Posts Tagged ‘Cremant de Bourgogne’

Dashing through the LCBO….

Posted by Julie

Monday, December 11th, 2017

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Champagne, stunning gift boxes, ice wine, suggestions for “Holiday Gatherings” is what the final Vintages release of the year is all about.

There are so many awesome products in this release that I have to remind myself of my meager budget of $100 for this blog. Here is my shopping list – including some bottles to splurge on too.

And if you were able to get your hands on the LCBO’s latest Food and Drink Magazine, talk about eye candy – glossy photos with lots of great recipes for appetizers, cocktail parties and novel recipes for main courses too. Where do they get this new twists on the traditional?

For those of you who have a more robust budget than my$100 for wine shopping, I have several recommendations. There’s a new Sandeman 20-year old Tawny Port (Vintages #116178) $64.95 which was absolutely delicious.  Burrowing Owl Meritage (Vintages #343038) $58.95 is a red wine from British Columbia that will knock your expensive socks off.  The LCBO’s Wine of the Month – Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon (Vintages #189795) $119.95 is extra special and Sortilege Prestige, a 7 year old Canadian Whiskey with pure maple syrup (Vintages #317206) $49.95 is another treat.

So until next year, wishing you a wonderful holiday season full of great sips!



If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday December 9, 2017

Veuve Ambal Grande Cuvée Brut Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne

Traditional Method, AC Burgundy, France
$19.95 (Vintages #439257) 12% alcohol

An enticing pale pink that shimmers like a Christmas decoration in the glass, bubbles (fine mousse) galore dance on the palate while croissants, raspberries and little ripe strawberries arrive seductively to the taste buds. Clean and fresh, it’s a classic Crémant that returns yearly with quality and taste.

A perfect aperitif, wonderful as a party accompaniment. It’s also festive, pretty and everyone loves it.


Sunnybrook Signature Series Cranberry 2015

$23.95 (Vintages #539049) 11% alcohol

Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery is proud to use 100% locally grown fruits for their wines and this stunning nectar won double gold at the Canadian Wine Awards 2017. I was surprised to see this featured under dessert wines since I did not find it overly sweet.

Awesome cranberry colour loaded with soft cranberry fruit and on first sip I thought it would be absolutely perfect with turkey or pork as a dinner wine. A lengthy seam of acidity on the delicious finish and dare I say, I almost got some green apple. Wine Gods forgive me, but we all taste something different.

I’ll just sum it up by saying this would go through dinner to dessert (would be heaven with some blue cheese). How different is a fruit wine? and this would also make a lovely gift.



The Tragically Hip Fully Completely Grand Reserve Red 2015

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Stoney Ridge
$24.95 (Vintages #411595) 13.5% alcohol

This red wine was a creation by band members Gord Downie, Paul Langlois, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair, and Johnny Fay in conjunction with Stoney Ridge Estate Winery’s Head Winemaker Jeff Hundertmark. It is a class act wine.

Wonderful rich blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. On the label is an exact replication of the original artwork that appeared on the “Fully Completely” album cover that all Hip fans know so well.

Inside the bottle, deep dark delicious aromas awaits with tastes of ripe berries, some sweet spicy notes and tannin. It’s balanced and lengthy, an elegant addition for ta prime rib or steak not to mention pretty nice table bling.

Hands  down, this will make a great gift for those Gord Downie fans.


Aneto Red 2011

DOC Douro, Portugal
$16.95 (Vintages #314930) 14% alcohol

I learned on my trip to Portugal this year that there are more than 100 indigenous grape varietals approved for wine production in the Douro region of Portugal but five primary grapes make up most Port and table wines.

Touriga Nacional is the most prominent known for its floral aromatics, deep color, and tannin. Along with Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo) help to provide backbone to the wine and adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors.

Aneto, (which by the way is the name of a plant) is power-packed with ripe red and dark berries on the palate, full-bodied with lovely soft tannin and a little leather on the finish. It’s a fairly big wine with lots of punch and I plan to serve this with with ribs and Caesar salad.


Casteno Solanera Vinas Viejas 2015

DO Yecia, Spain
$18.95 (Vintages #276162) 14.5% alcohol

A blend of Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, aged in French and American oak. This red wine is a big, ripe, round and juicy for those of us that like a heavy duty wine. Flavours of ripe blueberries and black plums are the core backbone with a gentle seam of acidity and soft tannin. There’s a little spice alongside a subtle pinch of pepper on the finish.

This wine is not for the faint of heart so I’m suggesting to pour alongside garlic mash and grilled beef ribs – we are talking five star good.


Grand Total = $104.75

(So…in my last blog, I saved you $6, so splurge a little this time….besides it’s Christmas!)


Glossy gift sets arrive at the LCBO

Posted by Julie

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Although Christmas shopping may not be on your agenda, it’s bound to sneak up pretty soon. The LCBO Vintages release for Saturday November 10 features “Holiday Gifting” for the upcoming season. I have to admit when the glossy gift sets appear in the LCBO, it tempts me to at least get started. The duo sets of wine, the huge magnum bottles, champagne in velvet boxes and a car shaped bottle full of grappa; who would not want to receive one of these?

The Vintages “Festive Finds” also showcases lots of spirits, fortifieds, sparklers, desert wines and liqueurs. One fortified that caught my eye and I have featured, is a pink Port, something new and very festive!

The release also features some Italian wines from Piedmont. Just when I thought I’d been introduced to most grape varietals I found a new kid on the block, the Albarossa grape from Piedmont. This grape is a cross between Nebbiolo and Barbera. Nebbiolo often gives flavours of cherries, tar and roses with lots of tannins while Barbera offers intense flavours of blackberries and raspberries so the Regali La Lus Albarossa 2008 (#291575) at $24.95 will be a great wine to pick up and dazzle your wine friends with your new discovery. Wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin that said something about the discovery of new wine is better than the discovery of the constellation since the universe is too full of stars ?  It’s hard not to love these new Italian wines, especially to wash down some spaghetti and meatballs, it’s just that time of year.

With all the gifted giving and new releases, I could practically do all my Christmas shopping at Vintages. Any of these spirits would certainly add some sparkle to my day and at least help me start, or even finish my shopping. I hope you try at least one.
Cheers, Julie

Croft Pink Port

DOC Douro, Portugal
$19.95 (Vintages #1400871) 19.5% alcohol

This is the only pink port in the world. A beautifully luscious deep pink, almost pale cranberry in colour that is so pretty in the glass. The label on the bottle suggests serving it on ice as an aperitif which would make for a yummy start (or finish) to a dinner. It is not overly sweet or syrupy like some Port and was a refreshing surprise with a burst of fresh berries. It’s fruity and generous in the mouthfeel, a little tangy and is a fun fortified that will steal the show. I  confess to exploring their website  and discovered a fabulous desert of Croft Pink Port drizzled over strawberry or raspberry sorbet, finished with grated white chocolate and a few mint leaves – talk about pretty in pink for an easy and elegant desert. I can’t wait for this release and plan to pick up at least one bottle in for the season. I’m already starting to have “pink” moments. It would also be a lovely hostess gift.

Cave de Lugny Brut Rosé, Crémant de Bourgogne

AC,Burgundy,  France
$16.95 (Vintages # 297846)  11.5% alcohol

It is totally coincidental that I was still thinking pink when I chose this sparkling wine but this sparkler is more of a glistening tangerine in colour. It has fine mousssey bubbles with tastes of ripe yellow apples, raspberries and strawberries and just a pinch of toast which is typical of the sparkling Crémants from Burgundy. It is a gentle soft sipper, very food friendly not to mention an elegant start to a dinner party, especially with some salty hors d’oeuvres. Oh my it slips down easily.


Henry of Pelham Family Tree White  2010 VQA
Beamsville Bench,Niagara Peninsula,Ontario,Canada
$18.95 (Vintages #299172) 13% alcohol
The Speck brothers did a great job in producing a family tree signature white wine. With a blend of 44% Chardonnay, 29% Gewurtztraminer, 14% Viognier and 13% Chardonnay Musque, it is very aromatic of white blossoms and a little lychee. All the flavours of the grapes come through in this delicious medium bodied wine. A little pineapple, ripe peaches and pears, bone dry with a little acidity and finishes lemony. The family is no doubt proud – it’s a lovely wine with white meat or fish or just on it’s own.



Camelback Tempranillo/Grenache/Mourvedre 2010

$23.95 (Vintages# 285577) 14.5% alcohol
A bright ruby red blend of 41% Tempranillo, 39% Grenache, and 15% Mourvedre. All the flavours and characteristics of these grapes shine through; sour cherries, a little earthy and musty, medium bodied with flavours of raspberries and plums, slightly acidic, bone dry with soft but noticeable tannins and a little peppery on the finish. There is enough in this wine to cellar for a few years. This would be a great match with a roast of pork and some browned potatoes.


Giacomo Borgogno Barbera D’Alba Superiore 2010

DOC, Piedmont, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #285486) 13.5% alcohol
Dark plum in colour and black cherries in the aromas were what came through loud and clear. It offers medium-soft tannins, and tastes of brambleberries, blackberries some chocolate and roasted plums. A tad leathery with definite earthy flavours and I got some vegetal strength as well, almost like some green pepper or tomato vine and this is a good thing ! Slightly peppery on the finish and with a spicy sausage lasagna it would make for an great dinner party.

Grand Total: $99.75
For a person that doesn’t like living on the edge, I’m cutting it close.