Archive for the Uncategorized Category

An At-Home Wine Tour

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2020 by darmyers

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As we continue to practice social distancing and self isolating, to help flatten the Covid-19 curve, thank you to the people who are supplying the humour.  We could all use a little chuckle every day, especially in these trying times.  I thought this one graph was a very cute way of sticking with the rules and doing a little wine tour all at the same time.  Welcome to my in-home wine tour.

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This beautiful white wine was a gift from a friend who bought it back from the States. Don’t worry, all protocols were followed.  The Stemmari Grillo hails from Sicily, and Grillo is the most planted white grape variety in Sicily.  I’m pretty confident she told me she paid less than $10 for this wine, which breaks my heart because we pay way too much for wine here in eastern Canada.  I loved the tropical flavors, mango and papaya, it had a delicate acidity, and this wine would pair well with any meal you served.  It also has a 13% alcohol content, which is high for a crisp white wine.  Great wine, great price.  You can’t get it where I live, but if you see it, buy it!

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If I had to describe my social distancing in one picture, this would probably be it.  Two of my favorite things.  Wine & books!  Oh, and food.  I really love to cook, and I really love to eat!  I tried a new recipe last week of beef tips in a red wine gravy.  I did it in my slow cooker and it turned out so good.  I served it with mashed potatoes and carrots, just like the author of the recipe, and forgot to take a picture, so I’m using hers.  I was so hungry, and it was so delicious, I meant to take a picture.  The gravy just made the meal.  Here’s the recipe I used.  Although the recipe doesn’t call for red wine in the gravy, I added about 1/4 cup, and I think it really complimented the taste.

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Here’s the wine I served with it, and it’s my wine of the week…

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A beef dish with a bold vibrant gravy deserves a wine that will pair well.  It should compliment, without over-powering the dish.  Your wine and your food should never compete, they should enhance each other.  I could have had Cabernet Sauvignon with this dish, but another full-bodied wine I just love is a GSM blend, Grenache, Shiraz & Mourvedre.  It’s called Shiraz in Australia, where this wine hails from, but in France, where the blend originated, the ‘S’ stands for Syrah.  Same grape, Old world wine regions call it Syrah, New world regions call it Shiraz.  I had the 2017 vintage, which was delicious, but I could have kept this wine in my rack for a couple more years.  I decanted the wine, which really made a difference.  Another big difference, was many New world wine regions like American oak, but these guys used French oak, which aged the wine for 12 months, and made the wine subtle and smooth.  This wine is only $21.99 here and I loved it.

You know who doesn’t know the word social distancing?   My cat Gabriel.

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This is how I woke up the other morning.  He was ready to be fed.

Take care everyone, stay safe.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

My Quarantined Wine List

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2020 by darmyers

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Let’s face it, there’s no doubt about it, these are challenging times for many many people.  I understand the challenges people have as we enter Week 2 of self-Quarantine/working from home, with no end in sight.  But during all challenges, sometimes we need a little levity, and hopefully my wine blog will be a little bit of an escape for you for a few minutes.

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This looks about right, doesn’t it?

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One of my favourite white wines comes from New Zealand, and I had this for the first time at my friend Joan’s place.   Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular white wines in the world, and I really enjoy it.  Pinot Gris, although the same grape, is it’s lesser-known sister and they are made very differently.  The #1 difference I can tell you about is that Pinot Grigio is more acidic, it’s very lively on the palate.  Pinot Gris has less acidity and tends to lean towards tropical flavours, with usually a higher alcohol content.  Where Pinot Grigio is light and refreshing, Pinot Gris has more body, making it a great white wine for those big hearty dinners.
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Pinot Grigio is a vibrant delicious wine that’s always a good value, this Canaletto from Italy is just $13.99 a bottle.  This is a great wine for fish & seafood dishes, light cheeses, lightly sauced pasta dishes and salads.  Also great wine for sushi lovers!C742BCF9-1417-43F6-A305-DF1F140AD560
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Many people at this challenging time is feeling a bit of a financial crunch, and this is always a great value and it’s on sale right now here in Nova Scotia.  Right now this is less than $15 a bottle and it’s a delicious Argentinian Merlot that is rich and full-bodied and organic to boot.  Dada, actually makes three wines 1, 2 & 3, all different grapes but the only one we can get here right now is the Dada 2 which is a Merlot.  Dada 1 is a Malbec / Bonarda blend and Dada 3 is a Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz blend. I’ve had all three, great wines at a great price.  So wherever you’re reading this from, if you head to your favourite wine store and see a Dada label, you won’t be disappointed at what’s in the bottle.

