Wine Recap – January 2019

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The first Wine Recap of January is here!

January is always a month of sickness and overtime so suffice to say, this month didn’t have a whole lot of drinking. It was really just for tasting lightly and you’ll see from the choices we made as something more light and sweet.

Let’s check it out!

Des Glaces Recolte Hivernale 2014

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Producer: Cidrerie du Minot
Location: Hemingford, Quebec
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Taste Tag: Fruity & Light

Welcome my big investment during the Salon des Metiers d’Art of Montreal which is this winter harvest (aka recolte hivernale) edition. Winter Harvest ice ciders are usually reserved and limited so they always cost more and because of it, they also have stored a few more years and its gives it a richer taste. Cidrerie du Minot has a wonderfully rich Recolte Hivernale one. Its a beautiful balance of its flavor and has this maple syrup sort of finish that I absolutely love a lot.

Mille Bois Ambre

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Producer: Mille Bois
Location: Compton, Quebec
Alcohol Content: 14%
Taste Tag: Bold & Rich

Mille Bois is an alcohol company that focuses on making maple syrup alcoholized drinks. We’ve looked a few other ones which were alright but nothing amazing. This is the last one from our trip and its the Ambre which is the darker variety. This one is exactly as they promised: bold and rich. For those of you who know maple syrup, its already fairly sweet and rich so with that said, especially with the fermented maple syrup, this one is a type of drink that you drink one glass only and put it away because its very sweet. It tastes delicious and just like a dessert but doesn’t stop the fact that its for slow consumption and enjoyment and usually not in huge portions either.

Cryo De Glace Recolte  2017

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Producer: Cidrerie Cryo
Location: Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec
Alcohol Content: 10.7%

Cryo’s ice cider also has a few varieties. This one was the one I liked the most out of the choices I tried at the Salon des Metiers d’arts. Its one that is less sweet but still fairly rich. However, this one is a little more peculiar. My husband and I had varying likes on this one. I thought the not so sweet was pretty good and had its own type of balance. Its not my favorite ice cider but my husband  didn’t enjoy it much. It had to do with the taste in general. What I do have to say is that Cryo isn’t a big company but it does have some good products. I’ve had it before but another ice cider variety but I just can’t remember which one. I might be in one of my previous haul posts. I feel like a previous year batch tasted more outstanding than this one, but that just happens.

That’s it for this Wine Recap for Janaury 2019!
Its not a whole lot of drinking but overall, it was a pretty nice ice cider and Made in Quebec month.

What have you been drinking? Any recommendations?

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Festival des Vendanges 2016 (Magog, Quebec)

Summer is slowly coming to an end. This past weekend started cooling down a little with some breezes finally making its way into Montreal. Saturday was still a pretty humid day as we waited for the rain to get here but it is perfect for a small road trip out from Montreal, about an hour and a half approximately to the annual Festival des Vendanges 2016. Vendanges means harvest. This festival features a lot of local Quebec business. We had a lovely deal on Tuango for a discount on the “Prolonged Discovery Package” which had 40 coupons to taste what we wanted. We tasted mostly wines and ice ciders and you’ll see it in this post. On the other hand, we also ended up picking up some of them as well and you’ll see which ones at the end as well. However, it wasn’t just wine tasting. They also have local cheeses, baked goods, a variety of oil, balsamic vinegar, foie gras, jams, spices, tea and much more.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

First of all, let’s look at the crowd and imagine how much heat was generated in this tent alone…it was a little crazy.

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And they had these little basins to rinse out your tasting glasses.

Festival des Vendanges

Outside in other tents had restaurant terraces, seminars and little talks on different stuff.

Festival des Vendanges

Now lets get back to what we tasted. Just saying, I might have missed out a few because I walked away without a picture…

Vignoble de l’Orpailleur

Festival des Vendanges

On the left is an aperitif wine and the right is an ice cider by this winery. This was our first stop and it was so amazing. The wine had this hint of brandy/cognac sort of taste and when they described it to have a vanilla and spice aroma, it actually did. We’ve fallen prey to many bad descriptions on wine bottles but this one by the lady helping us with the tasting was spot on. Loved it! 🙂

Vignoble Chemin de la Riviere

Rosé, 2015

I’m a huge fan of Rosé wines. I’m always looking to find some really good ones. My husband encouraged me to try out this one. This one is pretty dry and the aftertaste was not exactly one I enjoyed. However, if you do like dry wines, this might be a good choice.

Domaine & Vins Gélinas

Festival des Vendanges 2016

Another ice cider next: this one was also really good. It had an original taste. The best ice ciders create a nice balance between the acid and sweet taste. This one does a super good job. I guess that is why its a Signature one. 😉

La Roche des Brises Vineyard

Festival des Vendanges

My husband tried this one. The distinct part of this is that it is a red ice wine. Its pretty original considering most are like apple juice colors because its either made by apples or pears. This one turned out to be very distinct in taste. The red texture made us wonder whether it was made with blackcurrants. There are actually a few of these at this festival.

Vignoble Morou

Festival des Vendanges 2016

Another try here for the next Rosé wine by Vignoble Morou called Le Rose des Vents. So…what to say? Remember the last one, I said it was dry. Well, this one was extra dry but, it had a very pleasant aftertaste. I guess pros and cons, right? I guess I’d drink this one much better since the aftertaste lingers much longer.

Vignoble d’Oka

Festival des Vendanges 2016

We tried the Ice Cider at the far left and the Rose Ice.

This place had really interesting sorts of wine. I kind of regret that I didn’t try the Rouge Berry Fruit Wine because that probably is my sort of thing. We tried the Rose Ice one and that one was on the dry side as well but it wasn’t quite as strong as the other ones. This is supposed to be served with ice and I didn’t have that so I wonder if it makes a difference. However, the ice cider blew our minds because it had this spice sort of smoothness to it.

Vergers Petit et Fils

Festival des Vendanges 2016

This ice cider from Verger Petit & Fils is pretty awesome. I think this one wins on the balance they create. It is more on the sweet side but has this nice acidity to it that makes it very nice.

Domaine Cartier-Potelle

Festival des Vendanges

Another ice cider added to our tasting! This one is pretty good. Not quite as distinct as the previous ones.

Domaine Le Grand Saint Charles (Vignoble & Cidrerie)

Festival des Vendanges 2016

A catchy logo, a nicely drawn out label for the bottle and an ice cider that wowed us. We both tried it and it just resonated in our minds. Its rare to meet a wine that not only has a really nice appearance but also has such a delicious taste. Unfortunately, this is one that we didn’t buy as you will see later because we didn’t have any cash on us and they didn’t take credit card, not to mention the line-up for the tastings was super long and there was just one guy super busy. Maybe we’ll visit the winery or check if we can get it on location if its not too far away.

That marks the end of the tastings! And for the haul…

Festival des Vendanges

We just came back from vacation or else we’d have bought almost all the ice ciders that we tasted but these ones won our hearts in the end, along with the last one that I couldn’t get at that moment. The tasting glasses came with the tickets so that is pretty cool. I actually already two from the year before last when I went to Le Grand Degustation. Actually this event was so fun that my husband is considering going to this year’s. That would be pretty cool.

Overall, Festival des Vendanges was tons of fun! Our Tuango coupon actually includes a deal for the coupon book as well as a discount on the entrance tickets.  I’ll be tell you all about the adventures to the different locations from restaurants to tastings and activities. It’ll be fun! It is valid for two years so tons of stuff to fill up our weekends gradually.

Vacation post tomorrow! Remember to drop by! 🙂

My Weekly Adventures: Christmas Prep and Decorations (plus a new DIY skill)

C’mon! You knew this weekly adventures was all about Christmas 😉

What other time would I be able to, right? This year, I actually got my house decorated earlier than two days before Christmas.  Last year, we took so much time looking for decorations and ribbons and beads to decorate the tree that it took us 3 weeks to get it all done. This year, I did my shopping on Black Friday weekend and took care of mostly everything.  We did the outdoor decorations just this past weekend and its also the reason why I only did the update now.  Plus, we’re right on track! Remember 1st and 15th from last post where I was going to attempt this new schedule for Weekly Adventures segment? Right on time! 😉

Its these little achievements that make me happy!

I’ve rambled enough! Let’s talk Christmas! 🙂

1) Christmas decorations around Montreal!

Le Atrium

Le Atrium @ 1000 de la Gauchetiere West

Christmas

Place Ville Marie

Christmas

Restaurant Costa Del Sole

I know I know…its so little.  I haven’t really had a lot of wandering adventures yet. At least not a lot of new decorations so I’ve already talked about it in previous years.

2) Salon des Metiers d’arts de Montreal (aka Montreal Arts and Crafts Show)

Salon des metiers d'art Montreal

I go to this show every year. I’ve probably talked about it before and showed you my purchases.  The show seems to be getting smaller and smaller but this year, there was quite a few new vendors and they had some rather awesome new products.  We usually go for the foods, snacks, wines and ice cider varieties. Mostly because those are great for parties and gifts for family and friends. This year, I had set a budget and it got me this loot right here (plus a co-gift for my chiropractor which is not shown here).Salon des metiers d'art Montreal

Starting from the top left to right and next row, here are the items:

