Chandon Rosé

My husband and I visited Domaine Chandon in 2009, mainly because of the beautiful grounds surrounding the tasting room. The winery was founded in 1973 by Moët & Chandon, and they draw heavily on their French heritage.

I am not a big fan of sparkling wines but I was pleasantly surprised by a symphony of fruity, seductive flavours produced by their expert winemaker Tom Tiburzi. He has spent the last 21 years at Domaine Chandon creating Chandon’s diverse sparkling wines.

This year, Domaine Chandon had a booth at the California Wine Fair in Calgary and we had a chance to chat with Tom Tiburzi. We tasted their Brut Classic and Chandon Rosé this time. I wasn’t able to find this bubbly in our local wine stores, so I brought a bottle from the States this spring. In hindsight, I should have brought more than one bottle. What was I thinking?!?

This week, the temperature finally rose to 30 degrees C, so we sampled chilled Chandon Rosé. It was heavenly! Oops, maybe that’s not the proper term…. Anyway, the Chandon Rosé is a fragrant sparkling wine, very fruity, yet not very sweet. It’s crisp and refreshing, with a nice berry finish. This vibrant, fruity bubbly pairs well with seafood and shellfish. At $22.00 per bottle, it’s a great value.

Winemaker’s Notes

“In the glass, the color is a dramatic deep pink with a blush of sunset. Intense ripe strawberry, juicy watermelon, and fresh red cherry fruit aromas and flavors are interwoven with apple, pear, and stone fruit. On the palate, the wine is creamy and seductive, with defined structure from the addition of still Pinot Noir at tirage. The overall impression is one of bold vibrancy and impact from start to finish.”

– DJ


2010 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel Sonoma County

Founded in 1895, Seghesio Family Vineyards produces Zinfandel and Italian varietals that honour the history of Sonoma and the Seghesio family. Nestled in Healdsburg, the winery is in heart of Sonoma’s wine country.

DJ with Pete Seghesio Jr. at the California Wine Fair 2012 in Calgary.

Zinfandel is a variety of red grape planted in over 10 percent of California vineyards. DNA testing revealed that it is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kaštelanski, and also the Primitivo variety grown in Italy. The grape found its way to the United States in the mid-19th century, and became known by the name “Zinfandel.”

Wine Review:

Sonoma Zinfandel is a Seghesio entry-level wine. This affordably priced Zinfandel is very balanced and elegantly structured. It offers aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and blueberry, medium to full bodied with lots of peppery spice. The finish is enhanced by Zin’s ever present acidity. I would highly recommend this wine as it’s a great value for the money.

According to The Wine Enthusiast: “You could use this as a teaching tool for classic Sonoma County Zinfandel. It’s full-bodied, dry and spicy with briary flavors of wild berry, mocha, tobacco, leather and exotic spices. More importantly, it’s absolutely delicious.”

I have to agree 100% with The Wine Enthusiast, this Zinfandel is delicious!

Winemaker’s Notes:

Spicy, lush black fruit of Alexander Valley. Briary and raspberry flavors, along with structure, of cooler Dry Creek Valley. Characteristic synergy of components – balanced and elegantly structured. Pair with red sauces, pizza, barbeque, spicy cousine and a variety of meats.

Price: $22.00
Wine Enthusiast Rating: 93 points

– DJ

Chickpea and Eggplant Curry

This is one of our favorite curry recipes. It’s so delicious we’ve been making it every week. DJ adapted this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen’s Eggplant and Black Eyed Pea Curry.

Chickpea and Eggplant Curry

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Fresh ground black pepper
A dash of cayenne (leave out if you don’t like spicy, increase if you do)
1/2 cup red lentils
5 cups vegetable broth
1 can organic chick peas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tomato sauce

1. Preheat a pot over medium high heat. Saute onions in olive oil until translucent for about 7 to 8 minutes.
2. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the eggplant, salt, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper along with one cup of the vegetable broth. Cook the eggplant for a couple of minutes.
3. Add lentils and the remaining 4 cups of vegetable broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, lover heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until lentils are tender and the eggplant is soft. Add the chickpeas and heat through, then stir in tomato sauce and lemon.
4. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, couscous, or with naan bread and cucumber salad.