Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Birthday Wine Tasting

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2019 by darmyers

Wine Tasting Daphne 3

Last weekend I had the pleasure of facilitating a wine tasting for a very special 60th birthday.  This is Daphne and Terry, and Terry celebrated a birthday last weekend, and I got to be a part of it.

They had many good friends there

And we drank some really good wine.

We had a lot of fun and it was a great tasting because we had some really good values and some really good treat wines.

We opened the night with a toast to Terry for his birthday, using this fantastic Spanish Cava.  The Villa Conchi Brut is about $18 and is delicious, crisp and easy on both the palate and the wallet.

Then we had this unique wine


Most people associate white Burgundy with Chardonnay, however Aligoté has always been there.  Bouchard Pere decided to highlight Aligoté in this interesting complex white wine.  It’s a crisp dry white wine with flavours of citrus and apple.  It’s $26 a bottle and would be a fabulous pairing with Christmas turkey.

One of my personal favourite treats of the evening was this white wine, another great pairing with turkey.

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Before last Saturday night, I can honestly say I have never had a wine from Uruguay, and what a delicious treat it turned out to be.  The Garzon Albarino was amazing and recommended by Peter Rockwell himself, the head buyer from our NSLC.. I loved this wine, however, it is only at our local liquor store for a limited time, so if you’d like to try it, try it soon.  Beautiful citrus, and pear flavours make it very food friendly and a very nice unique wine for $26.

One of the red wines we had was one of my favourite staples in my wine rack, the Anciano Temprano aged years for $15 a bottle.  I have written about it quite a bit in the past.  One of our treat wines was this lovely Primitivo from Italy.

 

The grapes are hand-picked from vines that are at least 70 years old.  Beautiful full-bodied wine with notes of tobacco and herbs.  Everyone at the party really seemed to enjoy this Primitivo, and I think for some it was their first time ever having an Italian Primitivo wine.  It’s a Christmas treat though, at $48 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week… it’s a treat

People who know me, know I love Pinot Noir, and this is one of the best I’ve had in a long time.   I rarely bring wines to a wine-tasting that I have never tried, but I took a chance because of how much I love Pinot Noir from Oregon.  25% of the wine has been aged in new French oak, and what that means is that the oak will never overpower this wine but it was used to smoothen the wine.  It’s a treat at $56 a bottle but it was so delicious.
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Enjoy December events and stay safe.

Darlene

Relieving Holiday Stress

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2019 by darmyers

Holiday stress

There’s no denying it, we are in the middle of the holiday season.  Christmas parties, shopping, baking, wrapping and a million other chores that have to be done before Saint Nick makes his appearance on the night of the 24th.  It’s no surprise many people get stressed out this time of the year.  I try to tackle a ‘Christmas chore’ each evening.  That way I feel accomplished.  And then I pour myself a glass of wine.  Nothing says stress reliever like a bubble bath and a glass of wine……unless you have a cat!

Gabe & the tub

This is Gabriel and I swear he wants to jump in with me sometimes.  But I digress.  Stress relieving wines for all my friends is what this wine blog is all about.  Let’s get started, and what better way than a sparkling bubbly!

This can be an expensive time of the year for many people, so any time you can find a good value, especially in a sparkling wine, you may want to grab it. The Freixenet Cordon Negro Sparkling is on sale right now in Nova Scotia.  It’s still a good value at full price, $17.99, but while they are on sale for $15.99 it’s worth picking up a couple.  The packaging is beautiful and makes for a great gift that won’t break the bank. It’s a Spanish Cava that is made in the traditional method, and is dry and crisp and a great wine for the first course, or even just for a Christmas toast.

The above wine may look like a red, because of the dark bottle, however it’s a white wine.  I have a wine tasting tonight, and when I was in the store picking out the wines, I had a chat with Peter Rockwell, head buyer for the NSLC.  He said we love our Pinot Grigio, and here’s another one that is packaged beautifully and won’t break the bank.  This Beringer is from California, it’s dry and fruity with gorgeous hints of pear and citrus.  And it sells for $12.99 a bottle.  This will make you happy happy.

Giro

So this was a new wine I tried this week, as it’s fairly new in our liquor stores.  The Giro Sangiovese / Merlot blend from Fantini was made to commemorate the ‘Giro d’Italia’ bicycle race.  Sangiovese is not usually described as a full-bodied wine, but once blended with the Merlot, it gives it that extra edge.  The tannins are prominent, especially when first opened.  I also made the comment, ‘I detect smoky flavors’.  This would probably come from the Merlot.  You can enjoy it now, or it can definitely age for a couple of years.

And now for my wine of the week….

