Archive for the Uncategorized Category

The Top 10 of 2018

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2018 by darmyers

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This will be my last wine blog of the year, as I’m heading to Newfoundland on Monday for a week, to spend Christmas with my family.  I’ve decided to have a look at the past ‘Wines of the Week’, and come up with my favorite Top 10 finds of 2018.

10.  Mont Gras Antu Grenache Syrah & Carignan Blend

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A gorgeous take on the GSM wines, but made with Carignan instead of Mourvedre.  This $25 bottle of wine is an award-winning blend out of Chile and really needs to be decanted or let it breathe for a while.  Once you do that, you will discover a delicous rich blended wine.

9.  J. Lohr Merlot

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Voted top Merlot of the Show at our Festival of Wines here in Halifax, this beauty comes in at $30 but worth every penny.  Great comfort food wine, it’s 85% Merlot with some Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah added in.  A very interesting wine, which I enjoyed more than once this past Fall

8.  Dile Rosso

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This fabulous find from last Spring doesn’t seem to be available here any more, maybe you’ll have better luck.  Loved the shape of the bottle with room for your fingers and thumb carved right into the bottle for easy holding and pouring.  It’s Nebbiolo and Barbera dominant, it also under $20 and a fantastic pizza and pasta wine.

7.  Message In A Bottle

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From Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, comes this wonderful Super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Merlot.  My local wine store were selling them out, so I just bought them all.  Great wine for $30, and I just stockerd up for $25, as I’m led to believe it’s a very limited release, so get it if you can.

6.  Monte Antico Toscana

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My wine blogs tend to focus on finding great wines at great prices.  And this fit the bill when I discovered it last April.  Under $19 a bottle, and given lots of 90+ Point ratings, that’s what made it the wine of the week.  Another Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, I have bought it time and time again.

5.  Tormaresca Neprica

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One of my favorite wines that came out of the Festival of Wines, and I always have a bottle in my wine rack.  Fantastic value at $20, this blend of Negromaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Puglia region of Italy is a great wine.

4. Villa di Conchi Cava

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The best sparkling find of the year, no question.  I can’t believe this beautiful Cava from Spain is under $18 a bottle.  It comes in a beautiful gift box, which is great for gift giving and has those traditional sparkling flavors.  Think New Year Eve – think this wine.  It’s a great sparkling wine that won’t break the bank.

#3.  Paul Mas GSM

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This too could have been my wine of the year, it’s a beautiful GSM, (a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.)  It’s full bodied and opulent and just $20.75 a bottle.  A great staple in your wine rack for all those winter comfort foods.

2.  La Baume Syrah

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From the Languedoc Roussillion region of France comes this fantastic Syrah.  In 2010, this Syrah was given the title of Best Syrah In The World.  And it’s under $19.  Definitely worth making it into the Top 3 of 2018.  Any of my Top 3 could have been Number 1, and definitely worth trying.  This is a wonderful wine at a wonderful price point.

And now for my Wine of the Year…..

The Zonin Valpolicella Ripasso.

Never in my life have I found a 96-Point wine that sells for under $20.  Decanter Magazine gave it 96-Points, and so do I.  This fabulous wine spent 20 days on the skins and must of Amarone giving it those wonderful flavors.  My Wines of the Week spotlight great wines at great values and this was hands down the winner for the year.

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Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year to you and your family.  Thank you for reading and supporting me through my wine blog every week.  I really appreciate.

Until 2019, Cheers

Darlene

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Gift Giving Wine Ideas

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2018 by darmyers

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There’s no such thing as a hard-to-shop for wine lover.  No matter the budget, there’s a great wine waiting to be given and enjoyed.  It’s just a little over a week till Christmas, and if you’re panicking because time is running out, I’m here to make your life a little easier.   Here are some of my favourite wines that you can give as gifts to your favourite wine lover!

Under $15

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Still the best wine under $15 at the liquor store.  Anciano Tempranillo is aged 7 years, is full-bodied and super smooth.  Easy to drink and easy to give as a gift.

Under $20

There is a big variety of great wines under the $20 price point.   Here’s one of my favourites

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A Ripasso wine is a  Valpolicella grape  where the juice has been passed over skins and must from Amarone.   By doing this pass over, the wine receives flavours and aromas from highly aromatic Amarone wine.   And when you can find one for under $20, grab it because it’s a great deal.  This Zonin Ripasso is full-bodied and has so much flavour.   If you’re picking it up as a gift, you might want to grab one for yourself

Under $30

Festival of Wines J Lohr Merlot

At $29.99  the winner of the best Merlot at our 2018 Festival of wines was this gorgeous beauty from California.   Food friendly and so approachable, its full-bodied flavors include raspberry and spice.

Under $50

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Winemaker Josh Jensen set out to find soil that was similar to Burgundy France and found it in Central California.  Even the worlds most famous one critic, Robert Parker, calls Calera the most compelling  Pinot Noir wines.  If you would like to enjoy a taste of France this holiday season, pick up one of these bottles and you’ll get to enjoy the experience for a fraction of the price.

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Enjoy the week, till next week cheers

Darlene

 

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….

Paul Mas 2  Paul Mas 3

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

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