Archive for December, 2019

My Top 10 of 2019

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2019 by darmyers

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Today is the last day of 2019 and the last day of another decade.  For the most part, I do a wine blog most Saturday’s.  Out of the 48 – 50 wine blogs I do every year, each week I feature a new ‘Wine of the Week’!  This is the time of the year when I look back at my choices and choose 10 of my best new finds for the year.  Here’s that list, I hope you enjoy.  There’s something for everyone on the list, in all price points.

10.  Botter Primitivo – $14.99

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Anyone that knows me knows I love finding a great value wine.  And this one definitely makes the list.  Botter Primitivo is not only a great value under $15, it is also organic.  This medium-bodied wine has flavors of plums, cherry and spicy tobacco notes.  A winner and a great wine for pasta and/or ribs.

9.  Castano GSM – $19

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This wine hails from Spain and is a blend of Garnacha, (Grenache), Syrah and Mourvedre.  More on the full-bodied side, I love this rich wine and another wonderful value at just $19 a bottle.  GSM’s, as they are called, will usually make any Top 10 list I do, as this is a classic blend that goes so well together.  This wine has enough body to pair with steak.

8.  Moma White – $17.99

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I had a year filled with wine tastings.  And this one accompanied me to many wine tastings because it was loved by every one who tried it.  Moma white blend is a combination of Trebbiano, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.  Chardonnay and Trebbiano give this wine body while the Sauvignon Blanc gives it some acidity.  Probably one of the food-friendliest wines on the shelf.  And it’s under $20 a bottle.

7.  Chateau Cantenac Saint Emillion – $36

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I love wines from the Right Bank of Bordeaux, where the wines tend to be Merlot heavy, and this Chateau Cantenac did not disappoint.  I got to enjoy the 2013 vintage, and it was silky and smooth and an absolute delight.  This wine is a Grand Cru, which means it’s a superior designation.  Very much worth the $36 price tag, and I recommend we all treat ourselves at least once this year.

6.  Hola Brut Cava – $21.99

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I can’t have a top 10 list without including a good sparkling wine.  I know I’m always talking about what great value Spanish Cava is, made traditionally like Champagne, but so much easier on the wallet.  This Hola Sparkling Cava from Spain was one of my favorites from the Fall 2019 wine show.  In Spain, Hola is how people greet each other, and that was the premise behind the wine.  Trust me when I tell you, it’s a great way to greet your guests this holiday season or anytime of the year!

5.  Luna di Luna Merlot Primitivo – $17.99

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Not only did I love the red bottle, I loved the wine that came in the bottle.  The Luna di Luna Merlot Primitivo blend from Italy was awesome.   I really hope the NSLC brings it back, it was a winner in my mind.  From the “heel of the boot” in Italy, the Salento region of Puglia really makes some great wines.  Full-bodied and rich, I loved this wine with pasta and it was under $18 a bottle.

4.  Bread & Butter Chardonnay – $22.69

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This was my favorite white wine that I had tried at both tastings of the Festival of Wines show in September.  The Bread and Butter Chardonnay from the United States is not overly oaky like some Chardonnay wines that come out of the U.S.  This is very smooth with hints of vanilla bean and tropical fruit.  Food friendly that will pair with everything from lobster to chicken to pork.  Honorable mention goes to its sister wine, the Bread and Butter Pinot Noir.

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3.  Felix & Lucie Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah – $15.99

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Value wise, this may have won my wine of the year.  It was a toss up.  This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from France, made my top wine out of the Festival of Wines.  I chose this wine because of the combination of great taste and great price point.  I bought a full case of it.  It’s full-bodied with spicy notes and great fruit.  A fabulous wine and you can’t beat the price.

2. Rose D’Anjou Gamay

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Rose wine are for so much more than just Summer, it’s a great way to bring in the New Year.  This Gamay grape based rose wine was given anywhere from 92 Points to 95 Points by wine critics.  It’s that good.  And it’s only $16.99 per bottle.  I’m sad I didn’t buy more.  Crisp and refreshing, I really hope they bring it back here.  Fingers crossed for Rose wine season 2020, that this is among the list.

