Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Storm Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2019 by darmyers

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There’s a storm brewing, a major snowstorm expecting to hit Eastern Canada this coming Sunday evening.  Some areas are expected to get 60 – 80 cms of snow.  You’re going to need to stock up on wine, as it will take a while to shovel out from that one.

Help is here.  Here’s a few great wines to help you weather the storm, as I’ve had the opportunity to try a few new ones over the past couple of weeks.  To start, I have a couple of Cote du Rhone wines to tell you about.  My Welsh friend Mair lives wine from the Cote du Rhone region.

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Any time grape harvesting is done by hand, you are getting a better quality grape which in turn means a better quality wine. That’s the case with the Chateau du Trignon Cote du Rhone, of which I tried the 2016 vintage.  This beautiful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre comes in under $20 yet contains appealing aromas of strawberries and raspberries, and subtle spicy notes on the palate.  It’s such a tasty wine at a really good value.  And speaking of tasty Cote du Rhone wines…

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Unlike the previous Cote du Rhone, this Saint Cosme 2017 is 100% Syrah, not a blend.  The spicy notes of the Syrah are evident on the palate along with flavors of full-bodied fruit and tobacco.  A great wine for roasted meats or a BBQ, this wine is sold here for $30 a bottle.

mascota cab franc

This Mascota Cabernet Franc is a fantastic value and came close to being the wine of the week.  At only $17.48 a bottle, Cab Franc is usually seen as a blend in regions like Bordeaux France, but this stand alone from Argentina hits it out of the ball park with flavor and good value.  It’s a perfectly balanced elegant wine that will have you wishing for more storm days.

And now for my wine of the week…..

wine saint bordeaux

If you’re in the mood to treat yourself this weekend, but still not break the bank, I loved the Chateau le Puy from Emilion from the Left Bank of Bordeaux.  This Merlot dominant blend has been given 94 points by Decanter Magazine and it’s still only $34 a bottle.  That’s a great price for such a quality wine from one of the best wine regions in the world.  It’s considered to be one of the best values to come out of the Bordeaux region, because if you have a look around the Bordeaux region in your wine store, they can easily vary from $100 to $1000 in that section of the wine store.  This wine is plump and juicy and all around delicious.  Hmmmm, this could be this week’s storm wine for me.

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True story.  I hope you are not too hard hit by the storm.  Till next week, Cheers.

Darlene

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Quirky Wine Labels, Delicious Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on January 12, 2019 by darmyers

I do love an interesting wine label.  Sometimes you’re going to get a not so great wine inside, other times it’s a great wine.   Nothing starts a conversation at a social get together faster than a quirky wine label.  True story.   Bring a bottle of wine with an interesting label, and the questions will start pouring in.   It’s happened to me a few times.

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Here is a picture of my very first new wine for 2019.  It comes from Verona, Italy, the home of Romeo and Juliet.  It’s a Merlot dominant blend, with Corvina and Croatina, a grape I thought I was trying for the very first time, until I found out it’s also known as Bonarda.  Both Corvina and Croatina are grapes widely used for blending in parts of Italy. And even though you may be on the wine budget in January, this wine is only $17 per bottle.

Festival of Wines South Africa

This wine I’ve written about before as it was one of the pleasant surprises I found at the Festival of Wines back in September.  This wine featuring the face of the mighty lion is a delicious Pinotage from South Africa, and it’s a delicious full bodied wine  that comes in under $16.

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The bottle featuring the giraffe, is the dry red blend, also coming in under $16 per bottle.   I can’t seem to find online what’s in the blend, but it was easy to drink and very pleasant, and a great price point.

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How often do you see an elephant riding a bicycle?   This interesting wine is a Zinfandel out of the Puglia region of Italy, normally where Zinfandel is called Primitivo.  Another unique fact about this wine is that it is fermented and aged in American oak, which is unusual for Italian winemakers.  It comes in at $20 a bottle and is a great dinner wine.

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You are never going to believe the price point on this French wine.  It’s under $14 a bottle and so good and so easy to drink.  It was a Christmas gift from my friend Sandra, and it was so good, I will be buying it again and again.  The winemaker says this 2017 version of the La Vieille Ferme Red Wine is the best in 30 years.  Apparently it was one of the driest growing seasons, with optimal harvest conditions and a small yield, which in the wine world means better quality.  It’s a blend of Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah and was kept in both vats and large oak barrels for only 10 months, so it’s not an oaky wine.  Great wine at a great value is a great way to kick off a new year of wine.

