It’s Time to Celebrate your Girlfriends!

Throughout the year we all attend lots of birthday parties, baby showers and wedding celebrations. These are all worthy celebratory events, but there are also lots of other reasons to pop a bottle of bubbly with your girlfriends. Like the job promotion, friendaversary or new condo – these occasions are often overlooked but just as important! I say, let’s take more time to celebrate all the special moments with our friends! And, of course, no celebration is complete without wine.

Lakeview Wine

The Fresh Wines by Lakeview Wine Co. are perfectly suited for celebrating with your girlfriends. Their wide range of wines are easy drinking, flavourful and available at great price points. Need some inspiration for celebration? I’ve got lots for you! I have no problem thinking of reasons to open a bottle of wine and toast to my friends.

New Job

Fresh Opportunities and the Career Change

Most of us work hard at our jobs and promotions are well deserved reason to celebrate. But what about the career change? My friend, Ashley, recently quit her job to explore what she’s passionate about. While she hasn’t quite decided what the career change will be, she has given herself the space and opportunity to discover what she’s passionate about doing. This is an amazingly brave decision to make and deserves celebrating! The Fresh Opportunities Riesling Gewurztraminer could not be more perfectly suited. Light and flavourful, this wine has wonderful tropical flavours of lychee, melon and peach. It went down easy and kept flowing as we discussed all of Ashley’s exciting new opportunities. Cheers to quitting your job! 

Fresh Perspectives

Fresh Perspectives and the Friendaversary

While we always celebrate anniversaries with our significant other, people do not often recognize their friend anniversaries! I believe that friends help to shape our outlooks, opinions and perspectives on life. Next month, my friend Stephanie and I will be celebrating our 5 year friendaversary! We met when she first moved to Toronto from Ireland…and her drink of choice was a Malibu cocktail (how we became friends, I have no idea!?). But, you can bet that after five years of friendship I’ve changed Stephanie’s perspective on drinking and we will be celebrating with a nice bottle of red wine! The Fresh Perspectives Red wine is just the perfect bottle to open and enjoy together. Cheers to great friendships!

Fresh Ideas

Fresh Ideas and the New Pet

I’m not sure if it’s just my group of friends, but I know a lot more people adopting pets than having babies! Either way, a new addition to the family is very exciting and I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate. When we adopted our French Bulldog, Cosette, my friends had the most amazing idea to throw me a puppy shower! Trust me, way more fun than a baby shower! They even gifted me a puppy pad cake (diaper cakes are a thing at human baby showers). Bubbly should definitely be popped to celebrate a new fur baby and the Fresh Ideas Sparkling is a great choice! Light bubbles of green apple, lemon and lime make for the perfect toast to the new addition! Cheers to your new fur baby!

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Fresh Possibilities and the Big Adventure

Dream of taking that big trip or moving to another country? Lots of people dream of their big adventure, but taking time off work for extended travel or uprooting to explore life in a new place can be very scary! My new friend, Sara, just moved from Halifax to Toronto. She had a career, family and house in Halifax but made the big decision to move to another city. As one of Sara’s Toronto friends, I am more than happy to celebrate her move here and new found friendships! The Fresh Possibilities Sparkling Rosé is the best option for toasting your friend’s adventure. Big sparkling bubbles of cherry, strawberry and pomegranate accompany a toast to new possibilities perfectly! Cheers to your adventure!

Fresh Beginnings

Fresh Beginnings and the New Home

Most of us in Toronto have begun to think beyond the traditional meaning of new “home”. As the price for housing in Toronto continues to skyrocket, a lot of people are calling their rentals their homes. My girlfriend, Melanie, searched long and hard for a new condo and when she found the perfect place to rent she made it her new home. Fancy dishes were bought, curtains hung and walls painted! No better way to celebrate a new home than with the Fresh Beginnings Moscato wine. This flavourful and exciting wine pairs perfectly with spicy take-out after a long day of helping your friend move in! Cheers to your new home!

Wine Celebration

As you can see, there are many reasons to open a bottle of wine and celebrate with your girlfriends! While many people may overlook these occasions, I think they are special moments that deserve a toast. So head out to the LCBO, pick up some Fresh Wines and start the celebrations!

Cheers!~GDW

Food & Wine: Summer Sausage with Rosé

This is one of my favourite recipes to make in the summer. There’s an abundance of fresh local vegetables available during the summer and this dish can use them all! The ingredient list here includes the vegies that I had that night, but so many others can be added or substituted in.

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The heart of this dish is Italian sausage which pairs lovely with rosé. In particular, a medium bodied rosé works really well. Think those darker pink rosés that have some  weight and complexity to them. Some examples are the Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé, Cave Spring Rosé, or Malivoire Ladybug Rosé. I chose all Ontario wine to keep this fresh summer dinner all local. 

