Wine Recap: December 2019

Welcome to the last wine recap covering December 2019 (at least for the foreseeable future of 2020). Wine recaps are fun but we’re moving on to other things. There’s more than enough to flip through over the almost 2 years of doing this segment. I will try to share it over on Instagram to boost up some content on that platform. 😉 December was holiday season so we might have tried out a few wines and such.

Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay 2018

Casillero del Diablo

Producer: Concha y Toro
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Location: Chile
Taste Tag: Aromatic and Mellow

The beginning of December is a little blurry now. I remember this wine being a little on the dry side. Perhaps in the semi-dry territory but it did match the aromatic and mellow taste tag. There’s still subtle notes to it that does give it layers and actually gives the wine some depth (if you know what I mean). Its actually the first time that we’ve tried Chilean wine so its definitely a decent experience.

Brickworks Ciderhouse Burgundy Effect

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Producer: Trilium Beverage Inc.
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Medium-Sweet & Fruity

Big fan of blackcurrants here! Huge fan in fact! If anyone has had Ribena, that’s one of my absolute favorite juices out there. Kir is also one of those liqueurs that also appeal to me quite a bit. Saying all that, The Burgundy Effect is a blackcurrant apple cider which is pretty alright. Brickhouse does the Queen Street 501 the best in my opinion and then its the Batch: 1904 before it comes to this one. Its not quite as sweet as their apple cider selection but for those who are seeking a little kick and still getting the fruity with decent berry taste, this one definitely does the trick. Plus, the blackcurrant-apple cider is a pretty unique blend.

Grand Frisson de Glace Recolte 2017

grand frisson de glace recolte 2017

Producer: Chateau Taillefer-Lafon
Alcohol Content: 7%
Location: Quebec
Taste Tag: N/A

Costco purchase right here plus it was on sale. So I got this one for $10 or something. Crazy stuff because most Recolte varieties are actually quite pricey. Grand Frisson de Glace might be one that I’ve tried a few years back but don’t remember anymore (or it could be another one). This one is alright. It has a decent balance between acidity and sweetness. Its not my favorite but I don’t dislike it either. For the price and the accessibility, its definitely a decent choice.

Val Caudelies

Val Caudalies

This one is part of the Battle of Ingredients so I’ll send you over there to read about it right HERE.

That’s it for this Wine Recap!
I can’t emphasize how much I enjoy everyone that has dropped by to check out these posts! I’m not a professional wine reviewer and its more just a very basic feeling on wine appreciation using my own preferences. 

It was a pretty calm month in general and to kick off January wines as a start off point for everyone to find me on Instagram. Here’s the post on the Blue Nun 24K Gold Edition.

 

 

 

 

2020 Upcoming Plans!

2020 is already among us!

For new readers, welcome to Tranquil Dreams. I’m a blog that doesn’t quite follow the successful route of blogging (meaning to focus on one topic), instead I’m a fan of doing what I like and just using this as an outlet of doing the things I love. They primarily make up 4 categories: Movies, TV, Books and Food. There are weekly and monthly segments and a whole bunch of random spontaneous things going on. Now that the introduction is done for anyone new here!

Let’s check out plans for 2020! Note that a few little changes but not too many. I’ve indicated where the main changes are. 🙂

READING

2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge: 25 books

Last year, I set a bunch of books that I wanted to read and then didn’t get around to reading 90% of them, I’d say. Its probably because I forgot about it at one point being busy with everything else. This year, I already have about 5 books set for the first 3 months which is a great start as it all goes towards blog tours and such. I’m not going to say which one and will leave it as a surprise. The goal is to participate in blog tours and then work through a ton of TBR books on my bookshelves and Kindle. I won’t change the 25 books this year and if I exceed, then so be it. In general, its been a struggle to find reading time especially in the second half of the year.

MOVIES

Movies are staying relatively the same. I’m hoping that I will still be able to get the media accreditation for film festivals like in 2019 as that is always a lot of fun and brings in some really nice film discoveries. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it always brings in a nice refreshing change to the normal fare on Netflix.  Fingers crossed on that, right? 😉

As for movies, we will be keeping the double feature usually around 1-2 per week, depending on time. Full single reviews are for theatre viewings and festival screenings. The normal themed months still apply:

  • February: Valentine’s Romance
  • October: Halloween Horror
  • December: Holiday Films

This year, I’m thinking of doing some themed months randomly so that I can catch up on various genre of films. Its still in the air whether I’ll do it as A-Z or simply as random screenings.

As for any other things, I’ve neglected my Sunday Lists in general and will hopefully be aiming to get one a month. I’ll set a Sunday per month for that.

TV

TV has really turned into a Chinese drama series deal since middle of 2018 and that will continue this year. I’m hoping to get a few of the TV binges that I didn’t do last year done this year as I didn’t do any for my Top 5 shows last year and that seems sad as they were all very accessible on Youtube and/or Netflix.

Aside from that, Netflix series are the other focus and perhaps Shudder depending how long I keep the subscription. A short little no change section at all: TV binge for Chinese dramas will keep the normal format I have and may actually use a part of that format for any other series I watch as well.

OTHER RANDOMNESS

After getting through the top 3 categories of focus here, its time to take a look at the random other segments at weekly or monthly frequency.

  • [change] Wine Recap will wrap up with its final one with December 2019 and it will be over. I’m no wine connoisseur and the whole 2 year experiment of doing it has really helped me appreciate wine better but its becoming more of a chore to write it up. I’ll share some of it on Instagram instead so feel free to follow me over HERE.
  • My Adventures: I’ve already changed it to a monthly segment in the middle of 2019 and it will remain that way. I’m finally happy with the structure so we’re keeping this as the fun and more personal post.
  • What’s Up 2020: will remain a weekly segment set on every Wednesday to recap the previous week.
  • [change] Baking Through Disney: has been a neglected segment over here that I’ve tucked away but never forgot about. As I aim to get back into baking, its the project that will hopefully be revived on a monthly basis. One baking day a month seems fairly reasonable.
  • [change] Goodfood recaps: have been no more since the middle of 2019. It was due to a few bad experiences that Goodfood has finally fixed on their end. I didn’t talk about it at the time and won’t go deeper into it. As I’m not paid to do this and I have to pay for the experience, its becoming a convenience choice for our life so its become less frequent as well. I’ll share some of the meals on Instagram whenever we do order.
  • Battle of Ingredients: has changed its structure since its beginning. We’ve been talking about how to get things back on track to fit its name but we are also enjoying taking the time to highlight some recipe trials as well as using local Quebec products in our cooking. This one is really supposed to be monthly but we have random hiatus due to our busy schedules.
  • Ultimate Decades Blogathon is coming back in 2020. We are currently in production phase of getting things together. If you are interested, remember to check back here. We should be announcing it soon.
  • Music Obsessions: almost got cut but this segment was saved by a recent comment. I enjoy the segment but its the one that does the least well out of everything here BUT at least its a fairly fun and easy post to put together. So its staying without any change, on a monthly basis on the first weekend of the month.

I know we cover a ton of stuff here including Restaurant recaps and other event coverage including shopping hauls and such. It shouldn’t change much on that front. I’m hoping to get some more DIY going on and other things, if possible. However, time is scarce so I’ll do what I can.

I think that generally covers everything for 2020 plans!
Its not a ton of changes but I will work on being more organized this year!
Happy 2020 and all the best to all of you lovely people!

Wine Recap: November 2019

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Its the November Wine Recap! November saw us having a week off from work on a little staycation and we managed to pick up some nice wines and then chilled out a lot just watching movies and relaxing a little so this time has a few more wines that we were able to try! Let’s check it out!

Domaine Le Grand Saint-Charles Duo de Frontenac 2017

Le Grand Saint-Charles Duo de Frontenac

Producer: Domaine Le Grand Saint-Charles
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

Le Grand Saint-Charles is a winery that I want to get behind so much because of its creative wine combinations. This one mixes two Frontenacs together: Frontenac Gris and Frontenac. We’re not exactly a huge fan of either of these wines but we do always like to try new mixes to hopefully have one that surprises us. This one actually was pretty alright compared to the other white wine varieties that we’ve tried from Le Grand Saint-Charles. Its not quite as acidic or extra-dry. This one was rather delicate and light. It still was leaning onto the semi-dry taste palette but there was also a well-enough balance to make it enjoyable.

Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling 2016

Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling

Producer: Inniskillin Wines Inc.
Alcohol Content: 12%
Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

Inniksillin is a winery that is pretty well-known. They have some fantastic ice ciders and my husband has been wanting to try out the wines, so here we are giving the Late Autumn Riesling a try. As expected, the safe area of Riesling didn’t disappoint at all. It was a pleasant one and rather rich in flavor because of the Late Autumn element that actually gives it a more reserve sort of status. This one is definitely in the fruity and sweet taste tag and one that is very easy to like a lot.

Le Grand Ballon Val de Loire Chardonnay

Le Grand Ballon Chardonnay

Producer: Sarl Joel Delaunay
Alcohol Content: 12%
Location: Centre-Ouest, France
Taste Tag: Delicate and Light

From my memory, this is the second time that we’ve tried a wine from Val de Loire. French wines have so many territories and each have their distinctive elements and taste that its truly hard to remember all of it. I did remember the last one that we tried from Val de Loire was more on the dry side and that applies to Le Grand Ballon’s Chardonnay as well. Its more of  semi-dry taste with has a bit of light-bodied elements and fruity elements as well. The dryness does hit harder on the first sip but it does have a refreshing taste down the throat.

Slow Press Chardonnay Monterey County

Slow Press Chardonnay

Producer: The Wine Group
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Location: Monterey, California, United States
Taste Tag: Aromatic and Mellow

I’m not going to lie that my initial draw to Slow Press was its classy bottle label and the color choice. It had this oaked and aged wine sort of look to it plus it had the aromatic and mellow taste tag which always has this surprisingly sophisticated taste to it. Slow Press is actually quite good. It is a little dry but it has a nice finish, just like most of the wines in this taste tag category. Its why we always go back to it as its not exactly a fruity and fun deal but one that is a little more elevated and has more depth in its taste.

Growers Honeycrisp Apple

Growers Cider Co.

Producer: Arterra Wines Canada Inc.
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Sweet & Fruity

Ontario ciders are rather different from Quebec ciders. I’ve tried a good few Ontario ciders to this point and I’ve become quite picky on what stands out for me. A lot of them actually are very similar probably because of the apples they choose. What makes Growers Cider different is that it uses Honeycrisp Apples and it adds this tartness to their cider that actually balances really well with the apple sweetness. Its a rather unique cider taste and has quite a delightful experience.

That’s it for this November Wine Recap!
Some really neat discoveries this time around!

Wine Recap – October 2019

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Welcome to the Wine Recap for October 2019. With all the festivals and overtime going on, it was an obvious progression of events that drinking anything alcoholic was not going to as abundant seeing as everything needs a clear mind to write or work. With that said, this month’s recap is much shorter than usual and actually probably is more average as well. Nothing amazing but nothing that we hated either.

Let’s check it out!

La Vieille Ferme Rosé Recolte 2018

La Vieille Ferme Recolte 2018

Producer: Perrin et Fils SA
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: Vallee du Rhone, France
Taste Tag: Fruity and Medium-bodied

A very rare taste tag that we usually choose from for this one. While that usually doesn’t say too much to us, this one was rather fruity in the more acidic range and definitely was drier than our usual wines. However, La Vieille Ferme for its taste tag actually was fairly mild. It had a nice smooth taste especially as its end notes. However, its first sips are rather in the dry range and a little more than what we are accustomed to. For those who do like drier wines, this one is a pretty decent option especially as it is the Recolte 2018 which is a little more special than the normal.

Kim Crawford Chardonnay 2018

Kim Crawford Chardonnay 2018

Producer: Kim Crawford Wines
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Taste Tag: Aromatic and Mellow

We’ve seen the Kim Crawford wines around quite a bit and never actually tried it before. While Chardonnay is not exactly our go-to white wine variety, we wanted to give this one a go as it fell into some other wine taste tags that we’ve tried before that had a lot of depth in its beginning sips to its end notes. Kim Crawford is pretty good as well. Its well-balanced and not too dry. There was a slightly more acidic finish to this one.

Petit et Fils Rose Sparkling Cider

Petit et Fils Cider Rose

Producer: Verger Petit et Fils
Alcohol Content: 6.5%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

A nice sparkling rose cider which is lighter than our normal wines and deliberately so as this was in the middle of the huge rush and more meant as a fun little cider to just relax. Petit  & Fils is rather good and we had bought it a few years back (if I remember correctly) and it didn’t disappoint so we were excited to give it a try again. As expected, it was not quite as refined to our palette as we had remembered it but as a sparkling rose cider, it still was rather fruity and sweet but leaned a little closer to the medium-bodied.

That’s it for this round of Wine Recap!
Short and sweet for October with some decent choices!

What have you been drinking lately?

Wine Recap – September 2019

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Welcome to the next Wine Recap! This time its all wines to share! Summer passing does seem to make a different to our alcohol consumption. Summer is more of the light fruity drinks where as some places start having a work reason to be around.

Dr. Loosen Bros  Riesling 2018

Dr. Loosen Bros

Producer: Weingut Dr. Loosen
Alcohol Content: 8.5%
Location: Mosel, Germany
Taste Tag: Fruity & Sweet

Dr. Loosen Bros Riesling is nice and freshing white wine. We’re usually pretty happy with Rieslings and the this one fit the taste tag pretty well. It was smooth and not too acidic or dry. It had the fruity element pretty good and went down pretty well also. Very enjoyable!

Wayne Gretzky Estates No.99 Riesling 2018 VQA

Wayne Gretsky Riesling 2018

Producer: No.99 Wayne Gretzky Estates
Alcohol Content: 11%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Off-dry & Fruity

We’ve bought the Wayne Gretzky Estates wine before these wine recaps started. I can’t remember if it was the Riesling but it might have been because the memory of it was positive enough that I still remembered it when I saw this one on the store shelf. I can’t remember what year that one was but this second time trying it out, 2018 is a lot drier than what I remembered and while it still had those fruity notes, it did lean on the more acidic bit. Its borderline acceptable for our preferences in white wines.

Coeur Vagabond

Coeur Vagabond

Producer: Terre Siciliane IGT
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Italy
Taste Tag: N/A

Call it a cheaper and more accessible wine if you must as this is sold in convenience stores and such. Coeur Vagabond is surprisingly good. Its not fantastic but it actually has a pretty nice balance in the taste. It still angles on the more dry and acidic type of taste but its quite smooth at the back of the throat.

Francis Coppola Diamond Chardonnay 2017

Francis Coppola Diamond Chardonnay 2017

Producer: Francis Ford Coppola
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Location: Monterey, California, USA
Taste Tag: Aromatic & Mellow

The new taste tag category we are trying out lately is ‘Aromatic & Mellow’ as we’ve had some nice wins. As Movies and Tea Podcast (which I co-host, if you are new here or just didn’t know) has been looking at Sofia Coppola’s works as this season’s focus, I wanted to get into the mood and try out something in the same family. My husband had tried the Francis Coppola red wine before and loved it so we decided to give the white wine a whirl and definitely a win here.

Les Vents d’Ange Cuvée Catherine 2018

Les Vents D'Ange Catherine 2018

Producer: Vignoble Les Vents D’Ange
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

For personal friends, they may know why this wine stood out for me. Either way, this one was an earlier purchase that we hadn’t gotten around to trying out. It also is the only wine from Quebec. While I can’t vouch for this being really in the fruity and sweet area as it does angle in the off-dry area a little more, it does taste rather smooth. Its those really subtle wines that actually really settle in as its had time to breath.

That’s it for this Wine Recap!
Its definitely an international mix this time around!

Have you tried any new wines lately? Any you’d like to recommend?

Wine Recap – August 2019

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Welcome to the next wine recap! A month sure flies by as we look at what we’ve tried out in August. We had a little trip away and we also were at the tail end of festival coverage so it was not too much about drinking a ton as work needed to be done.

Petalo Il Vino Dell Amore Moscato

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Producer: Bottega SPA
Alcohol Content: 6.5%
Location: Veneto, Italy
Taste Tag: Fruity and sweet

I was first introduced to this wine at one of my friend’s gathering. Its a wine that is fairly popular during Valentine’s however, nowadays, its a lot more accessible, which is great because while it has a rather romantic name, its also a very good sparkling wine. Its both light, fruity and sweet. I do have to say that this one tasted a little different from the first time I had it before.

Domaine St-Jacques Riesling 2017

Domaine St-Jacques Riesling

Producer: Domaine St-Jacques
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

Domaine St-Jacques is a dry wine. Maybe in the semi-dry area so it had a lot of acidity in its taste as well. We’re not a huge fan of this variety of wine to say the least. Its exactly fit in our palate. Sadly not what we had expected of a Riesling.

