Debbie’s Spring Picks

Rossignol Marachal Foch

Rossignol Winery’s Marachal Foch and aged Island beef is a tasty example of the wine adage “what grows together goes together.” Foch, as it’s affectionately called, is a cold hardy disease resistant grape that is well suited to our cool Prince Edward climate. Rossignol Foch is a dry full-bodied red wine with aromas of blackberry, smoke and spice. Jammy, dark-fruit flavors and earthy notes are well integrated on the palate.

For an unforgettable Island experience pair with BBQ meats, charcuterie or chocolate desserts.

No Boats On Sunday Cider Variety Pack

Summertime and the sipping is easy with a can of No Boats on Sunday Cider in your hand. Crisp and off-dry with light carbonation and lower alcohol content are a few reasons why ciders are one of the most refreshing hot weather drinks.

Joining the original No Boats on Sunday apple cider the variety pack features both a pear and a peach cider. Cider pairs beautifully with food and the rule of thumb is to think about what ingredients go well with the fruit in the cider. With three fruit profiles in the pack the combinations of cider and food are plentiful.

Why not consider a cider punch at your next backyard BBQ? Mix equal parts of cider and ginger beer with a good splash of vodka, squeeze in some lime juice and a dash of bitters.

Rossignol Strawberry Rhubarb

A traditional strawberry rhubarb pie served in a glass is exactly what winemaker John Rossignol has created in this sweet amber aperitif. Local strawberries and rhubarb are gently pressed and aged for a full year before bottling producing an off dry wine perfect for patio sipping. Rossignol strawberry rhubarb wine is great base for summer inspired sangria recipes.

Honest Lot Cabernet Sauvignon

As days grow longer and temperatures rise our palates start to thirst for lighter styles of wine including some of our favorite red varieties. Late spring is the perfect time to add Honest Lot Cabernet to your summer wine list. This cabernet is young and fresh with lots of black fruits, sweet spice and floral notes. A medium bodied wine Honest Lot is an ideal patio sipper and a great partner to Brie Arugula and Red Pepper Jelly burgers. Cheers to new season and to new flavours!

Upstreet Major Tom Watermelon Sour Ale

Upstreet Major Tom Watermelon Sour combines delicious sour beer flavors with the floral, piney citrus aromas and flavours of hops. Its a clean and refreshing style with mellow tangy acidity and light watermelon flavours. Sour beer tastes great alongside a variety of foods from spicy to strong cheeses. The uniquely tart flavours of Major Tom watermelon Sour pairs best with the salty sea tastes of Island oysters, clams and mussels.

Island Honey Mead

Share some Island pride this Easter with gifts from Island Honey Wine Company. For the uninitiated, it can be surprising to discover the wide variety and styles of mead that are produced. Drinking Island mead is really a snapshot of time and place of PEI’s unique honey terroir and wouldn’t be the same if it were made anywhere else.

There are two meads that are a must to try, the Wildflower Mead and the Haskap Mead. The Wildflower is a good introduction to a traditional off dry table mead, it tastes different with every sip as the complexity of honey reveals itself on the palate. Wildflower has earned a place on many Island tables when poultry or creamy seafood dishes are served.

Haskap berries have been enjoyed in Japan for hundreds of years for its supposed health benefits. Honey is blended with the meadery’s own organic Haskap berries in a style called “mellomel”. The taste profile includes notes of raspberry, blueberry, and black current. This mead shares its big fruity presence and ruby color while retaining a serious commitment on the table with BBQ meats, lamb and dark chocolate.

Paula Malbec

Doña Paula Malbec is full bodied and smooth with impressive focus. This Argentine red has hints of graphite, wild herbs and red berry fruit. It has great balance and freshness in the mouth, with good concentration and structure. Soft tannins with hints of chocolate and raspberry stand out on the finish.

Traditionally Malbec has been a great pairing with beef dishes. This year, International Malbec Day will be celebrated on April 17th a perfect time to pair with Easter Beef dinner.

Walter Craft Caesar

As the weather starts to heat up refreshing summer cocktails are the perfect way to stay cool. Toast to the longer days and hot summer nights with a can of Walter Craft Caesar! This is a Classic Canadian beverage that needs to be on everyone’s Drink Bucket List this summer. Walter Caesar is made using premium vodka, all-natural ingredients and classically seasoned with hot sauce, Worcestershire, citrus and sustainably sourced clam juice from the North Atlantic. Cheers to Canada’s National Cocktail!

Northern Keep Vodka

Northern Keep Vodka is an exceptionally smooth Canadian spirit crafted with Alberta rye and winter wheat. It pours crystal clear with light citrus and spice aromas. The palate is crisp with a subtle sweetness from the winter wheat and a zesty finish from the rye.

Vizzy Hard Seltzer Variety Pack

Summer time and the sipping is easy with a party pack of Vizzy Hard Seltzer drinks. The variety pack contains four refreshing flavors: Pineapple and Mango, Blueberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Kiwi and Black Cherry Lime. Vizzy Hard Seltzer beverages are refreshing and clean with a balance of light sparkling effervescence and subtle sweetness.

Rewind Seltzer Mango Passionfruit

Looking to create a tropical vacation for your taste buds without leaving the Island? Try Upstreet’s Mango Passionfruit Seltzer! This refreshing vodka based drink is gluten free and low in both calories and carbs. Smooth sweet mango on the palate is balanced by tangy passion-fruit aromas and flavors. Enjoy alone or pour over an iced filled glass and garnish with pineapple and mango. The Rewind Mango Passionfruit Seltzer is available in a convenient 6 pack at select PEILCC locations.

