Wine Review: Guarda Rios Branco

This might be one of the most pleasantly surprising wines I’ve tasted all year. When I’m presented with a Portuguese white, my mind immediately thinks of Vinho Verde – a light, crisp and very  young wine.


I could not have been more wrong when I tasted the Guarda Rios Branco. It was light and crisp but also  flavourful, aromatic and smooth. There were notes of lemon and citrus, softened with tropical fruit and floral smells. And then the taste – yum! The citrus was definitely taken over by strong tastes of tropical fruits like banana and mango. These fruits were warmed and rounded by sweet honey and pretty florals. The Guardo Rios was not your typical big warm white though, as it was balanced with a nice acidity.


What a surprise! So I looked into this Portuguese white further. The varietals that make up the Guarda Rios are apparently Portugal’s answer to Chardonnay. It’s made from two different white grapes native to Portugal. The first is called Arinto – an acidic grape with citrus character. While the second grape, Antao Vaz, adds the tropical fruit flavours and sweet honey tastes.


After this wonderful taste experience, I will definitely be exploring the Portuguese section more! I encourage you to also think past the vinho verde and try some different grape varietals from Portugal.

The Guarda Rios is unfortunately not available at the LCBO, but can be purchased through the Wine Collective’s online retail store.

Cheers! – GDW

Spookiest Wine Pick

Happy Halloween!

On this spookiest of nights you should definitely be drinking a scary themed wine (check out my blog post on Halloween candy pairings). This time of year there are many options available at the LCBO and I have diligently tried most of them in order to recommend the best one. My spookiest wine pick goes to…the Coffin Ridge Riesling Bone Dry.


The Coffin Ridge vineyard and winery is located on the northern end of the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario. An experiment in northern viticulture, Coffin Ridge is Grey County’s first commercial vineyard with vines planted back in 2001. The owners have extensively researched cold climate grapes and chosen varietals, like this Riesling, that are suited to the northern geography. Coffin Ridge uses sustainable viticultural practices and hand picks their grapes where they are then mysteriously transformed from “grape to wine, from life to death.”

The Riesling Bone Dry is true to it’s name and is a light bodied, dry wine. However, it offers an aromatic and flavourful style with tastes of lime, green apple and spices. It has a wonderful smell of an apple pie baking in the kitchen. The perfect wine for a chillingly spooky Halloween night.


Coffin Ridge’s Riesling Bone Dry is available for $17.40 at the LCBO. It is sold out on the winery’s website, but I suggest checking out the online shop for their other wines like Resurrection Rόse and The Dead Red.



Cheers! – GDW




Witches Who Wine Party

To kick off the Halloween season I hosted a Witches Who Wine party. This was a wine tasting event where I paired wines with Halloween candy.

All my guests festively obliged to wearing their favourite witch hat and best black outfit. Upon arrival to the party, they were greeted with a yummy sparkling apple cider cocktail (recipe coming soon to the blog). Each witch was provided a wine tasting card to score the five wines on appearance, aroma,  taste and pairing. And from here, the fun ensued!


This is how I paired the wines and candy:

    1. Grenache and Reese peanut butter cups     

2. Sauvignon Blanc and Skittles

3. Beaujolais and Nibs

4. Late Autumn Riesling and Mars

5. Zinfandel and Twix 

The winning pairing was the Zinfandel and Twix! I enjoyed all of the pairings and suggest trying a few of them out with your leftover Halloween candy. You can find the specific wines chosen for the event at the LCBO, all for under $15.00.


In addition to the candy pairings, I provided a few additional snacks for guests. I put out a small spread of cheeses, fruit, charcuterie and dips. The artichoke dip from Olympic Cheese at the St. Lawrence Market was big hit!


The Witches Who Wine party was a fun way to celebrate the Halloween season, taste some  new wines and spend time with good friends (including our witchy friend below – the GDW photographer!).


Cheers! – GDW

How to Host a Fall Picnic

Firstly – invite a group of friends who enjoy a day drink just as much as you 😉


Second step – gather the food! We got all of our goodies fresh from the St. Lawrence Market. I highly recommend visiting your city’s local farmer’s market to get the best seasonal products. Our picnic consisted of charcuterie, fruit, cranberry tarts, olives, crackers and a variety of Canadian cheeses. I especially love the pink buns!



Next, and most importantly, is to choose the wine. I picked out the VQA Pelee Island Pinot Noir Reserve from Southern Ontario. This is a medium bodied, dry wine that pairs well with a lot of foods – perfect for a daytime picnic. Plus, I love the pretty grey and white label! It’s a smooth wine with low tannins and tastes of cherry, plums and earthiness. Good value for $17.45 at the LCBO,


Lastly – pick a spot at the park, assemble the bounty and enjoy your fall picnic!


Cheers! – GDW

Four Rosés You Should Drink This Fall


Rosé is not just for summer. Rosé all year with these four local wines.

They are big and bold enough to drink through the fall months. These deeper pink rosés will pair perfectly with heavier meals as the weather gets cooler. Say yes way to rosé year-round!

1. Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé


The Inniskillin Niagara Estate Pinot Noir Rosé is a local favourite from Niagara, Ontario.  It’s a medium bodied, dry style with tastes of watermelon, ripe strawberries and rhubarb. It’s definitely a more serious rosé with an intensity that can stand up to a fall dinner. This is one my go-to wines all year. I suggest pairing with a pork dish.

The Inniskillin Niagara Estate Pinot Noir Rosé is available at the Wine Rack for $14.95.

2. Malivoire Ladybug Rosé


The Malivoire Ladybug Rosé is another local favourite from Beamsville, Ontario. Since 1996 Malivoire has been a local pioneer in eco-centric wine making. This rosé is made from 60% cabernet franc, 20% pinot noir and 20% gamay. It has sweet smells of honey and banana with a smooth taste of strawberry and peach. It’s a medium bodied, dry style that pairs easily with a lot of foods. I suggest drinking this with a fall pasta dish.

The Malivoire Ladybug Rosé is available for $16.96 at the LCBO or directly from the winery.

3. Pink House Wine Co. Rosé


The House Wine Co. is by the large Henry of Pelham winery in Niagara, Ontario and are meant to be the ‘house party’ wines. The Pink House Rosé definitely plays to this ‘not so serious’ philosophy with it’s easy drinking and fruity style. Made from a mix of chardonnay and merlot, this wine has notes of cherry and orange blossom and is on the sweeter side. I would drink at a fall barbeque.

The Pink House Rosé is available in the VQA section at the LCBO for $13.95.

4. Southbrook Cabernet Rosé


The Southbrook Cabernet Rosé comes from the organic and bio-dynamic Southbrook Winery in Niagara, Ontario. This 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Cabernet Franc rosé offers the most complexity and depth of the four wines. It’s a medium bodied, dry style that bursts with lovely red fruit flavours and a long herbal finish. This wine would pair nicely with a lot of foods, but I would drink it alongside sausage with apples and fall spices.

The Southbrook Cabernet Rosé is $29.95 from the LCBO vintages or direct from the winery.


Cheers! – GDW