Wine Recap – January 2019

winerecap281029

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

20190105_190350.jpg

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

20190126_173437.jpg

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

20190203_213443.jpg

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?

Advertisements

Wine Recap – December 2018

Wine Recap

Welcome to the wrap-up for 2018’s December wine recap. Its one of the final wrap-ups of this year. I’ll do a little wrap-up at the bottom for my fave wine of the year and the one that was disappointing for us (as it should stand-out). Without further ado, December is a gathering month and holidays and our health is slowing climbing back to par so we had a few other drinks to relax and enjoy.

Here it is!

Petit & Fils Sparkling Rosé Cider

Petit & Fils Sparkling Wine

Producer: Petit & Fils Cidrerie
Alcohol Content: 6.5%
Location: Quebec

If I remember correctly, we picked this one up at Costco. Its pretty light and more on the semi-dry area in taste. We liked it okay. I can’t say that it left a very memorable sort of feeling. It wasn’t quite on our palette but it also wasn’t a hard one to drink. Plus, if it remember correctly, the price was fairly reasonable.

Note to self: Should really make a note of the price and where I bought it for 2019 recaps.

Bulles de Nuit Sparkling Pinot Grigio

bulles de nuit

Producer: Bulles de Nuit
Alcohol Content: 6.9%
Location: Quebec

I’ve been a big fan of these Bulles de Nuit collection of sparkling wines. I like the Rose a lot and enjoy the normal one but surprisingly, this pinot grigio one is quite fantastic. I’m not usually a fan of pinot grigio because it tends to be on the sour and dry side of the spectrum but this one is really good. I would consider this one almost better than their Rosé one and I like that one a ton.

Bow & Arrow Cider

Bow & Arrow Cider

Producer: Groupe Geloso
Alcohol Content: 4.5%
Location: Quebec

I’m a big fan of these type of ciders. This one is made in Quebec. I got it for its cute can. I won’t lie about it. However, this was super delicious. Its light and fruity. The way I like my ciders. It doesn’t feel dry and is very pleasant overall experience. I’d definitely get this one again.

Blanche Jasmine Ginseng De-Glutenized Beer

Gluten-Free Beer

Producer: Brasseurs du Monde
Alcohol Content: 4.9%
Location: Quebec

I’ve pretty much given up beer since 10 years ago mostly because when it comes to gluten-sensitivity, nothing hits me as hard as beer does. Its not a huge loss since I was never a big fan of beer anyways. The taste just never quite worked for me. We’ve been trying to lower gluten in our diet a little bit and since my husband liked the deglutenized beers that we had bought before but I never covered here, we’ve been giving that a go until they don’t sell it anymore, I guess. If you think my wine terminology is bad, wait until you see my beer terminology. This White Jasmine Ginseng Beer actually is pretty tasty for a beer. I have to say that it does quite please my palette. I’ve only taken sips of the other 3 flavors so I will share that when I actually have a glass of it.

Albert Bichot 2016 Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes

Alex Bichot Chardonnay

Producer: Alex Bichot
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Bourgogne, France
Taste Tag: Aromatic & Mellow

An actual wine, everyone! We had this at my friend’s place for the holiday gathering. I have to admit that French wines are usually a hit and miss for myself. I think it depends on the region and the variety. This one was a bit too dry for my taste. It had a very sour finish and was pretty tough to drink overall.

Moving on to the picks of this year…

My Picks of 2018

Banrock Moscato 2016
Queen Street 501 Cider
Frisky Beaver VQA 2015
Somersby Red Rhubarb Cider
J.P. Chenet Ice Edition

Surprise: Rodney Strong Chardonnay

This wraps up the December 2018 Wine Recap as well as my picks of the year!
Did you try any new wines (or alcoholic beverages) lately? What was your fave of the year?

Wine Recap – November 2018

Wine Recap

Welcome to the November 2018 edition of Wine Recap!

This past month, we’ve been slightly on a break due to various reasons. One is due to decrease of alcohol due to some health stuff my husband is dealing with. We wanted to lower the alcohol consumption to lighter varieties and we’re having this feeling that perhaps he has grown an intolerance to white wine so we’ll see how this segment shifts from here on out. The second is that the SAQ, which is the entity that governs our alcohol distribution in Quebec, is having union negotiations and strikes and such and for personal reasons, its been making us going less so I’ve picked up only two things from the grocery store this past month.

With the holidays coming up, I promise that December will make up for this month. I’d say I’m about 80% positive that it will.

Beach Day Every Day

Beach Day Every Day

Producer: Beach Club
Alcohol Content: 6.5%
Location: Quebec

A light refreshing alcoholic drink is really what Beach Day Every Day is. Its a drink great to have on a hot summer’s day. Very fitting for its name. It actually tastes a lot like Crush with hints of alcohol, making it a rather relaxing one to have. I bought this one at the grocery store (maybe an IGA, if I remember correctly).

