The 12 Wines of Christmas ‘Advent’ure is COMING!

Are you on the hunt for some SPECTACULAR and affordable wines to enjoy with family and friends over the holidays? We are excited to say that we have hunted down some of the most delicious bottles for the season, and will be releasing them 1 BY 1 to YOUR INBOXAdvent Calendar style starting December 1st!

Then every other day enjoy receiving a great new holiday wine review right to your inbox – complete with tasting notes, a little wine education, and a Perfect Pairing Recipe to go with it!

Want to pick up a bottle or two? ONLY Wine Club members, and those signed up on our 12 Wines of Christmas List will receive exclusive discounts and information on where to buy these great wines!

Want to join in on the fun? Simply Click and Fill out the form to be added to our E-Wine Advent Calendar!




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Warm up with Orange Scented Mulled Wine

Snow is falling, and there is nothing that says warm and cozy quite like a hot cup of mulled wine.  An often forgotten tradition, I have one recipe that will warm you from the inside out when Jack Frost starts to bite.  And while this is not a recipe to pair so to speak, it goes perfectly with cold nights, snowball fights, and gathering with friends.

A refined version of the traditional Mulled Wine, pre-toasting all of your spices adds a nice extra depth of flavour and allows them to open up before steeping them.  I recommend using a fruity, low tannin wine like an Australian Shiraz, Ripe Californian Merlot, Russian River or Central Otago Pinot Noir, or Lodi Zinfandel.

This is a great make-ahead- recipe too if you are entertaining.    Feel free to infuse the wine a day before serving it.  Then remove the spice sachet before storing it. When you are ready to enjoy it, gently reheat the wine over low heat and add the brandy, Grand Marnier, and vanilla.

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Ghoulishly Good Wines for your Halloween Goodies

Muahhhahahahaa…  we hope that your celebrations are Spooktacular this week!  If not, we at least hope that you you are finding a small way to enjoy Hallo-Wine, I mean Halloween!

There is nothing quite like being stuck at home, answering the doorbell repeatedly every 45 seconds to make a person want to pour themselves a glass.

And in my best effort to save you from some nasty flavour interactions as you steal your kids chocolates and skittles, I have come up with a great little list of wines for practical Halloween Pairing.

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Ultimate in comfort food… Ham & Cheese Gnocchi

In our home one of my favourite things to roast on the weekend is a ham shank.  I then always look forward to the many meal options I can make with the leftovers!  Split pea and ham soup, ham sandwiches for days, and my favorite comfort food… This Ham and Cheese Gnocchi – Paired with my favourite Viognier!


Why does this pairing work so well?

Both pork and oak contain Lactones, which makes a Viognier that has seen a little oak treatment a fabulous choice that matches the intensity of flavors and molecular structure of the meat.  Smoked pork in particular has a fantastic way of bringing out the apricot and stone fruit flavors found in Viognier.

Because of this, Ham works well with Viognier, particularly rich new world varieties that offer up lots of stone fruit, floral, and mineral characteristics.   While the old world French options are delicious, I find that they are more mineral/terroir Continue reading “Ultimate in comfort food… Ham & Cheese Gnocchi”

Creamy Sundried Tomato and Chicken Pasta

Rustic and hearty with bright sundried tomatoes, this is one dish that can be a little tricky to pair with wine.  The creamy/tomato base can pose a bit of a challenge.  It is a dish that will require a bright, medium bodied wine with juicy acidity to not only match the bright flavours of the tomatoes, but cut through the creamy richness.

For us this dish goes beautifully with bright, fruity and acidic Barbera D’Alba or Barbera D’Asti from Northern Italy!


Try it with Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne and enjoy a little escape from the comfort of your own kitchen!  With a rich nose and palate of sour cherries, and a hit of baking spices, and light oak, it is a wine with enough balanced earthiness and acidity to compliment the dark meat in this easy pasta dish.

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Wine & Pumpkin Pie? OH MY!

Leaves are changing, and the flavours of fall can be found in abundance at Farmer’s Markets and at your local grocery store.  Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and for many that means a Turkey Dinner Feast with those we care about, and crowning the evening with Pumpkin Pie!

My Grandmother’s Pumpkin Pie recipe has been known to send many back fro seconds… or thirds.  And while it is special on it’s own, pairing it with an equally as delicious dessert wine tends to elevate the entire evening to OUTSTANDING!

