Swell Made Co.

Paper goods + gifts that make a statement.

Love It | Wabi Sabi

Love It, DecorLesley PocklingtonComment
 Love It | Wabi Sabi Style with Swell Made Co.

Love It | Wabi Sabi Style with Swell Made Co.

Move over Hygge (we're still loving Hygge over here, though), 2018 will be the year of Wabi Sabi. Wabi-Sabi is a way of living that values finding beauty within life’s imperfections and accepting the natural cycle of growth and decay. What does this mean for your home? Wabi Sabi is quintessentially simple and comfortable. Embrace the not-so-perfect (wrinkles, cracks and dents are beautiful), organic and natural elements in your home. The concept and style of Wabi Sabi blends with minimalist and Scandinavian styles seamlessly.  

Wabi Sabi Style

  • Organic Materials and Earthy Hues - Embrace organic materials that are meant to last (wood, wool, clay/pottery, bamboo or linen, stone, woven grass, etc.). Natural elements and hues bring the outdoors into your home along with a sense of calm and tranquility. 
  • Minimalist - Clear the clutter and curate the items in your home. Buying fewer, quality and meaningful possessions is key. Our spaces should inspire, rejuvenate and bring peace. Get rid of the items that impede you from enjoying your spaces. Less is more. 
  • Beauty and Utility Coexist - The best designed products combine form and function. Beauty and utility coexist. Whether it be a broom or a spoon. Fewer beautiful pieces in your home that serve a distinct purpose will help you simplify and bring happiness. 
  • Embrace Imperfection - Wrinkled sheets? No problem. Wabi Sabi style embraces the imperfections of life as beautiful and natural. Relax and keep it simple. 

Here are some ways to bring Wabi Sabi into your home along with Swell Made Co.

  1. Gold Leaf (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Embrace the beauty of nature with this art print. 
  2. Handmade Large Tote Basket by Mur Lifestyle. No two are alike. Made from dried palm leaves, this handmade basket is up to the task of holding anything in your home.
  3. Palo Santo Incense. Available from Woodlot, Palo Santo purifies and cleanses the air with the natural and energizing scent of Palo Santo wood from Ecuador. 
  4. Brass Measuring Spoons. Perfectly imperfect brass spoons look beautiful, but serve a purpose in your kitchen.
  5. Gold Rimmed Pottery by Akai Ceramics. One of the simplest and beautiful ways to bring Wabi Sabi home is with handmade pottery. Adorned with a gold rim, these pieces are meant to last and they have a little panache. 
  6. Saludo Wooden Serving Spoons from The Citizenry. Handmade in Mexico, these Tzalam wood spoons are perfectly formed by hand in the Yucatan. An effortless combination of design and natural elements that will be treasured for years to come. 
  7. Black Coffee Pot by House Doctor. Get comfy at home with this porcelain French press. This Danish brand values personal and informal housewares that are made to stay.  
  8. Black Wishbone Chair by Rove Concepts. The perfect combination of naturalness and practicality is the Danish wishbone chair. Minimalist and organic, this Danish chair complements the Japanese style of Wabi Sabi. 
  9. Walk in the Woods (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Celebrate life and nature with this art print. Better yet, get outside and walk in the woods. 

Wabi means something like simplicity, humility, and living in tune with nature; it describes someone who is content with little and makes the most of whatever he or she has, always moving toward having less. Sabi, on the other hand, refers to what happens with the passage of time; it’s about transience and the beauty and authenticity of age. Practicing sabi is learning to accept the natural cycle of growth and death, as well as embracing the imperfections that come with this progression. Together, wabi and sabi form a feeling that finds harmony and serenity in what is uncomplicated, unassuming, mysterious, and fleeting.
— By Julie Pointer Adams, Oprah.com

Thanks for reading! If you're up for more inspiration, check out the Swell Made Co. boards on Pinterest. Just click the images above for sources. 

Netflix & Wine | Valentine's Day 2018

Round Up, WineLesley PocklingtonComment
  Netflix & Wine | Valentine's Day 2018 edition by Swell Made Co.

Netflix & Wine | Valentine's Day 2018 edition by Swell Made Co.

