Archive for June, 2019

Happy Canada Day!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2019 by darmyers

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Monday is Canada Day and who doesn’t love a long weekend in the Summer.  This girl does.  I had another great wine tasting with a great group of people last weekend.  We not only had a few laughs, we had some amazing food and we tried a couple of really great wines.

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We enjoyed a total of 7 wines last weekend, we opened with a sparkling, had 2 more white wines and finished off with 4 red wines.

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The opening sparkling wine was the first one I wanted to talk to you about

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This is a exceptional sparkling wine, it’s the Benjamin Bridge Non-Vintage Brut which originates right here in Nova Scotia.  Non-vintage means the grapes doesn’t necessarily come from the same vintage year, as a matter of fact, winemaker Jean-Benoit Deslausiers uses grapes from up to 13 vintage years.   It’s a spectacular sparkling wine, everybody enjoyed it, with no bitterness just a refreshing effervescence.

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We tried to more white wines after the sparkling, one was enjoyed by some the other was enjoyed by no one, LOL!  I don’t normally talk about wines that I don’t like, just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean other people won’t.   And apparently when this was poured for a food tasting event at a previous occasion everybody loved it.   At this party not so much.

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The Bukettraube grape is also called Bouquet Blanc, and it is very aromatic.   Originating from Germany, this group is only grown in Germany France and South Africa.  I found it it had similarities to Gewurztraminer, which is another grape  you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it.

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The other white wine we had that evening was the Morgan cellars Chardonnay from California.  Personally I loved it because I didn’t find it overly oaky, but the crowd was definitely split on this one.  I live in Nova Scotia, originally from Newfoundland, and this wine would be perfect for things like lobster and other seafood favourites.  I loved the fact that only 33% of this wine sees French oak, so the oak is subtle not overpowering.   I also found the acidity really nice for a Chardonnay, it was smooth and easy to drink with notes of citrus and it’s under $18.

My wine of the week this week……

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The red wines we enjoyed included some favourites I’ve written about before.   The 3-finger Jack Zinfandel was my wine of the week a couple of weeks ago, Labaume Syrah from France is so good I have about four bottles of it in my wine rack right now.

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The San Fabiano Chianti Classico from Italy.   There are nine Chianti regions in Italy, only one of them designated Classico which is evident on the bottle by the picture of the black rooster.

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Chianti is a very dry red wine from Italy, but I think it’s a super wine for food including food from the region which includes pasta and pizza.   A Chianti wine can cut through those tomato sauces and bring out the flavour of both the food and the wine.   This is a bit of a treat at $27 a bottle,  but a great Italian red wine.

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Have a great long weekend, till next week

Cheers

Darlene

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Wine Lovin’!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 22, 2019 by darmyers

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Yesterday at 12:54 p.m. Halifax Nova Scotia time, it officially became Summer.  It’s about time Mother Nature, we have waited a long time.  Summer means BBQ’s, get-togethers with friends and wine.  Here’s a few of my favorite Summer time wines.

Pinot Grigio

Had a group of friends in Thursday evening and opened this Pinot Grigio from Italy for the first time.  And what a hit it was.  Sartori Pinot Grigio Arco Giovi is a fabulous crisp Pinot Grigio and at $15 a bottle, you’ll be able to enjoy it all year round.  Great for appetizers, salads, or just sitting on the patio, this was deemed a winner from all the white wine drinkers Thursday evening.

The second bottle of white wine we opened Thursday evening was this one.

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Although we opened it Thursday evening, I bought the remainder down to a gathering of friends last night.  My friend Jean really liked it, and I was kind of on the fence about it at first.   This Chardonnay had the oak a little dominant,  but I had just come from a winetasting in which we tasted a Chardonnay that practically had no oak, so I have to wonder if my taste buds were compromised .   It’s a big Chardonnay with an alcohol content of 14% .  At $22 a bottle I thought it was very fairly priced.

Jacob's creek.jpegJacob's Creek Moscato rose

I have been recommending this wine a lot lately, because it tastes very similar to a very popular locally made Moscato with some effervesence.  The Jacob’s Creek Moscato comes in a white or a rose style, and both contain a tinge of sweetness, as is very common with Moscato wines.  This wine comes in at $14 though, making it an affordable refreshing patio wine for Summer.

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At another tasting I was at last night at our local NSLC, they were celebrating the first day of summer with ribs and wine.  The ribs were done by a local restaurant and were fantastic and one of the wines they were featuring was the Zinfandel  I wrote about last week.   So I’m going to feature one of my all-time favourite Zinfandel wines, the 7 Deadly Zins!   Named for its sinfully good taste, the 7 also represents 7 different growing areas the Zinfandel grapes came from.   It belongs in the blog with great summer wines because it’s the ultimate barbeque wine in my opinion.

And for my wine of the week, we take a trip to Italy….

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From the Piedmont area of Italy that brings you the Barolo and Barbaresco wines, comes this  wonderfully priced Nebbiolo.  Both Barolo and Barbaresco wines can fetch hundreds of dollars for a bottle, and this gem is a steal of a deal at $22.   I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared this with you, but when red wines age they develop a brownish tint.   The wine is still perfectly good.  You’ll notice a brownish tint in this wine even though I had a fairly young vintage, 2017.   It was a delicious wine, very well structured, with great fruit and light herbal notes.   The oak was very soft and gentle.   I loved it, and will definitely buy it again.

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We’ve waited all winter for summer, I hope you enjoy yours.

Till next week, cheers

Darlene

 

Another Great Wine Tasting

Posted in Uncategorized on June 15, 2019 by darmyers

 

I was a little nervous about this wine tasting because this was my 3rd wine tasting with this great group of people.  I wanted to keep it fresh and some of this group had come to all 3.  But I needn’t have worried, we had a blast.  Don’t even get me started on aerators and vibrators, but one of the gentlemen got a little confused!!  We laughed, we ate and we tried some great new wines.

Montecillo

For the first time I bought a white Spanish Rioja to this tasting, and it was the all-time favorite white wine of the evening.  Montecillo Rioja Blanco is made from the Viura grape, also known as Macabeo, which is indigenous to Spain.  The wine also contains some Sauvignon Blanc and Tempranillo Blanco (White Tempranillo) to make it a great refreshing white blend.  Normally $19 a bottle here, this is a tremendous value because it was crisp and light and very food friendly.  I was really surprised to read it had spent a little time in oak, because you can’t taste the oak at all.  The oak was definitely just used to soften the wine.  A great wine for the awesome charcuterie boards they made.

 

I love doing wine tastings with this group for several reasons .  1) They are a lot of fun. 2).  They love wine as much as I do 3) And they love to eat like I do.   They always put out a spectacular spread.

The second wine definitely saw some oak.  I didn’t find it over-powering but some people didn’t like it as much because the oak was a little more dominant on the palate.  I’m a drinker of big red wines so it takes a lot of oak for the flavor to over-whelm me.

Meomi Charonnay

It was the Meomi Chardonnay out of California and at $25 a bottle I liked it.  It was heavier on the palate, but a Chardonnay normally would be.  I think although low on acidity, it was fresh and clean with nice pineapple and lemon flavors.  It’s a great wine to pair with lobster or roast chicken.  It’s also big enough if you normally drink all white wine, this could be a great wine for barbecued food as well.

Speaking of big heavy wines, this was the last one we had that evening and it was a big wine.

Black Safe

From Black Sage Vineyard in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, this is a steak wine.  There were two wines we had that evening that I suggested needed breathing time and/or aeration.  The Seven Falls Merlot was one, it’s delicious once its opened for at least 30-minutes.  This is another one.  I had this wine opened for about 90 minutes before we tried it and it was still a big heavy delicious Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wines from Black Sage are done in small lots which means any time it spends in an oak barrel, the flavors will be imparted on the wine.  It spent 14 months in both American and French oak and it shows.  We enjoyed the 2015 vintage, and this wine could be aged.  You could still enjoy this wine years down the road.  Personally, I felt this wine would be better enjoyed with food – steak, hearty stews, lamb.  I think that’s where it would really shine.

And now my wine of the week, which was my favorite of the evening.

Elouan

We enjoyed wines from California, then Oregon, then Washington State before we ended up in British Columbia.  This was our first red of the evening and by far my favorite.  The Elouan Pinot Noir hails from Oregon  and if anyone thinks Pinot Noir is wimpy, should try this particular one.   It’s very rich and very supple on the palate, and the name itself means ‘good light’.  Delicious!   Comes in at around the $35 price point.

We are going to do another one in the Fall and I’m really looking forward to tasting #4 with this group

FYI, I need the bottle of wine that goes along with this corkscrew

Giant cork screw

Cheers

Darlene

Lodi, California? Where’s That!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 8, 2019 by darmyers

When you think of up-and-coming in the state of California, you probably think of young people, sunshine and hipster events.  Many years ago the Napa Valley was considered an up-and-coming wine region, and now it’s the most established  wine region in California.   Well I’d like to introduce you to Lodi California, it’s the oldest up-and-coming wine region in California.   And they make the best Zinfandel wines in the world, in my opinion!  A fun fact, Lodi is the home of A& W root beer.

Lodi, California has been making wine since the 1800’s, but it’s only been really noticed in the past 20 years.  It wasn’t until 2015 Wine Enthusiast Magazine named it Wine Region of the Year.   I completely understand the region winning this designation, and here are a few reasons why.

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Although Lodi California is probably best known for the Zinfandel red wines, they are producing some extraordinary Chardonnay, like this Leaping Horse.  Most people associate California Chardonnay wines with lots of oak, but this is the exception.  Leaping Horse wine focuses on a fresh and fruity Chardonnay, and there is no oak here.   At just $16.50 a bottle, it’s a wine you can enjoy time and time again.  Here in Halifax, we have to buy this wine at a local wine store, called Bishop Cellar.  Definitely worth checking out wherever you live.

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This is probably one of the most recognizable Zinfandel wines in the world, and one of my favourites.  7 Deadly Zins are Zinfandel grapes from 7 different growing areas in Lodi and has a little fun with the 7 deadly sins.    This wine is sinfully delicious, pardon the pun and runs about $26 a bottle.   In my opinion, one of the best ones you can serve with barbeque ribs.   As a matter of fact, whenever you see a Zinfandel wine with a food pairing, you’ll often see it associated with barbeque food.

And now for my wine of the week…

3 Fingers

It might be called Three Finger Jack, but I give it a resounding two thumbs up.  Three Finger Jack was a legendary bandit and gunslinger who roamed central California during the early days of the Gold Rush.   Remember, Lodi California has been producing wine since the 1800s,  and it is often said they started growing grapes to make wine for those trying to strike it rich during the gold rush.  You’ll notice this is called an old Vine Zinfandel, and you’ll see that designation on several Zinfandel wines in your favourite liquor store.   In order for a wine to have the designation “old vine”, the vine must be at least 50 years old.  Older vines produce lower yields but more higher quality with rich flavour in the fruit.   This is a fantastic wine for under $25.

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As I sit here enjoying my Saturday morning coffee, I have to get to work because I have a wine-tasting tonight.   I’m so excited, this is my third wine-tasting for most of this group of people and tonight will be my largest with 31 guests.   I have some really interesting wines to showcase tonight and I will tell you all about it next week

Till then, Cheers

Darlene

You’re The One That I Want!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2019 by darmyers

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Who can forget the uplifting final scene in the movie Grease.  We left the theatres singing and today, June 1st, marks the 41st Anniversary of the film’s release.  June 1, 1978 for those of us old enough to remember the date.  To this date it is still the most successful movie musical of all time.

The iconic song got me thinking of wines that you’re going to want to try…

Dory

It’s been a stellar week for trying new wines, and I’ll start with Dory.  I know most people think of the fish from Finding Dory when they hear the word, but growing up in Newfoundland, a dory was a boat.  My grandfather had a dory, and it looked very much like the picture on the bottle.  This Dory is a beautiful blend of Touriga Nacional, the official grape of Portugal, with Syrah, Merlot and Tinta Roriz.  This almost made it as the wine of the week because it was so smooth and so easy to drink and it’s only $18 a bottle.

Cannonau

My nephew gave me this wine as a gift.  Cannonau Di Sardegna is Grenache and normally Grenache is paired with other grapes.  This 2015 Reserve is full of flavour, the oak is a little prominent, but it’s a great value at $21.99.

And now for my wine of the week

Louie

It’s hard to believe two of my new wines this past week were stand-alone Grenache  grapes.  This bottle of wine and I are on a first name basis.   I call him Louis, and he calls me happy LOL.  I picked this one as my wine of the week because this stand-alone Cabernet Franc is outstanding.   Notes of leather and spice, and the oak is not prominent.  This wine by itself, is really really good and it’s priced it just $19.99 a bottle.

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Happy June everyone.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene