Vietti 2014 Perbacco Nebbiolo

Vietti’s Perbacco Nebbiolo is always a crowd pleaser. If it were possible to describe a bottle of Barolo as “feminine” this would be the bottle you would use.   Because of that it has always been a favourite go to wine for us to use to showcase the depth of Barolo to new wine enthusiasts, or to celebrate the beautiful flavours of Piemonte with a little instant gratification, and only an hour or two of decanting!

Perbacco is made from blending wines of 11 of Vietti’s 15 Cru Single Vineyard Barolo Sites.  In the winemaking process owner/winemaker Luca Currado carefully crafts his Continue reading “Vietti 2014 Perbacco Nebbiolo”

Vietti – 2012 Barolo Lazzarito Wine Review

This brief note does not do this wine justice…  I will dive more into the rich history of this vineyard in my upcoming Barolo blog.

An incredible wine that needs more time to soften, however the notes are incredibly intense with dried roses, violets, thyme, rosemary, sandalwood, oolong tea, dark wet slate, dried cherries, dried cranberries… I could spend hours picking it a part. It is stunning. High acid, high tannin, medium body, with a long finish of bold but refined flavours that layer beautifully upon eachother.

Do not rush with this wine… No matter when you drink it.

 I will be putting away two for when my kids get married – lol they are 6 and 4…  A wine that could be drunk now, but you are doing yourself a disservice in doing so, as this has all of the signs of stunning things to come!  

If you do crack it open early… Be sure to serve with a high fat, high protien dish such as braised beef ravioli in a mushroom cream sauce.  If you can be patient… A truffle risotto 15-20 years from now will be a pure heavenly experience.

Currently Retails for Approx $270 CAD at Bin905 Wine and Spirits

“So I want to learn how to taste wine… What do I need?”

So you want to learn how to taste wine? First of all, congratulations on an excellent choice of a fabulous hobby! I may be a little biased, but clearly wine tasting is an exercise that I enjoy more than… pretty much anything! What was once a hobby, turned into an obsession, and after formal training, became my career.

But I digress…

Many people feel that they are incapable of picking out flavours in wine. When you read the back label of a bottle that lists notes of peach, lychee, and lemongrass… then take a sniff and a swig and fall short on getting well… any of that… it  can be easy to feel discouraged and assume that something is wrong with you and your palate.

I am here to comfort you… because this is often not the case.

Continue reading ““So I want to learn how to taste wine… What do I need?””

Wine Review: Presqu’ile Santa Maria Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir Lover? Or feel that Pinot Noir is too light? I have a find for you!
Fabulous ripe style Pinot Noir for those that normally feel Pinot is too hollow!  
Medium plus nose of red cherry, thyme, smoke, cedar, unripe black plum, leather, and hint of earthy mushroom (brought out by the lamb loin pairing we had at Teatro during our latest tasting dinner) – this is on the menu by the glass at $24 or bottle at $120 or can be found through retailers in Alberta by searching Liquor Connect
For a Pinot Noir, this is intense on the palate. Dry, but with ripe fruit, medium fine tannins, medium alcohol, medium body, and a lovely lingering finish with flavours of cherries, moss, thyme, smoke, cedar, and black plum. Would be great with bbq, and was easily intense enough to stand up to our lamb loin stuffed with pine nuts and herbs!


What makes it Prosecco?

Prosecco is a simple usually fully sparkling (Spumante) wine made in Northern Italy around the Veneto.  Predominantly made from Glera, with a small percentage of other varieties permitted in a blend – Prosecco is Italy’s largest individual wine region with nearly 35000 acres under vine.

Over 300 million bottles of this fizzy beverage are made annually… that is A LOT of bubbles! Continue reading “What makes it Prosecco?”

Everyday Celebrating can be AMAZING – with Prosecco

This past week we had the pleasure of being a part of The Amazing Airdrie Women Awards.  Every year this event showcases the incredibly talented, dedicated, strong, and generous women who inspire us all to be better people.  Together we got to pretend to be “Ladies Who Lunch” for an afternoon, and appreciate all of the good that is in this incredible group of people. 142 Amazing people… and I got to cheers to them all.

Incredible people need to be celebrated, and because of that Vine Life Wine Club was thrilled to toast the attendees with a glass of some of our favorite Prosecco. Continue reading “Everyday Celebrating can be AMAZING – with Prosecco”

A Tale of Two Malbecs

When most people think about Malbec, Argentina comes to top of mind.

But what many people do not realize is that the Malbec Grape – known originally as Cot, Cot Noir or Auxxerois, is native to an area in Southwest France known in modern times as the Cahors region

This area is located South East of Bordeaux  and in the grand scheme of things, has become somewhat of a little known region.  The wines that are produced here must be made with 70% Malbec, and allow a small amount of blending of the other Bordeaux Continue reading “A Tale of Two Malbecs”

Review: Charles Smith Wines – 2014 Kung Fu Girl Riesling


There is nothing that I love more than a great underdog story.  The rags to riches kind.  It takes enormous dedication and talent to be a self taught professional Winemaker.  Even more to go on and win NUMEROUS Winemaker of the Year Awards.  Old school thinking would say it impossible… but that is exactly what Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines has done, and his Kung Fu Girl Riesling is largely to thank.

Time and time again, this beauty manages to land in Wine Spectator Magazine’s Top 100 Wines.  This is unheard of for a wine that typically retails for $12USD or $20CAD.  But when you taste it, it will come as no surprise.  This is INSANELY good value. Continue reading “Review: Charles Smith Wines – 2014 Kung Fu Girl Riesling”

Best Wines for Valentines

Romance is in the air and the day of love is nearly upon us!  What better way to celebrate with your special someone than with a romantic dinner, and a specially picked bottle of wine!

Special menus call for special bottles, and here are a few of my top picks for Valentine’s Day Romance depending on what menu is on your radar.

Classicly Romantic Chocolate Covered Strawberries…

Each year I test my artistic pastry chef skills and make a batch of Chocolate Covered Strawberries for us.  There is something classicaly seductive and romantic about this special treat.  Something this special deserves a wine equally special to go with it.  My personal favourite is Rosé Champagne:


Bollinger Brut NV Rose Champagne – $107

A classic Aphrodesiac, this is one bottle that you don’t have to save for dessert.  The complexity of balanced savoury and fruity flavours in a bottle of Rosé Champage will compliment your entire meal.  And frankly, this wine is too special to save for just dessert.  Take your time, sip and savour your wine and eachother.  Your glass will be brimming with classic red berry fruit, and bright acidity that will perfectly match your shared dessert.  Besides, is there anything that says Valentine’s day more than a festive glass of pink bubbles?  I think not…

Best wine for the box of Chocolates…

Red Wine and Chocolate go classically hand in hand.  But the truth is that not every red wine is a great match!  Milk Chocolate and sweet filling can throw off your wine if it does not have enough residual sugar.  If you plan of diving into a box with an assortment of caramel and fruit filled assorted treasures – a bottle of Vintage Port is your best bet.


Quinta do Noval – Silval 2005 Vintage Port – $83

Vintage Ruby Ports usually explode with rich red fruit character, and offer just the right ammount of sweetness to balance out milk chocolate and caramel.  These wines are only made from the best years, similar to Vintage Champagnes.  Unlike Tawny Port, they do not see extended oxidation maturation in oak, and are instead largely matured in bottle.  Because of this they will be much fruitier in flavour than their Tawny cousins.  They are also a classic standout with blue cheese.  So if a cheese plate, and box of chocolates are on your radar – this is a sure winner.

Classic Steak or Filet Mignon wrapped with Bacon?

Special dates call for special cuts of beef.  If you are thinking of impressing your sweetheart with a decadent steak dinner, simply prepared on the grill, or based in butter with salt and pepper, then a Syrah from the Northern Rhone or high quality Australian Shiraz is your ideal bet.


Domaine Yves Cuilleron – 2011 L’Amarybelle Syrah, St. Joseph $53

Your Northern Rhone selelctions from areas such as St. Joseph will offer a beautiful smokey complexity to them that are a perfect compliment to grilled flavours in lean cuts of beef, especially classic Filet Mignon wrapped with peppered bacon.  Full of rich red fruit character, smoke, and pepper this is a perfect choice.  Less smokey, and more fruit forward are your quality Shiraz offerings from the Barossa Valley in Australia.  These will be nice and peppery and full of jammy blackberry and cherry flavours.

Lobsterfest Anyone?

If crab legs or lobster tails are on your radar this Valentine’s Day, one of my favourite pariings with these dishes is Saumur.  Try this:


Bouvet Ladubay – Brut Saumur NV – $25

Saumur is a Sparkling Wine Appelation in the heart of the Loire in France.  These festive bubbles have crisp acidity that will cut through the rich butter, and a unique smoky nose that will bring out the delicate sweetness of the crab or lobster meat.  They are also exceptional with fruit based desserts.  Saumur offers extreme value, and this wine is a great choice if you already splurged on a Valentine’s day gift.

Fondue for Two?

Whether it be Cheese, Meat, or both topped off with Chocolate Fondue for dessert, there is something extrememly romantic about sharing fondue for two.  With many sauces and flavours, I recommend going with a refreshing, complex, but slightly neutral wine.  Pinot Gris is a natural choice.  My top pick:


Domaine Zind Humbrecht – 2011 Rotenberg Pinot Gris – $68

This treat from Alsace France is bursting with crisp citrus, and stone fruit, this wine has full body and tonnes of nutty texture thanks to lees treatment.  Refreshing with a strong mineral backbone, this wine compliments all of the rich sauces, cheese, and variety of flavours associated with Fondue.

No matter what your menu, or choice of wine, the most imporant thing is to remember to take time out to celebrate your relationship.  Make it special!


– Kathryn