Chateau Grange Cochard Morgon Vielles Vignes 2014


I am surprised that this wine has 13% alcohol as it doesn’t feel like it has that much, and it certainly doesn’t taste like it. This light bodied Red made from Gamay is juicy on the palate, fresh, and the tannins are silky smooth.

On the nose, we have aromas of violet, dark cherry, and plum with hints of black pepper, sweet spice, and milk chocolate. The juicy fruit aromas follow through on the palate as well as a touch of cloves and cinnamon.

Tasted October 2018

Score: 88

Wine-Food Pairing: Good on its own. I paired mine with tuna steak grilled on a charcoal barbecue. It was delicious! This would also pair well with roasted pork.

Bouvet Excellence Brut Crémant de Loire


This straw coloured crémant has delicate aromas of baked apple, crème brûlée, freshly baked bread, citrus, and almond.

It is medium bodied and creamy on the palate, with flavours of lemon, baked pie crust, and almond at the finish.

Tasted October 2018

Wine-Food Pairing: Great on its own, with pan-seared fish, or fried seafood or vegetable appetizers.

Score: 89

What Wine to Drink With Comfort Food!

As the weather drops, nothing sooths the soul like comfort food and a yummy glass of wine.  Here are my recommendations on wine to pair with some of my favourite comfort meals.


Give me ooey gooey macaroni and cheese on a crisp day.  Mine includes old Cheddar, Mozzarella, and Swiss. I always add an extra layer of cheese on top prior to baking to have a nice cheesy crust and to add texture.  Something about mac and cheese brings happy childhood memories and is one of my ultimate favourites on a cold and damp day.

Suggested Wine Pairing:


This White has enough body to match the richness of the meal while the acidity of the wine cuts through the fat nicely.  If your mac and cheese includes lots of smoky cheese, then an oaked Chardonnay could work too.   I paired my macaroni and cheese with:

The Grange of Prince Edward County Unoaked Chardonnay 2013:

This wine has dried apricot, pineapple, and bruised apple on the nose, as well as almond and mushroom. On the palate, there is pineapple flavours with lemon and bitter walnut. It is creamy, has good acidity, and the flavours linger.


This popular Indian meal is one of the dishes I crave most during colder weather. It is so savoury and satisfying.

Suggested Wine Pairing: 


The wine is flavourful enough to hold up to the decadent flavours of the meal. The touch of sweetness balances the kick of spice and the acidity works well with cutting through the richness of the dish. I paired my butter chicken with: 

Château des Charmes Old Vine Riesling 2015:

On the nose, this wine has loads of mineral notes and limestone as well as gentle aromas of pineapple, peach, green apple, lime, and a touch of sweet spice. The minerality comes through on the palate, along with pineapple and lemon flavours. It is very tart with just a tiny hint of sweetness.


My vegetarian chili is tomato based and includes chili powder and just enough cayenne pepper to give a touch of spice.  It is savoury without being too heavy or spicy.

Suggested Wine Pairing:


With this type of meal, a medium bodied Chianti Classico pairs wonderfully. The body of the wine matches the meal. Both the wine and chili are light enough so that they do not overpower the other. Also, tomatoes love Chianti as they pair so nicely together. The acidity in the wine brings the right amount of spice out of the chili. If the meal had been very spicy, however, a wine with some residual sugar would have paired better. For this dish, the wine I chose is:

Coli Chianti Classico 2016:

This Chianti is very affordable and is quite tasty. It has aromas of plum and blueberry, as well as cinnamon, chocolate, and smoke. On the palate, it is medium bodied with velvety tannins and invigorating acidity. The flavours are of tart plum, sweet spice and a touch of smoke.


Red Wine from Ottawa-Gatineau: Embracing the Uniqueness

By Melanie Lloyd 

Over the past few months, I had the opportunity to sample wine from the Ottawa-Gatineau area through a couple of tastings and a wine expo.

This  blog will focus on red wine and is simply a starting point to the many wines from the area. A special shout out goes to Donna Henhoeffer who hosted the tasting that included the bottles reviewed here. There are more wineries from the area that I look forward to writing about in the future.

Cold climate wine tends to be tarter than cool climate wine and is quite distinct on the nose and on the palate. This uniqueness is due in part to the climate and terroir found in colder regions.

It is also due to the use, in many cases, of hybrid grape varieties that are more resistant to the cold. All of the following wine contains hybrid grapes with the exception of the Pinot Noir.

Although cold climate wine is distinct, there are similarities when it comes to the aromas we typically associate with both warm and cool climate wine. Here are my observations to share:


A bright pale ruby coloured Pinot Noir that is earthy with aromas of sweet tobacco, musk, and tart red berries.

On the palate, it has sour field cherry flavours. It has invigorating acidity levels and silky tannins. The flavours linger on the palate.

Wine-Food Pairing: This wine would pair well with salmon or with a cheese platter that includes Wensleydale Cranberry Cheese served with cranberry hazelnut crackers.


This Red is a blend made from Frontenac Noir, Sainte-Croix, and Sabrevois, all hybrid grape varieties. On the nose, there are aromas of jalapeño and red bell pepper, earthy beets, and hints of mint.

On the palate, there are flavours of sour cherries, red field berries, and a kick of black pepper. It has subtle metallic undertones, silky tannins, and tart acidity. Overall, an enjoyable wine!

Wine-Food Pairing: A barbecued steak would pair well with this wine.


This tart bio wine is made from Frontenac Noir, a hybrid grape that can stand the cooler climate of Western Quebec.

On the nose, there are aromas of bell pepper, strawberry, cherry, wet cedar, and hints of vanilla, sweet spice, and cocoa.

On the palate, there are flavours of sour ground cherries and a touch of bell pepper. It is light bodied with silky tannins, invigorating acidity, and a slight bitter finish. The flavours linger. I love the tartness of this wine!

Wine-Food Pairing: Pair with a charcuterie plate that includes salty dried sausage.


This wine is made with Marquette, a hybrid grape, and with Cabernet Sauvignon. Visually, it is purple with a light blue rim.

On the nose, there are aromas of Christmas cake, dried prunes, blackstrap molasses, and hints of black licorice.

On the palate, it is very tart with flavours of dark berries, butterscotch, vanilla, and subtle notes of black licorice. The tannins are structured but well balanced by the acidity of the wine.

Wine-Food Pairing: This wine would pair well with braised beef.


Made from Sabrevois hybrid grapes, this garnet coloured Red is meaty and fairly complex on the nose with aromas of ripe raspberry, leather, black licorice, sweet spice, truffle, and hints of vanilla and smoke.

On the palate, the tannins are well integrated with the fresh acidity and it has flavours of blackcurrant and sour cherries.

Wine-Food Pairing: A barbecued steak would pair well with this wine.


This fortified Red has dried prune and date aromas as well as sweet tobacco, butterscotch, and licorice.

It is sweet on the palate with flavours of dried dates, black licorice, molasses, black pepper, and a touch of butterscotch and oak. Overall, a nice product!

Wine-Food Pairing: This wine would pair wonderfully with dark chocolate.

I look forward to writing more on the subject in the future. I will include other wineries from the area, as I am impressed by some that are not listed here. 

Continue reading “Red Wine from Ottawa-Gatineau: Embracing the Uniqueness”