Twas The Wine Before Christmas

Posted in Wine & Food on December 12, 2020 by darmyers
Christmas chuckle

Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the cellar,

The bottles were resting, the tannins becoming mellower

The wine glasses were hung by the fireplace with care

In hopes Santa & a corkscrew, would soon be there

The bottles were nestled snug in the rack,

Waiting for a guy holding a red sack

Papa with his white, me with my red,

Enjoying a glass before we headed to bed

When out on the lawn, arose such a clatter

I spilled my wine, to see what was the matter

I ran to the window, I flew like a flash

In time to see Santa in quite the mad dash

The Moon on the face of a newly poured wine Gave the luster of Merlot a beautiful shine

Gave the luster of Merlot a beautiful shine

When what to my eyes, should suddenly appear

But a miniature sleight and 8 reindeer

With a Jolly driver, so lively and quick

I knew in a moment, it must be Saint Nick

I ran to get a glass, so happy he came

When one by one, he called them by name.

Now Dancer, Now Dasher, Now Prancer and Vixen

On Comet, On Cupid, On Donner, On Blitzen

Out to the porch, I gave him a call

Red or white I called out, you can have it all

I’ll be happy

It looked as if this wasn’t his first stop of the night,

His purple stain teeth proved I was right

He came in and headed directly to the glass,

And asked if I had anything from Alsace

He filled all the stockings, and turned with a jerk,

He gave a big smile and returned back to work

And I heard him explain as he drove out of sight

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night

A little bit of fun with a classic. And now it’s time for my Wine of the Week…

Bouchard Aine & Fils Beaujolais Superiore

Last week I told you about an easy to drink great-priced Pinot Noir from Bouchard, Aine & Fils. This week, I had the opportunity to try its sister wine, the Beaujolais Superiore. My small bubble of 3 other friends get together Tuesday evenings for a games night. Because my friend Angie & I both drink red, so we take turns bringing the wine. This is the wine Angie bought this week, and it’s so funny, because I have a friend Nancy who gave me a bottle as well, that’s still in my wine rack.

This is a great wine for Christmas, because it’s so food friendly. This wine pairs well with charcuterie boards, cheese, cold cuts, fish dishes like salmon and chicken and turkey as well. Bouchard Aine & Fils have been part of the wine trade in Burgundy and Beaujolais for over 200 years, so you know they make a good Beaujolais. Beaujolais is a medium-bodied easy to drink wine with notes of cherry and candied bananas. The Superiore means the grapes were picked at the height of ripeness, thus making it ‘superior’. This wine is also an amazing deal. Are you sitting down? It’s $16.99 a bottle here in Nova Scotia. A reminder this is not a wine that is meant to be aged. Drink it within 2 years for best results.

A friend of mine Sandra, has a kitty cat, Bidou, who will only drink his water out of a wine glass. I have the proof on video, and was hoping to share it. However, the file size was too big, the blog wouldn’t accept it. It is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

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

Darlene

Wine – Gift Giving Made Easy!

Posted in Wine & Food on December 5, 2020 by darmyers
I’m easy to shop for

I’ve always said, I’m the easiest person in the world to shop for. Head to the closest place that sells wine, and you’re my new best friend. Don’t think for a minute that wine lovers look at a gift of wine wine as an ‘easy’ gift. For me, it’s a great gift, of which I am very appreciative. And when I’m enjoying that particular wine, I always think fond memories of the person who gave it to me. 2020 has been has been stressful enough. So I’m going to give you some great gift-giving ideas for the wine lover in your life.

When I became a Certified Sommelier in April of 2017, I started doing a lot of wine tastings. I did them for small and larger groups, and I always bought a sparkling wine. Did you know there are still so many people that believe sparkling wines are sweet. This Mionetto Prosecco was a crowd favorite.

Mionetto Prosecco

It is such a great time to buy Prosecco right now. I was at the NSLC the other day (surprise surprise!) and so many are on sale, including this one from Mionetto. Prosecco makes a great gift because even if you don’t feel like drinking a sparkling wine, there are so many cocktails you can make with Prosecco. Mionetto has been making Prosecco since 1887, when Francesco Mionetto opened a winery just north of Venice, Italy. It’s a great wine, a great gift, and it’s under $18 right now.

Another great wine for the white wine lover on your list.

Gianmaria Cesari

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of meeting Italian winemaker Gianmaria Cesari, the son of Umberto Cesari, when he spoke in Halifax a couple of years ago. He introduced me to one of my favorite white wines and I have been bringing it to wine tastings ever since.

