Diary Entry #37 - BEES & Blowing Bubbles - Feat. 20 Bees 2011 Cabernet Merlot

Since I’m in Ontario for a couple of weeks, I thought it would make sense to feature an Ontario wine in this video. I chose 20 Bee’s 2011 Cabernet Merlot from Niagara, Ontario. Niagara is another wine region in Canada; unfortunately in BC we don’t get enough Ontario wine. I personally think that’s lame because I would love to be drinking more Ontario wine and supporting other local Canadian wine producers. 

Since I currently know practically nothing about Ontario wines, I chose this wine purely based on the fact it had the word ‘Bees’ on the label. Lately, my boyfriend and I have been watching an Arrested Development marathon so it seemed appropriate. If you have watched Arrested Development you will know exactly why I chose this wine. If you haven’t, I inserted a couple of clips from the show into my video, hope it makes sense but if not you’ll just have to take my word for it. The ‘Bees’ clips from this show are some of my favorites so it just made sense to try this wine. (Yes, I am aware my brain works in funny ways.)

This wine was a bit lighter in color than I had expected for a cabernet merlot. Maybe because this wine was fermented in the skins for only 14 days, which doesn’t seem like a long time to me, but I’m no expert or a winemaker. I found aromas of maraschino cherries, vanilla with some nice sweet notes as well. My friend said it smelled like gasoline and paint thinner (obviously not a wine lover lol!) The palate had nice medium body with red berries. The tannins were medium and I found the wine to have decent structure. I believe this wine cost around $12, so for that price it has really great value! 

This video was filmed at a friends house and the topic of aerating wine came up…so of course it seemed like a great idea to blow bubbles in my wine glass with a straw. I consider this brilliant improvising when a proper wine aerator is not available. I realize this is a professional technique that you guys MUST be thinking ‘why have I never tried this before???’ or perhaps you are cringing at the thought of it. But yes, I did try it and surprising enough, the wine glass that I blew bubbles in, had softer tannins! I totally recommend you give it a try and let me know what your thoughts are!


Diary Entry #34 - Blankiet Estate 2002 Merlot with a side of SNOB

Dear Diary,

Today is Wednesday May 29th and I’m happy to be back sharing some actual WINE with you in this video since my last wine video did not have any wine in it.

I have recently have been lucky enough to acquired quite a nice selection of 17 fabulous bottles from a wine local collector and I’m going to start sharing them with you in my vlogs.


So today’s wine is going to be the first of the 17 that I will share with you. The wine today is the 2002 Blankiet Merlot. Now as you know if you have watch some of my previous videos, I really enjoy sharing the stories behind the label. I do some research prior to filming as well as I have recently started to reach out to the wineries to see if there is anything specific about their history or story that they would like me to share.

I emailed Blankiet Estates last week and to be honest, I am super disappointed in their responses back to me. They merely responded with attached tasting notes from Robert Parker and Stephen Tanzer. I asked again if there were anything special or unique about their story they would like to share, in which they responded with the name of the wine maker and the name of guy who planted the vineyards and that I should visit their website for more info about the property. They didn’t really seem interested in helping to share their story or what made their wine unique and special. I did go to their website prior to emailing them, and there really isn’t much there which is one of the reasons I contacted them directly in the first place…so all in all, the information I received from both the winery and the website was uninformative for the type of information I was looking for. I also googled the winemaker and I’m pretty sure they don’t want me talking about negative press she has received despite Wine Spectator calling her ‘America’s Greatest winemaker’ so I best not talk about how she and her husband were sued back in 2006….I’m not here to slag on her or the winery, but I really was hoping to share some inspiring stories about this wine and I’m sorry but that’s just not going to happen the way I would like.

With that said, I guess I better taste the wine and see if it’s as fabulously snobby as the winery comes across…lol…

The color of the wine is a deep brownish garnet. Often as wine age, they do get a bit of a brownish hue to them.

On the nose, I get spices, dark plum there are also some earthy/leatherny notes that I’m getting.

On the palate, it’s full bodied and quite concentrated in it’s flavours. I feel like this could have aged even another 10 years and it would still be good. I’m not entirely convinced it’s worth the cost of the bottle though. I think this is at least over the $100 mark. This wine definitely needs some food. I find the acids a bit off balance on it’s own.

So I wanted to mention that I will be attending the Wine Bloggers Conference that is being held at the beginning of June. So this will actually be my last video until after that event. I will be filming at the event so likely I’ll be posting some video footage of that to share with everyone.

I’m really excited about it as I’ve signed up for the Kelowna pre-excursion and then the actual conference is in Pentiction and we’ll be visiting a number of wineries in the Okanagan. So stay tuned for that! 

As per usual, may the beauty you love be what you do.


Thanks for watching! 


Diary Entry #20 - Craggy Range Te Kahu 2010

Summer has been busy and I've been a bit M.I.A. on my vlog. But I'm happy to announce that I'm BACK! :-) 

This vlog is on Craggy Range's 2010 Te Kahu Proprietary Red blend. It's a blend of 80% merlot, 8% cabernet franc, 8% cabernet sauvignon and 4% malbec. Craggy Range is located in the Hawkes Bay wine region in New Zealand. This particualr wine comes from their Gimblett Gravels Vineyard - which is a special terrior located in Hawkes Bay. This area is known to produce very good bordeaux style wines. 

Craggy Range is a family owned winery specializing their production in single vineyard wines. TE KAHU means the 'cloak' and refers to the mist that covers the hills around Craggy Range's Giants winery. The Maori people believe this 'cloak' covered the mythical maidan when she visited her lover Te Meta (fallen giant). 

What I think is another cool thing about this winery is that it has to stay in the family. Terry Peabody started Craggy Range to carry the legacy of his family. I wish my dad owned a winery!!! I think that's pretty cool! 

Anyways, here is the video! Hope you enjoy it :-)