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A Little Pain, A Lot of Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2018 by darmyers

Start Line 2

Here we are, at the starting line, to embark on my very first half-marathon.  A lot of smiling nervous faces.  I never would have guessed, my knee would give out at the 4K mark, and by the 16K mark, I had to hobble the remaining 5.1 kms.  But I did it, I crossed that finished line, and immediately burst into tears.  Finish Line

It was a disappointing race for me, as I had been training all year and never had any injuries.  I was suffering from a cold, and was a little concerned about my breathing, but I needn’t have worried about that.  Still, I crossed that finish line.  Thanks to my friend Scott Keeping, who after finishing his half-marathon, came back to the 20K mark, and get me.  He ran the last kilometer with me, and did the same for another friend as well.  Super supportive person to the whole running team.

Medal

But I crossed that finish line, and on the bright side, I’m sure for the next one, I will beat my time of 2:54:19.  Needless to say there was a glass of wine that evening… OK, maybe more than one.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

I did choose a special wine for my first half-marathon.  Chateau St. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon was my choice to go with the steak I had that night.  This wine was very rich and tasty, and very balanced, with silky tannins that had no bitterness.  This wine from Washington State is a treat and sells for $25 here and worth every penny.  I was at the NSLC the other day, and I was tasting wine with Retail Product Specialist Amber.  A gentleman came over carrying a bottle of this, and I told him I had recently had one, and it was wonderful.  He told me he loves everything that comes out of this winery.  I assured him he wouldn’t be disappointed, and you won’t be either.

Wine Headband

My friend Beth had this headband made up for me, and I absolutely love it.  My friend Scott, who came back and got me to run the last painful kilometer with me, is the husband of the best running partner and friend a girl could ask for.

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We have been running together for about 4 years.  We did our first long race together, the Tely 10 last Summer in St. John’s, Newfoundland and she was with me for this race as well.

Festival of Wines Trinchero Napa Cab 2012

If you have a very special occasion coming up, and would like a gorgeous rich treat, here’s the wine for you.  Another beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve tried recently from the Napa Valley is this 2012 Trincereo Cab.  Given 94 Points by Wine critic James Suckling and 90 Points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, it’s a beautifully complex Caberent.  It’s $105 a bottle, but it is magnificent.  I love wine shows and tastings for this reason, you get to try some extravagant treats.

And now for my wine of the week…

The Retail Product Specialist who named this her pick of the week, is my good friend Amber, and it’s also my pick of the week.  It’s a gorgeous wine from Portugal at a fantastic price. It’s the 2015 Coteaux da Murta Red, a blend of Touriga Nacional and Syrah.  Touriga Nacional is considered to be Portugal’s finest grape, and the combination of this grape and the Syrah makes this wine both spicy and fruity.  Look at the price point… a great wine at an affordable price.

Image result for Running for wine

People ask me why I run.  Only kidding, I really do love it.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

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Run A Little, Wine A Lot

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2018 by darmyers

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Tomorrow, I am going to run my very first half marathon.  These two ladies, my friends Beth and Kathy, are two of the 8 other ladies that will cross that finish line with me.  9 of us ladies from our running group are travelling to the province of New Brunswick to run a total of 21.2 kms.  Believe me when I will tell you, a glass of wine will be in order.  (Maybe 2!)

Festival of Wines Pinot Noir 1

Like this gorgeous Pinot Noir from Oregon.  I had several fantastic Pinot Noir Wines at the recent Festival of wines, and this one was amazing, for under $30.  Given 90 Points by The Wine Advocate, I give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up.  Gary Horner is the talented winemaker of this incredible Pinot Noir and the winery says its goal is to make the best Pinot Noir under $20 (that’s American prices – Keep in mind the Canadian exchange).  This is definitely achieving that goal.  Smooth on the palate, with a great finish and notes of candied orange peel and cherries.  Goes with anything you would like to serve.

Kilikanoon Killerman's Run Shiraz

It’s been a few years since I’ve written about this wine, the Kilikanoon Kilerman’s Run Shiraz, but I decided to tell you about it again in honor of my upcoming half-marathon.  This is a Shiraz from Southern Australia, and it’s such a great value.  At $17, it is a non-guilty pleasure.  It’s very plush on the palate with notes of cherries and toasty oak, and a great value wine all around.

And now for my wine of the week…

For my wine of the week we are heading South to Chile, and a fantastic Merlot.  Merlot continues to be a favorite of mine, because of its easy to drink characteristics, it is very food friendly and it’s lush and juicy on the palate.  Although this grape made its way to Chile in the mid 19th Century, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that Merlot became popular in Chile.  Depending on where the grape is planted, Merlot from Chile can be fruity and friendly to remarkably vibrant.  This Marques Casa Concha Merlot is on the remarkably vibrant side.  Gorgeous flavors of black currant, plum and vanilla make for a great wine.  It’s $25 a bottle, and fabulously delicious.

Juice boxes

Well that’s it for me for this week.  My running friend Beth said to bring two of these to New Brunswick!!  Next week I will tell you about my half-marathon and if I got to cross that finish line.

Cheers

Darlene

Peter Dennis Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2018 by darmyers

Peter dennis 2  Festival of Wines Peter Dennis

At the Festival of Wines, I got to meet legendary winemaker, Peter Dennis.  He is such a fun person.  It was an absolute delight to meet him.  Peter is the son of Egerton Dennis, founder of Dennis wines.  Peter took over the family business in 1979 and continues to make quality wine in Australia.

This is one of my favorites, it’s a GSM, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.  At $21 it’s a great dry wine and has notes of black pepper. This is an old world style wine, as Grenache is the main grape in Chateauneuf du Pape, and I would recommend you let it breathe.  Mourvedre always brings a level of smoothness to Grenache and Syrah.   When you do let it breathe, what a great compliment your hearty winter stews and dishes.

This is the Shiraz that I got Peter Dennis to sign when I met him.  And here’s what he said

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“Make love often with someone you like”.  Words of wisdom from Peter Dennis.  The bottle he signed for me was the 2016 Shiraz, and although I haven’t enjoyed it yet, Peter tells me he would like to see me cellar the wine for 3 – 5 years, because it is such a new vintage.  He said I will enjoy notes of plum and blackberries as well as some black pepper.  I told him I loved to barbecue, and probably did it 3 – 4 times per week, and he said this would be perfect with grilled meats.

And now for my wine of the week…

antu.jpg

Another Grenache / Syrah blend, this time with Carignan, a grape that originated in Spain.  I’ve never had an Antu wine before, but Amber from my favorite NSLC store says she enjoys all of them.  So I picked up the Mont Gras Antu Grenache Syrah and Carignan blend.  This is a French style of wine done in the Colchagua region of Chile.  As I stated above with the GSM, I would recommend you decanter this wine or let it breathe for a while.  As I mentioned above, Grenache is the grape used in making Chateauneuf du Pape, and it can be a bit much when you first open it.  But once you let it breathe, it is a wonderfully complex wine that has great structure and a lasting finish.  New World meets Old world, overall a great Chilean wine for under $25.

wine day

Saturday is always wine day in my book.  Enjoy the weekend, till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

The Festival of Wines Grand Tasting

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2018 by darmyers

Festival of Wines Us

Last Saturday I attended one of the Grand Tastings for the annual Festival of Wines here in Halifax.  The theme was celebrating the wines of North America, however, all the countries were represented.  My mission while there was to only try wines I’ve never had before, and I tried some spectacular wines.  I’m so excited to share some of them with you.

Festival of Wines Nancy

This gorgeous lady is my friend Nancy and she is a wine rep in Nova Scotia, and one of the best.  She was showcasing a fantastic Syrah from the Languedoc Roussillion region of France.  I’ve included a file photo of the wine because the one I took at the show was a little blurry.  Honestly, this was my first wine stop, so the blurriness was excitement, not tipsiness.

Festival of Wines Cote de Rhone   

I couldn’t believe this wine was under $19, it was so good.  In 2010,. the 2009 vintage of this wine was voted ‘The Best Syrah in the World’.  How’s that for an award.  It was easy to drink, fruity and had silky tannins.  I’ll be trying to buy this again and again.

Festival of Wines Vintage Sangiovese

I had the pleasure of meeting Umberto Cesari’s son Paul a couple of months back, and they are a family that are making quality wines in the Emilio Romagna region of Italy.  I can’t remember the price, but I think it was around the $22 mark.  This wine is not on the local NSLC site yet, but I sure hope it’s going to be around after the show.

Festival of Wines J Lohr Merlot

Best Merlot wine at the show went to this California beauty, the J. Lohr Merlot.  Regular readers know I am a big fan of this winery.  50 years ago Jerry Lohr set out to make a career change, and I’m so glad he did.  Today his 3 children run the show, Steve, Cynthia and Lawrence, and are continuing his quest for great wines at affordable prices.  I love Merlot and I completely understand this fruit forward juicy Merlot with hints of pepper and chocolate won the prize.  This is actually a Merlot blend, with 85% of the wine in the bottle being Merlot.  California law states that if there is 85% or more of a grape in the bottle, that’s the only grape you are required to list.  There is also 13% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Petite Syrah.  It’s an interesting blend and a fascinating wine.

I tried so many good wines last Saturday night, that I honestly can’t pick the best of show.  However, I can pick a wine of the week…

Tormaresca

I almost left the wine show without tasting this wine, until my friends from the NSLC who were working the wine show sent me back to taste this magnificent Sangiovese.  It was so good I bought one on the spot and went back home and my friend Sandra and I shared the bottle.  In the Puglia region of Italy, Tormaresca is named for the area’s ancient seaside towers overlooking the Adriatic Sea.  Only a small part of this wine was aged in oak, with the remaining wine aged in stainless steel.  This created a very smooth wine that in no way the oak over-powered.  I searched to try and find the definition of Neprica, but had no luck.  This wine is a blend of Negromaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon, and sells for $19.99 a bottle.  I tried to find it again yesterday with no luck.  I understand it also sold out at the wine show, so hopefully we will see it on the shelves soon.

Festival of Wines Peter Dennis

Had the opportunity to meet Peter Dennis from Peter Dennis Wines in Australia.  I will tell you all about that next week

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

 

Festival of Wines

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2018 by darmyers

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I’m heading to the annual Festival of Wines this evening, and the theme this year is ‘Discover the Wines of North America’.  The Festival has been going on most of the week, but I’m attending tonight’s grand tasting.  I’m embarking on a journey through the wines of Canada and the United States, and its been exciting, because the NSLC has been previewing the Festival’s wine list over the past couple of weeks.  So I’m able to give you a sneak peak at some of the wines on the list.

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Both my friend Amber and I think this wine could take ‘Best Wine Under $20″.  Amber works at our liquor store here and she has been selling this like hot cakes.  I wrote about this wine a few weeks ago, so if you haven’t tried it, get it while you can.  It’s a delicious full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah and Petite Syrah, and it’s priced under $20.  I will let you know next week if this wine wins.

Although the Festival will feature wines from around the world, they are focusing on North America, Canada and the U.S.  From Nova Scotia, the Tidal Bay wines from many of our vineyards are being featured.

Tidal Bay wines

Looking at the menu of wines being featured, we are being offered the opportunity to try Tidal Bay from Jost, Gaspereau Vineyards, Avondale, Blomidon Estate, Lightfoot and Wolfville, Luckett and Saint-Famille.  Tidal Bay wines are always white, they are a little different from each vineyard, and were designed to reflect the terroir of Nova Scotia.  The wines were created to pair perfectly with seafood.

Renwood

One of the wines I’m looking forward to trying is this Renwood Zinfandel.  We used to carry it here in Nova Scotia a few years back, and then, poof, it was gone.  It’s a delicious expression of a Zinfandel with notes of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Not too oaky and well balanced.  I hope the fact its being featured in the show means its coming back to Nova Scotia.

And now for my wine of the week

Otus

The Asio Otus Vino Rosso comes to us from Sicily Italy, and I had to share this great value with you.  It’s under $16 and is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.  In a word, delicious.  Every day wine drinkers like us give this wine 4 out of 5 stars all over the world and why not.  It’s full-bodied and spicy and priced to buy again and again.

