Archive for October, 2019

Spooktacular Great Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2019 by darmyers

Wine Halloween 2

This coming Thursday children will be dressing up and going door to door looking for treats.  As adults, we joke about the concept of going door to door and asking for wine.  I’ve been on a bit of a roll lately with some great new wines, so I thought I would share them with you.  Let’s start with a bubbly

The Zonin Prosecco Special Cuvee is a fantastic sparkling wine at a stunning prize.  If the name Zonin sounds familiar, it’s sister red Ripasso made my top wine of 2018.

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The Zonin Prosecco Special Cuvee is just $19 a bottle, so a very affordable sparkling wine.  It’s also been named ‘The Official Prosecco of National Brunch Day”.  Perfect all on its own, or mixed with orange juice for a delicious Mimosa.  It’s been given 95 Points by one critic, it’s that good.

Ok., I have a bit of a shocker to share.  In the past couple of weeks I have tried not one, but two wines from Barefoot.  (Whispering) I really liked them both.  I tried Barefoot many years ago and was not impressed, and honestly, I’ve stayed away.  But recently I’ve tried the Pinot Grigio & the Merlot.

The Pinot Grigio is priced at $11.99 here, and it’s fresh and crisp.  It’s an easy to drink Pinot Grigio with flavors of citrus and pineapple.  It’s also a great value.  The bigger surprise to me was the Merlot.  I love Merlot, and I’m a little picky.  It’s on sale right now for $12.99 and I bought one, to try it.  I liked it.  It’s not overly complex, it’s a simple easy to drink red wine that has no bitterness, and there us no fake oaky flavours.  It’s juicy and I had it with dinner, which was a pork tenderloin and I sat there chuckling because I really really enjoyed this wine.  Last weekend someone told me they were nervous about serving me certain wines because I’m a Sommelier.  Well, you can put those fears to rest. LOL  What can I say, they are easy to drink wines that do not break the wallet.

And now for my wine of the week…

Cote du Rhone

We head to France with a spectacular Cotes du Rhone.  The Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre and these GSM’s from the South of France are moving quickly to the top of my list.  These are full-bodied wines, smooth from aging in subtle oak and rich fruit.  And they are tremendous values.  This wine is less than $20 per bottle.  I loved this wine and will definitely buy it again.

Wine Halloween 3

Have a safe Halloween everyone.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

October is #MerlotMe Month!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 19, 2019 by darmyers

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I have been writing about my love of Merlot for a long time.  More so since Paul Giamatti spoke those infamous words in the movie Sideways, ‘I don’t want to drink any f*&king Merlot”!

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Many reports have stated Merlot sales dropped for a while, while Pinot Noir flourished, causing no damage to the wine industry overall.  I love Merlot.  Merlot loves me.  We have a fantastic relationship.

I love Merlot

Let me start by sharing some of my favourite Merlot wines.  My first one is a staple in my wine rack because it’s such a great value.

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Dada 2 is an Argentinian organic Merlot.  Delicious.  The price recently went up, however it is still only $16.48 a bottle here in Nova Scotia.  It’s a very lush wine, with hints of mocha from the oak, however in no way does the oak dominate.  Got together with some friends last night to drink a glass of wine and this is the one I bought down.

Festival of Wines J Lohr Merlot

This J. Lohr Merlot wine from California won best Merlot at the Festival of Wines show last year, and I’ve enjoyed it several times since then.  Steve Peck, Director of Winemaking at J. Lohr says they’ve added a bit of Malbec because it accentuated the fruit flavours.  It would also add some structure to the wine.  I had this last year with a steak and it was stunning, and it sells for $29.99 here.  However, if you’re down California way, it sells for $15 a bottle at the Vineyard, heartbreaking isn’t it?  Being a wine lover in Canada it’s not always easy on the pocketbook

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Here’s another Merlot that I absolutely love, and this hails from California as well.  Barrel aged in American oak for 12 months, the oak is a little more noticeable in this wine, but the Merlot is so full bodied and juicy that the grape does shine.  It sells for about $25 a bottle here, and it’s a great one.

And now for my wine of the week,,,

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To show my white wine loving friends I haven’t forgotten about them, this was one of my favorite white wines at the  Festival of Wines.  The Bread and Butter Chardonnay will have you thinking of creme brule with its notes of vanilla bean and almond.  Things I loved about this Chardonnay?  The oak did not dominate the wine, it had some very bright acidity and the flavors were vibrant, not always words used to describe Chardonnay.  I loved it and will definitely buy it again.

Wine Underachievers

I hope you over-achieve this weekend!!  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

International Champagne Day

Posted in Uncategorized on October 12, 2019 by darmyers

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Coming up this Friday is International Champagne Day.  And I have to share a few new sparkling wines I’ve had recently, including some from Champagne.  So let me start by giving you a little Champagne history.  Champagne is a region in Northern France, as far north as you can go and still grow grapes.  They have been perfecting this bubbly wine for hundreds of years, to the point, the traditional method of making sparkling wine, is also called the Champagne method.  A sparkling wine can be made in the traditional method, but unless it hails from the Champagne region in France, it cannot be called Champagne.  It’s called ‘Cava’ in Spain, Any time you see Cremant, it is also traditional made sparkling wine, but not from the Champagne region.

I recently had a wonderful Cremant wine at the Festival of wines from Bordeaux

Celene

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Made from Semillion, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc, this bright vibrant sparkling wine is a great substitution when you have something to celebrate but don’t want to spend the money associated with Champagne.

Here’s another great bubbly that won’t break the bank

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My friend Youjeen was pouring this wonderful Spanish Cava at the Festival of Wines.  In Spain, the word Hola is how people greet each other.  And that was the premise behind the name of the wine.  This Cava was made deliciously dry with hints of apple and citrus.  A beautiful sparkling wine ready to celebrate at under $22 a bottle here.

If, however, nothing but the real deal will cut it, try this one authentic Champagne from Duval-Leroy

 

The Champagne house of Duval-Leroy was founded in 1859 so they have been producing top quality Champagnes for many many years.  However, this Champagne house is known for more than just Champagne, it was a pioneer when it came to promoting sustainability in the vineyard.  I personally like a dry Champagne, which you will be able to tell if the word Brut is in the title.  Champagne doesn’t come cheap, which makes it the ultimate treat.

And now for my wine of the week…..

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Critics are giving this wine 91 points, and I have to agree whole heartedly.   Super smooth combination of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.    A GSM blend is one of my favourites and this wine did not disappoint.  Velvety blueberry and blackberry notes and although I know it saw some oak, except for the smoothness you couldn’t tell.  It is priced at $20.99 a bottle so it’s a really good value.

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Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone

Cheers

Darlene

 

 

Festival of Wines Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2019 by darmyers

So many great wines, so little time.

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My friend Cassandra and I took a few hours last Saturday afternoon and spent it tasting wine at one of the grand tastings during the Festival of Wines in  Halifax.  Although the country to be featured this year, Wines of South America’, all countries are represented and we tried some great wines.  We had a great time, and I had the opportunity to speak to many people about the wine they were featuring.

This was one of my favorites.

 

I have written about Tommassi wines previously but this was my first time trying the Tommasi Ripasso.  This is what the winemaker had to say

“Tommasi “Ripasso” is the unique result of refermenting Valpolicella Classico Superiore on the warm grape skins from which Amarone has been fermented. This process, used only in rare vintage years, imparts the richness of character and personality of a great wine to an already superior wine.”

It was elegant and delicious and one of my favorite finds at the Festival of Wines.  If you get a chance, try it.

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Both Cassandra and I loved the look of this bottle, and the wine in it was so good I bought a few home with me, because I’m pretty sure at the moment the only place you can buy it was at the show.  Sadly, it’s not available at the NSLC yet, but if you can find it where you live, grab it.  A blend of Merlot and Primitivo (Zinfandel), this is a fantastic wine for $17.99.  In my opinion it was a luscious and rich wine that is the perfect compliment to any pasta dish.

We had some fantastic rose wines while we were there, but this one stood out for me because it was delicious and the price point is amazing.

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This wine has earned 92 Points by some wine critics and it’s under $17 a bottle.  Again, one of those great wines not yet available at my liquor store, but this is a fantastic find.  Now, I have to be honest, I drink the majority of my rose wines in the Summer, but this is a wonderful wine for appetizers and meet and greets.  Crisp and refreshing, both myself and Cassandra really liked it.

And now for my wine of the week….

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And one of the best values I found at the Festival of wines. From the Languedoc region of France, this beauty is only $15.99 a bottle.  Yes, you’ll notice the bottle is empty, don’t judge!  LOL  I did, however, buy a full case of it.  Great wine at a great value.  It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, so it’s full-bodied with a hint of spice.  Easy to drink and super food friendly, there’s no guilt when you open this great wine on a Tuesday night.

Wine awesome

It’s the weekend, feel free to be awesome all weekend.  Till next weekend, Cheers

Darlene