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Netflix & Wine | Polar Vortex 2019
Netflix & Wine | Polar Vortex 2019

Netflix & Wine | Polar Vortex 2019

Wait? What? We haven’t posted a Netflix & Wine round up in almost a year. I guess that’s the sign of a good year. We’ve been working away on all things swell, traveling, getting outside, reading. You know? Just living life. That said, we’re in the depths of winter here in Canada. Actually, a polar vortex to be precise. What does that mean? It means it’s really f*cking cold unless you happen to live in Vancouver. In that case, enjoy the cherry blossoms! So, in true Canadian fashion, we’re in hygge mode snuggling up with Netflix and wine for the next couple of months. Here are some of our favourite pairings to keep you entertained this winter.

  1. Fyre the Documentary - Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

    Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard of the viral fraudulent debacle that was Fyre Festival. Now, thanks to Netflix (and Hulu), you can grab a bottle of “Borne of Fire” to help you swallow your rage as you watch how “the greatest party that never happened” unfolds at the helm of equally incompetent partners - Ja Rule and Billy McFarland (plus a whole cast of other characters).

    This is the first year made of this wine with wonderful blackberries, rose leaves and blueberries. Wildly floral. Stems. Full body and round and fine tannins. Juicy and intense. Shows an eccentric style. All large oak. A new nature and personality.


  2. Russian Doll - Seven Deadly Red 2015 (Red Blend)

    Premiering today (February 1, 2019), Russian Doll is a comedy created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Lesley Headland. Nadia keeps dying and reliving her 36th birthday party. She's trapped in a surreal time loop — and staring down the barrel of her own mortality. Kick back for some serious Deja Vu with a bottle of Seven Deadly Red from California, because there’s no wine from Russia and we’re not going to subject you to Vodka for this edition of Netflix & Wine.

    Powerful oaky elements meet very ripe and concentrated fruit flavors in this deeply colored, bold and full-bodied wine. Charcoal, wood smoke and clove aromas are followed by blackberry jam and black-cherry flavors, while light, smoky and peppery nuances weave through them. While the first whiff is oaky, everything comes together well on the palate and finish.

  3. Friends from College - Tollo Colle Secco Montepulciano D'Abruzzo DOC

    This hilarious series about a dysfunctional group of friends from college is back for a second season and it’s even better than the first. If you’re all caught up on season 1, grab your friends, some pasta and/or pizza, and this very CHEAP and cheerful bottle of Italian wine that’s perfect for sharing. Gather ‘round just like our favourite group of friends and be prepared to laugh.

    A wine that drinks like it could be twice the price. There's a balanced acidity here that makes it very food friendly. Ruby red colour; intense, complex nose of cherry, & chocolate; full flavour of fruit & spice, balanced acidity, soft tannin, long finish, good quality.


  4. Chef’s Table Season 6 - La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2008 (Tempranillo Blend)

    This series just gets better and better. Back for a 6th season, Chef’s Table will be released on February 22, 2019. Find this classic bottle of Spanish wine directly from the menu of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia and curl up for a delicious evening. The 6th season will feature Mashama Bailey, the chef of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia; Sean Brock, the creator of Husk and other restaurants in the Southern US; Asma Khan, the chef/proprietor of London’s acclaimed Darjeeling Express; and famed butcher and slow food champion Dario Cecchini, of Panzano Italy. 

    Cedar, tea and tobacco notes frame the dried cherry, vanilla and orange peel flavours in this traditional red. Offers good depth and lively acidity, with an alluring, spicy finish. An old-school style, compact and balanced. Drink now through 2023.



  5. Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain - Ungava Premium Gin

    Like the rest of the world, we’re missing Anthony Bourdain HARD. With and raw lust for life, he truly is a legend. Honour him by binging seasons 1-8 (you can catch all 12 seasons on CNNgo) of Parts Unknown. Better yet! Add some some adventure to your couch session by toasting with Anthony’s favourite drink — Negroni. A concoction of gin, Vermouth and Campari (or Aperol). With a slice of orange. We’re all about Netflix & Wine sessions, but if you truly want to honour Mr. Bourdain, we suggest getting off the couch and seeing the world. Maybe you’ll discover your new favourite drink.

    “A Negroni is a perfect drink as far as I’m concerned," says Bourdain, adding, “ It's three liquors that I’m not particularly interested in... But put them together with a slice of orange. It works... That first sip is confusing and not particularly pleasant. But man it grows on you.” - Anthony Bourdain.

    To perfect your drink we’ve selected a premium and local (Bourdain was all about drinking local) gin — Ungava. For a recipe for Negroni, try this one. Even though the ingredients are sourced from the Canadian Arctic, this gin will definitely warm you up.

    The unique colour of this spirit comes from the mix of Arctic sourced botanicals that include cloudberry, Labrador tea, rose hip and more. Medium lemon yellow in colour; aromas of juniper, herbal tea, spice and tart fruit; dry and medium-bodied followed by a warm and spicy finish.


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

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

How To | No Carve Pumpkin Round Up
No carve pumpkin round up by Swell Made Co.

No carve pumpkin round up by Swell Made Co.

