The Last Blog! (For A While)

I have some news to share, which I will get to a little later in the blog. But first….although it’s not the last day of January until Tuesday, it is the last weekend of January 2023. I always found January the longest month of the year. The holiday day in this month is the 1st and then it tends to be 30 additional days of bad weather usually, however, this 28th day of January, looks like this in Halifax.

This was taken yesterday evening from my patio. Except for one snowfall last Friday, it’s been a pretty green January. Ok, enough about the weather, let’s talk some wine.

Over the Christmas season I tried a few new wines that I haven’t had the chance to tell you about them yet.

Chile continues to put out some great wines and the Chateau Los Boldos is a great example of this. The Tradition Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied and the grapes come from vines that have aged at least 60+ years. Leathery and spicy, this wine is priced at the amazing amount of $15.99. Great for hamburgers, beef, & charcuterie boards.

Staying in South America, let’s head to Argentina. I think I had this one when I was home in Newfoundland for Christmas. Priced under $20, this Cabernet is on sale in Nova Scotia right now. Rich with peppery notes, it’s a great Cabernet Sauvignon at a great price.

Ok, so for my news. I thought long and hard about including this in the blog, but I thought I owed it to my regular readers about a potential break in my blog writing (and my wine drinking)

On November 25th, I got diagnosed with colon cancer. Since then I have been poked and prodded, LOL, but honestly, lots of tests and scans. On Monday, I start both chemo and radiation at the same time. My first round is 5 weeks, Monday to Friday 5 days a week, both chemo and radiation. Although they told me I can have a glass of wine if I feel like it, I don’t know how much I’ll be sipping. And since fatigue is the #1 side effect I’ll be feeling, I can’t guarantee I’ll be in the mood to write a weekly wine blog. I’ll play it by ear. After the first 5 weeks, I’ll be scoped and scanned again to see if the tumor has shrunk enough to operate to remove it, or if more chemo is needed.

I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you that has come along for any part of my wine blogging journey, which I started doing almost 12 years ago. I’ll give you an update on my next blog.

Take care


Our First Snowfall

Would you believe our first snowfall of the year came yesterday! That’s very unusual for Halifax. My hometown of Corner Brook received 114.9 cms in November alone. Being home at Christmas felt like I was living in a snow globe. I have to admit, I do love a snow day.

However, it did not stop me from smoking and grilling some ribs. Hey, I’m from Newfoundland, outdoor cooking in the snow is something I grew up on.

A warm hat, jacket and scarf and I smoked some ribs, grilled some chicken and did some potatoes. I have an overhang over my balcony so I was fairly well protected. While cooking, I had one of the best red wine blends I’ve tried in a while.

You know I love an interesting label, and this one caught my attention. It was funny, I was strolling through Port of Wines and was in the New Zealand section, and I didn’t realize I was actually in the Australia section. This red blend from South Australia is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz and 20% Merlot. It was over the moon delicious, but I think our local NSLC may be clearing it out. It was $25 and I got it for $21, and it wasn’t on sale, it said clearance. So run, don’t walk to try this wonderful wine. It was full-bodied and rich and not oaky like some Australian wines. The Mo Sisters, are 3 sisters that grew up in a prominent wine family in Australia, and they have only just launched in 2019. This wonderful wine was from the 2017 harvest. I loved it and it was definitely my wine of the week, so it wouldn’t be fair to the other new wines I have tried recently. I had no intention of going out today, but I’m having friends in today and I want to share this wine. That’s how much I loved it.

Where ever you are, I hope the clean up is not too much of a pain. And if it’s snowing where you are, enjoy the snow day

Till next week, Cheers


Trends to Look for in 2023

Each year in January I do a wine blog on the wine trends to look for in the coming year or years. For example, a few years ago people thought I was crazy when I told readers to be on the look out for wine in cans. But here we are, and sales of wine in cans is expected to see double digit growth in 2023. Here are some of the trends to look for in 2023.

  1. Bubbles Surge in Popularity
    • Bubbly wines are no longer for special occasions. Bubbly wines will see a surge in 2023 as an everyday wine. Because great tasting sparkling wines are affordable, wine experts predict people will buy more at things like brunches, and afternoon sipping. Think Prosecco and Spanish Cava, just to name a few, most are priced at around the $20 mark.