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I drank that wine after my handsome nephew won his second game 2 – 1, at our Ice Jam Hockey Tournament where these underdogs were undefeated after 2 games.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

2019 Wine Trends

Posted in Uncategorized on January 5, 2019 by darmyers

At the beginning of every year since I started blogging about wine, I’ve talked about the upcoming trends we can expect to see  in the wine world.  A couple of years ago, I mentioned wine in cans, and lo and behold found this…

And the experts are saying wine in a can is continuing to grow, seeing a 43% raise in sales.  So let’s see what else the experts are saying about the wine world in 2019.

  1.  Italian wines will continue to see explosive growth.

Italy has recently surpassed France as the #1 wine producing region in the world.  They have gone back and forth in the past, however, Italy had a massive frost in 2017 which saw them produce 23% less wine that year.  In 2018 they took the crown again.  Italy is growing because they are producing delicious wines in all price points.  There is something for everyone in the Italian wine section.

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I’ve written about it before and continue to enjoy this Ripasso, which has been given 96 points, and comes in under $20 a bottle.  Because of the quality of wine coming out of Italy and the competitive price, Bordeaux has had to step up their game, which I’m happy to say, they did!

2.  You’re going to see an increase in Bordeaux wine.

Although considered a classic, Bordeaux wines can be hefty in price.  While scrolling through the list of Bordeaux wines at our local liquor store, one thing that jumps out are the prices.  $500 – $2000 is very normal to see in the Bordeaux section.  But stiff competition for good wine at decent prices have forced Bordeaux wine producers to come to the table with some competitive prices.

And here’s a great example, which my friend Mair shared with me ladt night.  The Chateau Courteillac Red comes from a vineyard 20 minutes away from the famed (and pricey) region of St. Emilion and boasts one of the highest elevated vineyards in the region.  This Bordeaux is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, so easy to drink and is now priced at $15 a bottle.  How’s that for a reasonable priced Bordeaux wine.

3.  Nights In, Not Nights Out 

This trend has been growing for years.  People are entertaining at home, hosting their friends.  It’s expensive to eat and drink out, so people are opting to buying better quality wine at a fraction of the price you pay for it in a restaurant.  As a Sommelier, I’m also seeing more and more people host wine tastings in their home, as opposed to going out to a tasting.

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And my wine of the week this week is a spectacular white wine…

domaine chablis

The Domaine Laroche Chablis Saint Martin from Burgundy France is Chardonnay done so well.  It’s light and crisp and showcases the extraordinary terroir of Chablis.  Its finesse is marked by excellent acidity and a long aging on the lees.  Lees are leftover yeast particles and add a wonderful texture to both white and sparkling wines.  The longer the aging on these lees, the better the texture.  I loved this wine, I thought it was spectacular and here’s another fine example of a reasonably priced Bordeaux wine, coming in under the $30 mark.

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While the weather outside can be frightful this time of the year, it doesn’t seem to bother me.

Happy New Year, here’s to a fabulous wine-drinking 2019

Darlene

The Top 10 of 2018

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2018 by darmyers

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This will be my last wine blog of the year, as I’m heading to Newfoundland on Monday for a week, to spend Christmas with my family.  I’ve decided to have a look at the past ‘Wines of the Week’, and come up with my favorite Top 10 finds of 2018.

10.  Mont Gras Antu Grenache Syrah & Carignan Blend

Antu

A gorgeous take on the GSM wines, but made with Carignan instead of Mourvedre.  This $25 bottle of wine is an award-winning blend out of Chile and really needs to be decanted or let it breathe for a while.  Once you do that, you will discover a delicous rich blended wine.

9.  J. Lohr Merlot

Festival of Wines J Lohr Merlot

Voted top Merlot of the Show at our Festival of Wines here in Halifax, this beauty comes in at $30 but worth every penny.  Great comfort food wine, it’s 85% Merlot with some Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah added in.  A very interesting wine, which I enjoyed more than once this past Fall

8.  Dile Rosso

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This fabulous find from last Spring doesn’t seem to be available here any more, maybe you’ll have better luck.  Loved the shape of the bottle with room for your fingers and thumb carved right into the bottle for easy holding and pouring.  It’s Nebbiolo and Barbera dominant, it also under $20 and a fantastic pizza and pasta wine.

7.  Message In A Bottle

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From Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, comes this wonderful Super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Merlot.  My local wine store were selling them out, so I just bought them all.  Great wine for $30, and I just stockerd up for $25, as I’m led to believe it’s a very limited release, so get it if you can.

