Canada Day – how will you celebrate?

20170208_183700Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir Droit

Red and white clothes. Festive socks, Canada flag capes, face tattoos, LED lights on your necklaces, umbrella hats. There is no limit to the level and quantity of patriotic clothing you can wear, and with this year being Canada’s big birthday there is really no limit to how “Canada Proud” you can bring to your outfit. Of course, if that’s  not your thing, maybe just a red t-shirt will do

But what about everything else? Food? Beavertails and poutine if you want to get traditional (and stereotypical?). Or maybe some elk sausage with some Ontario spicy mustard? Maybe some local strawberry shortcake and a Quebec cheese plate to finish things off? Again, there is no limit, and it’s fun to explore the bounty our vast country has to offer.

And the wine!! I mean, how fun would it be to pair your patriotic celebrations with some home grown vino? The Canadian wine spectrum has a lot to offer, and something to please any of your guests as you toast how mighty fine our beautiful country is looking at the age of 150. Here are a few suggestions to get your party started. Cheers!

Malivoire Moira Rose – available from the winery for $24.95. You could also try their Ladybug available from the LCBO for $17.95.

The Grange of Prince Edward County Riesling  – perfect for any seafood you’ll be serving. Mmmmm, oysters. Available from the winery for $21.95

Château des Charmes St. David’s Bench Vineyard Gamay Noir Droit  -unique to the winery and in turn, Canada, this Canadian vinifera clone is perfect to accompany anything you’ve thrown on the grill. Available through LCBO, the winery, or the winery’s retail locations. $17.95

This is but a tiny selection – there are so many other wines from almost every single province in Canada from Nova Scotia to British Columbia.  Whatever your preference, add to the festivities by including some Canadian wine with your celebrations. Happy Canada Day!

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Vacation bliss

I just heard a cork pop and it’s too far away for me to get excited (I mean, it’s not in my hotel room) but that’s ok. It’s 5pm on a Tuesday. My girlfriends are napping because in our world (at least for the next day) there are no rules. We can go for dinner at 9pm. We can go gamble. We can go to a club that looks weirdly like a cottage from the outside and may or may not be filled with French guys attending bachelor parties. We are having a girls getaway in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

We had a great laugh at the beginning of our trip about how a stereotypical guys weekend would compare to ours. We have a fridge FULL of food and drinks, and each have our own bed. We guessed that a bunch of guys would bring a case of beer and guess how many bodies they would cram into the room. All joking aside, we did completely overpack – for 3 relatively tiny girls we unpacked beer, wine (I counted 7 bottles, plus a mini), and some coolers, rye, Malibu rum, and amaretto just in case. Not to mention more eggs than I would eat in 6 months, veggies, fruit, yogurt, at least 2 cases of water (yes, cases), and enough chips and cracker type things to stock a small grocery store . Special shoutout to my friend Roxanne who made granola bars while I was lazy and bought some. She’s amazing!

There’s really no downside, after all. It’s better to be prepared! We all love food and wine and we are driving so there is no fear of having to dump half a bottle down the sink because you can’t pack it for a flight. We can just load it up and bring it home for the next party, or for Thursday night – whatever works! And it’s great to have a home base in our hotel room where we can chat, eat, drink and be merry – and enjoy our time away.

As mentioned, my travel companions are napping – so what am I doing? Just enjoying a glass of wine on the balcony listening to the sights and sounds of families returning to their rooms and casino diehards waiting for the shuttlebus.

Wine: Bricklayer’s Predicament Cab-Merlot. 2012. Full bodied and fruity with a tart almost sour cherry on the palate and some young tannins. I am not eating with this wine but I feel it would do well to have a steak with it.

One of the fun things about your friends is that you get to introduce each other to new things. It becomes like a game of ‘Six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ (or separation). For example: I went to Malivoire vineyard last year. Heard a lovely story about ‘Guilty Men’* wine. Brought a bottle of said wine to a girls’ night a few months ago (let’s just say it fit the theme of the evening). Fast forward to our trip, and my friend has brought it along because I introduced it to her! One of many funny stories we have shared this week.

On top of the obvious reasons for a girls trip, like quality time, no work, lots of fun conversation, and sharing experiences, the best part of a trip like this is planning our next getaway. We keep talking about where to go next?

And, in the meantime, perhaps I should find where that champagne was popped!

* Guilty Men – I’m not sure I can’t do the story of this name justice but it’s pretty cool. Also, the wine is good too! The Malivoire winery is worth a visit!

~JM