The Writer’s Block Wine Blog


I started blogging about wine almost 8 years ago!   Every Saturday, pretty well 52 weeks a year, I write a wine blog.   I’ve always been very adventurous when it comes to trying new wine, however week after week and year after year, sometimes I hit a wall.  A writer’s block wall.   This wine blog was initially named “Who Knows”,  (LOL) and then I realized most people won’t read a wine blog called Who Knows!   And although I’m kind of stumped as to the theme of this weeks wine blog, I do have some new wines to share with you!

portillo pinot

If you love Pinot Noir as much as I do, but feel there should be a hefty price tag attached to it, this wine is the answer to your prayers.   A light bodied, easy to drink Pinot thats big on flavour.   Nice flavours of cranberry and spice, this food friendly wine is priced under $13 a bottle.  Great wine at a great value.

And now for my wine of the week……

purple cowboy

I took a purple cowboy to a party last weekend.  I love the story behind this wi e, because the creator of this wine is a lady called Terry Wheatley.   And this lady knows a thing or two about Cowboys, both her husband and son are champion rodeo  cowboys.  Terry is also a breast cancer survivor, and started the ‘Tough enough to wear Pink’ campaign.  The wine is named after the band of purple cowboys, a legendary group of winemaking cowboys.   The wine is from Paso Robles California, and the Tenacious Red is a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.  In a word, Delicious!

kale wine

I’m hoping I’m a little more inspired next weekend.  Till next week, Cheers


Storm Wine

wine storm 3

There’s a storm brewing, a major snowstorm expecting to hit Eastern Canada this coming Sunday evening.  Some areas are expected to get 60 – 80 cms of snow.  You’re going to need to stock up on wine, as it will take a while to shovel out from that one.

Help is here.  Here’s a few great wines to help you weather the storm, as I’ve had the opportunity to try a few new ones over the past couple of weeks.  To start, I have a couple of Cote du Rhone wines to tell you about.  My Welsh friend Mair lives wine from the Cote du Rhone region.

wine saint trigan

Any time grape harvesting is done by hand, you are getting a better quality grape which in turn means a better quality wine. That’s the case with the Chateau du Trignon Cote du Rhone, of which I tried the 2016 vintage.  This beautiful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre comes in under $20 yet contains appealing aromas of strawberries and raspberries, and subtle spicy notes on the palate.  It’s such a tasty wine at a really good value.  And speaking of tasty Cote du Rhone wines…

wine saint cosme

Unlike the previous Cote du Rhone, this Saint Cosme 2017 is 100% Syrah, not a blend.  The spicy notes of the Syrah are evident on the palate along with flavors of full-bodied fruit and tobacco.  A great wine for roasted meats or a BBQ, this wine is sold here for $30 a bottle.

mascota cab franc

This Mascota Cabernet Franc is a fantastic value and came close to being the wine of the week.  At only $17.48 a bottle, Cab Franc is usually seen as a blend in regions like Bordeaux France, but this stand alone from Argentina hits it out of the ball park with flavor and good value.  It’s a perfectly balanced elegant wine that will have you wishing for more storm days.

And now for my wine of the week…..

wine saint bordeaux

If you’re in the mood to treat yourself this weekend, but still not break the bank, I loved the Chateau le Puy from Emilion from the Left Bank of Bordeaux.  This Merlot dominant blend has been given 94 points by Decanter Magazine and it’s still only $34 a bottle.  That’s a great price for such a quality wine from one of the best wine regions in the world.  It’s considered to be one of the best values to come out of the Bordeaux region, because if you have a look around the Bordeaux region in your wine store, they can easily vary from $100 to $1000 in that section of the wine store.  This wine is plump and juicy and all around delicious.  Hmmmm, this could be this week’s storm wine for me.

wine storm 2

True story.  I hope you are not too hard hit by the storm.  Till next week, Cheers.


Quirky Wine Labels, Delicious Wine

I do love an interesting wine label.  Sometimes you’re going to get a not so great wine inside, other times it’s a great wine.   Nothing starts a conversation at a social get together faster than a quirky wine label.  True story.   Bring a bottle of wine with an interesting label, and the questions will start pouring in.   It’s happened to me a few times.

pasi mento

Here is a picture of my very first new wine for 2019.  It comes from Verona, Italy, the home of Romeo and Juliet.  It’s a Merlot dominant blend, with Corvina and Croatina, a grape I thought I was trying for the very first time, until I found out it’s also known as Bonarda.  Both Corvina and Croatina are grapes widely used for blending in parts of Italy. And even though you may be on the wine budget in January, this wine is only $17 per bottle.

Festival of Wines South Africa

This wine I’ve written about before as it was one of the pleasant surprises I found at the Festival of Wines back in September.  This wine featuring the face of the mighty lion is a delicious Pinotage from South Africa, and it’s a delicious full bodied wine  that comes in under $16.


The bottle featuring the giraffe, is the dry red blend, also coming in under $16 per bottle.   I can’t seem to find online what’s in the blend, but it was easy to drink and very pleasant, and a great price point.


How often do you see an elephant riding a bicycle?   This interesting wine is a Zinfandel out of the Puglia region of Italy, normally where Zinfandel is called Primitivo.  Another unique fact about this wine is that it is fermented and aged in American oak, which is unusual for Italian winemakers.  It comes in at $20 a bottle and is a great dinner wine.


You are never going to believe the price point on this French wine.  It’s under $14 a bottle and so good and so easy to drink.  It was a Christmas gift from my friend Sandra, and it was so good, I will be buying it again and again.  The winemaker says this 2017 version of the La Vieille Ferme Red Wine is the best in 30 years.  Apparently it was one of the driest growing seasons, with optimal harvest conditions and a small yield, which in the wine world means better quality.  It’s a blend of Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah and was kept in both vats and large oak barrels for only 10 months, so it’s not an oaky wine.  Great wine at a great value is a great way to kick off a new year of wine.


I drank that wine after my handsome nephew won his second game 2 – 1, at our Ice Jam Hockey Tournament where these underdogs were undefeated after 2 games.

Till next week, Cheers



2019 Wine Trends

At the beginning of every year since I started blogging about wine, I’ve talked about the upcoming trends we can expect to see  in the wine world.  A couple of years ago, I mentioned wine in cans, and lo and behold found this…

And the experts are saying wine in a can is continuing to grow, seeing a 43% raise in sales.  So let’s see what else the experts are saying about the wine world in 2019.

  1.  Italian wines will continue to see explosive growth.

Italy has recently surpassed France as the #1 wine producing region in the world.  They have gone back and forth in the past, however, Italy had a massive frost in 2017 which saw them produce 23% less wine that year.  In 2018 they took the crown again.  Italy is growing because they are producing delicious wines in all price points.  There is something for everyone in the Italian wine section.


I’ve written about it before and continue to enjoy this Ripasso, which has been given 96 points, and comes in under $20 a bottle.  Because of the quality of wine coming out of Italy and the competitive price, Bordeaux has had to step up their game, which I’m happy to say, they did!

2.  You’re going to see an increase in Bordeaux wine.

Although considered a classic, Bordeaux wines can be hefty in price.  While scrolling through the list of Bordeaux wines at our local liquor store, one thing that jumps out are the prices.  $500 – $2000 is very normal to see in the Bordeaux section.  But stiff competition for good wine at decent prices have forced Bordeaux wine producers to come to the table with some competitive prices.

And here’s a great example, which my friend Mair shared with me ladt night.  The Chateau Courteillac Red comes from a vineyard 20 minutes away from the famed (and pricey) region of St. Emilion and boasts one of the highest elevated vineyards in the region.  This Bordeaux is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, so easy to drink and is now priced at $15 a bottle.  How’s that for a reasonable priced Bordeaux wine.

3.  Nights In, Not Nights Out 

This trend has been growing for years.  People are entertaining at home, hosting their friends.  It’s expensive to eat and drink out, so people are opting to buying better quality wine at a fraction of the price you pay for it in a restaurant.  As a Sommelier, I’m also seeing more and more people host wine tastings in their home, as opposed to going out to a tasting.

Image result for entertaining at home

And my wine of the week this week is a spectacular white wine…

domaine chablis

The Domaine Laroche Chablis Saint Martin from Burgundy France is Chardonnay done so well.  It’s light and crisp and showcases the extraordinary terroir of Chablis.  Its finesse is marked by excellent acidity and a long aging on the lees.  Lees are leftover yeast particles and add a wonderful texture to both white and sparkling wines.  The longer the aging on these lees, the better the texture.  I loved this wine, I thought it was spectacular and here’s another fine example of a reasonably priced Bordeaux wine, coming in under the $30 mark.

Image result for cold weather and wine

While the weather outside can be frightful this time of the year, it doesn’t seem to bother me.

Happy New Year, here’s to a fabulous wine-drinking 2019