Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Merlot is Back!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 6, 2020 by darmyers

After the movie Sideways won an Academy Award for best Adapted Screenplay, Pinot Noir became a shining star in the wine world, and has stayed there. It is a mainstay in the California wine world, and winemakers attribute the film, calling it ‘The Sideways Effect’.

Doctor’s orders

Another grape didn’t fare as well, one of my all time favorites, Merlot. After Paul Giamatti, playing Miles Raymond, issued the famous line ‘ “No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any f****** Merlot!”. for 5 years following the films release, Merlot sales dropped 2% each year while Pinot Noir sales rose 16% each year. That is ‘The Sideways Effect’.

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I love Merlot

But in a recent poll in the U.S. from YouGov, Merlot has become the #1 drinking red wine at 19%, inching out Cabernet Sauvignon at 18%. You can read that article here. My friends, Merlot is back!

Grenache, Syrah & Merlot makes a great blend

So let’s start the blog off with a Grenache, Syrah & Merlot blend that is so easy to drink and so affordable. Normally a GSM is Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Patisserie’s aim is to offer simple, approachable and well-made French wines that are fruitier in style and reminiscent of some of the most popular French cakes usually found in pâtisserie shops. This blend offers flavours of black cherries and spicy vanilla, similar to a Clafoutis (a traditional French flan like cherry cake). And here in Nova Scotia, it’s $18 a bottle. That’s what I call Win-Win!

Jacob’s Creek Moscato

A little bit of a surprise, the poll showed that Moscato is the #1 drinking white wine. I know Moscato has been on the rise in popularity, because I’m hearing more and more people say they love it. And you are going to love this Moscato from one of the leading winemakers in the Barossa Valley in Australia, Jacob’s Creek. This Moscato is only $14 a bottle here, so everyone can afford to try it. Moscato has a tinge of sweetness and is known for tropical fruit flavors. It’s delicous served chilled, and goes very well with appetizers and charcuterie boards. The light bubbly wine can really cut through the salt of meats and cheeses on a charcuterie board. It goes well with Thai food as well, like my homemade Chicken Pad Thai and Sweet Thai Chili wings. I assure you, I eat very well.

Homemade Chicken Pad Thai & Thai wings

And now for my wine of the week..

Steak with butter in cast iron
I normally like mine a little pinker

I did a steak last night for the first time in a long time. I will tell you, I do a mean steak in a cast iron frying pan. Simple and easy to remember, butter, salt & pepper are the only 3 ingredients. I melt a lot of butter in a pan, get it hot, and put in my steak. Last night I had two smaller pieces of thick beef tenderloin. Sear it on both sides, and then I put it in the oven for 12 minutes. I will be honest, it was a little too long, I like my steak a little pinker. But it was tasty, as I kept basting the steak with the melted butter. It was good. Very good. here’s the wine I had with it.

A good full-bodied Bordeaux. Bordeaux is a always a blend, and consists of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and another grape variety approved for the region. This blend is 40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc. In a meeting of Wine Cellar Masters from Bordeaux during a blind tasting, this was one of the favorites picked. I had the 2018 vintage, which is still really new, but it wasn’t overly heavy. A great wine at a great price, under $17 a bottle.

That’s it for me for this week, till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Another Week of Wine & Food

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2020 by darmyers

Does anyone else feel they are getting used to the Quarantine lifestyle. I am happy restrictions are starting to lift, however, I do find it strange we can’t get my 85 and 90 year old parents into an old age home, but we can get them a tattoo! True story! As I’ve said in the past, unprecedented times.

I’ve gotten into somewhat of a comfortable routine here at home. It’s like for the first couple of weeks I didn’t know how to work from home. Now I have a groove going. I get up, shower, dress, put on coffee and sit down at my computer and get going. It’s very busy but I still like the freedom of being able to put on a load of wash in between calls, emails and Zoom meetings. And if I had to be honest, I’m not missing the commute.

And the fun continues with new recipes. Like Caprese chicken


Chicken done with Bocconcini cheese (you can use Mozzarella) and some Cheddar with sweet grape tomatoes and Basil

And crispy sweet and spicy wings done in my air fryer. The sauce is a mixture of Frank’s Hot Sauce, Maple Syrup, and a dash of Bulls Eye Sweet & Sticky BBQ sauce. Delicious.

And of course I’m always discovering new wines. I have a new white and a new red to share with you, but first the red.

Embrazen Red wine

I love the slogan on the website “Bold Wines Trailblazing Women”. They also make a Chardonnay which features Celia Cruz on the label, the most successful Latin artist, and a Cabernet Sauvignon that features Journalist & Explorer Nellie Bly. Then there is this red blend which features Josephine Baker, Entertainer & Undercover spy. There’s a movie that dates back to 1991 called The Josephine Baker Story starring Lynn Whitfield and Lou Gossett Jr, and it’s fabulous. Watch the trailer here. This wine is a blend of mostly Merlot & some Syrah and it is full-bodied and rich with a hint of mocha on the tongue. Delicious, and $10 off right now here in Nova Scotia. Normally, $26.98 it is on for $16.98. I bought several more since tasting it.

And now for my wine of the week…

Alluria Pinot Grigio

My wine of the week is a fantastic white wine. My friend Arla and I have the same taste in Pinot Grigio, we like them clean, crisp and with a hint of tropical notes. Arla & her husband are in my bubble and we shared a lot of wine last Saturday night, and this was one of them. Fantastic. And it’s under $14 a bottle.

Well, that’s it for this week. Enjoy the week, and till next weekend, Cheers

Darlene

Great Women Wine Writers

Posted in Uncategorized on May 23, 2020 by darmyers
Are Wine Blogs Considered the Ugly Stepsister of Wine Writing ...

I really appreciate everyone that reads by wine blogs every week. I’ve been doing this for over 9 years, and I love it. I started doing this when I just couldn’t read enough about wine, and wanted to share some basics. Then I took my readers along on my journey to become a Sommelier. Every once in a while I get a bit of writer’s block. And this is one of those weeks. So, I was reading a wine blog this past week, from one of my favorite wine writers. Her blog is called ‘The Wine Folly’ and I was thinking there are so many fantastic women writing wine blogs, that I thought I would share some of my favorites with you. So this blog is about some of my favorite wine writers, and of course there will be my Wine of the Week!

The Wine Folly

Wine Folly: Reading a Wine Label (Ep. 4) - YouTube

This is Madeline Puckett and she is one of the co-founders of The Wine Folly. She is such a knowledgeable woman when it comes to wine, who has a great easy-to-read style of blogging about wine. She is a certified Sommelier with the Court of Masters Sommelier and author of the New York Times Bestselling book: Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. 

Natalie MacLean

CBC.ca | Mainstreet Cape Breton | Wine on a budgetNatalie MacLean

Probably the best known wine writer in Canada would be Natalie MacLean out of Ottawa. She is a writer and wine reviewer. You’ve probably seen her on CTV Mornings on television. She also wrote a couple of great books including ‘UnQuenchable’ and my favorite Red, White and Drunk All Over.

Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape ...

Andrea Robinson

Andrea Robinson | Penguin Random House

The first time I ever saw a woman Sommelier was this lady. It was on a cooking show with Emeril Lagasse, and I thought she had the coolest job in the world. She is a world-renown Master Sommelier, which is the highest and most prestigious title awarded to Sommeliers around the world. There are only 269 Master Sommeliers in the world, only 28 of them are women. I mean ‘Wow!’ She has also been named the best Sommelier in the United States. This lady knows her stuff.

Jancis Robinson

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Probably one of the most famous wine writers in the world is this lady, Jancis Robinson. She is a British wine critic, journalist and wine writer, who started her career in 1975, which I can only guess was very male dominated at the time. Decanter Wine Magazine has called her the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world.

So, there you have some of the people I go to, when reading about wine.

And now, my Wine of the Week..

I had this beauty last night, and this Cabernet Franc from Argentina, which sells for under $18, tastes like a $30 bottle of wine. It is 100% Cabernet Franc, which in the past has been known as one of the grapes in a Bordeaux blend. Cabernet Franc, or Cab Franc as it is usually called, is not quite as a heavy as a Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is still full-bodied. It is, after all, a relative of Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a delicous wine that would pair very well with any meat dish.

KEEP CALM Good News Is Coming!! - Keep Calm and Posters Generator ...

As the world starts to open up, stay safe and keep well. We will get through this difficult time together.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Wining (I mean Working) From Home

Posted in Uncategorized on May 16, 2020 by darmyers

Welcome Letter 2019-2020 – Canadian International School of Egypt

First, welcome to all the new readers.  I really appreciate every one who takes time out of their day to read my wine blogs.  It’s something I started doing about 9 years ago, and somehow it became a weekly event.  It’s around the same time I started my studies to become a Certified Sommelier.  I thought it would be a good idea to chart my course.  Sometimes I get writer’s block, and sometimes the words just flow.  I’m just a girl from Newfoundland who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada that loves wine and food.  I saw a big spike last week in visitors, and I have to be honest, my heart swells.  I really appreciate people who enjoy this blog enough to share it with their family and friends.  So thank you.  Here’s this week’s ramblings!

Zoom meeting 1

Every week I do a handful of Zoom meetings, and in recent blogs have posted pictures of me and some of my colleagues, with their permission of course.  When I saw this I chuckled, because anyone who has been on a Zoom conference call is reminded of this scene from the Muppets.

Let’s talk some wine… and maybe some food.

I just finished my 9th week working from home.  For those of you don’t know, I am an Advertising Salesperson with 2 Radio stations here in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

working from home

I thought that was a cute meme to feature in my blog this week.  Let’s talk some wine.

