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Money Saving Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2019 by darmyers

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Hey, Christmas is coming, and if the rest of the year is any indication, it’s coming fast.  This time of the year brings extra financial responsibilities for many people, Christmas parties, extra food, extra liquor, and of course presents.  It’s a time when finding fabulous wines at great prices is more important than ever.

For my first wine, I am going to stay locally and tell you about Tidal Bay.

Tidal Bay was created by the Wine Association of Nova Scotia to reflect the terroir of Nova Scotia.  It is our signature wine.  It is the perfect compliment to seafood, but I like it with just about anything.  I was at a  dinner party last week and one of the ladies made the comment she had tried Tidal Bay but didn’t like it much.  She was shocked to discover most wineries in Nova Scotia put out a form of Tidal Bay and they are all different.  They have guidelines they have to follow, but they are all a little different.

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Last night my friend Arla bought the Jost Tidal Bay.  I think this is the very last one I had yet to try of all the Tidal Bay wines from all the different vineyards in Nova Scotia.  Personally,  I like them all.  The 2  pictured above, the Saint Famille and the Blomidon Tidal Bay.  They sell for about $21 a bottle here and go great with seafood, chicken, appetizers, and salads. The Jost sells for $20.

For my next wine, we are going to look at a spectacular value.

So many of my friends drink Pinot Grigio, and there are many reasons I love this wine.  First of all, it’s an elegant dry wine that is crisp and refreshing and very food friendly.  Also, it’s always one of the best values in the wine store.  Take this Canaletto Pinot Grigio from Italy for example, it’s $13.99 a bottle.  This wine pairs well with pasta dishes, white meat dishes, fish or delicious all on its own.  If you love white wine, and haven’t tried an Italian Pinot Grigio yet, run don’t walk, to the liquor store now.  You’ll love it.

If you’re looking for a tasty red wine that’s easy on the wallet, pick up this Spanish beauty.  It’s on sale right now here in Nova Scotia, so you’re only going to pay $12.99 a bottle.  It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo in an easy to drink medium-bodied wine.  The title, Liberado, was inspired by Spain’s transition to a democracy in the 1970’s, celebrating Spanish people’s newfound liberties.  With the temperatures dropping, if you’re looking for a great red wine that pairs well with your comfort food, give this one a try.

I’m so excited to share with you my wine of the week…

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First of all, I love the packaging.  Second, this is a fantastic wine that is under $15.  I was at Fred & Arla’s the other evening, and they opened this bottle of wine.  I immediately went and got one… ok two, but who’s counting.  Primitivo, or Zinfandel as it is known outside of Italy, is delicious and one of my favorite reds.  This wine hails from Salento Italy, which is directly on the heel of the boot.  It is rich and smooth with notes of plum and hints of tobacco.  This wine is also designated organic.  Did I mention it’s under $15.

Wine long weekend

It’s a long weekend here in Canada.  I do have to work on Saturday, but I think I’ll find time for a glass….. or two.  Like I said, who counts them on the long weekend.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Wine & Writing

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2, 2019 by darmyers

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I was just looking at a list of my previous posts, when I noticed that I have written 492 wine blogs to date. This is wine blog number 493!  The reason I’m telling you this, is that sometimes I wonder what I’m going to write about. Sometimes the ideas come really easy, and sometimes on Saturday mornings I sit here with my cup of coffee and struggle with the topic.  The reason I started writing a wine blog, is that I’m very adventurous when it comes to trying new wines, and I wanted to share great tasting wines at good value to those a little hesitant about spending money on wines they weren’t sure about. For this one blog, where I’m struggling a little, let’s start there.

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I’ve tried two wines recently from the Saint Roch Family.  Jean-Marc Lafage and his wife Elaine both own the property and are the main winemakers for the estate.  The white is Grenache Blanc and it’s a very dry wine perfect for food pairing.  Flavors of floral and citrus and believe it or not, this wine is aged in concrete for the most part.

