Wine and Soup – A Match Made In Heaven

Hello march

While Icemageddon has us in its tight grasp, and doesn’t seem to want to let go…. we had a bit of fun at work with the ultimate comfort food!  Soup!  We have had about 5 weeks of flash freezes and snow storms, so we did a soup cook-off at work.  And they were all delicious, but let’s pair some wines with these soups, as they were all very different.


There were 5 fabulous selections, and each one very different.  The winner was a Tequila Taco Soup.  Yum!  Even though I made soup to compete, this was the hands down winner for me as well.  And here’s a picture of our lovely winner.

Sue discovers Riesling

Sue was the winner.  And regular readers of the blog will remember Sue from a wine blog this past Summer when she discovered Riesling.  Riesling Sue we’ll call her.  She made the Tequila Taco Soup with all the fixings includes a lime wedge, sour cream and the corn chips.

Tequila Taco Soup

Many people will tell you that a beer is the ultimate match for this soup, a red or a white wine would pair well also.   Here’s a rule of thumb to remember.  The spicier the soup, the sweeter and colder the wine.   So for a very spicy version, I would try a Riesling, like this Wakefield from Australia.

Winter 2015 006

Crisp, fresh and delicious.  This wine goes well with many Mexican food dishes.  However, Sue didn’t overload the spice.  So there could be many wine options for this soup.  A Beaujolais, chilled, would be another fun wine to have with this soup.


Like this George DuBoeuf Brouilly Beaujolais from France.  For those of you not familiar with Beaujolais, it is made from the Gamay grape and comes from the southern part of Burgundy France.  The Beaujolais region is the largest region in Burgundy, and produces about 12 million bottles a year.  This is a light bodied wine with candied aromas and very light fruity palates.  Wine critics have been known to say ‘it’s the only white wine that’s red’.  You serve a Beaujolais chilled and would be a great wine for this soup.

Jalapeno corn chowder

2nd place went to the winner of the chili cook-off, Tom Bedell.  This delicious soup was a Jalapeno Corn Chowder and I had to have two bowls.  The above wines would work for this soup too, but another wine to consider would be Mersault, which is a Chardonnay from the Burgundy region of France.  Here’s one of my all time favorites.

Pierre Andre Mersault

If you are not familiar with Mersault, or it’s a little pricy for the budget, any Chardonnay would go great.  Or try a Chardonnay blend, like the Conundrum white.


This delightful wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and has gorgeous tropical flavors with a hint of vanilla.  If you haven’t tried this wine yet, you should.

Baked potato soup

My soup came in 3rd place and was a Baked Potato Soup with cheese and real bacon on top.  This is a thick and hearty soup with lots of cream.  So, a great soup to pair with red wine.  My personal choice would be a Pinot Noir.  But there are so many options available.  Typically, your favorite wine would probably match this soup.  Here’s a couple of my favorites.

bl 14 DrsCk Pinot-front Whitehaven

The Saint Clair Family estate with their Pioneer Block Pinot Noir and the Whitehaven Pinot Noir are both from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.  And the region is producing some lovely Pinot Noir wines.  Food friendly, easy to drink, and flavorful.

pasta soup  Viognier

Kate made a delicious pasta soup with lots of veggies.  Another great soup that would go with red or white.  A white like a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a Viognier would go well.  I have the Stags Leap Viognier next to it.  A great red would be a Tempranillo, and here’s my latest favorite Tempranillo.


And last but certainly not least, Rich made a delicious Thai chicken with sweet potato soup.  Dear Lord this was good.

Thai chicken soup Gaspereau RieslingRobert Mondavi Fume Blanc

For me… I was enjoying this soup yesterday wishing I had a glass of Riesling.  Match made in heaven, like this Riesling from Gaspereau Vineyards.  But if you don’t like a sweeter wine, again Sauvignon Blanc, the versatile white that goes with any appetizer.   And of course Fume Blanc, which is Sauvignon Blanc made by Robert Mondavi,  would be perfect as well.


Here is a picture of the other cooks, minus the winner, who had to run to a meeting.  We had a lot of fun, and are having another cook-off the end of March.

Before I go, my new wine of the week is… Conundrum Red Blend.

Conundrum red

Conundrum white has been out for a while and winemaker Charlie Wagner has released a red blend.  And here’s the thing, he’s not telling anyone what varietals are in it.  He said as a kid, he used to watch his father blend wines at the kitchen table all the time.  But he’s staying mum on the varietals, encouraging people to try it on their own.  I definitely detected Zinfandel, with it’s jammy berry flavors and a bit of smoke on the palate.  I also detected chocolate and even a bit of smoky bacon.   It was very tasty, however, with the second glass it got jammier.  A little thick on the palate, and personally, I have to question the $26 price point.   Don’t take this as a negative, it’s just my opinion.  Anyone who loves the big bold California blends like I do, will really like this wine.

Till next week, Cheers



Wines To Keep You Warm!

Lucy in the Snow

Is anyone else sick of Winter yet?  For those of you who don’t know, I live in the Maritimes.  And the Maritimes is receiving a lot of press lately, across Canada.  Sadly, it’s because of all the snow we’ve been receiving.  And although Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick are receiving it in batches of 70 and 80 cms, Halifax is still receiving its fair share.  And the problem is that it usually melts in between snowfalls.  Not this time.  I’m ready to hibernate.  And here are some of the wines I would take with me on a winter hibernation.

hot to trot whitehot to trot

Anything with the word ‘hot’ will be sure to make my wine rack this February.  Hot to Trot makes a white and a red blend, from 14 Hands.   14 Hands is a vineyard in Washington State that is putting out some fantastic wines, and they are named for the wild mustang horses that run free in the State of Washington.  The white blend consists mostly of Chardonnay with some Pinot Gris and Semillion.  Gorgeous flavors of pears and melon with a fresh crisp acidity.  I love this white wine.  The red blend is basically Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.  A fantastic blend with plump juicy fruits and some baking spice.  These are fun easy to drink wines that come in under the $20 mark.

SandhillSandhill Pinot Gris

I could go for some sun and sand right now!  Who’s with me?  So I had to include a couple of my favorites from Canada’s Sandhill Vineyard.   The Cabernet Merlot is a full-bodied blend that packs a punch with plums and cassis flavors.  The Pinot Gris is one of my favorite Pinot Gris wines.  Apples, melons and pineapples.. wow!  Winemaker Howard Soon does a fabulous job on this Pinot Gris.

Kate Pinot Gris

Here’s the Kate Radburnd Sun Kissed Pinot Gris.  Made in Hawkes Bay New Zealand, it’s light and fresh and a perfect summer time beverage.  (insert daydream that involves the sun here)

Place In the Sun

South Africa produces the Place In The Sun Shiraz.  This is a medium bodied Shiraz with ripe berry fruit flavors and a hint of smoke on the palate.

All this talk of the sun makes me want to book a vacation.  Right now, I would like to tell you about my new wine of the week…..

Bell Echo Pinot

It’s this gorgeous Pinot Noir from New Zealand, Bel Echo by Clos Henri.   Made by the Bourgeois family, this Pinot Noir is a terroir driven wine and in my opinion reflects the Burgundian style of Pinot.  The family were growing wines in the Sancerre region of France, and decided to make the move to the New  World.  After checking out California, Chile, Australia and South Africa, they settled in New Zealand, because of the climate and the terroir.    This beauty had gorgeous flavors of red currant fruits, a bit of a floral note and hints of smoke.   Last night, after a freezing cold day, I came home, had a hot bath and enjoyed every sip of this beautiful wine.  It was a great Friday night treat.

Grumpy Cold

Till next week, stay warm… and Cheers



Wines That Say I Love You

Wine Valetines

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  I hope everyone has a great day, a wonderful Valentine’s weekend and a great bottle of wine.  Here are a couple of fun wines that show the special person in your life how sweet they are.

Dreaming Tree Crush  Dreaming Tree chardonnay

If you’re dreaming of your special Valentine, there’s no better place than the Dreaming Tree.  This wine is owned by musician Dave Matthews and Steve Reeder.   The passion they share for fun and easy to drink wine had them collaborate to create the Dreaming Tree line of wines.  I love that the labels are made from recyclable paper, the corks are recyclable and the bottles are made lightweight so they burn less fuel when being shipped.  The red Crush was a staple in my wine rack all BBQ season with the yummy smoky berry flavors, and the Chardonnay has gorgeous peach and pear flavors with a hint of citrus.

Manage a trois botle  Midnight

Not sure what Valentine’s Day has in store for you, but this Menage a Trois is a delicious blend of 3 grapes, Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  So you know it has great structure, juicy berry flavors and the spice and smokiness of the Zinfandel.  And now they have come out with the dark and mysterious Midnight Menage a Trois.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day.  Since I haven’t tried the Midnight yet, I am going to quote their website on this one.

“It’s our most intense expression yet, a passionate red blend bursting with dusky aromas, an extraordinarily deep color, and rich, ripe black fruit. Don’t be shy—turn out the lights and savor the pleasures of the dark. ” 

Wine Happy woman

I’m told by the guys I work with that they stress all the time about keeping their woman happy.  That’s not a bad thing, I just don’t think it’s as hard as what they make it out to be.  Treat her kindly, with respect, and add wine!  Easy.


Here’s a fun wine for Valentine’s Day.  The Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz.  And I’m willing to bet you’ve never had it before.  I have to be honest, I haven’t either.  It’s not available in Nova Scotia, but it is available throughout other parts of Canada.  It’s an Australian Shiraz, a special event wine, coming in at over $100 per bottle, but it has been given high ratings, like 95 Points across the board.

My new wine of the week.. Well Actually, I have two.  This wonderful Pinot Noir from  Hahn Vineyards in California.  I have written about their GSM previously, a delicious blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.  This Pinot Noir didn’t disappoint as well.  It was absolutely lovely.  Gorgeous flavors of black cherry, plums and all spice.  I loved it!   And the wine on the right is a wonderful Italian wine that my friend Rayell suggested I try.  The 2009 Talamonti Kudos is a blend of 70% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo and 30% Merlot.  Price point comes in at $27 here in Nova Scotia, but worth every penny.  If you are under the impression Italian wines are really really dry, this will have you loving Italian wine.  It was juicy and flavorful, a perfect amount of structure and an impressive finish.  This wine is so food friendly, pasta of course, but also steak and any other hearty meat dish.

Hahn Pinot  Talamonti

Grumpy Valentine's 2

And although everyone’s favorite grumpy feline is not a fan of Valetine’s Day, I hope you have a good one.  Me, I’m going to curl up and watch a movie.  And definitely pour a glass of wine.

Till next week, Cheers


A Fond Farewell in Fine Wine Style!


This gorgeous lady is my friend Jayme.  We will be friends forever, but up until yesterday we also worked together.  She is pursuing another exciting opportunity and we threw her a farewell party last night.  Some of the work gang got together to say goodbye.  There was wine, there was lots of wine.

Jayme's party

Did I mention there was wine?  Our friend Kate kicked off the night with a great wine from Portugal.


The Altano Douro 2012 from Portugal has been voted one of the top 25 wines from Portugal.  It’s a tempranillo, organic and at under $13, has been called a ‘brilliant bargain’ by many websites.  Made by Symington, the largest organic wine farmers in the region, this beauty from Douro is medium to full-bodied, earthy and all kinds of flavors.  It was a winner.


Another tempranillo has me dubbing this wine the best value in the store right now.  This is the Anciano Gran Reserva tempranillo.  We enjoyed several bottles of the 2006 last night, and I do mean several.  It’s aged at least 7 years, with a couple of years in mellow oak to bring out the best flavors of the wine.  This wine is on sale right now for $12.99 and it’s a great wine.   At 9 years of age, its a mature tasting wine, it has a softness that comes from aging and fresh strawberry fruit.  I love this wine and have bought several more bottles.

Wee Angus

Anyone familiar with Angus the Bull wine will appreciate the baby brother… Wee Angus.   Sue bought the 2011 Wee Angus, which is a Cabernet Merlot blend and everyone at the party that tried it – loved it!  How can you not.. all the great tannic structure of the Cabernet and the juicy plumpness and flavors of the Merlot.   A subtle touch of vanilla oak made it a hit at the party.

Jayme 2

So although I can’t peek over the rim of her cubicle for a quick chat anymore, we are still going to enjoy Thai food and Riesling together.

New wine of the week..


The Romeira Vinho Tinto Regional Alentejo Colheita Seleccionada.  Try saying that 3 times fast… who am I kidding, try saying it once.  It’s a mouthful… both on the tongue and on the palate.  This is another beauty from Portugal with a tempranillo grape as well as Alfrocheiro Preto added in.  Now that’s a new grape for me… the Alfrocheiro Preto is a grape from Portugal added for its rich dark color.   It was delicious for a wine under $15 with its earthy flavors and hints of plum.

Next weekend is Valentine’s so we will be featuring Wines that say I love you!

Till next week, Cheers