Posts Tagged ‘wines for Easter’

Hop to the LCBO

Posted by Julie

Friday, April 14th, 2017
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So what’s everyone serving for Easter? Today a roast lamb is in the oven, then ham or turkey or perhaps this year will be salmon on Easter Monday.  In my house, it all depends how many are coming for dinner (or how much cooking is involved!).  All to say, whatever is going onto your table, guaranteed you’ll find an elegant wine from my taste tested shopping list below to help celebrate Easter or Passover keeping in mind the best celebration is shared with family and friends.

Beyond the spring-feast friendly wines, the front pages of the Vintages magazine highlights “Visionaries, Innovators and Pioneers (VIP)” and celebrates the lives of several winery owners. No wonder this release features their wines entitled “Industry Influences”.  (I had to say it twice myself.)

Happy hopping into the LCBO.  There are great eggs…bottles…to find in Vintages,

Julie

 

 

 If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday April 1, 2017

 

Tzafona Cellars Cold Climate Unoaked Chardonnay KP 2015

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$22.95 (Vintages #485276)  13% alcohol

Vegan friendly and Kosher (for Passover certified) this elegant vintage hails practically from our backyard in Niagara. Interestingly, Tzafona means northwards in ancient Hebrew. Creamy and soft as silk, ripe melon plays on the palate. It’s medium-bodied with tropical fruit flavours, clean and smooth with some ripe pears and creme caramel on the finish. It’s a mighty fine tasting Chardonnay and would partner with delicacies from turkey to salmon to fresh spring greens salads.

 

 

 

Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2016

WO Stellenbosch, South Africa
$17.95 (Vintages #231282)  13.5% alcohol

Although Chenin’s (also known as Pineau de la Loire and many other names) birthplace may be in the Loire Valley, this varietal represents 18% of South Africa’s acreage under vine. White honeyed-floral aromas waft through this golden hued beauty, slightly effervescent, tart but rich yellow apples and apricots play on the palate. Medium-bodied with a light fresh texture, earthy almost nutty flavours on the finish. It’s a stunning wine. It would be great with turkey, fish, curry or to sip on its own when you finally put your feet up after spending the afternoon ‘slaving’ in the kitchen.

 

 

 

Stratus Vineyards Wildass Riesling

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$16.95 (Vintages #129700) 11.6% alcohol

“Bring on the petrol” I heard one product consultant say as she exclaimed she was glad she brought a few cases of this into her store. For those who love a minerally wine, fresh, clean with distinct lemony peach flavours this is your wine.  Medium-bodied and just slightly off-dry, it’s one lovely sipper and very food friendly.  You could pair this baby with just about anything white and light or spicy.

 

 

Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2014

South Australia
$21.95 (Vintages #167189) 14.5% alcohol

There were so many gold star stickers on this bottle, I stopped counting. A dazzling rich dense purple, assertive dark fruit flavours without being too fruit forward. Some savoury and earthy notes mingle with the mid to full-bodied blueberry, blackberry flavours. Balanced with noticeable tannins and savoury spice on the finish. It’s a gem and going on my table with a roast of lamb.

 

Les Halos De Jupiter Côtes du Rhône

AC, France
$17.95 (Vintages #276956) 15% alcohol

Not a bit of wonder it is featured as wine of the month. When you see AC, you know you are buying a quality French wine whose grapes are grown in a certain appellation in France such as Côtes du Rhône. A delicious blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, rich red velvet in colour and loads of deep dark berries, ripe plums on the palate. The palate is silky, nicely balanced, integrated tannins weave through raspberry flavours with a peppery finish.  Bone dry and smooth with plenty of longevity. I’d pick up a couple for some burgers or steak this summer, when you can put the feet up and just enjoy the heat in more ways than one.

 

 

GRAND TOTAL – $97.75

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If I only had $100…I would buy at LCBO Vintages

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 18th, 2016
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Easter is on its way! For me that marks that spring is around the corner. It is interesting to see some of the wines shifting in style while the seasons begin the change. I had the opportunity to sample a number of the wines in this spring-will-soon-be-here release of Vintages and found some neat Easter eggs to share with you.

