Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Another Great Wine Tasting

Posted in Uncategorized on June 15, 2019 by darmyers

 

I was a little nervous about this wine tasting because this was my 3rd wine tasting with this great group of people.  I wanted to keep it fresh and some of this group had come to all 3.  But I needn’t have worried, we had a blast.  Don’t even get me started on aerators and vibrators, but one of the gentlemen got a little confused!!  We laughed, we ate and we tried some great new wines.

Montecillo

For the first time I bought a white Spanish Rioja to this tasting, and it was the all-time favorite white wine of the evening.  Montecillo Rioja Blanco is made from the Viura grape, also known as Macabeo, which is indigenous to Spain.  The wine also contains some Sauvignon Blanc and Tempranillo Blanco (White Tempranillo) to make it a great refreshing white blend.  Normally $19 a bottle here, this is a tremendous value because it was crisp and light and very food friendly.  I was really surprised to read it had spent a little time in oak, because you can’t taste the oak at all.  The oak was definitely just used to soften the wine.  A great wine for the awesome charcuterie boards they made.

 

I love doing wine tastings with this group for several reasons .  1) They are a lot of fun. 2).  They love wine as much as I do 3) And they love to eat like I do.   They always put out a spectacular spread.

The second wine definitely saw some oak.  I didn’t find it over-powering but some people didn’t like it as much because the oak was a little more dominant on the palate.  I’m a drinker of big red wines so it takes a lot of oak for the flavor to over-whelm me.

Meomi Charonnay

It was the Meomi Chardonnay out of California and at $25 a bottle I liked it.  It was heavier on the palate, but a Chardonnay normally would be.  I think although low on acidity, it was fresh and clean with nice pineapple and lemon flavors.  It’s a great wine to pair with lobster or roast chicken.  It’s also big enough if you normally drink all white wine, this could be a great wine for barbecued food as well.

Speaking of big heavy wines, this was the last one we had that evening and it was a big wine.

Black Safe

From Black Sage Vineyard in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, this is a steak wine.  There were two wines we had that evening that I suggested needed breathing time and/or aeration.  The Seven Falls Merlot was one, it’s delicious once its opened for at least 30-minutes.  This is another one.  I had this wine opened for about 90 minutes before we tried it and it was still a big heavy delicious Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wines from Black Sage are done in small lots which means any time it spends in an oak barrel, the flavors will be imparted on the wine.  It spent 14 months in both American and French oak and it shows.  We enjoyed the 2015 vintage, and this wine could be aged.  You could still enjoy this wine years down the road.  Personally, I felt this wine would be better enjoyed with food – steak, hearty stews, lamb.  I think that’s where it would really shine.

And now my wine of the week, which was my favorite of the evening.

Elouan

We enjoyed wines from California, then Oregon, then Washington State before we ended up in British Columbia.  This was our first red of the evening and by far my favorite.  The Elouan Pinot Noir hails from Oregon  and if anyone thinks Pinot Noir is wimpy, should try this particular one.   It’s very rich and very supple on the palate, and the name itself means ‘good light’.  Delicious!   Comes in at around the $35 price point.

We are going to do another one in the Fall and I’m really looking forward to tasting #4 with this group

FYI, I need the bottle of wine that goes along with this corkscrew

Giant cork screw

Cheers

Darlene

Advertisements

Lodi, California? Where’s That!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 8, 2019 by darmyers

When you think of up-and-coming in the state of California, you probably think of young people, sunshine and hipster events.  Many years ago the Napa Valley was considered an up-and-coming wine region, and now it’s the most established  wine region in California.   Well I’d like to introduce you to Lodi California, it’s the oldest up-and-coming wine region in California.   And they make the best Zinfandel wines in the world, in my opinion!  A fun fact, Lodi is the home of A& W root beer.

Lodi, California has been making wine since the 1800’s, but it’s only been really noticed in the past 20 years.  It wasn’t until 2015 Wine Enthusiast Magazine named it Wine Region of the Year.   I completely understand the region winning this designation, and here are a few reasons why.

5B1CF1F8-413A-4596-81B3-B1160DB0257D

Although Lodi California is probably best known for the Zinfandel red wines, they are producing some extraordinary Chardonnay, like this Leaping Horse.  Most people associate California Chardonnay wines with lots of oak, but this is the exception.  Leaping Horse wine focuses on a fresh and fruity Chardonnay, and there is no oak here.   At just $16.50 a bottle, it’s a wine you can enjoy time and time again.  Here in Halifax, we have to buy this wine at a local wine store, called Bishop Cellar.  Definitely worth checking out wherever you live.

