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!


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.


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.


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.


Happy Galentine’s Day!

Cheers! – GDW

Wine Review: Guarda Rios Branco

This might be one of the most pleasantly surprising wines I’ve tasted all year. When I’m presented with a Portuguese white, my mind immediately thinks of Vinho Verde – a light, crisp and very  young wine.


I could not have been more wrong when I tasted the Guarda Rios Branco. It was light and crisp but also  flavourful, aromatic and smooth. There were notes of lemon and citrus, softened with tropical fruit and floral smells. And then the taste – yum! The citrus was definitely taken over by strong tastes of tropical fruits like banana and mango. These fruits were warmed and rounded by sweet honey and pretty florals. The Guardo Rios was not your typical big warm white though, as it was balanced with a nice acidity.


What a surprise! So I looked into this Portuguese white further. The varietals that make up the Guarda Rios are apparently Portugal’s answer to Chardonnay. It’s made from two different white grapes native to Portugal. The first is called Arinto – an acidic grape with citrus character. While the second grape, Antao Vaz, adds the tropical fruit flavours and sweet honey tastes.


After this wonderful taste experience, I will definitely be exploring the Portuguese section more! I encourage you to also think past the vinho verde and try some different grape varietals from Portugal.

The Guarda Rios is unfortunately not available at the LCBO, but can be purchased through the Wine Collective’s online retail store.


Cheers! – GDW