Gordon’s Sicilian Gin

Gordon’s Sicilian Gin provides the sunshine in many summer inspired cocktails. Its light, botanical and pairs well with an assortment of juices and sodas. The Sicilian gin explodes with refreshing flavours from the addition of sun soaked Mediterranean citrus fruit. Juniper remains the heart of this classic gin but blossoms with notes of fresh lemon peel, thyme and a hint of pear. Gordon’s Sicilian Gin is perfectly paired with a timeless G&T but adds a burst of freshness to a Negroni or a traditional Gimlet.

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7

Bursting with brightness and vibrancy, the 2020 Nova 7 is a sure sign that spring has arrived in the Maritimes! Each year Nova 7 offers a new expression of the unique climate and terroir from Nova Scotia’s Gasperau Valley. The 2020 vintage offers expressive floral and tropical fruit aromas. The palate is sweet and tangy with flavours of key lime, mango and green apple. Nova 7 is a great compliment to spicy grilled shrimp, fresh crab and PEI Candied Salmon and Potato Salad.

McGuigan The Plan Chardonnay

Create a little spring time sunshine of your own by pouring a glass of the refreshing Plan Chardonnay. This Australian wine opens with aromas of stone fruit and lychee with subtle fresh citrus notes. The palate is smooth and creamy, leading into flavors of tropical fruit, melon and hints of vanilla oak. A lift of acidity provides great balance to the clean finish.

It’s never too early to start dreaming about your first feed of fresh PEI lobster! The Plan Chardonnay pairs well with full textured dishes which are creamy and buttery making it a perfect match with our Island seafood.

Roku Gin

Roku is the first gin from Japan’s legendary Suntory distillery. It is crafted with traditional gin and Japanese botanicals including sansho pepper and yuzu peel. This is an earthy and vegetal gin with a light fruity sweetness and peppery notes developing on the finish.

“Ginstronomy,” the art of pairing gin and food, is an interesting technique that is growing in popularity. Gin is a match made in heaven with a variety of dishes, since botanicals are at the heart of how it derives its flavor. Spring brunch is a great time to showcase the versatility of this spirit. Roku has a fresh taste with herbal and floral notes, add a splash of soda and lemon it’s ready to serve with an Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tart. Gin also pairs well with lightly smoked cheese, aged gouda and blue cheese.

For a twist on the traditional Bloody Mary or Caesar Cocktail try replacing the vodka with gin. Vodka is neutral spirit that often lets other ingredients shine in cocktails. The botanicals in Roku gin add more flavor and character to these classic brunch cocktails.

This spring toast the warmer temperatures with a flavorful and refreshing Gin Basil Smash.

Gin Basil Smash 1 Serving


  • 2 oz Roku Gin
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 oz simple syrup
  • Small bunch basil leaves (about 10)
  • Basil sprig, for garnish


  • Muddle basil leaves with lemon juice and simple syrup. Add ice and gin and shake.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass with ice.
  • Garnish with a basil sprig.

Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon 815

This is a full bodied aromatic Californian Cabernet that is smooth with a firm tannic structure. The wine opens with aromas of bright red fruit, along with notes of clove and baking spice. Joel Gott is juicy and savory with enticing herbs and meaty notes, perfect to serve with Easter Beef or with Balsamic Grilled Portabella Mushrooms and Gorgonzola Cheese.


Cointreau is a premium brand of triple sec created in France, famous for its tangy orange peel aroma and bittersweet orange flavor. It is a simple blend of sugar, water and bitter Caribbean and sweet European oranges. It is well regarded as having a perfect balance of warm spices and alcohol. The unique blend of sweet and bitter makes it a great addition to many creative cocktails and a key ingredient for Margaritas and Cosmopolitans. Cointreau surged in popularity during the Golden Age of Cocktails, first appearing in mixology manuals as early as 1922. Cointreau is not limited to a supporting role in mixed drinks,it is wonderful served as either an aperitif or digestif.

Cointreau is a definite asset to any home bar but it is also useful in the kitchen of many at home chefs. Planning for Easter family gatherings is a great opportunity to experiment with Cointreau’s many culinary talents. Use Cointreau in flavoured whipped butter, on warmed breakfast bread or croissants with morning coffee, its a great start to any day. For an unforgettable Easter dinner try roasting your turkey or ham with a pepper and Cointreau rub, the combination of sweet and spice will amaze your guests. It is also great alongside chocolate and fruit inspired salads and dessert.

Spring can be a busy social season with Easter gatherings Mothers Day Brunches and graduations. Having a quick and delicious cocktail recipe that’s also spring inspired is a great treat for your guests. The Cherry Blossom Tini is a Cosmo inspired drink with an interesting addition of Sake and bitters.

Cherry Blossom Tini



  • Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice
  • Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

PEI Brewing Company Iron Bridge Brown Ale

The Island Bridge Brown ale was awarded the title of “Best Brown Ale” in Canada at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards. The PEI Brewing Company begins with a base of Canadian barley malt for bready crispness and the rich roasty-toasty aromas are the result of premium British chocolate and black malts. The ale is lightly hopped to let the malts take center stage. Island Bridge is medium to full bodied with a smooth roasted malt flavor and chocolate finish. It has a 5.3 abv and has a 36 IBU rating All products from this brewery are produced using all natural products with no additives no preservatives and no pasteurization. Just another great reason to support this Island brewery.

As the days grow longer and the temperatures start to heat up, our taste buds look for more refreshing beverages. Iron Bridge Ale is a fantastic alternative to red wine during warmer months. The carbonization and malted flavors will be a fantastic compliment for BBQ dishes with caramelized onions and mushroom. Try the Iron Bridge with our Beer-Braised Pulled Pork Recipe. The Brown ale is used in the recipe so the pairing will be excellent. The unique chocolate finish of the ale will also be great with a variety of chocolate inspired desserts.