Happy Hallowine!

I’m back in Halifax. Arrived home yesterday. It was great to sleep in my own bed. It’s wonderful to go home for a visit with family, it’s also great to come back to my own place.

We are almost at the end of October, which means Halloween. Halloween is the toughest occasion for me to pair wine with. A friend of mine, Lorraine, asked me about this, and if I had ever done a blog on pairing wine with Halloween candy. Well, today is the first time.

M & M’s & Pinot Noir:

So M & M’s are one of my favorite candies, and Pinot Noir goes with everything. In my opinion, it’s one of the best food pairing wines out there. Honestly, I prefer it with chicken or some other savory dish, but it would work with M & M’s too. Here’s one of my favorite Pinot Noir wines.

The Bread & Butter Pinot Noir is scary good. Easy to drink, smooth and very reasonably priced at $22 a bottle. The slogan of this company is a good one, “We believe good things shouldn’t be complicated”. And that’s the perfect slogan for this Pinot Noir.

Snickers & Sauternes.

I can honestly say I don’t know if I would share this wine with a Snickers bar. Sauternes makes some of the most delicious and expensive dessert wines in the world. And as a Sommelier, we learned the wine in the glass should be sweeter than the dessert on the plate. I love dessert wines as dessert, after a big meal, it eases the sweet tooth but is not overly filling. These wines are delicious dessert wines, served very chilled, and those flavors of honey and apricot make for one of my favorite desserts. This bottle retails for around $100, so it’s definitely a treat wine. I’d have it after a big steak meal, not with a Snickers bar, but that’s just me.

Dark Chocolate & Zinfandel

Regular readers of this blog know I just love a good Zinfandel.

Here’s one you can get in just about every province, and is kind of a benchmark for Zinfandel. 7 Deadly Zins, named after Zinfandel grapes being harvest from 7 different locations in California, is a seductive and rich wine. Zinfully delicious, it retails for about $25 a bottle and is also my favorite wine to have with ribs.

Starburst & Off Dry Riesling

Personally, I’m not a fan of overly sweet candy like Starburst, but I do love a good off dry Riesling. The very first time I tried Riesling, it was many many (many) years ago, and it was one of the sweeter ones. I decided I didn’t like Riesling. Then in our studies to become a Sommelier, I was introduced to off dry and dry Rieslings. Love them!

This was taken a few years back, before I went all grey, but my friend and I were enjoying a birthday lunch in Halifax and we were having Riesling. Here’s one of my favorites.

The Kung Fu Girl Riesling is off dry and aromatic. It’s a great wine to go with some spicy cuisines. And very reasonably priced, right now in Newfoundland I noticed it was on sale for under $17.. There are also some great Riesling wine made here in Nova Scotia, and you can get the Gaspereau Riesling outside of Nova Scotia, including Newfoundland.

That’s it for the wines this week. One of the highlights of my trip to Newfoundland was meeting one of my Twitter friends.

Jackie Coates is a Twitter friend, who is as sweet in person as she is on Twitter. She works at the Deer Lake Airport, and when Maggie and I went to pick up Jackie & Craig when they were coming back from Hawaii, I saw her walking down, and had to approach her. Although my profile picture shows me before I went au naturel with the grey hair, I introduced myself and we had a great chat. Such a beautiful person on the inside and outside, and it was one of the best highlights of my trip.

That’s it for me this week. Stay safe this Halloween.

Till next week, Cheers


More Adventures in Newfoundland

So I’m back in Newfoundland. My Mom was with me for 2 weeks in Halifax, and now I’m working from my sister’s home for two weeks, while making sure my Mom is OK and babysitting Maggie

She goes with me everywhere I go.


Corner Brook Newfoundland is just gorgeous in the Fall of the year. The colors are in full bloom and we have been getting some really nice sunny days.

I have to tell you, I’ve started binge watching Yellowstone. I’m not able to get Amazon Prime on my TV, but my sister has it. I just started Season 4 and I’ve only been here a week. Wow, what a good show. I love Kevin Costner.

Also, my sweet Mom has been doing some of her favorite recipes for me, including homemade cabbage rolls and homemade beef stew. Great Fall recipes. Comfort food. Not only because it’s savoury and delicious, but this is the food I grew up on.

Also while I’m here, I’m trying to buy wine that we can’t get in Nova Scotia. Here’s one I’ve had while I’ve been here.

Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi California. It’s $2 off right now in Newfoundland, and a fantastic wine for just $20 per bottle. It’s been given 92 Points by Wine Align. It’s the perfect wine to pair with comfort food. Deep and rich with notes of nutmeg and toasted oak. I may have to get another one this weekend.

As you know, my Mom is a Chardonnay wine drinker, so I picked her up this one the other evening.