  1.  Argyle Pinot Noir – $55

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If you’re going to treat yourself, try this wine.  Argyle Pinot Noir is one of the best Pinot Noir Wines I have tried in a long time.  From Oregon, only 25% of this wine gets aged in new French oak, which means the oak does not over-power the wine, but adds subtlety and nuances to make the wine even more smooth.  The winery says it hangs it hat on the silky texture of their wine, and I have to agree with them.  The Reserve Pinot 2013 vintage is what I enjoyed, and when I took it to a wine tasting in early December, everyone seemed to agree, this wine was the winner!

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I hope 2019 was a good year and I hope 2020 will be even better.  Here’s to another great decade of drinking wine.

Darlene

 

 

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2019 by darmyers

Deck the halls

Well it’s Christmas Time again.  I felt this year went by so fast, it feels like I just took down my Christmas decorations not long ago.  It is, however, my favorite time of the year, and I’m in Newfoundland hanging out with family.

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Christmas is a great time to get together with friends and family, and if your celebrations are like mine, there is wine to be consumed.  I’ve had a wonderful December so far hanging out with friends, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.  We’ve had a few good wines as well.

Recently, I told you about this wonderful Botter Primitivo

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And in recent weeks I’ve had the opportunity to try the Pinot Grigio from the same family

The Botter Boira Pinot Grigio from the Veneto region of Italy was a wonderful delight.  Pinot Grigio is becoming so popular, so many of my friends drink it.  Peter Rockwell, wine writer and buyer for the NSLC told me that they could have 10 Italian Pinot Grigio wines and all would sell well.  People love Italian Pinot Grigio.  And why not.  It’s delicious, food friendly, crisp, refreshing and reasonably priced.  This particular Pinot Grigio is only $16.75 a bottle.

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Lately someone asked me how to save Sparkling wine, and until recently sparkling was a wine that I felt needed to be finished in a day or it would love its sparkle.  Well, you can take plastic wrap and an elastic band and seal it air tight, and then put it in the fridge standing up.  Something to try over the holidays if you don’t finish it in one sitting.

Here’s a fun wine for Christmas.  It’s a pink sparkling from Hola, which is the word Hello in Spanish.  There’s no better way to greet family and friends this holiday season than with a pink sparkling wine.  This Hola Cava is traditionally made using a grape from Spain used in many Cava wines, Xarel-Lo.  This is a wine high in acidity so your taste buds will come alive. Perfect for Christmas appetizers and priced at just $21.99 a bottle.

While we are in Spain, let me tell you about this gem.  I had this GSM the other evening, and it is fantastic.  Garnacha (Grenache), Syrah and Mourvedre grapes make for a perfectly smooth blend. Ripe berry fruits with hints of spice from the Syrah, a great red wine that is only $19 a bottle.

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And now for my wine of the week…

This is such a good wine you’re going to find it hard to believe it’s only $18 a bottle.  Asio Otus Vino Rosso is a blend, any time you see Rosso, it tends to be a blend.  It’s 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 30% Syrah.  Did I mention it’s 100% delicious.  It’s full-bodied with flavors of plum, vanilla and hints of chocolate.  Once you’re done with turkey and ham, and you want some nice beef or pork, try this wine.  A great pairing.

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Merry Christmas everyone, and here’s to a wonderful 2020

Darlene

 

Birthday Wine Tasting

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2019 by darmyers

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of facilitating a wine tasting for a very special 60th birthday.  This is Daphne and Terry, and Terry celebrated a birthday last weekend, and I got to be a part of it.

They had many good friends there

And we drank some really good wine.

We had a lot of fun and it was a great tasting because we had some really good values and some really good treat wines.

We opened the night with a toast to Terry for his birthday, using this fantastic Spanish Cava.  The Villa Conchi Brut is about $18 and is delicious, crisp and easy on both the palate and the wallet.

Then we had this unique wine


Most people associate white Burgundy with Chardonnay, however Aligoté has always been there.  Bouchard Pere decided to highlight Aligoté in this interesting complex white wine.  It’s a crisp dry white wine with flavours of citrus and apple.  It’s $26 a bottle and would be a fabulous pairing with Christmas turkey.