F56E418A-52C1-4C12-9624-2E97A93D7DDA

This is probably one of the most recognizable Zinfandel wines in the world, and one of my favourites.  7 Deadly Zins are Zinfandel grapes from 7 different growing areas in Lodi and has a little fun with the 7 deadly sins.    This wine is sinfully delicious, pardon the pun and runs about $26 a bottle.   In my opinion, one of the best ones you can serve with barbeque ribs.   As a matter of fact, whenever you see a Zinfandel wine with a food pairing, you’ll often see it associated with barbeque food.

And now for my wine of the week…

3 Fingers

It might be called Three Finger Jack, but I give it a resounding two thumbs up.  Three Finger Jack was a legendary bandit and gunslinger who roamed central California during the early days of the Gold Rush.   Remember, Lodi California has been producing wine since the 1800s,  and it is often said they started growing grapes to make wine for those trying to strike it rich during the gold rush.  You’ll notice this is called an old Vine Zinfandel, and you’ll see that designation on several Zinfandel wines in your favourite liquor store.   In order for a wine to have the designation “old vine”, the vine must be at least 50 years old.  Older vines produce lower yields but more higher quality with rich flavour in the fruit.   This is a fantastic wine for under $25.

water and wine

As I sit here enjoying my Saturday morning coffee, I have to get to work because I have a wine-tasting tonight.   I’m so excited, this is my third wine-tasting for most of this group of people and tonight will be my largest with 31 guests.   I have some really interesting wines to showcase tonight and I will tell you all about it next week

Till then, Cheers

Darlene

You’re The One That I Want!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2019 by darmyers

Image result for the movie grease

Who can forget the uplifting final scene in the movie Grease.  We left the theatres singing and today, June 1st, marks the 41st Anniversary of the film’s release.  June 1, 1978 for those of us old enough to remember the date.  To this date it is still the most successful movie musical of all time.

The iconic song got me thinking of wines that you’re going to want to try…

Dory

It’s been a stellar week for trying new wines, and I’ll start with Dory.  I know most people think of the fish from Finding Dory when they hear the word, but growing up in Newfoundland, a dory was a boat.  My grandfather had a dory, and it looked very much like the picture on the bottle.  This Dory is a beautiful blend of Touriga Nacional, the official grape of Portugal, with Syrah, Merlot and Tinta Roriz.  This almost made it as the wine of the week because it was so smooth and so easy to drink and it’s only $18 a bottle.

Cannonau

My nephew gave me this wine as a gift.  Cannonau Di Sardegna is Grenache and normally Grenache is paired with other grapes.  This 2015 Reserve is full of flavour, the oak is a little prominent, but it’s a great value at $21.99.

And now for my wine of the week

Louie

It’s hard to believe two of my new wines this past week were stand-alone Grenache  grapes.  This bottle of wine and I are on a first name basis.   I call him Louis, and he calls me happy LOL.  I picked this one as my wine of the week because this stand-alone Cabernet Franc is outstanding.   Notes of leather and spice, and the oak is not prominent.  This wine by itself, is really really good and it’s priced it just $19.99 a bottle.

79BF95DC-B9A8-40DD-B4FF-B226826EE867

Happy June everyone.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Robert Parker Retires!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25, 2019 by darmyers

 

It has been said he changed the way people taste, critique and buy wine.   He was born in Baltimore Maryland in 1947, and at the age of 71 he is retiring, but his name and his legacy will continue on.  He is considered the most influential wine critic in history.

His name is Robert Parker.

Parker in Las Vegas, 2005

Robert Parker created the 100-Point Rating System on wine, started the Wine Advocate and in 1982 cemented his name in wine history.  That year Robert Parker was still working as a lawyer and writing wine reviews in the Wine Advocate.  It is said he stood alone to hold the 1982 vintage in high regard against a wide range of naysayers.   He said prices would go up and people should buy it now while they could.  A frenzy started and since then Bordeaux has become THE luxury wine.  His 100-Point Rating also made it easy for everyone to buy good wine.  You didn’t have to be a Sommelier or  connoisseur to pick up a good bottle of wine.  At one point his nose was insured for $1 million.

Enjoy retirement Mr. Parker, and I salute you with a glass of Bordeaux.

Let’s talk about some wines from a much less famous wine critic… me!

 

I know I have written about the many great wines coming out of Errazuriz in Chile, one of Eduardo Chadwick’s vineyards, and rated one of the top 10 brands in the world for the 4th year in a row. As you can see, in 2016 it also won the distinction of Winery of the Year.  This Pinot Noir is medium-bodied with lots of flavor and structure, a nice lasting finish and a great price point at just $17 a bottle.

9CAFC45B-146A-4DFA-8AC0-36598365FEEE

I almost didn’t try this wine yesterday evening, but a lady customer at our local liquor store told me it was her absolute favourite.   This fantastic Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a great white wine for summer.   I took my first sip and said “wow the passionfruit”.   This is a vibrant Sauvignon Blanc that is not grassy and not green peppery like some, this is all about the passion fruit on the palate.   It was delicious, and it is a bit of a treat at $43 a bottle .

Which is why this particular white wine made my wine of the week

170063D1-CF26-45A1-A8CA-999B4809DBDF

A fantastic white wine from Northern Portugal for only $16 a bottle.   But that’s not the only reason it was my wine of the week.   On the bottle you will see the words Colheita Selecionada, which means single vineyard.   Select wines like this are usually a lot more than $16 a bottle.   Alvarinho is the white grape and boasts refreshing flavours of grapefruit and lime.

FE02DD87-51DA-4F1F-92D3-C7774119DB01

Have a great weekend

Darlene

 

Long Weekend? Time for Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18, 2019 by darmyers

Long weekend 1

The May long weekend here in Canada tends to be the unoffical kick-start to Summer, as people head out to their cabins and campgrounds.  Many wearing winter jackets!  Whatever your plans are this long weekend, nothing keeps you toasty warm like a nice glass of wine!  Here are a few you may want to stock up on for your long weekend.

Meritage

After a rough day this past week, I treated myself to this wine.  As you can see, I had the 2016 vintage of the Mission Hill Reserve Meritage from the Okanagan Valley in beautiful British Columbia Canada.  Meritage is the Canadian and American term for ‘Bordeaux Blend’.  It was wonderful, but the great news is, this wine has lots of aging rooms left.  It’s a true Bordeaux blend style consisting of 35% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot.  It’s a great wine for any piece of meat you throw on the grill this weekend but slow down to enjoy the silky palate and the nice lingering finish.

8B2FA603-74C9-4452-AA1A-71C3A409C1D4

I can honestly say yesterday was the first day I’ve ever tried wine from Lebanon.   This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Verdot, and I had the 2012 vintage.  I believe this wine needed the ageing, its very dry but has lots of flavour layers.   Probably my only issue with the wine is that it’s $40 a bottle, and for an unknown wine, I don’t know if I would pay that price for a wine from a country that is not known for its wine.   It was good, but I’m not sure it was $40 good.

And now for my wine of the week…

2710ACD0-0F60-4B41-8F2B-A681675FF0ED

From Rioja Alavesa in Spain, comes this wonderful blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, and Mazuelo Y Viura.   It has wonderful dark fruit berries, some notes of spice and its nice and dry on the palate.   And you can have this wonderful wine for $18 a bottle,  which makes it my wine of the week!

FE02DD87-51DA-4F1F-92D3-C7774119DB01

Have a wonderful long weekend

Cheers

Darlene

World’s Largest Wine Producers

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2019 by darmyers

italy-2017-121.jpg

In case you were curious, Italy is the worlds largest producer of wine.  #2 is France, #3 is Spain, #4 is the United States and Argentina rounds out the Top 5.   The company producing the largest amount of wine however, can be found in Modesto California and it’s Gallo.  Yes, that Gallo, Ernest and Julio Gallo, the two brothers that started a winery in California in 1933.   In addition to wine under their own label, Gallo vineyards also makes, markets, and sells wine under 60 different brand names.   I guarantee, if you are a wine drinker, you’ve had a Gallo wine.

63EF8C3B-A373-4E9E-9573-AB271CA466F6

Everything from Apothic Red

75071C2E-531E-426A-BC53-D6F7D3DDA267

To the Gallo Family branded wine

BD299741-601F-4000-9044-EB188F8E260C

It also includes some high-end brands like this beautiful Mac Murray Pinot Noir.   Take a trip on their website, and check out the many brands that come under the Gallo distribution name.

It’s only been in the past few years that Argentina has made the top 5, and now Chili is #6.   Argentina and Chile are making fantastic wines at affordable prices and deserve to be in the Top 10.  I’ve recently had a great Malbec from Argentina.

 

Trapiche  is one of the biggest vineyards in Argentina, and probably the biggest exporter of Argentinian wines.  As you can see by the label on the left, they’ve been awarded one of the most admired brands.  Wine critic James Suckling gave the 2015 vintage 91 points, but if you can find a 2016 vintage he gave that year 95 points.  I would really be interested in trying that wine.  This 2015 vintage was delicious, a great Argentinian Malbec with dark red berries, hints of chocolate and flavours of toasted coconut from the new French oak barrels it was aged in.

And now for my wine of the week….

6927FE28-537F-4831-BAAD-D6437606F7A9.jpeg

I may have written about this Pinot noir in the past, but I’m featuring it as my wine of the week again, because of the newly discounted price.   This wonderful MeIomi Pinot Noir is now under $25.   It’s one of my favourite Pinot noir wines because this one is not light or medium bodied, it is full on body!   Chuck Wagner makes this wine, also famously known for Caymus vineyards.  This wine is made from grapes growing in three different counties, Monterey, Santa Barbara and world renown  Sonoma County in the Napa Valley.  It’s rich, flavorful, and a great full-bodied  food friendly Pinot Noir.

Wine Saturday 1

Have a great weekend everyone

Darlene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bordeaux on a Budget

Posted in Uncategorized on May 4, 2019 by darmyers

Image result for bordeaux week nslc

This past week our local NSLC celebrated Bordeaux week.  Now the Bordeaux wine region of France can be intimidating.  Before I started my wine studies I stayed away from the French aisle at the liquor store, because honestly, I wasn’t sure what I was buying.  France tends to label their wines by region, not by the grape.  It wasn’t until I started studying wine that I learned what grapes are dominant in each part of France.

Image result for bordeaux france

I love Bordeaux wines, and would love to visit the region one day.  Bordeaux wines are always blends.  The dominant white grape is either Sauvignon Blanc or Semillion, or a blend of both,  and the dominant red grape is either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.   And whether your wine comes from the Right bank or Left bank of Bordeaux, it tends to contain both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the dominant grape is determined by region.  But again the reds are always blends.  Looking through the Bordeaux region in a wine store can be an eye-opener as well as some of these wines are in the hundreds of dollars, even thousands of dollars.  But Bordeaux has had to come to the party if they wanted to compete with great tasting wines that all of us can afford.

I’d like to share some of them with you this week.

720F2E43-64E6-4D6B-9296-ADCD5A2C8F81

I loved this white wine   And I promised my white wine loving friends that I would share a white Bordeaux wine.   This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle that offers great acidity and a wonderful fruity  mouth feel.   It’s a steal of a deal at $22 a bottle

I tried a couple of beautiful reds from Bordeaux as well

Bordeaux 4

The Les Charmes de Medoc is from the Left Bank of Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon being the dominant grape.  Barton & Guestier had been making wine in Bordeaux since 1725.  I had the 2015 vintage, and honestly it could age a year or two, utwas a little dry on the palate.  Great value though for $23 a bottle.

Bordeaux 2

Now this selection was over the moon fantastic.   Chateau Faizeau Montagne Saint Emilion is Merlot dominant from the Right Bank of Bordeaux.   I could sit and enjoy this wine sip by sip all evening long.  The grapes are hand harvested and Remontage takes place,  which means the wine is pumped over the skins again to get full colour and full flavour.  This is one of my favourite wines from Bordeaux and it is a really good price at $38 a bottle.

My wine of the week is a 2013 beauty

Bordeaux 3

Château Cantenac  won the honour of Wine of the week, not because it’s a couple of dollars cheaper than the one above, but because it is so mature and so good tasting.  It is silky and full-bodied on the palate, rich ripe fruit and in my opinion the perfect wine for steak, grilled meats and hearty stews.  Totally worth the $36 price tag.

721062F1-B2D8-41A4-AB83-9581D22EC5E5

Have a great weekend and till next week, Cheers

Darlene