It’s October, Already?

October?

Ok… What happened to September? I feel like I blinked Labor Day Weekend and here we are October 1st. Thanksgiving is next weekend.

I know, right?

I swear the older I get, the faster time flies. My Mom arrived yesterday. Speaking of time, she is 87, she’ll turn 88 in January. Still looking great an still on the go.

My Mom

My Mom lives on her own, in the Senior’s cottages in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. But she doesn’t drive anymore. So my sister Jackie, and her husband Craig, who also live in Corner Brook, are her primary care-givers. Today, they leave for Hawaii for 4 weeks. Lucky!! They deserve it though. They work so hard and they also do so much for my Mom, since my sister is the only sibling that lives in the same town as my Mom. So my Mom is here for 2 weeks and then I fly home with her and work from home from my sister’s house for 2 weeks. I’m staying at my sister’s house, because my Mom’s cottage is really small, and I’ll be taking care of this baby. I’m dogsitting Maggie.

So with my Mom here, I’ll be doing some cooking. She says she is really craving BBQ, and you know I’m her girl. I’m sure next week, I’ll have more recipes to share. I made my maple curry chicken pasta this past week for some colleagues of mine who loved it. I forgot to take a picture. But it turned out well. I have shared it before, in this previous wine blog.

I have one wine this week. And it’s my wine of the week, and an amazing wine.

Gauchezco Reserve Cabernet Franc

My friend Anthony and I were talking this past week about how much we love Cabernet Franc. And I had to tell him about this one.

Master of Wine Tim Atkin gave it 91 Points

This is the perfect wine for all your favorite Fall comfort foods. A full-bodied wine with hints of pepper and spice, it has a long lasting finish and was a beautiful treat. Priced under $25, this is a perfect example of a great wine price under $25. Someone at work was asking me about $25 wines and $100 wines, and I said ‘You can get a great wine for $25’ and this is one of those examples.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Oh Fiona

Fiona kicked some ass

As I sit here Sunday morning, with the beautiful sunshine pouring in, I think back to how Fiona kicked some ass this weekend. And thankfully, here in Halifax, we didn’t get hit as hard as I had expected. I was a little nervous, especially reading when it could have been worse than when Hurricane Juan paralyzed Halifax 19 years ago.

Dartmouth got hit hard

Areas of Halifax and Dartmouth got hit harder than I did and people are still struggling without power. We lost our power for about 19 hours, so I’m grateful, as I sit here sipping a hot coffee. I was lucky in that the wind was coming down the street, so the front of our building got hit harder. Being on the back of the building, I was sheltered.

I would like to take a moment to send a prayer to people in the Southwestern Newfoundland. Port aux Basque, Newfoundland is the entryway to Newfoundland, when travelling by ferry.

They got hit so hard by Fiona, my heart is broken for the devastation in this beautiful town.

I hope everyone is safe. This beautiful community got battered, and my heart goes to out to everyone who lives there and the family and friends of people who live there.

Other parts of Southwestern Newfoundland got hit hard including Burgeo, and a friend of mine, Olive, her sister’s home got completely destroyed. So sad.

On another note, some stressful moments when my Gabriel developed a cyst on his back.

A big thanks to Dr. Hartman at The Cat Clinic for taking care of my boy. All good now

I know many people go crazy for storm chips when a storm is on the way. As a matter of fact, here in Halifax, someone posted chips sell out a lot faster than vegetables.

This made me chuckle

Some people do storm potato chips. I do storm potatoes

Butter, Olive oil, salt, pepper and some Trader Joe’s seasoning my friend Arla gave me. You can use your favorite seasoning. I melted the butter first, added the olive and seasonings, and put them on my pellet grill.

One of the things I love most about my pellet grill, is that you can adjust the smoke by adjusting the temperatures. The higher you go, the less smoke. It can grill or sear without adding lots of smoke flavor. So when I cooked these potatoes, I added just a hint of smoke flavor and then grilled them. Delicious.

And of course during this storm, there was some wine.

Tried a new wine last week. The Lost Poet.

This was the saying on the back of the bottle. ‘Don’t be scared to change the name of the Prince’s name in your story’. I loved that. I also loved the fact the winemaker said ‘wine is poetry’, and that’s where the name came from. This is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah (Shiraz). Delicious. It’s juicy and plush and priced under $22.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. To all my friends in Cape Breton and Newfoundland, send me your pics from the storm. Also, feel free to s hare the wine you were enjoying during the storm. Stay safe. Thinking of all of you.

Cheers

Darlene

Welcome to the ‘Ber’ Months

I love the colors of Fall

We are in my favorite time of the year. I heard someone call them the ‘Ber’ months, September, October, November & December. I love these months. Gorgeous colors, cool breezes, comfortable sleeping, comfort food and of course wine!

And for all my white wine loving friends, it’s still cool to drink white any time of the year. Last weekend was an extra long weekend for me, so I got to try and share a few new wines.

This was one I tried, when I did ribs for the first time on my new smoker / pellet grill. the Carnivor Zinfandel. I had tried the Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon in the past but never the Zinfandel. I loved it, and it was the perfect wine for ribs.

Lodi California has earned a reputation of great full-bodied Zinfandel wines. A Mediterranean climate with its warm days and cool nights, has given this region the nickname of ‘The Zinfandel Capital of the World’. Let’s not forget old vines and great winemakers, check out this Zinfandel wine.

