Spooktacular Wine Finds!

Wine Fall

I have been so lucky in wine lately.  I  have hit upon several fantastic wines that I have been enjoying again and again and they are at a surprisingly good price.   So with Halloween just around the corner, I thought I would share some of these good wines at scary great prices.


Since writing about this wine a few weeks back, I have enjoyed it several more times.  I have also poured it for several friends to get their opinion.  This is a blockbuster wine for just $15.99.  It’s called Farmers of Wine and I have been buying it out when I can.  The lady at the NSLC told me they under-estimated how well this wine was going to sell, and didn’t order enough in.  It’s a blend of Primitivo (Zinfandel) and Negromara, and is just so easy to drink.  This project is amazing and features grape growers, the youngest of whom is 66 years old and the oldest is 86 years old.  These men know grapes and they know wine, and we get to experience the wealth of their knowledge through this amazing wine.  Pick it up today if you can find it,  it’s already hard to get!


A few weeks back I wrote about this wonderful Moma wine, from Umberto Cesari and I’ve had that one several times.  A fantastic wine for just $19.99, it’s a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  So I recently had the opportunity to try one of its sister wines.  The ‘iove’ from Umberto Cesari, is a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot.  Very tasty, smooth, easy to drink and this wine has seen no oak.  Aged 3 months in stainless steel and 3 months in the bottle, it was a good find.  If you’re going to ask me to pick, I would have to go with the Moma though.  I personally feel these grapes need to see a bit of oak to bring some complexity and smoothness.  I would have to try it again though,  because my friend and I shared this bottle of wine with steak and it was a little light for the steak.


For my white wine loving friends, this California Chardonnay from Clos du Bois is lovely and smooth and comes in under $20 again.  Golden apple and butter flavors…sounds wonderful, doesn’t it.  And it is.. And it’s a great deal of a wine.

And my wine of the week is a wine I had in a Greek restaurant last weekend….


AWESOME!  The Le Poiane 2013 Valpolicella Ripasso was a dream in a bottle.  I love Ripasso, its not as expensive as Amarone but it has all those awesome flavors.  Valipolicella wine is ‘passed over’ Amarone skins and must (must is the seeds and skins) to savor some of those wildly delicious flavors.  Grapes are hand harvested but I think what gives this wine great complexity is the fact that its aged in both casks and barrels.  It brings to the table black pepper and spicy notes, and it went wonderful with our Greek meal of Spanakopita, Mousaka and a mushroom ravioli.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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This is me… LOL.. Wanting to go trick or treating for wine.  Have a wonderful Halloween and be safe out there.

Till next week, Cheers


Storm Wine!

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So the East Coast of Canada is getting wolloped today with a nasty rain storm.  100 mm of rain in some parts, high winds and a chance of a thundershower.   I was supposed to participate in a run, however, I think this is the plan today….

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There has been lots of new wines released lately thanks in part to the recent Port of Wines Festival, and I’ve been trying news wines over the past couple of weeks.


Here’s a refreshing new wine I’ve tried recently.  From Castello Monaci it’s the Coribante blend which is Syrah and Malvasia Nera di Lecce.  Like you, I’ve never heard of Malvasia Nera di Lecce before this particular wine, but it is extremely popular in Italy.  The name of the wine is inspired by the lively nature of the “Coribanti” dancers, who frenetically danced to the rhythm of the tambourine.  And I found this to be a lively wine on the palate, and thoroughly enjoyable.  Aged in barriques for 12 months, which are smaller oak barrels, the wine has a subtle smoothness that I enjoyed very much.


Here’s a beauitful Argentinian wine I tried recently from the Mendoza region.  This is a gorgeous blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Syrah, which has been aged in both French and American oak for  6 months.  Regular readers will remember French oak is quite subtle as opposed to American oak, but the combination of the two makes for a complex wine with rustic notes.  I found it quite good.


Here’s a great wine for a stormy Saturday.   My friend Judy had her birthday this past week and we are celebrating it tonight.  This is the wine I picked to give her for a birthday present.   It’s one of her favorutes, it’s the Renwood Zinfandel.  Renwood  was established in 1993 and is producing some of the finest Zinfandel wines I’ve tasted.   Very well respected in the Sierra foothills, this Zinfandel is rich and fruity and a very food friendly wine.

And my wine of the week…..


Is another Zinfandel, the 1000 Stories Zinfandel, aged in Bourbon barrels.   Batch #1 of the 1000 Stories Zinfandel was bottled on October 29, 2014 and it was a 2013 vintage.   As you can see by my picture I enjoyed the 2014 vintage.  Made by winemaker Bob Blue, who says the key to a wonderful Zinfandel is picking the grapes when they are very ripe.  This is a wonderful Zinfandel and the bourbon barrels adds a delicious charred vanilla flavour and some herbal notes to the wine.

Wine step aside

Well that’s it for this week.  Again thank you very much for taking time out of your day to read my wine blog.   I hope it gives you a craving to be a little adventurous and try a new wine.

Till next week, cheers.


Comfort Food & Great Wine


What does your favorite comfort food look like?  For me, it’s creamy pastas, chili or homemade soup.  Even a steak, which I don’t eat often, but love it when I do.  Comfort food is just that… comfortable.  It nourishes our soul, and we start to feel good and let go of anything that resembles a bad day.  Wine that goes with comfort food should do the same thing.


One thing is for certain, pretty well any food that is done in a slow cooker or crock pot is comforting food.  One of my favorite dishes done in a crock pot is pot roast.  It’s to the point I don’t like roast cooked any other way.  Well, I can’t cook it any other way that I love it as much as I do in a crock pot.   Sooooo many wines pair well with pot roast.  And they don`t have to be red.  Here`s one of my favorite pot roast white wines.


Thomas Bachelder Chardonnay.  Thomas Bachelder is a Canadian who is one of the finest winemakers in this country.  He produces wine here in Canada, in Oregon and in Burgundy France.  This bottle is from the Niagara region here in Canada, and let me tell you, he knows his soil.  Dolomitic Limestone is what this beauty is grown in and the winemaker feels it gives the wine a rich mouthfeel and floral notes on the palate.  This is a great expression of Canadian Chardonnay.


Here`s a new beauty I have discovered recently which would be excellent with pot roast.  The Exhibitionist Merlot out of South Australia.  I didn`t realize that Merlot was grown much in South Australia, but this particular wine has made me a believer.  Spending 6 months in aged french oak, this makes the wine smooth but not oaky, if that makes sense.  The oak n no way over-powers the wine, and doesn`t get in the way of the beautiful fruit of the wine. It`s only $17 a bottle, and so worth the money.


I once heard someone say Steak is the ultimate comfort food, so it`s no time to skimp on quality or calories.  I couldn`t agree more.  This is a great new Cabernet Sauvignon from Concha Y Toro.  The Casillero del Riablo Reserva Privada Cabernet is as dark and rich as the label looks.   It is well structured but elegant all at the same time, and this particular wine involved Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from some of the finest valleys in Chile.  It truly is a classy wine, and a winner if you want to take to someone`s house.

Norman Kolpas says `Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has the ability to comfort.

Which brings me to my wine of the week….


Here`s a great wine that I would love it if everyone tried, because it is part of such a unique project in Italy.  The project celebrates the work, the lifelong dedication and commitment that farmers of wine and grapes have given for so many years.  It originates in Puglia (pronounced Pew-lia) and is known for Primitivo, which is Zinandel.  They have also added Negroamara which produces a very smooth wine.  The vines the wines are grown on are between 30 and 50 years old, which adds subtle flavors and smooth nuances.   Because of its blend it is a perfect pizza wine, and a perfect wine to go with pasta and BBQ fare.  At $15.99 a bottle, this wine won`t last long, if you can find it, grab it.

Have a great week everyone and I hope you are enjoying Fall as much as I am.

Till next week, Cheers

Wines I’m Particularly Thankful For!


This is my favorite long weekend, the Thanksgiving weekend.  I love the cool temperatures and the pretty colors, and I’m always thankful for long weekends.  Here in Canada, this is the weekend we celebrate Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for some great people in my life, and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to enjoy some great wines with wonderful family and friends. I have had the opportunity to try some new wines lately and here are a few that stood out for me.

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I’ve had the Menage a Trois many times before, it’s a great barbecue wine.  Well I tried it’s sister over the past couple of weeks, called Menage a Trois Silk, soft red blend.  It’s called soft red blend because the base is a Pinot Noir and the Pinot is blended with Malbec and Petite Sirah.  This is an easy to drink wine that would also be very food friendly.  Nice soft flavors with floral notes and a bit of spice.   I enjoyed it and it was a very reasonable price.


I had a hard time picking my wine of the week this week, because I tried a few new wines and they were wonderfully delicious.  This is one that was a “wine of the week” contender.  The Umberto Cesari Momo Rosso is a delicious blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and it comes in under $20.  Fabulous wine at a fabulous price.  I absolutely loved this wine and it would compliment all those Thanksgiving favorites.


This wine not only has a fun name and a fun label, it was fun to drink.  The Exhibitionist is a Merlot from South Australia, and I have to tell you I haven’t had a ton of experience with Australian Merlots.  But I did really enjoy this one.  It comes in at around the $17, so it’s a great little wine at a great price.  Very juicy on the palate and not dominated by oak, which I really liked.  Another great wine for comfort foods, if you like beef stews and lamb – this is your wine.  I recently bought this wine to a gathering of friends in my building and they all loved it as well.

And now its time for my Wine of the Week


We go to Chile, for a spectacular wine comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Carmenere and Merlot.  It spent 12 months in French oak, but as we know French oak is very subtle and compliments a well made wine.  This Primus was actually one of the first Meritage style wines produced in Chile.  Some of you may remember Meritage is a wine that is a Bordeaux style of blend, but many vineyards use the word Meritage in Canada and the United States. And when I checked this Chilean wine does have American influence, as winemaker Agustin Huneeus has produced some of the finest Meritage blends in the U.S.  Roasted and barbecued meats and chicken is a great pairing for this wine.  It was a great wine and only $25.  Treat yourself and try this one.

I have been blessed with many things in my life. I am thankful this weekend to each and every one of the readers that takes time from a busy schedule to read my wine blog.  It why I consistently do it every weekend.  And I am thankful for family and friends that make me feel thankful every day.  And of course to this little guy,


Leo brings so much joy to my life, that I am very thankful.  Enjoy the weekend, stay safe.

Till next week, Cheers


Festival of Wine Favorites

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The Festival of Wines was last weekend, and although I gave you a sneak peak at some of the great wines being featured, I thought I would share with you some of my favorites.   One of my CAPS Instructors and wine friends said in a post after the festival, “I don’t just celebrate with wine, I celebrate wine!”  And I thought that was very fitting.  Because most wine lovers here in Nova Scotia spent last weekend celebrating wine itself.

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My apologies for the blurry picture on the left, but I wanted to introduce you to the 2010 Castiglion Del Bosco Brunello Di Montalcino, because it was one of my favorite wines from the show.  This wine has been receiving accolades and 90+ points from many wine experts.  I’m not a wine expert, just a wine lover and I give this wine two thumbs up.  Rich and plummy, (plummy can only be a word in the wine world) with an earthiness you would expect in an Italian wine.  Great structure with hints of tobacco on the palate, this wine is another great example of a wine to pair with comfort foods.


When I think of New Zealand red wines, the first thought that usually comes to mind is Pinot Noir.  However, Babich vineyards in the Marlborough region of Hawkes Bay has put out a fantastic Syrah.  This wine spent extended time on the skins, which means it has a rich beautiful color and good tannins.  It then spent 11 months in French oak, so you know the oak is not over-powering, but subtle.  Black plums with hints of vanilla, this wine won a Gold medal at a wine competition in China, and is a match made in heaven with your favorite charcuterie board.


Here’s another favorite.  The Antinori 2012 Tignanello Toscana IGT, is a mouthful to say and a mouthful on the palate.  This gorgeous wine is made from a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and is the first Sangiovese to be aged in barriques.  What is a barrique could be your next question.  A barrique is a wine barrel, but it is a barrel that is much smaller than the average barrel, holds 225 liters and was designed in the Bordeaux region of France. So this particular wine was aged for 12 months in a barrique and then another 12 months in the bottle before release.  Great wine.  Approximately $88 a bottle.

And my wine of the week….


For my wine of the week, I am coming back to Canada.  5 Vineyards Cabernet Merlot from Mission Hill in British Columbia.  This wine showcases outsourcing from 5 estate vineyards in the Okanagan Valley.   They all come from very unique micro climates but they are not so far apart that the flavors don’t compliment one another.  This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot, was a beautiful Canadian expression of a Bordeaux wine.  It tasted very Bordeaux to me.  Growing Bordeaux varietals in this part of Canada can be challenging because of our short growing season here in Canada… let’s face it, it gets cold early.  But the folks at Mission Hill have done a spectacular job on this one.


Well, that’s it for me for this week.  Till next week, Cheers