The red wine from the family is a blend of Syrah and Grenache.  These wines hail from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France and they do a fantastic job with Grenache.  Remember, Grenache is the main grape used in making Chateauneuf du Pape, which starts at about $50 a bottle and increases from there.  Both these wines, the red and the white, are just $19.99 a bottle here in Nova Scotia, making them a tremendous value.  I love finding great wines under $20.

An article I read this past week, started with the statement, ‘Spanish Cava is dead’!  It certainly got my attention as I love Cava.  I will say I don’t believe Cava is dead.  The article hinted that high priced quality Cava was dying, in favor of lesser priced sparkling wines like some Cava’s and Italian Prosecco’s.  Here’s my thought of that.  If someone is going to fork out the money for an expensive quality sparkling, they are probably going to buy from Champagne, France.  In my opinion, Cava’s and Prosecco’s, will always have a place in the world, because many people want to enjoy a good sparkling without paying hundreds of dollars.  Just like there will always be room in the world for a Rolex watch and a Timex watch.  Spanish Cava’s tend to be a couple of dollars more expensive than an Italian Prosecco, because many of them are made in the traditional method.  Which is time consuming and ensures quality.  This Cava is the Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvee Brut Cava, Brut signifying that it is not sweet, but dry.  It is $23 a bottle and I have brought this to many wine tastings, to show people you can get a traditionally made Sparkling that is affordable to everyone.

And now for my wine of the week…

The picture is a little dark, my apologies.  It is the Lignum Vitis Frappato Shiraz from Italy, and as you can see it is under $20.  This is made from a grape I’ve never written about before – Frappato.  Frapatto is a red Italian grape variety planted primarily in Sicily.  My friend Fred loves red Sicilian wines, so I’m hoping he’ll try this one.  This is a great wine with juicy jammy flavors and hints of dark chocolate.  I can honestly say I think it was my first time drinking Frappato and I liked it.  Although, I have had several wines from Sicily while visiting my friends Fred and Arla, so I’m going to have to start taking pictures.

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Have a great weekend everyone.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

Spooktacular Great Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2019 by darmyers

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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.

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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

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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

 

 

 

 

Festival of Wines Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2019 by darmyers

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Yes, part 1, because there are so many events and so many wines to try during the Festival of Wines, that one wine blog just won’t cut it.  I went to my first event Wednesday evening, which was the “Tasting:  The World of Wines Experience” at the Casino Nova Scotia.  Only 120 tickets, and it’s all about the wine.  I love it.

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This is one of my favorite finds of the Festival of Wines so far, this beautiful sparkling Cremant from France.  It is Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, and Muscadet and it is refreshing, bright and fruity.  It’s also a fantastic price for a well made Cremant from Bordeaux.  Cremant sparkling wines are made in the same method as Champagne, and is a great option if you have a ‘Champagne taste on a beer budget’, as my father would say.  Bordeaux France is best known for its red blends, but this was a fabulous surprise find.

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One of the thrills for me at this event was Chef Renee Lavallee, winner of Top Chef Canada.  What was even more exciting was to learn she has teamed up with a Champagne house, Duval Leroy, who have been making Champagne for 160 years.  Renee says this Champagne is in harmony with her own style of cuisine.  It was well aged, but so very vibrant on the palate.  When I tasted, I told her it woke my mouth up in a big way;  A treat at $87 a bottle, but a great Champagne.

And my Wine of the Week,

The handsome Chris from the NSLC is pouring my favourite wine from Wednesday evening’s event, the 2015 Chateau Guillou Montagne Saint Emilion.   Comprised mostly of Merlot, it also contains small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.   I tasted wines Wednesday evening that were way over $100 a bottle, and this was still my favourite – it’s that smooth!   And because I like great values, it is difficult to get a Bordeaux wine of this quality for this price point.

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I have another festival of wines event this afternoon, the general tasting.  Till next week, cheers

Darlene