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Staff Picks

Jason MacLeod

Wine Category Manager

Fast Food Pairing: Doraku’s sushi (Halifax + Dartmouth)

Every Friday night is movie night at our house. Before the popcorn and movie watching begins, each family member gets to order what they want for dinner which for me usually means a trip down to Doraku in downtown Dartmouth at least once a month for a takeaway of a couple of rolls and a few pieces of sashimi.  A perfect wine pairing for me would be Chateau des Hospices’ Nova Ona Blanc.  Grown a few kilometres from the Mediterranean near Perpignan, this wine is simply made and is full of freshness with just the right amount of acidity. 

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photo of staff member Jason MacPhee

Jason MacPhee

Wine Category Manager

Patio Picks

Big Head Wines is a family owned boutique winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Founded in 2011 by winemaker Andrzej Lipinski and his wife Janina, the winery is now operated by their son Jakub. Their 2020 Chenin Blanc is the wine to start off summer 2023. Notes of honey, lemon and white flowers jump out of the glass. The palate is round and full. Flavors of Citrus fruits blend well with the lemon and honey notes. The finish is clean and lingering, with the bright acidity leaving you refreshed and wanting another glass. An Ideal wine to enjoy while sitting on the patio and watching the sun go down.

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photo of staff member Lucas Mader

Lucas Mader

Refreshment Category Manager

Patio Picks

Cellar Slammer is probably the best beer ever made in the world. It’s our annual collaboration with Tatamagouche Brewing, and for our 20th anniversary (the beer’s 7th, if you can believe it) we wanted to give it a new proper label design – a fresh look for a fresh beer.

Slammer is a 4.4% abv session IPA, it’s dry-hopped with Mosaic and Hallertau Blanc to give you vibrant and summer-y aromas of white grapes, peaches, mandarin zest, alpine herbs, and five-alive. The palate is ultra light, thirst quenching, and just bitter enough to make you say    “oh, dang!”. This is the platonic ideal of what a Summer-beer should be. Practically designed by NASA engineers as the perfect patio beer.

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Kathryn Harding

Director of Customer Experience, Sommelier

Fast Food Pairing: Talay Thai’s Spring Rolls (Halifax)

The Alpha Domus Skybolt Chardonnay is crisp and refreshing. On the nose, there is a mix of tropical fruit and citrus, with a hint of toasty oak. The palate has notes of juicy pineapple, ripe peach, and tangy lemon, with just a touch of vanilla from the oak. I would pair this with fresh spring rolls from Talay Thai. The bright acidity of the wine can help to cut through the sweetness of the dipping sauce, while the fruity and oak flavors of the Chardonnay will complement the fresh vegetables and herbs. Enjoy!

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Alanna McIntyre

Product Specialist

Patio Picks

I recently tasted the Edinburgh Gooseberry & Elderflower Gin and was completely enraptured by its floral and fruity aromatics which immediately conjured up feelings of warmth, sun and summer. The distillery is located in Scotland and makes a range of high quality gins. This one starts off as a Classic London Dry gin and is distilled using all natural botanicals; in this case, natural gooseberry and elderflower flavors.  The elderflower really comes through on the nose without masking the juniper and citrus notes of the classic gin.  The palate is fairly dry and the elderflower notes are balanced by the tart tangy gooseberry.  This is an excellent gin for the lazy mixologist; it can be sipped neat, makes for a summery G&T or livens up a glass of Prosecco.  

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Gaby McCotter

Retail Manager

Patio Picks

When entertaining volume is good, when it is well priced even better! Sitting on a patio starts when the sun is shining with cold refreshing drinks. As the sun starts to go down, we tend to transition into slightly bigger or heavier wines. With this Invictas Cab I find that there’s enough body without it being too heavy to drink into the night. Bright red fruit flavours with notes of sweet herbs and spice. Serving this for an evening patio party would be perfect. Some nice grilled meats or veggies, maybe even just a lovely charcuterie board with all the curried meats and cheeses you love.

An amazing value Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile that is perfect for entertaining!

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Ryan Almeida

eCommerce Manager

Patio Picks

Domaine Longère is a sixth generation family-run winery with a humble estate of five hectares (just over 12 acres) that produces wine made from Chardonnay and Gamay varietals in sunny Beaujolais. Made from 100% Chardonnay, on the nose you can expect white flowers, citrus, and subtle stone fruit aromas. On the palate, those delicate aromatics are echoed with some added minerality and crunchy fruit. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of Chardonnay, try not to overlook this one; unoaked and fermented at low temperatures on its fine lees equates to freshness with some welcomed weight and texture. Serve on its own while sitting on the patio or back deck but don’t shy away from pairing it with shellfish, seafood, and a variety of fresh, summer salads.

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Kate Fraser

Retail Supervisor

Patio Picks

White Negroni season is upon us and you need Suze to craft the perfect cocktail. Made from a blend of botanicals and aged for 18 months in cask, the driving force behind the character of this spirit is the root of the Gentian flower that grows in Northern France/Switzerland. Immortalized by Pablo Picasso in his 1912 piece “Verre et bouteille de Suze” It is perfectly bitter and slightly citrus. Take equal parts Suze, Normindia Gin & Lillet Blanc, stir over ice then strain into a fresh glass with fresh ice and voila- the summer negroni.

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Stefan Nielsen

Retail Supervisor

Patio Picks

Hello wine customer, look at your wine, now back to this one, now back at your wine, now back to this one. Sadly, yours isn’t this, but if you listened to my recommendation and chose to drink Txakolina, yours could taste like it. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a patio with a wine that’s freakin’ delicious.

What’s that in your hand? … Look back at me! I have it! It’s an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love. Look again! The tickets are now diamonds. Anything is possible when you drink the ultimate summer patio wine and not whatever you were going to buy instead. I’m on a horse.

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Rae Tilley

Retail Supervisor

Patio Picks

For the white wine drinker that wants refreshment as much as flavor – consider this Muscadet! Made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne, this wine is crisp all the way through. The nose offers hints of minerality and fresh citrus; the palate will put you in mind of a crunchy slice of yellow apple doused in a squeeze of fresh lemon. Not only will it quench your thirst on the hottest of patio days, but is an ideal accompaniment to my favourite patio meal: lightly battered fish tacos! Does it get any better than that??

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Matt Hodgson

Retail Supervisor

Patio Picks

It’s no secret that I love pineapples, I’ve grown multiple in my apartment. The downside to growing them is that they can take up to 3 years before you get anything out of it. So while you wait for your pineapple to grow, Propeller and Clever Barkeep have you covered. In addition to pineapple, they’ve gone ahead and added Galaxy hops to the classic cocktail. Bringing out an extra layer of tropical aromas and flavours.

This is the perfect companion to sunny days on your favourite patio.

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Customer Service Sales Associate

Patio Picks

Upon tasting this wine, I was thrilled to have found my no fuss summer white. Vermentino hasn’t been top of mind for me as a go-to until now, but this fresh Italian wine from the island of sardegna really delivers. It’s got generous, juicy orchard fruit like nectarine as well as some really pleasant citrus and floral notes. Fun, zippy, balanced, this is a warm weather no-brainer for lovers of crisp whites. 

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Customer Service Sales Associate

Patio Picks

This, and the Cellar Slammer (see Lucas’s write-up), have been my beer of choice as we head into the sunny summer season. But Fernando, I don’t think I want to commit to a whole 6-pack! Well don’t you worry you silly goose, we now have single 437ml cans! It’s light, crisp, refreshing, and sourced with 100% local ingredients from the Maritimes. You should buy two so the puffins on the can have more friends to relax with. Enjoy responsibly.

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Customer Service Sales Associate

Patio Picks

The beginning of the summer is bringing to the air the aromas of delicious fresh fruit! As a fruit lover myself, I like to eat and drink everything fruity, like this Bergerie Blanc. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier come together to create a deliciously tropical white wine – With notes of pineapple, star fruit and sweet passion fruit, a subtle whiff of apple mint comes through after, ending in a lemony, crisp and refreshing taste. This French wine, from the subregion of La Clape, in Languedoc Roussillon, truly deserves a 👏 for being the perfect patio wine!

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Allie Barter

Customer Service Sales Associate

Patio Picks

This little can packs a punch and it tastes even better than it looks. It is bursting with flavors of fresh picked raspberries and homemade lemonade, but is rounded with a subtle amount of sweetness to leave you feeling refreshed. The spritzer uses piquette, making the can low alcohol and low sugar. Enjoy it chilled, over ice, or you can even blend it with some frozen fruit to make a frozen raspberry lemonade spritzer!

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Liam Mastersmith

Customer Service Sales Associate

Patio Picks

It’s Frappatio season again and this classic patio sipper is chilled and ready to go in our fridge!

If you haven’t tried this light bodied gem of a red wine, now is the best time to do so.  We frequently recommend this wine as an alternative to Pinot Noir that won’t break the bank- and it shows –  lightly floral and super juicy, with bright cherries, baking spices, soft tannins, and a pleasantly long finish. This wine is very food friendly and can certainly be enjoyed on its own…but the sunshine helps!  Happy Summer! (Finally).

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Customer Service Sales Associate

Patio Picks

This delicate French Rose is a blend of Pinot Noir, Cinsault and Grenache. Rose’s are the perfect summer patio wines! This particular wine offers aromas of current, raspberry and peach, on the palate you will find juicy red fruits and crisp minerality. .Enjoy on a hot sunny afternoon on the patio, at the beach or your favourite picnic spot.  Try it with light snacks, charcuterie or even with  grilled meats or salmon  and  a crisp green salad! Summer is Rose all day time  so spread your wings and your palate and give it a try!

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Customer Service Sales Associate

Patio Picks

If you’re looking for a bright, fresh patio sipper for those hot summer days, grab a bottle of the BB x Glooscap Rose from our fridge! Out of all the roses, this is far and beyond my favourite for the season. Fully dry with a lower ABV, the nose is fragrant and zesty, with herbaceous notes reflecting the unique terroir of the Gaspereau Valley. Tropical lychee, gooseberry, mango, and passionfruit fill out the palate. Now in its second vintage, this unique wine is the result of discussion and collaboration between Benjamin Bridge and the Glooscap First Nation. Sustainably farmed and produced. Support local!

Drink this wine please!

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Customer Service Sales Associate

Fast Food Pairing: Costco hotdog

In my opinion, nothings better after a long and stressful trek through Costco than getting a hotdog when it’s over. And what could possibly make the best thing ever even better? A drink. Ditch the flimsy paper straw and that fountain soda in favour of this RTD. Ready to drink and ready, waiting for you in your fridge at home. It’s not too sweet and the right amount of everything for me. Gin, juicy blackberries, lemon and a little elderflower, nothing more to add when this drink and its pairing speak for itself.

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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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