In spite of grumblings of coupledom and consumerism, Valentine's Day is one of my favourite holidays. For me, a day that celebrates just love is as simple as a holiday can get and I love simplicity. There's no need to complicate love. Friends, family, pets, partners and our own selves are worthy of one day that recognizes that we are all loved.

I don't need a romantic dinner or flowers. The company of the people I love is more than I could ask for. Throw in an evening with heart shaped pizza, wine and Netflix and you've truly found the way to my heart. Keep this Valentine's Day simple with these fun Netflix and wine pairings a la Swell Made Co. Happy Valentine's Day!

  1. The End of the F***ing World - Fin Del Mundo Cabernet Franc 2012, Argentina

    Released in January 2018, this show is getting 100% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes because it's THAT good. "A heartwarming, quirky romance between a budding psychopath and a truculent, wounded teenager—feels a bit like a Wes Anderson screenplay that’s been rejected for being too dark". This eight part series (20 min episodes) is one that you just can't stop. Pair it with a Cabernet Franc from the literal end of the world, Argentina.

    Just like this series, this wine is intense and rich, but at the same time soft. Powerful flavours of clove, caramel, and oaky hazelnut complement pungent berry jam notes lifted by a solid alcohol strength.
  2. My Next Guest Needs No Introduction - Small Talk Good Night Rouge 2013 VQA, Niagara, Canada

    Proof that the world still needs David Letterman, this new Netflix series features Letterman's iconic late-night chats with guests President Barack Obama and George Clooney with more to come. "Letterman’s honesty and degree of emotional introspection don’t just make him still relevant; they make him absolutely essential." There's no small talk here, but you should pair this series with Small Talk Good Night Rouge 2013 VQA as an homage to Dave's late night talk show. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

    This medium-bodied wine with hints of vanilla, cherry and plum, will give you something to talk about when paired with Bruschetta and friends (and Netflix).
  3. Lovesick Season 3 - Santero 9-5-8 Sweetheart Spumante, Italy

    Released in January 2018 and seen here before, is the Netflix series, Lovesick. The third season follows Dylan in his quest for true love and source of chlamydia. Joined by friends Evie and Luke, he relives past encounters as he notifies all his former partners. This British romantic comedy is witty, dry and easy to watch. Pair with an equally easy to drink sparkling wine, Santero 9-5-8 Sweetheart Spumante.

    A bubbly that offers loads of fruity character while remaining refreshing and dry with crisp minerality providing balance. Perfect for a special night with your special someone; serve up well-chilled with a variety of light fare.
  4. Irreplaceable You - Rebel Coast Reckless Love 2013, California

    Due to release on February 16, 2018 is the romantic tear jerker, Irreplaceable You. A stunning cancer diagnosis spurs Abbie to seek a future girlfriend for fiancé and childhood sweetheart Sam, who's clueless when it comes to dating. Pair it with Rebel Coast Reckless Love. A blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Medium bodied with a velvety mouth feel, followed by the bright red fruit of cherries and raspberries. The Syrah gives this wine a white pepper and vanilla characteristic right as the bottle opens, while the Cabernet keeps a backbone of caramel, oak, and dark vineyard soil.
  5. Black Mirror - Black Dot Honjozo Sake

    Already into it's 6th season (realeased December 2017), Charlie Brooker's series, Black Mirror is one that continues to intrigue. The British sci-fi anthology examines modern society and the unanticipated consequences of technology. This series is dark and satirical with a few lighter experimentations. Pair it with the unconventional, Black Dot Honjozo Sake.

    A clean pure style of sake, with white mountain flowers on the nose. It has a wonderful clean and soft silky texture. The cleansing acidity also provides good structure and there is a subtle fruitiness with hints of mango, peach and pineapple.

You can buy most of these wines (and sake) at the LCBO in Ontario, Canada. Most of them are also available in liquor stores across Canada and the USA. Enjoy responsiblly. Cheers!

*Some tasting notes and images from LCBO.com. Content is not sponsored. 

BE BOLD - 3 Must Haves for Strong Brands

Tips, Small Business, BrandLesley PocklingtonComment
  BE BOLD - 3 Must Haves for Strong Brands by Swell Made Co.

BE BOLD - 3 Must Haves for Strong Brands by Swell Made Co.

Creating a strong brand is more than having a great logo and well defined products or services. A brand is about how your customers feel and what they say when they interact with your brand. Be bold, be you, be different and develop your own style and voice. A distinct visual style, a unique voice, and consistency are key to creating a strong and memorable brand. The process can be uncomfortable, but it's necessary. Look inside before you project your brand out to the world and it will guide you in creating a brand that you can stay true to.

As a designer that works with small businesses to develop brands, I've seen the benefits countless times for my clients. There's nothing better than seeing a small business start strong with passion and vision, great products or services and a solid brand. These are the 3 must haves for all strong brands:

Visual Style

While your visual style isn’t just a logo, it’s a solid place to start. Invest in a great logo and use it everywhere (almost). Integrating your brand means extending your visual style (and voice) to every aspect of your business. From packaging, photography style, postcards to your email campaigns and everything in between. Truly. Think of everything as something that can be branded. It can be subtle.

Tip - Use style guidelines and well designed templates for your marketing materials. Having the same colour palette, logo, type, and general look and feel throughout will set you apart and save you time. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent. Don't be afraid to "police" your visual style and when in doubt, keep it simple. 


Create a unique voice that reflects your brand. This is just as important as your visual style. They actually go hand in hand. Your voice isn’t just copy, but how it sounds in your consumer's mind and how it makes them feel. This voice should be applied to all written pieces from social media posts, email campaigns, product descriptions to bios. Your voice inspires visual imagery as well. Don’t be boring. Be bold.

Example - An example that I love about voice by Ann Handley, goes a little something like this. You have a hotdog and you're about to use the condiments. You can say "Give me the mustard" (authoritative), or "Can you please pass me the mustard?" (standard, but polite), OR "Pardon me. Do you have any Grey Poupon?". Great, right?  


You can have a distinct visual style and unique voice, and mess it up here. Consistency of your brand is paramount. Once you define your visual style and unique voice, stick to them. Seriously. Of course, they will evolve over time; but being consistent is the most important part of developing a strong and memorable brand. It may be tempting to add another font, a new trendy colour, or a new message; but it only adds confusion for your customer. Go back to your style guide and ask yourself if it’s a good fit.

Tip - Hire a trusted pro to guide you through the process and bring you brand to life. A good designer will help you launch your brand confidently. Better yet, they’ll empower you with tips on how to drive it forward consistently.  

Now it's time to flex your branding muscles and do a little exercise. Again, branding yourself is a big process, but this will help you get a good start. Think of it as a warm up.


  1. Describe your visual style. Write down simple words. Edit down to a few.
  2. Describe your business and how it makes your customers feel. Again, write down simple words. Edit down to a few. 
  3. Define your brand messaging. Using the edited words you collected above as a guide, what are the key messages you want to share about your brand? Be thoughtful, concise and develop your voice. Your brand messaging should consider the following: Who are you? Why do you do what you do? What is it like to deal with you?
  4. Define your customer. Don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think by doing research. Your branding should speak to actual customers, not “dream customers”. Knowing them will help you define your brand and messaging.

These questions are inspired by a process Ann Handley, author of Everybody Writes, suggests when it comes to voice and branding, and from Eva Jorgensen of Sycamore Street Press on visual style and branding.

Thanks for reading! If you'd like to chat about branding for your small business, get in touch. I'd love to help! You can see some of my recent work here

Love It | Beating the Winter Blues

Love ItLesley PocklingtonComment
  LOVE IT | Beat the Winter Blues with Swell Made Co.

LOVE IT | Beat the Winter Blues with Swell Made Co.

It's Blue Monday. As bills roll in and we anticipate the months of winter that are still left; the post-holiday blues are real. Less daylight, cold temperatures, a return to regular routines... they can all weigh heavily on our mental health; but there is also some value in the "saddest day of the year".

It's also a time to check-in on ourselves (and our loved ones) and make sure we're taking the time for self-care. Whether it's talking about how we're feeling, getting more sleep, eating properly, or taking time to get outside and exercise. These are all ways to do an audit of what feels good, what doesn't and make small steps (with big impact) to improving our physical and mental health.

