Tag Archives: champagne

Best Bubbly For Your Buck

Since we don’t profess to be experts just wine enthusiasts, sometimes when it comes to recommendations we look for a little help from our friends.  And because our main love is big bold reds we figured if we wanted to add some cheer to your New Year we’d better get some advice.


Ange-about-usThis summer we met Ange Aiello the founder of iYellow Wine Club, a social wine club based in Toronto with monthly wine events, wine tours and newsletters.  With over 4000 members, they count on Ange to know her stuff and she definitely does, especially when it comes to local. And we say what better way to boost the economy than by buying local.

Ange is fun, charming and bubbly so who better to suggest the perfect bottle to pop on New Year’s Eve.  From the budget basics to the luxurious here’s her list:

Affordable and fun bubbly
1- Mionetto Prosecco – Italian and delicious $11.95
2- Moscato Spumante – sweeter and sparkly $12.95
3 – Wolf Blass – traditional method, dryer and a great with lots of appetizers $17.95
4- Trapiche Sparkling Brut – $11.95

Local Bubbly
1- Peller Estates Ice Cuvee Rose $32.95 – Sparkling wine made like champagne with cabernet Franc Icewine
2 – Chateau Des Charmes Brut $23.95 – dry and delicious
3 – Jackson Triggs Entourage Brut – perfect for the holidays
3 – Casa Dea Brut – $18.95 – A great local bubble from Prince Edward County
4 – Henry of Pelham Rose Catherine – declious and perfect and pink!
5 – Sparkling Icewine – $79.95 – a delight to share and spoil with, start or end a meal with!

Luxurious Bubbly – Champagne (From France and over $40.00)
1- Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne $67.85
2- Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne $59.95
3- Nicholas Feuillatte Brut Champagne $44.55

Ange also shared her suggestions on Canada AM recently and if you want to watch the video here’s the link http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=832987&playlistId=1.1090712&binId=1.815911

She’s also got a couple of upcoming ice wine tours to Niagara in January that should be a blast so check out the wine club if you’re interested in tagging along.

imagesEven though sparkling wines and champagne are what we know best the one thing we do know is they go with everything. So whether you’re just popping the cork to cheer in the New Year or pairing it up with dinner nothing makes you smile like tiny bubbles tickling your taste buds.

So raise a glass and celebrate the New Year with us as we will be thinking of all of you.  May  2013 be an outstanding year not just for the vintages you choose to drink but also for you, your family and all your friends.





Bring on the Bubbly

0Now that we’ve all had our fill of family, fun and enough food to make us feel like we should get on the treadmill, it’s time for the next round.  So whether you’re planning a night on the town, a house party or a quiet night in, nothing says “Happy New Year”  like a glass of bubbly.

There are lots of options out there from the budget basics to price popping high-end Champagnes.  But with sparkling wines being produced around the world only those made in the Champagne region of France may truly call themselves by that name, a protection originally granted by the Treaty of Madrid in 1891.

Chris McDonald, owner of Cava Restaurant
Chris McDonald, owner of Cava Restaurant

But besides sparkling wine and Champagne there’s another name you may or may not be familiar with, one I recently learned about from Chris McDonald the chef and owner of a restaurant named in its honour, Cava located in Toronto.  Recently Chris shared his knowledge of all things related to the foods and holiday traditions of Spain and presented me with a bottle of Agusti Torello Kripta.  I haven’t actually tasted it yet (saving it for our New Year’s toast) but I fell in love with the bottle the moment I saw it.

0Call me inquisitive or nosy but nothing makes me want to find out the facts more than something I’ve never seen before and I’ve never seen a bottle shaped like this.   I don’t know if this is fact or fiction but Chris’ charming explanation made me laugh out loud.  He says the bottle’s torpedo like shape is intended so you can’t put it down making it good to the last drop.

2006 Cava Kripta
2006 Cava Kripta

This particular cava was created in 1979 by Agusti Torello Mata a man who has dedicated his life to making great cava.  The grapes come exclusively from old vineyards (over 50 years) in the Penedes area in the Catalonia region of Spain.  It’s a long aging cava (minimum 4 years with the yeast) made up of 3 grape varietals Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada.  Each bottle is individually numbered and the beautiful label was designed by artist Rafael Bartolozzi.

0The card enclosed with the beautiful box suggests this cava is ideal for caviar, smoked fish or meats, foie gras and curated cheese and I’ll just add my suggestion of oysters (because I love sparkling wine and oysters).  But somehow I have a feeling this cava would go with anything. Unfortunately you won’t find this at the LCBO so if you want to give it a try you’ll need to head over to Cava on Yonge Street (website is in the blogroll) and tell Chris I sent you.

But no matter what fills your glass on December 31st here’s wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and many more.

Which one do you prefer – sparkling wine or champagne?


Just Like Fine Wine

Growing old is not for the faint of heart.  In a culture obsessed by youth our seniors are often forgotten and neglected.  But just like fine wine they should be celebrated.  My parents both passed away at a very early age so I never got to know them as an adult.  I only saw them through the sullen eyes of a teenager who didn’t appreciate them enough while I had the chance.

I’ve been very fortunate to have friends who have let me share in the pleasures of their family especially my best friend Nancy.  There hasn’t been a Christmas or birthday that I haven’t gotten an invitation to and I try to make them all because over time her family has become mine.

Happy Birthday Jeannette

This past weekend Nancy’s mom, Jeannette turned 80.  Vibrant and full of life, Jeannette has been many things throughout her life…wife, mother, sister, teacher, friend and grandmother.  She has touched hundreds of lives and I believe each of those has been enriched by knowing her.She’s always got a smile on her face and never raises her voice yet if she gives you that one certain look you know somehow you’ve misbehaved, probably why she made such a good teacher.

Gravenhurst Bifocal Concert Band

She was a teacher for 30 years but just because her professional career ended long ago doesn’t mean she can’t still teach us all something.  To this day she remains a force to be reckoned with, an avid gardener she’s a vital member of her local horticulture society, she plays in the Gravenhurst Bifocal Concert Band, often going to entertain other seniors and as a mother and grandmother she’s always there when you need her.

In an age of where most of us communicate online she still keeps a handwritten daily journal, something she has done for the last forty years and loves to send and receive a well written note.   You may think this old fashion and out of date but you’d be surprised how much pleasure a beautiful note or a real Christmas card gives you over a flashing e-card.

The average price of a 1932 vintage wine would probably run you in the thousands today which reflects its value.  So just like a fine wine a life well lived also deserves to be appreciated.  So whether the ones you love are fresh off the vine or have gathered some dust during a life well lived, eat cake and raise a glass to celebrate because life is fleeting and one never knows when it might end.

Love wisely and drink well!  And should I make it to 80, just like Jeannette I expect lots and lots of champagne.