Wino Wednesday // Terre de Neptune Picpoul de Pinet 2013

Happy Earth Day!

I hope that everyone takes a moment to consider their personal impact on Earth today. I know I did. Although, I have over the years found new ways to reduce my impact there is always room for improvement, unless you are one of those lucky ones that lives off the earth in a tree house somewhere.

Some of my favorite ways to easily reduce your impact are to buy poop bags that will not just fill the landfill. Dog poop can easily become one with the earth but nobody makes friends in a city by not picking it up, so do us a favor and spend those extra dollars. Shower together. Walk, don’t drive. If you have to drive, don’t by that Hummer, go electric or hybrid or take the bus. Go Week Day Veg, this is where you only eat meat on the weekends, or whichever days you choose. This ALONE has a huge impact and makes you eat healthier. If you are super bad-ass give Vegan-ism a try, it won’t kill you.  Buy yourself a water bottle. Compost and recycle.

There are probably thousands of other ways but these are a few I have worked towards this year, except recycling, I can’t remember a time growing up that my family didn’t do that.

I shall stop my rant of the importance of knowing what we can do to help the Earth, now go make some changes. I know I have a few that I am still working on.

If I was being super organized I would have bought a bottle of wine from a company that uses organic grapes with no pesticides or harmful chemicals. Ironically, I picked a wine that is called Terre de Neptune, it actually means God of the Sea, but still funny.

Review // Terre de Neptune Picpoul de Pinet

Wino Wednesday // Terre de Neptune Picpoul de Pinet 2013

Technical Specs //

Vintage: 2013

Varietal: 100% Picpoul (Piquepoul) Blanc

Region: Languedoc, France

Alcohol: 12.5%

Price: $15.95 CAD

I picked this bottle up at the Kenaston Wine Market here in Winnipeg. I found it in the cooler towards the front of the store and it was one of those it-looked-intriguing bottles, so I hoped for the best. The grape Picpoul de Pinet was one I hadn’t heard of but I was very aware of the region Languedoc that it is produced in. Also, a great reason to get out some of my favorite wine reference books and do a little hands on digging with BOOKS.

Picpoul actually means ‘lip-stinger.’ It is an ancient grape from Languedoc and one of the few AC wines that is varietally named. Honestly, there is not a ton of information on this grape because it is so obscure, but if I had to compare it I would say it is in the same ball park as Grüner Veltliner, no wonder I am so fond of this white wine.

A pale straw yellow in the glass this wine doesn’t look like much. On the nose, lively green apple, and all the citrus notes, i.e. lemons. The aromas that are present on the nose come through on the palate as well, with an accompanied minerality. This Picpoul has a bright acidity with a crisp finish. YUM.

The only thing you really need to know is that is a rather obscure grape and you will rarely find it, if you do, snag a bottle and enjoy! I am happy to say that it will be something I pick up this summer! I have nothing else to say because I have to get back to drinking this wine…




Wino Wednesday // Tommasi Poggio Al Tufo Rompicollo 2012

I finally had some time to make it to a different Independent Wine Shop of Winnipeg, Kenaston Wine Market, which is located on Grant Ave. It is a cute little shop tucked away in a little mall of shops, close to the corner of Kenaston and Grant, making the name, suddenly, less confusing.

I walked in and was greeted with a friendly hello and a question asking if I would like a sample from the tasting bar. I said, “Yes,” and asked what they were sampling. She was unsure but we walked over to the bar and she filled me in quickly. I had the choice between Tussock Jumper Pinot Noir and Arrogant Frog Viognier. I went with the Viognier. To my surprise it was served in an actual glass and I could walk around the store and enjoy it. That alone will get me back in the door. The Viognier was crisp, dry, and balanced. If I read correctly I think it was around the $14 a bottle mark, so definitely something I will keep in mind as the weather warms up, so this afternoon, it was so warm and sunny.

The Kenaston Wine Market has a schedule on their website if you want to check out what will be sampled and when. Go check it out if you are in the neighborhood. Also, there was all of these wooden wine boxes on the very top of the shelves that were for sale. I think I may have to snag a few of those.

Review // Tommai Poggio Al Tugo Rompicollo 2012

Wino Wednesday // Tommasi Poggio Al Tufo Rompicollo 2012

Technical Specs //

Vintage: 2012

Varietal: 60% Sangiovese – 40% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Maremma, Tuscany, Italy

Alcohol: 13.0%

Price: $18.99

Note: I lost my receipt and could not find the exact price, this is an estimate based on my memory.

I actually came across this bottle from browsing the International Cellars, Inc wine portfolio. I was actually applying for an opening but I was too sloe joe, such is life. When browsing the portfolio this one jumped out at me, maybe because it is from the Tommasi Family Estates or because I have been drawn to the color orange like a magnet.

Little tidbit, the first time I selected a wine and did a little review for myself was of the Colomé Torrontés which was later featured in a few magazines like Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator. That was one of the proudest me moments ever. To suggest a bottle to people because it was delicious and to be ahead of major periodicals in the biz, wowza!

Looks as if the 2011 vintage for this particular bottle got quite a few accolades, Top 100 and a score of 92 both from Wine Spectator. I have not had the 2011 but I can say that this bottle of 2012 is quite delicious. As in, I haven’t forgot where I put my glass delicious.

In the glass the juice is an intense dark ruby color with a nose of blueberries, ripe red cherries, and an herbal quality. It is quite intense on the nose but my sniffer may be off because I just ate far to much Indian food, yum curried potatoes. This wine has an understated opulence to it. I thought that it was going to be over the top but it is balanced and smooth on the palate. A full bodied wine with balanced tannins, a long finish, and a black currant ode.

I will be enjoying another glass of this later this evening.



Tiny Tuesday :: Going Small

Every Wednesday I thoroughly enjoy writing a wine review and writing a little blurb about my goings on but I have a new interest in my life and I figure a great way for me to learn is to share my process. For those of you that don’t know, the Mr. and I just moved from London, Ontario to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was a BIG move.

We were living in a very nice sized 2 bedroom townhouse in London, approximately 900 sq ft not including an unfinished basement, which was wonderful for my love of revamping furniture and making craft messes. It also had a small backyard that we used for fires and just general outdoor chilling. It wasn’t in an ideal part of town but it was cheap for the amount of space. This time around we wanted to be in the part of town that held yummy food, easy access to bus routes, quick drive to necessities, and close to downtown. We ended up finding a place in the West Broadway/Wolseley area of Winnipeg which was exactly where we wanted to be.

Downside is we had to downsize.

Our current space is about 540 sq ft (if we measured correctly). You may as well say it is half the size of where we were before. I love this place, but that may just be because I love my kitchen. This small apartment has challenged what our idea of a “need” is. Yes, I had to sacrifice a few hobbies that required space or a well ventilated area, so I will have to find a friends place that I can go spray paint at.

Small seemed like too much of a massive lifestyle change, but we were sort of thrust into it so I am going to take you along on the journey. Here I will tackle issues, solve space problems, take some real photos of our space, and provide resources I use throughout the process.

Here is a video of the space, this does not show the layout of our unit which is smaller but same general vibe. Also, our “accent” wall is green, in case you were wondering. 😉



Wino Wednesday :: Bouza Tannat 2011 Sin Barrica

What do you do when you are having a rough week?

I dress myself in my raspberry beret, red swing coat and channel my inner Parisian. Then I take my adorable self and walk to the neighborhood wine shop and swing by a bakery to snag a rustic loaf of sourdough. Sour mood gone and delicious snack has arrived. Fresh air and a long walk take the edge off of cranky days too, double plus.

I picked up a bottle at De Luca’s again because it is a nice walk away from our place and I totally forgot it was Wednesday. I actually pulled last weeks wine out of the fridge and started to use it before I realized I already wrote this…sad but true.

I walked into the shop tooled around a bit and then dared myself to pick up something I knew next to nothing about. I wandered over to the Uruguay section and grabbed a bottle of Tannat that I had had an inkling to purchase previously. Mission accomplished.

I dare you to do the same and see where your curiosity takes you!

Review: Bouza Tannat 2011 Sin Barrica

Wino Wednesday :: Bouza Tannat 2011 Sin Barrica

Technical Specs

Vintage: 2011

Varietal: 100% Tannat

Region: Montevideo, Uruguay

Alcohol: 15.5%

Price: $23.99 CAD

A little bit about the grape, Tannat. This grape’s origins start in South West France and was brought to South America by Basque settlers in the 19th century. Similar to Malbec the grape flourished in the warmer climate of South America. The grape itself is an intense grape that is not often made to show case its true self. It is usually found as a minor element or blended with other varietals that will soften it, or it sees oak.

