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Staff Picks

Jason MacLeod

Wine Category Manager

Astrological Sign: Aquarius

Birthday month, yea! We Aquarians are apparently paired best with Chablis and Petit Verdot of which I’m happy to find myself in this company.    

Thought to be the most idealistic of people, we generally want what’s best for society and are progressive thinkers which leads me to recommending the 2019 Chateau Angludet of which Petit Verdot makes up a portion of the blend – imparting richness and colour. 

Chateau Angludet have been stewards of the land by incorporating biodynamic farming practices in their vineyard.  10 years ago environmental issues were not in the forefront of a lot of winemakers in Bordeaux, let alone at the turn of the century.  As we have witnessed these past couple of vintages, the devastating heat that Europe, and in particular, Bordeaux, has experienced, we are likely to count Chateau Angludet as pioneers of the left bank very soon if not already.

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photo of staff member Jason MacPhee

Jason MacPhee

Wine Category Manager

Astrological Sign: Aquarius

If it’s not about Wine or Sports I don’t tend to give it any thought. So I am an Aquarius, and I’m not really sure what that means. According to the article it means I’m logical, eccentric, witty and should enjoy Chablis and Petit Verdot. 1 out of 5 correct puts the article right on “The Mendoza Line”. I pride myself on being Logical. Witty and Eccentric – I am not. Chablis is delicious but not my thing. 100% Petit Verdot again is delicious but not my thing and hard to come by. Therefore, Logically I’m going with the connection between Mendoza and Petit Verdot for my staff pick.

Susana Balbo’s Crios Red Blend. This wine is from Mendoza and has Petit Verdot in it. Notes of blackberry, plumb and chocolate on the nose. Medium to full bodied, soft tannins and balanced acidity. Approachable and versatile. (Mario Mendoza 1979 Mariners, google it).

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photo of staff member Lucas Mader

Lucas Mader

Refreshment Category Manager

Astrological Sign: Leo

Fire is the element of a Leo, and do you know what else is fire? This Intens Rood Kriek from our friends at 3 Fonteinen. 

Leo’s exude warmth and creativity, just like this beer.

Leo’s have a really big personality, just like this beer.

Leo’s want to stand out, just like this beer.

Leo’s are interested in luxury, just like this beer.

What do Coco Chanel, Usain Bolt, and Meghan Markle all have in common? Other than being Leo’s – they all love this tart, refreshing, complex, and age-worthy lambic beer. *

*Probably not factually correct.

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Kathryn Harding

Sommelier and Retail Manager

As you may know I love high all chardonnays. Especially the really high-end ones from Burgundy. But not only are they not in the everyday budget sometimes the complexity of them doesn’t fit the situation. That’s why this delicious offering from Ontario is the perfect alternative.  This is a lightly toasty and zesty Chardonnay. With a lots of complex flavours on the palate; lemon curd, pear, macadamia nut, honey and salted caramel notes. It is a weighty white perfect for holiday food and sipping!

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Alanna McIntyre

Product Specialist

Astrological Sign: Libra

Libra is all about balance and harmony; in which case, a perfectly balanced Riesling seems like a suitable wine for a Libra.  My Zodiac wine pick is Gaspereau Vineyards’ Riesling (it was hard to narrow it down, so many good wines and good Rieslings to choose from.)  Gaspereau Riesling is priced well, has a moderate alcohol percentage and is locally produced.  Winemaker Gina Haverstock knows how to make good Riesling and this wine does not disappoint.  Expect a bouquet of attractive aromas, a bright and lively palate with racy acidity balanced by sweet and tangy citrus curd notes.  The wine strikes that fine balance of fruit and acid making for a harmonious and elegant drop.  It is the ideal bottle to have on hand for those moments of indecisiveness; when you are not sure what you want to drink or what you are going to make for supper or just what to do in general; it’s just great on its own and will pair with pretty much anything!   

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Gaby McCotter

Retail Manager

Astrological Sign: Sagittarius

Much like fire itself, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius cannot be ignored. We are passionate, driven, and courageous, making us dynamic individuals.My sign suggests a wine that can pack a punch – something big and bold, apparently like me? Zinfandel comes to mind.

Aries is the first sign in the zodiac and the taming of the Zinfandel grape, predates the discovery of winemaking. The wine and the sign are renowned for boldness and spice. Italians began referring to Zinfandel as “Primitivo,” a nod to the tendency of the grape to ripen before others. Edoardo Seghesio, immigrated from Piedmont Italy and planted his first Zinfandel vines in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley in 1895, so I thought it fitting to pick this wine.  A man that was adventurous and pioneering, like my sign! Intense aromatics of currant and plum are complemented by savory notes of black olive, anise and allspice. A bright aroma of black raspberry gives way to a bold palate of supple, lively tannins and a powerful, lingering finish.

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Ryan Almeida

E-Commerce Manager

Astrological Sign: Taurus

Queen Elizabeth II (RIP), Dwyane “the Rock” Johnson, me. Commonality? We’re all Taurus’ and that means we’re all stubborn and sensual? In any case, Taurus is an Earth sign and some would say wines from the Rhône are down to Earth. Agreed but I’d add that they’re delicious, too. Especially white Rhône.

Thomas took over the Domaine in 2019 from his father Guy, and the wines have been more drinkable and ready a lot sooner; Guy was previously focused on ripeness, Thomas is concerned with leaner, fresher styles. In the process of converting to Organic (certified 2024), he strives to make low intervention expressions from his plots all over Northern Rhône. Made from 50% Viognier and equal parts Marsanne and Roussanne, expect tropical fruits on the nose that carry through to a weighty palate; added citrus freshness and spice are there, too. Pair with appetizers and/or hors d’oeuvres, lighter chicken fare, or slightly spicy pork dishes.

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Kate Fraser

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Capricorn

Capricorns are masters of discipline, and that’s exactly what you need in order to reap the benefits of this age worthy Chenin Blanc.

Le Mont Vouvray comes from the Loire Valley, France and is done in a demi-sec style, meaning it is slightly off-dry but has ripping acidity to give it harmonious balance. These two qualities also give it the structure to last. Throw this wine in your cellar and forget about it for a decade and you’ll see how, just like a Capricorn, Chenin Blanc is good at whatever it tries to do 😉

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Stefan Nielsen

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Sagittarius 

As a proud Sagittarius, it only makes sense that my star-sign wine pairing is a Cab Franc. Sag’s are synonymous with wanderlust and the want of something new and exciting. I can’t think of many grapes that embody this trait as perfectly as Franc.

Depending on where it’s grown and vinified, it can be meaty and savory, jammy and extracted, lean and minerally, green and stemmy… or anywhere in between. This particular Cab Franc is a shining example of the fruit and herb driven style; with layers of complexity from tobacco, pine to blackberry, game.

Nuits D’Ivresse (Drunken Nights) is vinified in a hands-off, natural style, with organic fruit and no added sulfur at any point during the winemaking. It pairs perfectly with hearty stews and other similar dishes that you’re hopefully enjoying this winter, so why not give this special bottle a shot on your next wine night?

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Rae Tilley

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Aries

Aries’ classic personality traits include confidence and leadership- so, it’s with confidence that I’m leading folks towards one of my favourite Gruner Veltliners!

While most would immediately think of Riesling when considering an Austrian white, an Aries would instinctively choose a wine that is more unique and less “mainstream” – they’ll be bringing a Gruner Veltliner to their next dinner party instead. This Gruner Veltliner is a fresh, zippy white that expresses tangy, underripe stone fruit and lemony notes – as refreshing as a cold glass of peach lemonade on a hot day. I also favour the more savoury notes that it shows – hints of salinity balance the more pronounced fruit flavours. Pair this with something simple, to let the wine shine – potato chips would highlight the fruit notes, and temper the acidity.

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Matt Hodgson

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Gemini

Because of Geminis’ intrinsic duality, they’re often falsely misrepresented as two-faced. In reality, Gemini rarely has a hidden agenda. I chose a beer because I love beer.

Much like a Gemini’s free spirited nature, Guldenberg is very much a free form style beer. Not exactly a Belgian Strong Ale or a Belgian Tripel, both styles come together for a wonderful drinking experience.

Expect: balanced bitterness, elevated hops, high malt, stone fruit with a peppery snap.

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Genny

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Gemini

My best friend once gave me a gemini rubber spatula for my birthday; an image of the constellation on one side, “Adaptable. Enthusiastic. Witty,” on the other. Words I henceforth try to embody daily.

The spatula left out some of the more traditional gemini associations. You know, two-faced, fickle, shallow, irresolute, volatile, being “captivated by rumors” (a nice way of saying we’re gossip mongers) etc., blah blah. I prefer to focus on the positive and chose a pairing to inspire that life-long learner, insatiable wielder of intellectual curiosity, lover of tiny details and tryer of new things. This Mead Blanc is for you, Gemini.

Ever heard of a pyment before? It’s grape juice fermented with honey, sometimes called ‘white mead.’ This hybrid encapsulates that twinkle of gemini dualism in the best way; 45% Gewürztraminer, 45% Riesling and 10% estate honey. Juicy, off dry, aromatic, tropical and honeyed but with refreshing acidity. Not mention complex!

 

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Fernando

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Virgo

Within the Virgo constellation lies a few interesting stars. Let’s look at Alpha Virginis, also known as Spica, a blue giant and the brightest star in its constellation. It orbits another star making it a binary star system. Neat! It is also quite hot, roughly 25,000°C at its surface. Compare that to our own sun at only 5500°C. It sits about 250 light-years away from us. What is a light-year you ask? 9,460,000,000,000 km (9.46 trillion), or the distance light travels within a year. For a bit of a scale Pluto is 5,300,000,000 km (5.3 billion) away. Space is big.

Did you know that the Milky Way and other local galaxies are part of a larger group known as the Virgo Supercluster? Home to over 45,000 other galaxies. Wow! With your new knowledge on astronomy why not pick up a bottle of Puy de Dome and go star-gazing? Wonderfully aromatic cherry and soft tannins make this light bodied red an ideal pairing. We might not be able to travel to the stars yet, but we can bring you a bit of France in a glass.

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Daniela

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Cancer

Cancer: fiercely protective, loyal and determined, yet soothingly loving, caring and supportive. A complex water sign, much like the Nebbiolo grape! Showing delicate floral and red fruit notes on the nose – imagine taking a stroll along a cherry tree field. Out of nowhere, you see a rose bush planted in the middle of it, so you pluck a rose and gently caress your face with its petals. This lightness of aromas might make you anticipate light tasting notes too, right?

Not exactly. Perfect for Cancers because both have an inner strength that is masked by their delicate traits. Powerful tasting and used in full bodied, bold red wines like Barolo, Langhe can be considered the little sibling of Barolo. Expect a more subtle approach with notes of cloves, anise, a hint of leather and cranberries.

Cancers are sensitive to their environments, picking up the energies in a room, influencing their behavior and energy in that space. Nebbiolo is a terroir-expressive variety, picking up more of the earth, soil and climate to convey them. Coincidence? I think not!

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Duncan

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Sagittarius 

Cousin Oscar is a vibrant and lively blend of Cinsault and Pinot Noir. With loud fruit and a funky demeanor. You would never expect the smooth lingering finish and grippy tannins. Much like a Sagittarius there is more than meets the eye with this one.

A perfect party companion to enjoy in a loud room with snacks and good company, Cousin Oscar is bound to be the unsuspected Center of attention!

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Allie Barter

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Pisces

Rose is the middle ground when it comes to bringing white and red wine lovers together. It varies in many of its characteristics and is simple enough that an array of people enjoy it. Many times people are hesitant to try rose, but once they do they can’t get enough. 

A pisces fits such a description to the tee. We are gentle natured, sweet, and simple. Those characteristics are what make us such crowd pleasers and leave people charmed.

Cave Spring Rose to me screams pisces. It is the perfect medium body that will please all wine lovers and leave them charmed. It is dry but comes off with a subtle sweetness because of the amazing fruit at the front, giving the impression of eating  ‘Swedish Berries’. It is easy to enjoy and leaves you wanting more.

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Liam Mastersmith

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Aries

My co-workers are perfectly aware, I’m new to this world of constellations, birth charts having something to do with your personality, even more to how they relate to wine. Still, it seems I can scrap the results of my 23andMe test, it turns out I’m 2 parts Aries and 1 part Sagittarius; I’m also told this means I’m 100% fire. Like this South African Cab Franc, both 100% organic and biodynamic grapes from Botanica wines estate vineyard – absolute 🔥🔥🔥. Full-bodied and complex, with a fruit-forward palate, still very dry,  full of plum and blackberry flavours, followed by some earthy and spicy undertones… lovely. 

Now for your monthly horoscope! Good news regarding your wine choices will come your way. You might feel terribly bored with the same old Cabernet. You feel like you could use a pleasant surprise. Look no further Aries. You’ve been working hard and a little break is probably in order. A glass of this awesome Cab Franc may help.  Your Lucky Numbers are: 12, 62, 3, 18, 45, & 6.

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Leslie

Customer Service Sales Associate

This alluring Pinot Noir from California (Sonoma) offers vibrant aromas of red cherry and raspberry, as well as hints of savory spices and forest floor. On the palate, silky smooth tannins and refined notes of toasted French oak accentuate the lush flavors, while carrying the wine to an elegant red berry and spice finish. This Pinot Noir easily  compares to one from Burgundy! I recently enjoyed a bottle with a cream of mushroom soup and fresh baked focaccia bread right out of the oven! This is the wine where one bottle is never enough!!

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David

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Cancer

As a Cancer, I supposedly have a tendency to reminisce, and a fondness for history and the history of objects. That this happens to be true is coincidence (or was it written in the stars?). As such, I might enjoy “[unravelling] the complexities of a Bordeaux blend” such as this 2016 Chateau Brehat Cotes de Castillon. Bright red fruits and a subtle, restrained oak, characterize this well-rounded and medium-bodied wine. Hearty comfort foods pair well – stews, shepherd’s pie, but in keeping with the Bordeaux blend’s historical influence let’s go with Chilean empanadas and Ensalada Chilena. The wine drinks well alone too, but to scratch that intellectual itch, I suggest pouring yourself a glass while perusing Roland Barthes’ Mythologies (1957). Perhaps the essay “Wine and Milk”?

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Sam

Customer Service Sales Associate

Astrological Sign: Pisces 

Pisces being the last sign in the zodiac I like to think the best is saved for last. Pisces are sensitive, romantic and compassionate, we’re just full of love and no matter the scenario, El Enemigo has your little heart covered. 

Going through a bad break up? Grab a bottle of this Malbec, a chocolate bar, and your best friend. Absolutely perfect for mending hearts with its full body and smooth and elegant tannins.

Got a dinner date this Friday? Nothing better to woo your boo than this gorgeously rich wine, jam packed with dark fruity flavours like blackberry, cherry, and a little spice in there. Everybody loves a Pisces and I’m sure you’ll love this wine.

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Ashley Yeomans

Customer Service Sales Associate

Located in the Annapolis Valley, Lightfoot & Wolfville approaches viticulture and winemaking in an enlightened way; working in harmony with nature. 

The Sheurebe has the wonderful aromas and tastes of tropical fruits. It is off-dry and balanced beautifully with slight acidity.

This light, bright wine would be the perfect match for any holiday party as it would pair well with appetizers, charcuterie, dinner and even dessert.

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