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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….

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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

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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

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2018 by darmyers

So it would appear Winter has hit Atlantic Canada.  -12 with a wind chill of -22.  Yes, Winter has definitely hit.

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Time for some comfort food and wine.

Last week I told you about the Chicken Carbonara my sister and I enjoyed at a restaurant.  I make a pretty good pasta dish of my own.

 

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Linguine With Green Olive Paste and 4 Cheeses: 

Paste:

In a blender combine

1 cup of green olives

A good helping of Olive Oil

A splash each of Red Wine Vinegar and Lime Juice

Basil

Garlic

Blend.   It’s supposed to be a paste, but a liquidy paste.  Not solid paste.  Again I apologize for no amounts, I never measure.  Which is why I cook better than I bake.

In the mean time, cut up chicken breasts into bite size pieces and cook.  I cook them in Maple Syrup sometimes just to add a different flavor to the pasta.  Set aside.

Boil your pasta, I like using fresh Linguine.   You can use your favorite pasta.  Here’s something you must do.  When you drain your pasta, RINSE it in water.  It gets rid of that yucky taste and add about a teaspoon of olive oil and stir throughout the pasta.  Trust me.

I use the pot I cooked the pasta in and combine the chicken, paste, real bacon bits and the 4 cheeses.  You can vary on the cheeses, but I always use Parmesan and Mozzarella and Asiago as my base .  The other cheese can vary.   I use Jarlsberg or Cheddar, but you can mix it up,   Add cream.  Lots of it.  Don’t forget the bacon!!

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes

And here are a couple of Italian wines that is heaven in a bottle for this pasta dish.

Remole

The Frescobaldi family was one of the first to introduce traditional grape varieties to Italian grapes and thus create Super Tuscan wines.  This Remole Toscana is one of those Super Tuscan’s, and is a blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Medium bodied with hints of cherries and black pepper, this wine is perfect for it which pasta dish because it’s compliments, not overpowers

Cielo wine

This Cielo 1908 Appassionatamente  it’s a fantastic wind to go with any Italian cuisine.  This wine is Merlot, Corvina, and Sangiovese.   This is the delicious Venetian wine with light spicy notes that again will make the food the star of the table.

And now for my wine of the week…

Trinchero

At this past year’s Festival of Wines, I got to try a real treat, and I thought I would share this treat.  Roger Trinchero is the President and CEO of the winery and says each wine is a representation of their family’s journey through seven decades of wine making in the Napa Valley.  This BRV version has been given 93 Points by both Robert Parker and James Suckling.  Personally, I give it 95 Points.  Full-bodied with rich flavour of licorice and cigar box.  It’s a treat at $105 a bottle, but everyone deserves a treat once in a while, right?

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The struggle is real.  Thanks for reading, till next week Cheers

Darlene

 

 

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

 

 

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

Start Line 2

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.

Medal

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