Henry’s Hard Soda

Henry's Hard Soda

Producer: Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co.
Alcohol Content: 4.2%
Location: USA

Surprisingly, it seems that I’ve been choosing a lot of citrus flavors. This one is an orange flavor which actually didn’t taste of alcohol at all but almost felt like I was drinking something identical to Crush or any other orange soda. You can’t say that its not true to be fair. Its pretty tasty and the orange flavor is full, plus it also wasn’t too sweet. I don’t mind drinking this one again, although I am curious what the other flavor tastes like. It should be coming up in next month’s since we bought one can of each flavor from the grocery story (Metro in this case).

Revisit: Madjack Iced Tea

Madjack Iced Tea

Just to keep it real (and because there wasn’t anything else here), I did end up buying a pack of Madjack Iced Tea flavored drinks this month. It spanned over the month to drink so that is also why we didn’t buy much of anything else. It is always our fun light drink to have. For my initial thoughts, check out April 2018 recap HERE.

That’s it for this “wine” recap.
Not any wine at all but its the alcoholic content that matters in this segment. Its alcoholic drinks in general (for anyone new here).

Wine Recap – September 2018

wine recap

With my husband spending most of September also in recover phase, we dialed down on the drinking thing so all of this was in between so we went for lighter drinks. One of these was one that we had tried out a month or two ago but forgot to take a picture of so forgot to share on the Wine Recap. These things happen but coincidentally my friend bought it this time for the Battle of Ingredients so here we are.

Let’s check out what we tried this one!

Mike’s Hard Lemonade

Mike's Hard Lemonade

Producer: Mike’s Hard Lemonade
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Ontario, Canada

I’ve heard about how good Mike’s Hard Lemonade before but never had it before. On a spontaneous trip to the grocery store, we picked this up as a fun little taste. It did live up to all the good stuff we’ve heard and it tasted really good. I like lemonade in general and the alcohol was light so it actually balanced out smoothly.

Palm Bay Strawberry Kiwi Iced Tea

Palm Bay Iced Tea

Producer: Mike’s Beverage Company
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Canada

I’ve tried Palm Bay before on a taste testing at the Grand Prix event before. I can’t remember what flavor it was since it was a few years ago but one evening, my husband’s coworker gave him one of these to try out. Palm Bay is very much a party drink. Its really sweet. I’m not a big Strawberry Kiwi flavor fan and this is good for a group but not one that I’d pick up as much, mostly because if it was for myself, I’d prefer MadJack.

Ambrée aux Herbes (Gluten-Free)

Ambre aux herbes

Producer: Brasseurs du Monde
Alcohol Content: 4%
Location: Quebec

I don’t drink beer often. Its a little too much than I can handle. I believe it has to do with the hops and the gluten aspect. I’m not a big fan in general but when we went to the supermarket, we saw a variety pack for this gluten-free beer. It had 4 flavors. I only have one here since the other ones, my husband had drank with my father in law one day so that I didn’t try it. This one is a herb flavored amber beer and its actually fairly good.

Cote des Roses
Listel -Gris

Wine

Gerard Bertrand Coté des Roses
Producer: Gerard Bertrand
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Languedoc-Rousillion, France

Other than a beautiful bottle, Cote des Roses is actually a really lovely tasting wine. It feels like a long time since I’ve actually drank wine so I’m not sure how to describe it. However, it was very balanced. I love the smoothness where its not too sour or too dry and it was fruity and light. I plan on giving the white wine a go and get three or these bottles or something to turn it around and make a glass bottle rose bouquet. It’ll be such a beautiful decoration.

Listel – Gris
Producer: Listel
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Languedoc-Rousillion, France
Taste Tag: Fruity and Light

Leaning a little more on the drier side, Listel- Gris is still fairly decent. Not quite as good as the balance the Cote des Roses achieves. However, there is a depth to it. The after tones of this one works well. There is a fruity and light taste however so its not hard to drink. A nice one to have with friends, making it a great choice for our barbecue.

That’s it for this Wine Recap!
We’re slowly getting back into the wines and alcohol however, we’re being careful of health.
If it slows down a little with this, it will be in the amount we decide to recap.

What have you been drinking? Any great ones to share?

Battle of Ingredients: Moon Festival & Autumn BBQ

Battle of Ingredients

Welcome to the next round of Battle of Ingredients hosted together with Phoebe over at Starry Traveler’s Road. This month’s get together was a slightly belated Moon Festival celebration as well as the last BBQ of the season.

Its a packed one this time so let’s see what we came up with. A lot of the food was really thought up simply by our brains so if we have recipes references, we’ll share it, if not, we can list some ingredients or whatnot. this time seems mostly to be checking out spices and such. Nothing too complex as we were both fairly busy with our personal lives.

Wines

Wine

The two wines offered by our friends this time were these two rose wines

  • Listel
  • Cote des roses

I will talk about both of these wine in the upcoming wine recap. I had already tasted Cote des Roses before but realized that I hadn’t shared it in any wine recaps before (oops..).

Main Courses

BBQ

We went fairly simple this time. Phoebe took care of most of the food. She had some vegetables from various types of cauliflowers to peppers and more. She also had corn. There was also steaks which she had two types of seasoning for. The first was a gourmet steak spice blend and the second was a innovative herb type which was a mix of oregano and thyme with salt.

BBQ

My contribution for dinner were kabobs. It had sausages, zucchini, peppers, mini portobello mushrooms and onions. The sausages were the IGA supermarket brands. One kabob had the honey-garlic flavor and the other one was wine and chives. There was no additional seasoning added to anything. We just put it on the skewer and barbecued it.

Results

I’m sorry that I didn’t take more of the veggies pic. However, everything turned out really good. The steaks had two different flavors. The one with the spices had more of the flavor as the spices were on the steaks itself. While the herbs and salt was more subtle, which is normal since it was just on top. As for the kabobs, I thought they turned out fairly well. It was fairly packed but cooked quickly so was good. The sausage flavors were also quite delicious.

Dessert

 

king's pastry

Dessert was obviously the highlight here and that’s moon cakes. Just like last year, we went for a more local brand. This one is a Canadian brand, King’s Pastry. It was a variety pack (like last year as well). The flavors were the following:

  • Date paste
  • Red Bean paste with melon bits
  • Traditional one egg yolk lotus paste
  • Five nuts

To be honest, they were okay. The five nuts had the citrus peel which was a bit intense. My husband and Phoebe was not a fan of it to say the least. The traditional was a bit too sweet. The date paste turned out better than expected. The same applied for the red bean paste.

We also had a fruit bowl that I put together with apples, clementines and grapes but I forgot to take a picture so we’ll leave that out since no one really ate any of it with the amount of sweets we already had.

Overall, a simple but lovely meal together!
This is a wrap for this Battle of Ingredients!
Back to the indoor kitchen for us as we figure out our next battle!
Nothing settled just yet..we’ll be back in a few weeks!

Wine Recap – August 2018

Wine Recap August

Welcome to the Wine Recap for August. I kind of realized that I forgot some July drinks in the last recap after it was posted so added them into this month’s recap. However, lucky we did because after some issues, my husband and I went on a few weeks of what I’d like to call an alcohol detox unintentionally but I always like to do that every once in a while after going to social events frequently and socializing with alcohol. Its nice to dial back and drink a lot of water and detox/flush the system a little. Which means that the next month’s recap might be a little thin, but we’ll see when get there, right? Let’s focus on the present!

Schweppes Blueberry Elderberry
(Signature Cocktails)

Schweppes Blueberry Elderberry

Producer: Mott’s Canada
Alcohol content: 5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

I honestly never knew that Schweppes made a Signature cocktail line of alcohol beverages. No idea whatsoever. Did you? Its a pretty cool discovery though since I like blueberry and especially elderflower flavored drinks. The combination here definitely sounds like it works and for the most part it does. Its also very light and fruity and sweet. Its definitely for the most casual drinker, which I definitely am considered.

Black Tower

Black Tower Wine

Producer: Hermann Kendermann GMBH
Alcohol content: 9.5%
Location: Germany
Taste Tag: Fruity & Sweet

The only wine of the batch this month goes to Black Tower. My husband apparently knew about this one before and said that it is a fairly common and known wine. I’ve never heard of it before. However, German white wines do have quite a knack for being on the sweet and crisper side and this one absolutely delivers. Its not my favorite wine that I’ve tried since we’ve started this journey but its one that I fairly enjoyed.

401 Brewery Orchard Blend Cider

401 brewery cider

Producer: 401 Cider Brewery
Alcohol content: 6.5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

If you haven’t realized by now, we love easy drinks, especially ciders. Now, for those who don’t know (but we do because we visited a cider place who told us about it), Quebec ciders are unique because of certain components to them making them local and exotic. Whereas, when you drink ciders from other provinces like 401 Cider Brewery, I’m not exactly sure what qualifies them. Its something I need to look up and read on when I have time but its a little different. While I only have the picture of the apple one here, we also tried the pear and the peach flavors. Apple was still the best one. I can’t say however that its exactly to my palette. Its not bad per se and its still has that apple cider texture to it that is decent but something about the taste doesn’t appeal to me as much as other ones that I’ve tried.

401 Brewery Sparkling Oaked Cider

401 Brewery Oaked Cider

Producer: 401 Cider Brewery
Alcohol Content: 6.5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

While I batched the three flavors of ciders together, I figured that I’d do this one separate because it is a little different from the others. We are big fans of oaked stuff. My husband likes the flavors that come with it usually. I do have to say that the 401 Brewery Sparkling Oaked Cider is alright. Its better than the normal ones above. There’s a distinctive taste to it that works pretty good.

That’s it for this Wine Recap!
Its pretty much a cider and cocktails post more. Its lighter but still fun to try out!

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?