Darren’s Summer Picks

Frind Estate Viognier 2020

While there is “Plenty of Fish” in the sea, there is only one lake front winery in the Okanagon. Frind Estate Winery is situated on the beautiful Okanagan lake, headed up by the former owner of Plenty of Fish online dating platform. Frinds’ Viognier has a subtle florality that mixes with pear and ginger spice. The palate is medium bodied and slightly spicy, finishing lengthy and full of peaches. A pleasant offering from Frind Estate that will pair well with light fish, charcuterie, and pork dishes.

Enrico Serafino Roero Arneis 2020

The 2020 vintage in Piedmonte was exceptional, with very few exceptions the quality across the board was consistent and high. Arneis hails from Roero which is just north of the famous town of Alba. Enrico Serafino produces this arneis on sandy loamy soils in vineyards with a South, South West exposure. Aged in stainless steel this Arneis is fresh and fruit forward nose of Apricot, honey, and chamomile tea . On the palate the wine is medium bodied and reflective of the nose, fresh orchard fruit and a pretty florality mix with a dry bitter almond finish. The options are endless with this food flexible wine. Pasta Aglio E Olio or cream based, Chicken Putenesca, Charcuterie, & medium cheeses.

Maison Chandesais Volnay 2016

While 2016 was a difficult vintage beset by many adversities, the limited quantities that did make it to the crusher and fermenter were of the best quality. Volnay wasn’t spared the once in a lifetime frosts, nor the hails that followed, but many producers were able to bottle a vintage.

M. Chandesais is a light ruby color with a slightly lighter rim. First impressions are of bright cherry and gooseberry aromas that mix with a touch of earth and nutmeg. Its body is light but elegant. On the palate the softer acid is complimented by dusty red fruit, a slate like minerality and a lengthy finish. Best with roasted white meats, Coq au Vin or mushroom based dishes. This will be ready to consume from 2024 onward.

LÜVO Wines

If you haven’t had the chance to experience LUVO, get to it! Available in a variety of flavours to suit a number of palates.

The Rose is red berry fruit driven and has expressive tropical fruit notes with a pleasing but not cloying sweetness. The body and alcohol content make this Rose very flexible for food pairing (think seared tuna with mirin, chilies and soy, or home-made Sushi rolls with wasabi and salmon).

The Muscat and Mint is fresh, light and dry with pear and mint notes on an effervescent background, this is a go-to light refresher for afternoon get togethers or the weekend Ceilidh.

Another proud addition to the local wine market in the Maritimes. Be sure to check out the assortment of flavours including: Piquette & Peach, Piquette & Berry, L’Acadie & Pinot Grigio, as well as the Luvo Mixer 4 pack.

Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum

Baking spice forward while on the palate there is punchy vanilla, and a pleasing toffee and nutmeg note as it dries out. Sometimes you just want a good ole rum and coke, something uncomplicated with a good kick. This is not your parents’ spiced rum. Sailor Jerry’s recipe accentuates the sensual vanilla and nutmeg notes that hang out in the background of a lot of spiced rum recipes. If you find the rum and coke recipe below too sweet for your tastes I’ve included a darn fine rum and soda recipe that hits the spot.

Cuba Libre (rum and coke, but fancy)

  • 1.5 oz Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum
  • .5 oz Lime Juice
  • 2-3 oz Coke
  • Dash of Bitters

Fill a Collins glass with ice, build cocktail in glass and stir lightly. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Rum Soda

  • 1.5 oz Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum
  • .25 oz Lime Juice
  • .25 oz Simple Syrup or Agave Syrup
  • 2-3 oz Soda
  • Dash of Bitters

Instructions the same as above.

Copper Bottom Blueberry Sour

Tart Blueberry abounds in this beautiful kettle soured wheat beer. On the palate perfectly mouth puckering sourness combines with a top note of fresh blueberries. Fresh Island berries only in this local charmer.

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7

Produced in the Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, Nova 7 blends ortega and geisenheim. Pale salmon color, with aromas of tropical fruit, especially papaya. The palate is medium bodied with bright acid and layers of ripe fruit that is complimented with the perfect sweetness and a light spritz.

Pierre Andre Bourgogne Pinot Noir Reserve 2018

Deep garnet color, ripe red fruit, with earthy notes. Light bodied and silky with smooth light tannins and a refined acid. Morello cherry and sumptuous raspberry round out the fruity but dry palate. Pair this with grilled chicken, cured meats, cheeses, roasted duck or simply quiet contemplation, your choice!

Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris Grand Reserve

Heady nose of peaches and apricots with a faint aroma of minerality. Opulent palate with full body and flavours of bruised peach, pears, and a slate like minerality. Off dry, but with enough acid to lift the ripe fruit flavors. Lingering finish hinting at cedar or wood smoke. Pairs perfectly with pulled pork, oily fish such as Halibut or Tuna, cured meats and cheese.

Captain Morgan Orange Vanilla Twist

Packed with orange marmalade flavours and a hint of vanilla, this Captain Morgan product is perfect for long summer days with slushy drinks or icy mixed cocktails. Mix with Ginger Ale for a flavourful drink, or get adventurous and try their slushy recipe. This would also be fantastic combined with heavy cream and citrus for a twist on an orange creamsicle!

Coldstream Peach Iced Tea

Looking for a beverage that’s refreshing but not sparkling like most on the market today? Coldstream Clear Distillery produces this refreshing Peach Iced Tea in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia. Real cold brewed tea with abundant peach flavour and just the right amount of citrus makes this an very satisfying beverage. Warm summer breezes optional but recommended.