Archive for November, 2014

It’s Beginning to Look A lot Like Wine-mas!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2014 by darmyers

Wine Xmas

December is almost here… and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.. So many opportunities to enjoy some great wines.  Decorating the tree, putting up lights, Christmas cooking.. no matter what you’re doing to get ready for the holidays, here are some of my favorites.  Remember though, please do not drink and drive.  This is only for chores around the house, when you know you are home for the night.

wine christmas tree  Wolf Glass Gold Shiraz

Looking for a wine while you’re decorating the Christmas tree?  Here’s a new wine I tried this past week.  The Wolf Blass Gold Label Shiraz from the Barossa Valley in Australia.  This is on for a fabulous price right now where I live, but even if it’s not on sale, pick it up, you won’t be disappointed.  I just went back and got two more.  The Barossa Valley and Shiraz seem to go hand in hand, and here’s one of the reasons why.   It’s elegant, well-balanced and full of flavor with rich fruit and some spice.   Some people don’t like Shiraz because of the spice.  Those people should try this wine, as the spice doesn’t dominate the wine.  An Australian Shiraz is also a wine I like with grilled pork, pork tenderloin, pulled pork and a whole variety of meat dishes other than pork.  And who am I kidding?  This wine was delicious all by itself.

Koonunga hill

Here’s another Australian Shiraz I’ve tried recently.  Koonunga Hill from Penfolds.  I love Penfolds wine and this attractively priced Shiraz is so easy to drink, it will become a regular in your wine rack.

Christmas cookies  Villa Wolf

Do you have Christmas cooking to do?  Christmas cookies to bake? Well, do I have the Riesling for you.  Tried this Thursday evening, with my friend Rayell.  The Wachenheimer Riesling from Villa Wolf.  This Riesling comes from a single-vineyard site, called Königswingert (“King’s Vineyard”), but is labeled only with the village name.  I dare you to have a couple of glasses of wine and say Königswingert three times fast.. heck, say it once fast.  When I pick a Riesling, I have to confess I don’t normally head to the German section.  I love Riesling, and I’ve recently picked up the Wakefield Riesling from Australia, and I’m looking forward to trying that one.  Some German Rieslings tend to be a little too much petrol for me.  This one I really liked.  A little petrol on the nose, but no sign of it on the palate.  It has a real good full mouth feel, its elegant, and very yummy.

Christmas cooking   Pierre Andre Mersault

Every once in a while, a wine comes along that blows my mind.  I had such a wine this past week.  It’s the Pierre Andre Mersault.  This is from the famous Cote de Beaune region of France, and is composed of 100% Chardonnay grapes.  I looked at Rayell when I bought the wine to my nose and said ‘Wow, that is aromatic’.  Rich intense aromas of peaches, lemon and a hint of vanilla.  From my reading, I learned that 80% of this wine spent 13 months in French oak.  No one does subtle oak quite the way the French wine makers so it.  They have mastered the art of subtle oak that enhances a wine.  And my favorite part was the persistent finish, this wine stayed on the tongue and I kept enjoying it for moments after.  Treat yourself this Christmas to this wine.  You’ll be happy you did.

Merry Christmas wine clerk

I saw this sign this past week, and had to share it with all my friends at the Larry Uteck NSLC.  I thought it fit me perfectly.

That’s it for this week, I love a week when there are all new wines.  And as the regular readers can tell, I do drink more red than white, especially in the winter, so a wine blog featuring mostly whites is nice.

Drink responsibly and have fun.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

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Writer’s Block, Not Wine Block

Posted in Wine & Food on November 22, 2014 by darmyers

Writers block

This is my 252nd wine blog, so it’s understandable sometimes I get writers block.  What will be the theme of this week’s wine blog.  There’s never a shortage of fantastic wine to write about.   And such is the case this week…. I can’t think of a theme, so I called it Writer’s Block, but not Wine block.  I have some fantastic wines to write about.

November 2014 007

You all recognize my friend Rayell from the NSLC on Larry Uteck.  With her is a familiar face in the Larry Uteck store, Kim.  It’s the first time I’ve seen Kim since the Port of Wines, as he recently lost his 92 year old mother.  He told me they celebrated her life in fine style.  Thoughts and prayers are with you Kim.  Kim is holding last nights pleasurable selection of wine. It’s the Grant Burge Filsell Old Vine Shiraz from the Barossa Valley Australia.

