Girls night with A Taste of Mystery

IMG_0791I don’t know about anyone else, but as I have gotten older and everyone has gotten busier, it’s harder to plan a night with all your friends, especially in the summer. I really wanted to get all my girlfriends together and do something different. I partnered with Samantha Krumholz from Vine & Vintage to plan a great night for my girlfriends where we could catch up, drink and learn about wine.

img_2873Vine & Vintage creates fun and customized wine tasting experiences that you can enjoy with friends, family and colleagues. The owner, Samantha (pictured with me below), does a great job working with you to create the type of event you want. When I spoke with her, I told her I wanted something fun and casual so that my friends and I could spend time together and learn more about wine.

img_2885-e1535243457470.jpgSamantha did an excellent job helping me plan the event for my friends. She recommended the All About The Wine Package, which is a customized wine tasting experience. I was going to prepare the food, so we collaborated on the menu. Samantha brought wines that would pair well with what we would be eating. Since I wanted this to be a fun and casual night, we determined appetizers would be the way to go. I put together a charcuterie board filled with meats, cheeses and crackers. I also made some pizza and a veggie platter so there was a variety of food for everyone. Since we were drinking wine throughout the event I also prepared some flavoured water which included fresh mint, cucumber and limes.

img_2870.jpgFor the event, Samantha recommended the V&V Wine Mystery Experience. We were broken up into teams and each team was assigned a wine themed character, my team was Ralph Rottingrape. For the next two hours, we enjoyed food, laughs and tried our best to answer trivia questions about wine. My friends and I love to drink wine, but don’t know a lot about it, so we definitely learned more after this evening. Part of the game also involved us smelling wine aroma vials and guessing scents. These were all aromas you would find in wines. We thought this would be the easy part but it was sometimes really challenging to determine what the scent was.img_2878.jpgSamantha brought us four wines to taste while we played the mystery game. They were:

  1. Adobe Reserva Organic Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is pale yellow in colour and has aromas of grapefruit, grass and gooseberry. It is medium bodied and crisp, with flavours of green apple, melon and zesty lime for a refreshing finish. Price $13.15
  2. Frogpond Farms Pinto Grigio, which is another Organic wine. It is dry yet refreshing with aromas of honeysuckle, white peach, and pear. Price $16.95
  3. Conundrum Rosé 2017. This was my favourite of the four wines. This Rosé is fruity in flavour, you can taste strawberries and watermelon. It is a light Rosé and easy to drink. Price $24.95
  4. Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais AOC. This red wine was so delicious and something I will be buying on my next trip to the LCBO. It is dark ruby in colour, with a soft fruit taste which makes it easy to drink. Price $13.45

The great thing about these wines is three of them can easily be found in the LCBO. The Frogpond Pinot Grigio is a little harder to find but can be bought through the winery. I had mentioned to Samantha that my friends and I would usually spend a max of $25 on a bottle of wine and she did a great job selecting wines within that range.

img_2884The whole evening was great. I am so glad that I was able to get my friends together and plan a great experience for them. We all loved trying new wines, learning more about wine and mostly spending time together.

If you are looking for a unique wine tasting experience then you should contact Vine & Vintage. To find out more about Vine & Vintage or learn more about wine you can follow Vine & Vintage’s blog, Instagram and Facebook page. To plan your own wine tasting experience with Vine & Vintage, email Samantha directly at events@vineandvintage.ca.

Happy drinking!

Meg

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Frosecco

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Frosecco or Frozen Prosecco is the perfect summer drink for these hot days. This weekend I tried making this cocktail and it was great. The cocktail is made up of  prosecco blended with ice and your favourite frozen fruit. Super easy to make! I made a Mango Frosecco and it was delicious and refreshing. Here is my recipe:

I used my NutriBullet to blend everything together and this made it  thick and almost smoothie like. To help my guest drink it I gave them the fun little straws you see in the picture.

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The Ruffino Prosecco is a bit on the sweeter side, if your using a sweet fruit like Mangos I would recommend a drier Prosecco so its not to sweet for your guests. The Ruffino Prosecco can be found at the LCBO for $16.95. It is an Italian sparkling wine with flavours of citrus, Asian pear, almond and honey which give it a crisp finish.

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One thing I was missing was a nice garnish to add to the glass. If your making these be sure to have some fresh fruit to add as a garnish. You can either use the same fruit or something that would complement it. With Mangos I would have paired it with a Strawberry or Raspberry. You could also use mint leafs which would have been a nice touch too.