2. The Environment is Very Important

More and more you are seeing the words ‘organic’, ‘vegan’ ‘natural’ and ‘sustainability’ on the wine bottles on the shelves of your favorite wine store. A recent poll found that 50% of American wine drinkers said sustainability was important to them. If you’ve tried some natural wines and didn’t really like them, you can still buy wines from vineyards that focus on sustainability. Sustainability winegrowers focus on biodynamics and environment friendly farming practices.

Errazuriz has a fantastic line of wines, a winery founded by Robert Mondavi & Eduardo Chadwick that uses sustainability. This Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon is priced at about the $20 range and represents how good Chilean wine is.

A little side note. It’s January, comfort food time. I made a pot of chili this past week and it was probably one of the best ones I’ve ever made. You want to know the secret? Bacon. I’ve never put bacon in chili before, but it adds a nice smoky flavor. I also put a rind of parmesan cheese in the slow cooker. That adds amazing flavor. If you Google ‘best chili recipe’, you’ll get this recipe from Sugar Spun Run and that’s the recipe I used. Plus, I did chop up a jalapeno pepper and put in the chili because I like a little kick.

Add some cheese, a few tortilla chips and a great wine, you’ve got yourself some comfort food. Here’s the wine I enjoyed with the chili

If you go to your favorite wine store and the label is black, it’s the same wine. This is new to our NSLC and the Birdman has a red label. This fantastic wine is $16 a bottle and was tasty and easy to drink. I also made a stuffed pork tenderloin this past week and this wine would have paired great with that wine as well. From Chile, it’s another example of the quality of wines that are coming out of Chile.

To my friends and readers doing dry January, best of luck, you are almost halfway through. Me, I’m keeping the wine.

Have a great week, till next weekend, Cheers


My Favorite New Finds from 2022

2022 was a mix of revisiting new favorites and trying new wines. I am always trying new wines. This blog is a look back at some of the great new wines I tried in 2022 as well as some of my favorite recipes.

I love Chinese Food and I love trying to make my favorite recipes at home. Trying to make them a little healthier, one of my accomplishments from 2022 was this General Tso Chicken recipe. You can get the recipe here.

And the Riesling I told you about last week, which I tried in Newfoundland, is the perfect pairing, and my new favorite Riesling.

The Mosseland Ars Vita Riesling out of Germany, which is priced at about $20, is one of my favorite finds from 2022. In case you missed last week’s blog, I have not tried many Riesling wines out of Germany, because some can be sweet. This is not. It’s crisp and dry and just lovely on the palate, with just a hint of sweetness.

I was talking to someone in my apartment building about the difference in December and January. December flies by because every day there are lights and cheer, and January seems so long, maybe because we lose the lights and decorations. My decorations are down and the apartment looks a little blah.

The biggest highlight for me in 2022 was my river cruise to Bordeaux France. I want to take a moment to thank the entire gang at Atlantic Tours & Travel for giving me this opportunity to travel with a wonderful group of people to the wine region of Bordeaux.

Too many great wines to mention, and the food. It was amazing. I was experiencing some health issues on that trip, but that didn’t take away from the wonderful people and the fantastic experience.

I love Cabernet Sauvignon and just before I went to France I tried this one. Leaping Horse Cabernet out of Lodi, California. Lodi California is known for some great Zinfandel and they are putting out fabulous wines overall. This wine was 80% Cabernet, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Syrah. Fantastic wine for just $19 a bottle.

On Thursday, my Mom turned 88. My wonderful sister Jackie & her husband Craig took her to the nicest restaurant in Corner Brook, the Carriage Room in the Glynmill Inn. Regular readers know my Mom is a Chardonnay drinker, and this was our favorite Chardonnay find of 2022.

Casillero del Diablo is the biggest winery in Chile and I love their slogan, The Whisper That Became A Legend. This Chardonnay has won many awards, and is more on the fruity side, than on the oaky side. Pineapple, peach and a clean fresh palate, and the fact it’s priced under $18 is a win!

At work, I’m pretty well known for my burgers. This monster of a burger, which my friend Cassandra calls ‘spaceship burgers’, was one of the best new recipes I tried in 2022. Several different kinds of cheeses, carmelized onions and balsamic glazed tomatoes. You can find the recipe here.

2022 also saw me connecting with childhood friends, and meeting new ones. Especially my childhood friend Shane and his husband Ken.

And let me tell you, they have amazing taste in wine. Here’s one of my favorites from 2022 that I had at this dinner party with Shane & Ken.

The Caymus Vineyards Zinfandel was just as good as I had hoped it would be. It’s a treat at about $60 a bottle, but worth it. Rich and full-bodied, many wine critics have given this wine 93 – 96 ratings.

And my favorite wine from 2022. My nephew Brady gave it to me for Christmas last year and I shared it with my friend Angie.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Director’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon was full-bodied and full of flavor. We sipped slowly and savored every drop of this bottle. It sells for about $50 a bottle but again, everyone deserves a treat.

I hope the first week of 2023 was great for you.



Happy New Year

Here we are, the very 1st day of 2023, and a special edition of my wine blog. I just got back from 10 days in Newfoundland, and it was a great Christmas and a very quiet New Year for me. I was in bed by 10:30 p.m. It’s been a couple of weeks, and I was in the mood to write a new blog. The last blog was on Saturday December 17th and that Wednesday I headed for my hometown.

I had to drive because the price of airline tickets were atrocious, at around the $2200 mark. So I took the night crossing and when I got off the next morning, I was greeted by snow, lots of snow. That was a big of a white knuckle drive, and I’m thankful for the 18-wheeler in front of me clearing the way. I had to get out and take a picture. I got there the morning of the 22nd, and December 23rd is a very special day in Newfoundland. It’s called Tibb’s Eve, and it’s a time to celebrate. The tradition started in Newfoundland because starting Christmas Eve you were with family for the next few days, so it was a chance to party with friends.

It also happened to be a Friday and my sister threw a Tibb’s Eve party for her staff and friends and family. This wonderful 9 piece band volunteered to play, and they were fantastic.

You could say the party went to the dogs. Maggie was well behaved as a guest.

There was lots of dancing, my nephew Riley was home from St. FX University and we had a great time. I was designated driver that day.

Saw a few friends over Christmas, even my adopted nephew, Ryan. Ryan lives in St. John’s now, and is so much fun. He is basically the unofficial son of my sister Jackie, even my Mom called him her adopted grandson. He also has good taste in wine.

We were playing games and Ryan bought this wonderful Riesling one evening. It’s been a while since I had a Riesling, and this one was absolutely wonderful. I had forgotten how much I love Riesling, and this one was so good.

The Moseland Ars Vitis Riesling is a Riesling out of Germany. Priced in the $20 range in Newfoundland, it was dry with a hint of sweetness, and gorgeous flavors of pear, apple and peach. An absolute perfect wine to pair with spicy food, Thai food or any Asian cuisine. And it comes in a gorgeous bottle that would also make a great gift.

I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve. Me, I had a quiet one. I was in bed by 10:30 p.m. and had the best night sleep in a long time. There were some late nights in Newfoundland, so I’m trying to get back on track. I did however, enjoy a glass of wine that my nephew Brady gave me.

My nephew Brady was also home, so the whole gang was home and it was wonderful. Brady always seems to give me a bottle of wine for Christmas, and this was the selection for this year. He’s a big hockey fan and once he says Wayne Gretzky’s name he really wanted me to try it.

The Wayne Gretzky Winery was one of the wineries we had planned to visit during our planned tour of the Niagara region we were trying to pull off in 2021. Twice it had to be cancelled because of Covid restrictions. We are hoping to do it eventually. This was a full bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, medium to full-bodied and not overly oaky. I found it delicious and priced under $21.

2022 had some great ups and a few challenges. 2023 will bring some challenges to me personally as I fight some health issues. My wish for you is a wonderful 2023 with all the good health and happiness that it hopefully brings. Find joy in the small things.

Next week is my favorite wines of 2022. Cheers