Busy Busy

It’s been such a busy week, I almost didn’t write a wine blog this week. But I really wanted to, so my apologies it didn’t come out on Saturday. I hope you enjoy reading the on his holiday Monday. Work has been super busy, my mom is visiting and we’ve been keeping super busy, getting her Christmas shopping done. Plus our Social Committee in my apartment building, which I am the President, kick-started the new year with a Meet & Greet last night.

But it’s my favorite long weekend, Thanksgiving, and I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m thankful for many people and many things, especially the people who take time out of their week to read my wine blog.

So, my Mom is here and she is a Chardonnay drinker.

Great value

We got her this one and she loved it. I have to say, I liked it too. It is a full-bodied Chardonnay from Chile. Rich and velvety, with hints of pineapple, citrus and apple. This is priced at just $11.45 here in Nova Scotia, which is a fantastic value.

Cornect Bee Sting Honey Mustard

My friend Cassandra gave me this gift this past week, from Cornect Farms here in Nova Scotia. Savory and sweet with a hint of heat, delicious. And I’ve been trying it on different things, including my BBQ pork chop.

My red wine this week is a Chilen Cabernet Sauvignon

This Espino Cabernet Sauvignon was very tasty. Full-bodied and juicy with notes of dried fruit and coffee, this Cabernet Sauvignon has a splash of Carmenere and Cabernet Franc. it’s priced at $19 a bottle here, which is a spectacular value given the fact it was awarded 94 Points at a competition, along with several gold medals.

Finished this puzzle last week. And heading to Newfoundland next Friday for 2 weeks. I’m flying back with my Mom, and staying at my sister’s for 2 weeks, taking care of Maggie. My sister is in Hawaii for 4 weeks and my Mom doesn’t drive anymore, so someone has to be here.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you had a wonderful long weekend, I know I did. My mom and I didn’t do traditional turkey for Thanksgiving, we did filet mignon steaks. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I’m very thankful for each and every one of you.



Oh Fiona

Fiona kicked some ass

As I sit here Sunday morning, with the beautiful sunshine pouring in, I think back to how Fiona kicked some ass this weekend. And thankfully, here in Halifax, we didn’t get hit as hard as I had expected. I was a little nervous, especially reading when it could have been worse than when Hurricane Juan paralyzed Halifax 19 years ago.

Dartmouth got hit hard

Areas of Halifax and Dartmouth got hit harder than I did and people are still struggling without power. We lost our power for about 19 hours, so I’m grateful, as I sit here sipping a hot coffee. I was lucky in that the wind was coming down the street, so the front of our building got hit harder. Being on the back of the building, I was sheltered.

I would like to take a moment to send a prayer to people in the Southwestern Newfoundland. Port aux Basque, Newfoundland is the entryway to Newfoundland, when travelling by ferry.

They got hit so hard by Fiona, my heart is broken for the devastation in this beautiful town.

I hope everyone is safe. This beautiful community got battered, and my heart goes to out to everyone who lives there and the family and friends of people who live there.

Other parts of Southwestern Newfoundland got hit hard including Burgeo, and a friend of mine, Olive, her sister’s home got completely destroyed. So sad.

On another note, some stressful moments when my Gabriel developed a cyst on his back.

A big thanks to Dr. Hartman at The Cat Clinic for taking care of my boy. All good now

I know many people go crazy for storm chips when a storm is on the way. As a matter of fact, here in Halifax, someone posted chips sell out a lot faster than vegetables.

This made me chuckle

Some people do storm potato chips. I do storm potatoes

Butter, Olive oil, salt, pepper and some Trader Joe’s seasoning my friend Arla gave me. You can use your favorite seasoning. I melted the butter first, added the olive and seasonings, and put them on my pellet grill.

One of the things I love most about my pellet grill, is that you can adjust the smoke by adjusting the temperatures. The higher you go, the less smoke. It can grill or sear without adding lots of smoke flavor. So when I cooked these potatoes, I added just a hint of smoke flavor and then grilled them. Delicious.