Laura Secord S’Mores/Salted Caramel Liqueur

Laura Secord Liqueurs

Producer: Laura Secord
Alcohol Content: 5.4%

All kinds of companies want to diversify their products a little and Laura Secord was obviously no different as they had a cocktail edition which included two flavors: S’mores and salted caramel. Both of which we first saw at the grocery stores. In theory, it sure does seem like a great concept except, in our opinion, these two drinks are not great. Salted Caramel tastes a bit like a cough syrup and I’m exactly sure how to describe the S’Mores one because they sure didn’t taste like these two flavors.

Reif Estate Riesling VQA 2017

reif Estates Riesling

Producer: Reif Winery
Alcohol Content: 12%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Light and Crisp

Reif Winery Estates’ Riesling is in the extra dry category and it sure lives up to the name. Its probably one of the most acidic ones that we’ve had. It does have a nice smoothness to it after taking a few more sips but its definitely a lot drier than would suit ourselves. However, if you do like some extra-dry wines, this one might be a pretty decent choice.

Thornbury Village Craft Apple Cider

thornbury village apple cider

Producer: Thornbury Village Cidery
Alcohol Content: 5.3%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Medium-Sweet & Crisp

While I can’t say that Thornbury Village Apple Cider is a whole lot different from other ciders, this one still is pretty good. Its not overly sweet and still has that nice apple cider taste. There’s also a special taste to it that I couldn’t pinpoint what it was.

Overall, the first one which was a revisit and the last one was definitely more in my palate in terms of apple ciders and wines. A lot of dry wines in this time’s selection which probably would appeal to some of you.

That’s it for this wine recap!
Have you tried any new wines/alcoholic beverages?

Wine Recap – July 2019

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It’s time for the next wine recap for the past month. Due to the whole coverage thing with Comiccon and Fantasia Film Festival, the drinking was mostly lowered. Looking back, it was still the lighter stuff for the most part with ciders and such. Everything this time is from Quebec which is always nice. Either way, to say with a clear mind to write and such, I drank everything in little doses.

Let’s check it out.

La Halte des Pelerins Le Voyageur 2017

la halte des pelerins le voyageur

Producer: La Halte des Pelerins
Alcohol Content: 12%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste tag: Fruity and Sweet

La Halte des Pelerins is a nice and sweet white wine. This is a good wine and very light which is how I like my white wine for the most part. This one is specifically the La Voyageur which is their name for this wine. However, there should be other varieties to check out which will probably be nice to look into for later.

Lonetree Cider

Lonetree Cider

Producer: Lonetree Cider Co.
Alcohol Content: 5.5%
Location: Canada
Taste Tag: N/

Lonetree Cider comes also in a peach flavor. For this one, I picked it up at the supermarket. Its not a bad cider but its definitely not my favorite. There’s something about the type of apples they use probably that changes how I feel about it because there was a peculiar taste to this one compared to other apple ciders that I’ve had before. It leans more on the drier ciders and not too sweet either.

Domaine Le Grand Saint-Charles Frontenac Gris 2017

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Producer: Domaine Le Grand Saint-Charles
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

The experimental wine here is this one from Domaine Le Grand Saint-Charles. I’ve tried a few of their varieties from the ice cider to the Vidal White Wine. The first was one that I liked a lot and the second was really dry and not exactly my go to wine. The description for this Frontenac Gris is pretty interesting because it has more tropical taste profiles to it which actually does come through really well. Frontenac Gris is a pretty smooth white wine. Its a little dry but still has a decent sweetness to it. I’d definitely recommend this one.

Cidrerie Beaupre Rose

Cidrerie Beaupre Rose

Producer: Cidrerie Beaupre
Alcohol Content: 5.5%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

I tried the normal Cidrerie Beaupre before and it was fairly decent. For the price and convenience of being able to pick it up at the supermarket, its a good choice. Plus, its a strawberry flavored apple cider which somehow works really well. Its fruity and fun to drink and keeps it light so a nice little relaxing drink for a decent price.

That’s it for this Wine Recap!
Quebec made Ciders and White Wines was the main focus!
Everything was pretty good which is rare but very hopeful.