Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Happy Easter (With Wine)

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11, 2020 by darmyers

I'm looking for an adult Easter Egg Hunt. Instead of a fuzzy bunny ...

This is going to be the most unique Easter weekend I have experienced in my lifetime.  Like most of you, I won’t be seeing any family this weekend, as we continue with our social distancing and isolation.   However, like you, I’m sure there will be food and wine to celebrate this unusual long weekend.  Last weekend I cooked a turkey, because I hadn’t had it since Christmas, so this weekend it will be pork.

I know March 21st is the official first day of Spring, but growing up in Newfoundland it really didn’t start to feel like Spring until Easter weekend.  And as my friends and family in Corner Brook Newfoundland got a dumping of snow yesterday, we had everything from sunshine to snow to rain to hail here in Halifax.  Welcome to Spring in Canada.

The arrival of Spring also means the arrival of Rose wines for several of my readers.  Every time I bring a Rose wine to a wine tasting, at least 30% of the group is surprised it’s not sweet.  This is not your mother’s Rose wine.  This was my favorite find from last year.  Casillero Diablo Rose is made with the Shiraz grape.  Shiraz is a big, bold thick-skinned grape, which gives Shiraz wine its color and body.   Obviously a Rose is made with limited skin contact, but it’s still a delicious grape that makes a Rose wine that most red wine lovers will enjoy.  This wine can be enjoyed while cooking Easter dinner, served with any appetizers, or you can even serve it with the turkey.  It’s a spectacular value at $16 a bottle.

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Casillero del Diablo is made by Concha Y Toro, the biggest producer and distributor of wine in Chile.  It just so happens I had their Merlot last night.  Chile is putting out great drinkable wines at great prices and this Merlot is another great value at just $15.

The Rose wine is one great option to serve with turkey, here’s another one.

Sauvignon Blanc is another great wine to serve with turkey.  The name ‘Sauvignon Blanc’ means “Wild White”, and it’s one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the world so it has a wide range of styles and flavors. The Matua Sauvignon Blanc hails from New Zealand and some might having you thinking green and grassy, this one is more fruity with notes of pineapple and passion fruit.  Sauvignon Blanc is a great value wine as well, this one is $20.

And now for my wine of the week……

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I don’t very often buy Carmenere, but my boss had a great idea, that while we are in isolation, 4:30 every Friday, we are going to get together on Zoom to have a cocktail together.  This past week it was Thursday, and I opened this wine.  I always try a new wine every week, and this week it was the Casa Silva Gran Terroir 2018 Carmenere.  A good value for this Port of Wines selection, at just $19.  I would let it sit for 30 minutes, or decant it.  Upon first opening it, I found it to be a bit ‘woody’, the oak was really there, as well as leathery.  Full bodied and complex, every sip was interesting.   That’s what I really liked about the wine.  It had a full deep purple color, that on a blind taste, I would have guessed Malbec, just based on the color.  Dark bold fruit with hints of leather, tobacco and notes of pepper. A fantastic wine to pair with any hearty meat dish you were serving this weekend.  One Master of Wine (MW) called it Carmenere at its best.  Definitely worth the try at $19 a bottle.

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Happy Easter everyone.  Stay safe

Darlene

Stay Home (& Drink Wine)

Posted in Uncategorized on April 4, 2020 by darmyers

Grumpy stay home

These days every day is stay at home and drink wine with your cat (or dog) day!  Wine & liquor outlets across the country are reporting an increase in sales.  Not surprising, since people are spending most of their days safe and secure in their homes.  Let’s talk about some wine… and maybe even dabble with some food ideas.

Image for Rockway Vineyards Chardonnay/Riesling 2015 from LCBO

A friend of mine gave me a bottle of Chardonnay Riesling blend and I tried it this past week.  I was surprised that I loved it as much as I did, as I’m not sure if I had ever tried that particular blend before.  I can’t seem to find one in Nova Scotia, but sometimes if the secondary grape is under 10%, they don’t list it.  Here’s an example of a Chardonnay and Riesling blend that you can get in other parts of Canada, as it is made in Ontario, Canada.  The Rockway blend is 60% Chardonnay, aged in oak, and 40% Riesling, which is unoaked.  Vivid flavors of peach and citrus, with some body from the Chardonnay.  Great wine for pulled pork and fish and chips.  It has both the body and some acidity.  And it’s under $15 a bottle, so it’s nice and affordable.

Ribs and winggs

I find I have much more time for cooking now that I’ve been working from home for 3 weeks.  This is my favorite meal, baby back ribs, with hot wings done in my air fryer and homemade chicken fried rice.  It’s more perfect if corn on the cob was in season.  Anyway, with my favorite meal, I pair my favorite rib wine, Zinfandel.  In my opinion, Zinfandel is a great pairing with baby back ribs.

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This is Primitivo, which is Zinfandel in Italy.  I love this Botter Primitivo, it’s organic and a great value at just $15 a bottle.  Medium-bodied with a bit of spice.  Here’s another great Zinfandel to have with ribs.

Image for 7 Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel from LCBO

Lodi California is the home of great Zinfandel wine and the 7 Deadly Zins are Zinfandel grapes from 7 different growing lots in California.  This Zinfandel is a more full-bodied wine packed with flavor.

For those of you curious, I did my wings in an air fryer which makes them just as crispy as if they were deep-fried.  This is the one I own.  I paid $70 for it and since I love wings, this gets used a lot!

Air fryer

The baby back ribs, I slow cook for 3 hours in my oven on a low 250-degrees.  And then finish them off on the grill.

Now for my wine of the week…

Prophecy

Every once in a while you have to give yourself a little treat, and this was mine last weekend.  The Prophecy Pinot Noir is still a great value at just $23 a bottle and showcases a great California Pinot Noir.  Ripe raspberry flavors with some toasted oak, it was delicious.  I savored every sip.

I hope everyone is staying safe and keeping busy.  Here’s one of my projects I completed this past week, a 1000 piece puzzle.  It’s been years since I tackled a puzzle, and I really enjoyed. it.

puzzle

Till next week, stay home and drink some wine.  Cheers

Darlene

An At-Home Wine Tour

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2020 by darmyers

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As we continue to practice social distancing and self isolating, to help flatten the Covid-19 curve, thank you to the people who are supplying the humour.  We could all use a little chuckle every day, especially in these trying times.  I thought this one graph was a very cute way of sticking with the rules and doing a little wine tour all at the same time.  Welcome to my in-home wine tour.

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This beautiful white wine was a gift from a friend who bought it back from the States. Don’t worry, all protocols were followed.  The Stemmari Grillo hails from Sicily, and Grillo is the most planted white grape variety in Sicily.  I’m pretty confident she told me she paid less than $10 for this wine, which breaks my heart because we pay way too much for wine here in eastern Canada.  I loved the tropical flavors, mango and papaya, it had a delicate acidity, and this wine would pair well with any meal you served.  It also has a 13% alcohol content, which is high for a crisp white wine.  Great wine, great price.  You can’t get it where I live, but if you see it, buy it!

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If I had to describe my social distancing in one picture, this would probably be it.  Two of my favorite things.  Wine & books!  Oh, and food.  I really love to cook, and I really love to eat!  I tried a new recipe last week of beef tips in a red wine gravy.  I did it in my slow cooker and it turned out so good.  I served it with mashed potatoes and carrots, just like the author of the recipe, and forgot to take a picture, so I’m using hers.  I was so hungry, and it was so delicious, I meant to take a picture.  The gravy just made the meal.  Here’s the recipe I used.  Although the recipe doesn’t call for red wine in the gravy, I added about 1/4 cup, and I think it really complimented the taste.

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Here’s the wine I served with it, and it’s my wine of the week…

Barossa GSM

A beef dish with a bold vibrant gravy deserves a wine that will pair well.  It should compliment, without over-powering the dish.  Your wine and your food should never compete, they should enhance each other.  I could have had Cabernet Sauvignon with this dish, but another full-bodied wine I just love is a GSM blend, Grenache, Shiraz & Mourvedre.  It’s called Shiraz in Australia, where this wine hails from, but in France, where the blend originated, the ‘S’ stands for Syrah.  Same grape, Old world wine regions call it Syrah, New world regions call it Shiraz.  I had the 2017 vintage, which was delicious, but I could have kept this wine in my rack for a couple more years.  I decanted the wine, which really made a difference.  Another big difference, was many New world wine regions like American oak, but these guys used French oak, which aged the wine for 12 months, and made the wine subtle and smooth.  This wine is only $21.99 here and I loved it.

You know who doesn’t know the word social distancing?   My cat Gabriel.

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This is how I woke up the other morning.  He was ready to be fed.

Take care everyone, stay safe.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

 

My Quarantined Wine List

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2020 by darmyers

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Let’s face it, there’s no doubt about it, these are challenging times for many many people.  I understand the challenges people have as we enter Week 2 of self-Quarantine/working from home, with no end in sight.  But during all challenges, sometimes we need a little levity, and hopefully my wine blog will be a little bit of an escape for you for a few minutes.

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This looks about right, doesn’t it?

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One of my favourite white wines comes from New Zealand, and I had this for the first time at my friend Joan’s place.   Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular white wines in the world, and I really enjoy it.  Pinot Gris, although the same grape, is it’s lesser-known sister and they are made very differently.  The #1 difference I can tell you about is that Pinot Grigio is more acidic, it’s very lively on the palate.  Pinot Gris has less acidity and tends to lean towards tropical flavours, with usually a higher alcohol content.  Where Pinot Grigio is light and refreshing, Pinot Gris has more body, making it a great white wine for those big hearty dinners.
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Pinot Grigio is a vibrant delicious wine that’s always a good value, this Canaletto from Italy is just $13.99 a bottle.  This is a great wine for fish & seafood dishes, light cheeses, lightly sauced pasta dishes and salads.  Also great wine for sushi lovers!C742BCF9-1417-43F6-A305-DF1F140AD560
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Many people at this challenging time is feeling a bit of a financial crunch, and this is always a great value and it’s on sale right now here in Nova Scotia.  Right now this is less than $15 a bottle and it’s a delicious Argentinian Merlot that is rich and full-bodied and organic to boot.  Dada, actually makes three wines 1, 2 & 3, all different grapes but the only one we can get here right now is the Dada 2 which is a Merlot.  Dada 1 is a Malbec / Bonarda blend and Dada 3 is a Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz blend. I’ve had all three, great wines at a great price.  So wherever you’re reading this from, if you head to your favourite wine store and see a Dada label, you won’t be disappointed at what’s in the bottle.

Wine Saturday 1
One guarantee I can make to all of you, there is always a bottle of Zinfandel in my wine rack…
This is what I have been marinating for the past 12 hours or so…

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Baby back ribs.  I love the fact the grocery store on my street sells these smaller racks of baby back ribs.  My deep freeze is full of these perfect size servings for a single person.  So this evening I’m grilling ribs and Zinfandel is my favourite wine pairing.

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The Kenwood Zinfandel from Sonoma County in California is smoky (perfect for smoky ribs), and peppery and a great wine for bbq foods and hearty meat dishes.  Many times a great Zinfandel will start at $30 and go up from there, however I love this particular one, and it’s priced at only $22 a bottle.

I love wine

That’s it for this week,

I’d like to say a great big welcome to all the new visitors to my site and my Facebook page.  I am humbled and grateful for the over 20,800 people that discovered my wine page this week.  I was thinking of you as I wrote this wine blog, I hope you enjoy it.  To my new visitors, every Saturday morning I sit down with a cup of  coffee and write a wine blog.  Thanks for sharing in journey to find great wines at great prices.

Cheers

Darlene

Stock Up On Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2020 by darmyers

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I certainly do not want to poke fun at the seriousness of the Coronavirus, as the World Health Organization has called it a pandemic, but I will poke a little fun at those hoarding toilet paper.  I don’t want 600 rolls of toilet paper, but I wouldn’t mind having a few extra bottles of wine in the rack.  As a matter of fact, I was coming into my building this morning with some groceries, one package of toilet paper, and some wine.  One of my neighbours said “stocking up for Armageddon”, to which I replied yes – one package of toilet paper and lots and lots of wine!

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Remember I was telling you I had a wine tasting last Saturday night and it went fantastic.  It was a group of ladies and we had some good food, some great wine and a lot of laughs.  I really enjoy doing the winetasting, and a big thanks to Lucy for having me over with her friends.  Let me tell you about some of the wines we enjoyed!  I do have permission to use this picture.

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We started with a sparkling wine, the Mionetto Prestige Prosecco Brut.

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I explained to the group, some people think that all sparkling wines are sweet.   I bring a sparkling wine to most of my wine tastings, and so many people are always surprised that it’s never a sweet one.  So I’m going to tell you what I told them, if you see the word Brut on the label you can rest assured it’s not sweet, it’s dry.  This fantastic Italian Prosecco is just $19.99 a bottle, such a great deal because it’s really good.  The hostess laid out beautiful charcuterie board last weekend and this was a perfect way to start the wine tasting, because sparkling dry Prosecco always goes well with appetizers and charcuterie boards.

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I bought this wine which I was telling you about last weekend, because it’s one of my new favourite white wines.  It’s new to the NSLC, so if you haven’t tried it pick it up it’s only $18 a bottle and very good.

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One of the other white wines we had was a pleasant surprise to some of the ladies, as there was some people who thought they didn’t like Chardonnay.  This particular Chardonnay is from Chile, Caliterra was actually started in the mid 90s by Robert Mondavi, of the famed Mondavi Vineyards in the Napa Valley.  It’s not an overly oaky Chardonnay, and a great value in my opinion it just $18 a bottle.

my wine of the week was the winner of last weeks wine-tasting….

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From Battle Creek Cellars comes the Unconditional Pinot Noir from Oregon.  Unconditionally delicious, and unconditional quality make for a vibrant Pinot Noir.  The vineyard slogan is “Elegance without the Ego”.  It’s a treat at $33 a bottle, but everyone deserves a treat every once in a while.  Wine critic James suckling gave it 90 points and I love that they only use 10% new oak in making this great wine, the oak softened the wine without making it oaky.