Here are some of my favourite things to help you beat the winter blues at home. A cozy, balanced atmosphere will help you feel relaxed:

  1. Moon Phases (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Available in black or white (shown above).
  2. Palermo Blue Ombre Wool Throw by Brahms Mount. This gorgeous super-fine wool throw will keep you warm all winter. The tonal shift is available in various palettes.
  3. XOXOXO Velveteen Throw Pillow Cover by Swell Made Co. A super-soft throw pillow cover for snuggling and adding extra comfort and making a statement in your spaces.
  4. Limited Edition Diffuser by Saje. Infuse your air with the vitality of nature and create a balanced atmosphere with a limited edition diffuser by Sage that often features artwork.
  5. Ceramic Pastel Blue Mug by Rove Concepts. Stay indoors and sip tea or coffee (fika inspired) from this mug with subtle blue hue.
  6. Blue Grid Incense Holder by Xenia Taler. Relax by burning incense with this handmade holder. Also available in a blue ripple pattern (and more).
  7. Grapefruit, Bergamot & Rose Soy Candle by Swell Made Co. x Wax & Fire Co. Enjoy this invigorating scent that will fill your space with a subtle and comforting scent.
  8. True Blue Skin Clarifying Duo by Herbivore Botanicals. Give your skin a break from winter weather with this skin clarifying combo. Spa days can happen right at home.
  9. HUG HUG Card by Swell Made Co. Send someone a handwritten “hug” with this sweet card.
  10. Vintage African Indigo Pillow by Rug & Weave. More pillows! Because your space can never be too cozy. Bring this indigo blue beauty into your home and enjoy all year-round.

Take care of yourself and others this winter! Thanks for reading.

Confessions of an Entrepreneur - Loneliness

Confessions, EntrepreneurLesley PocklingtonComment

When you're an entrepreneur, working on your own can get lonely. It’s true. Especially if you work from home. It doesn't have to be! Here are some tips to combating the entrepreneurial blues and places where you can cowork with real-live people in Toronto (and beyond).

Cultivate an Entrepreneurial Community

Whether you join an existing group, or surround yourself with a select group of fellow entrepreneurs; they're the ones who will understand the feeling of loneliness. They'll also appreciate and respect the challenges and dedication it takes to run a business on your own. Connecting with fellow entrepreneurs is a positive way to feel like you're in it together, and you'll be able to support and learn from each other as well.

That said, it's important to prioritize those relationships. You can't be friends with everyone, so don't try. Invest in good relationships and friendships. You only have so much time. Make it count. How does the quote go? “Leave the table if love (or respect) isn’t being served”. Doesn’t that go for a lot of things in life? Edit.

Take a Break

While your hustle is not in vain, don't forget to take a break every once in a while. Entrepreneurs are busy people, but remember to do other things you love too. Yoga, getting outside, traveling, reading, hanging out with friends. Whatever it is you need to decompress, is important for your mental and physical health. Recharge and come back feeling less lonely after connecting with your world again.

Work with Others

Finally, a lot of entrepreneurs that work solo, also work from home. Get out of your physical comfort zone and work in a coworking space. You'll connect with other entrepreneurs (socially and professionally) as mentioned above. Below are some of the best places to set up a workspace for a day, or on a regular basis in Toronto. They all offer flexible types of memberships, plus events to help you get out there and crush those goals.

Make Lemonade

326 Adelaide Street West - 6th Floor

New to Toronto is Make Lemonade. A workspace dedicated to women. The design-forward coworking environment is tropical and bright. It's a space meant to inspire and support, with strong coffee at the ready and spaces that include board rooms, phone booths and even an outdoor patio. They encourage a community of women to make some magic and get sh*t done! Make Lemonade also offers events for female entrepreneurs from goal smashing to self-care for startups. Photos from Make Lemonade.


Multiple Locations / Multiple Cities

Need a space to breathe between meetings? Or, maybe you need a space to host a meeting (small or large group). Breather has various locations around Toronto and in other cities like New York, Boston, Ottawa and Montreal where you can set up shop for a few hours, or a whole day. The spaces are beautiful and welcoming. Just think of it as an Airbnb for office spaces. Photos by Breather.

Love Child Social House

69 Bathurst Street

Love Child is a coworking and social space for entrepreneurs, creatives, events, workshops, and nightlife. They believe collaboration is the real mother of invention, so they created a workspace designed for connection. With memberships that include social events, you'll never feel alone in this fun space. Photos by Love Child Social House.

We Work

Richmond Street and Bloor Street

The global coworking chain has cropped up in Toronto with locations on Richmond and Bloor. Featuring a cafe, group and individual work areas, this dynamic space is well-known around the world for being a comfortable place to set up shop. With a focus on humanizing work and helping you grow, they've thought of everything. By grabbing a membership you'll be able to set up in a familiar space no matter where you are (almost, there are 59 cities). Photos by Toronto Life.

The East Room

50 Carrol Avenue

Located in Toronto's East End, the East Room offers a stunning coworking space with services catering to freelance creatives and small businesses. Packed with curated antiques, this space is perfect for photo shoots (or just feeling inspired), individual and group spaces, mail services, etc. Membership applications vary offering a more casual workspace to something more permanent. Photos by The East Room.

Love It | Velvet & Gold

Decor, Inspiration, Love ItLesley Pocklington1 Comment
  Love It | Velvet and Gold by Swell Made Co.

Love It | Velvet and Gold by Swell Made Co.

Nothing says Christmas like vibrant velvet. This holiday season I am crushing hard on jewel-toned velvet. Emerald greens, sapphire blues, blush pinks and burgundies (ruby reds are reserved for Santa) - all combined with the timeless glam of gold. It's a rich and luxurious combination, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune to bring it into your life.

I can't help but think of holidays past with this Golden Girls style of the 80s. Fast forward to my "grunge days" (not to be confused with punk days) in the 90s; I remember feeling fabulous, albeit angsty, as I headed out for the season with a velvet baby doll dress and high laced Doc Martens. I'd love to get a hold of that dress now. So, here we find ourselves on the cusp of 2018, with this trend still going strong as jewel-tones promise to be a hit in the new year. Particularly cooler hues like blue and violet (or, ultra-violet as announced by Pantone yesterday). Enjoy this updated take on velvet and gold glam. Happy holidays, swell friends!

Here are a few of my favourite ways to bring velvet and gold into your life:

  1. Solid Gold (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Bring some solid gold into your space with this simple art print.
  2. Paloma Brass Bar Cart by CB2. Mix drinks and mingle in style with a classic bar cart like this one from CB2. Combined with sparkly glasses and your favourite libations, holiday parties will be a breeze. Designed by Leonhard Pfiefer.
  3. Black Velvet Choker Necklace from La Maison Simons. Add a little velvet to your outfits with this simple velvet choker.
  4. Hojas Cubana, Rainforest Pillow by Tonic Living. There's something about velvet and gold that just begs for tropical patterns. Bring the tropics home with this pillow that's made in Toronto.
  5. Keira Velvet Ottoman by Structube. Available in a variety of jewel-tones, this foot stool is an easy and affordable way to bring chic elegance into your space without investing in a big ticket items like a sofa.
  6. Gold Acrylic Monstera and Boss Keytags by Swell Made Co. Glam, retro, simple. These gold acrylic keytags are a sweet way to adorn your keys and bags. Hang on the stockings, perhaps?
  7. Gold Rimmed Seafoam Ombre Glasses from the Cocktail Emporium. You've got the bar cart. Now, add the glassware and all kinds of accessories from Toronto's Cocktail Emporium. Also available in fuchsia and coral.
  8. Velvet Elowen Chair from Anthropologie. Another perfect combination of velvet and gold, these chairs come in a variety of bright colours to bring home. Whether it's at your dining room table, hall or office.
  9. Pink Monstera (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. This blush pink art print pairs perfectly with this decor style (and many others) with it's versatile look.

For more inspiration, head to Pinterest to see some of my favourite modern and bold spaces with velvet and gold. Click the images below to see the original sources. Thanks for reading!

Love It | Mint

Love It, DecorLesley PocklingtonComment
  Love It | Mint + Black with Swell Made Co.

Love It | Mint + Black with Swell Made Co.