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From Chile comes this wonderful Pinot Noir.  Climate can really change the way a grape tastes, the same grape from a warm climate compared to a cool climate can really vary.  Someone wine critics feel Pinot Noir taste better coming from a cooler climate, and I do love a good Pinot from Canada.  However this Montes Pinot Noir really impressed me.  It’s medium-bodied, fruity with some great acidity.  And its $17 a bottle!  Win win!
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Have a great weekend

Cheers, Darlene

December – Wine & Christmas Meme’s

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2019 by darmyers

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Tomorrow is December 1st.  So many wine memes, so little time.  I always try to end off my blogs with a chuckle from a good wine meme.  And there are a lot of good ones out there.  So tomorrow being December 1st, I thought I would have a little fun with this blog.  I’m going to share some of my favorite wine meme’s, and a few favorite wines.

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The meme that probably got the most likes from my social media posts was this one, featuring Karen from the television show ‘Will & Grace’.  I’m pairing it with one of my favorite finds this past year in a white wine.  The Liano from Umberto Cesari in Italy is a great wine under $20.  It is a blend of Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc from the Rubicone region.  I have brought this wine to several wine tastings this year, I just love it.  It’s got some great body from the Chardonnay, so it can hold up to meaty dishes, but the Sauvignon Blanc really ads some nice acidity, so it’s not dull and flat on the palate.

Wine abs

There’s another meme I’ve used recently that said ‘my abs are hidden underneath my love of wine”, but this one featuring Winnie the Pooh really hits the spot some days.  I’m going to pair this meme with a sparkling wine, a Spanish Cava.

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Personally, I’m not making through the holidays without a sparkling wine, and neither should you.  Spanish Cava is a great value, this wine is just $21.99 here in Nova Scotia.  Spanish Cava is a great way to enjoy a great sparkling wine without breaking the wallet.  It’s crisp and refreshing, and a great way to say ‘Hello’, which is what Hola means.  It also makes a great Christmas gift.  Speaking of Christmas Gifts….

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Honestly, I’ve never  been told I’m hard to shop for.  After all, everyone knows where to buy wine.  Pairing this meme with a wine that is still a staple in my wine rack.  The Anciano Tempranillo from Spain, that comes in a bottle beautifully wrapped in gold netting, aged for 7 years, and is priced at $14.99.  Hard to beat the value on this wine, and the great wine inside the bottle.

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And for my wine of the week….

Il Grigio

I bought this wine in Italy when I was there almost 3 years ago and decided this week I needed to treat myself.  While in Italy, I was very blessed to have lunch and a wine tasting at the San Felice Winery, which is a beautiful restored vineyard that was once a town.  The owners bought the town and restored the beautiful buildings in the town and created a winery.  The church, as part of the property, goes back to the Etruscan era, which is 8 thousand years BC.  The history is amazing, and so is the wine.  It’s a bit of a treat here, as it does sell in Nova Scotia.  I paid $13 Euros for the wine in Italy, which is about $20 Canadian.  The wine sells for around $45 here, so it is a treat.  But this year if you want to end the year with a treat wine, may I recommend this one.  It is smooth and delicious and was the wine featured at the beginning of the movie ‘Hannibal’, the follow up movie to Silence of the Lambs.  Anthony Hopkins is seen drinking a glass of wine, and the bottle on the table in the movie is this wine.  Not only is it a treat, but there’s a great story to tell your guests.

Wine bible

And on that note, have a great weekend. Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

 

National Zinfandel Day

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2019 by darmyers

I didn’t write a wine blog last weekend as my brother-in-law suffered a heart attack last Friday and I was with my sister at the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit over the weekend and in the early part of the week.  It’s been a crazy week.  Let’s talk some wine.

This past week we celebrated National Zinfandel Day, it was Tuesday November 19th.

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I love Zinfandel.  Archaeological evidence indicates this grape dates back to 6000 B.C., and is said it has been enjoyed by Popes.  It arrived in California in the 1850’s during the California Gold Rush.  Lodi California is considered the home of California Zinfandel, however many parts of California are creating outstanding Zinfandel wines.  Also known as Primitivo in Italy, this wine is flavorful and full-bodied and the perfect partner for any meat done on the barbecue.  Let’s have a look at some of my favorites.

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You mention Zinfandel, and the #1 wine people think of the most is 7 Deadly Zins.  Getting its name from the 7 different locations the Zinfandel grapes are harvested from, this is considered the flagship Zinfandel.  Even when I was telling my co-workers about a Primitivo I recently tried, his first response was ‘Compare it to 7 Deadly Zins’.  Jammy fruit with hints of hickory smoke and vanilla.  Classic!

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I can’t get this Zinfandel here in Nova Scotia, but its a definite purchase when I head home to Newfoundland for a visit.  Winemaker Andy Robinson creates a beautiful wine from Sonoma County in the Napa Valley.  Given 91 Points by Wine Spectator magazine, this is worth the $33 price tag.

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Four Vines Zinfandel hails from the Central Coast California which runs from Santa Barbara to Monterey Bay.  Their slogan is ‘We make interesting wines for interesting people’.  The slogan represents all different people from different walks of life including Cowboys, farmers, artists and rebels.  Sadly, they stopped carrying it here in Nova Scotia, so if you see it, give it a try, and let me know what you think.

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This is my ‘go-to’ Zinfandel, another beauty from Sonoma County, Kenwood offers a tremendous value at just $22 a bottle.  Kenwood started producing Zinfandel in 1970 and it’s a little unique because its 97% Zinfandel, 1% Merlot, 1% Petite Sirah, and 1% Syrah, so it’s a very interesting wine to drink.  I love it because of the complex layers and the great price point.

And now for my wine of the week….

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We head to Italy to try a brand new wonderful Primitivo.   Salento is a region if Puglia in the southern part of Italy.  This medium-bodied wine, which I shared with friends last night, and one of the comments was “this is easy to drink”.  And that’s what good wine is all about.  It is in the $18 range so it’s a great wine at a great value.

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Have a wonderful weekend everyone

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

Money Saving Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2019 by darmyers

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Hey, Christmas is coming, and if the rest of the year is any indication, it’s coming fast.  This time of the year brings extra financial responsibilities for many people, Christmas parties, extra food, extra liquor, and of course presents.  It’s a time when finding fabulous wines at great prices is more important than ever.

For my first wine, I am going to stay locally and tell you about Tidal Bay.

Tidal Bay was created by the Wine Association of Nova Scotia to reflect the terroir of Nova Scotia.  It is our signature wine.  It is the perfect compliment to seafood, but I like it with just about anything.  I was at a  dinner party last week and one of the ladies made the comment she had tried Tidal Bay but didn’t like it much.  She was shocked to discover most wineries in Nova Scotia put out a form of Tidal Bay and they are all different.  They have guidelines they have to follow, but they are all a little different.

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Last night my friend Arla bought the Jost Tidal Bay.  I think this is the very last one I had yet to try of all the Tidal Bay wines from all the different vineyards in Nova Scotia.  Personally,  I like them all.  The 2  pictured above, the Saint Famille and the Blomidon Tidal Bay.  They sell for about $21 a bottle here and go great with seafood, chicken, appetizers, and salads. The Jost sells for $20.

For my next wine, we are going to look at a spectacular value.

So many of my friends drink Pinot Grigio, and there are many reasons I love this wine.  First of all, it’s an elegant dry wine that is crisp and refreshing and very food friendly.  Also, it’s always one of the best values in the wine store.  Take this Canaletto Pinot Grigio from Italy for example, it’s $13.99 a bottle.  This wine pairs well with pasta dishes, white meat dishes, fish or delicious all on its own.  If you love white wine, and haven’t tried an Italian Pinot Grigio yet, run don’t walk, to the liquor store now.  You’ll love it.

If you’re looking for a tasty red wine that’s easy on the wallet, pick up this Spanish beauty.  It’s on sale right now here in Nova Scotia, so you’re only going to pay $12.99 a bottle.  It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo in an easy to drink medium-bodied wine.  The title, Liberado, was inspired by Spain’s transition to a democracy in the 1970’s, celebrating Spanish people’s newfound liberties.  With the temperatures dropping, if you’re looking for a great red wine that pairs well with your comfort food, give this one a try.

I’m so excited to share with you my wine of the week…

Botter

First of all, I love the packaging.  Second, this is a fantastic wine that is under $15.  I was at Fred & Arla’s the other evening, and they opened this bottle of wine.  I immediately went and got one… ok two, but who’s counting.  Primitivo, or Zinfandel as it is known outside of Italy, is delicious and one of my favorite reds.  This wine hails from Salento Italy, which is directly on the heel of the boot.  It is rich and smooth with notes of plum and hints of tobacco.  This wine is also designated organic.  Did I mention it’s under $15.

Wine long weekend

It’s a long weekend here in Canada.  I do have to work on Saturday, but I think I’ll find time for a glass….. or two.  Like I said, who counts them on the long weekend.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Wine & Writing

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2, 2019 by darmyers

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I was just looking at a list of my previous posts, when I noticed that I have written 492 wine blogs to date. This is wine blog number 493!  The reason I’m telling you this, is that sometimes I wonder what I’m going to write about. Sometimes the ideas come really easy, and sometimes on Saturday mornings I sit here with my cup of coffee and struggle with the topic.  The reason I started writing a wine blog, is that I’m very adventurous when it comes to trying new wines, and I wanted to share great tasting wines at good value to those a little hesitant about spending money on wines they weren’t sure about. For this one blog, where I’m struggling a little, let’s start there.

