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Wines For Winter

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2018 by darmyers

Winter and wine

Well winter seemed to arrive in a hurry.  Last week we were seeing temperatures in the double digits and this past week we saw them dip to -17 with a windchill.  My sister and I were heading to Moncton to watch her son play hockey, but she got delayed because of a storm.  The news media were calling it the ‘the most intense storm on the planet’.   I don’t know if I would agree with that, but snow and wind cause flight cancellations, property damage and a whole lot of inconvenience.  Personally this is how I like to spend cold winter evenings.

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And I do have a wine for that.  Let’s start with this Italian beauty

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I Had this wine a few weeks back, buying it from a boutique wine store.  Moi Primitivo from Pyglia is an easy to drink affordable wine.  It is soft , and full-bodied with notes of liquorice, and it’s definitely a wine I would buy again.   It’s a nice little treasure for under $15.

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Here is one of my favourite people in the world, my nephew Riley.  And this weekend I’m up in Moncton watching this talented young man play hockey.   Regular leaders of this blog well remember Riley from when his family and myself went to Barbados in May.   We are actually just staying outside of Moncton in a gorgeous hotel called Hotel  Shediac in the small community in New Brunswick of Shediac.   They have a spectacular restaurant in the hotel called St. James Gate.

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Both my sister and I had the Chicken Carbonara, out of this world.  And the wine…

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The Masi Ripasso Campofiori  was so very smooth and rich.   This particular dish and this particular wine seemed to go together like peas in a pod.  This wine is made with partially dried grapes which gives it a rich raisinated flavor,   The grapes in this particular wine are mostly Corvina with some Molinara and Rondinella.  All the grapes in this wine are  grapes originating from Italy.   This is a great wine and although I don’t think it’s available where I live, here are in New Brunswick you can bring it home for under $24.

And now for my wine of the week….

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If its  all about the flavour at a great price point, this would be your wine of the week as well.  From the Languedoc region of France, this is La Baume Syrah.  In the late 1800s a pest outbreak  destroyed much of France’s vineyards, but in 1882 a man by the name of Jean Prat took over Domaine De La Baume.   It has changed owners since then, but in 2010, this Syrah was given the title of the worlds best Syrah.   It’s mind blowing when you think about that, it’s even more mind blowing that this wine is under $19.  Smooth, silky with soft tannins,  this is truly an incredible wine at an incredible price!

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Have a great week, till next week cheers!

Darlene

 

 

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A Star Is Born

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2018 by darmyers

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This past Wednesday evening saw a group of friends and myself head out on the town for dinner and a Movie.  The movie was ‘A Star Is Born’ starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.  Bradley Cooper not only starred in the movie but directed it as well.  Lady Gaga blew me away.   Not only her singing talent, but that girl can act.  I especially fell in love with Charlie the Dog, who is Bradley Cooper’s real life rescue dog, and recently had a twitter hashtag calling for Charlie to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

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So let’s talk about the food and the wine.  We started with appetizers of dried ribs, which is an appetizer I fell in love with while living out in Western Canada.

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It seems people either love them or hate them, and I am definitely in the love category.  Hard to pair a wine these, but we sipped on the wine from the bottle we ordered.  Honestly, though, I paired the wine to the meals we ordered, and not the appetizers.

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Someone had the honey garlic steak, and it looked delicious, which my friend Sandra confirmed.  Blackened chicken was ordered, which was nice and spicy and I had the lettuce wraps.  So the wine I picked was this Italian beauty…

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A beautiful Italian Ripasso from Folonari.  It’s medium bodied but packed with flavor, after those Valpolicella grapes are passed over the Amarone must and skins.   This wine features notes of fig, raisins, cherries and toasted oak.  It was a great pairing for the foods that featured the spices, like the blackened chicken and the steak.

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I said I was going to take a picture that evening once the wine arrived and forgot.  But here are some of my friends, however we are missing Sharon from this picture.  I am so blessed to have the greatest friends in the world.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Hello November

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2018 by darmyers

I’m sitting here on this Saturday morning, drinking my Starbucks Christmas blend coffee, the blend I love the most that is only offered for two months out of the year!   I now realize, as my wine blog this week is called Hello November, that once Halloween ends they really start to push Christmas at us.  Of course, if I were to be honest, most retail stores had Christmas  in their stores for many weeks.

So that’s got me thinking, on a bit of a different wine blog.   The wind is howling outside my window and I’m going to make one of my favourite comfort foods today, Beef Bourguignon.   I am a huge fan of the Food Network and it’s on a lot in my home.  The recipe I will use today is an easy but delicious version from Food Network star Ina Garten

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I absolutely love this hearty stew served on bread as shown in her picture here .   I love to serve it with mashed potatoes, steamed green beans, and more bread.

This recipe is really quite easy and people will be super impressed.  Find it hereIna Garten Beef Bourguignon

And here is that perfect wine to go with it

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It’s the wine next to the carrots I plan to use in my stew.  The J. Lohr Merlot  is the perfect partner for today’s comfort food.   This wine is actually comprised of 85% Merlit, 13% Malbec, 1% Petite Syrah and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon.  You can tell it’s going to be luscious, right?   Trust me when I tell you this wine and this combination is a crowd pleaser!   Dark smoky fruit and velvety tannins greet you.  When my friend Amber at the NSLC poured me some of this yesterday evening, I knew I had to have it and I knew what I was going to serve with it.  It’s $29:99 a bottle and who among us doesn’t deserve a little treat.  Screw candy, this is my kind of trick or treat!

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And on that note, till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

A Little Pain, A Lot of Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2018 by darmyers

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Here we are, at the starting line, to embark on my very first half-marathon.  A lot of smiling nervous faces.  I never would have guessed, my knee would give out at the 4K mark, and by the 16K mark, I had to hobble the remaining 5.1 kms.  But I did it, I crossed that finished line, and immediately burst into tears.  Finish Line

It was a disappointing race for me, as I had been training all year and never had any injuries.  I was suffering from a cold, and was a little concerned about my breathing, but I needn’t have worried about that.  Still, I crossed that finish line.  Thanks to my friend Scott Keeping, who after finishing his half-marathon, came back to the 20K mark, and get me.  He ran the last kilometer with me, and did the same for another friend as well.  Super supportive person to the whole running team.

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But I crossed that finish line, and on the bright side, I’m sure for the next one, I will beat my time of 2:54:19.  Needless to say there was a glass of wine that evening… OK, maybe more than one.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

I did choose a special wine for my first half-marathon.  Chateau St. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon was my choice to go with the steak I had that night.  This wine was very rich and tasty, and very balanced, with silky tannins that had no bitterness.  This wine from Washington State is a treat and sells for $25 here and worth every penny.  I was at the NSLC the other day, and I was tasting wine with Retail Product Specialist Amber.  A gentleman came over carrying a bottle of this, and I told him I had recently had one, and it was wonderful.  He told me he loves everything that comes out of this winery.  I assured him he wouldn’t be disappointed, and you won’t be either.

Wine Headband

My friend Beth had this headband made up for me, and I absolutely love it.  My friend Scott, who came back and got me to run the last painful kilometer with me, is the husband of the best running partner and friend a girl could ask for.

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We have been running together for about 4 years.  We did our first long race together, the Tely 10 last Summer in St. John’s, Newfoundland and she was with me for this race as well.

Festival of Wines Trinchero Napa Cab 2012

If you have a very special occasion coming up, and would like a gorgeous rich treat, here’s the wine for you.  Another beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve tried recently from the Napa Valley is this 2012 Trincereo Cab.  Given 94 Points by Wine critic James Suckling and 90 Points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, it’s a beautifully complex Caberent.  It’s $105 a bottle, but it is magnificent.  I love wine shows and tastings for this reason, you get to try some extravagant treats.

And now for my wine of the week…

The Retail Product Specialist who named this her pick of the week, is my good friend Amber, and it’s also my pick of the week.  It’s a gorgeous wine from Portugal at a fantastic price. It’s the 2015 Coteaux da Murta Red, a blend of Touriga Nacional and Syrah.  Touriga Nacional is considered to be Portugal’s finest grape, and the combination of this grape and the Syrah makes this wine both spicy and fruity.  Look at the price point… a great wine at an affordable price.

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People ask me why I run.  Only kidding, I really do love it.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Run A Little, Wine A Lot

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2018 by darmyers

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Tomorrow, I am going to run my very first half marathon.  These two ladies, my friends Beth and Kathy, are two of the 8 other ladies that will cross that finish line with me.  9 of us ladies from our running group are travelling to the province of New Brunswick to run a total of 21.2 kms.  Believe me when I will tell you, a glass of wine will be in order.  (Maybe 2!)

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Like this gorgeous Pinot Noir from Oregon.  I had several fantastic Pinot Noir Wines at the recent Festival of wines, and this one was amazing, for under $30.  Given 90 Points by The Wine Advocate, I give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up.  Gary Horner is the talented winemaker of this incredible Pinot Noir and the winery says its goal is to make the best Pinot Noir under $20 (that’s American prices – Keep in mind the Canadian exchange).  This is definitely achieving that goal.  Smooth on the palate, with a great finish and notes of candied orange peel and cherries.  Goes with anything you would like to serve.

Kilikanoon Killerman's Run Shiraz

It’s been a few years since I’ve written about this wine, the Kilikanoon Kilerman’s Run Shiraz, but I decided to tell you about it again in honor of my upcoming half-marathon.  This is a Shiraz from Southern Australia, and it’s such a great value.  At $17, it is a non-guilty pleasure.  It’s very plush on the palate with notes of cherries and toasty oak, and a great value wine all around.

And now for my wine of the week…

For my wine of the week we are heading South to Chile, and a fantastic Merlot.  Merlot continues to be a favorite of mine, because of its easy to drink characteristics, it is very food friendly and it’s lush and juicy on the palate.  Although this grape made its way to Chile in the mid 19th Century, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that Merlot became popular in Chile.  Depending on where the grape is planted, Merlot from Chile can be fruity and friendly to remarkably vibrant.  This Marques Casa Concha Merlot is on the remarkably vibrant side.  Gorgeous flavors of black currant, plum and vanilla make for a great wine.  It’s $25 a bottle, and fabulously delicious.

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Well that’s it for me for this week.  My running friend Beth said to bring two of these to New Brunswick!!  Next week I will tell you about my half-marathon and if I got to cross that finish line.

Cheers

Darlene

Peter Dennis Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2018 by darmyers

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At the Festival of Wines, I got to meet legendary winemaker, Peter Dennis.  He is such a fun person.  It was an absolute delight to meet him.  Peter is the son of Egerton Dennis, founder of Dennis wines.  Peter took over the family business in 1979 and continues to make quality wine in Australia.

This is one of my favorites, it’s a GSM, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.  At $21 it’s a great dry wine and has notes of black pepper. This is an old world style wine, as Grenache is the main grape in Chateauneuf du Pape, and I would recommend you let it breathe.  Mourvedre always brings a level of smoothness to Grenache and Syrah.   When you do let it breathe, what a great compliment your hearty winter stews and dishes.

This is the Shiraz that I got Peter Dennis to sign when I met him.  And here’s what he said

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“Make love often with someone you like”.  Words of wisdom from Peter Dennis.  The bottle he signed for me was the 2016 Shiraz, and although I haven’t enjoyed it yet, Peter tells me he would like to see me cellar the wine for 3 – 5 years, because it is such a new vintage.  He said I will enjoy notes of plum and blackberries as well as some black pepper.  I told him I loved to barbecue, and probably did it 3 – 4 times per week, and he said this would be perfect with grilled meats.

And now for my wine of the week…

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Another Grenache / Syrah blend, this time with Carignan, a grape that originated in Spain.  I’ve never had an Antu wine before, but Amber from my favorite NSLC store says she enjoys all of them.  So I picked up the Mont Gras Antu Grenache Syrah and Carignan blend.  This is a French style of wine done in the Colchagua region of Chile.  As I stated above with the GSM, I would recommend you decanter this wine or let it breathe for a while.  As I mentioned above, Grenache is the grape used in making Chateauneuf du Pape, and it can be a bit much when you first open it.  But once you let it breathe, it is a wonderfully complex wine that has great structure and a lasting finish.  New World meets Old world, overall a great Chilean wine for under $25.

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Saturday is always wine day in my book.  Enjoy the weekend, till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

The Festival of Wines Grand Tasting

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2018 by darmyers

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Last Saturday I attended one of the Grand Tastings for the annual Festival of Wines here in Halifax.  The theme was celebrating the wines of North America, however, all the countries were represented.  My mission while there was to only try wines I’ve never had before, and I tried some spectacular wines.  I’m so excited to share some of them with you.

Festival of Wines Nancy

This gorgeous lady is my friend Nancy and she is a wine rep in Nova Scotia, and one of the best.  She was showcasing a fantastic Syrah from the Languedoc Roussillion region of France.  I’ve included a file photo of the wine because the one I took at the show was a little blurry.  Honestly, this was my first wine stop, so the blurriness was excitement, not tipsiness.

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I couldn’t believe this wine was under $19, it was so good.  In 2010,. the 2009 vintage of this wine was voted ‘The Best Syrah in the World’.  How’s that for an award.  It was easy to drink, fruity and had silky tannins.  I’ll be trying to buy this again and again.

Festival of Wines Vintage Sangiovese

I had the pleasure of meeting Umberto Cesari’s son Paul a couple of months back, and they are a family that are making quality wines in the Emilio Romagna region of Italy.  I can’t remember the price, but I think it was around the $22 mark.  This wine is not on the local NSLC site yet, but I sure hope it’s going to be around after the show.

Festival of Wines J Lohr Merlot

Best Merlot wine at the show went to this California beauty, the J. Lohr Merlot.  Regular readers know I am a big fan of this winery.  50 years ago Jerry Lohr set out to make a career change, and I’m so glad he did.  Today his 3 children run the show, Steve, Cynthia and Lawrence, and are continuing his quest for great wines at affordable prices.  I love Merlot and I completely understand this fruit forward juicy Merlot with hints of pepper and chocolate won the prize.  This is actually a Merlot blend, with 85% of the wine in the bottle being Merlot.  California law states that if there is 85% or more of a grape in the bottle, that’s the only grape you are required to list.  There is also 13% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Petite Syrah.  It’s an interesting blend and a fascinating wine.

I tried so many good wines last Saturday night, that I honestly can’t pick the best of show.  However, I can pick a wine of the week…

Tormaresca

I almost left the wine show without tasting this wine, until my friends from the NSLC who were working the wine show sent me back to taste this magnificent Sangiovese.  It was so good I bought one on the spot and went back home and my friend Sandra and I shared the bottle.  In the Puglia region of Italy, Tormaresca is named for the area’s ancient seaside towers overlooking the Adriatic Sea.  Only a small part of this wine was aged in oak, with the remaining wine aged in stainless steel.  This created a very smooth wine that in no way the oak over-powered.  I searched to try and find the definition of Neprica, but had no luck.  This wine is a blend of Negromaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon, and sells for $19.99 a bottle.  I tried to find it again yesterday with no luck.  I understand it also sold out at the wine show, so hopefully we will see it on the shelves soon.

Festival of Wines Peter Dennis

Had the opportunity to meet Peter Dennis from Peter Dennis Wines in Australia.  I will tell you all about that next week

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene