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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. 


These are swell too:

Netflix & Wine | Fall 2017

Wine, Round UpLesley 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.

Netflix & Wine | Spring 2017

Wine, Round UpLesley PocklingtonComment
  Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

Bring on the Netflix & Wine because it's March Break! At our house anyway. That means days filled with a balance between burning off some energy and having some chill time. When the day is done and the kids are snuggled in their beds, I'll be snuggling up with a glass of wine and some of my favourite shows and movies.

If you're like me, March Break sort of snuck up this year, so I'll be flying through the aisles of my local wine shop (LCBO - where you'll find these easy drinking bottles and tasting notes) to stock up on some of these bottles below. They're all red, because winter is still here in Canada.

  1. Chef's Table - Fantini Farnese Numero Uno Primitivo, Italy

    NEW episodes of Chef's Table Season 3 launched on February 17. If you haven't binged this series already, you're in for a treat. The seasons just get better and better with stunning footage and captivating story lines, that make your jaw drop and your stomach grumble. My favourite episode will take you to Peru's many landscapes. Pair this show with Numero Uno Primitivo, because you have to be numero uno to make it as far as these chefs.

    Primitivo has a very long history that dates back to the times of the Phoenicians and has an lot in common with a more well-known grape variety called Zinfandel. Fantini' s version is an intense ruby colour with aromas and flavours of dark berries, cherry, and prune; full and soft with a harmoniously tannic finish.
     
  2. Sing Street - Flagstone Music Room Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, South Africa

    I can't resist British movies. If you love Brit humour and whimsy, you'll love Sing Street. This film takes us back to 1980s Dublin seen through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy. While trying to adjust to his new inner-city school, he finds a glimmer of hope in a mysterious girl. With the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band's music videos. There's only one problem: he's not part of a band... yet. Pair this film with Music Room Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Spicy oak, well integrated with sweet black fruits, mint, good focus on the palate. Chunky, rich, well integrated with a light, lifted finish.
     
  3. Abstract - Southbrook Seriously Cool Red VQA, Canada

    Step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life with this new series that follows a similar format to Chef's Table. As a graphic designer, I found the Paula Scher episode the most inspiring, but all episodes are equally fascinating. Pair this wine with Seriously Cool Red because these designers are cooler than you'll ever be.

    New from Southbrook is this lively red that offers aromas of mulled cherry, candied strawberry and light spice. The palate is medium-bodied and dry with medium acidity and tannins; look for flavours of black cherry, raspberry, and candied apple followed by a lightly spiced, medium length, finish. The packaging is seriously cool and comes in three colourful variations.
    .
  4. Love - Sandbanks French Kiss Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot VQA, Canada

    Back for another season, Love follows the not so "perfect" pair, Mickey and Gus as they go through the triumphs and tribulations of finding contentment, or love. Pair this romantic comedy with French Kiss from Sandbanks.

    Medium ruby with a garnet hue; aromas and flavours of plums, smoke and clove; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and tannin.
     
  5. Where to Invade Next - Charles & Charles Red Blend Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah, USA

    Michael Moore is "back". He's been somewhat quiet the past 8 years, but with a ripe political climate under Donald Trump, he and his commentary are louder than ever. This warm up documentary follows Michael Moore as he playfully "invades" European countries to see what they have to offer in comparison to the United States. Pair this documentary with Charles & Charles Red Blend.

    Deep ruby; notes of cassis, dark chocolate and vanilla on the nose; the palate is dry and full bodied with moderate acidity and tannins; flavours of chocolate covered cherries, mocha and vanilla.

Netflix & Wine | Winter 2017

Wine, FoodLesley Pocklington2 Comments
  Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

It's time for a winter warm up with Netflix and wine. Cold temperatures mean snuggling up, and watching some of your favourite TV shows and movies. Now, just add some of these wines for a perfect night in. What are you favourites on Netflix right now?

  1. Stranger Things - Eleven Eleven Laki's Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa Valley California

    This science-fiction thriller has developed quite a following as it pays homage to 1980s pop-culture. When 12-year-old Will Byers vanishes mysteriously, a group of friends, a frantic mother and a police chief investigate and try to uncover the truth. If you haven't tuned in already, pair this series with a fine wine chosen for its name.

    95 Points - Wine Advocate, December 2015
    “An absolutely brilliant Cabernet Sauvignon from southern Napa Valley. It has a dense purple color, a gorgeous nose of crème de cassis, graphite, blackberry and a touch of oak and a full-bodied, opulent, voluptuous texture, great purity and a stunning finish. This is sensational stuff and a terrific 2013.” - Robert Parker
     
  2. The Crown - Dubbonet Rouge, France

    This biographical drama series follows the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Although a bit dry, the performances and historical accuracy are outstanding. Pair this series with the Queen's favourite drink, Dubonnet. She drinks this aperitif wine with gin on the rocks, daily.

    Ruby/garnet red with orange tint in colour; sweet dried apricot, plum and herbal aroma and flavour with a citrus finish.
     
  3. Lemony Snicket - Southbrook Small Lot Natural Vidal Orange Wine 2015, Niagara Ontario

    Based on the popular series of books from the late 1990s/2000s, this dramatic series is sure to please all ages. Capturing the first four books in the first season, the performances are extraordinary and humourous. The set design is mesmerizing. Pair these unfortunate events with the delightful (and somewhat unusual) Small Lot Vidal Orange Wine.

    Bright amber in colour, with some cloudiness from lees in the bottle. Expressive nose with notes of wildflowers, tangerine, marmalade and bergamot. While the aromas suggest sweetness, the wine is bone-dry, with herbal replays.
     
  4. Lovesick - Mojo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Australia

    A follow up to the comedy series, Scrotal Recall, Lovesick is a witty British comedy that follows Dylan through his love life; past and present. Pair this lighthearted series with Mojo Cabernet Sauvignon. The tasting notes alone ooze mojo.

    Fleshy, vibrant up front notes of blackcurrant pastille and cassis, immersed in lighter dashes of cranberry and crabapple. fruit which seamlessly merge with secondary wisps of chocolate, almond, fresh mint and a lick of stalky high notes. Balanced ubiquitous acid imparts structural support and along with the cedary oak bestows bountiful texture by silkily meshing the palate together.
     
  5. The OA - Vineland Estates Game Changer Red 2014, Niagara Peninsula

    If you liked Stranger Things, you'll love this mystery drama series with science fiction, supernatural and fantasy elements. Pair this series with the Game Changer, an easy to drink red blend. After all, this show is may be a game changer for you!

    Ruby red colour; fruit forward aromas of plum, raspberry and cherry; the palate is extra-dry, medium-bodied showing flavours of strawberry, red plum, spice and a slight herbaceous character on the smooth finish.

 

Netflix and Wine | Spring 2016

Wine, Round UpLesley PocklingtonComment
  Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

Our family just finished March Break. By March Break, I don't mean the adults got a break, but the kids certainly did. We juggled work with play, and relished in not having to pack lunches everyday. It was busy, but so nice to just let the kids play. No structure, no interruptions. Just good, old-fashioned play. They needed it. But... that left me feeling sluggish at the end of the day and ready to "Netflix and Wine", so here are my suggestions for you for March Break. Curl up and relax, March Break or none, these are must-see/must-sip combinations. All of these wines can be found at the LCBO if you're in Ontario. If not, many of these are available across Canada and the USA.

  1. Love + Sandbanks Love, Prince Edward County, Ontario
    A new comedy by Judd Apatow that continually weaves the lives of Gus "somewhat geeky nice guy" and Mickey "whild child and addict" as they stumble through friendship, and the insecurities of love. 

    Pair it with the aptly named and slightly sweet Love by Sandbanks. Pale salmon in colour; aromas of grapefruit, black currant and red berry fruit; medium in sweetness and body with flavours of rich red berries, slight candy note with hints of citrus.
     
  2. Cooked + Cave Spring Dry Riesling, Niagara, Ontario
    Explore food through the elements of fire, water, earth and air. You'll look at food in a new way after watching this series that deliciously urges you to reconnect with food and appreciate it's history of connecting humanity. 

    Pair it with Cave Spring's Dry Riesling that goes with anything. Pale yellow colour; fresh grapefruit and pineapple on the nose with floral notes; dry, light to medium bodied, clean, citrus flavours with refreshing acidity and a crisp; a sense of sweetness on the finish.
     
  3. Cartel Land + Cline Zinfandel, USA
    Oscar-nominated documentary, Cartel Land, gives and unprecedented look at Mexico's drug artels through two vigilante groups. This sobering and shocking film will leave you feeling confused and shaken about good and evil in a place where institutions have been broken down. 

    Pair with Cline Zinfandel. Medium ruby colour; intense ripe, raspberry and black fruit aromas with hints of earthy, spice and chocolate; dry with generous blackberry fruit flavours and a rich mouthfeel; spicy long finish.
     
  4. House of Cards Season 4 + Underwood Pinot Noir, Union Wine Company, USA
    Back for it's fourth season, House of Cards does not disappoint. Political and personal drama entices you to binge watch the season as Claire's character and role deepens even further. New characters enter and old connections return as the dynamic between Frank and Claire heightens. 

    Pair it with another aptly named wine, but no less delicious - Underwood Pinot Noir. "Underwood is fast-becoming one of Oregon’s best values in Pinot Noir. Light and pretty raspberry fruit gains mass and flavour interest with well-integrated veins of stem and earth. It’s nicely balanced and true to variety." Wine Enthusiast.
     
  5. Amy + Alto Moncayo Veraton Garnacha 2012, Spain
    Another Oscar-nominated documentary, Amy shares the story of Amy Winehouse's life and death. A complicated and tender story that tackles delicate facets of her life including family, fame and addiction; you'll appreciate the true musical genius and light Amy was. 

    Pair with Alto Moncayo Veraton Garnacha a wine that is rich and intense like Amy. Pairing a wine with this film is not intended to make light of this tragic story or the complications of addiction. With anything in life, moderation (and safety) is key. "Sweet blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, lavender, liquorice and earth notes intermixed with a touch of new oak. Stylistically, this is a modern, massively intense, rich wine that over-delivers in many ways. However, it is not for consumers looking for shy, restrained and delicate wines." Robert Parker.

What are you watching on Netflix? What are you sipping? Do tell! Enjoy these combinations, until next time. 

Netflix and Wine | Winter 2016

Wine, FoodLesley PocklingtonComment
  Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

I must admit, a lot of Netflix and wine were consumed over here during the holidays. When winter temperatures drop, it's so nice to snuggle up and sip wine while watching some great TV! You know what I'm talking about. Yah, you do.

Here are my favourite picks on Netflix, paired with some delicious wines. Kick your feet up, and enjoy.

  1. Making a Murderer + 19 Crimes Shiraz Durif, Australia
    You haven't watched this true crime docu-series, yet? Have you been living under a rock? Get on it! You'll binge watch this infuriating and puzzling series wondering if Steven Avery is truly guilty of the crimes he is accused of. If you liked the Podcast Serial, you'll love this series.

    Pair it with the mysterious 19 Crimes Shiraz Durif. "Deep ruby in colour with a purple hue; aromas of black cherry, cassis and pepper; flavours replay on the aromas with an emphasis on black pepper and smoke."
     
  2. Twinsters + Kung Fu Girl Riesling, USA
    Follow sweet and fun twin sisters on an astounding and life-altering adventure as they are reunited for the first time. You'll travel with them to the USA, France and Korea. Not to mention, you'll feel all the feels with this cute pair. 

    Pair it with the equally sweet and fun Kung Fu Girl Riesling. "Clear, pale lemon; delicate aromas of lychee, white peach, floral blossom, lemon and mineral; off-dry, light to medium bodied; vibrant acidity and flavours of white stone fruit, apricots, apple and lime leaves."
     
  3. Narcos + Casillero del Diablo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile
    Narcos tells the true-life story of the growth and spread of cocaine drug cartels across the globe. It centres around the notorious Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar.

    Pair it with the devilish Casillero del Diablo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon "Deep ruby colour with purple highlights; aromas of cassis, mint, and roasted coffee; dry, full-bodied, firm tannins, and rich, ripe fruit flavours."
     
  4. SOMM + Bonterra Viognier, USA
    Wine lovers rejoice! This film takes you through the intense journey of what it takes to become a Master Sommelier. Enjoy, and then wait for their next film 'Into the Glass' which will be released soon (2016). 

    Pair with the easy-drinking Bonterra Viognier "Very floral, with a Muscat-like nuance even, it conveys stone fruit character without being heavy and is buttressed by vigorous acidity."
     
  5. Chef's Table + Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Reserva, Italy
    This series follows the lives of the world's most celebrated chefs in stunning detail. If you loved 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi', this will be sure to please. Prepare to be hungry and delighted. 

    Pair with the classic Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Reserva "The highly perfumed bouquet is redolent of earthy notes, cassis and polished river stone. Overall fruity brightness."
     
  6. Master of None + Rolling Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre, Australia
    You'll be rolling on the floor while watching Aziz Ansari's hilarious series, Master of None. Dev, a 30-year-old actor, attempts to make his life in New York City alongside a group of awesomely awkward friends.

    Pair it with the crowd-pleasing Rolling Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre "Medium ruby in colour; forward aromas of crushed berries and spices; flavours of raspberry, blackberry plum and spice."

This Calls for Champagne

Wine, HolidayLesley PocklingtonComment

The New Year is upon us and it, of course, calls for champagne! Or, sparkling wine... or, wine for that matter. Not picky over here! It's time to celebrate and this is what we'll be sipping in good company to ring in a new year. Keep these wines in mind for any celebration. There is always time for champagne.

Three of these wines are local to Ontario (Niagara Peninsula and Prince Edward County). If you can't find them where you live, you'll have to come visit. Trust me, it's worth it. 

*Vintages updated December 30, 2016*


Taittinger Brut Réserve Champagne
Pale lemon; lovely brioche, stone fruit, apple, lemon and honeycomb aromas; fine creamy mousse showing stone fruit, grapefruit and mineral all balanced by crisp acidity; delicious. Taittinger Brut Réserve is a delicately balanced champagne, known for its consistently excellent quality the world over from Reims, France. taittinger.fr

Cuvée Catherine Rosé Brut Sparking Wine
Compared to a "delicate raspberry pastry" by David Lawrason - 90 Points. Pale salmon colour with fine beads; enticing aromas of brioche, wild strawberry and lemon curd; extra dry, medium bodied, with flavours of biscuits, strawberry rhubarb pie, fresh apples and a creamy textured mousse. henryofpelham.com

Les Etoiles Sparkling Wine 2013
Traditional Method. The Les Etoiles is pure elegance and balance, with concentrated lemon citrus aromatics and pure minerality on the palate. Save this vintage for next year! We'll be drinking 2012 to ring in 2017. hinterlandwine.com

Cuvée Mon Unique Gamay 2014
Not a Champagne, but this is one of my favourite celebratory wines. The successor to the much beloved 2013 Gamay (featured last year), the 2014 Cuvée Mon Unique is even prettier. With a deep purple eggplant colour, and a bouquet of black fruit, red earth and cheerful, yet sultry aromas of violets - this bottle is equally defined by silkiness and verve. A bright and luscious palate brimming with black cherries is anchored on an iron heart, and pinned on a fine-boned structure rocking like a rolling stone. The 2014 Gamay Cuvée Mon Unique is a seductive wine - lovely as a delicate flower with flavours rich as sin. pearlmorissette.com