Monday, December 13, 2010

The Holidays are a Time for...Blogging

It's been a very long time, I have no excuse. I've been drinking wine, I've been thinking about what to write about the wine I have been drinking, but I haven't actually done it.

I could try and play catch up and go over all of the great wine experiences I have had over the last few months, (and there have been a lot) but that's ridiculous. Instead let's look at one wine that I have had two experiences with, last night being the most recent.

Early in the fall, I tried Henry of Pelham's Baco Noir as I got ready for a night out at Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. I new instantly I loved it. It was rich and creamy. However, after about three glasses the rich creaminess was starting to get to me. This was not a "drink the whole bottle kind of wine". As great as this wine was, I had choosen the wrong situation to drink it. Last night, I was able to enjoy the Baco Noir as it should be enjoyed: sipped as savoured while enjoying a holiday cabaret.

Henry of Pelham's Baco Noir as been recognized over and over again as one of the best of this variety Find some time to sip a glass this holiday season: while wrapping gifts, catching up with a friend, watching your favourite Christmas movie (I recommend LOVE Acutally) or destressing after a frightful drive home.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thanks for the Memories

May 24 weekend, the official start of summer for most Canadians and for me the start of winery touring season. So on a beautiful Friday afternoon, I headed to Inniskillin to do a little tasting. This was my first time visiting Inniskillin and was very excited to taste some wine from this influential and long standing Niagara winery.

Your experience at a winery is shaped by the tasting bar attendant and we were very lucky to have Jon as our tasting guide. He was friendly and knowledgeable, in a non pretentious way- my kind of wine guy. He may have been even friendlier after I mentioned that I write a wine blog, I may be on to something here...

I told Friendly Jon that I don't like Chardonnay. Jon, being a Chardonnay lover, asked me to keep an open mind and to try the 2007 Reserve Select Chardonnay. He laughed when I said it smelled like milk, but did admit that Chardonnay does have a high amount of lactic acid (point for me!) This Chardonnay was the best Chardonnay I have ever had, but I still didn't really like it. I didn't taste the butter, pineapple or baked apple pie that the experts do, but that doesn't mean that they weren't there.

Just as we were thinking about saying good bye to Jon he offered us a wine that he promised would have the "wow" factor. Intrigued, we watched Jon opened a skinny bottle and placed two icewine glasses in front of us.

For those of you reading this blog to gain tidbits of wine knowledge to impress, here is a great one for you. One of the co-founder of Inniskillin, Donald Ziraldo, convinced Riedel that they needed to make an icewine glass and after a few years of naggig it happened! I think it might be the prettiest wine glass out there (see above picture).

As he poured the amber coloured wine into our glass he explained that he doesn't open a 12 year old Riesling Icewine for just anyone. It smelled like caramel and burned wood and tasted like "wow". It lacked the super sweetness that I don't like about icewine and was so full of flavours that my taste buds were confused, in a good way. From caramel to apples to burnt sugar to honey. This was complicated goodness! When I got home and Googled this wine I found a bottle for $170! Well, at least I have the memory...

Thank you Inniskillin and Jon for a great afternoon!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Cure for a Bad Day

Last week, I had a bad day. One of those days where you feel like the world is against you and you find yourself crying on the way home. Then you find yourself angry at yourself for letting the world (or one person) make you cry. I think you all know the kind of day I am talking about, and boy did I have one.

I had been very proud of myself for avoiding my annual Birthday Meltdown. I actually thought that turn 30 had cured me of such irrational behaviour. I should have known better. All it took was a long day at work, cancelled plans and what I perceived as a "dirty look", and I was blubbering in my car as I looked at my life in ruins.

By the time I got home, I had stopped crying, texted my friend to let her know that the meltdown had happened (she had been on standby for the past week) and had a course of action: a chick flick and a bottle of red wine.

After a bad day there is nothing better. I poured myself a glass (or three) of Cave Springs Cabernet Merlot, got my blanket and watched Julia & Julie. The Cab/Merlot was warm and fruity and the movie with cute and funny and suddenly all was well in my world.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Turning 30 is not so Bad when you have Family, Friends and Wine

Last weekend, I turned the big 3-0 and thanks to great family and friends it wasn't as bad as I was anticipating. In fact, I had a great Birthday that filled with the people I love, sangria, delicious food and a pinata.

Just when I was beginning to think that no one was reading my blog, I was surprised again. Just take a look at some of the gifts I received:
  • A set of 4 Riedel stemless wine glasses (I know the giver is a little worried about me using these due to my tendency to break wine glasses. I promise I will be careful Rebecca, and if I do break one...or four, you know it was because I was just having too much fun!)

  • A collectible Lolita wine glass called "30 ish" (I wish it said 20 ish)

  • A Shopper's Drugmart gift card (To buy aspirin for my red wine headaches)

  • Gift certificates for the LCBO (I may surprise everyone and use these to buy vodka)

  • The Wine Bible (This will definitely be useful when I am trying to write pretentious posts. Or maybe I will actually learn something...)

Now for the wine:

  • Cave Spring Cabernet/Merlot 2007

  • Creekside Viognier 2008
  • Fazi Battaglia Titulus 2008 (I am very intrigued by this one, mostly because I have no idea what it is and I can't find it in my Wine Bible!)

  • Moselland Arsvitis Riesling 2004

  • Creekside Pinot Noir Rose 2007

  • Vitae Sangiovese 2007

  • Fat Bastard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

I love it when other people buy you wine. I have a selection here that for the most part I wouldn't have chosen for myself. I am so excited to try all of these (from from my new Reidel wine glasses) and blog about each. So stay tuned, and the pool is now open to see how long it takes me to break a glass!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

StatsCan Says!

I guess I am not the only Canadian trying to become more pretentious....

Monday, April 12, 2010

For those in Search of a Summer Wine

This week I made my wine choice based solely on looks. The liquor store on the weekend was stocked with loads of new wines just in time for summer. It seems the trend in wine for the last little while as been strange names: Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush, Goats Do Roam In Villages, Ten Minutes By Tractor, Cleavage Creek and Mad Housewife to name a few. I was having a hard time deciding on a wine and almost left without one until a teal label(my favourite colour)caught my eye. As I looked at the label, I knew I had to buy this wine.

From the hand writing on the label; to the twist cap with the rock, paper, scissors hands; to the name, I knew this would be a great wine. My ever so sophisticate checklist has never steered my wrong. It was called Sibling Rivalry from Henry of Pelhem and it was a blend of Riesling, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. The caption said it all: "Sibling Rivalry is greater then the sum of all parts."

When it came time to open the wine and have my first glass, I became a little nervous. I was so excited about this wine based on the great name and label, but what if it tasted like cat's pee on a gooseberry bush? Thankfully the wine was delicious. The sweetness of the Riesling and Gewurztraminer it mellowed out by the Chardonnay and what you are left with is a tart, fruity, refreshing wine. I think I may have found my new summer wine. And my love only grew when I checked out their website. So have a look and then get yourself a bottle of Sibling Rivalry!

If you need a little more than a review based on a great label check out what theGlobe and Mail said. If you prefer to watch rather then read, check out this episode of the Naked Wine Show .

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Karaoke, Punk and Wine

In my first post I made a statement: "I will recommend a wine to try and something fun to do while drinking that wine." Today, I have two activities for you to try while enjoying a glass of wine. Neither is a traditional wine activity, but that's what makes both activities so much fun and so me.

Wine and Norebang (aka KTV aka Karaoke)
While living in Asia, I developed a love for karaoke. Not the Western karaoke bar but the Asian karaoke room. Picture it: A group of friends in a room that is equipped with a karaoke machine, microphones, tambourines and an endless supply of great songs. Throw in some wine, and next the thing you know you are fighting over microphones during Sweet Child O'Mine. How can this not sound fun? The wine of choice you ask? Fat bastard's Cabernet Sauvignon. The reason for this choice was very simple: I love the name and the chubby hippo on the label. Cabernet Sauvignon is my go to wine, and I was with my go to girls, it was the obvious choice.

"Who knew that wine and punk from 1995 were such a good match?"
This was my Facebook status last weekend. I must say many people didn't agree with me. I stand by my status. While waiting for a friend to finish getting ready, I poured myself a glass of Trius Merlot and started perusing YouTube for some old favourites. Trius is probably one of the best wines in the Niagara Region and a little pricier than other. As I was sipping on my Merlot, I found myself drawn to mellower choices of music. That wasn't going to work. It was Friday night and we were getting ready to go out, and here I was drinking a Thursday night Grey's Anatomy wine. So I called on my lighthearted friend Riesling, and soon my friend and I were dancing around to Goldfinger and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. A great night ensued.

I challenge all of you to try an nontraditional wine pairing. If you need some help getting started, pour a glass of your favourite wine and have a listen to this video.