Moma White

Moma white is made from the Trebbiano grape, with Sauvignon Blanc and some Chardonnay, and comes from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, known more for Balsamic Vinegar and Parmesan cheese. This winery is also making some spectacular wine. This delicious elegant white wine features flavors of apple and pear, and is priced under $18. A perfect party pleaser.

Here’s a fun side dish for any holiday entertaining you are thinking of doing.

Roasted Garlic Butter Parmesan Potatoes

So I posted this recipe on my Facebook page, saying I was going to make the potatoes last Sunday. The potatoes I had in my pantry had gone a little wonky, so I decided not to make them. I had almost 100 people reach out to see how they turned out. So I made them mid-week. I did mine on the BBQ, but you know you can use your BBQ like a hot oven as well.

My finished version

I have to say, they turned out pretty darn good. One difference, the recipe calls for 6 cloves of garlic, I used 3 cloves of fresh garlic, and they were lots garlicky! You may want to be careful with this recipe if you’re planning a passionate evening, unless both of you are eating the potatoes. You can get the recipe for the Roasted Garlic Parmesan Potatoes here.

Melted butter, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt & Pepper

I parboiled them at first and then coated them in this marinade of goodness. Cooked them, and in the final minutes melted more butter, added chopped up bacon, and more parmesan. A delicious and different side dish. God I love potatoes, they are so versatile and you can have them so many different way. Let’s get back to the wine. I’m so excited to tell you about the new wine I tried this week.

My Wine of the Week….

Pinot Noir Perfect

You know me, I love Pinot Noir, it’s probably my favorite grape. And I love finding great wines at great prices. This one hit the jackpot. The Bouchard Aine & Fils might be a mouthful to say, but its also a mouthful of flavor. It’s a French Pinot Noir from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, which is known more for GSM’s, Grenache Syrah & Mourvedre wines, but this Pinot Noir is delightful.

Bouchard, Aine & Fils Pinot Noir

It’s a great light to medium-bodied easy to drink wine. This is a great wine for white wine drinkers, who want to dip their toe in the red wine world. And it’s so affordable right now. It’s on sale here in Nova Scoita for $13.99, which makes it an unbelievable value. This wine is also a perfect pairing for food this holiday season. From appetizer snacks like cheese, fruit and crackers, to your main meal of ham, chicken or fish. At this price, don’t walk to the liquor store, run!

A trip to Bordeaux, France

I want to invite all of you to join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, December 9th. You’ll learn about River cruising and the trip to Bordeaux in 2022. We all need something to look forward to after this year. We’re going to have a sip of wine (of course), talk about a wonderful trip, and did I mention it’s free. You can sign up here.

A big welcome to all the new followers this week of this blog. Welcome to the wine journey.

Darlene

Better Late Than Never

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2020 by darmyers
Money well spent

I had a few technical difficulties yesterday morning, and wasn’t able to get my blog done. Thank you for your patience, and for this week, hopefully you’ll enjoy this Sunday read. Again this morning I am having trouble doing my blog on WordPress, between yesterday and today it’s taking me between four and five hours to get this blog out. I can’t be doing that every week, so if anybody has any suggestions for blog sites, could you pass them along. The site keeps producing an error message on my laptop, and it’s more difficult on my iPad because I can’t edit pictures or link in any way. Let’s talk some wine!

December is almost upon us, and with December comes a ton of opportunities to enjoy some wine. Christmas cooking, putting up the lights, putting up the tree, or gathering with friends, (only 5), wine can bring joy to many of these occasions and chores. A friendly reminder to not to drink and drive.. please! This is for the chores at home, when you know you are home for the evening. And let’s face it, with the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hitting us here in Nova Scotia and across Canada, most of us are staying very close to home.

At least 14 times

Do you have any Christmas cooking to do this year? Well, have I got a Riesling for you? And it’s made right here in Nova Scotia!

Gasperau Vineyards Riesling

I’m a big fan of Riesling’s, even though I don’t tend to imbibe in many German Rieslings, which is the country many people think of when they think of Riesling. I love Canadian and American Riesling wines, they don’t tend to be as sweet, and I really enjoy the crisp acidity. This medium dry beautiful Riesling comes from Gasperau Vineyards right here in the Anapolis Valley of Nova Scotia and it’s delicious. In my opinion, this is a true classic Riesling, beautiful apple and floral flavours, and the grapes are grown in 3 different regions right here in Nova Scotia.

Red or White, great holiday colors

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, even though it gets dark early everything is lit up with a pretty Christmas lights . Inside, everything is so warm and cosy. I normally have my Christmas decorations up by December 1, but because it’s 2020, I had them up a few days early.

I love greeting this guy as I come in the door

And a great wine to enjoy while doing your inside Christmas decorating? Every year I do a wine blog that features my Top 10 finds of that year. In 2018, a Ripasso from Zonin was the number one spot and you can read about it here

Zonin Prosecco

Zonin has an easy to drink Prosecco that is perfect for holiday entertaining. It’s on sale right now here in Nova Scotia, and hopefully where you live too. From Veneto in Italy and featuring the Glera grape, it’s crisp and light and perfect for any nibbles you are putting out.

And now for my wine of the week…..

A new wine my friend Angie and I discovered this past week . I have never seen it before at the liquor store so I picked it up for our game tonight. If you think Australia is only known for Shiraz, let me introduce you to the Magic Box Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a full body, a beautiful deep purple color, with fantastic flavours of smoke, plum, and rich fruit. If you’re like us here on the East Coast of Canada, and enjoying some unusually mild weather for this time of year, it’s a great time to get that barbeque going and here’s your wine for it. And the only thing better than the taste, is the price tag, because right now it’s on sale for $14.99.

Essentials

Well that’s it for mr for this week, till next week’s blog, Cheers and stay safe.

New to Wine (Part 2)

Posted in Wine & Food on November 21, 2020 by darmyers
Lots to choose from

There was such an overwhelming response to my wine blog last week, New to Wine, Maybe I can Help, that I decided to expand on that. One of the things I always try to do with my wine blog and with my wine tastings, is take the intimidation out of buying and trying wine. Most people who read this blog already like wine on some level, but if you know someone wanting to dip their toe into the wine world, pass along this blog. If you are just getting started, here are a few wines to start your wine journey. And for those readers who love wine already, if you haven’t already tried these 5 wines, you should give them a try.

Bolla Prosecco – $17.99
  1. Prosecco

Prosecco has done such an amazing job of winning the Sparkling wine world over. It’s a beautiful crisp dry sparkling wine (not sweet) that is not expensive. It is delicious all on it’s own, perfect with appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, or you can turn it into a holiday cocktail.

Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktail

Check out this Cranberry Pomegranate holiday cocktail, you can get the recipe here.

The remaining 4 wines that critics and wine lovers feel you should try, are 2. Chardonnay

3. Pinot Grigio

4. Pinot Noir and

5. Cabernet Sauvignon.

Personally I recommend you try something lighter than a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz, if you are just starting out in the wine world. Here’s the wine I always get people to try when they want to try red wine, or are white wine drinkers but would like to try red, or even new to wine. I present ‘Beaujolais’.

Beaujolais

It’s not only fun to say, it’s fun to drink. On the 3rd Thursday in November, considered World Beaujolais Day, the year’s wine crop is released to the world. Beaujolais is consumed as new and fresh as possible to keep those candied fruit flavors. There are 5 regions of Burgundy (Bourgogne) and Beaujolais is the southern most tip. It also produces more wine than all the other 4 regions combined. Wine expert Karen McNeil says Beaujolais is ‘the only white wine that is red in color’. You also serve this wine very chilled, and it goes great with salads, picnics and appetizers. The Bel Air Beaujolais I have here is one I haven’t tried yet, but bought it yesterday and I’m looking forward to it. Beaujolais is not expensive and tends to be under $20 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week…

But first, I have to tell you about my new BBQ.. yes the knobs light up for BBQing in the evenings when its dark (Yay!)

I love the fact the knobs light up
It has a rotisserie
Had both the BBQ & the Traeger Grill going

And yes, that is a glass of red wine between the two. You can’t be barbecuing and grilling without a beverage to keep you company.

And what was in that glass?

It’s on sale right now

Whenever I see this wine on sale, I absolutely have to have one. And its on sale this week! Meomi Pinot Noir is one of the richest Pinot Noir wines I have ever tried, and it’s complex flavors of mocha and cherries from winemaker Jason Becker gives it this week’s wine of the week. If you don’t think Pinot Noir can stand up to big grilled meats, you have not tried Meomi. The grapes come from 3 regions, Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara, and you’ll be bringing all the classic and dramatical flavors from the California coast, without the price tag that usually accompanies that.

