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Staff Picks

Jason MacLeod

Wine Category Manager

Lauren Martray comes from a family that is steeped in the wine industry; a third generation vintner, acquired his own small estate in 2002 near the famous Chateau Thivin.

His Cote de Brouilly comes from vines that were planted in 1916.  The wine has a long maceration period and is raised in foudres and barrels.  Aromas of cherries and spice immediately jump out of the glass.  There is some serious structure here with a silky mouthfeel while finishing fresh.

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photo of staff member Lucas Mader

Lucas Mader

Refreshment Category Manager

In this month’s installment of M.O.I.F. (my opinion is fact), i’m going to boldly state that a well made Brown Ale is one of the 10 best styles of beer that a person could drink. But you may say, “but Lucas, i’ve tried Newcastle Brown Ale and it’s left me feeling sad about brown ale”, to that i’d say that Newcastle isn’t nearly as good as it used to be and you’d be right. But Samuel Smith Nut Brown? Now that’s a good Brown Ale. 

As the weather slowly cools, and your kitchen turns warm from roasts, brasies, and pies, remember your old friend the Brown Ale – a beer that’s been made the same way for a hundred years. With notes of roasted chestnuts, brown bread, toffee, subtle berry fruit, and herbal qualities that lead into a soft and creamy texture, with scrubbing carbonation and a dry finish. This is good beer. 

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Kathryn Harding

Sommelier and Retail Manager

Alexis Duchet is the seventh generation to work his family’s land in the Macon region of Burgundy. This organically farmed chardonnay is a go-to of mine. There is no oak treatment on this wine but the weight of the chardonnay grape, the malolactic fermentation process which results in a softer mouth feel and the time it  in spends in contact with the lees (which are the leftover yeast particles) all contribute to the weight and creamy mouthfeel of this wine. The texture balances perfectly with ripe fruit flavours and bright acidity. I frequently enjoy this on its own or as a pairing for chicken, salmon or a cheese plate. Enjoy!

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Alanna McIntyre

Product Specialist

My wine preferences slowly shift and change along with the seasons.  As Fall approaches, I gravitate towards medium bodied and more complex red wines. I love a red that draws me in with its aroma and the Giuseppe Cortese Barbaresco did just that during a recent tasting.
The Cortese family has been growing grapes and producing quality Barbaresco for three generations. This is the first vintage of a non-cru Barbaresco from the estate, made from older vine Nebbiolo from the Trifolera vineyard and younger vines from the acclaimed Rabaja vineyard.  I could smell this wine all day; sweet ripe cherries, plum and violet give way tobacco, leather, anise and alpine herbs.  The palate is more approachable than I anticipated with lots of ripe fruit mingling with underbrush notes, juicy acidity and elegant tannins.  Overall seamless and classy.  This had me craving fresh pasta with shaved truffles and some stinky cheese.  Would be equally delicious with braised beef short ribs, Osso Buco, lamb or rabbit stew. Take time to smell, sip and savour!  
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Ryan Almeida

E-Commerce Manager

Winemaker Pauline Passot’s journey to running Domaine de la Grosse Pierre is a little long and winding; despite being born in Fleurie and growing up with parents as winemakers, she went abroad and explored before eventually settling back into her roots. Pauline studied and received a business degree in Dublin while working at a bar and worked as a Sommelier in Lyon before realizing it wasn’t enough to just talk about other’s wine- she needed to make her own.

Whole bunches, semi-carbonic maceration, no added yeast, and only a small amount of added sulphur at bottling; we welcome Pauline’s wines with open arms as they’re made in a style centred around purity, freshness, and terrior. Floral notes like rose and peonies with added red berry fruits jump out of the glass. On the palate, more red fruit with great concentration and mouthwatering acidity. Pair this with charcuterie, lighter-fare like chicken or ham, or mushroom-heavy dishes. 

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Kate Fraser

Customer Service Sales Associate

Typically I am an Armagnac kind of gal, but this Cognac is so rich and flavourful I had to take home a bottle. Versatile, it can be used in a number of different cocktails (a Sidecar being the ever-loved classic) or enjoyed by itself. Cognac is the perfect spirit to work your way into the fall and winter seasons.

This VSOP smells like walking home after school in the fall, crunching through fall leaves and thinking about halloween on the way…although I wasn’t drinking cognac back then. Think green and yellow apples drizzled with caramel and cinnamon. The nose is comforting and inviting. On the palate it has a very round mouthfeel, it’s dense and coating; tastes like pie crust, nutmeg, cinnamon and whipped cream.

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Stefan Nielsen

Customer Service Sales Associate

Propeller Brewing Company continues to innovate and push the envelope with this brand new beer – a Flat White Stout. 

Using (local) Java Blend Coffee and cocoa nibs, it is simultaneously rich yet fresh, bitter yet sweet, and creamy yet refreshing. It’s a total trip to drink as it looks and pours like a white beer, but is unmistakably a stout on the palate. Perfect for all occasions – beach hangs, a road rocket, a nightcap… you can’t go wrong. If I’m honest, I didn’t think I was going to like this beer but now that I’ve had it, it’s for sure my Beer of the Year… I can’t get enough. Trust me on this one!

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Matt Hodgson

Customer Service Sales Associate

First made in 1992, Amaro Nonino is a bittersweet Italian liqueur made by infusing grappa with various herbs, fruits and botanicals. The taste of fall all wrapped up in one glass with baked oranges, vanilla, caramelized honey and baking spices.

Whether you’re new to the world of amari or a seasoned vet, the Nonino is a must have for any home bar. On the rocks or in a cocktail such as a Paper Plane, you’ll be equally impressed. For something new I’d suggest swapping it in instead of Campari the next time you go to make a Negroni.

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Genny Dow

Customer Service Sales Associate

The more examples I taste of international varieties grown in Italy, the more charmed I become. I absolutely loved this Bordeaux blend (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 10% Carmenere) from San Leonardo in the Trentino Alto Adige region of Northern Italy. These grapes grown in this alpine region marries substance and complexity with a pronounced, brisk freshness. This is a ‘lighter on its feet’ expression of a Bordeaux blend with just 20% of the wine seeing time in French oak and the rest in concrete vats. Food versatility is huge with this wine, as it’ll be right at home alongside anything from pizza to mushroom dishes to game or even red meat.

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Liam Mastersmith

Customer Service Sales Associate

It’s back! This line of biodynamic wines from our friend Marco “Barba” were gaining popularity just before we sold out last year. I am happy to report that this year’s red is drinking even better than its predecessor. Bright, spicy, crunchy, juicy, and extremely easy-drinking. It’s natural winemaking without getting too funky, and at a very reasonable price.

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Erica

Customer Service Sales Associate

Light in body and booze (10.5%), this Gamay is bright, fruity, and tart with notes of raspberries, cranberries, and a little note of dirt thrown in there – think of eating berries straight from the garden. The Bishop’s staff were lucky enough to taste this at the winery earlier this year; it was a big hit and one of my personal favourites from our Valley tastings. Grown on a single acre, it’s aged for five months in stainless steel with full malolactic fermentation before bottling without sterile filtration. This wine is an easy addition to everything from summer meals (corn on the cob and a Caesar salad please!) to your beach bag or picnic basket.

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