one just as good.  Leave it my friend Susan from the NSLC to come up with a great tasting Tempranillo.  A crianza has to be aged 6 months in oak, this spent 15 months in French and American oak, so you can taste the oak.  It’s smooth, but it has 15% Alcohol content, so it’s robust and powerful and can deliver a punch.   Ripe red fruits with hints of oak and smoke.  Perfection.

At $27 a bottle here in Nova Scotia, it’s a treat, but worth every penny.  I thoroughly enjoyed it with a stuffed butterfly pork chop, stuffed with feta cheese, bacon and jalapenos.

Till next week, in vitro veritas.  In wine there is truth.  At 15% Alcohol, maybe too much truth.



It’s A New Year of New Wine!

Happy New Year to friends far and near, fellow bloggers and wine lovers!  Well, we survived 2012.  It was a year of some great times, and great wines.   It was a year of big change for me, as I moved to a new province.   And moving to a new province allowed me to try some great local wine, as well as new offerings from the NSLC and independent wine stores.

What better way to start the New year than with a great deal!!  Many people are a little cash strapped this time of year, but that’s no reason not to enjoy fine wine.  Am I right?

Talamonti Tre Saggi Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2008, Doc Bottle

This is Talamonti Tre Saggi Montipulciano D’abruzzo.  It’s a mouthfull to say – and a great mouthful of wine!  Tre SAggi, which means three wise men, is a terrific wine at a great price.  $16.99 here at the NSLC, it was given 90 Points by Wine Enthusiast magazine and in 2007 was awarded the Gold medal at the Mnidus Vini Great International Wine Awards.

It was spicy, oaky, lots of fruit flavor and I found it great with food (I had pork that evening) and I found it easy to drink all by itself.  Great dark color that looks good in the glass and tastes good on the palate.

I am always looking for new wines to try and write about.  Please please please, if you have a favorite, I would love to try it.

Thanks for reading and until next week, Cheers!


2012 in review

Hello and Happy New Year!

I wanted to share this with the people who read my blog.  I also want to take a moment to wish you many blessings in 2013.  I know each year time seems to become more of a valuable commodity than it was the year before.  And I appreicate each and every one of you for taking some of that valuable time to read my blog.




The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 1,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.