Rosé Sorbet

I knew this Rosé Sorbet recipe was going to be good, but I could not have imagined just how good! I mean,  I guess you can’t go that wrong when you’re combining raspberry sorbet with pink bubbles, right? But not only did the combination look beautiful, it tasted even better! This is my perfect type of recipe – no cooking, few ingredients, looks beautiful. The Rosé Sorbet will be great for so many different occasions this summer. I can imagine serving it as a dessert for friends at an al fresco dinner, bridal shower or even a wedding. Find out below the two ingredients and two steps it takes to pull off this oh so pretty pink Rosé Sorbet.

rosé icecream.jpg

Ingredients

Sparkling rosé (I used the YellowGlen Pink bubbly)

Raspberry sorbet

rosé dessert.jpg

Instructions

Place one large scoop of raspberry sorbet into a glass (I used a coupe champagne glass) and top with sparkling rosé. Add a straw and/or mini spoon.

rose icecream

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

Beginner French: Where to Start With French Wine

French wine can be intimidating and hard to determine where to start. In North America, we classify our wines by the type of grape – like Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir. Whereas in France, the wines are classified by region – like Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy. France has 11 major wine regions, all with sub-regions, which together produce thousands of different wines. To put this into perspective, Wine Folly tells us that “If you drank a new wine each night, it would take 8 years to drink your way through France.” So, where to start with French wine?

IMG_1843.jpg

My partner, Matthew, goes on “wine binges” where he will spend a few weeks exploring one wine varietal from a specific region. And I must say, his approach can be very helpful! This is definitely what I suggest for the beginner in French wine (and trust me, I am only an advanced beginner). I think it’s helpful to start with those French wine regions that have the least nuances and complexities. My suggestion for where to start with French wine is Beaujolais, Burgundy and Provence.

Fleurie.jpg

First up in the beginner French lesson is Beaujolais. Not only is Beaujolais easy to drink, but it’s also easy to understand! In Beaujolais there is only one wine varietal, one grape, one wine – Gamay. A Gamay wine from Beaujolais is typically a light bodied fruity red with high acidity and low tannin. Within the Beaujolais region there are 10 different “Crus”, which means the 10 best sub-regions, consisting of Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly. When you’re buying a bottle of Beaujolais, you want the label to indicate one of these 10 sub-region names. Life’s too short to drink bad wine right?!

My recommendation is to start with wine from the Fleurie cru. Fleurie wines have been described as “the Queen of Beaujolais” and “pretty pretty princess.” This is because they tend to have soft fruit flavours and lovely floral notes like rose, iris and violet. My favourite so far has been the 2015 Villa Ponciago La Réserve Fleurie. The Villa Ponciago La Réserve has a bright plum colour with a bursting bouquet on the nose and pretty flavours of cherry, blueberry and violet. This wine has some aging in oak barrels which adds a finessed smokiness. You can find the Villa Ponciago Fleurie in the LCBO vintages for $19.95. It’s a great example of a Fleurie and a perfect place to start your French wine lessons.

Chablis Wine

Moving north of Beaujolais is the wine region of Burgundy. To keep it simple, Burgundy has two main types of wine. Red wine is made from the Pinot Noir grape and white wine is made from the Chardonnay grape. Easy, right?! Within Burgundy there are 5 sub-regions – Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais. Within these regions, wines are classified by 4 different levels of quality – Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Village Wines and Regional Wines. The Burgundy classification system can get quite complicated, hard to decipher on the label and expensive! This is why I recommend starting your French wine exploration with the Burgundian region of Chablis; where the classification system is simpler, wine is clearly labelled and has good value.

Wine from Chablis is Chardonnay. Chablis is in the most northern part of Burgundy, so it produces cool climate Chardonnays that are zesty and acidic (think the opposite of a buttery California Chardonnay). Wines from Chablis are characterized as being pure and crisp with chalkiness and minerality. Some even describe Chablis as having a seashell quality (vineyards are located on prehistoric sea and seashells can still be found in the soil). While not described with any seashell notes, the 2015 Gueguen Chablis does provide you with a taste of the quintessential crisp and acidic Chablis. Like most Chablis, the 2015 Gueguen Chablis is clearly labelled and easy to find in the Burgundy section of the LCBO vintages.

French Rose.jpg

A beginner French lesson would not be complete without a look at Provence. Provence is the oldest wine region in France and while 36 wine varietals are grown, 88% are made into Rosé. I couldn’t agree more with Wine Folly that, “pink wine is chic and Provence is the benchmark for Rosé.” Pretty simple to understand, Provence = Rosé! Provence is divided into 9 sub-regions that are referred to as AOC (Appellation de’Origin Contrôlée). Each AOC has strict rules about the type of grapes that are grown and how they’re grown, harvested, produced and labelled. Lucky for the beginner French student, these strict labelling rules make it easy to decipher Rosé from Provence.

The largest sub-region (or AOC) is Côtes de Provence, who’s production is about 90% Rosé. This is where most Rosé in North America is imported from.  However, I was able to find a Rosé from a different AOC called Coteaux Varois. This sub-region is considered the “heart of Provence” as it sits in the middle of the region and produces mostly Rosé.  The Terres De Saint Louis Rosé Varois en Provence AOC is medium bodied and dry with the prettiest pale pink colour and delicate flavours of citrus and cherry. Found in the France section of the LCBO, the Terres De Saint Louis Rosé is only $13.95!

Wine and Cheese

While it’s confusing to determine where to start with French wine, I think that narrowing in on a few regions and types can definitely help. Start your studies with these 3 recommendations and you’ll be speaking French wine in no time. And what’s the best way to study French wine? Drinking French wine! Happy studying 🙂

Cheers!~GDW

 

5 Spring Must-Haves for the Wine Lover

There’s something so exciting about the start of spring, especially for the wine lover. As nature begins to bloom, so does the wine life. From rosé picnics to patio sipping to winery visits, there are endless ways to enjoy wine in the spring. To ensure I’m really able to enjoy the spring wine season, there are some must-have items that I make sure to have ready for the first 10+ degree forecast. I love getting my spring must-haves gathered now, so I’m prepared to rosé all season!

Spring Wine.jpg

1. Bottle of Rosé

While rosé season is all year long for me, it’s particularly nice to sip on the pink drink in the spring. There’s always an increase in availability at wine shops and lots of new bottles to choose from. I’m especially loving the Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé for spring. This Chilean wine is bursting with bright flavours of strawberries, raspberries and cherries – plus how cute is the label?! I can just picture myself riding my bicicleta to the park to rosé all day.

Spring Picnic Basket.jpg

2. Picnic Basket

The best time to picnic is during the warm season of spring. I love spending a carefree weekend afternoon drinking wine and eating at the park with friends. And this is best done in style with a beautiful wicker picnic basket. I got my picnic basket several years ago at Homesense, but they always come out with new ones during the spring season. If you can’t find a picnic basket at Homesense, you can get similar ones to mine here, here and here.

Sping Glass.jpg

3. Wine Glass

A new season calls for a new glassware! There is nothing better to drink your rosé out of than a rose gold wine glass. I found these glasses at Urban Barn in several different colours, but loved the rose to match with all my other must-have items for spring. How impressed will your guests be when you serve wine on the patio with these!? It will be happy sipping this spring with Urban Barn’s rose gold stemware!

dress 2

4. Sundress

Spring is the best time to visit local wineries. The weather is beautiful and the large tour groups have not taken over yet. I find that winery hopping is done best in a great sundress – easy 1-piece outfit, versatile and looks cute! With a must-have sundress already in the closet, you’ll be instantly ready for a trip to wine country. I love this linen rose sundress from Winners, but you can find similar dresses here, here and here.

watch 6

5. Watch

How does a girl tell when it’s time to wine this spring? A new watch is a must-have for the wine lover! I’m already wearing my Jord Watch – with it’s natural walnut wood band and vintage rose face, it really embodies the feeling of a spring walk through a beautiful rose garden…to find a spot for a wine picnic of course! It will work perfectly with your new bottle of rosé, picnic basket, wine glass and sundress. Enter my Jord Watch Giveaway HERE to win one of your own! Yes way to all things rosé this spring.

Spring Wine 2.jpg

With these 5 spring must-have items, the wine lover is sure to have a fun-filled season. I have these items all ready to go! Can’t wait until my Jord Watch strikes wine o’clock and I’m off to the park in my sundress and rosé filled picnic basket. Happy spring!

Cheers!~GDW

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.”

DSC_3686.JPG

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.

DSC_3705

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!

DSC_3696

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.

DSC_3711.JPG

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.

IMG_0055

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!

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