Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Keep Calm & Drink the Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on February 8, 2020 by darmyers

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Welcome to February, where freezing rain and snow storms make us all thankful it’s the shortest month of the year.  I’m here with some advice for my friends…. Keep calm and drink the wine.  This morning as I sit here and write my one blog, it is -15° outside.  So, stay cosy my friends and let me introduce you to some great wine.
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Sometimes people think that with your favourite hearty comfort food you should have a hearty red wine.  I’m here to tell you there are some hearty full-bodied white wines out there that go deliciously with your favourite comfort foods.  Take this Trio white, a combination blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc. This is a hearty wine because it’s 96% Chardonnay, 2% Pinot Grigio, and 2% Pinot Blanc, so that big Chardonnay really dominates this wine.  Hailing from Chile and made by the biggest winery in Chile, Concha Y Toro, Winemaker Max Weinlaub offers a fruity Chardonnay with hints of acidity.  You’ll love the price at just $16 a bottle.
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Speaking of hearty, one of my favourite steak wines is the Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  In 1868, Jacob Beringer left Germany and settled in California, the rest is history!  Mark Beringer, great great grandson of Jacob Beringer made this  spectacular wine.  Mark was born in the heart of Napa Valley,  wine has been a part of his entire life, so it comes as no surprise to me he makes a great one.  It’s about $38 a bottle here in Nova Scotia, worth every penny, and I encourage you to try this wine with your next meal of beef, whether it’s a steak or stew.

And now for my wine of the week……

7 Deadly Zinbs

I’m pretty confident I’ve written about this wine before, but it’s been a couple of years and I wanted to remind you of a favourite.  Zinfandel is one of the heartiest grapes around because it has a very thick skin.  This is 7 Deadly Zins, appropriately named because it contains Zinfandel grapes from seven different vineyards in California.  This is one of the easiest wines to drink, and a great wine to share with friends, I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like this wine.

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Have a great weekend and a wonderful week.

Darlene

Who’s Ready for February?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2020 by darmyers

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Is it just me or did January seem really long?  I swear its the only month of the year that feels like 3 months.  But it’s over now, and we say ‘Hello February’ starting today.  Here on the East Coast of Canada, we had some snow and we had some bitterly cold temperatures.  At least in February, the days are getting longer!

Last week we talked about some hearty winter wines, and here’s one from my friend Anthony.  Here’s a picture of Anthony and myself, taken a few years back!

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Anthony is a producer at the radio station I work at and we share a love of wine.  I asked him yesterday to share a new favorite.  Here’s one of the wines he’s loved lately.

Anthony's wine

Here’s what Anthony had to say about this wine.  “It’s deliciously smooth with ripe fruit and oak.  A bit of spice. “

Personally, I love Italian wine and this particular wine is from the Campania region of Italy, where Naples is the capital.  Anthony has wonderful taste in wine, so if you’re up for a treat, try this wine.  It sells here for about $52 a bottle.

Italy is home to some great whites as well, and I’ve written about different Pinot Grigio wines.  But there’s more to Italian white wine than just Pinot Grigio.   Trebbiano for example.  Trebbiano is a grape that makes a wonderful white wine.

Antinori white

The Antinori Family is one of the biggest winemaking families in Italy, and played a huge role in the making of the ‘Super Tuscan’ wine movement of the 70’s.  It is the 10th largest family owned company in the world.  They can date making wine back to the 1300’s.  This Antinori Villa Bianco is a wonderful expression of Tuscan white wine and in my opinion, is a great value at $18.99 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week…

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For this weeks wine of the week we had to the Mendoza region of Argentina.  This is the wine I bought to Happy Hour last night.  A great Malbec-based blend, from Lebanese winemaker Karim Mussi Saffi.   It’s a great wine for under $20!

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Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Hearty Winter Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2020 by darmyers

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As most readers of this wine blog know, I’m from Newfoundland, however I am living in Halifax Nova Scotia.  I do have a lot of friends and family still in Newfoundland and last week they were clearly hit with the storm of the decade.  Snowmageddon 2020.

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And although my family lives on the West Coast, I lived in St. John’s, until I transferred to Halifax, and  have many friends there who had to dig their way out of one of the biggest snow storms I’ve ever seen.  People were asked to stock up for 3 days, but a state of emergency was declared and the stores didn’t open until 5 days later to very long line-ups.

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I know my friends are O.K., Newfoundlanders are very resilient.  And I really hope no one ran out of wine.  This is one of the reasons it’s a great idea to have a wine rack.  Spare wine!! So this unbelievable storm that many of my friends are digging out from, got me thinking about hearty wines suitable for winter.  Listen, I’m a red wine drinker all year round, but lets face it, 80 cms of snow makes a person think of comfort food and hearty dishes.  So if that’s whats on your menu, here are a couple of wines that might help ease the aches and pains of shoveling.

When I think of big bold white wines, I usually think a big Chardonnay from either California or Australia.  This 19 Crimes Chardonnay is big enough to take on beef stew or any other hearty dish.  Big rich butterscotch and vanilla flavors along with some substantial oak.  This is not for the weak hearted.  Still a great value for $19 a bottle.

Nothing says hearty like Zinfandel

And the Brazin’ Zinfandel from Lodi California doesn’t disappoint.  Grown on vines that range in age from 40-years to 100 years old, this wine has the mocha and spice notes from the fruit come to life.  A great wine for beef, ribs or sausage and is one of the most reasonably priced Zinfandel wines at just $24.99

And now for my wine of the week…

Gringo

There is no better way to kick start a new year and a new decade than to find a great wine at a great price.  I’m sharing this one with all my friends.  It’s the El Gringo Tempranillo from Spain.  It’s  new to the liquor store, and my friends there say its selling like hotcakes, and with good reason.  The story goes that El Gringo was an extra working on a Western movie set, and loved Spain and the wines of the region so much that he never went home. Beautiful smooth wine with hints of coffee bean and milk chocolate and it won’t break the bank.  This bottle of fantastic wine is just $15.99 a bottle.  With a great  wine at this great price, why would anyone do dry January?  I’m not!

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Stock up my friends, you never know when the next winter storm could hit.  You don’t want to be left in the cold when it comes to your wine stash.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Wine Trends to Watch for in 2020

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2020 by darmyers

2020 wine trends

First, allow me to apologize.  It’s been a while since I posted a blog, the last one being my Top 10 of 2019.  Between travelling for Christmas and having family come to Halifax for the first week in January, it’s been a busy one.

Each year I have a bit of fun talking about upcoming wine trends.  And although none of us have a crystal ball, a few years back I did talk about wine in cans, and low and behold, they are all over the liquor store now.  Check out that wine blog here 2017 Wine Trends.   So keep in mind, this is just a bit of fun.

  1.  Rose Prosecco

This is long overdue.  Two of the hottest crazes combined, and following a lengthy approval process in Italy, looks like it could happen soon.  Decanter Magazine says producers would be able to use up to 15% of Pinot Noir alongside Glera grapes in order to make rosé under the Prosecco DOC name.  I realize there are Rose sparkling wines, but a Rose Prosecco wine would be just a quality all of its own.  Can’t wait to try that wine!

2.  Italian Wines will continue to flourish

Last year I said we could see some explosive growth in Italian Wines.  Italy has some of the oldest wine producing regions in the world, and it’s really good wine, a real favorite of mine.  In 2018 Italy accounted for 19 percent of global production, ahead of  France at 17%.  Here are a couple of my favorite staples.

The Botter Primitivo at $14.99 a bottle is a steal of a deal.  Prosecco is a favorite, being food friendly and your wallet will love it because it’s such a great price point.  The one featured is the Bolla.  And one of my favorite Italian wines is a Ripasso, always rich and smothh, and this one got 96 Points and is under $22 a bottle.

3.  You’ll be hearing more about Vegan wines.

What?  Yes, as more and more people go with a Vegan lifestyle, you’ll be hearing more about it in the wine world.  You see, all wines are not Vegan!  That may come as a surprise to some people because you may think ‘it’s grapes’!   But winemakers sometimes use animal products to clarify the wine, called the ‘fining process’.  Traditionally the most commonly used fining agents were casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein). These fining agents are processing aids to help get rid of ‘haze’.

4.  Wine From Europe could see a price increase

If US President Donald Trump gets his way, tarriffs will be imposed on European wine, which means the price could be affected.  That means your favorite French wine could cost more.  I’m reading more and more that proposed tarriffs could send the price of some wines out of reach, and some winemakers say if they lose the U.S. as a customer, that could be very bad for business.  Fingers crossed this gets worked out.

It would be a sad day for many if the proposed tarriffs go through.  We would miss out on such great wines as the the Duval Leroy Champagne on the left, the amazing Rose that is priced at just $16.99 a bottle and one of my favorite values from the Port of Wines show, the Felix & Lucie blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

And now for my wine of the week….

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When I was home for Christmas, would you believe I only had one bottle of wine the entire time I was there.  I drove my Mom and Dad around a lot who are in their late 80’s, so wine was not part of the menu for me.  But I did have a wonderful new Merlot.  A couple of evenings we stayed home and played some cards, and my Mom and I enjoyed a glass of wine.  I love discovering new wines, and this Merlot did not disappoint.  This Merlot hails from Central Valley in California and is a great price at just $17.48 a bottle.  Very smooth and silky with delicious flavors of plum, mocha and vanilla.   Unfortunately, I can’t get it here in Halifax, so it’s a Newfounfland treat.  I loved it.

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That’s it for this week,  Have a great week everyone.  Cheers

Darlene

My Top 10 of 2019

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2019 by darmyers

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Today is the last day of 2019 and the last day of another decade.  For the most part, I do a wine blog most Saturday’s.  Out of the 48 – 50 wine blogs I do every year, each week I feature a new ‘Wine of the Week’!  This is the time of the year when I look back at my choices and choose 10 of my best new finds for the year.  Here’s that list, I hope you enjoy.  There’s something for everyone on the list, in all price points.

10.  Botter Primitivo – $14.99

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Anyone that knows me knows I love finding a great value wine.  And this one definitely makes the list.  Botter Primitivo is not only a great value under $15, it is also organic.  This medium-bodied wine has flavors of plums, cherry and spicy tobacco notes.  A winner and a great wine for pasta and/or ribs.

9.  Castano GSM – $19

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This wine hails from Spain and is a blend of Garnacha, (Grenache), Syrah and Mourvedre.  More on the full-bodied side, I love this rich wine and another wonderful value at just $19 a bottle.  GSM’s, as they are called, will usually make any Top 10 list I do, as this is a classic blend that goes so well together.  This wine has enough body to pair with steak.

8.  Moma White – $17.99

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I had a year filled with wine tastings.  And this one accompanied me to many wine tastings because it was loved by every one who tried it.  Moma white blend is a combination of Trebbiano, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.  Chardonnay and Trebbiano give this wine body while the Sauvignon Blanc gives it some acidity.  Probably one of the food-friendliest wines on the shelf.  And it’s under $20 a bottle.

7.  Chateau Cantenac Saint Emillion – $36

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I love wines from the Right Bank of Bordeaux, where the wines tend to be Merlot heavy, and this Chateau Cantenac did not disappoint.  I got to enjoy the 2013 vintage, and it was silky and smooth and an absolute delight.  This wine is a Grand Cru, which means it’s a superior designation.  Very much worth the $36 price tag, and I recommend we all treat ourselves at least once this year.

6.  Hola Brut Cava – $21.99

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I can’t have a top 10 list without including a good sparkling wine.  I know I’m always talking about what great value Spanish Cava is, made traditionally like Champagne, but so much easier on the wallet.  This Hola Sparkling Cava from Spain was one of my favorites from the Fall 2019 wine show.  In Spain, Hola is how people greet each other, and that was the premise behind the wine.  Trust me when I tell you, it’s a great way to greet your guests this holiday season or anytime of the year!

5.  Luna di Luna Merlot Primitivo – $17.99

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Not only did I love the red bottle, I loved the wine that came in the bottle.  The Luna di Luna Merlot Primitivo blend from Italy was awesome.   I really hope the NSLC brings it back, it was a winner in my mind.  From the “heel of the boot” in Italy, the Salento region of Puglia really makes some great wines.  Full-bodied and rich, I loved this wine with pasta and it was under $18 a bottle.

4.  Bread & Butter Chardonnay – $22.69

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This was my favorite white wine that I had tried at both tastings of the Festival of Wines show in September.  The Bread and Butter Chardonnay from the United States is not overly oaky like some Chardonnay wines that come out of the U.S.  This is very smooth with hints of vanilla bean and tropical fruit.  Food friendly that will pair with everything from lobster to chicken to pork.  Honorable mention goes to its sister wine, the Bread and Butter Pinot Noir.

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3.  Felix & Lucie Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah – $15.99

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Value wise, this may have won my wine of the year.  It was a toss up.  This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from France, made my top wine out of the Festival of Wines.  I chose this wine because of the combination of great taste and great price point.  I bought a full case of it.  It’s full-bodied with spicy notes and great fruit.  A fabulous wine and you can’t beat the price.

2. Rose D’Anjou Gamay

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Rose wine are for so much more than just Summer, it’s a great way to bring in the New Year.  This Gamay grape based rose wine was given anywhere from 92 Points to 95 Points by wine critics.  It’s that good.  And it’s only $16.99 per bottle.  I’m sad I didn’t buy more.  Crisp and refreshing, I really hope they bring it back here.  Fingers crossed for Rose wine season 2020, that this is among the list.

  1.  Argyle Pinot Noir – $55

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If you’re going to treat yourself, try this wine.  Argyle Pinot Noir is one of the best Pinot Noir Wines I have tried in a long time.  From Oregon, only 25% of this wine gets aged in new French oak, which means the oak does not over-power the wine, but adds subtlety and nuances to make the wine even more smooth.  The winery says it hangs it hat on the silky texture of their wine, and I have to agree with them.  The Reserve Pinot 2013 vintage is what I enjoyed, and when I took it to a wine tasting in early December, everyone seemed to agree, this wine was the winner!

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I hope 2019 was a good year and I hope 2020 will be even better.  Here’s to another great decade of drinking wine.

Darlene

 

 

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2019 by darmyers

Deck the halls

Well it’s Christmas Time again.  I felt this year went by so fast, it feels like I just took down my Christmas decorations not long ago.  It is, however, my favorite time of the year, and I’m in Newfoundland hanging out with family.

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Christmas is a great time to get together with friends and family, and if your celebrations are like mine, there is wine to be consumed.  I’ve had a wonderful December so far hanging out with friends, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.  We’ve had a few good wines as well.

Recently, I told you about this wonderful Botter Primitivo

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And in recent weeks I’ve had the opportunity to try the Pinot Grigio from the same family

The Botter Boira Pinot Grigio from the Veneto region of Italy was a wonderful delight.  Pinot Grigio is becoming so popular, so many of my friends drink it.  Peter Rockwell, wine writer and buyer for the NSLC told me that they could have 10 Italian Pinot Grigio wines and all would sell well.  People love Italian Pinot Grigio.  And why not.  It’s delicious, food friendly, crisp, refreshing and reasonably priced.  This particular Pinot Grigio is only $16.75 a bottle.

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Lately someone asked me how to save Sparkling wine, and until recently sparkling was a wine that I felt needed to be finished in a day or it would love its sparkle.  Well, you can take plastic wrap and an elastic band and seal it air tight, and then put it in the fridge standing up.  Something to try over the holidays if you don’t finish it in one sitting.

Here’s a fun wine for Christmas.  It’s a pink sparkling from Hola, which is the word Hello in Spanish.  There’s no better way to greet family and friends this holiday season than with a pink sparkling wine.  This Hola Cava is traditionally made using a grape from Spain used in many Cava wines, Xarel-Lo.  This is a wine high in acidity so your taste buds will come alive. Perfect for Christmas appetizers and priced at just $21.99 a bottle.

While we are in Spain, let me tell you about this gem.  I had this GSM the other evening, and it is fantastic.  Garnacha (Grenache), Syrah and Mourvedre grapes make for a perfectly smooth blend. Ripe berry fruits with hints of spice from the Syrah, a great red wine that is only $19 a bottle.

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And now for my wine of the week…

This is such a good wine you’re going to find it hard to believe it’s only $18 a bottle.  Asio Otus Vino Rosso is a blend, any time you see Rosso, it tends to be a blend.  It’s 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 30% Syrah.  Did I mention it’s 100% delicious.  It’s full-bodied with flavors of plum, vanilla and hints of chocolate.  Once you’re done with turkey and ham, and you want some nice beef or pork, try this wine.  A great pairing.

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Merry Christmas everyone, and here’s to a wonderful 2020

Darlene

 

Birthday Wine Tasting

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2019 by darmyers

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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