One of my personal favourite treats of the evening was this white wine, another great pairing with turkey.

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Before last Saturday night, I can honestly say I have never had a wine from Uruguay, and what a delicious treat it turned out to be.  The Garzon Albarino was amazing and recommended by Peter Rockwell himself, the head buyer from our NSLC.. I loved this wine, however, it is only at our local liquor store for a limited time, so if you’d like to try it, try it soon.  Beautiful citrus, and pear flavours make it very food friendly and a very nice unique wine for $26.

One of the red wines we had was one of my favourite staples in my wine rack, the Anciano Temprano aged years for $15 a bottle.  I have written about it quite a bit in the past.  One of our treat wines was this lovely Primitivo from Italy.

 

The grapes are hand-picked from vines that are at least 70 years old.  Beautiful full-bodied wine with notes of tobacco and herbs.  Everyone at the party really seemed to enjoy this Primitivo, and I think for some it was their first time ever having an Italian Primitivo wine.  It’s a Christmas treat though, at $48 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week… it’s a treat

People who know me, know I love Pinot Noir, and this is one of the best I’ve had in a long time.   I rarely bring wines to a wine-tasting that I have never tried, but I took a chance because of how much I love Pinot Noir from Oregon.  25% of the wine has been aged in new French oak, and what that means is that the oak will never overpower this wine but it was used to smoothen the wine.  It’s a treat at $56 a bottle but it was so delicious.
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Enjoy December events and stay safe.

Darlene

Relieving Holiday Stress

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2019 by darmyers

Holiday stress

There’s no denying it, we are in the middle of the holiday season.  Christmas parties, shopping, baking, wrapping and a million other chores that have to be done before Saint Nick makes his appearance on the night of the 24th.  It’s no surprise many people get stressed out this time of the year.  I try to tackle a ‘Christmas chore’ each evening.  That way I feel accomplished.  And then I pour myself a glass of wine.  Nothing says stress reliever like a bubble bath and a glass of wine……unless you have a cat!

Gabe & the tub

This is Gabriel and I swear he wants to jump in with me sometimes.  But I digress.  Stress relieving wines for all my friends is what this wine blog is all about.  Let’s get started, and what better way than a sparkling bubbly!

This can be an expensive time of the year for many people, so any time you can find a good value, especially in a sparkling wine, you may want to grab it. The Freixenet Cordon Negro Sparkling is on sale right now in Nova Scotia.  It’s still a good value at full price, $17.99, but while they are on sale for $15.99 it’s worth picking up a couple.  The packaging is beautiful and makes for a great gift that won’t break the bank. It’s a Spanish Cava that is made in the traditional method, and is dry and crisp and a great wine for the first course, or even just for a Christmas toast.

The above wine may look like a red, because of the dark bottle, however it’s a white wine.  I have a wine tasting tonight, and when I was in the store picking out the wines, I had a chat with Peter Rockwell, head buyer for the NSLC.  He said we love our Pinot Grigio, and here’s another one that is packaged beautifully and won’t break the bank.  This Beringer is from California, it’s dry and fruity with gorgeous hints of pear and citrus.  And it sells for $12.99 a bottle.  This will make you happy happy.

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So this was a new wine I tried this week, as it’s fairly new in our liquor stores.  The Giro Sangiovese / Merlot blend from Fantini was made to commemorate the ‘Giro d’Italia’ bicycle race.  Sangiovese is not usually described as a full-bodied wine, but once blended with the Merlot, it gives it that extra edge.  The tannins are prominent, especially when first opened.  I also made the comment, ‘I detect smoky flavors’.  This would probably come from the Merlot.  You can enjoy it now, or it can definitely age for a couple of years.

And now for my wine of the week….

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From Chile comes this wonderful Pinot Noir.  Climate can really change the way a grape tastes, the same grape from a warm climate compared to a cool climate can really vary.  Someone wine critics feel Pinot Noir taste better coming from a cooler climate, and I do love a good Pinot from Canada.  However this Montes Pinot Noir really impressed me.  It’s medium-bodied, fruity with some great acidity.  And its $17 a bottle!  Win win!
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Have a great weekend

Cheers, Darlene