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I’ve tried two wines recently from the Saint Roch Family.  Jean-Marc Lafage and his wife Elaine both own the property and are the main winemakers for the estate.  The white is Grenache Blanc and it’s a very dry wine perfect for food pairing.  Flavors of floral and citrus and believe it or not, this wine is aged in concrete for the most part.

The red wine from the family is a blend of Syrah and Grenache.  These wines hail from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France and they do a fantastic job with Grenache.  Remember, Grenache is the main grape used in making Chateauneuf du Pape, which starts at about $50 a bottle and increases from there.  Both these wines, the red and the white, are just $19.99 a bottle here in Nova Scotia, making them a tremendous value.  I love finding great wines under $20.

An article I read this past week, started with the statement, ‘Spanish Cava is dead’!  It certainly got my attention as I love Cava.  I will say I don’t believe Cava is dead.  The article hinted that high priced quality Cava was dying, in favor of lesser priced sparkling wines like some Cava’s and Italian Prosecco’s.  Here’s my thought of that.  If someone is going to fork out the money for an expensive quality sparkling, they are probably going to buy from Champagne, France.  In my opinion, Cava’s and Prosecco’s, will always have a place in the world, because many people want to enjoy a good sparkling without paying hundreds of dollars.  Just like there will always be room in the world for a Rolex watch and a Timex watch.  Spanish Cava’s tend to be a couple of dollars more expensive than an Italian Prosecco, because many of them are made in the traditional method.  Which is time consuming and ensures quality.  This Cava is the Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvee Brut Cava, Brut signifying that it is not sweet, but dry.  It is $23 a bottle and I have brought this to many wine tastings, to show people you can get a traditionally made Sparkling that is affordable to everyone.

And now for my wine of the week…

The picture is a little dark, my apologies.  It is the Lignum Vitis Frappato Shiraz from Italy, and as you can see it is under $20.  This is made from a grape I’ve never written about before – Frappato.  Frapatto is a red Italian grape variety planted primarily in Sicily.  My friend Fred loves red Sicilian wines, so I’m hoping he’ll try this one.  This is a great wine with juicy jammy flavors and hints of dark chocolate.  I can honestly say I think it was my first time drinking Frappato and I liked it.  Although, I have had several wines from Sicily while visiting my friends Fred and Arla, so I’m going to have to start taking pictures.

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Have a great weekend everyone.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

Spooktacular Great Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2019 by darmyers

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This coming Thursday children will be dressing up and going door to door looking for treats.  As adults, we joke about the concept of going door to door and asking for wine.  I’ve been on a bit of a roll lately with some great new wines, so I thought I would share them with you.  Let’s start with a bubbly

The Zonin Prosecco Special Cuvee is a fantastic sparkling wine at a stunning prize.  If the name Zonin sounds familiar, it’s sister red Ripasso made my top wine of 2018.

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The Zonin Prosecco Special Cuvee is just $19 a bottle, so a very affordable sparkling wine.  It’s also been named ‘The Official Prosecco of National Brunch Day”.  Perfect all on its own, or mixed with orange juice for a delicious Mimosa.  It’s been given 95 Points by one critic, it’s that good.

Ok., I have a bit of a shocker to share.  In the past couple of weeks I have tried not one, but two wines from Barefoot.  (Whispering) I really liked them both.  I tried Barefoot many years ago and was not impressed, and honestly, I’ve stayed away.  But recently I’ve tried the Pinot Grigio & the Merlot.

The Pinot Grigio is priced at $11.99 here, and it’s fresh and crisp.  It’s an easy to drink Pinot Grigio with flavors of citrus and pineapple.  It’s also a great value.  The bigger surprise to me was the Merlot.  I love Merlot, and I’m a little picky.  It’s on sale right now for $12.99 and I bought one, to try it.  I liked it.  It’s not overly complex, it’s a simple easy to drink red wine that has no bitterness, and there us no fake oaky flavours.  It’s juicy and I had it with dinner, which was a pork tenderloin and I sat there chuckling because I really really enjoyed this wine.  Last weekend someone told me they were nervous about serving me certain wines because I’m a Sommelier.  Well, you can put those fears to rest. LOL  What can I say, they are easy to drink wines that do not break the wallet.

And now for my wine of the week…

Cote du Rhone

We head to France with a spectacular Cotes du Rhone.  The Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre and these GSM’s from the South of France are moving quickly to the top of my list.  These are full-bodied wines, smooth from aging in subtle oak and rich fruit.  And they are tremendous values.  This wine is less than $20 per bottle.  I loved this wine and will definitely buy it again.

Wine Halloween 3

Have a safe Halloween everyone.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene