Wine Recap – July 2018

Wine Recap

July was a big month in terms of events and event coverage. In case you don’t follow any of the other stuff, you will know that when I do event coverage, I tend to lower my drinking in general. My tolerance isn’t incredibly high so I need to limit more to just keep a clear head for all the writing that needs to be done. However, we did get some lighter stuff to enjoy on the off days to relax during the heat wave month that we had. Montreal broke some temperature records so it was quite the experience.

Rekorderlig Wild Berries Cider

Rekorderlig Wild Berries Cider

Producer: Ab Abro Bryggeri
Alcohol Content: 4.5%
Location: Sweden
Taste Tag: Sweet & Fruity

We had quite a debate over this one. On one hand, I thought it tasted really nice. The berry blend worked so well and the alcohol was just enough and not too strong. It was fruity and crisp which works so well as a cider. However, my husband didn’t like it and thought it tasted it funky. I think it all comes down to the fact that whenever anything alcoholized has berries in the mix, its always a toss-up on how it will taste. It did taste a little like a light version of cherry-flavored cough medicine but then, I thought it was more pleasant than that which is great. I think for its lightness and fruitiness, this one works really well as long as you like berry flavored drinks.

Radio Boka Rosé

Radio Boka Rose

Producer: Hammeken Cellars S.L.
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: La Mancha, Spain
Taste Tag: Easygoing & Fruity

I swore that I thought I had taken a picture of this one but its gone MIA so there’s the stock photo from LCBO. Regardless, Radio Boka Rose is one that wasn’t really our cup of tea. While it is fruity, its one of those one that also linger in the weird aftertaste moment. A lot of the ones we’ve drank before actually had depth in the sense that it started out a little dry or acidic and then would have this pleasant moment when it went down our throat. This one was the exact opposite.

Big House The Birdman Pinot Grigio

Big House White Wine

Producer: Big House Wine Co.
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: California, USA
Taste Tag: Light & Crisp

Big House comes in both cans and bottles. While I never talked about the canned ones, we actually did get one that my husband had drank and I took a sip or two of. The can version is definitely very dry and actually not too good. It was what made this bottled one sit on our shelves for a little while longer than we intended. However, it was a pleasant surprise because the bottled one seemed to round out the flavors more. Maybe its the bottle or how it gets to air out a little or maybe its the fact that its being drank from a glass and not a can. I’ve been reading up on wine appreciation a little and it seems like all these things make a difference to the experience. Big House isn’t exactly as light and crisp as it describes it. It lingers in the semi-dry zone for ourselves and has this rather acidic taste. However, its expected with a pinot grigio. The bottle version definitely worked out much better than the can so if you do want to give this a go, shell out the money for the bigger glass format than the cans.

Muscat des Papes

Muscat des papes

Producer: Vignerons de Beaumes de Venise
Alcohol Content: 15%
Location: Vallee de Rhone, France

Phoebe aka Starry Traveler is the one who introduced us to Muscat des Papes which is in stock for her at the restaurant Fuschia in Montreal because its the one wine that she loves the absolute most. She is a little more selective of alcohol so this one tickles her fancy quite a bit. It says a lot about the quality of this one. To be fair, this one is very smooth. It has this lovely texture and is very light and sweet. It is also a little bit between a fruity and floral sort of aroma. It has that sweetness that we love from Moscatos.

Milton Star Sparkling Cider

Milton Star

Producer: Les Vergers de la Colline
Alcohol Content: 4.5%
Location: Quebec
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

Its very significant of how my month of “wines” went when it starts and ends with ciders. Milton Star is a sparkling cider that I’ve only ever seen around a lot but never tried. And boy, do I feel like I missed out! This is a really lovely one. Its actually very light and suitable for a casual setting of drinking to relax but never feeling like its going to feel heavy in the alcohol department. Very cider description to be honest but this one is also very nice level of crispness for the apple element to pop. They have a few other varieties that I’m going to try next time I drop by to pick up some more wine.

That’s it for this July recap!
Some ciders and some wines. A pretty decent mix and way more international than previous months.
Have you tried any interesting wines/ciders/cocktails lately?

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Wine Recap – June 2018

Wine Recap

Another month is past and its been a fairly light month, mostly filled with ciders and less wine. Perhaps its the busy time or just the fact that I like cans of cool fruity drinks when the summer kicks in.