2017 was the year of greenery (as seen in LOVE IT | Greenery this past spring). It was well-loved throughout the year and it will mostly certainly continue into 2018, but with variations of green ranging from green jewel tones, moody greens and aquamarines and one of my favourites - mint. Whatever palette of green you love, I'm happy it's here to stay for a little while longer. Especially when it comes to the abundance of plant life that is making way into the hearts and homes of many.

When you think of mint green, you might think retro. While, this hue does pay homage to the 1950s this LOVE IT list takes a modern approach to this colour your Grandma loved too. Combined with matte black, other neutral colours, and graphic patterns; it complements with minimal or ecclectic interiors.

Here are a few of my favourite ways to bring mint into your space:

  1. Mint Moon (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Drift off to dreamland with this mint moon art print.
  2. Matte Black Pendant Lamp. Choosing a matte black pendant in a contemporary shape is great in any space. Better yet, choose one with a gold or brass interior for a bit of extra panache. Swoon.
  3. Jasmine Green Tea Toner by Herbivore. Not for your space, bur for your face. This calming, hydrating, and nourishing toner is infused with Jasmine Water to reduce inflammation and Green Tea, which is loaded with antioxidants for cellular regeneration.
  4. Matte Black Dinnerware from World Market. Timeless and moody, black ceramics will always make a statement on your dinner table and they complement mint or neutral interiors perfectly. Crafted in Portugal.
  5. Graphic Izabal Pillow from Leif Shop. Black and white graphic patterns will continue to trend in 2018. This graphic pillow is a visual treat. Each pillow is handcrafted in Guatemala, empowering indigenous women to overcome poverty and become agents of change in their communities.
  6. Morandi Mint Bud Vase from Buk & Nola. Brings little bit of greenery into your home with this mini ceramic bud vase from Montreal's Buk & Nola.
  7. Medan Graphite Lounge Chair from Article. Rattan is still going strong, but you can modernize the look with this lounge chair in graphite/black. Inspired by rattan, this chair is made with synthetic wicker. Clean lines, with a bohemian feel.
  8. Minty Moon Dish by Hinkleville. This sweet minty moon dish is perfect for holding tiny things and bringing minty cuteness into your space. Available in various sizes and in a mug too!
  9. Mint Cactus (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. A mint cactus art print for a cool (yet, warm) vacation vibe in your space.

For more inspiration, head to Pinterest to see some of my favourite spaces with mint decor and accents. Click the images below to see the original sources. Thanks for reading!

Netflix & Wine | Fall 2017

WineLesley PocklingtonComment
  Netflix & Wine | Fall 2017. Your favourite shows paired with delicious wines by Swell Made Co.

Netflix & Wine | Fall 2017. Your favourite shows paired with delicious wines by Swell Made Co.

It's been a while since the last edition of Netflix & Wine. Summer months have a way of doing that, but with the arrival of Fall I'm ready to snuggle up and stream my favourite shows and pour some wine. Some of these shows were released a little while ago, but they're worth watching if you haven't already. Read through to the end of the post where I mention other notable shows to watch. You'll have to pair those with wines yourself, but here are 5 to get you started.

  1. Master of None Season 2 - Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir 2015, Niagara, Canada

    Allora! Aziz Ansari's Emmy winning Master of None picks up where it left off with an incredible second season. The season starts off with Dev's adventures in Italy and follows him back home to New York City. The first few episodes will have your stomach grumbling as Dev learns to make pasta and tastes his way around Italy while hilarity ensues. I bet you're expecting me to pair an Italian wine, but you don't have to go that far to get a good bottle of Gamay to accompany your tomato-based or creamy pastas. Pair it with Ontario's own, Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir 2015.

    Ruby red colour; fresh berry aroma; raspberry, cherry and a touch of spice in flavour, light body, clean dry finish. A medium-bodied, easy-drinking red wine.
  2. Jack Whitehall: Travels with my Father - Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand

    Comedian Jack Whitehall sets about on a missed "gap year" adventure in Southeast Asia with his upper crust (stuffy) and elderly Father in this new Netflix travelogue series. This odd couple takes on Thailand and Cambodia in an attempt to strengthen their bond. Their mishaps and escapades will guarantee laughs. Order some Thai food (a perfect pairing with this wine) and watch this series with a solid Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough (ouuu, ahhh), New Zealand's Greywacke.