6.  Monte Antico Toscana

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My wine blogs tend to focus on finding great wines at great prices.  And this fit the bill when I discovered it last April.  Under $19 a bottle, and given lots of 90+ Point ratings, that’s what made it the wine of the week.  Another Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, I have bought it time and time again.

5.  Tormaresca Neprica

Tormaresca

One of my favorite wines that came out of the Festival of Wines, and I always have a bottle in my wine rack.  Fantastic value at $20, this blend of Negromaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Puglia region of Italy is a great wine.

4. Villa di Conchi Cava

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The best sparkling find of the year, no question.  I can’t believe this beautiful Cava from Spain is under $18 a bottle.  It comes in a beautiful gift box, which is great for gift giving and has those traditional sparkling flavors.  Think New Year Eve – think this wine.  It’s a great sparkling wine that won’t break the bank.

#3.  Paul Mas GSM

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This too could have been my wine of the year, it’s a beautiful GSM, (a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.)  It’s full bodied and opulent and just $20.75 a bottle.  A great staple in your wine rack for all those winter comfort foods.

2.  La Baume Syrah

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From the Languedoc Roussillion region of France comes this fantastic Syrah.  In 2010, this Syrah was given the title of Best Syrah In The World.  And it’s under $19.  Definitely worth making it into the Top 3 of 2018.  Any of my Top 3 could have been Number 1, and definitely worth trying.  This is a wonderful wine at a wonderful price point.

And now for my Wine of the Year…..

The Zonin Valpolicella Ripasso.

Never in my life have I found a 96-Point wine that sells for under $20.  Decanter Magazine gave it 96-Points, and so do I.  This fabulous wine spent 20 days on the skins and must of Amarone giving it those wonderful flavors.  My Wines of the Week spotlight great wines at great values and this was hands down the winner for the year.

Grumpy Xmas

Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year to you and your family.  Thank you for reading and supporting me through my wine blog every week.  I really appreciate.

Until 2019, Cheers

Darlene

Gift Giving Wine Ideas

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2018 by darmyers

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There’s no such thing as a hard-to-shop for wine lover.  No matter the budget, there’s a great wine waiting to be given and enjoyed.  It’s just a little over a week till Christmas, and if you’re panicking because time is running out, I’m here to make your life a little easier.   Here are some of my favourite wines that you can give as gifts to your favourite wine lover!

Under $15

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Still the best wine under $15 at the liquor store.  Anciano Tempranillo is aged 7 years, is full-bodied and super smooth.  Easy to drink and easy to give as a gift.

Under $20

There is a big variety of great wines under the $20 price point.   Here’s one of my favourites

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A Ripasso wine is a  Valpolicella grape  where the juice has been passed over skins and must from Amarone.   By doing this pass over, the wine receives flavours and aromas from highly aromatic Amarone wine.   And when you can find one for under $20, grab it because it’s a great deal.  This Zonin Ripasso is full-bodied and has so much flavour.   If you’re picking it up as a gift, you might want to grab one for yourself

Under $30

Festival of Wines J Lohr Merlot

At $29.99  the winner of the best Merlot at our 2018 Festival of wines was this gorgeous beauty from California.   Food friendly and so approachable, its full-bodied flavors include raspberry and spice.

Under $50

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Winemaker Josh Jensen set out to find soil that was similar to Burgundy France and found it in Central California.  Even the worlds most famous one critic, Robert Parker, calls Calera the most compelling  Pinot Noir wines.  If you would like to enjoy a taste of France this holiday season, pick up one of these bottles and you’ll get to enjoy the experience for a fraction of the price.

Owning a vineyard

Enjoy the week, till next week cheers

Darlene

 

Wine’s That Pair with Christmas Party Treats

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8, 2018 by darmyers

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It’s Christmas party time.  Do you have a lot of parties to attend this month?  I do as well.  So I’ve combined some pairings for Christmas party foods and snacks, or great ideas you can give a hostess as a gift.  Let’s get right to it.

Sparkling wines pair wonderfully with most foods.  Especially hor d’oeuvres and party snacks.  Sparkling wines also pair well with appetizer courses like salads.  And if you are one of those people who doesn’t like Sparkling wine, this Villa Conchi comes in a beautiful gift box and is a great gift for giving.  It also helps it sell for less than $18.