Okanagan Apple Cider

Okanagan Pomme

Producer: Mike’s Beverage Company
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Medium-Sweet & Fruity

Fruity is absolutely when describing Okanagan Apple Cider. The reason being it tastes exactly like apple juice. The normal apple juice like Rougemont brand or something along those lines. It tastes really fun and honestly, the 5% is completely not apparent. It surprised me just how much it was like drinking a juice but then, drinking this too much might be dangerous.

Pelee Island Lighthouse Riesling VQA

Lighthouse Riesling VQA

Producer: Pelee Island Vineyard
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Light & Crisp

Lighthouse was pretty good. Its kind of average on the scale of like and dislike. I remember it having a fairly balanced taste with lighter notes. It was more dry than sour for one but its the type of gentleness that I usually first like about Riesling. However, it lacked some depth to the notes.

Shiny Apple Cider

Shiny Apple Cider

Producer: Stonechurch Vineyards
Alcohol Content: 7%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Medium-Sweet & Fruity

Shiny Apple Cider was a pretty good choice also. Its a little bit more on the tart side but it has a smooth balance to it. I worked for myself quite well. Actually, it might be one of the apple ciders that I prefer the most that feels like drinking an alcoholic drink but also getting the fruity kick to it but not too sweet either which I like in an apple cider.

Sandbanks Riesling VQA

Sandbanks Riesling VQA

Producer: Sandbanks Estate Winery
Alcohol Content: 11.8%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Aromatic & Flavorful

I have a feeling that I’m starting to grasp the aromatic taste tags quite well now. We’ve tried a few and these always have some depth to it. The first taste of Sandbanks was a little tart but when you swallow it, it actually tastes pretty smooth. With that said, the second sip of it was better than the first.

Somersby Red Rhubarb Cider

Somersby Red Rhubarb Cider

Producer: Carlsberg Breweries
Alcohol Content: 4.5%
Location: Denmark
Taste Tag: Sweet & Aromatic

For those of you who have frequented here the last few years will know that I love rhubarb so when the intriguing idea of red rhubarb cider popped up in front of me, I was really excited to try it out. Rightfully so, because out of all kinds of cider that I’ve had, Red Rhubarb is amazing. Literally, I think about going back to Ontario and finding an LCBO to pick up some more. Its so delicious. It had the perfect kick of alcohol but never kills the fantastic mild taste to create this lovely balance. Honestly, we drank this on a lovely sunny day by the pool and it was just the perfect choice. Consider this my new favorite.

That it for the past month of Wine Recap!
There were some new faves added in which is quite rare.

Have you tried any new wines or any to recommend?

Wine Recap – May 2018

wine recap

May has passed us by and its time for the wine recap!

Last month definitely felt fairly tame and had some interesting choices! With our healthier lifestyle implemented, we did try to slow down the alcohol consumption, even though, we do only drink once a week or so.

Let’s check it out!

Sibling Rivalry Pink VQA 2017

Sibling Rivalry Pink VQA

Producer: Henry of Pelham Family Est. Winery
Alcohol Content: 12%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Medium-bodied & Dry

Sibling Rivalry Rosé is one of my favorite finds from a few years ago when I tried it in Ontario. Its been a wine that I like picking up whenever I get a chance to. It helps that we can bring the wine back over to our own province now. However, too bad is that I don’t remember when I tried the first year I had it, probably somewhere in 2014 or 2015 because that was the best year it had. The taste was smooth and perfect. I’m not saying its not quite as good but 2016 and 2017’s which is the one pictured up here leaves a little to be desired. I haven’t quite found the taste that made me fall in love with it in the beginning. Its still a fairly decent wine but the recent years have been more in the dry taste than before.

Lady Lola Delle Venezie i.g.t.
(Pinot Grigio/Moscato)

Lady Lola Delle Venezie

Producer: Enoitalia SPA
Alcohol Content: 11.5%
Location: Italy
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

Every month, my husband and I both get a random pick (which to be fair is how we try out these choices, unless one of our preferences are on sale or we have a craving for it). Lady Lola was my husband’s pick. I know, funny, right? I’m never against Moscato because they are far and rare to be found however, I also know that Pinot Grigio variety tends to be not my cup of tea. To be honest, Lady Lola wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. Its decent and smooth. I fail to feel that like its sweet but it definitely did have a rather fruity but more medium-bodied feeling, edging a little into the dry/sour side. Its alcohol content isn’t too high for a wine so it does get some points for being a more casual wine that is easier to enjoy on a daily basis.

Frisky Beaver White VQA 2015

Frisky Beaver

Producer: Rapscallion Wine Company Inc.
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: Lake Erie North Shore, Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Aromatic & Flavorful

The absolute highlight of May had to go to my random pick, Frisky Beaver White. I tell you that my love for VQA wines are not going to stop soon if the wine quality always is like this one. Frisky Beaver is an absolute delight to drink. Its light and fun. Its not too sweet or sour or dry and has a perfect balance. This one was so smooth. Its actually been a while that I’ve fallen so love with a wine. Of course, its also listed as limited quantity as I’m researching the details for this post, meaning I need to go stock up before I don’t get the chance anymore. If you have access to this one, I highly recommend it!

Brickworks Ciderhouse Batch: 1904

Batch: 1904

Producer: Brickworks Ciderhouse
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Dry & Aromatic

Back in the March recap, I had picked up another type of Brickworks Ciderhouse canned ciders called Queen Street 501 when I went to Toronto and I absolutely loved it. When I went to Ottawa in late May, I saw this other variety Batch: 1904 and just had to give it a go! The good news here is that Batch: 1904 is absolutely like drinking apple juice. It actually tastes like apple juice and is more on the sweet and acidic side. On the down side was that I still think Queen Street 501 is  better tasting. This one tends to be a little overpowering in the strong apple juice taste and while I do like to drink apple juice, I tend to drink low acid ones so this one with the strong acidic flavors definitely caught me off guard and its one, I would share (like this time, with my husband) instead of drinking it by myself. However, if you do like apple juice and not so alcoholic flavors, this one might be a decent choice.

May is a slower month for wine tasting for ourselves!
However, we had some cool choices and some that didn’t quite live up to expectations!
Of course, wine is very subjective so I tried to give the taste profile.
I don’t enjoy drier wines but if you do, then perhaps the ones I don’t like will be right up your taste profile!

Now its your turn! Have you tried out any cool wines? Any wines that you absolutely love?

Wine Recap: April 2018

wine recap

Welcome to April’s Wine Recap! Last month was a pretty chill month. In general, we didn’t really drink too much wine. It is however nice to switch things up every once in a while. We did try mostly new stuff but some older things that I’ve never talked about (since this segment is really new).

Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato

Barefoot Sparkling Moscato

Producer: E. & J. Gallo Winery
Alcohol Content: 8%
Location: California, USA
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

The first wine is of course kicked off on April’s Battle of Ingredients night. My friend brought the lovely Pink Moscato by Barefoot. I’ve had Barefoot wines before and I believe I might have covered the Barefoot Moscato in the kick off post for this segment, but I can’t remember. Its a pretty decent one so not surprising that this sparkling wine also was very light and fruity. For those who like their wines light and very easy to swallow and more sweet, this one is a great choice.

Columbia Crest Chardonnay 2015

columbia crest

Producer: Columbia Crest Winery
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Location: Washington, USA
Taste Tag: Aromatic and Mellow

My first recommendation for Wine Recap comes from John Rieber. You can find his awesome site HERE.

Columbia Crest Winery actually doesn’t have a lot of wines sold here in Quebec. There are four according to the SAQ site and three of them are red wines. I have developed an intolerance to red wine where I won’t die (because its not an allergy, I guess) but I will be incredibly uncomfortable. So white wines are my go-to. Here, we have the chardonnay, which I believe was what John had recommended to me. I can’t say that we’re particularly into this taste. There is a particular smoothness to how it goes down however, it still sits a little on the drier side of the spectrum that what we’d generally prefer. So for the taste tag description, I’d agree with the aromatic but not too sure about the mellow.

Domaine Le Grand Saint Charles Vidal 2016

Domaine le Grand Saint-Charles

Producer: Domaine Le Grand Saint-Charles
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: Fruity and Vibrant

In my memory, I’ve only every drank the Vidal variety once or twice before. Its definitely usually not my first choice of white wine mostly because the taste usually is a little too sour for my liking. However, Domaine Le Grand Saint-Charles was a Quebec winery that we had tasted at Festival des Vendanges a few years ago and loved their Le Brise Glace cider. I talked about it in this recap post HERE. So we took a chance on this one. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t one that I liked. Maybe one day I’ll find a Vidal that I like but still a little too sour for my taste. Regardless, I am happy to see that they have gotten their products into the SAQ and I’m going to try to see if I can find their ciders as it seems they are also available now.

Domaine Lafrance Darragon dit Lafrance

Domaine Lafrance Daragon dit Lafrance

Producer: Domaine Lafrance
Alcohol Content: 6.5%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

One of my favorite sparkling ciders definitely goes to this one from Les Vergers Lafrance/Domaine Lafrance called Darragon dit Lafrance. When I first picked up this one a few months ago, it was totally by chance. I thought the bottle looked cool and for those who don’t know, Amos Daragon is a popular French Canadaian book series so its why it caught my eye, not that it had anything related to it (or at least I don’t think so). Sparkling Ciders are usually pretty easy to drink and they vary from fruitiness and sweetness. This one has this lovely balance of smoothness and sweetness and the perfect kick of alcohol that works so well together. I don’t know how to explain it but I personally find it absolutely awesome. Plus, I actually have to go to the farther SAQ outlet to find this one so its one I don’t drink as much which makes me appreciate it even more.

Mad Jack Hard Flavored Iced Tea

Madjack Iced Tea

Brewer: Molson
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Canada

MadJack Root Beer was something that my husband picked up last month. I can’t remember if he picked it up or his friends had brought it when they came to visit. I didn’t end up drinking it since its beer and I only taste it. My husband likes it a lot but I’m not such a huge fan. However, when we did grocery shopping a week or two ago, there was a tasting booth for some other flavors and well, being a tea lover, the Iced Tea variety popped out at me. Mad Jack Hard-Flavored Iced Tea is definitely quite delicious. It is a lovely choice especially at its price point for nice summer barbecues and gatherings.

It seems my monthly alcohol consumption is quite constant, sitting at a 5 items limit going into the third month.
To be fair, this one had a lot of great alcoholic selections and some ideas for future selections.
To be honest, I’m starting to want to give this a nice Quebec & VQA Ontario wine twists whenever I can, just because those are quite accessible and unique to where I usually would shop.

Feel free to suggest any wines or alcoholic beverages that you love or think I’ll like! 🙂

Wine Recap – March 2018

If you missed the last Wine Recap, check it out HERE.

Wine

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. Well, I can’t classify this past month as fun but hey, the wine adventures sure did help as they are our winding down times or hanging out with friends time or in this case, travelling time. Lovely little moments to say the very least.

We have a lot to get through this month so lets jump right in!

Saint Aix Rosé 2016

Producer: Domaine de la Grande Séouve
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: France
Taste Tag: Medium-bodied & dry

Rosé wines are always a little tough to judge. We’ve had some great ones but quite often they can get quite dry. Aix Rosé is something of an acquired taste. It did feel sour and dry when we first started drinking it but as it aired a little more, it seemed to taste better. Regardless of the initial taste, I think it had to do with smooth taste when we swallowed it. Its definitely not our favorite but its still pretty decent. On top of that, for Chinese weddings, this one would be great since the bottle itself has the double happiness symbol.

Brickworks Ciderhouse Queen Street 501

queen street 501

Producer: Brickworks Ciderhouse
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Medium-sweet & Fruity

I like to take breaks from wines every once in a while and fall to drinking something a little lighter like ciders. I’ve tried other ones like Angry Orchard, Smac!, Somersby and there was another Okanagan Valley one that I had tried when I went to Kelowna but can’t remember the name. Its somewhere some of the previous posts for that trip. While I think that all of the above are quite good. I have to say that this one was one of my favorites, possibly even more than the others. Thats a definite compliment because I do like Angry Orchard a fair amount. Sad was that I only had bought one can of this and enjoyed it at the hotel after the EGLX day so none to take home. Its on my to-buy list next time we head out to Ontario.

Bulles de Nuit Rosé Mousseux

Bulle de nuit rose

Producer: Bulles de Nuit (I think)
Alcohol Content: 10.5%
Location: Montreal, Canada
Taste Tag: n/a

This one isn’t exactly a new find since I have this every other month or so. Its this bubbly rosé sparkling wine sort of thing. I’m usually not much of a champagne or sparkling wine sort of person. Everyone once in a while, I’ll try one that I like. This one is really good. I’ve had the original and the rosé and I like this one more. It has a much more fun taste to it. What is a fun taste? I have no idea. It could be because the alcohol content is a little more here and the taste is pretty decent and it just feels so lovely to drink. It has quite a kick though so for myself, when I crack on open, I usually sip it throughout an hour or so.

Rodney Strong Sonoma Chardonnay 2016

Rodney Strong Chardonnay

Producer: Rodney Strong Vineyards
Alcohol Content: 13.7%
Location: California, USA
Taste tag: Full-bodied & Rich

Give it to our spontaneous purchase that peaked my husband’s curiosity and was very different the wines we usually would buy to be the surprise in this recap. Rodney Strong Chardonnay is a dry wine and yet, the dryness is somehow cut into a very pleasant smoothness that tastes really rich when we swallow it. I’m starting to understand what these full-bodied and rich terms are all about because I’m starting to taste the difference. I haven’t had a Chardonnay that I’ve liked before but this one has won me over.

Fresh Beginnings Moscato 2016

Producer: Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd.
Alcohol Content: 11.5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste tag: Off-dry & Fruity

Well…isn’t that a problem? I forgot to take the picture of the glass before we finished the bottle. Actually, to be honest, Fresh Beginnings was a little bit on the sour taste for our palette. However, while we’ve hit a lot of really great moscato, particularly in the last recap, I’ve definitely hit some moscato white wines that have this sort of taste. This one was more on the dry territory and with the fruity flavors it didn’t work as well as we’d wanted it to. But isn’t the bottle so charming and beautiful to look at? I actually still have it just to look at since its so pretty for the counter and really rings in Spring (even if we dipped down into the below zero Celsius days the past week).

This wraps up the March 2018 Wine recap!
A nice little mixed variety this time around, right?
Some sure winners and some acquired tastes here.

Which stood out for you? Have you tried any of these?
Any wines that you’d recommend that we try?

New Segment: Wine Recap – January & February 2018

Welcome to a new segment! I’m trying to up the food and drinks content here, which is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. So here we are – a (hopefully) monthly wine recap. My husband and I love to get new wines and try it out so it feels like a waste to not share it with everyone as well. Wine doesn’t just stop there, if we happen to try out some new drinks like cocktails or beers or liqueurs, then I’ll share it as well.

Wine Recap

With that said, we are not professional or anything so its just really how we felt about it as we learn to appreciate wines and log what we’ve tried. There probably won’t be any fancy terms and we won’t know enough to talk a lot of depth about it. If you are looking for something much more professional than myself, you should definitely check out Wine Wankers.

Being a big fan of lighter wines, I’ve always been a fan of Riesling and Moscato varieties and with that said, completely coincidentally, this one has a lot of moscato wines.

 

Banrock Station Moscato 2016

Banrock Station Moscato

Producer: BRL Hardy
Alcohol Content: 6%
Location: South Australia
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

Banrock Station was my pick for this time. My husband had never tasted a Moscato before. When we first cracked open the bottle, the scent was actual quite dry and soury. However, once we aired it out a little and took our first sip, it actually tasted very light and sweet. Its one of the smoothest Moscato wines that I’ve tasted.

Hardy’s Stamp Riesling Gewurztraminer 2016

Hardy's Stamp Riesling

Producer: BRL Hardy
Alcohol Content: 11.5%
Location: South Australia
Taste tag: Fruity and Sweet

Next up is coincidentally from the same producer, which we didn’t know until now, as I was doing the research on it. I’m a big fan of Riesling wines. They usually are quite good and has that perfect balance of not being too dry and just sweet enough with a lovely texture. I can’t say that Hardy’s Stamp is my favorite wine. Its pretty good. Its a little drier than I would expect and the initial taste definitely tastes less appealing than after a few sips.

Jacob’s Creek Moscato 2017

jacob's creek moscato

Producer: Premium Wine Brands
Alcohol content: 7.5%
Location: South Australia
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

We’ve heard about Jacob’s Creek a lot but never actually had tasted any of the wines. Seeing a Moscato on a random trip to the SAQ sparked the interest to pick it up. Its not quite as sweet as Banrock Station however, Jacob’s Creek Moscato is absolutely a lovely wine as well. Its very delicate and light. In many ways, it actually tastes lighter in alcohol than Banrock Station, which it isn’t as this one has 1.5% more alcohol content.

Castella del Poggio Moscato d’Asti 2016

Producer: Castello del Poggio
Alcohol content: 5%
Location: Italy
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

You may recognize this wine from our Battle of Ingredients 2018 Chinese New Year Edition. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can find it here.

One of our friends is the wine provider for the evening. For the evening, he brought a wine that his father in law (I think) introduced to him recently. Its an Italian wine originated from Asti and is also a Moscato. With that said, this one is neck to neck with Banrock Station’s taste. In fact, to taste two spectacular Moscatos over the course of the month  has been wonderful. This one is sweet and light and even our friend who doesn’t drink much wine enjoyed it a lot as well.

That wraps up the first log or wine recap (whatever you want to call it).
Its nice and simple. Honestly, I would have just rated it out of thumbs up or down but I like to ramble and write. 
With that said, I’m still working on the structure of these recaps. 
If you have any wines to suggest, feel free to. Do note that I can’t drink red wines (allergies).