Finding New Delights At A Wine Tasting

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One of the things I love most about Saturday mornings, is me sitting in my pyjamas with a great cup of coffee writing my wine blog.   Some weeks I struggle with writers block, and some weeks the words flow easy.   This is one of the easy weeks because of a great winetasting I was part of last weekend.

Last Saturday evening I had the privilege of hosting a wine tasting in the Common Room of the building I live in, surrounded by 20 fabulous friends.  We tried some new wines, Someone we wouldn’t buy again and some we definitely would.  That’s part of the joy and excitement behind a wine tasting, stepping outside our comfort zones.

This morning I would like to share some of those wines with you.  We had some charcuterie boards with cheeses, meats and crackers to nibble on and we started with this rose wine from Francis Ford Coppola.

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I was given this bottle of wine as a gift and I wanted to share it with friends, so we had it as an opener to our wine tasting.  Francis Ford Coppola named this rose wine after his daughter, Sophia, and wanted to make it captivating, like the lady it was named after.  Sophia Coppola is an accomplished screenwriter and  movie director herself, winning an Academy Awards for the screenplay “Lost in Translation” starring Bill Murray.

This is an interesting blend of 70% Syrah, 20% Grenache, and 10% Pinot Noir, but sadly we can’t buy it here in Nova Scotia.  I found it to be a little high in alcohol for a rose wine, at 12.8%, and I don’t know if the ‘boozy’ burning I felt in my throat was from the alcohol content or the cold I was fighting.  It was a complex wine and I thought it paired well with the cheese and crackers.

Antinori is one of the most famous names in Tuscan wines and as part of the tasting we enjoyed this Antinori Bianco, which is a Trebbiano based wine.  I really enjoyed this wine with its tropical notes of pineapple and candied fruit.  Many of the participants commented on the sweetness, however, I didn’t find this wine sweet, but you could definitely taste the candied fruit, which would explain the comments on the sweetness.

The favorite white of the evening was definitely this one.

Moma white

By Umberto Cesari, the Moma red won the best wine of the evening at a previous wine tasting I had done last winter.  And this past Saturday night, the winner of the white wine category was this gorgeous blend of Trebbiano and Chardonnay with a little Sauvignon blanc.  At $20 a bottle, it’s a great wine at a great price, with great acidity and flavors that will pair well with any meal.  This wine originates from Emilia Romagna, the home if balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese.

My wine of the week was everyone’s favorite red wine of the evening

We had many wines that were much more expensive than this one, but this Rompicollo was definitely the fan favorite.  At $18.99 a bottle, it beat out wines that were twice as expensive.  Made from 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon this wine has been given 90+ points by many wine critics.  It had wonderful flavors and great structure and is the perfect wine for pizza or pasta.

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Well tomorrow night are the Oscars, and a group of friends and I are getting together to watch the Academy Awards and enjoy a sip of wine.

Have a great week

Cheers, Darlene

Wine & Food


Probably my three favourite words in the English language.     I’m not talking about mere eating and drinking for sustenance,  i’m talking great pleasure from a perfect pairing of delicious food and savoury wine.  I am hosting a wine tasting this evening, and one of the things I’m doing is bringing charcuterie boards with a variety of meats, cheeses and breads.   Nothing complements cheese and crackers like a good glass of wine.


I know I featured a sparkling wine last week, but sparkling wines are so versatile especially when it comes to food.   I am serving a new one tonight by Zonin.  If that name seems familiar  to you, one of the reds was my #1 wine of 2018.   96 Point rating under $20!


From the same Vineyard, comes this wonderful Prosecco.


The Zonin Special Cuvee Prosecco is the perfect way to celebrate special moments with friends, or to enjoy with any meal, especially with the appetizers.  Zonin has created an easy to drink Prosecco with fresh flavours of melon and citrus.  This particular Prosecco is dry and not sweet which makes it even more versatile.   The best part, it’s only $19 a bottle.

Tried a new wine last night with my friends, brand new to this market.


This is a big wine , and I loved it.  This is the perfect comfort food wine, and as me and my friends are enjoying it, all I could think of was steak!   I am looking forward to enjoying this particular wine with a steak.  Francis Ford Coppola says “Winemaking and Film-making are rwo great art forms.  In both cases you have to start with top-notch raw materials , whether it’s the land or the script “. 

Like the name suggests, this wine offers big bold flavours.  It’s a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Syrah and 2% Petite Sirah, and here in Nova Scotia it sells for $24 a bottle.


Not sure what you’re having this evening for supper, but I think I’ve talked myself into a steak.

Have a great week, till next week, Cheers




The 5 Best Wines for Valentine’s Day

This coming Thursday is a day when lover’s celebrate, it’s Valentine’s Day 2019.  My love is wine.. and kitty cats.  We all celebrate in our own way… Don’t judge!  LOL

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Lots of wine will be purchased for this coming Thursday.  Wondering which wine to get your loved one?  Let me help.  No matter if you drink white, red or sparkling, there’s something on this list for you.

  1. Bolla Prosecco DOC


If you would love all the flavours and sparkle of Champagne, but don’t want to subject your pocketbook with that kind of money Champagne can cost, Prosecco is your answer!    This particular Prosecco is made by Banfi, in the Veneto region of Italy.   It’s less than $20 per bottle and is a great way to start in the evening and is a great complement to your appetizers .

2.  White #1- Pinot Gris


Some people like their white wines with a crisp and tartness.   I love Pinot Gris, and this one from Kim Crawford in New Zealand is close to perfection.   I had a glass of wine with my friend Joan recently and this wine is what she served, and it was just delicious .   Chris flavours of melon and pear, this is a great wine if you are serving shellfish or any kind of fish this Valentine’s Day.   Comes in at $23 a bottle.

3.  White Wine #2- Chardonnay


Some people like their white wines with a creamy smooth this, and for that we go to Chardonnay, the number one planted white grape varietal in the world.   This particular wine hills from down under, in Australia, and is less than $19 a bottle.  It’s Rich, with lovely flavours of butterscotch and is a great wine for Valentine’s Day if you’re serving lobster, chowder, or chicken.

4.  Red Wine #1- Pinot Noir


Oregon, in my opinion, is making some of the best Pinot Noir wine on the planet.  This wine, Copper Cane Pinot Noir, Is the result of some California wine makers heading up to Oregon to make a supple Pinot Noir with vibrant flavours.  Pinot Noir is at it’s best when grown in a cool climate environment and that’s exactly the conditions Oregon produces, very similar to Burgundy France.   A treat at $35 a bottle

5.  Red Wine #2- Cabernet Sauvignon


If you’re serving anything in the red meat department this coming Valentine’s Day, I suggest you try one of my favourite steak wines, Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon out of California.  This Cabernet is so good, many wine critics feel Cabernet Sauvignon  done to this quality of standard, we should be paying 40% more.   So the $38 price point is actually a steal of a deal.   It’s a beautifully Rich Cabernet Sauvignon with flavours of toasted oak, Winter spice and rich dark fruit.

This is me when people ask me how much wine I drink.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, and until next week, Cheers


Saying Good-bye to January, The Month with 74 Days


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I saw this meme around the 24th of January and thought it was very fitting.  Is it just me or does January feel like the longest month of the year.   Some people were talking of having a dry January, and I was thinking, ‘I don’t think so’.  You took away my shiny lights, my pretty Christmas tree, all my decorations, but you are not taking away my wine.  I did find some pretty good wines, which was the highlight of the month.

Gabbiano chianti

This came close to being the wine of the week.  It was an awesome Reserve Chianti Classico from Castello di Gabbiano and I got to enjoy the 2014 vintage which is 95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot.  It’s full-bodied and luscious with notes of tobacco and leather.  Because it spent some time on oak, but only 10% new oak, the flavors were subtle, not oaky.  A great wine to accompany a steak, or prime rib or any big hearty meal of your favorite comfort food.  It’s $24.99 a bottle and a great wine.


I almost didn’t open this, because I wanted to save it to share with my friend Mair, who loves French Malbec.   And low and behold, what did her and her roommate Sharon bring down to our gathering last night, this particular wine!  The Le Gouleyant Malbec from the Cahors region of France is a spectacular buy, and on sale currently here in Nova Scotia for just $15.99 a bottle.  A great time to stock up on this very nice wine.  The Vigouroux family has been a pioneering force in Cahors, making wine there since 1887.  This easy to drink fruit-driven wine is easy on the palate, soft tannins, and nice lasting finish. Since Argentina has adopted Malbec as its official grape, I still love to try a French Malbec now and again, and this one didn’t disappoint.

And now for my wine of the week….

Castanos GSM

My friend Amber at the NSLC hit it out of the ballpark when she recommended this wine.  It’s a new listing to the Port of Wines section at the NSLC and it’s fantastic! I love a GSM and this particular one is from Spain.  GSM stands for Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, unless it’s from Spain, when its called Garnacha, Syrah and Monastrell.  It’s my new favorite and I’m telling everyone about it.  It has such a rich deep color, when you look at the inky  purple you would almost think it was a Malbec.   Gorgeous flavours of red plum, licorice, and berries combined with good structure but soft on the pallet, makes it my most enjoyable wine of the week.

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Hello February, I’m glad you’re here.  And for all my wine drinking friends that are going to enjoy the big sporting event tomorrow, have fun

Till next week, cheers