November 2014 008  Applewood smoked bacon mustard

Oh my God, if you want to open a bottle of heaven, this should be your next choice.  I believe Kim said the vines were 60 years old, and the wine was aged in oak for 20 months.  This wine has won 24 gold medals, 49 silver medals and 58 bronze medals in competitions.  And its won over 100 medals for good reason.  It’s vibrant, complex, has lots of flavor and with every sip you discover something new.   Lots of gorgeous fruit and vanilla notes from the oak.  I had this with a grilled stuffed butterfly pork chop.   I stuffed it with a dressing made from bread crumbs, apples, carrots, garlic, pepper, and onion powder.  On the chop itself I brushed applewood smoked bacon mustard on both sides.  (Yes, they make such a mustard!  You can’t make that stuff up ) To say I matched it with the perfect wine, would be an understatement.

Grant Burge label

Grant Burge is the winemaker behind the Hillcott Merlot.  Kim was tasting that last night as well.  I had written about this wine back in May of this year.  Read the blog here.   I had kicked off my long weekend in May with this beauty.  It was smooth and I loved the aromatics on this wine.  The oak was well integrated and not overpowering at all.  Ahh, another week where we highlight a great Merlot.

Butchers gold

Here’s a wine I tried this past week.  At a great price point, it’s a nice little wine to open any night of the week.  It comes in at around $13 and is 80% Shiraz and 20% Sangiovese.  It’s full-bodied, meaty and nice tannic structure.  It pairs well with food, however, my friend and I had no trouble finishing the bottle after the meal.

Larry Uteck Gang

Before I go, I have to give a shout out to these fine people, they are the staff at the NSLC store on Larry Uteck.  Over the past couple of months, I have bought several friends to the NSLC location on Larry Uteck here in Halifax.  And every single friend leaves the store saying they have never had an NSLC experience quite like this one.  This group of people continue to wow customers every single day!   So hats off to the people who put up with me every week, and always have a fine recommendation.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Drink The Wine You Love!

Posted in Wine on November 15, 2014 by darmyers

Love Your Wine

I love this wine…. what do you think of it?  In the end, does it really matter?   I read a quote recently that said “Love the Wine You Drink and Drink the Wine You Love”.   My friend Judy always says, ‘Life is too short to drink cheap wine”!  I like to say ‘Life is too short to drink bad wine’.  Price tags are irrelevant – if you like the wine… drink up.

Wine drink the good stuff

No wine critic, reviewer, Sommelier, or fellow wine drinker, can tell you if a wine is good.  If you like it, it’s good.  When asked can I recommend a good wine, my first question tends to be ‘what wine do you currently like?’  This will give me a general idea of which grape and which country you are currently enjoying.  And if you’re anything like me, I have ‘fads’.  For example, this summer, you couldn’t get me out of the California section.  I go through a California phase every once in a while.  Recently, it was 2 months of Australian wine.  As I headed to the wine store yesterday evening, I had no idea what I was going to come home with… but I wanted to try a wine I had never had.  Here’s the result!

Fall 2014 Part 2 064

The Valdivieso 2010 Reserva Merlot from Chile.  The reason I chose this particular wine, I had never had it before and I believe its relative won the Best of Show at the Port of Wines last year.    Correct me if I’m wrong.  So this is what I popped open last night.  Earthy is the first word that came to mind.  First of all, let this wine sit for a while, after you open it.  I didn’t at first, and the oak overpowered the wine a bit.  As it sat for a while, it mellowed and I could enjoy the wine.  However, it never lost its earthiness.   At around $25, another Merlot I have had in the past week I found to be much better.

Candor Merlot

My friend Rayell from NSLC tells me I had this wine after the Port of Wines last year.  I didn’t attend the Port of Wines last year, as I was visiting my parents in Newfoundland.  But she was confident I had this wine before.  Well shame on me for waiting a full year to buy it again.  Except for some Right Bank Bordeaux wines, this one was probably one of the best Merlot wines I have ever had.  At $25 it’s a winner.  This Merlot is exceptionally rich and voluptuous, and although has seen oak, the oak in no way dominates the wine.   When I was enjoying this last weekend, I was thinking Right Bank Bordeaux.  It comes from the Hope Family of wines which also has the Liberty School series of wines.