So what do you pair with Pumpkin Pie?  My personal favourite…

Arnaud de Villeneuve – Rivesaltes Ambre 5yr.  At usually around $25CAD for a 750ml bottle, this is great deal for a bottle to serve a crowd of 20!  Locally it can be found at Bin 905 Wine & Spirits, and select Calgary Co-op locations.

A blend of Grenache Blanc, Macabeu, and Grenache gris, it is a smooth dessert wine that begs for pumpkin pie.  With notes of marmalade, toffee, toasted nuts, and baking spices it compliments many of fall’s ideal desserts.

Need a great Pumpkin Pie Recipe?  Try Grandma Rudd’s:

Continue reading “Wine & Pumpkin Pie? OH MY!”

Roasted Lemon-Ginger Chicken

At first glance, the thought of roasting an entire bird may seem like something you would reserve for the weekend or a special dinner.

But this no fuss recipe makes enjoying a roasted chicken easy and delicious.  It is a recipe that you really just throw together in a pot, and tastes incredible!

When paired with a high mineral/lime peel flavoured, cool climate Riesling like Charles Smith Wines – Kung Fu Girl Riesling, this bird sings!

Riesling and ginger are exceptional together, and each in this combination pull out the best of all worlds.  If you are going to try and pair an alternate Riesling, be sure to steer clear of the sweeter choices usually labelled under 10% ABV, and if it is a German variety, look for one that is designated Kabinett from the Mosel.

These wines will be lighter in flavour profile and style than their Spatlese and Auslese siblings, as they are made from grapes picked earlier in the harvest when sugar levels in the berries are lower.

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Roasted Chicken and Garlic Scape Gnocchi

Little potato pillows from heaven… that is what our son calls Gnocchi.

With plenty of fresh produce making the rounds at farmers markets,  we happend upon a creative and exceptional dish to make use of the beautiful pea shoots and garlic scapes we were given.

This is one plate of gnocchi that is sure to please the most discerning palate!

Now it is important to note that this dish contains an item known to be a notorious ‘wine pairing killer’ – Asparagus.  There are very few wines that work well with Asparagus, however it is a perfect match for Roero Arneis – a grape native to Northern Italy.  The best of the best, and most historically significant Arneis is produced by Vietti.

For your perfect pairing, and to taste a glass of history, we recommend Vietti Roero Arneis.

Continue reading “Roasted Chicken and Garlic Scape Gnocchi”

Garlic Crusted Salmon with Watermelon Relish

On a hot summer day few things beat fresh watermelon, seafood, and a glass of Riesling on the patio!  Before the summer sun fades, I recommend picking up a bottle of Synchromesh, Tantalus or 8th Generation Riesling  and giving this recipe a try!

Quick enough for a weeknight meal, and extremely healthy – you will have just elevated your weeknight dining game to a 10!

4 skinless salmon fillets
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cracked pepper
2 tbs paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp lemon juice or lime juice
1 tsp lemon or lime zest
1 tbsp olive oil
For Skillet:
2tbs Butter
Whisk garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, lemon/lime juice, zest and olive oil together in a small bowl. Rub salmon fillets evenly with the garlic oil mixture and let marinate for 35 minutes. While marinating, begin preparation of relish.
Tomato- Watermelon Relish
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 cup diced fresh watermelon
1 avocado diced
1/2 Cup corn kernels
1.5 tsp lemon or lime zest
2 tbs lemon/lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pinch fresh pepper
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
Preparation: Mix all ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with the salmon


Cook the Salmon:

Heat a skillet on the stove on med/high heat.  Melt butter and transfer salmon fillets to skillet.  Cook each side until brown crust forms, flipping once in between.  Remove when browned but fillet is still moist and flaky inside. *Timing will vary based on the thickness of your fillet.

*Tip: to test salmon for “doneness” – insert a cold knife briefly into the thickest part of the fillet – remove quickly and feel the knife – if it is still cool to the touch, the salmon needs more time.  You will likely be able to take a quick peak as well to see if the colour of your fish has changed – but do not do this too often!

Top Salmon with 1/2 cup of Relish (or more!) and enjoy with a side of rice!


–  Kathryn

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