Sunday, 16 March 2014

Upcoming Wine Tastings

Okay, it's just about spring.  I mean, I'm feeling it.  Firstly it's March, which in my books is a spring month.  It might be cold outside, but the sun is strong.  Also, I am done with winter.  So it can vamoose.  So there.

And happily, there are some lovely wine tastings springing up around Ottawa.  Firstly, Taste 3 Remarkable Terroirs - yes please.  Taste wines from BC, Nova Scotia (some great sparkling wine coming out of the province!), and Argentina...

The California Wine Fair offers a great variety of wines from the sunny state, and it's always a good time.  I'll be hanging around the Birichino table.

County in the City - this tasting was fan-freakin'-tastic last year.  If you haven't already experienced Prince Edward County wines, now is the time.  PEC wines are getting better and better each year.  I recommend taking the road trip out to the County when you can spare a weekend away, but until then, they are coming to us on April 10th.  This one can't be missed!


Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Negroni

On the topic of cocktails - that's what we were talking about, right? - here is my current fave.

The Negroni.

This is a slightly sweet, slightly bitter drink...perfect as an aperitif.  The recipe is easy: 1 part gin, 1 part Cinzano and 1 part Campari.  That's all there is to it.  


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Blood Orange Martinis

Here's a little bit of sunshine for a cold winter's day. 

Blood orange martinis. 

For two cocktails, add 3 ounces of gin (or vodka - both work), 1 1/2 ounces of triple sec, and 4 1/2 ounces of blood orange juice into a shaker...add ice and shake hard.  Yum.

Already feeling a little brighter out there. 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Juvé y Camps Cinta Purpura Reserva Brut Cava 2009

Today is the winter solstice and I am celebrating the coming - albeit slow - return of longer hours of daylight.  In six months, it will be summer and that gives me hope.  So, I think, Cava is in order.

Juvé y Camps Cinta Purpura Reserva Brut Cava 2009 ($17.95) is refreshing and yeasty with aromas of lemon, mineral and toast, and oh, what a lovely wine on the palate, such nice bubbles.  This would be the perfect sparkler to serve at midnight on New Year's Eve...or any day really.

Soon, soon we will see the sunshine and warmth return.  Until then, I am hunkering down inside, keeping cozy by the fireplace....

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Mike Weir Cabernet Merlot

So I am looking through the Ontario VQA section of my local LCBO and I really want a Pinot Noir but the selection of Pinot at this particular store is not so good.  So I grab the Mike Weir Cabernet Merlot....hoping that I like it.

And I do.  It's got some funk going on, but I like it.  It has aromas of cranberry and smoked meat, cedar, cigar, eucalyptus.  It is all very well balanced...good acidity, good tannin.  Nice structure.  I like.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot

I am not sure what kind of crazy, super-powered flu that was, but it had me laying low for most of October.  As you can imagine, after a couple weeks of misery, I am pretty excited to actually taste my wine again, so I bought myself a little treat.

I first tasted Columbia Crest's wines a few years ago and I have been a fan ever since.  Located in Washington state in the US, Columbia Crest Winery produces mainly Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as well as a few blends of these varieties.  My special treat this weekend was their Grand Estates Merlot 2010 ($15.95) - it is a full-bodied wine with lots of fruit on the palate, supported by juicy acidity and solid tannins.  Cranberry, blackberry and red plum are accompanied by nuances of cigar, clove and eucalyptus.  This is a big wine, which is not my usual thing, but it was a welcome companion to a hearty saucy beef stew on a chilly November evening.

I am happy to be back to normal routines again, enjoying some of the pleasures of fall, like evenings spent eating comforting food and drinking rich red wine by the fireplace...

Monday, 30 September 2013

Eklektikos Verdicchio Dei Castelli di Jesi 2011

I'm not sure what happened to September.  It seems that just yesterday I was enjoying the dog days of summer.  Now suddenly I am thinking about Thanksgiving and soup and sweaters.

At least the weather has been beautiful these past couple of weeks...wonderfully warm, sunny autumn days.  Grasping the last vestiges of summer, a few days ago I enjoyed a glass of Eklektikos Verdicchio Dei Castelli di Jesi 2011, while lazily lounging in the sunshine on the patio.

This is a light, easy-sipping kind of wine, just lovely citrusy grapefruit and mineral aromas, very light on the palate.  It would be a refreshing treat on a steamy-hot summer's day, but was just the right thing while enjoying a dreamy autumn afternoon before the cool sets in...