This is why I’m single

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Have a great week, and thanks for reading.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

New to Wine? Maybe I Can Help

Posted in Wine on November 14, 2020 by darmyers
Wine is always the answer

One of the things I have missed about 2020, were the wine tastings I was doing. I loved doing the wine tastings for a couple of different reasons. I really loved meeting new people, and fellow wine lovers, One of my most favorite parts were getting people to try new wines. Wine is not cheap, so most of us are not too adventurous in the wine store. It’s way too expensive to take the chance on something you may not like. At the wine tastings, I’ve also met several spouses that ‘weren’t into wine’ but sipped along. These were fun, because most times they would end up finding a wine they really liked. Are you fairly new to wine? Let me help take away some of the mystery and hopefully make it a little easier to enjoy my favorite beverage.

This is true

When I do a wine tasting, I tend to bring 6 wines, in different styles. I always bring a sparkling wine. Did you know that most people think sparkling wine is sweet. It seems here in Canada, our first introduction to sparkling wine was Baby Duck.

Baby Duck

I don’t know about your house, but in my house, it wasn’t Christmas Dinner unless Mom & Dad bought out the Baby Duck. How many of us had this as our first taste of wine? Launched in the 1970’s, it once dominated the sparkling wine market. Not any more. Sparkling wine doesn’t have to be an expensive Champagne, it can be a crisp, food-friendly foray into deliciousness. Take this one for example.

A Spanish Cava

When starting out with Sparkling wine, start with an Italian Prosecco or a Spanish Cava, like this Hola wine. You never tend to pay more than $20 for a bottle of this wine, which is made in the same method as traditional Champagne. These delicious wines are a great way to start any get together or dinner party. They are perfect with appetizers, whether you are serving, cheese, oysters or a salad. You would have a hard time finding an appetizer that doesn’t pair well with a good dry sparkling wine.

A great white wine

Most people dip their toe in the wine world by starting with white wine. Great wine doesn’t have to be expensive and this wine is proof of that. This is one of my favorite white wines, La Vielle Ferme is a French white wine that comes in under $15. I know buying French wine can be a little intimidating, because they don’t always put the grape varietal on the label. For whites, Chardonnay is a big heavy wine, tends to be aged in oak. Something like a Pinot Grigio is lighter, crisper and hasn’t seen oak.

Going from White to Red?

So many people I meet, who drink white wine, would also love to expand into red wine. Here’s the biggest complaint I receive about red wine from white wine drinkers. The temperature. People tend to serve their red wines at ‘room temperature’. Well, in the Summer, the room temperature in my house tends to be about 26 degrees, and that is way to warm for any wine. On average, our rooms temperatures tend to be in the 20’s. Still way to warm for any wine. Room temperature was designated as the room temperature of the underground wine cellars, which were about 55-degrees Fahrenheit, which is about 13 – 15 degrees Celsious. Put your red wine in the refrigerator. And if it’s there a little long, take it out 20 or 30 minutes before serving. You’ll be amazed at how many of your friends will ‘love’ red wine once its served at the proper temperature, or even a little chilled. Start light with a Pinot Noir, or a Beaujolais (Gamay grape) or a Valpolicella and then work your way to the heavier reds of Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz.

My wine of the week was a big bold Shiraz. So, a cute story to start

Loves her I do!

My sister Jackie and her husband came for a visit this past week. We had such a great time. She lives in my hometown of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Her son is going to St. FX University here in Nova Scotia, so I am getting to see her more often. Her husband Craig, did some chores for me.

I had lots of projects for him

My brother in law Craig was kept very busy, so on Wednesday evening, we were going to do a big feed, and Craig wanted a glass of red wine. I was saving this wine to share with someone special, and couldn’t have picked a better person.

Wolf Blass Gold Label 2008 Shiraz
Signed by the man himself!

In 2012, just before I was transferred to Halifax, I had the opportunity to meet Wolf Blass, as he was visiting St. John’s, Newfoundland. I bought a couple of bottles of 2008 Gold Label Shiraz, two I gave away as gifts, and two I kept for a special occasion. I had opened one not long after this. It was very good. And I saved the other one. This was worth the wait! I was waiting for an opportunity to open it and share, and this seemed like the perfect day. So, this wine had a screw cap, had been bought 8 years ago, and was actually bottled 12 years ago. Living proof a screw cap can age a wine, some say as good as a cork does. The wine was aged in both new and seasoned French oak, and because of the high tannin content in Shiraz, that is a wine that ages very very well. This was spectacular, and if critics gave this wine 93-points after a couple of years, aging it turned it into a 95 or 96 point wine. Spectacular. If you see a Gold Label in the wine store, buy one or two, and keep one for a few years. You’ll love it.

Happens all the time

Have a great week. Cheers

Darlene