And of course during this storm, there was some wine.

Tried a new wine last week. The Lost Poet.

This was the saying on the back of the bottle. ‘Don’t be scared to change the name of the Prince’s name in your story’. I loved that. I also loved the fact the winemaker said ‘wine is poetry’, and that’s where the name came from. This is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah (Shiraz). Delicious. It’s juicy and plush and priced under $22.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. To all my friends in Cape Breton and Newfoundland, send me your pics from the storm. Also, feel free to s hare the wine you were enjoying during the storm. Stay safe. Thinking of all of you.



Red, White & Rose – Summer Favorites

We are into the doggy days of Summer, almost mid-August. I know a lot of people switch to Rose and White wines during the Summer. There are also those of us who like the lighter reds we can chill with. There is no such thing as a wrong choice, when it comes to your favorite wine.

Benjamin Bridge Rose

My favorite Rose wines are made from red grapes that would produce full-bodied red wines. Like the Cabernet Franc grape, used in making this Benjamin Bridge Rose, made here in Nova Scotia, but available to my Newfoundland friends as well. Obviously to make it a Rose wine, there is very limited contact with the skin of the grape. But the grape itself makes an interesting and complex rose wine. This is not your grandmother’s rose wine.

When I decided to call this week’s wine blog Red, White & Rose, I had in mind to feature a red wine, a white and a rose. There are so many great white wines out there, it’s really hard to choose. And I also like to feature wines you can get in most places across the Country. I had a friend from Newfoundland send me a note a few months back, saying they liked my wine blog but couldn’t get many of the wines I talked about. So I like to feature wines that you can get in both provinces.

Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc

If you’re looking for a bright crisp white wine to enjoy on this hot and muggy day, try the Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc. You’ll love the passionfruit flavors and it’s one of the most food friendly wines.

Speaking of food….

I have to share this quick and easy recipe for Cashew Chicken. Yesterday evening was one of those evenings I had no idea what I wanted for supper. I considered going up to the grocery store and getting a steak, but honestly was too lazy to go to the store. LOL

10 Minutes from start to finish

Cashew Chicken

I cut up a chicken breast in bite size pieces, coated them in corn starch, and put them in a frying pan. I cut up red pepper in chunks and added unsalted cashews to the pan. The sauce is so easy, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey and hoisin sauce. If you’re not familiar with hoisin sauce, it’s a little sweet and a little salty. A thick sauce known for being used in Cantonese cuisine, your sauce will thicken a bit with the corn starch from the chicken.

I let that simmer while I warmed up some leftovers from the night before

Some leftover rice and wings, and a spring roll, and I had supper made in 10 minutes. If you’re feeling lazy any night of the week, try my Cashew Chicken dish.

And yes, I had a glass of wine with it. It was, after all, a Friday night. It’s not a new wine, but it is a favorite.

La Mascota Cabernet Franc

La Mascota Cabernet Franc hails from Argentina and makes a regular appearance in my wine rack. Priced under $20, it’s an elegant, well-balanced wine. Deep rich flavors with notes of black pepper, it’s a great wine at a great price.

That’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers


Meet the Mighty Grape

I love reading about wine and recently I read an article about the amazing grape, and there were a few fun facts in there I didn’t know that I thought I would share on this Saturday.

We all know grapes as the berries used to make our favorite beverage. But did you know that the grapes you put on your charcuterie board are different than the grapes used in the production of wine. The grapes you eat as a snack have a thin skin and have been bred by farmers over the years to be seedless. Wine grapes have a thick skin, are smaller and have lots of seeds.

It also takes a lot of grapes to make wine, about 1200 of the smaller grapes, or 2.5 lbs, to make one bottle of wine. Grapes also have more uses than just wine or as a snack, it’s used in the making of jams, jellies, and dried out they become raisins. Grapes dried out become raisins, and dried wine grapes become Amarone.