Zinfandel vines in Lodi

The Carnivor Zinfandel is a product of this great history of wine-making.

I’ve been reading that the 2019 vintage was one of the best in years. Achieving perfect harmony and balance, this wine is normally priced just under $21, which is a good price for a Lodi Zinfandel. But right now, here it is on sale, so you may want to stock up. It was my favorite new wine I’ve tried recently, and it’s definitely my wine of the week.

One quick note that has nothing to do with wine or food (What?)

I finished this book this past week, and it was sooooo good! I can’t wait to see the movie. So, if you’re looking for a good read this Fall, try this one.

Now back to some wine. We are heading to Spain.

My friend Angie bought this wine last Saturday night for our weekly game night. It was a nice wine at a nice price point. It was a medium bodied wine, light and easy to drink. Priced under $17, this is also a very food friendly wine with notes of dried spices.

So, a little news before I go. My mom is coming to visit for 2 weeks.

My sister in Corner Brook, who is her primary care-giver, is going to Hawaii for almost 4 weeks. So my Mom is coming September 30th for 2 weeks. Now, my Mom is a Chardonnay drinker, and she likes some Moscato. So, I’ll be trying some new whites in those weeks. And then I’m flying with her back to Corner Brook, to take care of Maggie till Jackie gets home.

Mom, Jackie & Maggie

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers. And thank you for reading.

Darlene

My X-Tra Long Weekend

Ahhh, everyone loves a long weekend. I made this one extra special by taking Friday off, making it a 4-day weekend. Rest, relaxation, food and of course wine. Plus, a new grill has been added to my collection.

Master Chef Turrismo Pellet Grill

My amazing sister, who had a birthday yesterday, gave me this as a birthday present for turning 60. It’s the MasterChef Turismo pellet grill and smoker.

A nice addition

Along with the barbeque she gave me for Christmas 2 1/2 years ago, I think she likes it when I cook. Last night I fired it up for the first time.

Did sweet Thai chili chicken drumsticks, a turkey breast and glazed turkey wings. I loved cooking on this grill. The smoke flavor was amazing.

Turned out pretty yummy, if I do say so myself.

Lots of people were asking about the wine in the glass. It was pretty yummy too.

Pasqua Passimento Rosso

With subtle smoky notes, this wine paired perfect with my meal done on my new smoker. This wine is known as Pasqua Romeo & Juliet Passimento Rosso, and it’s a blend of dried or “appassimento” grapes of 40% Merlot, 30% Corvina and 30% Croatina. Appassimento means dried, and the process is quite unique. The Merlot and Corvina grapes, selected and hand harvested with great care, are then left to dry for 1 month into wooden trays in the Fruttaio, a special room used for drying grapes. Here, thanks to the dry and well ventilated environment where the humidity level is carefully controlled, the grapes loses around 30% of their water content and gain high flavor concentration. It is normally priced under $20, but here in Nova Scotia it’s on sale right now for about $17. Stock up. Several wine critics have given this wine 91 Points.

That’s it for me this week. Wanted to share this, a picture taken 13 years ago. My nephews Brady & Riley, ages 11 and 7

Brady & Riley 11 & 7

Last weekend my two nephews came to visit.

Last weekend my nephews came to visit. They are now 24 & 20

Brady works at the Iron Ore Company of Canada in Labrador City and Riley returns to Nova Scotia on Monday to start his 3rd Year at St. FX University in Antigonish. Yes, there are days I feel old. LOL

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

619 & Counting

When I went to write this blog this morning, my page told me I’ve written 618 blogs to date. Which makes this one Number 619. That’s a lot of blogs on a Saturday morning. I know I’ve written about my writers block before, as a matter of fact, looking back, it was one year ago today that I wrote about it the last time. I don’t know what it is about the second last weekend of August, but it seems to happen about this time each year. I’ve incorporated my love of cooking, and my love of food in my blogs. Because let’s face it, wine and food are a match made in heaven.

I haven’t done a wine tasting in a while, and I’m finding myself in a bit of a wine rut. I was at the wine store last evening, and although I looked around the different sections, I found myself heading right back to the California section. I’ve been on a bit of a California kick lately. However, this week I enjoyed a bottle of wine given to me at my birthday. This week I tried a new wine from Australia.

The Kings of Prohibition Cabernet Sauvignon is a really nice Australian Cabernet. It’s not overly oaky, it was aged in French oak. which adds subtle oak notes. The wine is named after the famous bootleggers during Prohibition in the 1920’s, Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel to name a few. It’s an easy-to-drink Cabernet Sauvignon that’s well priced under $22.

Margarita Monday

Sometimes in the Summer, you just have to have a Margarita Monday. My friend Maggie who lives above me, had Margarita Monday this past Monday. That lady can make an awesome Margarita. We had a great spread of Mexican-themed food and of course some great Margaritas. Hey, a girl can enjoy more than a glass of wine! Thank you Maggie

It’s also corn season here in Nova Scotia. Fresh peaches and cream corn from the Annapolis Valley made its way to my plate several times this week. I really enjoyed it with a steak and herbed potatoes. Feel free to share your favorite corn recipes in the comment section! Would love to hear them.

Stay cool everyone. It’s supposed to be a hot weekend. It’s also a shorter blog today, I’m heading to Antigonish for the night.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene