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

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 Make Frosé

Have you tried making Frosé? It was super trendy last summer with yummy recipes all over Pinterest. Yet, I did not make Frosé until this spring! Most of the Frosé recipes are pretty standard – freeze the rosé overnight and blend with red berries and simple syrup. As most of you know by now I don’t love cooking, so even to freeze rosé and make simple syrup was too much for me! I needed to find an easier way to make and sweeten my Frosé. And that’s how we get my tropical twist on Frosé that requires nothing but adding ingredients to the blender! With my Frosé recipe below there is no excuse not to get into the frozen rosé trend.

Rosé Frosé

Ingredients

Rosé (a sweeter wine like the Jackson-Triggs Rosé works best)

Frozen strawberries

Coconut water

Agave syrup

Instructions

In the blender combine: 2 cups of rosé; 2 cups of frozen strawberries; 1 cup of coconut water; and 2 tablespoons of agave syrup. Blend, pour and enjoy!

Frosé Recipe

Cheers!~GDW

Wine Your Way Through Toronto: The Wine Shop on Bay

For those of us living in Toronto we’re just a couple hours drive away from several different Ontario wine regions, but it can be difficult to make the trip as much as we’d  like (every weekend would be nice!).  But there’s now no reason to go further than 1000 Bay Street to taste some of Ontario’s best wines. You’re probably familiar with The Wine Shop; there are over 100 locations throughout Ontario carrying wines from Peller Estates, Trius Winery, Thirty Bench Wine Makers and Wayne Gretzky Estates. What you’re probably not familiar with is The Wine Shop on Bay! It’s the first location in a new concept for The Wine Shop stores – along with a trendy new look The Wine Shop on Bay offers a fabulous tasting bar and so many fun wine experiences. And if you’re in the market for a saber, this can even be picked up at The Wine Shop on Bay!

The Wine Shop on Bay

On my visit to The Wine Shop on Bay, I did a rosé tasting at the tasting bar. I was led through a flight of three different Ontario rosés by on of the store’s very knowledgeable staff. Without the drive to Niagara, I felt that I got to know each of the wineries and sample some of their great wines. I even tasted what is now my favourite Ontario rosé – the Thirty Bench Small Lot Rosé. If you have not tried this rosé than that is excuse enough to head over to The Wine Shop on Bay where it is sold exclusively, outside of the winery.

Trius

Like my rosé tasting, you can customize any type of wine experience that you like. The helpful staff are happy to organize the perfect tasting for you to celebrate a birthday, bachelorette or just a Sunday afternoon! There are also standing experiences that you can book like the Big Cheese Theory and Vino & Cocoa. The Wine Shop on Bay is starting to host fun events too! The first is Wine 101 with Thirty Bench winemaker, Emma Garner covering some of Niagara’s most popular rosés. For more information about booking an experience or attending an event, contact events@thewineshoponbay.com or visit their Instagram.

Girl Drinks Wine

If you haven’t been to The Wine Shop on Bay yet, it’s definitely worth the short trip to 1000 Bay Street. This new concept store for The Wine Shop is really great and changing  how Torontonians can experience Ontario wines without leaving the city. And if anything, you must try the Thirty Bench Small Lot Rosé!

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Cheers!~GDW

 

My Favourite Wines from the Wine Rack

If you live in Ontario, you probably find yourself at a Wine Rack every now and then. The Wine Rack doesn’t have a large selection of wine but they are open late, have a lot of  locations and offer free samples. Also, as a fur mama it’s super convenient that they are dog friendly and offer treats. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that my French Bulldog, Cosette, knows the words “wine rack” and how to get there.

For whatever reason you may find yourself in a Wine Rack, I’m sure you typically wonder which wine to choose. While they stock great Ontario wine producers like Jackson Triggs and Inniskillin, the selection beyond these wineries is pretty limited. Not to worry, I’ve got you covered with my top 5 picks. From sparkling wine to cider, you’ll be set whatever your craving the next time your dog drags you inside. Treat for dog, treat for human – the Wine Rack is win-win!

Jackson Triggs Entourage Sparkling Brut

Jackson Triggs Entourage

I have been loving the Jackson Triggs Entourage Brut since I first tried it a couple months ago at The Keg. It has creamy flavours of toasty brioche and a structured tropical acidity. Read about how I paired this bubbly with a brunch menu here. The Sparkling Brut is part of Jackson Trigg’s Grand Reserve wine collection and available exclusively at the Wine Rack or through online purchase from the winery. When you’re in the mood for some bubbly, the Jackson Triggs Entourage Sparkling Brut is my recommendation.

Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé

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I have blogged and Instagramed about this wine a lot! The Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé  is one of my go-to weeknight wines.  It’s a medium-bodied dry rosé with full flavours of cranberry, strawberry and rhubarb followed by a crisp finish. This wine is also exclusive to the Wine Rack or the through online purchase from the winery at $14.95. When you don’t know what you feel like, head to the wine fridge and grab yourself a bottle of the Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé – you will not be disappointed!

 

Long Hand Sauvignon Blanc

Long Hand Sauvignon Blanc

A sales representative recently recommended the Long Hand Sauvignon Blanc when I advised I was in the mood for a crisp dry white. It was really good and I still cant believe I’ve NEVER noticed it! It has bright citrus and herbaceous flavours – reminded me a bit of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Made with Ontario VQA grapes, it’s exclusive to the Wine Rack at a great price point of $14.95. This is your bottle for summer sipping.

 

Open Cellar Select Smooth Red

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Sometimes you’re craving an easy drinking smooth red, and that’s exactly what the Open Red is! It’s a full-bodied red wine with deep velvety flavours of dark berries. This red is also exclusive to the Wine Rack and made with 100%  VQA  grapes. When you’re unsure of a hostess gift, or hosting yourself, this is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Your next barbeque event will go very well with the Open Cellar Select Smooth Red.

Growers Pear Cider

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The Growers Pear Cider is not a wine, but a nice alternative. The Wine Rack stocks a very large selection of Growers Cider by the pack or individually. While the Pumpkin Spice is hands down my favourite during the holiday season, the Pear flavour is my spring/summer pick.  At $3.05 each, Growers Cider is great to pick up on your way to an impromptu park picnic!

 

Cheers!~GDW