France

Vancouver Internationl Wine Festival 2014

I'm not sure if I shared with you that I love champagne, but I do. So, at this years Vancouver International Wine Festival, I was so excited when I heard that France was the featured country! I knew that would mean there was going to be lots of great champagne for me to taste! And I did!

I essentially spent 3 days wandering around the French section of the tasting room drinking champagne (okay - I might be exaggerating a bit). If you are following my twitter and instagram you would have seen all my posts and little videos I featured while attending the festival. (Hint: check them out by clicking on the links provided in the previous sentence!) Shameless self promotion, I know but I am looking for more followers so you can't fault me for asking.

This video features two of the champagnes I tasted. Baron de Rothchild and Champagne Lanson. *Note: It was my first time doing little interviews on the spot at a tasting so forgive me if I didn't follow proper 'interviewing protocol' ;-) I've already forgiven myself because I had so much fun!

My next video posting is going to be from my trip to Mexico. Yes I was a little intoxicated. Yes, I was drinking at the pool bar. Yes, it's a lot of fun. Yes, I was wearing a bikini. Yes, I wish I was still in Mexico. Yes, you should come back to my website next week and watch it. :-)

Hope you are doing fabulous and drinking some amazing wine!

 

xo.h

~ May the beauty you love be what you do ~

 

Diary Entry #24 - Wine With Me 2.0 - Unicorns & Masion Nicolas Perrin 2011 Syrah Viognier

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you all had a wonder time ringing in 2013!

I want to take this time to thank you for all of your support over this past year. It was my first year as a blogger and it was because of you guys that 2012 was so special.

Part of me wanted to title this vlog "My confession, My contradiction, My Intention" but I decided on the above title instead. 

I have done a lot of reflecting on where this journey of wine with me has taken me over the last year, as well, I have done a lot of work on what my vision is for wine with me and how I want to evolve this vlogging project of mine. 

This reflecting has enabled me to really create a new vision and understanding why I'm doing this. I have realized that I want to share stories with you. I want to share the stories behind the label. So the stories of the wine makers, families that own and operate the wineries/vineyards, basically, the stories of the people behind the wine that we all love.

What I am really talking about is the launch of WineWithMe 2.0. 

Now I'm sure you're wondering why I'm calling this a 'confession' video.  Well, the confession is that I realize now that I have been a bit of a contradiction in my vlogs and my website. I have been calling this a 'video DIARY of a wine lover' but I have not been sharing really anything about myself. So for that I'm sorry I have not been living up to my websites slogan.

Moving forward I want to reassure you that you will still be getting all of the good stuff that you originally came here to watch, but I'm adding more of me and my story as well as the stories of others. You will still get my tasting notes/opinions but now I'm going to be sharing my own personal experiences, I want to have more guest on my vlogs with me and even go to different locations (wineries and restaurants, etc)

I wrote a mission/intention statement (because I am that serious about this and I want to be clear in my intention)  and I would like to share that with you:

My mission is to inspire, evoke and ignite others to believe in themselves, believe in what they are passionate about and to seek a life that has greater purpose, love, joy, and hope through following their own passion and by being the best person they can be. 

I have a genuine desire to make this world a better place and I hope to do this one vlog at a time!!

So this my friends is WineWithMe 2.0 :)

Dear Diary....

The wine I'm featuring this week is Masion Nicolas Perrin's 2011 Syrah Viognier. It's from the Rhone Valley in France. This wine is actually the merging of the Perrin Family (well know producers from Southern Rhone) and Nicolas Jaboulet (prodcuer from Norhern Rhone). They started this small operation Masion Nicolas Perrin in 2008. 

The main grape in this blend is Syrah with a little bit of Viognier to add finess and round out the strong bold syrah. I'm not sure what the exact blend between Syrah and Viognier is though.

I found the color when I held up up against a white background, was bright red/fucshia. It is really a pretty color. On the nose I found some floral hints of violet, blueberries and cloves. To the taste, there was red berries with some of that blueberry coming through. It had nice spice to it as well. The tannins were soft and rounded off nicely. I think this might have been due to the lovely viognier that was add - it did its job and it did it well!

I found this wine at Kitsilano Wine Cellar for about $23.00. I'm not sure if it's available at BC Liquor stores or not. 

Thanks again for checking out my vlog & blog. I hope you enjoyed the first video of Wine With Me 2.0!

x.h

~May the beauty you love, be what you do ~

Diary Entry #15 - Episode 14 - Perrin & Fils 2007 Vacqueryas

It's been too long since I've done a wine review and so I thought it was time! Life has been super busy and it's been keeping me from posting anything new lately. But alas, I found some time this long weekend to consume some wine, vlog and post :-) 

This wine is Perrin & Fils 2007 Vacqueryas. It's from the Rhone region in France and it's 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah. Perrin & Fils became AOC in 1990 so they are known for good consistent wines as not all wines receive the AOC designation. But with that said and the higher expectations I had for this wine, I wasn't totally impressed. It was too tannic for me and in the end it just didn't sit nicely on my palette. 

I would like to mention that I've decided that I'm going to stick with my rating system that I came up with a few months ago...in a nutshell it's:

Forgettable - Meaning this wine sucks and I won't be drinking or buying it again

Memorable - Meaning this wine was decent and you should perhaps check it out!

Unforgettable - Meaning this wine is awesome and you need to go buy a bottle of it now as it's absolutely delicious and worth the money!

I initially found this wine that I reviewed this week to be memorable. Like I said, it was a lot more tannic than I like and maybe it just needed some food. But on it's own, I wasn't a big fan. After I did my review I had a couple friends over and they weren't fans of it either. So with that said, this wine rating quickly moved to the 'forgettable' category. I don't think I'll be buying this one anytime soon. But perhaps it was an off year. So maybe another vintage might be worth a shot. 

If you've had this wine (this vintage or another) please let me know your thoughts. Did you have it with food? I think food would make it better...so maybe thats where we went wrong when we were drinking it. I like to think that if it's a good wine, you can have it solo or with food. So with that said...if you do try this one, make sure you have some food on hand! The label suggests roast and grilled red meats, all spicy dishes and strong cheeses...So give it a go and let me know what you think!

I hope everyone has had a great long weekend and I'll be posting more vlogs soon!

xx.h

Diary Entry #7 - Episode #6 - 2009 Villa Ponciago - Beaujolais Villages AC

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE! Here is my video review and if you feel like reading up more on it, please feel free to read my blog below. 

Being Friday and all, I wanted to come home and have a glass of wine, so I figured I mine as well do a review as well! I decided to pop open a bottle of Beaujoleais-Villages AC. It's a 2009 Villa Ponciago, it retails for about $25 and I bought it at Legacy Liquor store. Because this wine was a Beaujolais Villages AC, I think my expectations were slightly higher...the 'villages' part of the name indicates that it's a more 'superior' quality they the plain jane Beaujolais. Beaujolis-Villages come from the northern region of Beaujolais. This area is known for the granite hills and better quality wines. Technically, Beaujolais is part of Burgundy (where most french Pinot Noir's come from). The grape varietal in beaujolais is Gamay. This grape produces lighter to medium bodies wines that are typically lower in tannins, have medium to high acidity and are know for their red fruit aromas. 

On the nose, this wine has a young light red fruit smell. It is definitely not a ripe red fruit like you might smell in a syrah/shiraz. It smelled like young red cherries and I also got light hits of strawberries. There was also another smell that I couldn't quite put my finger one but perhaps it was the influence of the granite rock in the soil that created this other un-nameable smell! Over all, it was light and young smelling. 

VillaPonciago2009Front.jpg

To taste, this one was young fresh red fruit. There was soft tannins and I actually quite liked the silkiness of the tannins. I really liked the light cherry flavours and the soft linger of the tannins. There is a light sourness on the sides of the tongue with a soft silky finish that gently lingers in my mouth.

With that said though, there is nothing about this wine that I think totally stands out. And for $25, I'm not entirely convinced it's worth the money. I reviewed this bottle because I was thinking that this might be a great wine to review before the holidays in hopes it would end up on some dinner tables. I'm looking for something to suggest that would go great with everyone at the dinner table/party...but I'm going to be honest, my verdict is out (I know, I kind of flip flopped in my video review) and I'm still on the hunt for the perfect dinner red wine for the holiday season. 

If you like Beaujolais, give this one a try. But I wouldn't be rushing anywhere to grab it off the shelf (sorry Legacy Liquor but I know there are other amazing and fantastic wines you carry instead of this one).

Ok, that's enough for this review...I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend and I will be back soon with my next wine review! 

In the meantime, my question for YOU is: Have you had an amazing Beaujolais that you would recommend for the holiday season?! 

xx.h

Diary Entry #5 - Louis De Sacy - Champagne Seminar at Legacy Liquor

Ok, so I much prefer the video blogging format so it can be in the moment and I can really share with you what my experience was...but alas, I cannot do that all the time. So I'm going to attempt this writing thing without a video...

Tonight I went to a free champagne seminar at Legacy Liquor (which is just a private liquor store here in Vancouver). It was all Louis de Sacy Champagne and it was put on my Alain Sacy himself! He is from the 12 generation of this wine growing family from Champagne. The vineyard has been in the family since 1633!!! Wow how cool is THAT!!! I think if I was just born into a family who owned and operated a Grand Cru in Champagne since 1633, I wouldn't have to do anything further with my life. I would have already succeeded just for being born! Ok, back to the wine...

No first off I must point out that there is a difference between CHAMPAGNE and SPARKLING WINE. It's a pet peeve of mine when people refer to all sparkling wine as champagne....IT'S NOT!!! There is a major difference and if I was Champagne, I would be insulted if other sparkling wines were being called champagne and riding on my elegant coat tails without proper authorization! Only 8% of all sparkling wine is champagne. Champagne is from a specific region in France called...wait for it...yup you guessed it, the region is called 'CHAMPAGNE'. If it's got bubbles and not form that region - it's just good ol'sparkling wine, so lets NOT confuse the two. I'm going to do a "Wine 101" series of videos and go through lots of different basic wine facts/info...so I'll cover the differences between champagne and sparkling wine then. For now, back to tonights tasting...

