Well, it’s that time of year again. The holidays are upon us, and as usual, I am behind on my Christmas shopping. Today, the cashier at the grocery store asked me if I was getting excited for Christmas, and I was surprised that my response was a scowly face. Let me explain: I do like Christmas. I love spending time with family, eating delicious food and splurging a little on fancy wines. I love the uplifting smell of a pine tree in our living room. I love walking through our neighbourhood at night and seeing all the pretty lights shimmer against a fresh dusting of snow. I love hearing Christmas songs everywhere I go, especially now that it’s December (any stores that played Christmas music in November got blacklisted). What I do NOT love is the consumerism associated with Christmas. Continue reading
It is now day 4 of wearing the puffy coat and big snow boots
You know it’s bad when you start dreaming of warmer weather…in November.
That’s right, it’s not even officially winter and we already have a foot of snow in Ottawa…and it’s here to stay.
View from the front door
In wine terms, normally as the cold weather settles in, you reach for fuller-bodied wines to accompany hearty winter meals like stews and roasts.
Me on the other hand? I am dreaming of warmer temperatures and my wine choices are reflecting that. Instead of stocking up on big, bold reds, I seem to be buying—of all things—lighter-bodied fragrant whites. Is it just a major case of denial? Winter is here, get over it, Mel! But no, I’d prefer to bury my head in the sand and pretend that nicer weather is just around the corner, despite all the signs to the contrary. By the way, whose idea was it to have the sun set at 4:30? Continue reading
A friend recently asked me why Canadian wines are so expensive. Shouldn’t they be cheaper since we’re not paying for shipping from halfway across the world? This question got me thinking about wine pricing. How do wineries come up with a suggested retail price for their wines? Why do some wines sell for $50 and others for only $8? Is the $50 wine necessarily better than the $8 one? These are the kinds of questions I plan to get to the bottom of by the end of this post. Continue reading
Every now and then my professional life as a translator and my personal love of wine combine to make a blog-post baby en français. Last time, I did a comparative analysis of the English and French versions of the LCBO’s Food and Drink / À bon verre, bonne table magazine, but this time I thought I’d keep it simple and explore the world of wines, one French word at a time. Enjoy!
Spring has FINALLY sprung here in Ottawa, and besides making me ecstatic to see the end of winter, it’s making me take a step back and reflect. Both mornings this weekend, I sat in my backyard with my coffee, basking in the sunshine, taking the time to just be. I forget to do that sometimes. I forget to take time for myself. I get so caught up in work, in my various extracurricular activities, in the never-ending house renos, general housekeeping tasks, maintaining some semblance of a social life, and of course, keeping up with this blog.
So about that. Over the past couple of weeks, this wine blogging thing has taken up a lot of my headspace. Every time I taste a different wine, I put everything on hold to jot down a tasting note. My food goes untouched to keep my palate neutral, the conversation gets interrupted so I can concentrate, all for a silly tasting note that most of the time just sits in a notebook or on my phone. It makes me really annoying at dinner parties. Or when we go out for dinner and I have to tell my husband to stop talking for a minute while I taste this wine. Essentially, I’ve created a wine tasting monster. Continue reading