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

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Happy Galentine’s Day!

Cheers! – GDW

Four Rosés You Should Drink This Fall

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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

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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.

https://www.winerack.com/Products/Product-Inniskillin-Niagara-Estate-Series-Pinot-Noir-Rose-988133

http://on.inniskillin.com/?method=products.productDrilldown&productID=B8C589DD-CEF2-D593-9961-4BD981E3AE43&originalMarketingURL=product/Inniskillin-Niagara-Estate-Pinot-Noir-Rose

2. Malivoire Ladybug Rosé

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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.

http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/malivoire-ladybug-rose/559088#.WdwTS42otD8

https://malivoire.com/purchase-wine/2016-ladybug-rose/

3. Pink House Wine Co. Rosé

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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.

http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/pink-house-wine-co-rose-chardonnay-merlot-vqa/324558#.WdwYTo2otD8

4. Southbrook Cabernet Rosé

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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.

http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/southbrook-estate-grown-small-lot-cabernet-rose-2016/499251#.WdzQ8I2otD8

https://www.southbrook.com/product/2016-Estate-Cabernet-Rose?pageID=48E998FF-9FC6-321B-F63D-BF2EA23EDFF5&sortBy=DisplayOrder&maxRows=10&

 

Cheers! – GDW