March Wine Faves

Wine Favourites

As I went through the wines I drank in March, I noticed just how much rosé I had been drinking. If you are ready for rosé season, than my March Wine Faves is the list for you! As spring nears, wine drinkers also tend to navigate more towards white wine, so I’ve included some great white wines from Ontario that are perfect for spring sipping. With the warmer weather also comes outdoor grilling and there’s nothing better than a big red wine paired with a barbequed burger. I have three reds on the March Wine Faves list that are each at different price points, but all delicious! Hope you enjoy my favourite wines from March.

  1. JP Azeitão Rosé – There were a lot of new rosés at the LCBO in March, and this was one of my favourites. Plus, can’t go wrong at the $8.90 price point!
  2. Fancy Farm Girl Frivolous White –  I had to try this wine when I found out it’s made by one of Canada’s leading winemakers, Sue-Ann Staff. This aromatic and flavourful wine is perfect for a fancy country picnic.
  3. Henkell Sparkling Rosé – Spring brings an increase in parties and Henkell’s 3-pack of mini sparkling wines are fun and convenient for byob. Stick in a cute straw and you’re set to party!
  4. Mouton Cadet Bordeaux – If you’re looking for a well priced, consistent Bourdeaux than this is your wine. For $15.95 you’re getting a nice French red wine.
  5. Crossbarn Cabernet – If you’re looking for a bottle to splurge on, than this is your wine. The Crossbarn Cabernet is a classic example of a big, bold and smooth California Cab that will not disappoint.
  6. Casillero Del Diablo Reserva Shiraz Rosé – This was another new rosé in at the LCBO last month and I LOVED it. Vibrant raspberry flavours are followed by soft florals and ending with a clean finish. I also love the beautiful bottle!
  7. Pelee Island Tailwind Gewurztraminer Riesling – I tend to think that Gewurztraminer is too sweet for my taste, but this wine really surprised me! It was bursting with exotic fruit flavours, and the slight soft sweetness was balanced out with good acidity.
  8. Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé – This Chilean wine is a big seller at the LCBO, and now I know why! Read my full review here, and learn why it’s one of my 5 spring must-haves for the wine lover.
  9. Cave Spring Rosé – I had been wanting to try this VQA wine for awhile and was not disappointed! Read about why I loved this rosé and what to pair it with in my post here.
  10. Southbrook Connect Organic White – If you’re looking to drink more organic wines you don’t have to look any further than Ontario! The Souhbrook Winery was the first wine estate in Canada to be both organic and biodynamic certified. Learn more about Southbrook and their Connect White here.
  11. De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Rose Brut – Spring is the season of celebrations, from wedding showers to graduations to birthdays. This French sparkling wine is great to celebrate with, or to bring as a gift.
  12. Beso De Vino Seleccion – This has been my go-to budget friendly wine for years. Read about even more budget friendly wines from the LCBO in my post, Girl on a Budget: Wines Under $10.

 

Cheers!~GDW

Wine Your Through Niagara: The Hare Wine Co.

The Hare Wine Co. is a beautiful new winery to Niagara on the Lake, opening it’s reclaimed barn doors in 2016. Located on the mature and bountiful lands of Niagara , the estate winery vineyard was named after the hare for it’s symbolism of fertility and good fortune. When guests enter estate, the Hare Wine Co. wants you to experience a shift in time to the founding days of the region. I definitely got this feeling as a sipped my VQA wine in the tasting room built from rustic and repurposed wood, metal and brick materials. Plus, gotta love all the bunny imagery!

The Hare Wine Co. - Girl Drinks Wine

The Wine Hare Co. has four series of wines, all with pretty rabbit labels perfect to pick up at the winery for spring get-togethers! We tried wines from the Jack Rabbit, Crown Land and Frontier Collection. We also used our Winemakers Selections Tasting Pass to sample the late harvest vidal and icewine. The winemaker has really told the story of the vintage and crafted some uniquely Niagara wine. We left with two bottles from the Jack Rabbit series to enjoy this Easter.

The Hare Wine Co. - Girl Drinks Wine

The tasting room is open daily and no appointment is necessary to visit the tasting bar. The Hare Wine Co. offers a flight of 3 wines for $5, and the fee is waived with the purchase of a bottle. In addition to the daily tastings, there always seems to be a fun upcoming event! My mom and I will be back on April 28th for the Etsy Spring Market. Local shopping and wine sounds like the perfect day to me!

Cheers!~GDW

Wines for Easter Dinner

If you’re like me and always put in charge of bringing the wine to family celebrations, then I’m sure you’ve started thinking about what will pair best with Easter dinner. Most Easter dinners involve pork or bird roasts that are complimented best by medium-bodied white and red wines. I’ve found three local Ontario wines that will work great with your dinner and satisfy different wine tastes. Each bottle is under $20 and available at most LCBO locations. I suggest picking them up now before that the weekend rush!

Strewn Chardonnay Barrel Aged VQA

The Strewn Chardonnay from Niagara is a full-bodied and rich white that will pair really well with turkey or Cornish hen. It has toasty peach aromas and buttery fruit flavours. If you tend to steer away from oaked Chardonnays because of their overwhelming butteriness, you don’t have to worry with the Strewn Chardonnay as it’s really balanced with good acidity and a clean finish.

IMG_2286

G. Marquis The Silver Line Pinot Noir

The more adventurous culinary family is having lamb or duck for their Easter dinner, and these types of meats deserve a delicate and refined red wine. The G. Marquis Pinot Noir is a medium-bodied dry red that will match the flavours of the lamb or duck nicely. It’s really elegant with a smokey spice aroma, cherry flavours and a hint of violet.

IMG_2310.JPG

Cave Spring Dry Rosé VQA

The Cave Spring Rosé is a versatile and food friendly wine. It will pair well without a lot of menus, but particularly if you’re having ham or salmon. This rosé is a medium-bodied dry wine made up of 57% Pinot Gris, 18% Riesling, 14% Pinot Noir, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Gamay. It’s lovely aroma of ripe red cherries is followed by flavours of red berries and finished with a refreshing acidity.

IMG_2331.JPG

Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend filled with fresh new wines for Spring!

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

Wine by Women for the Women in Your Life

Valentine’s isn’t just about romantic love, but all the loves in your life. Celebrate those special to you like your mom, bestfriend, sister and daughter. And what better way to celebrate your ladies than with wine made by women. Below I’ve selected wines created by female winemakers in Ontario for each of the women in your life.

IMG_0373.jpg

For your mom, the Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut. Sandrine Bourcier, head winemaker at Henry of Pelham, laid the foundation for her wine career in Northern France. The Cuvée Catharine sparkling wine is reflective of Sandrine’s French influence, as it uses the traditional champagne method. Also reflective of it’s Niagara grapes, this wine has fresh flavours of apples and citrus. Named after the matriarch of the Pelham family, the Cuvée Catharine Brut is the perfect wine to gift and enjoy with your own mom.

IMG_0344.jpg

For your bestfriend, the Malivoire 2016 Ladybug Rosé. With the expertise of assistant wine maker, Elisa Mazzi, Malivoire Winery in Beamsville Ontario has created a really fun Rosé! The Lady Bug Rosé is a medium bodied dry wine bursting with flavours of fresh summer strawberries. It will be best enjoyed with your bff après work on a Wine Wednesday.  It’s a friendly wine, pairing well with whatever your cravings may be that night – from thai take-out and a new episode of the Bachelor, to charcuterie and a rerun of Sex and the City.

IMG_0390.jpg

For your sister, the Southbrook Connect Organic White. The Souhbrook Winery, in Niagara, was the first wine estate in Canada to be both organic and biodynamic certified. This is in large part thanks to the leadership of Ann Sperling, Director of Winemaking and Viticulture. Ann is passionate about vineyard-centric winegrowing, which is noticeable in the lovely Southbrook Organic White. This wine is slightly off-dry with a balanced acidity and flavours of melon and green apple. In the spirit of Southbrook, connect with your roots this Valentine’s and enjoy a glass of wine with your sister.

IMG_0393.jpg

For your daughter, the Grange of Prince Edward Gamay Noir. The Grange of Prince Edward Winery in Prince Edward County is owned by the mother-daughter winemaking team of Caroline Granger and her daughter Maggie. The wines from their 60-acre farm are 100% estate-grown fruit and reflective of this unique area in Ontario. The Gamay Noir is a dry light bodied red with lively tastes of cherry. I recommend enjoying this wine with your daughter on a Sunday afternoon with a chocolatey treat!

Hope you have a happy Valentine’s Day filled with loved ones and wine!

Cheers! – GDW

A Galentine’s Brunch

I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day, but have always loved celebrating with my girlfriends. When Leslie Knope introduced the idea of Galentine’s Day, I was definitely on board! This year I celebrated with a 3-course brunch and wine pairing. If you’re not totally sold on the Galentine’s idea, this event could be replicated for any brunch occasion with friends or family – no cheesey hearts involved!

IMG_0194

I welcomed my Galentine’s with coffee and baked goods. We had the most delicious coffee from Velvet Sunrise, called Velvet Espresso, and I picked up fresh pastries that morning from my favourite bakery at the St. Lawrence Market, Stonemill Bakehouse. To add a little “fancy” to our brunch, I served the coffee in china teacups and the baked goods on an antique silver tray.

IMG_0209.jpg

After our caffeine and sugar fix, we moved onto the main event. I made coconut French toast – using coconut milk and a baguette is a really nice alternative. For sides, we had market bacon, berry salad and homemade maple syrup. I served the main course with the Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Entourage Sparkling Brut. With warm flavours of toasty brioche and structured tropical acidity, this bubbly paired nicely with the French toast and bacon. I tried this wine for the first time a few weeks ago and haven’t stopped drinking it since! You can purchase it directly from the Jackson Triggs Winery or at select Wine Racks for $29.95.

IMG_0263

We finished off our Galentine’s brunch with sugar cookies and pink bubbly. My girlfriend made the cookies using a great recipe from Zoella – these cookies turn out better every time she makes them! I chose the Pelee Island LOLA Rose VQA 2016 to pair with the cookies, and it was a hit! The LOLA Rose is a light and fruity sparkling wine with tastes of strawberry and orange. This wine is one of my local favourites – plus, labels don’t get much prettier than this one! At $14.95, it’s also a great price-point and available at most LCBO stores.

IMG_0174

Happy Galentine’s Day!

Cheers! – GDW

Wines for Thanksgiving

While Canadians have long past celebrated Thanksgiving this year, our American neighbours will be gathering with family for turkey dinner this week. Since a lot of our readership is American based, I’d like to share my wine recommendations for your upcoming holiday. While you had to wait until further in the year for your long weekend, our American readers can definitely get the benefit of learning what worked best for wine at my Canadian Thanksgiving dinner.

IMG_6301 (2).JPG

I like to start Thanksgiving day with early afternoon appetizers and wine. Specifically, I like a giant cheese and charcuterie board filled with fall favourites like maple aged cheddar, smoked sausage and locally picked apples. And for wine, I always choose my seasonal go to – the Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling. If you can’t find this Ontario native, any other late harvest Riesling will pair just as well. In the United States, wineries from New York or Washington will typically produce late harvest Rieslings. Late harvest wines are made from grapes that are left on the vine longer so their sugar levels are higher; creating a sweeter wine. What I like about a late harvest Rieslings in particular are that the Riesling grape has a naturally higher acidity level which really balances out the sweetness. It’s the perfect wine varietal to start of your Thanksgiving celebrations – easy afternoon drinking, not too serious and pairs perfectly with a variety of appetizers!

If you can get your hands on a bottle of the Inniskillin Late Harvest Riesling, I really encourage you try it. I guarantee you’ll love it as much as I do! http://on.inniskillin.com/?method=products.productDrilldown&productID=51830415-1cc4-81ae-7543-3de49b146a44&originalMarketingURL=product/Inniskillin-Niagara-Estate-Series-Late-Autumn-Riesling

IMG_6298.JPG

For the main event I highly recommend you go with a White Burgundy. A Burgundian white will almost always be a Chardonnay. But it’s not your typical new world Chardonnay with a heavy mouth of butter and oakiness. Once you’ve tried a white Burgundy, your whole impression of Chardonnay will change. As Wine Folly puts it, “white burg is the crack cocaine of Chardonnay.” These wines vary considerably but generally have green apple and lemon citrus notes with hint of oak that provides a nice nutty or vanilla flavour. A White Burgundy will be great accompaniment to your turkey and is sure to please all your dinner guests. I chose the popular Louis Jadot Bourgogne, which you should be able to find at your local wine shop.

http://www.louisjadot.com/en/index.php

IMG_6211

 

To finish off the night, I chose another late harvest wine – Bella Wineries Late Harvest Zinfandel. A late harvest Zinfandel is considered a dessert wine and works well with Thanksgiving favourites like pumpkin pie or apple crisp.  And an added bonus – late harvest zins are typically only found in America. The Bella Wineries vintage is now sold out, but there are several other options from California you’ll be able to find. While not your typical dessert wine or bubbly, a late harvest Zinfandel will be something different to impress your guests and add to the fall feels of Thanksgiving!

https://www.bellawinery.com/xe/xe.asp?page=viewitem&p=SCLH12&cat=wine%2Dshop

IMG_6506

And, of course, it’s always nice to consider your non-alcohol drinking friends. This is really easy at Thanksgiving with an abundance if apple cider options available. To make it a bit more special, I’d recommend picking a sparking cider. I had a crowd pleasing bubbly from my local cidery.

http://www.spirittreecider.com/

IMG_6302.JPG

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend filled with friends, family and good wine!

 

Cheers ~ GDW