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There are a few other flavours I am going to try and would recommend, they are:

  • Peach
  • Strawberry
  • Cranberry  and Peach
  • Pineapple and Strawberry
  • Raspberry and Mango

Enjoy this refreshing cocktail and be sure to send me any recommendations for other Froseccos that you make or any other Prosecco cocktails as I am always looking for new drinks to try.  If your looking for another great summer cocktail check out my post called Frozé All Day which is Frozen Rosé cocktail.

Cheers,

Meg

Rosé in a can

Jacob’s Creek Moscato Rosé.

img_2198This is my third installment in my wine in a can series. This week I am featuring Jacob’s Creek Moscato Rosé. With Rosé being super popular this summer, it only makes sense that I feature a Rosé in a can.

img_2471Jacob’s Creek Moscato Rosé is pale pink in colour. Its very sweet and fruity with citrus aromas and honeysuckle notes. When you take a sip you get a light fizziness to it. Similar to the Sparkling wine from Outset, feature in my previous post, this is on the sweeter side so again if your not a sweet wine lover, this may not be the canned wine for you. But I promise there are drier canned wines out their and I will make sure to feature one soon.

img_2235If you haven’t heard of Jacob’s Creek before let me tell you a little bit about them. They are a winery from Australia, and have been around for over 165 years. They make Red, White, Sparkling and Rosé wines. Jacob’s Creek grows their grapes in three different regions; Barossa, Adelaide Hills and Coonawarra. I didn’t know this until doing some research on Jacob’s Creek but Australia is in the top 6 wine producing countries in the world, there’s a fun fact for you. So when your planning your next wine trip, maybe consider going to Australia because you will have a lot of wineries to choose from.

img_1982I would say that this is another great option if your looking for to bring some canned with you to your next summer pool party or picnic. If your a Rosé fan I would give it try. And, if you happen to love it, you can find it at the LCBO  in a bottle as well for only $13.30 which is a good price for a Rosé.

img_1818Here’s the usual info about the can:

Company: Jacobs Creek Wines
Release Date: July 16, 2014
Can Size: 250 mL
Alcohol/Vol: 7.7%
Made in: Australia
Cost: $4.95

Enjoy your canned Rosé all day!

Meg

Sparkling wine in a can

Outset Sparking Wine VQA

img_1980I am back with my second canned wine review! This week I tried  Outset Sparking Wine. It’s from Between The Lines Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and I love that’s it local to me.

img_1819Outset is partially made with Vidal Icewine and is a pale gold colour. This sparking wine is sweet, crisp and refreshing in taste. It has aromas of peach, nectarine and citrus fruit. I love sweeter wines, and I do find this to be a bit on the sweeter side, so if you’re not a fan of sweet wines this may not be the sparkling wine for you.

img_1822Given how sweet this is, I would probably only drink 2-3 max, but that would be plenty considering each can is about two glasses of wine. You could pair this with almost any light food like seafood, summer salads with berries, appetizers, fruit or even a dessert like sorbet. Great news is that it was easy to find in the LCBO’s here in Ontario.

Here is a bit more info about this wine.

Company: Genesis Wine Group Inc.
Release Date: December 20, 2017
Can Size: 250 mL
Alcohol/Vol: 10%
Made in: Ontario, Canada
Cost: $4.65

Happy canned wine drinking!

Meg

 

 

Canned Wine

Wine trends for Summer 2018.

img_1850-1What is the biggest trend in wine for this summer? If you said Rosé you are close but that’s not it. It is actually going to be canned wine. Yes, you read that correctly, canned wine.

Canned wines have been popping up more and more lately. They are extremely popular in the U.S. and overseas and now there are more varieties then ever in the LBCO’s. They are still a little bit hard to find, but you will likely see them near the cash and in the cooler section.

img_1816Being able to drink wine from a can is perfect for the summer. It makes wine more portable to bring to BBQ’s, picnics and pool parties. They come in a variety of sizes from 250-500mL, which is about two glasses of wine. It also perfect for when you only want a  glass or two since you then don’t have to open or buy a whole bottle. These cans are also now appearing in sporting and concert venues, so now you don’t have to walk around with a glass of wine, instead you can carry your can.

img_1892Now you maybe thinking, “Is wine in a can any good?” The answer is yes! So far I have a good experiences with the ones I have tried. Over the next few weeks I am going to be trying these fives cans; two from Big House Wine Co., their Pinot Grigio and Cardinal Zin ZinfandelJacob’s Creek Moscato Rosé, Outset Sparkling Wine and Joiy’s Riesling. I will be drinking these wines and sharing my reviews with you. So make sure you check back in and if you have a wine in a can that you like, be sure to share it with me, as I love finding new wines in a can to try.