Rose wine is not just for Summer.  A nice rose is welcome at any of my parties

This arrogant Frog out of France is around the $15 mark, so easy to bring, most people will like it, and its easy on the wallet.  This rose wine made from Syrah grapes is perfect for cheese and crackers as well as those little sausages and pigs in the blanket.  Plus, it looks really pretty and festive in a glass.

I’ve tried two spectacular white wines this past week.

I dropped in on a friend of mine, and she had company, so we all sat down and enjoyed a glass of this Kim Crawford Pinot Gris.  I’ve had the Pinot Noir and the Sauvignon Blanc before, but this was my first time enjoying the Pinot Gris and it was, in a word, fantastic.  I loved it.  Crisp and light with those gorgeous flavors of melon and citrus.  We enjoyed it sitting around and chatting, but this is also a great wine if you are planning any smoked salmon or seafood appetizers.

Nugan

Sorry about the bad picture.  I tried a few new whites with my friend Amber at the NSLC this week, and I ended up buying this King Valley Chardonnay out of Australia.  It’s on sale and priced under $18 at the moment.  Great wine for your turkey dinner, the ham on Christmas Eve, or even if you’re planning on bringing in Chinese food this Christmas.  I loved this wine.

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I was asked to my friends, the Golden Girls on Saturday night.  They recently took a river cruise and were in Bordeaux France.  They bought home this spectacular Bordeaux for us to try.  It was full-bodied and grippy and a stellar wine for a big piece of roast beef or steak.  Unfortunately you can’t buy the Chateau Lamothe-Bergeron here it in Nova Scotia but what a treat it was.  I was reading some reviews of this vineyard online, and the tour of this vineyard is considered the highlight of an5 visit to Bordeaux, France.

And now for my wine of the week….

Paul Mas 2  Paul Mas 3

The first picture is to show you the gorgeous color of this GSM blend from the Languedoc region of France.  GSM being a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.  It is so good, I now have two more bottles in my wine rack.  Full-bodied and opulent, I loved the finish on this wine.  It’s a great value at $20.75 here in Nova Scotia and as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been back to buy more.  As a matter of fact I bought it to our wine night last night, and everyone who tried it, loved it.  And last night for food treats,  we had everything from cheese and crackers, nachos, to veggies and dip. It’s a great blended wine that will be a welcome addition to any party, but try it with your favorite comfort food.  Stews, ribs, roast beef, you’ll think you’re in heaven.  I did.

No recall on wine

I posted this yesterday on Wine In My Opinion’s Facebook page, because my news feed is either romaine lettuce being recalled or Kale.  Wine is definitely the safe bet.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Christmas Flavours In The Glass

Posted in Uncategorized on December 1, 2018 by darmyers

December 1st

Here we are, the first day of December.  For me, this month tends to go by the fastest.  I have to admit, I really like this month.  Social get togethers with friends, the food, and of course the wine.

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Yes, it’s the month of the year when our check liver lights may come on.   Whether you like giving it as a gift, or enjoying it yourself, here are some great values for a month when money flies out the window.

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This is the perfect gift wine, in my opinion.  It’s a beautiful looking bottle with the gold netting around it, which I don’t think is well represented in this picture.  This Spanish Tempranillo has been aged for 7 years before it’s released, which makes it especially super smooth.   I have also recently found out that the vines that the grapes are grown on are at least 30 years old.  There’s a saying that goes  “The older the vine, the sweeter the wine.”  And not sweet as in sweetness levels, sweet as in smooth and rich.  The best part about this wine, it’s only $15.99 a bottle.   In my opinion it’s probably the best deal in the liquor store.

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Don’t let the paper bag fool you LOL.   Three Italian grape growers, two of them in their 80’s, who have been growing grapes for different vineyards for decades, decided to make a wine of their own.   The end product, is this red blend of Negromaro and Zinfandel.   These farmers use a method called ‘Albarello’ , which produces low yields and high quality grapes.   A delicious wine that pairs well with any meat dishes, especially BBQ.  This wine is also only $15.99 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week ….

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This is the wine I had last night, and shared it with a few friends who loved it as much as I did.   My friend Amber from the NSLC recommended it, and her words to me were “you’re going to say Oh my God”!   She was right.  The state of Washington has an interesting quirk when it comes to making Merlot, they tend to be more structured than Cabernet Sauvignon wines out of the area.   This is unique to Washington state and really not found anywhere else in the world.  This wonderfully full-bodied wine is smooth, supple, and has gorgeous flavours of cocoa, raspberry and spice.   A fantastic wine for $25 a bottle.

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That’s it for this week. Enjoy every day of this wonderful month.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene