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

Girl on a Budget: Wine Magnums Under $20

The Victoria day long weekend marks the beginning of summer in Canada. And summer in Canada means weekend cottage trips, camping adventures and lots of barbeque parties. All of these events go best with great wine and friends. But if you’re a girl on a budget, the wine can add up! I find that when I’m packing wine for a weekend trip or stocking up for a summer party, wine magnums are the best value. Wine magnums are 1.5L bottles, which is equal to two regular wine bottles. If you can find a magnum for under $20, then you will have plenty budget left to pick up that cute swim suit for the cottage! But are wine magnums under $20 any good? They are not going to be the BEST wine that you’ve ever had, but I’ve listed below my top picks.

  1. Aveleda Vinho Verde  $19.60 – This wine is listed at #1 because it is definitely my #1 pick for wine magnums under $20! A light Portuguese white with zesty spritziness, it’s perfect for sipping by the pool. Plus, with a lower alcohol level, 9.5%, you can sip all day without the worry of a hangover!
  2. Barefoot Pinot Grigio $19.95 – The Barefoot Pinot Grigio is another light a crisp white, but with more an off-dry style (dry but with a slight sweetness). On a hot day on the dock, I enjoy this wine over a large tumbler of ice.
  3. Bodacious Smooth Red $18.75 – A mix of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Bodacious red is full bodied and smooth. It is definitely a crowd pleasing wine, so a great choice when hosting a backyard barbeque. It’s on sale until May 27th for $16.75, so now would be a good time to stock up!
  4. Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier $18.95 – The Cono Sur Viognier is bursting with aromatic flavours of tropical fruits and rounded out with great acidity. I just discovered this wine last month and was very happy to see it came in a magnum. Enjoy this wine with an extended al fresco Sunday lunch.
  5. Mateus Rosé $17.40 – This rosé is on the sweeter side, so I find that it works best mixed with sparkling water and ice to make a rosé spritzer. There’s nothing better than a rosé spritzer at the beach on a hot summer day!
  6. Folonari Soave $16.95 – The Folonari Soave has been one of my go-to magnums for years! It’s light, crisp and dry style makes it perfect for pairing with picnic pot locks in the park. Be careful though, this wine goes down like water!
  7. Jackson Triggs Shiraz $18.95 – When you’re having guests over for a charcoal grilled steak dinner, the Jackson Triggs Shiraz is a great choice. It’s a full bodied and easy drinking red wine that pairs well with friends and warm summer grill nights.
  8. Peller Estates Rosé $16.95 – This rosé is also on the sweeter side, but that makes it perfect to make frosé, sangria, rosé pops and spritzers. When you’re heading out of the city for a girls cottage weekend, pack a couple of these bottles to rosé all day!
  9. Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc $18.75 –  I always have a magnum bottle of the Two Ocean’s Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge during the summer. It’s light and crisp with nice grapefruit, herb and citrus flavours. I find it works great as an après-work drink on the balcony.

If you’re a girl on a budget, wine magnums under $20 are your best choice to wine all summer! Weekend cottage trips, backyard parties and long beach days require wine at good value. While wine magnums aren’t always the BEST wine, my top 9 picks are all good choices that I’m sure you’ll enjoy!

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

Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé .png

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

Open Red Wine.png

 

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

Growers Pear Cider.png

 

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