Long Weekend Wines!

Long weekend 2

So here in Canada we have a long weekend this weekend, it’s the Victoria Day Weekend.  Next weekend, our friends in the United States celebrate the unofficial kick-off to Summer.  And yes, I’m wearing white pants.  I love a long weekend and it’s sunny and 21-degrees today and I love that too.  So this is the weekend for BBQ’s and wine.  And here are a few wines you could enjoy on your long weekend.

Burge label

So here’s the wine I kicked off my Long Weekend with.  Grant Burge Hillcot Merlot, I had the 2011.  It went perfectly with my barbecued chicken, but I also enjoyed it while grilling.  It was smooth, aromatic with ripe fruit like raspberries, and on the palate all those gorgeous plum and cherry flavors.  Easy to drink and the oak was well-integrated and not over-powering.  This wine is from the Barossa Valley in Australia, and apparently Grant Burge was somewhat of a pioneer with Merlot in Australia.  It’s probably my first Merlot from Australia, but it won’t be my last, it also won’t be my last Grant Burge wine, I was very impressed.

heritage label

Here’s another wine I’ve had recently.  Now it was a gift from some very good friends, and a gift it was.  It was a treat wine, so a little on the pricey side, but we all have special occasions that we are looking for a special wine and Chateauneuf du Pape is definitely a special wine.   I love the story of Chateauneuf du Pape.  Back in the 1300’s the Pope was Pope Clement V, who was the former archbishop of Bordeaux.  Needless to say our Pope loved his French wine, especially those of Bordeaux and Burgundy.    The next Pope, John XXII, also loved his wine, and because of that wine in this certain region of the Rhone, became known as Vin du Pape, what we now know as Chateauneuf du Pape.  Pope John XXII also erected the Castle that is the famous sign for the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation.   I don’t know if there is a wine that says quality and finesse like Chateauneuf du Pape.  Probably because there is no ‘bargain bin’ version of this wine, it still remains special.  And we have our friend Robert Parker to thank for helping to promote this fabulous wine and giving it worldwide appeal.   When you are drinking Chateauneuf du Pape, you’re drinking mostly Grenache.  What I love about this one is the Syrah that’s added.  It gives this wine a spicy and peppery edge with a hint of truffles that I just loved.   This wine was smooth, yet complex and full of flavor.  It will go with EVERYTHING!

Bachelder Chard label

I love cold wine in warm weather.  Which means as many white wines for me, as reds.  Here’s one I’ve had recently that I just loved.  Thomas Bachelder makes wine in Burgundy, France, Oregon and the Niagara region of Ontario.  Thomas Bachelder is a wine icon and this Niagara Chardonnay is one of my new favorites.  This complex wine has flavors of apples, pears, cinnamon, smoke and vanilla.  Now… picture this wine with my Sweet and Smoky Barbecued Chicken…. hmmmm.. this wine will go beautifully with any grilled chicken dish.  This is the wine you’ll want to serve when BBQ’ing chicken this summer.

Here’s my recipe for Sweet and Smoky Chicken… Again I apologize for no ‘exact’ amounts of each ingredient, it’s not the way I cook.

Sweet and Smoky

– Chicken Thighs or Breasts… I used thighs

– Frank’s Hot Sauce

– A little bit of Maple Syrup

– A spicy or Dijon mustard  (I used Maille Old Style mustard.. here’s the picture.. this is the best mustard I have ever had)


– Pepper

– A dash of liquid smoke

– Some Barbecue Sauce

Mix all those ingredients together and marinate the chicken for as long as you can.  Set some aside to use as the sauce while grilling your chicken.

** Very important part.  Pour yourself a glass of wine while you are grilling your chicken and enjoy.  Life is good.

Till next week, enjoy the long weekend if you live here in Canada, and if you are a resident of the United States, I hope next weekend and every weekend is fabulous.








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