There are 8,000 different grape varieties, and by far my favorites are used to make my favorite beverage.

Speaking of grapes and our favorite beverage, let’s talk some wine….

First, a new white I tried recently with my friend Arla. Arla is a huge fan of Pinot Grigio and she recently tried and loved this Pinot by Riff. Arla always shares her new finds with me, for which I am very grateful.

Riff Pinot Grigio

With the weather warming up, here is a crisp cool white wine that pairs wonderfully with Summer. Originating from the Northern Italian Alps, the area is known for straightforward clean citrus Pinot Grigio. This is a gorgeous wine with notes of pear, citrus and melon, and a great value at $21 here in Nova Scotia.

I also tried a new red wine recently.

McManis Petite Sirah

If you haven’t tried McManis Wines before, what are you waiting for? I’ve written about the Zinfandel, which I love and the Cabernet Sauvignon, which I also love. I have also tried the North Forty Red blend, which unfortunately we can’t get here in Nova Scotia anymore. You can read about it here though. Recently I’ve tried the Petite Sirah from the McManis family of wines. Petite Sirah is an extremely rare grape, also known as Durif, named after French Botanist Francois Durif. Known widely for blending because it adds structure and tannins, many California winemakers are taking this unique grape and making it the star. McManis is one of those. And Petite Sirah is the best when grown on old vines. As the saying goes, ‘the older the wine, the better the wine’. This was a wonderful wine, priced at about $22.

My colleague BJ Wilson

Yesterday the Radio station I work at had it’s 13th Annual Linnks for Lymphoma Golf Tournament, raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It was a great sunny day and we had a ton of fun. A big thank you to everyone who came out and joined us. My co-worker BJ Wilson, who hosts BJ & The Q Morning Crew, worked with me on hole #10. We cooked pepperoni and did the ‘Closest to the Pin’.

Till next week, Cheers


You Gotta Love a Long Weekend

Who doesn’t love a long weekend? A day late, but I hope everyone had a wonderful Canada Day yesterday.

This is the 155th year that we celebrate Canada Day, which honors the anniversary of Confederation, when Canada became a country separate from the British Empire.   It was known as Dominion Day until 1982, which is why my home province of Newfoundland had a beer called Dominion Ale. And it wouldn’t be from Newfoundland without a picture of a moose on the bottle.

Dominion Ale

But today we are here to talk about wine!   Are you grilling this Canada Day?  It was a beautiful day here yesterday in Halifax so I fired up the grill last night. Did some ribs which I’m going to finish this evening. My favorite wine to go with ribs? Regular readers know what a huge fan I am of Zinfandel with ribs. Whether it’s a 100% Zinfandel, or Zinfandel is part of the blend, I’m a fan.

Cline Ancient Vine

Cline makes a beautiful smooth Zinfandel. Natalie Maclean, Canada’s most prolific wine writer, gave this wine 92 Points. From Contra Costa County close to the San Francisco Bay area, this rich wine has notes of plum and black pepper, which makes it perfect for anything on the grill.

Robert Mondavi said it best “Wine, Food & Art – incorporating these three things will enhance your life”.  No wonder he was a legend.

Robert Mondavi

Here’s my recipe for BBQ ribs.

  • Take the membrane off the back of the ribs. It adds nothing to the ribs.
  • I like to marinate my ribs. Brown Sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, liquid smoke, hot sauce, and some BBQ sauce.
  • I also slow cook them first in a 275-degree oven for 2 – 3 hours.
  • Then I finish them on the grill, adding more BBQ sauce. I like Bulls Eye Sweet & Sticky.
  • They are fall off the bone delicious.

For my white wine drinking friends, a good hearty white wine goes great grilled food, like this one from Trinity Oaks.

With flavors of apple and pears, and delicately used oak, this is a great Chardonnay.

That’s it for me for today. Have a wonderful and safe long weekend.

Sorry, not sorry, Kale