Posts in Round Up
Netflix & Wine | Valentine's Day 2018
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
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.

Podcasts & Coffee | Fall 2017
Podcasts & Coffee. The fall 2017 round up of podcasts to enjoy with coffee by Swell Made Co.

Podcasts & Coffee. The fall 2017 round up of podcasts to enjoy with coffee by Swell Made Co.

When I'm working at my desk all day, I'll admit, I'm fueled by two things. Podcasts and Coffee. Podcasts and coffee make perfect company for getting through the work day. From escaping through stories (real and fictional), catching up on current events or learning something completely new; this new blog series will round up some of my favourite podcasts. Grab your headphones and turn up the volume with me. If you have suggestions of your own, comment below. I'd LOVE to hear them. Literally.


Podcasts & Coffee. The fall 2017 round up of podcasts to enjoy with coffee by Swell Made Co.

Podcasts & Coffee. The fall 2017 round up of podcasts to enjoy with coffee by Swell Made Co.

FALL PODCAST ROUND UP

  1. The Daily by Michael Barbaro of the New York Times
    Every morning starts with this daily (5 days a week) news podcast powered by the New York Times. In twenty minutes you'll catch up on the news. This is how news should sound with only what you want to know, none of what you don't. Plus, Michael caps off each episode with a splash of gin. That's my kind of news.
     
  2. Revisionist History by Malcom Gladwell
    You've read Malcolm Gladwell's infamous books, now you can listen to his fascinating podcasts. Revisionist History seeks to explain the misunderstood. He approaches the past; whether it be a person, and event, and idea or even a song with the question of if we got it right the first time. Through facts and an insight that only Malcom Gladwell can expose, history gets a second chance.
     
  3. 99% Invisible by Roman Mars
    For design lovers like me, this will become one of your new favourite podcasts. Host Roman Mars explores the process and power of design and architecture that's often overlooked. Weekly episodes look at design in a whole new way from the history of the stethoscope to stories of architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. Roman has a dreamy voice that will captivate you from the beginning to end of every episode.
     
  4. Locked Up Abroad by Wondery
    Host Jim Clemente brings you first hand accounts of people who have lived the nightmare of being locked up in foreign countries. This immersive podcast has been adapted from National Geographic's hit TV series. Hear the riveting stories from the prisoners themselves as they have experienced being locked up (and escaping) from Istanbul to Bali.
     
  5. Casefile
    Not for the faint of heart, Casefile covers the shocking, strange and unsolved true crime stories. Fact is definitely scarier than fiction with this series. If you like true crime, you'll find this podcast fascinating as they look at well known and obscure cases. If you're not into true crime, skip this one.
     
  6. Women, Work + Worth by Mavenly & Co.
    A podcast for women by women about designing a career and lifestyle with purpose. The hosts and professionals touch on topics that are relevant to women in business with honesty, intention and meaning.

You can listen to and subscribe to all of these podcasts for free, of course. Happy listening while you work! Again, if you have any podcast suggestions, I'd love to hear them.