Summer Rosé

Rosé has become a popular phenomenon in the wine world, and there is no better time to enjoy a glass than during the hot days of summer!

Now, we don’t care if you’re a big burly man with neck tattoos that thinks he’s too cool for pink wine. There are a million reasons to love Rosé beyond its beautiful range of colours. With bright and fresh acidity, along with various flavour characteristics, Rosé is a versatile wine that can be paired with anything from red meat to light cheeses. For red wine fans, it’s a great way to stick to some of your favourite grapes in a style that can be enjoyed well chilled on the patio.


Wine Folly’s “Different Shades of Rosé Wine”

Dry Rosé is made using both white and red grapes such as Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Pinot Noir, while sweeter styles are typically composed of Zinfandel, Muscat and Merlot. In order to make Rosé, the grapes are pressed during maceration, and left in contact with the skins for a specific amount of time. Unlike red wines, where the juice and skins ferment together before being separated, the grapes for Rosé sit with the skins from a few short hours to a full day. Allowing the wine to soak in its colour.

You can find several Rosés in the WineCollective store online, perfect for your upcoming summer barbeques. Apply the coupon code SUMMERROSE at checkout for $5 off a Rosé purchase and we can have your wines shipped to you within a week from ordering! Below, see our tasting notes for the current selection of Rosés.


Spy Valley 2013 Rosé (Marlborough, New Zealand)

Made from Pinot Noir, this wine is a beautiful blush pink! Aromas of fresh red cherries and plum fruits with hints of barrel from oak fermentation. Similar traits of fresh fruit on the palate with mouthwatering acidity that is not overdone.

Food Pairing: Weighty enough to enjoy with a BBQ steak or shish kabobs.


Cellier Saint Sidoine 2013 (Côtes de Provence, France)

Champagne pink in colour or “piglet!” Strawberries, raspberries, melons and peaches on the nose with faint mineral touch. The palate is reversed with light cherries and tart apples, dominated by minerality. Composed of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault.

Food Pairing: Seafood salad with calamari, mussels and scallops drizzled in olive oil, limoncello liqueur and fresh herbs.


Wine by Joe 2011 Rosé (Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA)

A blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Syrah. Intense aromas of fresh cut strawberries and cream. This Rosé is smooth and fresh, trailing onto the palate with lively citrus notes.

Food Pairing: A spinach and strawberry summer salad with goat cheese, nuts and poppy seed dressing. Add chicken, pork or shrimp to top it off!


For questions about any of our Rosé features, comment or email Also, don’t forget to share your own tasting notes, favourites and food pairings online at

Pork and pairings for your Canada Day weekend

Over the last twenty-seven days in Calgary, it has been Pork Month #yyc, where restaurants around the city present their best Alberta pork dishes to yyc bacon enthusiasts. Passion for Pork aims to celebrate the amazing quality of pork in both Alberta and B.C., raised under the strictest of conditions and animal care.


Hotel Arts’, Annual Pig & Pinot Festival on June 18th, showed off the best recipes of 13 different restaurants, all of which competed for the Divine Swine Award. Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc wine pairings took part and in the end, Black Pig Bistro in the Bridgeland area took the prize with their roasted pork belly with edaname and green and white beans masterpiece.

On the Passion for Pork website, you can find cooking methods and amazing recipes for ground pork, ham, chops and more! In celebration of Pork Month and the upcoming Canada Day, sort-of long weekend, we have taken two of these delicious dishes and paired them with some recent WineCollective features.


Grilled Maple Pork with Peaches

Because eating maple infused food just sounds like the thing to do on Canada Day. This recipe would make a great pair with the 2012 Mac & Fitz Shift’s End Red. The maple, together with peaches will blend with the red berries, vanilla plum notes and low acidity. Balancing out the sweet with dried fennel, chilies and rosemary, the dish will go nicely with the soft tannins of this easy drinking Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend. This wine also shows well slightly chilled!


BBQ Pork Chops and Spiced Rhubarb Chutney 

We’ve paired the dish with the 2012 Renacer Ponto Final Reserva. This Malbec is a balanced blend of red cherries and plum with spice, dried herbs and olives. Similar traits continue on the palate with red and black cherries rounded with wood and earth. This is a toned down Malbec that brings together spice and fruit, similar to the recipe! It is soft, silky with cottony tannins perfect for BBQ pork.


If you received these wines in your WineCollective package, celebrate Alberta pork and Canada’s birthday all at once this weekend! We would also love to hear about your own pairings on our Facebook and Twitter page!

p.s. Calgary members, we have some exciting news coming soon! Keep an eye out for details on a new pick up location from WineCollective!

Colene Clemens Pinot on Tannic

We are excited to introduce you to Colene Clemens Vineyards from Willamette Valley. Brand new to Alberta and with no presence currently outside the province, Colene Clemens is being featured this week on Tannic.


Only 2,200 cases are produced annually, and a very small allocation has arrived in Canada. We have brought in three estate Pinot Noirs from Colene Clemens’ 2011 vintage that offer great value from Oregon. They are named Victoria, Margo and Adriane.

Colene-Clemens-Victoria-2011 Colene-Clemens-Margo-2011 Colene-Clemens-Adriane-2011

The Basics:

  • Colene Clemens is family owned and operated, dedicated 100% to estate produced Pinot Noir
  • Joe and Vicki Stark established Colene Clemens (named after Vicki’s grandmother) in 2008
  • Originally 23 acres (planted in 2006), the estate has grown to 41 acres
  • Clones planted: Dijon 115, 667, 777 and Pommard
  • The estate is located on the western edge of Chehalem Mountains AVA
  • Winemaker Steve Goff has worked previously as assistant winemaker at Beaux Freres
  • Not overshadowing the Pinot, but equally impressive is the views from the tasting room (we highly recommend you visit!)

There are less than 25 cases still remaining in the province. Tannic members, log in at 9 am on Wednesday May 7th to secure your Colene Clemens Pinot!

Uvas Felices

Because happy grapes must taste better than sad grapes! Uvas Felices, or ‘Happy Grapes,’ is a group from Spain whose goal is to source and produce wines from premier regions and represent the authenticity of their terroir.

The wines are produced in extremely small volume, and we were lucky to be given the opportunity to try them. You might recognize the bold blue bottle below. We previously featured the Venta las Vacas 2010 in WineCollective and Tannic. We loved this wine so much, after selling out of the 2010, we have supply of the 2011 in the online members-only Store. Don’t miss out!

vacas tasting card

Last week, Amparo Soler from VILA VINITECA visited Calgary and brought four great wines from Uvas Felices. The wines, which are imported by Bonvida Wines in Alberta, were showcased at Vero Bistro in Calgary. Mark Bata of Bonvida hosted the night, with Amparo presenting the wines.


This was Executive Chef Jenny Chan’s first time preparing authentic Spanish cuisine. According to the Spaniards at the table, she nailed it!  Be prepared to start salivating…

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The night started with a glass of prosecco, and several generous tapas: lamb meatball, marinated squid, and bruschetta. The formal appetizer plate was a duo of Jamon Iberico de Bellota (Bellota Iberian ham) and  tortilla de patatas tradicional (traditional Spanish omlette) with fried artichoke and olives. This was served with the 2009 La Locomotora.

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La Locomotora has a unique label (like all the other Uvas Felices wines). The locomotive is reflective of the transportation in the area during the 40’s to 60’s. The wildflowers represent the over 80 different species of flowers found in Rioja.

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Rape con salsa romesco (monkfish with ramesco sauce) was paired with the Paisajes Valsalado. Guiso de lentejas con chorizo (lentil stew with chorizo) was served with Paisajes La Pasada. The Paisajes or “Landscape” line embraces the distinct terroir of the vineyards.