Aged for a year in both French and American oak, this wine was surprisingly fruity on the palate. She loved it, I really enjoyed it and it’s a great price at $16. A nice full-bodied Chardonnay with some banana and pineapple flavors, and some toasty oak.

It’s not all binge watching Yellowstone while I’m here. I just finished this book.

I’ve been on a bit of a David Baldacci kick recently and this one features his great characters Will Robie and Jessica Reel. This is the 3rd or 4th book I’ve read with these characters and I really enjoy his suspenseful writing.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Would you believe I’m heading out to do a little Christmas shopping. When my Mom was in Halifax we got a big head start on her Christmas shopping. I’ve started as well. It’s just too much to do in December, I have to start early. December is busy enough as it is, I like to have most of my shopping done by then. Hard to believe, isn’t it. Christmas shopping time.

I have to tell you, I’m really missing my grills, and can’t wait for next week to get grilling again. I’m back in Halifax this coming Friday, October 28, and I’ll probably be grilling Friday night!

Till next week, Cheers. I hope you have a fantastic week.

Meet the Mighty Grape

I love reading about wine and recently I read an article about the amazing grape, and there were a few fun facts in there I didn’t know that I thought I would share on this Saturday.

We all know grapes as the berries used to make our favorite beverage. But did you know that the grapes you put on your charcuterie board are different than the grapes used in the production of wine. The grapes you eat as a snack have a thin skin and have been bred by farmers over the years to be seedless. Wine grapes have a thick skin, are smaller and have lots of seeds.

It also takes a lot of grapes to make wine, about 1200 of the smaller grapes, or 2.5 lbs, to make one bottle of wine. Grapes also have more uses than just wine or as a snack, it’s used in the making of jams, jellies, and dried out they become raisins. Grapes dried out become raisins, and dried wine grapes become Amarone.

There are 8,000 different grape varieties, and by far my favorites are used to make my favorite beverage.

Speaking of grapes and our favorite beverage, let’s talk some wine….

First, a new white I tried recently with my friend Arla. Arla is a huge fan of Pinot Grigio and she recently tried and loved this Pinot by Riff. Arla always shares her new finds with me, for which I am very grateful.

Riff Pinot Grigio

With the weather warming up, here is a crisp cool white wine that pairs wonderfully with Summer. Originating from the Northern Italian Alps, the area is known for straightforward clean citrus Pinot Grigio. This is a gorgeous wine with notes of pear, citrus and melon, and a great value at $21 here in Nova Scotia.

I also tried a new red wine recently.

McManis Petite Sirah

If you haven’t tried McManis Wines before, what are you waiting for? I’ve written about the Zinfandel, which I love and the Cabernet Sauvignon, which I also love. I have also tried the North Forty Red blend, which unfortunately we can’t get here in Nova Scotia anymore. You can read about it here though. Recently I’ve tried the Petite Sirah from the McManis family of wines. Petite Sirah is an extremely rare grape, also known as Durif, named after French Botanist Francois Durif. Known widely for blending because it adds structure and tannins, many California winemakers are taking this unique grape and making it the star. McManis is one of those. And Petite Sirah is the best when grown on old vines. As the saying goes, ‘the older the wine, the better the wine’. This was a wonderful wine, priced at about $22.

My colleague BJ Wilson

Yesterday the Radio station I work at had it’s 13th Annual Linnks for Lymphoma Golf Tournament, raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It was a great sunny day and we had a ton of fun. A big thank you to everyone who came out and joined us. My co-worker BJ Wilson, who hosts BJ & The Q Morning Crew, worked with me on hole #10. We cooked pepperoni and did the ‘Closest to the Pin’.

Till next week, Cheers


Better Late Than Never

Money well spent

I had a few technical difficulties yesterday morning, and wasn’t able to get my blog done. Thank you for your patience, and for this week, hopefully you’ll enjoy this Sunday read. Again this morning I am having trouble doing my blog on WordPress, between yesterday and today it’s taking me between four and five hours to get this blog out. I can’t be doing that every week, so if anybody has any suggestions for blog sites, could you pass them along. The site keeps producing an error message on my laptop, and it’s more difficult on my iPad because I can’t edit pictures or link in any way. Let’s talk some wine!

December is almost upon us, and with December comes a ton of opportunities to enjoy some wine. Christmas cooking, putting up the lights, putting up the tree, or gathering with friends, (only 5), wine can bring joy to many of these occasions and chores. A friendly reminder to not to drink and drive.. please! This is for the chores at home, when you know you are home for the evening. And let’s face it, with the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hitting us here in Nova Scotia and across Canada, most of us are staying very close to home.

At least 14 times

Do you have any Christmas cooking to do this year? Well, have I got a Riesling for you? And it’s made right here in Nova Scotia!

Gasperau Vineyards Riesling

I’m a big fan of Riesling’s, even though I don’t tend to imbibe in many German Rieslings, which is the country many people think of when they think of Riesling. I love Canadian and American Riesling wines, they don’t tend to be as sweet, and I really enjoy the crisp acidity. This medium dry beautiful Riesling comes from Gasperau Vineyards right here in the Anapolis Valley of Nova Scotia and it’s delicious. In my opinion, this is a true classic Riesling, beautiful apple and floral flavours, and the grapes are grown in 3 different regions right here in Nova Scotia.

Red or White, great holiday colors

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, even though it gets dark early everything is lit up with a pretty Christmas lights . Inside, everything is so warm and cosy. I normally have my Christmas decorations up by December 1, but because it’s 2020, I had them up a few days early.

I love greeting this guy as I come in the door

And a great wine to enjoy while doing your inside Christmas decorating? Every year I do a wine blog that features my Top 10 finds of that year. In 2018, a Ripasso from Zonin was the number one spot and you can read about it here

Zonin Prosecco

Zonin has an easy to drink Prosecco that is perfect for holiday entertaining. It’s on sale right now here in Nova Scotia, and hopefully where you live too. From Veneto in Italy and featuring the Glera grape, it’s crisp and light and perfect for any nibbles you are putting out.

And now for my wine of the week…..

A new wine my friend Angie and I discovered this past week . I have never seen it before at the liquor store so I picked it up for our game tonight. If you think Australia is only known for Shiraz, let me introduce you to the Magic Box Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a full body, a beautiful deep purple color, with fantastic flavours of smoke, plum, and rich fruit. If you’re like us here on the East Coast of Canada, and enjoying some unusually mild weather for this time of year, it’s a great time to get that barbeque going and here’s your wine for it. And the only thing better than the taste, is the price tag, because right now it’s on sale for $14.99.


Well that’s it for mr for this week, till next week’s blog, Cheers and stay safe.

5 Months In

My favororite pour

Would you believe this coming Thursday, August 13th will mark 5 months since I’ve worked in my office. My friends know the story. When we got the email on Sunday March 15th to come in the next day and get our computers and other work things, I said to everyone “See you in 2 weeks”. True story. Never in a million years did I imagine the global scale of this pandemic, and the effect it would have on every one. But here we are, I’m very grateful to have a job that I love very much and we are making it work. It was tough at first, getting used to working from home, but now I’ve gotten in a groove, and I’m enjoying it. But enough pandemic talk….

Let’s talk some wine…. and food!! My two favorite things from all this.

Rhone To The Bone

I had a couple of friends in for dinner last Saturday night and this was how we started the evening. We are still in the middle of our heat wave, so I opened this new Rose wine, and all I can say is ‘Wow!’. This Rose wine is (you guessed it) from the Cote du Rhone region of France and is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Two full bodied, high alcohol content grapes, Grenache is used in making Chateauneuf du Pape and this particular Rose wine has some impressive people behind it. In house oenologist Pierre Viellescazes (I won’t even try to pronounce that name) and Vallee du Rhone specialist Phillipe Cambie, who was named ‘Best Oenologist of 2010’ by Robert Parker, together, they have made a specitacular rose wine. An Oenologist is an expert in the field of viticulture, which is grape-growing and the fields, and wine-making. Gorgeous citrus and watermelon flavors and priced under $18, this almost made my wine of the week. A great compliment if you are serving up a charcuterie board or as an evening kick-starter.

Last night’s dinner

Last night I made my first ‘one pot’ pasta dish, ever. And it turned out delicious. I have always boiled the pasta in a separate pot in salted water. This recipe called for cooking the pasta in broth, right in the sauce. OMG! This is my new favorite way to cook pasta, right in the sauce. I had some spinach in my refrigerator that was going to go bad soon, so I made a chicken and spinach penne pasta. The recipe is here. The only addition I made, I added some bacon. A creamy chicken pasta loves bacon! And as you can see from the picture above, the wine I had with it, is my Wine of the Week.

Canyon Road Cabernet Sauvignon

You know how I love finding good deals. Well, this one may have taken the cake… and the pasta… and what else did I have with it, oh yes, ribs. My friend Angie bought this down last week and I really enjoyed it. So I bought a couple more, after all, this wine is only $10.99 a bottle. That is very unusual here in Nova Scotia, to pay under $11 for a California Cabernet. And it was good. So good that I went out and bought several more and enjoyed it with a wide variety of dishes this past week. Hailing from California’s Alexander Valley, this wine is a delicious easy to drink Cabernet Sauvignon. Not overly oaky, this wine has been given 4 out of 5 stars by many wine reviewers. For $11 a bottle, you have to give this a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Enjoying Summer

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