Canned Wine #1

Big House Wine Co. The Birdman Pinot Grigio

img_1811.jpgThe first wine I am going to feature is by Big House Wine Co. and is called The Birdman Pinot Grigio. This was the first wine in a can I ever tried and right away I was in love. This Pinot Grigio is so easy to drink and this can gives you two glasses of wine. The wine has hints of peaches and citrus fruits like grapefruit and melon. This wine goes down easy and is very refreshing on a hot day.

img_1809I have had this wine at several concerts and its always my go too. Most venues offer both the white and red so you have options. This past weekend I was at the CBC Music Festival and got to enjoy it. It was really warm out so it was nice that the can helped to keep the wine cool.
Company: Big House Wine Co.
Release Date: April 29, 2016
Can size: 250 mL
Alcohol/Vol: 12.5%
Made in: California, USA
Cost: $4.25

Remember, I will be posting about the other 4 wines soon so be sure you check back. And hopefully you will give canned wine a try!

Meg

Frosé all day

This past weekend we celebrated the May 2/4 long weekend in Canada. We had some friends over and I wanted to make them a special drink, so I decided to make Frosé, which is basically a Rosé slushy. The recipe I am going to share with you was given to me by my very talented Bartender friend Jon.

img_1585.jpgIngredients:

Instructions:

First thing I did was make my own Simple Syrup using 1 cup of water and 1 cup or sugar. You combine the two into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil on the stove. Once all the sugar has dissolved your done. During this point I add 3 tea bags of Passion Fruit Tea. I used a tea called Oteas, but you could use any brand of Passion Fruit Tea that you like. I then let it cool.  If you have store bought Simple Syrup then I would make the tea first and add the Simple Syrup to it. You can really add as much as you want, it really depends on how sweet you want it.

img_1587.jpgSo now for making the Frosé. Since I was making this for a group of people I bought a 1.5L bottle of Rosé. I poured about 1/3 of the Peller Estates Rosé into my NutriBullet. I don’t have a regular blender but the NutriBullet is pretty close and worked perfectly. You can use anything as long is it can blend up ice. I add juice from 1 lime and then added  1 cup of the Passion fruit tea and Simple Syrup combo. I added in about 1 and 1/2 cups of ice and blended. It took me awhile to get the amount of ice right, I would say more is always better. This made 4 glasses of Frosé. I did have to make it a few time throughout the night, but it allowed me to make improvements each time.

img_1588We did end up adding Vodka to ours as we wanted it a little stronger. This is optional. If your going to add Vodka I would only add 1-2 oz. each time you make a batch.

Frosé is pretty easy to make and everyone really enjoyed it. It is a great drink for summer days or nights on your patio!

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Enjoy your Frosé all day!!

Meg

 

Viognier wine

Lang Vineyard’s Viognier Wine Review

img_1569I wanted to share a new type of wine I tried and I am really enjoying; it’s called Viognier.

About ViognierViognier is pronounced “vee-own-yay. It is a full-bodied white wine with origins from the South of France, near the Rhone Valley. Viognier is closely compared to a Chardonnay as they are both full-bodied and can be bold in flavour. WWhile it has light fruit flavours (aromas of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle), it also can have creamier aromas of vanilla with spices of nutmeg and clove.  It is usually a dry wine but some Viognier are more on the off-dry side.

Wine: 2016 Viognier

Winery: Lang Vineyard,  in British Columbia, Canada

img_1556About the wine: The  Lang Viognier has aromas of honeysuckle, apricot and violets on the nose with a rich creamy/smooth taste. When opening the bottle tons of little bubbles came rushing to the top. While the first few sips felt a little bubbly,  I could really taste how smooth it was after a few more. The longer you hold the wine in your mouth the more you can understand why they describe it as rich and creamy. It is a dry wine but full  of flavour.

Food Pairings: Lang recommends pairing this wine with grilled seafood and rich cheeses. I can totally agree with this recommendation.

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img_1580Cost: $25. A little pricy for my own tastes but if you wanted to get someone a nice bottle as a gift, then I would recommend this wine. I think any type of wine drinker would enjoy it! Unfortunately it doesn’t look like you can get it from the LCBO but you can order it from Lang directly or join their wine club!

Meg

Mother’s Day Gift Guide for your wineo Mom

With Mother’s Day coming up, its time for us to do something nice for our Moms. My Mom has always been a fan of wine. She might even love wine more than I do. Maybe you also have a wine loving Mom in your life. So, in honour of them, I have put together some gift ideas for the wine loving Mom in your life.

A bottle of her favourite wine or two or three.

If your Mom loves wine, then why not get her some? Depending on how much you want to spend you can get your Mom her favourite bottle or bottles of wine. If your Mom has a favourite of each type  of wine (White, Red, Prosecco) get her one of each and package them in a cute basket. My Mom is a bigger white wine fan so I would get her these three favourites; Kim Crawfords Sauvignon Blanc, Blu Giovello Prosecco and Santa Margherit’s Pinot Grigio.

For the Mom who loves to entertain – Wine Glass Writers.

If your Mom likes to entertain she will need these Wine Glass Writers for her next party. These are great for her guests to write their names on their glasses, so no one loses their glass. They can be used on glasses or glazed ceramics or if your Mom is into canning she can write on her jars with them. Also, you add these to your bottle of wine gift for something a little extra for your Mom.

Give you Mom the scent of wine throughout her home.

What Mom doesn’t love a candle? They all do! Bath and Body Works has amazing 3-Wick scented candles that smell like wine. I have bought these two above that I love; Champagne Toast and Will you accept this Rosé? Both make your home smell sweet and fresh.

Take your Mom to a wine tasting or on a cellar tour.

I am lucky that we live close to a great wine region, which is in the Niagara Escarpment. There are so many wineries to choose from and most offer tours and tasting. Pick a few that are close to each other and make an afternoon or it. Last fall I went to Trius Winery and had a great time on our tour and their wines are excellent.  The best part is that Wayne Gretzky’s  Estates Winery is right next door so you can visit both on one stop.

Does your mom love to take baths?

Mom’s love to relax in a bath. Get her a wine scented bath balm. I love this one from Flat Rock Winery which smells like Riesling. I would recommend a nice glass of Riesling to go with it.

Champagne brunch.

Lets face it most of our Mom’s are always cooking for us. So why not cook your Mom a delicious brunch. This Mother’s Day we are doing omelettes, bacon, fruit, coffee and of course champagne. My Mom won’t be lifting a finger.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there.

Sangria

With the warmer weather finally here, it’s time to start enjoying one of my favourite summer drinks, Sangria.

img_1305Sangria which is like a punch, gets its origins from Portugal and Spain. The most common recipe includes red wine, fresh fruit and other ingredients like lime or fruit juice, brandy, or sparkling water. img_1307I make mine a little different from the traditional way. My preference is a white wine Sangria but I will never turn down a red wine Sangria either. In this recipe I used frozen fruit for two reasons. The first reason is that the frozen fruit acts as ice cubes and keeps the wine cool. The second reason is that since I am adding a sparkling water I don’t want to add ice and water it down. I also had fresh strawberries on hand so I added them in as well.img_1304Sangria is great to make when your having parties since you can easily make a big batch and share it with everyone. If your making it for a party I would recommend making both a white and red option so you have something for everyone.img_1357-e1525655641831.jpg

Recipe:

  • 1 bottle Creekside Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/2 cup of frozen Mangos chunks
  • 3/4 cup of Frozen Strawberries
  • 3/4 cup of fresh Strawberries
  • Blueberry and Pomegranate sparkling water

Enjoy!

Creekside Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favourite types of white wines, so you will see a lot of it on my blog.

Wine: 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

Winery:Creekside Wine, Jordon, Ontario 

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About the wine: This wine from Creekside is very light in colour. It might throw you off when you go to take your first sip as this wine is very strong in its aromas. Once you start to drink the wine you will taste how light it is and slightly sweet. Sauvignon Blanc wines are typically fruit dominant and in this wine you can taste the lime zest, grapefruit and tropical fruits.

Food Pairings: The wine makers recommend pairing this wine with Goat Cheese, anything with lemon, greens, seafood and salads. Because of this wine’s heavy aromas I would recommend pairing it with something light and that doesn’t have too much a strong aroma or the two might compete against each other.

Cost: $14.95

A big part of wine making for me, is the story the winemakers tell. I love that Creekside has added in some cheeky notes on the back of their bottle. See below.

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They tell the story of the type of winemakers they are and they are able to add in some humour which is great to see.

Bottoms up!

Meg