Wine glass broken again

Can’t wait to tell  you all about the Festival of Wines next week.  Till then, Cheers

Darlene

 

Que Syrah Syrah

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2018 by darmyers

Image result for Syrah wine meme

Syrah is seductive, spicy, and just plain delicious.  Genetically it’s the same grape as Shiraz, but Syrah tends to come out of the Old World, where as Shiraz is more New World.  Which is why they tend to be done in very different styles.  It is grown in so many places around the globe including France, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa and California.  Let’s explore Syrah today.  It can also be found in a wide range of price points, to suit every budget.

In Argentina, Syrah has been used as a blending partner with its most famous grape, Malbec.  But Las Moras puts out a Syrah all by itself and I had it this past week.  For the price point of $13.99 you can’t go wrong with this easy to drink Syrah.

Syrah originates in France and has a long documented history in the Rhone Valley.  However, not all Syrah wines in France are created the same.  Ranging from the mineral and tannic nature of Hermitage, to fruity and perfumed in the Cote-Rotie.   This  Chateau La Canorgue Luberon caught my eye because of the beautiful label.  But I ended up loving the wine.  It’s from Provence, on the left bank of the Rhone River, and it also borders Italy and the Mediterranean Sea.  All this terroir contributes to the complexity of this wine, which is herbal and fruity but with that beautiful spice Syrah is known for.  A great deal at $29.99

And now for my wine of the week…

Great wines at great prices.  That’s pretty well how  I determine my wine of the week!  This Syrah blend is $18.50 but tastes like it would cost much more.  Bila Haut, surprise, comes from France, but this time it’s the Languedoc-Roussillion region.  This region produces Syrah by itself, but is probably more known for blends with Grenache.  And that’s what this is, a blend of Syrah (45%), Grenache (45%) and Carignan (10%).  Carignan is a grape that originated in Spain and is known there as Carinena. Gorgeous fruit with notes of leather and spice, many wine drinkers agree, this wine tastes like it should cost 4 times as much as it does.

Wine Saturday 3

I love being a Saturday night hero.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

How Merlot Can You Go

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2018 by darmyers

Image result for paul giamatti sideways merlot

Ever since Paul Giamatti said ‘I’m not drinking any f*&kin’ Merlot’ in the movie Sideways, Merlot has take a bit of a bad rap.  Merlot, however, has a noble history.  The earliest recorded mentions date back to 1784 when a local official called this dark wine from the Libournais region of Bordeaux as one of the best. It is believed to come from the French name merlau, which means blackbird.  Merlot is being grown all over the globe.

Dada No.2 Merlot 2016

Merlot may not be Argentina’s most well known export, but most Merlot in Argentina is grown around the Mendoza region.  This particular Merlot wine is a staple in my wine rack, because it’s a fantastic Merlot that comes in around the $16 mark.  Luscious fruit and hints of mocha makes it easy to enjoy this wine any night of the week.

Merlot, originates from Bordeaux France, and France has two thirds of the world’s plantings of Merlot grapes.  Wines from Bordeaux tend to be blends and the Bad Boy is no exception.  This wine is 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, and is a delicious silky wine, consistently given up to 93 Points from wine critics.  I had a chance to taste this wine not long ago, and I really liked it.  Here’s the thing I can’t get my head around.  Here in Nova Scotia, this wine is $35 a bottle, but in other parts of Canada and the States it is quite a bit cheaper.  In Ontario, Canada, it is $25 a bottle.  So if you look for it, I would love to know how much it costs where you live. It really is a good wine, but I can’t help but feel I’m paying too much for it where I live.

And finally my wine of the week…

Bogle Merlot (2)

Historically, Merlot was primarily used as a 100% varietal wine in California.  It wasn’t until winemaker Warren Winiarski encouraged taking the grape back to its blending roots with Bordeaux style blends, that this started happening in the United States. This is the wine I had last night and it’s been years since I’ve written about it, but it has always remained one of my favorite Merlot wines.  Bogle Vineyards were first planted in 1968 and 50 years later Warren, Jody and Ryan Bogle are keeping the traditions of quality wine started by their grandfather.    This Merlot comes in at $24.99 a bottle here, but it’s great quality wine at an affordable price.  Smooth and full-bodied with notes of blueberry and mocha, this wine is exceptionally food friendly.

Wine glass broken again

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

Darlene