Best of 2013

It’s hard to believe another year has come to an end.  In a few days we will ring in 2014, and I swear, the older I get, the faster the time goes.  It was a great year in many ways.  I have settled into the city of Halifax very well, and I love this city.  I have also furthered my education into my journey to becoming a Sommelier.  And I got to be interviewed along with Sebastian Jacquey, winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne, along with Natalie Maclean.

Here is one of the highlights of my wine year.

Darlene  Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay 2007  Sommelier’s in Training

Another highlight in my wine year, was I got to taste a wide variety of wines, thanks to the CAPS program, Old World Wine, Module 3.  I fell in love with Tokaji wine.  Before this year, I didn’t know what Tokaji was, let alone that Hungary made this luscious beauty, out of grapes I have never heard of.  Have you ever heard of Furmint?  or Haarslevelu?  Those are the grapes that contribute to this beautiful wine.

Royal Tokaji Wine Company 5 Puttonyos Aszu

Tokaji Aszu is a full-bodied dessert wine that has gorgeous flavors of honey and apricots, balanced with sweet richness and uplifting acidity.  This is the wine I had after my Christmas turkey dinner.  I wasn’t in the mood for the cake dessert, but wanted something a little sweet.  I served it ice cold, and savored every moment.  It’s a bit of treat, as are all Tokaji wines.  They are labor intensive and worth every penny.

I also discovered the world of Bordeaux France this year.  I didn’t know a lot about French wines, and I was thrilled to be able to try so many this year, thanks to my course.   Left Bank is Cabernet Sauvignon dominant, and Right Bank Merlot dominant.  I discovered beautiful Pomerol and St. Emilion wines.  This was one of my favorites that I got to try this year.

At $76 a bottle, it was a great treat.  A blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, was a beautiful silky expression of a Pomerol from Bordeaux France.  Robert Parker gave this wine a 92 Rating.  It is beautiful.  I also discovered the joy of Burgundian wines.  A French Burgundy red is Pinot Noir (unless it’s Beaujolais), and regular readers of this blog know I just love a Pinot Noir.

Bouchard Pinot Noir 

Who knew that some of the vineyards in Burgundy are so small, as small as 10 acres, that they can’t afford to go to market with their wines, so they use a Negociant.  Pinot Noir offers smooth flavors of red cherries, great structure and fine tannins.  I love the food friendliness a Pinot Noir offers, it goes with everything.


Here’s the wine from Italy that took top honors from the Port of Wines Show in Nova Scotia.  Taurasi was a new discovery for me as well and the Vesevo Taurasi was one of the best.  Deeply colored wine and bold flavors of plums, licorice and spices, this wine is known as the Barolo of the South.  Using the Aglianico grape, I recently had the opportunity to try another one.  The Piano Cerro Aglianico Reserva is another gorgeous expression of Aglianico.  I have the opportunity to go to Italy in 2014 and I’m pretty sure that’s where the vacation will be this year.

A note to say Happy New Year and thank you so much for taking the time out each week to read the blog, and to share it with family and friends.

Here’s to a great 2014.



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