Ice Cider is kind of a Montreal thing.  Quebec has a ton of apple orchards and a bunch of them will also produce ice ciders.  As of last year, Fire Ciders came onto the market from Union Libre and I just loved it.  That’s why it was on my hit list for this year’s show.  Much to my surprise though, Domain Labranche is a new vendor and has this product too except they chose to give us a second option of trying it heated it.  He described it like drinking Sake.  Now, I’m not a fan of sake because its too strong for me but this one tastes absolutely fantastic.  As I drank it, I could picture heating this up, stirring it with a sprig of rosemary or thyme or cinnamon stick (as he suggested to us), and sitting by the fireplace while watching an awesome movie.  Look, if your product can give me a vivid image like that, I just couldn’t refuse getting it. Blink Chocolate is dark chocolate and lactose free and it taste so good.  Its good for little tastes of dessert. As for La Nougaterie, I just love their products.  Last year, I was introduced to Coach House Shortbread and I gave all of them away.  This year, its going to be also a little dessert with tea or coffee or something like that.  It’ll be so awesome.

I’m loving my purchases so far.  This year, there’s not so much about gifts but thinking about how to be a great host for the Christmas party.  I think I’m set! 😉

3) Christmas decorations at my place!

Last year, we just bought the house and I hadn’t moved in yet so all we did was put up a Christmas tree.  This year, since I’m around, I stepped it up.  We took two weekends or so to decorate.  The first to go up was the Christmas tree and some little decorations, then I made a new wreath (I’ve already shown you my other wreath last year so I’ll skip that), and finally some outdoors decorations we set up this past weekend!

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Berry Sprigs with Color Lights in a Vase

Christmas decorations

New Wreath: Blue and White theme

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Inflatable Santa with his little companions, Polar Bear and Snowman

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Its always nice when plans happen to work out. I still have one more garland to put along my inside stairwell.  I also showed that last year. I have a little bit of rearranging for that one before putting it up.  We’re still debating whether to wrap a ribbon around the Christmas tree.  Those outdoor setup looks really nice. Our area is all about side entrances so no one uses their front doors.  Its a little weird but hey, Santa’s guarding it for me 😉 And my fave goes to my husbands idea of having a few layers of lights on the bay window: clear lights surrounded with a backdrop of blue lights.  I love it! 🙂

As for the last minute addition right before sitting down to draft this post, its the book shelf.  Its newly installed and I just arranged all the TBR books that I own, so the bookworm in me felt like it deserved a little decoration. I guess its also a sneak peek of next year’s reading list, if you can see the titles 😉

4) Making Ribbons the FIRST TIME! 🙂

As you can see that I made a new wreath up there, I had to learn how to make a ribbon.  Last year, I was super lucky and one of my girl friends made it for me.  Hers was much more complex and its on my older wreath thats also hung up somewhere else.  But, I just had to make one this year so I chose that simpler model and found a link on Pinterest that I followed.

Here’s the zoomed in version of the bow:

DIY Bow for Wreaths

DIY Bows for Wreath

Pinterest instructions: http://lizoncall.com/2014/09/17/how-to-make-a-big-bow/

Its not perfect, but its my first shot and took me like 20 minutes or something to get it looking fairly balanced.  I’m starting to think it looks a little oversized for my little wreath.  But hey, for a first time, I think I did decent. I’ll give it another shot next year and maybe change to another ribbon if I have to 🙂

5) What is going on with the Weather!?!?!

Its more of a thought than an adventure but I don’t know about all of your whereabouts since I’m guessing it varies but we had one little sprinkle of snow so far and all we’ve gotten was rain.  Last Friday, it was 15 degrees Celsius! That’s a little crazy for being in winter and all.  For my guests sake, I really don’t want to have a storm on Christmas day but I would like to see some snow on the ground by then.  Maybe its just me being Canadian…

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The best part however is that the mild weather gave me a chance to go out this past weekend and clear out the rest of my pots on my patio that I didn’t get a chance to do before.  And guess what I found: mint growing in my garden…. Its December and my mint thinks its still okay to grow.  Yikes! Mojito anyone?

6) Upcoming: CHRISTMAS!

You know what? Its Christmas month pretty much with a few days of like after Christmas posts and before New Year’s wrapping up the year posts for that last week.  That’s what you’ll be expecting here.  I wrapped up the first round of Netflix.  The Random Chat Show also kicked off our Christmas Show. I have a few movies planned but this year, I want to get back to DIY crafts and baking so it’ll be a mixed bag.  I’ll have a few really overdue book reviews and extra posts going up that I promised I’d do. My guess is the next weekly adventures I’ll get to talking about plans for next year and 2015 recap and all that good stuff. I still can’t believe there’s only 16 days and 2015 ends! Its a little crazy!

FINALLY…

To wrap it all up, an adorable and somewhat hilarious video of NHL Montreal Canadiens doing a rendition of Frozen’s “Let It Go”.

Happy Tuesday, my lovelies! 🙂