Wines To Keep You Warm This Winter!

Mother Nature sure has been having fun this year.   A long cold snap, and when it does warm up, we get snow…. and lots of it.  I think it has been the same for most of Canada.

So, here are some new wines I have tried lately to keep those cold nights at bay.  And keep reading for a great recipe of Honey Roasted Potatoes.  How’s that for comfort food.

My friend Sue at the NSLC hit it out of the ball park this week, when she asked me to try the new Rhiannon Red Wine from Rutherford Ranch in the Napa Valley of California.

The 2010 vintage is a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Barbera.  At just under $21, this is my new favorite wine.  The Goddess Rhiannon is a Welsh Lunar Goddess who’s name means ‘Great Queen’ or ‘Divine’.   It is the perfect name for this divine wine.    My first taste, I was thinking ‘medium bodied, fruity, flavours of cherries with a hint of vanilla….And then the explosion of taste happened, where the wine lingered to a magnificent finish.   Low acidity and moderate tannins made for a divinely smooth wine.  Robert Parker called the Rutherford Ranch wines the best value in Napa Valley.   Run, don’t walk, to your closest Liquor Store and get a bottle of this wine.

Rolf Binder Wines - Halcyon Cabernet Merlot 2008

Another spectacular wine I tried this week was the Rolf Binder Halcyon 2008 Cabarnet Sauvignon from the Barossa Valley in Australia.   This wine was a gift from friends and what a great gift it was.  A super smooth wine that combined flavours of blueberries, chocolate, herbs, spices and a nice long opulent finish.   I had this wine with grilled pork and it was a perfect combination.  I also teamed that with Honey Roasted potatoes – talk about comfort food.  I have had many requests for this simple recipe, so here it is.

Honey Roasted Potatoes

You will need:

Potatoes, peeled and quartered.

Diced onion

Melted butter  (don’t use margarine)


Dry mustard

Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Place potatoes in a single layer in the dish and top with the diced onion.

In a small bowl, combine melted better, honey, mustard, salt and pepper.  Drizzle over potatoes and onion.

Bake for 35 or 40 minutes until tender, stirring halfway through cooking time.

Delicious!  Enjoy

Have a great week, stay warm and enjoy the food and wine.


19 Crimes & Baby Back Ribs!

It’s almost criminal how good this wine is and really good value for the money.  I am a fan of a good Shiraz, love it with grilled foods.  And 19 Crimes 2011 Shiraz Durif from Australia did not disappoint.   I love a big red wine in the glass, and 19 Crimes delivered.  With flavors of licorice and a small hint of vanilla, the ripe red fruits were pleasant on the nose and great in the mouth.  I had this wine with BBQ Baby Back Ribs (see recipe below) and they were magnificent together.

I often get asked for my recipes and all my friends know I am not just a lover of wine, but a foodie as well.  I love to cook and it’s a hobby that I practice almost every day.  So, I have decided to include some of my recipes on my blog, especially those that I had with the wine I am featuring.  If the food and wine really compliment each other, I will share the recipe.  The reason I have hesitated to do this, is that I don’t use measuring spoons or measuring cups.  I just add ingredients and test recipes that way.    I am appreciative of any and all  feedback.

Natalie Maclean

The biggest thrill of my week was being asked by Natalie Maclean, Sommelier, wine writer and author of the books ‘Unquenchable’, and ‘Red Wine & Drunk All Over’ to write wine reviews for her website.  I have been a big fan of Natalie’s website and reviews for a long time.  Check out her website at and I know you will become a big fan as well.   This is one of my favorite videos – here she is  with Wolf Blass here on CTV

Thank you again for reading.   I am truly blessed and humbled by the new followers each week, and a big thank you to all of you who share and retweet.



Darlene’s Baby Back Ribs

– Baby Back Ribs with the fat trimmed

About 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar

– A few shakes of Hot Sauce  (I like about 10, but I like the kick)

– teaspoon of minced garlic

– A couple of splashes of Worcestershire Sauce

– Freshly squeezed Lime Juice from half a Lime

– Fresh Ground Pepper

-A splash of orange juice

– Half a bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce

Combine all the ingredients and slow cook in an 300-degree oven for 90 minutes.  Remove then from the oven and slow grill on the top rack of a BBQ until you get those nice grill marks.  Baste with BBQ sauce.  And Enjoy!