Whoah, what?! Halloween is next week. Cue the blood curdling screams because I need to get it together before October 31. Are you a procrastinator, or do you have everything ready to go? To keep things simple (because that’s kind of our thing), I have rounded up my favourite no carve pumpkins. They’re minimalist, so they might appeal more to the adult crowd; but that’s okay. They’re easy and who says big kids can’t have fun too?

If you’ve been following for a while, you’ll remember the first pumpkin (shown above) was one we created back in 2015. If you like, head to that post to you’ll find everything you need to create a black and gold six letter sentiment pumpkin. Boo, boo! The following pumpkins come from a few of our favourite blogs and they can be found on Pinterest as well.

DIY Cute Faced Mini Pumpkins by    HomeyOhMy

DIY Cute Faced Mini Pumpkins by HomeyOhMy

This sweet little DIY from HomeyOhMy is perfect for adding some cute Halloween (or fall, Thanksgiving) decor to your home. All you need is a Sharpie and some eucalyptus. You don’t even have to paint the pumpkins! Just buy white ones. Cute faces. Scary faces. You decide!

DIY Brushstroke Pumpkin by    The Merry Thought

DIY Brushstroke Pumpkin by The Merry Thought

This stylish by The Merry Thought DIY just requires craft pumpkins (or real), and some acrylic paint. Start with a flat colour and then add brushstrokes in a contrasting colour. Voila! Simple and beautiful.

DIY Paint Splattered Pumpkins by    HomeyOhMy

DIY Paint Splattered Pumpkins by HomeyOhMy

Another great DIY from HomeyOhMy and one that could be combined with the DIY above (similar steps and complementary styles) are the paint splattered pumpkins. Start with a base coat on craft (or real) pumpkins and then splatter with a contrasting colour. So chic and so simple.

Terrazzo Pumpkin DIY by    JoJoTastic

Terrazzo Pumpkin DIY by JoJoTastic

Finally (any my favourite), is this terrazzo pumpkin by JoJoTastic. Okay! It’s not technically “no carve”, but it can be. If you skip the carving portion of this DIY, it would still be beautiful; but maybe just a less magical than the one shown above. Either way, this pumpkin play with one of our all-time favourite decor trends that’s still going strong.

That’s it! Now that you’re inspired, grab some wine (and candy) and start painting those pumpkins. Happy Halloween, swell friends.

Podcasts & Coffee | Summer 2018
Podcasts & Coffee | Summer 2018 by Swell Made Co.

Podcasts & Coffee | Summer 2018 by Swell Made Co.

Ahhh, summer. A time to get your summer reading list in order for those lazy days where you can dive into a good book; but what about podcasts? I can give you plenty of reasons and opportunities to listen to a good podcast this summer. Just think! Road trips, long walks or runs, lounging on the beach or by the pool. They're all perfect moments for listening to a good story or learning something new. Take a little time for yourself this summer and enjoy on of my favourite podcasts in this edition of Podcasts & Coffee. If you didn't catch the fall edition, you can read it here. Happy summer listening!


Podcasts & Coffee by Swell Made Co. A round-up of summer podcasts.

Podcasts & Coffee by Swell Made Co. A round-up of summer podcasts.

Summer Podcast Round Up

  1. This American Life
    Probably the most popular podcast to ever exist is This American Life. And for good reason. Host and Executive producer Ira Glass takes an entertaining approach to journalism that's built around a plot. Basically, stories — with compelling people at the centre of them. You'll experience stories that are funny, provoke big feelings and present interesting ideas. They even call the episodes "little movies for radio." You can catch a movie on Netflix called Come Sunday that was adapted from an episode of This American Life.
     
  2. The Fridge Light
    Produced by CBC, join top food writer Chris Nuttall-Smith for an obsessive, fascinating journey through the hidden stories of the things we eat. Each episode chows down on one food phenomenon, revealing the unexpected cultural ingredients. Part science, part business, part psychology — always fresh and delicious. My favourite episode documents the rise and fall of the oddly fascinating drink Orbitz.
     
  3. TGIM
    TGIM or Thank Goodness it's Monday is the essential podcast for ambitious entrepreneurs. Produced by Shopify, this podcast brings you inspirational stories of people who are harnessing their passion and creativity to build incredible businesses. I just wish there were more episodes!
     
  4. Ear Hustle
    Ear Hustle brings you the stories of life inside prison from those living it. Shared and produced by prisoners of San Quentin State Prison in their media lab. A partnership between inmate Earlonne Woods and artist Nigel Poor, the co-hosts deliver difficult, funny and always honest content about the US prison system.
     
  5. A Piece of Work
    From listener-supported WNYC Studios and MoMA, A Piece of Work is everything you want to know about modern and contemporary art but were afraid to ask. Hosted by Abbi Jacobson, this podcast takes the pretentious stereotype out of art and helps you demystify famous pieces and the artists behind them. 
     
  6. The Simple Show
    At Swell Made Co. we constantly seek ways to create a simpler life. You know, to make room for the important things in life. So, this podcast speaks to me. Some things feel complex. The Simple Show makes them easier to understand. Listen to friends chat as they break down big ideas and resurface feeling more enlightened. 

These are swell too: