04/01/2015 01:09 EDT | Updated 06/01/2015 05:59 EDT

Wine Suggestions For a Hoppy Easter

Easter long weekend with a new VINTAGES release hopping in to your local LCBO on April 4th. Our family and friends will gather around Easter feasts and no matter what is on offer -- turkey, ham, lamb, Prime Rib or fish -- VINTAGES has plenty of wine for a hippity-hoppity Happy Easter.

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Cheese and wine

March the 20th marked the Vernal Equinox and at 6:45 p.m. it was officially the first day of Spring. However, Mother Nature neglected to inform the North West wind that keeps adding wind chill values to my spring temperatures. On the upside, the sun has felt warmer on my face during my Sunday morning long runs AND we can look forward to the upcoming Easter long weekend with a new VINTAGES release hopping in to your local LCBO on April 4. Our family and friends will gather around Easter feasts and no matter what is on offer -- turkey, ham, lamb, Prime Rib or fish -- VINTAGES has plenty of wine for a hippity-hoppity Happy Easter.


Sparkling and Rose

Featherstone Winery Rosé 2014Canada

Brilliant pink colour in the glass. Dry with raspberry, strawberry, floral, and honey. An easy sipper on it's own or with Easter dinner turkey or ham.

Drappier Brut Rosé Champagne NV France

Lovely persistent mousse with warm brioche, fresh berries, citrus, and light smoke on the nose.The palate is refreshing with medium+ acidity and mild tannins. Perfect to sip on it's own in a frosted fluted glass or pair with Easter turkey dinner, planked salmon or ham.

White Wine

Henry Of Pelham Chardonnay 2013 Canada

Deep lemon colour with a rich concentrated nose of Niagara apple and pear,almond butter, vanilla,toast. The palate is rich and creamy with sweet baking spices throughout. Loved the long apple butter on toast finish. Made from several estate vineyards on the warmer Short Hills Bench side of Niagara. Suggested pairings: Wild fowl or turkey, ham, soft cheeses or as an aperitif.

Flat Rock Riesling 2013 Canada

A pale lemon green colour and I detected a slight effervescence on the palate. Dry, light-bodied and lingering green apple finish. The characteristic petrol is evident on the nose but understated. Green apple, pear, Niagara blossoms, citrus, yogurt and honey make up the aromas and flavours. There is a creaminess at the back end of this wine. Delightful! Great with roasted turkey, stuffing and good company. Excellent aperitif as well.

Jean Geiler Réserve Particulière Riesling 2013France

Floral, apple, peach, pear, apricot, citrus - a recipe for Alsace Riesling. This wine has a beautiful nose indeed. The palate repeats with additional minerlity and apple leaning to green apple. Bright acidity and a lingering candied lemon finish. Definitely great value at $15. Serve well chilled. I enjoyed this on it's own. Perfect turkey wine.

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 2013 California

You can taste the sunshine in the glass. An inviting deep lemon colour with warm tropical aromas, apple, lemon, dairy, vanilla and toffee. A restrained use of oak as this wine was aged in combination of French oak(just 1/3 new) and Stainless Steel. The palate is rich with just the right amount of toasted oak characteristics. Refreshing acidity and lingering creamy finish. Yummy! Serve chilled. Perfect for roasted turkey with all the trimmings.

Red Wine

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Syrah 2011 Canada

An enticing deep ruby showing extraction in the slow moving legs great the sipper of this weighty Okanagan VQA Syrah. An abundance of dark fruit, cherry pepper, prune,charred wood on the nose. The palate is smooth with a touch of lingering sweetness on the finish. A luscious lamb wine or perfect Prime Rib pairing.

Calera Ryan Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011California

his is a very approachable Central Coast California Pinot Noir. Ripe red berries, cherry syrup, lift of mint, fresh flowers and some toffee and sour cherry on the long finish. At $70 it is breaking the bank a little especially given that it is not a Napa Pinot Noir. However, there's good craftsmanship and cellar potential of more than five years making it a great gift wine. Medium acidity and French oak aging. Pair with roasted turkey, ham or planked salmon.

A To Z Wineworks Pinot Noir 2012Oregon

Smooth as silk pyjamas Oregon Pinot Noir. Pretty pale ruby colour with clean aromas of Bing cherry, raspberry, strawberry, vanilla, pepper, cedar and floral. A bright palate of tart cherry, cranberry, black pepper,minerality, black earth. A very good cherry cola finish.Can easily be enjoyed on it's own or with roasted turkey and cranberry stuffing, ham, braised lamb or planked salmon.

Château Fontenelles Cuvée Renaissance 2011 France

2013 Gold Medal Concours Mondial Bruxelles. A delightful and pretty red blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Mourvedre with an enticing spicy red fruit nose. The palate is clean with bright acidity, integrating tannins; the spice and red fruit repeat. A long violets and vanilla finish complete this elegant red wine. At $20 this is a solid price performer. Pair with roasted Prime Rib, braised lamb, roasted turkey.

Gérard Bertrand Terroir Fitou 2011 France

From a vineyard nestled between the mountains of the Corbieres and, the waters and beaches of the Mediterranean comes this succulent red wine blend of Grenache and Carignan. Strawberry compote, raspberry, black cherry, vanilla,warm spices, smoke and oak fill the nose. The palate is full-bodied, silky and balanced with refreshing acidity. Long length on an elegant fruit driven finish. This really is a beautiful wine. Perfect Prime Rib or roasted lamb wine.

Alain Jaume & Fils Clos De Sixte Lirac 2012France

Lirac sits on the right bank of the Rhone River in the Southern Rhone region of France. Directly across the river is the famous and pricey Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Great quality and value come from AOC Lirac and this wine is one of them. Dark and inky in colour this full-bodied red wine is a blend of mainly Grenache with Syrah and Mourvedre. Lots of red and black berries, black plum, leather, garrigue, black liquorice, and warm baking spices. Tannins are evident but polishing and acidity is balanced. Winemaker suggests this wine will be enjoyed over the next 8 years. Serve with fine cuts of beef such as Prime Rib or lamb.

Dessert and Fortified

Rockway Vineyards Late Harvest Vidal 2013 Canada

Good value! Lots of Niagara tree fruit, floral, honeycomb and stony minerality. Medium+ cleansing acidity. Long apple pie finish. Enjoy it on it's own or with assorted cheese and fruit platter.

Château La Tour Blanche 2011France

A gorgeous arrangement of apricot, white peach, white cranberries, apple, honey, nutmeg and nuttiness. A refreshing amount of acidity and a slight viscosity. Long length on a warm spice finish. Pair with fruit flan, salty cheeses, creme brulee or just make this dessert. Yum!

Try a little something fun and different

Diemersfontein Pinotage 2013 South Africa

Wine? Coffee? Or both?! This red wine is considered the original coffee Pinotage and many have tried to duplicate it's success.This signature South African varietal has it's lovers and it's "not for me thanks" folks. I loved this Pinotage. The aromas are intense espresso, mocha, smoke, dark cherry. The palate is a full-on coffee experience. Long mocha finish. Enjoy this with your solid chocolate bunny as dessert or...on it's own before brunch. After all, it's 12 O'clock somewhere.

Until next time...



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