Wine Your Way Through Niagara: Kew Vineyards Estate Winery

This is the first post in a new series, “Wine Your way Through”, and I’m starting with what has to be the cutest winery in Niagara, Kew Vineyards Estate Winery. I visited the winery with my family last month and had a wonderful afternoon sipping bubbly in their pretty tasting room. Kew Vineyards encourages guests to soak in, waste time and enjoy their experience on the estate and with their wines – I definitely felt this warm hospitality when I found myself several hours later finished a cheese board and second tasting flight!


Located in the Beamsville Bench on a 160 year-old estate, Kew Vineyards has some of Niagara’s first Riesling vines, brought over from Germany by Mr. Hermann Weis in 1975. Since then, Kew Vineyards has been passionate about growing uniquely Niagara terroir wines, allowing the cool climate vineyard tell it’s story. Today, they are well known for their sparkling wines, producing several different types.


On my visit the Kew Vineyards, I started with the bubbly flight for $10 and tried the 2013 Blanc de Noirs, 2013 Tradition and the 2010 Rosalie. We also ordered the cheese board and finished with a tasting flight of the reds. The Blanc de Noirs, Organic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay bread dipper from Wildly Delicious came home with us. This was all enjoyed in the prettiest tasting room with pleasant and helpful hosts. Kew Vineyards was also very accommodating, allowing us to bring our little Frenchie girl!


I can’t wait to go back this summer and enjoy the beautiful outdoor space!



Books & Wine, Review of Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé

As rosé becomes more popular, Victoria James’s book “Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rose” could not have come at a better time to help us truly appreciate the pink drink. James guides the reader through the history of rosé, how and where it’s made, and delicious food pairings and recipes.  This informative and enjoyable book is a delightful read that reminds us rosé is “…what wine is all about, pleasure and simplicity” and that “no other wine embodies the joie de vivre like rosé.”


The first part of “Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé” provides a comprehensive history of rosé, from it’s birthplace in ancient Greece to it’s popular rise in North American today. James explains that as rosé becomes trendier, producers are rushing to meet high demands which often leads to a decrease in quality. According to James, these rosés often “…have no soul, no sense of place, and are not a reflection of the centuries of tradition that made the wine what it once was.” I was surprised to learn that I should run when I see a bottle with the words “whisper” and “angel” on it! Have I been drinking bad rosé all along? James does not leave me in fear and walks the reader through the best rosé regions and varietals. I’m left feeling educated and excited to seek out and enjoy great rosé.


The last half of the book is filled with wonderful food pairings and recipes from well known chefs and leaders in the wine industry. Their words wholly support James’s belief that, “the beauty of rosé is its versatility – how it straddles the line between red and white. It is the perfect pairing for many foods (tapas, cocktail spreads, main dishes) – all year long.” You’re left wondering how you ever thought rosé was restricted to summer months only! Not only does James provide instruction for delicious sounding all-season dishes, but she paints a beautiful picture about where and how they should be enjoyed with rosé.  I hope that when I attempt the Roasted Chicken Provencal, the experience is as magical as James describes!


In addition to the book’s great lessons, history and recipes, “Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé” is filled with amazing illustrations by Lyle Railsback. The over 75 full colour pictures are the perfect accompaniment to James’s rosé guide. With the image of a grape bunch giving blood, I’m sure I will never forget the saignee (“bleeding”) method for making rosé! Railsback’s drawings really embody all of the fun and charm of this book.


Whether you’re already a rosé fan or haven’t been swayed yet, I highly recommend reading “Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé” to really appreciate the pink drink. Curl up in your favourite reading chair, pour yourself a glass and “…celebrate how amazing rosé can be.”

Cheers! ~ GDW

Girl on a Budget: Wines Under $10

Sometimes a girl is on a budget and needs decent wine for cheap. While it’s nice to drink expensive vintages, there are times that call lower price point wines, like a when you’re hosting a big party or saving for a trip. But a girl on a budget does not mean that good taste has to be compromised! I’ve rounded up my top three wines from the LCBO that are under $10 and don’t taste like bathwater.


1. Beso de Vino

Beso de Vino is a red blend from Spain. It’s a full bodied dry wine with a deep purple colour.  I was introduced to it by a friend several years ago and it’s been a constant go to since then for hosting, gifting and weeknight drinks. Beso de Vino is a crowd pleaser! I haven’t met someone that doesn’t enjoy this easy going wine. It’s has luscious dark fruit flavours with a hint of spice and licorice. Available at the LCBO for $9.95.

2. L’Orangeraie Rosé

If you’re in the mood for Rosé, the L’Orangeraie is a great budget friendly option. From the South of France, this wine is medium bodied and extra dry with good acidity. 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. When I was first putting together this post, L’Orangeraie was at the LCBO for under $10, but recently increased to $10.25 – still a good deal!

3. Two Ocean’s Sauvignon Blanc

Most wine drinkers at some point have probably had the Two Ocean’s Sauvignon Blanc. This white wine from South Africa is light bodied and dry  with flavours that will not offend anyone. Easy drinking and crisp, the Two Ocean’s Sauvignon Blanc has light tastes of soft citrus and grapefruit. It’s guaranteed to be enjoyed on a hot summers day! The 750ml bottle is $9.95 at the LCBO, but you can get the 1500ml bottle for only $17.95 – perfect if you’re hosting a summer party!



February Wine Faves

I’m really excited to be starting a new blog series on my favourite wines of the month. The first post is about my wine faves from February. There’s a good mix of varietals, regions and price range. I also have a liqueur listed that isn’t a wine, but I was so impressed I had to include it! Take a read below for my thoughts on each of the wines and links to details at the LCBO.


  1. The 2016 G.Marquis Chardonnay is a full-bodied and rich Ontario wine, perfect for winter white sipping – $17.95.
  2. The 2014 Frog’s Leap Zinfandel was one of my favourite wines from my trip to Napa last year and is now available at the LCBO! – $49.95.
  3. The 2016 Domaine des Aspes is a French blend of Chardonnay and Viognier that offers the perfect balance of crisp vibrancy and rich creaminess – $16.96.
  4. The 13th Street Cuvée Brut Rosé is everything I love about a sparkling wine; delicate bubbles, bright acidity and a creamy finish – $27.95.
  5. The Henry of Pelham VQA Rosé is dry, fruity and easy drinking. Definitely a crowd pleaser – $14.95.
  6. The Cave Spring Cellars Pinot Gris is a wonderfully perfumed and aromatic wine that you should definitely try if you haven’t explored this style – $16.95.
  7. The Julia Florista is a full bodied and fruity red blend new into the LCBO from Portugal. Great value! – $8.95.
  8. The 2012 Château Mont-Redon is everything wonderful you expect from a Châteauneuf-du-Pape! It’s a good price point to start your exploration of this amazing French region – $45.95.
  9. The Sandbanks French Kiss is a great option if you’re looking for a full-bodied Ontario red – $19.95.
  10. The Hidden Bench Estate Pinot Noir is a 10/10 for me and could not be any better! The perfect mix of earth, herbs, smokiness and cherry – $31.95.
  11. The VQA Pelee Island Lola Blush is a light and fruity sparkling wine perfect for enjoying with friends – $14.95.
  12. St. Germain is a French liqueur made with elderflower blossoms. Adding this liqueur to sparkling wine makes a beautiful cocktail – $14.95-$49.95.


Cheers! – GDW

Sparkling Rose Gin Cocktail

This sparkling rose gin cocktail is super easy to make and perfect for spring. I made this drink as the signature cocktail for the Dawna Styles Pop-Up shop a couple weeks ago and it was a big hit! Read below for the recipe.



1/2 oz Dillon’s Rose Gin

1 oz St. Germain

2 oz Prosecco

How to Make

Fill cocktail shaker with handful of ice

Add Dillon’s Rose Gin & St. Germain

Shake & pour into cocktail glass

Top with Prosecco

If you can find edible flowers, that would be a perfect addition to finish off the drink!


Cheers! – GDW

Winter Whites

Like with fashion, winter doesn’t mean you have to put away your favourite whites. Just as you switch those crisp white shorts to cream velvet pants, same goes for wine. When summer cools with winter,  replace your light citrusy whites for more full-bodied aromatic options. Read below for my picks on how to keep white in style all year long.


The 2016 G. Marquis The Silver Line Chardonnay is like wrapping yourself in a soft beige pashmina scarf by a wood-burning fire. Made with 100% barrel aged VQA Niagara grapes, this Chardonnay is full-bodied with warm richness. Lovely notes of honeydew melon, poached pear and florals are followed by smooth toasty flavours of vanilla. A presence of tart green apple and good acidity really structures this wine nicely. Available at the LCBO for $17.95.


The 2016 Norman Hardie Riesling will remind you of a crisp outdoor hike in a sleek white parka. Norman Hardie is a well-known wine producer from Prince Edward County, who’s wine consistently receives rave reviews. The 2016 Riesling has strong mineral notes of wet snowy stone and tastes of baked apple pie. This is a dry wine with an invigoratingly fresh acidity. Available at the LCBO for $21.00.


The Cave Spring Pinot Gris is delicate and elegant, like a beautiful ivory lace blouse worn to a winter dinner party. Located in Beamsville, Ontario, the Cave Springs Winery has a 30-year history of crafting sophisticated cool-climate wines. Their Pinot Gris is wonderfully perfumed and aromatic, with smells of light florals, pear and spices. It’s a medium bodied dry style wine that offers a warm smooth vanilla finish. Available at the LCBO for $16.95.


While you may be reluctant at first to defer away from red wine in the winter, you’ll soon realize that like a beautiful white chunky knit sweater, a full bodied aromatic white wine is a great addition to your winter repertoire.

Cheers! – GDW


Treat Yourself to Something Sparkly!

You deserve something sparkly this Valentine’s Day! My favourite type of sparkles are the pink ones rising in my coupe champagne glass. If you’re also looking to indulge in some bubbles today, I highly recommend the 13th Street Cuvée Brut Rosé.

The 13th Street Cuvée Brut Rosé is everything I love in a sparkly pink drink. It has delicate bubbles, bright acidity and a creamy finish. Made of 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay this wine is considered a blancs de noirs. The majority Pinot Noir grapes give the Cuvée Brut a medium body with lots of interesting flavour and complexity. When you smell your glass of sparkles, you’ll get lovely scents of raspberry macaron, macadamia nut and orange blossom. Sipping on your bubbles, you’ll enjoy the flavours of fresh strawberry chutney on toasted brioche.

This Valentine’s, the 13th Street Cuvée Brut Rosé is definitely the sparkle your should treat yourself to! It’s available at most LCBO locations for $27.95. If you have the opportunity to visit the 13th Street Estate, the Rosé can also be purchased at the winery.

Happy Valentine’s to you! Hope it’s a sparkly one!

Cheers! – GDW