    Very ripe stone fruit and pineapple aromas are lifted by flowers, dusty brown spices and anise. Plush, round and slightly sweet, but with nicely integrated acidity giving shape to the peach, grapefruit, white pepper and nutmeg flavors.
  3. Gaga: Five Foot Two - Domaine des Nugues Made by G

    It's no secret, Lady Gaga loves wine and the word is out that Lady Gaga has plans to open a winery aptly named "Grigio Girls" in the near future. Not to be confused with Gaga Wine that was released by Kendall Jackson a few years back.

    In the meantime, we can have a little fun with Domaine des Nugues Made by G. A sparkling red wine that will pair well with the documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two. This documentary that follows the icon as she releases a new raw album and prepares for her infamous Super Bowl halftime show. Easy drinking with some easy watching.

    The wine is deep red with a gorgeous pink mousse and fine beads. Made By G is a sparkling red wine or cuvee produced from 25 year old vines (gamay grapes). It finishes very lively and fruity on the palate, but not too sweet. This is a fun and different wine that's perfect for parties.
  4. Hidden Figures - Torres Celeste Crianza 2012, Ribera del Duero, Spain

    If you haven't seen this flick yet, queue up Netflix and settle in for Hidden Figures. Three brilliant African-American women at NASA -- Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson -- serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. You'll be in awe (and completely humbled) as you watch this galvanizing and little known piece of history. Pair this movie with a bottle of Torres Celeste Crianza 2012. A delicious wine with a stunning celestial label. 

    A polished texture carries reserved but harmonious flavors of black cherry, licorice, smoke, tar and mineral in this rather austere red. Well-integrated tannins impart structure, giving this depth and focus.
  5. Narcos Season 3 - Patron Reposado Tequila

    Pablo Escobar may be gone, but the drama continues in Narcos season 3 with the Cali Cartel. What I believe, is the best season yet. Watch Pedro Pascal take down more kingpins in Colombia. The final episode eludes to another season that takes place in Mexico where the cartel inevitably takes off, so let's skip the wine for this one and pair it with Reposada Patron Tequila. Mix yourself a cocktail and sit back with this series. This bottle doesn't come cheap, so perhaps save some for season 4?

    Lightly aged for two months in oak barrels, this offers subtle complexities of fresh agave, oak, citrus, and honey with a light amber hue. Smooth and sweet on the palate with exceptional balance; the finish is highlighted with flavours of floral and vanilla notes.

What else are you guys streaming? I'd love to know! Other notable shows are:

Ozarks - A breaking bad style series about money laundering that takes places in, you guessed it, the Ozarks.

This is Us - A feel good family drama that will bring you to your knees in tears. I have yet to see my husband cry (15 years and counting), but this one makes his eyes turn red.

Friends from College - A comedy series that follows a group of friends from Harvard that are now facing their forties. Complicated relationships among the group make for a good show.

The Keepers - This brilliant docuseries examines the decades-old murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik and its suspected link to a priest accused of abuse. It takes a sobering and riveting look at a real-life terror which exposes long buried secrets of the Catholic Church in Baltimore.

Mindhunter - A new crime drama series inspired by true crime in the 1970s. It follows an elite FBI unit as they try to understand the minds of serial killers.

And finally, Glow - A series about an out-of-work actress in the 80's that finds a chance at stardom in the world of women's wrestling. Children of the 80's will appreciate the spandex and cultural references.

  Pair The Velvet Devil Merlot with Stranger Things for some spooky BOO-zing.

Pair The Velvet Devil Merlot with Stranger Things for some spooky BOO-zing.

There are so many more, but I have to catch up! Ummm, Stranger Things is coming on Friday! Pair that with The Velvet Devil Merlot for a bit of spooky BOO-zing.

Until, next time, enjoy these shows and wines. You can buy all of these wines (and tequila) at the LCBO in Ontario, Canada. Most of them are also available in liquor stores across Canada and the USA. Cheers!

*Some tasting notes and images from LCBO.com.