This particular bottle does none of the above. Intrigued?

Opening this wine I was a bit amazed at how powerful it was in the glass and first sip was, “Woah, Nelly, what have I gotten myself into!.” A deep and intense ruby color in the glass with a nose of acidic red and dark fruits with a note that is almost savory or herbal in quality. On the palate this is a h-o-t wine. Seriously, at 15.5% it hits you, but if you follow the temperature suggestions of 16˚C it cools it down considerably. Dark fruits, great acidity, strangely soft tannins and great structure and balance. Overall, this juice is a sophisticated powerhouse.

If I was the patient type I would totally try that. This bottle is already a couple years old and the winemakers suggestion is that it could be cellar-ed for 8 years. This powerhouse could take on any full, heavy foods and flavors you could throw at it. A pasta dish with a heavy sauce or a piece of red meat sound nice.

A great wine to drink because the goal was to show the characteristics of the varietal, now I will be very interested in picking up a blend with a little Tannat in it to see what it does.

Drink up!


Wino Wednesday :: Ponte Pietra 2012

Wednesday already!

That week just disappeared. April 1, a fun, sometimes slightly annoying, springy day, well at least here in Winnipeg this year. The Mr. started his new job and was excited and happy when he got home from work, so I think he had a good day. I did extremely wife like things like grocery shopping, cleaning, and drinking wine. Yuck, I hate that word, wife. I know that I am one but I feel like the word is just soaked in preconceived notions of what a wife once was. I get it, times have changed and I should assume most people don’t think like that but I doubt that is true. What is even worse is the phrase, “housewife.” WHY WHY WHY was this a phrase someone coined. Please call me the house ninja or anything else.

House Ninja… I like that. I know my way around the apartment best. I can do many things at once whilst in the apartment. Everyone wants to be a ninja, right…

That was a tangent, phew.

Whine, whine, wine. This bottle I picked up at De Luca’s the last time I went wine frolicking. Speaking of frolicking I am zipping down to my parents for Easter weekend tomorrow and am pumped because I am going to drink all the wine at my dad’s place and bring my limit in wine and beer back. Yes, I am a lush. Mostly, though, my wine rack is completely empty and it’s throwing my wine sense off. It has been awhile since I have perused the racks of a liquor store stateside so let me know if there is something new and interesting you suggest. I am always open to ideas.

Review :: Ponte Pietra 2012 Trebbiano – Garganega

Wino Wednesday :: Ponte Pietra 2012

Technical Specs:

Vintage: 2012

Varietal: Trebbiano di Soave, Garganega

Note: I was unable to find the exact percentages of each but from previous vintages I can tell that it is around the 60-40 or less mark, in the order mentioned above.

Region: Veneto IGT, Italy

Alcohol: 12.5%

Price: $12.75 CAD

As I mentioned, this is one of the two bottles of wine I picked up at De Luca’s Fine Wine when I was last out wine frolicking. I try to only go to wine shops a couple times a month because I look at EVERYTHING and it consumes too much time. Also, nobody wants to be known as a lush, ammirite?

This wine is made from two lesser known grape varietals but both are prevalent in the background of many wines. Known as Trebbiano in Italy, this grape also has the name Ugni Blanc, sound familiar? This grape is most commonly known for being the base of brandy before it is distilled. This grape is so widely planted in France and Italy that it may well be the most produced grape in the world. The Garganega in this wine is most famously know for its incarnation as Soave, which it may account for 70 – 100 percent of the blend. If yields of Garganega are controlled the varietal can prove to produce wines of real class, otherwise the Garganega can easily become a high yield, “filler” of sorts.

This bottle is nondescript which usually means I am going to love it. First pour, a pale straw colored wine hits the glass with a nose of green apples and nutty, floral notes. One the palate the wine is soft but zesty with green apple, soft honey and an sweet almond. The finish is high acid with loads of citrus notes.

The wine itself is slightly uninspiring but I think given a beautiful day and company outside this wine would prove to be the perfect accompaniment. This is a best buy at $12.75 and perfect to have around for a great summer day.

Drink up!


{Updated: Sorry if you did not see this post previously, I have been making some changes on the blog/soon to be a dot-com and have run into a few snags. Thanks for coming back every Wednesday to read my reviews.}