Celebrate spring by popping the corks. There is a larger than usual selection of sparkling wines along with a feature of wines from Israel that stirs up great memories when I visited the wine regions there a couple of years ago while on a media tour. If you haven’t yet tried some from this region, there are definitely some good red wines worth the money -Recanti David Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($35.95). Tada! Just like that you will have explored a new wine country.

Italian Barolo, Barbera Brunellos and Chiantis are plentiful too. Many ready now and others to tuck away in the depths of your cellar.

With only $100 to spend, it is a hard task to pick a handful of good value wines that won’t break the bank – there are many to choose from in this release. Here’s my shopping list to take with you when you head into your local LCBO store. Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Debbie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…

Saturday March 19, 2016

 

Domaine Félibre Givré Ice Cider 2012Domaine Félibre Givré Ginger Ice Cider

Québec
$19.95 (Vintages #393611) 6.5% alcohol

This was a flyer and I really liked it! A Gold Medal winner at the 2015 Berlin International Wine Competition soothes with its fresh ginger, honey & ice cider combination. Not too powerful in flavour nor too sweet either. This ice cider is refreshing and flavourful. WOW your guests with it as an on arrival drink, after or after a meal. Chill & serve it straight up, over ice or mixed with sparkling wine.

 

Vinum Africa Chenin Blanc 2012

Vinum Africa Chenin Blanc 2013

Stellenbosch, South Africa
$15.95 (Vintages #739995) 13.5% alcohol

A lot going on in this white wine! Amazing value for a well made wine with smokey notes combined with apple, pears that round out in your mouth with each sip. This wine makes me want to create a pasta with cream sauce loaded with bacon bits or seafood.

 

 

Primus The Blend 2012Primus the Blend 2013

Colchagua Valley, Chile
$19.95 (Vintages #712463) 14.5% alcohol

What a blend! 35% Carmenere, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Merlot to finish it off.The result of this recipe? A deep coloured wine with aromas and tastes of black cherry, over ripe blackberry, dark chocolate and a peppery finish. My notes say – Smooth. Smooth. Smooth. Fire up the BBQ & get a steak, burgers or spicy sausages on the grill to enjoy with this big bold red wine.

 

Le Gravillas Côtes du Rhône-Villages Séguret 2011Le Gravillas Cotes du Rhone-Villages Seguret

Cotes du Rhone, France
$15.95 (Vintages #309260) 14.% alcohol

I was lured to the name on this one as I visited the town of Seguret when backpacking through France during my 20’s. I could almost spot the hostel in the etching on the wine label. This is a beautiful Rhone blend has impressive red fruit aromas and flavours with grippy tannins that would mellow if cellared for two to five years. Impressive and well blended, this wine needs food and would be delicious if you were planning to serve roast lamb for Easter. For nostalgia as well as quality, at this price, I will buy a case – they are giving this red wine away!

 

Frascole Chianti Rufina 2011Frascole Chianti Rufina 2012

Tuscany, Italy
$17.95 (Vintages #85167) XX alcohol

An Italian classic. A medium bodied red wine delivering intense red fruit flavours (think strawberry, plums and currants) laced with dried herbs and white pepper. Solid tannins begging to be enjoyed with food – spaghetti and meatballs no less! A classic Italian wine for a classic Italian dish. Mama Mia!

 

 

Grand Total: $89.75

Pretty good for 4 bottles of wine and a neat treat!

 

 

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If I only had $100…I would buy at LCBO Vintages

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 4th, 2016
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February was a long month with Leap Year. Now March is loaded with holidays. March Break, St Patrick’s Day and Easter are reasons to pop corks! This week’s release at Vintages is loaded with interesting wines, Irish Whiskies & sparkling wines for exactly that occasion.

LCBO Magazine March 5I must confess that I am learning to enjoy whisky as opposed to a whisky lover! The Knappogue Castle 16 year old Irish Single Malt tempted me to try a wee dram. Glad that I did! The sherry finish made this a smooth sip.

And while you are there, you may be wondering why the store shelves will be overflowing with goodies from California. It is to whet your taste buds & prep you for the arrival of California winemakers when they tour across Canada on their annual roadshow stopping in at Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Calgary. Click here to see when they land near you. If you happen to know you are getting a tax refund, consider splurging on a bottle of – Kistler McCrea Vineyards Chardonnay – was delicious, but I won’t be including it on this shopping list as it would break my budget (its $120.95…a bottle!). The Treana White is always a treat with its 50-50 blend of Viognier and Marsanne at $29.95.

Take this shopping list and head on into your local LCBO store to pick up these gems – I recommend it!

Cheers,
Debbie

If I had $100, I would buy at Vintages…

Saturday March 5, 2016

 

Vietti Moscato d’Asti 2014

Piedmont, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #441253) 5% alcohol

A sure fire sign of spring is when Moscato d’Asti wines start filling the shelves. Delicious bubbly equally balanced with spring flower aromas (think daffodils & hyacinths) with fruit salad taste of juicy peach, pineapple and melon. A perfect sparkling wine to serve for brunch as it is low in alcohol, or pop it open for an aperitif or to finish a meal instead of a dessert.

 

Fielding Gewürztraminer 2012Fielding Gewürztraminer VQA 2013

Niagara, ON
$18.95 (Vintages #146753)  12.5% alcohol

Everything Fielding’s winemaker Richie Roberts makes seems to turn to gold. This yummy Gewürztraminer will get your heart racing with its spring-like aromas and flavours. Floral aromas combined with candied ginger and tropical fruit tastes (think mangos, kiwi) make this a well balanced and delicious medium bodied white wine. Chill and sip while you make dinner or serve with something spicy like Phad Thai, Indian curry or Mexican dish.

 

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2014Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Malborough, New Zealand
$19.95 (Vintages #974527) 13% alcohol

This is the first wine from the 2015 vintage that I have had…and WOW! A stunning Sauvignon Blanc with loads of lemon-lime tastes with a touch of cut green grass (a typical characteristic of Sauv Blanc). Smooth, round feeling in the mouth – a classy wine. It is not surprising that Villa Maria is one of New Zealand’s most awarded winery. Serve this white wine with roasted chicken, steamed mussels or save a bottle for when fiddleheads & asparagus are in season.

 

Barón de Ley Reserva 2010Baron de Ley Reserva 2010

Rioja, Spain
$21.95 (Vintages #958868) xx alcohol

I often find gems in the Spanish red wine section. This one is featured as Vintages “Wine of the Month” & there is a good reason for that. Everything about this wine is black – the dark inky colour, dark fruit notes & tastes and rich warm spices. Well balanced with complex with ever changing aromas & tastes, makes this a great wine to enjoy now (it is already been aged 5 years) or put down for a few more years. Another great red wine to serve now with Tortiere, roast beef, cheese & charcuterie board or hold onto till you christen your BBQ this spring.

 

Château Mamin

Graves, France
$21.95 (Vintages #444281) 13% alcohol

Start the car! This is one of the best French wines that I have had in awhile. Red fruit, tobacco & cigar waft from the glass then follows through the taste with a warm fireside heat. I was blown away when I found out the price tag. Tastes double the price. I will definitely be buying a case. Enjoy with cheese, lamb, hearty stew or pull out over the spring & summer when you fire up the BBQ.

 

Grand Total: $102.75

Ooops! I am over budget a wee bit…but it is totally worth it!

 

 

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If I had $100…I would buy at LCBO Vintages

Posted by Susan

Friday, March 20th, 2015
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One of the sure signs of spring is when California rolls into town for their annual Wine Fair. Always a date on the wine event calendar, this year they are stopping in at Ottawa on April 10 and Toronto on April 13. Aligned with their arrival, the LCBO stocks some extra special California wines in Vintages with the latest release.

March 21 Vintages catalogueI was away on holidays (unfortunately not California!) so Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins did the hard job of tasting the wines before they hit the store shelves. Here are her wine tips that will put a spring in your step and some smooth reds – from California and further afield – that will keep you warm on those days when winter seems that it will never ever leave.

Here is our shopping list…if I only had $100 to spend at Vintages this week.

Cheers!
-Debbie

 

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages
March 21, 2015

 

March 21 Cotes du RhoneGuigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2013, France

AC Côtes du Rhône
$18.95 (Vintages #290296) 13.5% alcohol

Consistently and reliably tasty, this versatile white wine is wonderfully aromatic – spring time notions of white flowers, scents of peach, citrus and tropical notes drift from the glass. Dry, medium bodied, it’s smooth and ripe, notes of spice and a replay of luscious stone fruit bathing the palate. Well balanced, with a pleasing touch of bitterness on the finish, this is a great value. Enjoy with roasted spring chicken stuffed with lemon & herbs.

 

March 21 Chateau BellevueChâteau Bellevue la Forêt 2011, France

AC Fronton
$13.95 (Vintages #354134) 14.5% alcohol

This is an unbelievable price! Made primarily from Negrette grapes (an unusual grape variety), then blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, this red wine has an earthy note—reminiscent of freshly pulled beets—that drifts over the aromas of berry and plum, licorice and spice. Dry, full bodied, the concentrated dark fruit flavours wash across the palate, tinged with a replay of licorice and spice, while that that earthy note persists. Firm in structure, clean in texture, the wine offers a long-lasting and fruit-filled finish. Serve with duck confit and be wowed, or splash some into your glass with leftovers.

 

 

March 21 JoyaBisquertt ‘La Joya Gran Reserva’ Syrah 2012, Chile

Colchagua Valley
$16.95 (Vintages #325407) 14.5% alcohol

This Syrah is an excellent value red wine – period. Good complexity, a well-defined structure and great depth of fruit. On the nose, there are lifted aromas of spice and pepper, dark berries and cherry, with just a whiff of dried herbs. Dry, full bodied, it’s plush and warm, loaded with powerful fruit flavours, notes of chocolate and toast, and a warm, fruity finish. Want me to go on anymore? For this price, serve this as your house red while the snow melts.

 

March 21 YalumbaYalumba ‘The Guardian’ Shiraz/Viognier 2010, Australia

Eden Valley
$21.95 (Vintages #396499) 14.5% alcohol

How to warm up on a chilly night? Look no further for this plush wine with great concentration of fruit flavours. On the nose, cherry, berry, kirsch, spice and vanilla burst through. Dry, medium-full bodied, the intense berry fruit is balanced by a certain freshness to the texture and firm ripe tannins. Tasty, spicy and smooth, get into the habit of firing up the BBQ and enjoy this red wine anything off the grill.

 

I have a confession to make…

Being on a budget of $100, I wanted to make sure that there was some money in the bank to add a California wine to this shopping list.  No matter how hard I try, I sill came over budget by $8.  Hopefully you will forgive me and return enough empty wine bottles to make up the overage!

 

March 21 RidgeRidge Three Valleys 2012, California

Sonoma County
$35.95 (Vintages #652875) 14.2% alcohol

Principally Zinfandel, this blend is of both grape varieties and terroirs to showcase great depth and intensity of aromas and flavours. Opulent fruit is showcased—dark berry and black cherry—mingling with sweet notes of spice and vanilla, with a dash of cracked black pepper. Dry, big and bold, this red wine has polished tannins and plush texture that make it dreamy. Finishing long and warm, it will be a great match for barbequed ribs.