LIberty School Chardonnay

Rayell told me she had this wine this past week, and it was fantastic.  I am going to give it a try this coming week, it’s the Liberty School Chardonnay, and I will write about it next week.  She tells me it’s 90% Chardonnay, 5% Viognier and 5% Marsanne, and the blend is perfect.  I am really looking forward to trying it.

Bogle Merlot wine

If you don’t want to spend $25 on a wine, here’s one I’ve written about a few times before.  A fantastic wine, from California, and  comes in at about $22.  One of my favorite Merlot wines.  Again, it’s rich and voluptous and so easy to drink.   With either of these two wines, I found them fantastic with food, or all by itself.

Wow, it’s been all about the Merlot this week.   Take that Paul Giamatti from Sideways.  We are drinking the Merlot this week.

Have you tried a new wine this week?  If so, I would love to hear about it.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

Wine & The Movies!

Posted in Wine on November 11, 2014 by darmyers

I’m not sure why, but many people can’t find this post, so I’ll try re-blogging it

Wine-In My Opinion

Wine step aside

I posted this on the Wine In My Opinion Facebook page yesterday and got some great feedback and likes.  On a Friday afternoon, after a long week at work, I thought it was fitting.  Most Friday nights, especially the hectic ones leading up to Christmas, I look forward to a relaxing glass of wine and a movie.  Thinking about it, wine plays a significant role in many movies.  Let’s look at a few

Sideway

A blog about wine and movies has to start with Sideways.  I loved this movie so much I went out and bought it.  I like this movie for several reasons.

1.  I love the acting of all four of the central characters.  Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virgina Madsen and Sandra Oh are brilliant.

2.  It contains one of my favorite lines ‘I’m not drinking any f**kin’ Merlot“… or “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving”. …

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Wine & The Movies!

Posted in Wine on November 8, 2014 by darmyers

Wine step aside

I posted this on the Wine In My Opinion Facebook page yesterday and got some great feedback and likes.  On a Friday afternoon, after a long week at work, I thought it was fitting.  Most Friday nights, especially the hectic ones leading up to Christmas, I look forward to a relaxing glass of wine and a movie.  Thinking about it, wine plays a significant role in many movies.  Let’s look at a few

Sideway

A blog about wine and movies has to start with Sideways.  I loved this movie so much I went out and bought it.  I like this movie for several reasons.

1.  I love the acting of all four of the central characters.  Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virgina Madsen and Sandra Oh are brilliant.

2.  It contains one of my favorite lines ‘I’m not drinking any f**kin’ Merlot“… or “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving”.  You know I’m a huge fan of Merlot.   Here’s a few reasons why.  Sorry Paul, I love the Merlot.

thorn Merlot Ghost 3 Bogle Merlot wine

3.  Paul Giamatti summed up all the reasons I like Pinot Noir better than I did.  I quote him a lot.

4.  This road trip between the two guys was the best road trip I’ve seen in the movies since Thelma and Louise.

Blues Brothers  dom perignon

Dom Perignon has made appearances in many movies, including many James Bond movies, but a movie you might not expect to have Dom Perignon featured is the Blues Brothers.  Dom Perignon is a classic champagne named after a Benedictine monk who did NOT invent the bubbly concoction, he improved on it.  When tasting it for the first time, Dom, who was blind, was noted as saying ‘Come quickly, I’m tasting the stars”.   In the movie of course, the waiter says ‘we have a Dom Perignon, ’71, for $120 … to which Jake replies, “that’ll be fine pal!”   Oh by the way, that same vintage of Dom Perignon can sell up to $1900 US today.  It was a good deal for $120

Hanibal  Leonardo

If you’ve ever watched Silence of the Lambs featuring Anthony Hopkins as Hanibal Lecter, no one could ever forget the line I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”.  Now personally I prefer my Chianti with some fabulous pasta, but that’s just me.  And I like this Leonardo Chianti, it’s under $20 and comes in this spiffy looking basket.  And its a tasty Chianti.  For those of you that have never had Chianti, Chianti is a very dry wine.  Which is probably why I love it with pasta with lots of creamy sauce.  A great match.

Godfather 2  Bardolino

And in the Godfather Part 2, did you know that Michael Corleone drank Bardolino at his sons Communion.  Bardolino is a medium bodied wine from the Veneto region in Italy.  The one on the right is the one available in our Liquor Store, and it’s from Masi.  Made from Corvina and Molinara grapes, this tasty Bardolino is under $15 and has really nice flavors of cherry, plums and spices.  It will compliment any tomato based dishes, including pasta, as well as cured meats and antipasto.

Well, we could go on and on… and I probably will write another blog about this one day…

What’s your favorite movie to enjoy a glass of wine with?

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

 

 

November Wines

Posted in Wine & Food on November 1, 2014 by darmyers

 

November

Hard to believe November is here!  People I work with are starting to put on their winter tires and I bought my first pack of Christmas cards the other day.  Yes, November is here, with its cool days and chilly nights.  And although right now, it looks like the top picture here in Nova Scotia.  It’s won’t be long before it will look like this.

Halifax storm

Yes, November is here.  And for me it means comfort food and great wine!

Wondering which wines works with your favorite comfort food?  Here are a few of my favorite comfort foods and the wines I love to have with them.
 Lohr Chard Label
1.  Chicken Pot Pie & Chardonnay
Chicken pot pie tops the list because it’s on the menu for this weekend.   And for me, nothing compliments a delicious chicken pot pie than a creamy California Chardonnay.  The buttery flavors that usually go with a California Chardonnay and the hint of oak, combine to make a great pairing, but it still has enough acidity to cut through the creamy sauce.  You won’t want to come out of your comfy pajamas and this could become your favorite winter combo.
Roast beef Wine & Food Beringer Knight
2.  Roast Beef (Beef Stew) and Cabernet Sauvignon
Funny story.  My mother makes the best beef stew ever.  The meat is tender and the gravy in the stew is to die for.  Her pot roast on the other hand, is so well cooked and dry that it flakes.  Go figure, same meat – totally different outcomes.  Here’s a pairing that works two ways… first of all, any roast beef recipe is enhanced when a good Cabernet Sauvignon is added.  And then it’s the perfect wine to enjoy the roast beef with.  I love a good flavorful California Cabernet Sauvignon as well, and the one pictured is a new one I have tried this week.   It’s the Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and it is so good.  Knights Valley is land about 17 miles from the Beringer vineyards that they have been farming for years.  And top quality soil means exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon.  Gorgeous rich flavors of blackberry, blueberry, nutmeg and maple.  This wine has comfort food written all over it.
Linguine 1 Lucente label Sandhill Sangiovese
3.  Pasta & a Wide Variety of Italian Wines.
The pasta on the left is a linguine that I make with a homemade green olive paste and 4 cheeses.  Oh, and did I mention there’s real bacon in there too… yeah, it’s one of my favorite.  The Lucente wine you may remember from my blog a few weeks back when I wrote about the Port of Wines show… it was one of my favorites from the show.  Glossy tannins, great structure and an exotic finish on the wine.. this wine is the reason I want to visit Tuscanny one day.  The other wine is a Canadian wine but a grape with Italian origins.  It’s the Sandhill Sangiovese from the Okanagan Valley.  Winemaker Howard Soon, who I wrote about after seeing him in Halifax, makes a spectacular Sangiovese.   Here’s what winemaker Howard Soon had to say about this wine
“Our Sangiovese is the first Sangiovese grown and produced as a VQA wine in Canada. We did this to prove the value of the Sandhill site – intense heat, dry desert conditions, and sandy soil. Use of traditional Brunello yeast, classic winemaking methods, and aging in small French oak barrels all contribute to a special wine experience. Bottle aging for 1 to 2 years should reveal even more subtle complexities.”
If you haven’t tried this Sangiovese, I highly recommend it.
Wine Time finally
I would love to hear what’s on your menu this first weekend of November?  And which wine you are pairing with it.  Please feel free to drop me a message.  Or you can join me on Facebook.  Find us here Wine In My Opinion
Till next week, Cheers
Darlene