I am a huge fan of Riesling.  I had Thai food recently and was disappointed that I didn’t have a bottle of Riesling in my wine rack.  I need to fix that.  Riesling does not have to be sweet.  As a matter of fact, this one, from Trius, is called Riesling Dry.  A great Canadian wine, priced at just $15.99 here in Nova Scotia, it’s light and crisp and has beautiful tropical flavors.  A great wine for all the white wine lovers to try, and it won’t break the bank.

Bourbon chicken

So the new recipe this week is Bourbon chicken, but without Bourbon.  Actually, if you look at some recipes on the internet for Bourbon chicken, not all of them contain bourbon.  I didn’t have any bourbon in the house, so I used a little rum.  Made this in the slow cooker, and it was so good. You don’t have to use a slow cooker, but it was a busy week work-wise for me, so the slow cooker made it super convenient.

I cut up boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs into bite size pieces.  Poured in the sauce which was 1) orange juice (many recipes call for apple juice, I didn’t have any, so I used orange juice)  2) soy sauce 3)olive oil 4) red wine vinegar 5) ketchup 6) garlic 7) a splash of rum 8) a cornstarch slue (equal parts cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce).  Put it over rice and voila, delicious meal.  

Here’s a great wine to go with that Bourbon Chicken, and it’s my wine of the week.

Anciano Garnacha

For the new readers, my wine blog does talk about ‘treat’ wines but for the most part, it’s a wine blog about find good wine at great prices.   Good wine does not have to be expensive.  And every week, I feature a new wine that I’ve discovered that fits those perimeters.  This week, the Anciano Garnacha (Spanish for Grenache, the same grape used in making Chateauneuf du Pape) is my wine of the week.  On sale right now for $13.99 and its a steal of a deal.  Regular readers know the Anciano Tempranillo aged 7 years, priced at $15 is a staple in my wine rack, well I may have to pick up a few more of these.  What a great wine at a great price.  The grapes are picked at the point of perfect ripeness, which means there is nothing bitter about this wine.  Easy to drink and food friendly, for under $14.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

Starbucks

A shout out to all the people who work at the Starbucks on my street in Halifax, Larry Uteck.  I was a regular and stopped in every day for a coffee, and chatting with the people who work there, you get to know and love them.  Well, since working from home has started, I’ve been making my coffee at home.  But yesterday I had some errands to run, so I grabbed a coffee, and this was the wonderful note that was on my coffee.  I’m so blessed to have many kind wonderful people in my life.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

 

 

 

Wining During A Pandemic

Posted in Uncategorized on May 9, 2020 by darmyers

Your pandemic alcohol bill is how much? I'm not even mad, I'm ...

Here in Nova Scotia Canada, we just completed eight weeks of working from home, and I’m reading news reports of alcohol and wine sales being on the rise.  No surprise there.  Hopefully, like me, you’ve had a chance to discover some new wines during this interesting time.

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Following proper protocols and sitting 6-feet apart, I shared a glass of wine with my friend Arla.  This is a wine she bought back from the States.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about its sister wine, the Stemmari Grillo.

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This past Sunday I got to try the crisp and delicious Pinot Grigio, sustainably-made in Sicily Italy.  A lot of work goes in to making this wine, including the fact the grapes are picked at night during the month of August, to maintain its fragrance.  It’s hard to believe this wine sells for $8 in the U.S.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we pay way too much for wine here in Canada.  If you can get this wine where you live, I highly recommend it.  I loved it.

As you know, I’ve been trying out some  new recipes while in isolation.  This chicken breast was a winner that I will do again in a heartbeat.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts can be dull and boring, but here’s what I did.  Stuffed it with feta cheese and bacon, and then I put butter in my small cast iron frying pan and browned it on all sides.  Then I added a bit of orange juice to the pan and let it finish cooking in the oven.  Delicious.  Easy and tasty.

And now for my wine of the week…

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I’ve been writing this wine blog for about 9 years, and if you’ve been reading it that long, this wine might look familiar.  Years ago I fell in love with this Merlot from Candor, so imagine my delight when I noticed it was back and $5 off.  Regular $25.00, it was on for $20 and what a steal of a deal.  Candor means ‘the art of being open and honest in expression’, and I loved how Hope Wines, the makers of Candor wines, express this Merlot.  You’ll notice in the left hand corner, you can see the words ‘Lot 3’.  Instead of doing a yearly vintage, they are able to bring quality wines to the table with Lot numbers, that represent whatever ‘years’ the grapes were harvested.  For example, Lot 3 Merlot is known to have grapes from a 2008 and a 2009 vintage.  It’s smooth, delicious and a great price.  This went beautiful with the pizza I had last night.

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Another Zoom conference call to wrap up the week.  Stay safe everyone, till next week, Cheers

Darlene