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Ingredients

4 sausages

4 radishes 

4 kale leaves

2 carrots 

1 zucchini

1 yellow onion 

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup parsley

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried basil 

olive oil

Instructions

Heat a large pan with olive oil and cook sausages half way through. Cut sausages into inch pieces and set aside. Chop all vegetables and add to the pan with the dried herbs and more olive oil. When cooked half way, add back in the sausage and cook for another 5 minutes (or until meat and vegies are at your preference). Dish onto plates, pour the rosé and enjoy!

Cheers!~GDW

Ontario Wineries Making Craft Cider

Have you jumped on the craft cider bandwagon? I remember when the LCBO had selection of maybe four different ciders and now there’s a whole large section dedicated to the drink! While wine is my true love, I will occasionally cheat and have a cider. My interest in cider was especially peaked this summer when I learned about all the wineries in Ontario making their own ciders. All over Ontario wineries are getting in on the cider trend, and they’re making some great stuff! I tasted five ciders made by Ontario wineries this past weekend and here’s what I thought…

No Boats on Sunday (2)

No Boats on Sunday

No Boats on Sunday cider is originally from Nova Scotia. When Halifax was once Canada’s busiest port, the no boats on Sunday policy was created so that locals could pull up their oars and spend time with family and friends. The cider was created to honour this mentality. And with this delicious cider it’s not difficult to put your oars up, unwind and enjoy. In Ontario, the No Boats on Sunday cider is made by Peller Estates Winery in Niagara using 100% Ontario apples. It’s light and fresh with a bright sweetness and smooth dry finish. Variations of the cider are also made in Nova Scotia and BC using local apples. I also saw cranberry rose cider available on the site that I am very interested in trying! In Ontario, you can purchase the Ontario cider at the LCBO or The Wine Shop.

Rood Cider

Rood Apples Cider

Rood Apples is produced by Creekside Estate Winery in Jordan Ontario. Rood is the Dutch word for red and this cider is made from five different types of red apples. They chose the Dutch word for red because Jordan, where Creekside is located, was founded by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Rood cider is one of the most unique tasting ciders I’ve tried, in a good way! It has a lot of intense and complex apple flavours with a touch of sweetness. The “creek geeks” say this cider is best enjoyed over ice, on a mountain, in a hammock….basically to be enjoyed wherever you want!

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Tawse Cider

Tawse is an organic and biodynamic winery in the Niagara Escarpment. They produce beautiful old world wine and their cider is no different. After losing about 40% of the grape crop in 2014 and 2015, the Tawse winemaker decided thought cider would be great to fill the gap. What started as 20L kegs of cider only sold to restaurants is now widely available in cans at LCBO stores across Ontario. The Tawse cider is exactly how I like my cider; dry, clean and crisp. There’s a touch of sweet macintosh flesh that gives the cider a nice smooth finish. As with their wines, Tawse has created an exceptional cider.

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Shiny Pinot Cider

Apple cider and Pinot Noir? Yes please! Combine wine with anything and I’ll try it. And this combo worked. The Shiny Pinot Cider is 10% pinot noir grapes and 90% apple cider. You can definitely taste the distinct pinot noir grapes, which give this dry cider distinctive fruity and earthy flavours. It’s produce in Niagara-on-the-lake by Small Talk Vineyards, who’s land has been in the family since 1954. They originally farmed fruit and then in 1985 planted grape vines. Re-branding in 2014 as Small Talk Vineyards with the release of Shiny Cider, I think they’ve done a great job creating a unique cider in the ever growing Ontario craft cider market.

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Ardiel

Located in Beaver Valley in the Blue Mountains, Georgian Hills Vineyards produces cool climate wine varietals expressive of this unique region in Ontario. This northerly region is also in the heart of apple county where local farmers grow unique varietals like Cortland, Spartan and Russet apples. These are crisp, tart and higher acid apples that produce a dry flavourful cider. Under the Ardiel Cider House, Georgian Hills Vineyards produces three different types of cider: dry, hopped and pear. Available at the LCBO is the Ardiel dry cider which is a “classic” style cider, which means that it has a full body of flavour and clean finish. This also means it’s delicious!

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I love that some of my favourite Ontario wineries are starting to produce cider. As I mentioned, if I’m going to cheat on wine it’s probably going to be with cider. Most of the ciders I tasted are going to be at the Toronto Cider Festival at Sherbourne Common on August 24th and 25th. The line up is extensive and a great opportunity to sample different ciders if you’re new the cider world. Visit the Girl Drinks Wine Instagram for your chance to win two tickets to the event!

Cheers!~GDW

Girl on a Budget: Rosé Under $11

Summer time is amazing, but let’s be honest, it can get expensive! While I’d love to be sipping on Whispering Angel all season, sometimes a girl has to be on a budget. But if you’re a girl on a budget like me, that doesn’t  mean that you should have to miss out on rosé’ing all day this summer! I’ve listed for you my top 5 favourite rosés at the LCBO for under $11.00. And while not all wine under $11.00 is good, these rosés are tried (many times), tested and true! My top 5 rosés under $11.00  will keep a girl on a budget AND rosé’ing all day!

Astica Malbec Rosé  $8.90

The Astica Malbec Rosé is only $8.90 at the LCBO! From Argentina this pretty pale pink rosé is light bodied and dry. It has a lot of citrus and tart berry flavours that will appeal to those wine drinkers that like a very crisp and refreshing rosé. It’s certainly perfect for a hot summer day!

JP Azeitão Shiraz Rosé  9.25

If you follow me on Instagram, you know the JP Azeitao has been my go-to rosé this summer! And it’s not just me…as soon as the LCBO restocks it is quickly gone! The JP Azeitao is another pale pink rosé that’s light bodied and dry. What I love about this wine, is that the soft berry and floral flavours are balanced beautifully with a great acidic structure and crisp finish.

L’Orangeraie Rosé  $9.30

The L’Orangeraie Rosé is regular $10.80 at the LCBO, but is on sale right now for $9.30. So stock up! From the South of France, this wine is light bodied and extra dry. Notes of herb, bell pepper and floral are followed by tart cherry and citrus flavours. A classic example of a southern French Rosé, L’Orangeraie is sure to please any pink drink lover.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé $10.05

I’ve talked about the Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé before, because I really do enjoy it and think it’s great value! This Chilean wine is a medium-bodied dry style that’s bursting with bright flavours of strawberries, raspberries and cherries. It’s a great wine to pair with food. Enjoy this wine al fresco with sausage, grilled chicken or salmon.

Banrock Station Pink Moscato Rosé  $10.95 

If you like your rosé on the sweeter side, than the Banrock Station Moscato is for you! I typically enjoy a dry rosé, but this wine has a great acidity and some delicate bubbles that help to balance out the sweetness. Plus, it is the prettiest pale pink colour! For $10.95 at the LCBO the Banrock Station Moscato is perfect for a girl on a budget.

Cheers!~GDW

A Gift for a Sweet Marriage: Mead Wine

Summer is a popular time for people to pop the big question and there are lots of engagements to celebrate. While a bottle of bubbly is always nice for celebrations, why not gift something different? Wish the newly engaged couple a sweet marriage by gifting them a bottle of mead (honey wine).

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Mead wine is created by fermenting honey with water and sometimes adding other fruits or spices. Commonly known as honey wine, mead is typically sweet, aromatic and often drank as a dessert wine. It’s origins date back to 7000 BC and is considered to be the ancestor of all alcoholic drinks. Mead has been documented throughout history as being an important ceremonial drink. In the Celtic tradition, mead was thought to bring success, happiness and fertility so it was gifted during the first month of marriage. It’s said that this is where we get the term ‘honeymoon’. Today, mead wine the perfect engagement gift for a sweet marriage!

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Rosewood Estates Winery in Niagara, Ontario produces delicious mead wine. This is where you want to pick-up or shop online for your sweet engagement gift! Over 80 year’s ago, R.W. Roman migrated to Canada from Ukraine and brought with him and continued his passion for beekeeping. In 2000, his son Eugene started Rosewood Estates Winery who’s philosophy is all about honest low-intervention wine,  innovative mead and local honey. For sale are seven different types of meads that range in taste depending on the style and type of fruit that is mixed in. On my visit the Rosewood Estate Winery, I tried four of their meads and loved the Cyser. The Cyser is made from R.W. Roman’s original recipe which co-ferments apple juice with estate honey. SO good! Great on it’s own,  as an aperitif or served with sharp cheddar.

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If possible, I encourage you to visit Rosewood Estates Winery and try all the different meads yourself. You can also shop the winery for their honey to add to your sweet gift. This summer, toast all your newly engaged friends to a sweet marriage!

Cheers!~GDW

How to Get Your Dad to Drink Pink

Fathers day is coming up and that means backyard barbeques in the warm June sun. Your Dad will probably grab his go-to bottle of red to wash back that barbeque. This is to be expected, as most people think red wine pairs best with barbequed food like burgers. And Dad isn’t wrong, red wine does work great but Rosé can also bring out the best in your burger! With the right type of Rosé it can actually be a delicious pairing and something different to switch up the typical Father’s Day barbeque. But how to get your Dad to drink pink?

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The 13th Street Burger Blend Rosé is how to get your dad to drink pink! It’s a great pick for those who don’t think they like Rosé and an excellent gateway into the world of pink wine. The 13th Street Burger Blend Rosé is made from 100% VQA grapes –  33% Pinot Noir, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. It was specifically produced to complement a burger and the combination does just that. The delicious blend of red grapes creates a medium-bodied crisp Rosé with flavours of ripe red berries, spice and a juicy finish. The 13th Street Burger Blend Rosé  is not your light pretty french Rosé, but a big juicy blend designed to stand up to your favourite barbequed burger. This is how to get your Dad to drink pink!

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While The 13th Street Burger Blend Rosé was designed to pair well with a variety of different burger combinations, I think it pairs exceptionally well with a blue cheese burger. The juicy red berry flavours and crisp spiciness work great to cut through the strong flavours of beef and blue cheese. If your Dad is still on the fence about drinking pink, this combination should sell him! The deliciousness of this food and wine combo cannot be denied!

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Now that the question of how to get your Dad to drink pink has been solved, how do you get the Burger Blend Rosé? You can pick up this wine at The 13th Street Winery in Niagara or order it from their online store. It’s an excellent value wine at only $14.95 a bottle. If you head over to my Instagram page, a lucky follower also has the chance to WIN two bottles of the Burger Blend wines!

Cheers!~GDW

How to Rosé All Day

Sure, it sounds pretty simple to Rosé all Day.  Who needs a ‘how to’ on drinking wine for a day? Well, have you spent an entire day drinking Rosé? Not only does one typically want to pass out by 3pm, but it can also cost a lot of money. And while I LOVE Rosé, it can get kind of boring drinking the same. thing. all. day. But not to worry, I have a plan. With my ‘how to’ guide you will not be taking an afternoon siesta, breaking the bank or tiring of your drink. Follow my 6 steps to successfully Rosé all Day!

How to Rosé all Day

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Step 1: Start with Frosé

Have you tried making Frosé? It’s the perfect way to get your Rosé all Day party started! It’s basically a breakfast smoothie, right? Most Frosé recipes are pretty standard – freeze the rosé overnight and blend with red berries and simple syrup. But my Frosé recipe is even easier! And I’ve added a fun tropical twist by using coconut water and agave. Find my Frosé recipe here and start your day right!

Frosé Recipe

 

Step 2: Make Rosé Spritzers

Rosé spritzers are your friend! I remember being in my young 20’s and an “older” woman telling me about how great wine spritzers are because you don’t have to drink as much wine. I did not understand at the time. Why would I want to drink less wine? Well, when you’re going to Rosé all Day it’s helpful to stretch out the wine intake. And a Wine Spritzer is a great way to do that. Check out my recipe for Wine Spritzers here.

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Step 3: Find Rosé bottles under $10

How many glasses of wine you consume in an hour? Even if it’s only one glass an hour, to Rosé all Day takes several hours. Lets just say, you’re probably going to need more than one bottle of wine. For full Rosé days it’s great to find bottles under $10 that you enjoy. The good thing is that there are actually quite a few out there! My absolute favourite Rosé under $10 is the JP Azeitão Shiraz Rosé, which you can find this wine at the LCBO for $9.25.

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Step 4: Combine Rosé and food

Sorbet is food, right? If we can agree on that than my Rosé Sorbet recipe is the best way to combine Rosé and food. Even if this recipe is not giving you any nutritious sustenance,  it’s at least changing up the way you consume your Rosé for the day! And it’s switching it up in the best way possible. It’s one of those recipes that gets better as it sits – and in this case that means a conclusion of delicious pink frothiness. You can find my Rosé Sorbet recipe here.

rosé icecream

Step 5: Buy Rosé magnums

Wine magnums are typically great value. And when you’re going to Rosé all Day you’re going to need good value! My favourite Rosé magnum is the Jackson-Triggs Rosé, which you can find at the Wine Rack $18.95 (on sale right now for $16.95!). I really like to use this magnum as a mix for Spritzers, Rosé Sorbet, Frosé or Sangria. Because it’s more medium-bodied and on the sweeter side, it’s Rosé flavours really hold up against whatever you’re mixing it with.

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Step 6: Mix up your Rosé in a Sangria

I will admit that I typically do not like sangria. But Rosé makes everything better, right?! Plus, when you’re going to Rosé all Day it is beneficial to have some sort of wine cocktail that will dilute the alcohol percentage a bit! I actually really enjoy my Rosé Sangria recipe  which only uses a couple ingredients and is super simple to make. I suggest making up a big batch for that Rosé all Day late afternoon stretch.

Rose Sangria

Cheers!~GDW