Birthday Shenanigans!

This past week, I celebrated my birthday! Some friends came down and surprised me, and we drank some wine…. Actually we drank a lot of wine! LOL One of the bottles I opened was a special gift given to me by a good friend for Christmas in 2013. He passed away suddenly three years ago and I’ve been waiting for a special occasion to open this bottle. Since this was my first birthday since my dad passed away, and I was hoping he and Ron were having a cold beer somewhere, I decided to open and enjoy the special bottle of wine with a couple of special friends.

My friend always wrote the year he bought the wine
2006 Etude Cabernet Sauvignon

The wine I opened was a 2006 Étude Cabernet Sauvignon from California. As you can see, every time he gave me a bottle of wine, he signed the bottle. I’ve done some research on this particular bottle of wine, and found some interesting information. Etude was started in 1982 by Tony Soter, and although he was never formally trained as a winemaker, he was sole winemaker until he sold in 2000. Although Tony stayed on for an additional 7 years in a consultant role, Jon Priest became the winemaker at Étude, and he is making widely-acclaimed wine. He says, in 2006, ideal weather conditions and low yield made for a great well structured Cabernet Sauvignon. It was very good but it comes with a heft price tag of $90.

MJ Mas Janeil Le Petite Pas
Syrah, Grenache, Carignan & Mourvedre

Another bottle we opened birthday night was this wine, I had never tried before. Both ladies who came to visit for my birthday like really full-bodied heavy wines. And I’ll be honest, I really thought this wine was going to deliver that. Syrah (Shiraz) is a thick-skinned grape which normally is very dark in color, and heavy. However, this blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Mourvedre was medium-bodied, light and fruity. After some research I found they used carbonic maceration as a way to ferment the grapes. This is the same process they use for Beaujolais, which means it releases very little tannins and gives wine a very fruity, light feel. It was very tasty and it’s on sale right now, less than $17. But if you’re looking for a light, easy to drink wine, this is the wine for you. It’s a great wine for charcuterie boards and even pork tenderloin.

And now for my wine of the week…

Ava Grace Rose

Last week, my wine of the week was the Ava Grace Merlot, a wine I discovered while being in Newfoundland. This week, I discovered its sister wine, and it hails from California, but is sold right here in Nova Scotia. This Rose wine was given 93 Points in the Ultimate Wine Challenge and it’s less than $20 a bottle. It’s fresh, crisp and delicate with beautiful apricot flavors the wine and has a wonderful palate.

Summer sipping on the patio

That’s it for me for this week. Thanks for reading. Till next week, Cheers


Under $20

You can buy great wine for under $20

I wanted to let everyone know why I was away for 3 weeks. My Dad passed away in the early morning hours of Saturday July 4th. I took a couple of weeks off and spent those weeks with family. He was almost 90 years old and lived a great life We are very grateful he wasn’t suffering for long. Now I’m back. And on a mission!

Covid-19 has affected the finances of many households, including mine. So now, more than ever, people are looking for great wines at an affordable price tag. So I’m dedicating this wine blog for great wines under $20.

Let’s start with Pinot Grigio. Always a great value, and so many great options to choose from.

Bodacious Pinot Grigio

When many people think Pinot Grigio, they think Italian. You can find many great Italian and Sicilian Pinot Grigio wines. But I’m going off the beaten track today and I’m going to share a great little cost-efficient wine from Canada. The Bodacious wine is made by Arterra wines, which have been in business since 1874. This delicious refreshing wine with its tropical and citrus flavors sells for only $12.99 here in Nova Scotia, and even less in other parts of Canada.

Murta is from Portugal

I also want to share another great value white wine, this time the wine hails from Portugal. Murta is made from a grape you’ve probably never heard of, Arinto, or also known as Arinto de Buccelas or Pederna in other parts of Portugal. Native to Portugal, the grape is known for its apple, lemon and other citrus flavors. If you’re feeling adventurous give it a try, it comes in at around $17 and is a very good wine.

One of my favorite wine memes
Farmers of Wine

Back in 2016 this wine made my Top 10 of the year, for a couple of reasons. One, it was very good wine and two, I loved the story. It’s also a great price point. It comes with a very interesting story on why and how it came to be. In an industrialized world where family farming is disappearing, Farmers of Wine is a visionary project by men who have been growing grapes for years, to focus on local farming, family viticulture and wines with a local identity. And it’s fully organic. It’s a delicious blend of 50% Primitivo (Zinfandel) and 50% Negroarmaro, a grape that is native to Southern Italy. It’s plush and rich, perfect for a meal done on the barbecue, and at just $16.99 a bottle, you don’t feel guilty opening more than one.

And now for my wine of the week…

A delicious new discovery!

Ava Grace Vineyards out of California is inspired by the beauty of nature. It’s all about passion and living your best life and their mission is to make wines for those that know the journey is more important than the destination. I discovered this beauty at the NLC, (Newfoundland Liquor Corp.) and at $17 a bottle, earns my wine of the week. I made a new pasta recipe, and although I forgot to take a picture, I will definitely be making it again, and I will share it. Delicious, and it went heavenly with this wine. I tried this and immediately went back and bought 2 more. It’s rich with flavor, and such a good deal at just $17 a bottle. Sadly, I don’t think we can buy it in Nova Scotia, but you can get it pretty well everywhere else in Canada, so our loss. The bottle is very pretty and the wine is very good.

Me, when someone asks why I have so many empties

That’s it for me for this week. A big shout-out to everyone who takes the time to read my wine blog. Thank you, and I hope you all have a spectacular Summer.

Till next week, Cheers