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That’s it for this week, till next week, cheers

Darlene

Spring Forward with Great Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2020 by darmyers

Wine Daylight Savings

The clocks go ahead one hour tonight, and some of you might lament about losing an hour sleep, however, there are those of us that lament about losing an hour of enjoying wine. Speaking of switching to white wine, here’s one to try.  It could be my new favourite white wine.

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Cune Rioja Blanco Semidulce is new to our NSLC in Nova Scotia, hailing from Spain.  The wine is 85% Viura with the remaining 15% Malvasia and White Grenache.  Viura is also known as Macabeo, commonly used in making Spanish Cava, a traditional-made Sparkling.  Spanish cava is made the exact same way as Champagne is, at about 1/3 the price.  This is a dry wine, however, not a Sparkling.  There is a tinge of sweetness on the tip of the tongue because the grapes were left on the vine for so long.   There used to be a saying “the longer on the vine, the sweeter than wine”.  A fantastic value at $18 a bottle. It’s new, try it.

I have a surprise for you…

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I heard my friend Brenda from the NSLC on my street recommend this wine to a customer.  I heard her say Merlot, which immediately got my attention, and I said hmmmm?  I will be honest, I probably would never have picked up a bottle of French Merlot that cost me $11.99, if it wasn’t for Brenda’s recommendation.  That’s not a typo, this bottle of wine cost $11.99.  And this wine comes from the Languedoc-Roussillion region of France which has been making quality Merlot for decades.  Here’s the area and here are the grapes.

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Full-bodied and aromatic, I would recommend opening it and letting it breathe.  I tried it immediately after opening it and it was a little boozy on the back of the throat to start, but once it sat for 30 minutes, that went away because the air helps evaporate the alcohol taste.  You gotta try this wine.

And now for my wine of the week, it’s a white and red sister combo….

Murta 2

Hailing from Portugal the red Murta is a beautiful Syrah with Portugal’s most famous red grape, Touriga Nacional.   The grapes are hand harvested and hand sorted, with any green grapes and rotten grapes thrown away.  What that means for wine, is that you don’t tend to find any bitterness. Very food friendly wine.

I got to try the white Murta this week as well, which is also a great value because they are both priced less than $18 a bottle.

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With the clocks going ahead this evening, and many people thinking Spring and Summer, this is a perfect one for Summer.  Made 100% with a grape I don’t remember ever having, the Arinto grape.  It’s a very refreshing grape, the wine is acidic so it’s a great wine for an appetizer or an oily fish.  It has delicious notes of lemon and lime which will have you thinking of summer even if it’s snowing outside.

I have a wine tasting tonight, and I’m very excited about the wines.  I will tell you all about them next week.

Should you drink today? Or should you drink today and tomorrow? It's always tough decision, that one. One thing that you can decide on, though, is how much you love wine - and it's definitely more than people if you understand exactly what these funny wine jokes are getting at. So kick off yo...

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

My Leap Year Blog

Posted in Uncategorized on February 29, 2020 by darmyers

 

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Today is Saturday February 29th.  I have to say, I think Google won today’s leap year meme.  I don’t know what I was thinking last Saturday when I sat down with my cup of coffee and decided to name my wine blog ‘Leaping Into Some Great Wines’, thinking I had to write that blog last Saturday.  I literally woke up this morning and thought ‘I wrote my Leap Year Wine Blog a week too early’.  So today I’m calling my wine blog My Leap Year Wine Blog.  Let’s say Happy Birthday and Congratulations to all those leap year babies that are finally allowed to drink wine.  You’re only 84!

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I always try to feature a white wine in my weekly wine blogs, I have a lot of friends that drink white wine.  My next question would be have you had Albarino lately?

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I bought this to a winetasting in December and the white wine drinkers really enjoyed it.  Albarino is a grape that’s grown mostly in Spain and Portugal, however, because of its growing popularity Chile, Uruguay and the United States is also growing Albarino.  It’s very aromatic in the glass, with gorgeous aromas of lemon, apple and citrus.  If you like Pinot Gris white wine, you will love Albarino.  This Garzon Albarino comes in around the $25 mark here in Eastern Canada.
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I laughed when I saw this meme, I am really good at drinking wine LOL

My wine of the week this week is a Bordeaux red that’s a great value…

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when I tasted this wine last night for the first time, I said to my friend Joanne from the NSLC, “That’s a big wine for the price point”.  A Bordeaux red wine is always a blend and this is a delicious blend of 70% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.  I bought another bottle because I think I’m going to have a steak tonight, and this is a great steak wine.  As you can see, I have the 2016 vintage, which is very tasty now, however you can store it and drink it in years to come.  Full-bodied, fruit forward with some woody and spicy notes.  Hard to believe this wine is only $18.99 a bottle.  A very tasty Bordeaux for under $20.

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Have a great weekend

Darlene