Weekend Wine Picks

Oct 14 2014 251There were so many things to give thanks for this week. Surrounded by family and friends, watching my 84-year old mother arm wrestle any one who dared to challenge her. My wonderful nieces and nephews exploring the city. My lovely daughter dancing the night away in the kitchen with guests from 8-84. And of course, toasting the whole night with some terrific wine picks that I highly recommend.

ripasso 2012Giuseppe Campagnolo Valpolicella Ripasso 2012 Corvina Blend $16.95 Medium bodied and fruity.  This was perfect to serve before, during, and after our turkey dinner.   13.5% In the Vintages section, but going fast.



peoples pinotThe People’s Pinot Noir Central Otago, New Zealand 2011 $16.95  I was looking for a Pinot Noir to serve with turkey and this one caught my eye. Admittedly this time it was the label that stood out – often a detractor in my mind – but I do like Kiwi wines and this light bodied pick with cherry and raspberry notes turned out to be a crowd pleaser.   gran feudo 2007

Julian Chivite Gran Feudo Reserva 2007  Blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon is only $16.95  This was my favourite of the bunch. If you are looking for an affordable red – this one is worth sampling.


A little trip around the world in wine  made for great Thanksgiving feasting. Just in time for this week at the LCBO, where Vintages is  celebrating my favourites – great Italians. Time for some sampling in the tasting room this weekend. Salute!

The Day My Music Died

My Trusty iPod Classic
My Trusty iPod Classic

I went to see Gone Girl at AMC Beaches earlier this month, and someone walked away with the soundtrack of my life.

Most material things mean nothing to me. . Yes, there is that bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape to be opened in  4 years, that is being lovingly protected.  Family pictures of course, and the odd piece of jewelry that is special because of who or where it came from, but overall, they are just things.

My iPod was special. It was given to me as a  birthday present by the wonderful people I work with who know me well enough to know there was no better gift.  It has travelled everywhere with me. From Whitehorse to San Francisco, Kelowna to Maine. Each playlist lovingly developed over the decade since my sister  gave me my first incarnation that held 1200 tunes.  My Classic held space for 12,000 tunes including the songs that were playing when I tasted bottles of wine that rocked my world. Sitting on a terrazzo looking out at the Italian countryside sipping a glass or three. Dancing with my hubbie to Harvest Moon. Laughing my face off with friends.

SInce then there have been a few desktops loaded with iTunes, but on my Classic, the songs remained the same.

Until now.

And while in the global scheme of things, it is utterly inconsequential,  tonight these wines  are  my toast to my little iPod that served me well.

Even though some of those treasured playlists died with the hard drive on a former computer, I know I will get them back eventually on a newer speedier model. Apple moved on from the  iPod Classic that only played music. It wasn’t fast enough, multi-functional enough –  but that’s exactly why we got along so well.

My music and me.

So  I needed some good wine to wash away my music melancholy, wines from Washington State.

Charles Smith cabernet Sauvignon
Charles Smith cabernet Sauvignon


Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2012  This was one of the featured wines in the Vintages catalogue. At $23.95, it was worth the price. If you haven’t explored Columbia Valley wines, they are definitely worth some attention, especially now that more of them are turning up in Vintages.



Powerful Washington Blend
Powerful Washington Blend




Proprietary Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills 2009 43% Syrah, 35% Barbera, 9% Petit Verdot, 9% Malbec, 4% Mourvedre. Plums, cherries, full bodied – absolutely lovely. I also loved H3 which is what led me to pick up this bottle, and  I am definitely going back for more. $21.95 at the LCBO.


I hope the person who walked away with my iPod in its battered brown faux leather case enjoys the Road to Sicily playlist  that chronicles the music of my life with my husband Steve. Or Mormor’s birthday playlist – my 84-year old mother’s favourite songs (including Patricia the Stripper). And have a look at the pix from the most amazing trip to Italy five years ago with my dearest friends before you delete all.

It’s just a thing. But it was a thing that meant a lot.