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One guarantee I can make to all of you, there is always a bottle of Zinfandel in my wine rack…
This is what I have been marinating for the past 12 hours or so…

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Baby back ribs.  I love the fact the grocery store on my street sells these smaller racks of baby back ribs.  My deep freeze is full of these perfect size servings for a single person.  So this evening I’m grilling ribs and Zinfandel is my favourite wine pairing.

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The Kenwood Zinfandel from Sonoma County in California is smoky (perfect for smoky ribs), and peppery and a great wine for bbq foods and hearty meat dishes.  Many times a great Zinfandel will start at $30 and go up from there, however I love this particular one, and it’s priced at only $22 a bottle.

I love wine

That’s it for this week,

I’d like to say a great big welcome to all the new visitors to my site and my Facebook page.  I am humbled and grateful for the over 20,800 people that discovered my wine page this week.  I was thinking of you as I wrote this wine blog, I hope you enjoy it.  To my new visitors, every Saturday morning I sit down with a cup of  coffee and write a wine blog.  Thanks for sharing in journey to find great wines at great prices.

Cheers

Darlene

Stock Up On Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2020 by darmyers

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I certainly do not want to poke fun at the seriousness of the Coronavirus, as the World Health Organization has called it a pandemic, but I will poke a little fun at those hoarding toilet paper.  I don’t want 600 rolls of toilet paper, but I wouldn’t mind having a few extra bottles of wine in the rack.  As a matter of fact, I was coming into my building this morning with some groceries, one package of toilet paper, and some wine.  One of my neighbours said “stocking up for Armageddon”, to which I replied yes – one package of toilet paper and lots and lots of wine!

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Remember I was telling you I had a wine tasting last Saturday night and it went fantastic.  It was a group of ladies and we had some good food, some great wine and a lot of laughs.  I really enjoy doing the winetasting, and a big thanks to Lucy for having me over with her friends.  Let me tell you about some of the wines we enjoyed!  I do have permission to use this picture.

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We started with a sparkling wine, the Mionetto Prestige Prosecco Brut.

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I explained to the group, some people think that all sparkling wines are sweet.   I bring a sparkling wine to most of my wine tastings, and so many people are always surprised that it’s never a sweet one.  So I’m going to tell you what I told them, if you see the word Brut on the label you can rest assured it’s not sweet, it’s dry.  This fantastic Italian Prosecco is just $19.99 a bottle, such a great deal because it’s really good.  The hostess laid out beautiful charcuterie board last weekend and this was a perfect way to start the wine tasting, because sparkling dry Prosecco always goes well with appetizers and charcuterie boards.

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I bought this wine which I was telling you about last weekend, because it’s one of my new favourite white wines.  It’s new to the NSLC, so if you haven’t tried it pick it up it’s only $18 a bottle and very good.

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One of the other white wines we had was a pleasant surprise to some of the ladies, as there was some people who thought they didn’t like Chardonnay.  This particular Chardonnay is from Chile, Caliterra was actually started in the mid 90s by Robert Mondavi, of the famed Mondavi Vineyards in the Napa Valley.  It’s not an overly oaky Chardonnay, and a great value in my opinion it just $18 a bottle.

my wine of the week was the winner of last weeks wine-tasting….

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From Battle Creek Cellars comes the Unconditional Pinot Noir from Oregon.  Unconditionally delicious, and unconditional quality make for a vibrant Pinot Noir.  The vineyard slogan is “Elegance without the Ego”.  It’s a treat at $33 a bottle, but everyone deserves a treat every once in a while.  Wine critic James suckling gave it 90 points and I love that they only use 10% new oak in making this great wine, the oak softened the wine without making it oaky.

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That’s it for this week, till next week, cheers

Darlene

Spring Forward with Great Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2020 by darmyers

Wine Daylight Savings

The clocks go ahead one hour tonight, and some of you might lament about losing an hour sleep, however, there are those of us that lament about losing an hour of enjoying wine. Speaking of switching to white wine, here’s one to try.  It could be my new favourite white wine.

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Cune Rioja Blanco Semidulce is new to our NSLC in Nova Scotia, hailing from Spain.  The wine is 85% Viura with the remaining 15% Malvasia and White Grenache.  Viura is also known as Macabeo, commonly used in making Spanish Cava, a traditional-made Sparkling.  Spanish cava is made the exact same way as Champagne is, at about 1/3 the price.  This is a dry wine, however, not a Sparkling.  There is a tinge of sweetness on the tip of the tongue because the grapes were left on the vine for so long.   There used to be a saying “the longer on the vine, the sweeter than wine”.  A fantastic value at $18 a bottle. It’s new, try it.

I have a surprise for you…

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I heard my friend Brenda from the NSLC on my street recommend this wine to a customer.  I heard her say Merlot, which immediately got my attention, and I said hmmmm?  I will be honest, I probably would never have picked up a bottle of French Merlot that cost me $11.99, if it wasn’t for Brenda’s recommendation.  That’s not a typo, this bottle of wine cost $11.99.  And this wine comes from the Languedoc-Roussillion region of France which has been making quality Merlot for decades.  Here’s the area and here are the grapes.

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Full-bodied and aromatic, I would recommend opening it and letting it breathe.  I tried it immediately after opening it and it was a little boozy on the back of the throat to start, but once it sat for 30 minutes, that went away because the air helps evaporate the alcohol taste.  You gotta try this wine.

And now for my wine of the week, it’s a white and red sister combo….

Murta 2

Hailing from Portugal the red Murta is a beautiful Syrah with Portugal’s most famous red grape, Touriga Nacional.   The grapes are hand harvested and hand sorted, with any green grapes and rotten grapes thrown away.  What that means for wine, is that you don’t tend to find any bitterness. Very food friendly wine.

I got to try the white Murta this week as well, which is also a great value because they are both priced less than $18 a bottle.

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With the clocks going ahead this evening, and many people thinking Spring and Summer, this is a perfect one for Summer.  Made 100% with a grape I don’t remember ever having, the Arinto grape.  It’s a very refreshing grape, the wine is acidic so it’s a great wine for an appetizer or an oily fish.  It has delicious notes of lemon and lime which will have you thinking of summer even if it’s snowing outside.

I have a wine tasting tonight, and I’m very excited about the wines.  I will tell you all about them next week.

Should you drink today? Or should you drink today and tomorrow? It's always tough decision, that one. One thing that you can decide on, though, is how much you love wine - and it's definitely more than people if you understand exactly what these funny wine jokes are getting at. So kick off yo...

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

My Leap Year Blog

Posted in Uncategorized on February 29, 2020 by darmyers

 

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Today is Saturday February 29th.  I have to say, I think Google won today’s leap year meme.  I don’t know what I was thinking last Saturday when I sat down with my cup of coffee and decided to name my wine blog ‘Leaping Into Some Great Wines’, thinking I had to write that blog last Saturday.  I literally woke up this morning and thought ‘I wrote my Leap Year Wine Blog a week too early’.  So today I’m calling my wine blog My Leap Year Wine Blog.  Let’s say Happy Birthday and Congratulations to all those leap year babies that are finally allowed to drink wine.  You’re only 84!

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I always try to feature a white wine in my weekly wine blogs, I have a lot of friends that drink white wine.  My next question would be have you had Albarino lately?

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I bought this to a winetasting in December and the white wine drinkers really enjoyed it.  Albarino is a grape that’s grown mostly in Spain and Portugal, however, because of its growing popularity Chile, Uruguay and the United States is also growing Albarino.  It’s very aromatic in the glass, with gorgeous aromas of lemon, apple and citrus.  If you like Pinot Gris white wine, you will love Albarino.  This Garzon Albarino comes in around the $25 mark here in Eastern Canada.
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I laughed when I saw this meme, I am really good at drinking wine LOL

My wine of the week this week is a Bordeaux red that’s a great value…

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when I tasted this wine last night for the first time, I said to my friend Joanne from the NSLC, “That’s a big wine for the price point”.  A Bordeaux red wine is always a blend and this is a delicious blend of 70% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.  I bought another bottle because I think I’m going to have a steak tonight, and this is a great steak wine.  As you can see, I have the 2016 vintage, which is very tasty now, however you can store it and drink it in years to come.  Full-bodied, fruit forward with some woody and spicy notes.  Hard to believe this wine is only $18.99 a bottle.  A very tasty Bordeaux for under $20.

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Have a great weekend

Darlene

 

Leap Into Some Great Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2020 by darmyers

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Hello February 29th, the day we get to celebrate once every four years and this year it falls on a Saturday.  How nice that we have an extra day to drink a glass of wine.

Water over wine

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I had to share this meme because it reminds me of my kitty cat Gabriel LOL

This past Tuesday was also National Drink Wine Day.  For some of us in Canada and the U.S., it was a holiday Monday, so Tuesday was a very ‘Monday-like’ day.  It was a great day for National Drink Wine Day.

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I loved seeing the social media posts celebrating National Drink Wine Day for two reasons.  I mean, first of all, most days are ‘drink wine day’ in my opinion.  But I really enjoyed reading about people’s favorite varietals and why they loved that particular wine.  February 18th was all about the sharing our love for wine.

Even the celebrities joined in on the celebrations.  Kerry Washington, who played wine-loving Olivia Pope on Scandal, shared this gif.

Olivia Pope drinking wine

Let’s start this wine blog by breaking a common wine myth!

One of the most common wine myths that “Wine Enthusiast” managing editor Lauren Buzzeo  helped dispel in honor of National Drink Wine Day is the broad generalization when people say, “I don’t like Chardonnay.”  In her words,

The grape is so versatile and easily influenced by both terroir and winemaker influence, that final wines from around the world run a huge spectrum,” she explained. “If you think you don’t like Chardonnay, instead pinpoint what about Chardonnay you don’t like, because I’m pretty sure there’s a counterpoint to that bad experience you had and it might be amazingly delicious.”

Many people I meet tell me they don’t like Chardonnay because of the ‘oakiness’.  Here are 2 fine Chardonnay wines where oak will not get in the way.753DB2E2-BBC1-4BFE-B20A-8136B3FAAAB8C2B4C486-C633-4D93-920F-FB3CADB74EB2

The first is a local Nova Scotia wine from Blomidon and wine-maker Simon Rafuse.  This is a wine I had the pleasure of trying 3 years ago when Simon was teaching one of the courses for my Sommelier training.  This is a perfect example of a Chardonnay where the fruit and winemaking gets to shine and oak doesn’t get in the way.  You should really give this a try if you are a white wine drinker who wants to broaden their wine palates.

The second wine hails from Joel Gott in California, and again the fruit shines.  You’ll taste melon, pineapple, and citrus, but you won’t taste oak.  I’ve written about Joel Gott wines before because I am such a huge fan of their Pinot Noir.


And now for my wine of the week…. 

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I have had the Don David Mel back in the past but last night was my first time trying the Cabernet Sauvignon. This made my wine of the week because it’s rare when you get a 91-point rated for $15.99, and that’s what this wine is selling for right now.  A wine is not a good value, no matter how much you pay for it, unless it’s delicious, and this wine is delicious.  The smoky notes of this rich Cabernet Sauvignon makes it a great wine for a barbeque fare and any hearty meat dish you might be serving up on this leap year.
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Enjoy your extra day of the year, and feel free to leave a comment about which one you’re enjoying this leap year!

Cheers

Darlene

 

Feeling The Love… For Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on February 15, 2020 by darmyers

Wine Valentines day

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and everyone was on Facebook professing their love for their significant other.  I was almost tempted to post a picture with a bottle of wine LOL!  As an unattached single lady in her 50’s, I was singing karaoke with friends and drinking wine!  We had a fabulous night.  I can’t sing to save my life but the audience was cheering and roaring ‘bon bon bon’ during a rowdy version of  Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’.  I hope everyone reading this had a fabulous Valentine’s Day.   Now let’s talk about our true love…. wine!

Too all my white wine loving friends, this weekend I encourage you to leave your comfort zone and try this wine.

Sancerre

You like Sauvignon Blanc, right?  That is what Sancerre is, Sauvignon Blanc.  Sancerre is a region in the famed Loire Valley in France, and the region grows about 20% Pinot Noir, but this region is famous for Sauvignon Blanc.  Sancerre is often compared with its neighbour, Pouilly-Fume, also a region known for Sauvignon Blanc.  The wine professionals agree its hard to tell the difference but people growing the wine will tell you Sancerre has more body and the Pouilly-Fume is more perfumed.  I have tried them both and I think they are wonderful examples of Sauvignon Blanc.  This wine is a perfect pairing with any appetizer dish or any dish in which you want to cut through spice or grease.
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I always tell people I’m saving corks for a Pinterest project.
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This Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon is actually 92% Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Merlot, Petite Syrah, & Cabernet Franc, which probably explains why this wine had so many great layers of flavour.  Sadly, we can’t get this wine in Nova Scotia or Newfounfland anymore, but you can score a bottle in other provinces across Canada including neighbouring New Brunswick.  And because this wine hails from Napa Valley California, I’m guessing any of my American friends won’t have trouble finding this wine.
And now for my wine of the week……

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I recently got re-introduced to this wine, and had to share it with you as my wine of the week.  Do you know why?  This is a fabulous Syrah wine and I still can’t believe it’s priced under $20 a bottle at just $18.99.  Here in Halifax we had a low of -14° C last night come up with a windchill of -21C.  In a word this is cold!  As I’m sitting here on a Saturday morning writing this wine blog, I am contemplating what comfort food dish am I going to cook up for supper.  And there is no better wine to have with your comfort food dish then this Syrah, with notes of black pepper and spice.
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On a bright note, it is a long weekend and you know what long weekends mean? More wine!

Till next weekend, have a great week

Cheers, Darlene