I must say, I really enjoyed all of these champagnes so sorry if it sounds like I'm repeating myself on the reviews below...(I promise if I review a wine and I hate it, I will say so!!!)

Ok, first tasting was the Louis de Sacy Brut 'Original'...

 

This champagne is not Grand Cru, but it's delicious!!! On the nose there was a lot of fresh apple and a nice crispness to it. It was light, fresh and lively on the palate. It's 67% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay and 3% pinot meunier. I found this to be a well structured champagne which was friendly, inviting and had a nice long finish! I think this would appeal to a lot of champagne/wine lovers so if you see it, I would grab it and give it a try.

 

The second champagne tasted was Brut Grand Cru ($72.75 at Legacy Liquor)...

This one had an entirely different nose that the Original. This one had almost a buttery, cheddar, barnyard nose...if that makes sense! It was really good, you could smell the minirality in the wine (which is often what you would smell because there is a lot of chalk in the soil in the Champagne region). I didn't smell much fruit in this one even though the pamphlet says there is notes of red fruit and citrus. But hey, that's the great thing about wine tasting - we each have our own experiences and neither is right or wrong! This is a blend of 60% pinot noir, 5% pinot meunier and 35% chardonnay, thereof 10% aged in oak. The Grand Cru's are know for their extremely small/fine bubbles. When you drink it, you mouth tingles as it lingers...it's lovely! I tasted a lot of minerals and stone in this champagne. So if that's more your style, check it out!

 

Third on the list was the Brut Grand Cru Rose ($82.75 at Legacy Liquor)...

This one is a nice 'elegant salmon' colour (as it's so lovely described on the little pamphlet)...but it's true...it is an elegant salmon colour! This is a blend of 90% pinot noir with 10% pinot meunier. This wine you could smell more of the acidity in it. Which I'm guessing is due to the fact that there is some contact with the skins (which creates that 'elegant salmon' colour). This wine is a nice dry, full bodied rose. It had some nice light berry notes on the nose. I found this one to have an extremely long finish and I think it would carry well with a meal. Now I wouldn't say that for most champagnes because I find champagnes are just so good all on their own or with a few tapas! But if you wanted one with a meal...this is a GREAT option!

 

 

 

 

 

This is a picture of the Brut Grand Cru Rose. Check out those sexy bubbles baby!!! Can you see the 'elegant salmon' colour I was talking about?! Ya, I know, it's kind of hard with the table...I'll try and take better pictures next time :-)

 

 

The last champagne we tired was a vintage (2003) champagne called Grand Soir. 

This one had an amazing nose on it! You could smell the old oak barrels and there was almost a smokiness to it as well. It was that ultimate romantic smelling champagne that we all love (at least I that I love). Seriously though, smelling this wine was like falling in love. Ok, I know uber cheesy thing of me to say. But that's exactly how I felt when I smelt it. I think because it made me think of old oak barrels and how other batches of wine had aged in those same barrels from previous years...It was almost like you could smell the story and history in the glass (oh how I love this about wine!). And maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic...but ya, LOVED the nose on this one! This one is a blend of 60% pinot noir, 10% pinot meunier and 30% chardonnay. 20% of this vintage is matured in oak barrels for 5-6 months. This wine lingers nicely on the palate and is extremely elegant. You could taste the toastyness from the oak with some light flavours of apple. So lovely, just like falling in love should be!

This was such a great evening of tasting some most amazing champagne! If any of you see anything from Louis de Sacy, I say BUY IT! They also have a Cuvee Nue and a Cuvee Nue Rose which we didn't get to taste, but I'm sure are amazing too! They call these "Nue" because no extra sugars have been added, so they offer the nude simplicity. According to the little pamphlet they are characterized as, natural, voluptuous, delicate, fresh and genuine. The bottles themselves actually have no label...so they are 'nude' too. I will definitely grab these if I see them on the shelf and I think you should too!

Thanks to Legacy Liquors for hosting such a great event and also thanks to Alain Sacy who flew all the way from France (obviously)! My friend and I had a GREAT night!!! I will definitely be checking out more of the events/tastings at Legacy Liquors!

OMG I almost forgot, there was also a wonderful man, Andre LeRoux, from the "Consul General of Canada" of the Confrerie du Sabre D'Or was there and he sabred (I don't know if I'm saying that correctly or not) some of the Champagne for us! It was cool as I had never seen that done in person before! I spoke to him after and he's going to teach me how to sabre too! So stay tuned for that video because there is NO WAY that I'm not going to record that!!! (Me with a sword!!! I will be returning to my Ninja roots and the real reason some people call me Shinobi!!)

Yayyy for awesome nights with Champagne! I hope you all buy a bottle of Louis de Sacy Champagne and have a wonderful champagne night (or even morning for that matter) yourself!! Let me know if you do! New years is coming up! It may be a good time for a bottle!

xx.h