 

GRAND TOTAL: $107.75

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A spring time wines shopping list…

Posted by Julie

Saturday, April 12th, 2014
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The LCBO Vintages is sure pulling out all the bells and whistles for it this weekend’s (April 12) release to coincide with Easter celebrations. Regardless of religious beliefs, countries all over the world seem to celebrate Easter in various ways. Some people deliver chocolate or real eggs & live bunnies, throw pots of water out of windows, fly homemade kites or ski. Regardless the tradition, Easter is a symbol of spring and fertility. Albeit, as I write this I have not seen many sprouting daffodils but regardless of country, most cultures bring out wine, spirits and their best ethnic food for the occasion.

LCBO Vintages magazine April 12Whether you having a traditional Easter feast of turkey, ham, fish, lamb, all or any of the above (invite me please!) you certainly need some wine to help wash it down. To help decide which ones, I have made this weekend’s shopping list for a spring time feast that would be great to serve with any of the above dishes.  And a splash of little icewine is always a nice finale to any meal – I recommend Reif Vidal Icewine 2012 (Vintages #3544791) as it would not break the bank at $24.95.

Spring always cheers us on and with these releases we’re well on our way to bunny hopping.

Happy Easter!
Julie

 

If I only had $100, I would buy at LCBO Vintages
April 12th, 2014

 

Cathedral Cellar Brut SparklingCathedral Cellar Brut Sparkling 2010

Méthode Cap Classique, WO Western Cape, South Africa
KWV
$16.95 (Vintages #296426) 12% alcohol

Sparkling wine is an elegant start to any event and impossible to go wrong with this Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend. Light, moussey bubbles abound, fine texture with a chalky base, slightly toasty with lemon, pear flavours and a touch minerality. A fabulous price point for this bone dry beautiful bubbly.

 

Lailey Chardonnay 2012Lailey Chardonnay 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$19.95  (Vintages #193482)  13.5% alcohol

Winemaker, Derek Barnett must sleep well at night. On 20 acres of premium Niagara land, and from 100% Ontario grown grapes the end result is an absolutely magnificent white wine. I am a huge Lailey fan and this is a beautiful Chardonnay. Smooth as silk on the palate with ripe yellow apple and honeydew melon flavours, a pinch citrus and a clean refreshing finish. It is a tantalizing white wine, sending you back for more. It would food pair with all the usual Chardonnay partners but it is so delicious, I recommend it on its own. 

 

Newton Johnson Pinot NoirNewton Johnson Pinot Noir 2012

WO Upper Hemel en aarde Valley, Walker Bay
South Africa
$26.95 (Vintages # 660878)  13.5% alcohol

This new Pinot on the block does not disappoint. Lovely smooth red cherry flavour with soft herbs and tannins. This red wine has quite a respectable length and is a wine with finesse. A perfect accompaniment to turkey or ham.

 

SkuttlebuttStella Bella Skuttlebutt Shiraz/Cabernet 2009

Margaret River, Western Australia
$19.95 (Vintages # 58131) 14% alcohol

After I taste 30-40 bottles of wine, my handwriting becomes skewed and I shorten words that I can only guess later, however my notes on this were clear and when I place mega stars, that’s a definite that I must pick up a couple of bottles. Rich berry flavours deep garnet purple a little woodsy with loads of flavour and texture. Medium bodied red wine with soft tannins; a great drinking wine and as for food – lamb stew to anything grilled would more than work and be enjoyed.

 

Featherstone RoseFeatherstone Rosé 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$14.95 (Vintages # 117861) 13% alcohol

Years ago I took pictures of the Featherstone winery with sheep nibbling at the grape leaves to help ripen the grapes.  Fond memories. Nothing says spring like a beautiful glass of salmon coloured rosé. In my opinion, most rosés have flavours of strawberries, and often rhubarb, which is true for this rosé however I also found some savoury, vegetal elements with juicy acidity, This rosé wine is medium bodied with a longer finish than many others. Makes for a great appertif and has enough structure to match any lighter fare dishes.

 

 I’m ready for Easter – Grand Total: $ 98.75

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