“All wines are a look at the landscape. Valsalado Landscapes brings together 4 different varieties, 57 to 60 years of age randomly planted in one hectare of clay and gravel, located in the Logroño. Landscapes La Pasada comes from a farm planted with vines of Tempranillo Briones-57 to 60-year-old on a floor of gravel and clay. Landscapes Cecias from a 2.4 farm planted with Grenache than 85 years.”   –Villa Viniteca



Yes, after 6 dishes we were quite full! Not full enough to pass on the lomo de cerdo asado con pisto manchego (roasted pork loin with pisto). Served with our favourite, Venta Las Vacas.


The dinner finished with helado de biscuit con turron de almendras (biscuit ice cream with almond nougat). The Spanish feast was a special treat to have at Vero Bistro! Keep tabs on their event calender to be sure you don’t miss out on the next one!

3 Easter feasts & wines to pair!

With Easter right around the corner, the WineCollective team has decided to dig past the snow on the ground to the very small and patchy sections of green grass. We’re hopeful that after a festive weekend, the sun will start to shine and spring will be among us! To kick-start the bright and cheery season, we give to you several delicious recipes to boost typical Easter feasts and spring wine pairings that will absolutely bring sunshine to your table this weekend.


Brown Sugar Bourbon-Glazed Ham

For those of you that enjoy sweet, sweet ham on Easter, try this Bourbon-glazed goodness. The recipe is incredibly easily with a handful of ingredients including brown sugar, full shallot cloves and of course, Bourbon!

Wine Pairing

2012 Misha’s Limelight Riesling

From New Zealand, this Riesling has incredible balance between sweetness and acidity that will easily handle the sugar from the ham. Notes of pears, melons, white blossoms and minerality are present with a medium body that can definitely handle this filling dish.

2010 Sperling Old Vines Foch

This previously featured Maréchal Foch is sourced from 60 year old vines in Canada’s Okanagan Valley. Cherry and blueberry jam characteristics are rounded with oak and smoke notes. With the bourbon glaze, much of the rustic elements of the wine will show through and balance out the sweetness of the ham.


Honey-Curry Glazed Lamb with Roasted Grapes and Cranberries

Substantial amount of flavour from curry and honey combination. The lamb is grilled then oven baked to soak in all the juices while the roasted grapes and cranberries make for a festive topping.

Wine Pairing

2008 Charles Joguet Chenin Blanc

This wine is incredibly fresh and best served at a cool 12 degrees Celsius. Mouthwatering acidity combined with tropical notes, banana bread and honeycomb will pair delightfully with the different flavours and balance the curry spice.

2010 Kermit Lynch Côtes du Rhône

A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, this wine has all the components necessary to pair with the lamb recipe. Minerality, dark cherries and bramble fruit are carried through the palate and generous amounts of acidity and round tannins with handle the richness of the meal.


Ginger Ale Can Chicken 

Similar to the much-loved beer can chicken, except this wine uses ginger ale, adding a whole different profile of flavour to the meat. The steam from the can creates a moist rich roasted flavour.

2012 Glen Carlou Unwooded Chardonnay

A refreshing Chardonnay that we’ve even posted an entire blog about it! High acidity meets the green orchard fruits and floral components with a creamy and velvety texture. It’ll match superbly with the ginger.

2011 Sister’s Run GSM

Recently featured, this wine is a blend of Grenache and Shiraz from Australia’s, Barossa Valley. The Shiraz will bring out the lively ginger spice. On the palate, stewed plums, blackberries and blueberries with fine tannins and nicely balanced acidity.


We hope you get to try out some of these amazing pairings and bring out some of the best in your traditional Easter feasts this weekend! If not, let us know what you enjoyed through the community, Facebook or Twitter page.

As always, feel free to contact us for more information on food pairings!

Bring me wine, Valentine

This Valentine’s Day, while treating your sweetheart to a romantic evening of candles, flowers and “love coupons,” remember that there is only beverage that pairs with heart-shaped boxes of chocolate… Wine.


At WineCollective, we eat our mid-afternoon snack of brownies, cakes and cookies with a glass of wine to match. Of course, we love both chocolate and wine separately, but a spark of magic ignites when the two are combined. And well, aren’t we all looking to stir up a little fire this upcoming Friday?

There are a few general rules to remember when pairing wine with chocolate.

  1. To avoid a bitter taste, make sure the chocolate is never sweeter than the wine.
  2. Pair darker chocolate with darker reds.
  3. With white wines, looks for a buttery Chardonnay, Champagne or sparkling.
  4. Match flavours of wine with chocolate. Citrus notes, citrus cocoa.
  5. Choose wines that have soft and rounded tannins.
  6. When in doubt, choose Port or Sparkling!

In the last few WineCollective packages, we have featured some great wines that will perfectly pair with all flavours of chocolates and truffles. We’ve rounded up these V-day-inspired selections, along with their tastiest chocolate soul mate, for you and your special someone.

Please note that these pairings are not just for those in love. Those flying solo can also easily enjoy chocolate and wine… Arguably, even more.




2010 Anima Negra MUAC!

Mallorca, Spain

Callet, Manto Negre, Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine: This blend shows off some bright raspberry and strawberry notes with a faint trace of vanilla.

Chocolate: A chocolate raspberry truffle with red and black raspberry puree and chocolate ganache all covered in milk or dark chocolate.





2011 Flowers

Sonoma Coast, United States

Pinot Noir

Wine: Wild berries with a subtle earthiness on the palate.

Chocolate: Pair this wine with a simple and delicious chocolate mousse filling, wrapped in a milk chocolate shell.





2012 Pasión de Bobal Rosé

Valencia, Spain


Wine: A smooth and balanced Rosé with notes of apricot, nectarine and wet stone.

Chocolate: Keep the Pasión coming with a white chocolate shell jammed with passion fruit filling.





Mauricio Lorca Fantasia

Mendoza, Argentina

Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay

Wine: A sparkling wine to pair with a variety of treats. Fresh fruit with hints of graham cracker and toast.

Chocolate: Enjoy a vanilla and dark chocolate ganache in a white or milk chocolate shell.





2012 Mason Cloudberry

California, United States

Merlot, Malbec, Zinfandel, Petite Verdot, Petite Sirah

Wine: A blend made for chocolate with rich plum notes, a black tea finish and lovely integrated tannins.

Chocolate: Pair with a chewy chocolate and caramel centre wrapped in dark chocolate.



If you’ve already enjoyed the above bottles, here are the suggested chocolate and variety pairings that you should stick to.

Milk: Port, Sherry, Rose

Medium Dark: Pinot Noir, Port, Champagne, Merlot, Zinfandel

Dark: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Borolo, Zinfandel


Wine and chocolate pairings are a real treat for you, your valentine and your taste buds. Because WineCollective loves you so much, we invite you to use our Valentine’s Day coupon code: WCLOVESME, for $10 off store purchases. Many of the wines featured in this blog are still available for purchase!

Happy Valentine’s Day! <3

Pairing wine with Christmas!

Christmas is right around the corner. Hopefully by now you have purchased all of your gifts (if not check out our Holiday Gift packages) and are getting prepared for mountains of food and the wonderful company of family and friends.


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You may be asking however, what to drink during all of the upcoming holiday festivities. We at WineCollective obviously recommend wine, but more specifically, some of the selections you received this past month in your December packages will make great companions to the Christmas memories you’re about to make.

1.) Decorating the tree

Hanging each ball and piece of tinsel can be time consuming, so why not enjoy a glass of wine during the process. In your December WineCollective package you may have received the 2010 Gouguenheim Merlot. While this wine can make a great pairing to pork tenderloin, it also sits quite nicely by itself considering the fruity aromas and flavours. This Merlot also has touches of sweet chocolate, so bust open that package of Lindor Chocolates and get decorating!

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2.) Skating and sledding activities

While most people are mistaken that skating and sledding are for the young and accompanied best by hot cocoa, I would argue that these winter sports are suitable for anyone of the legal drinking age. If you happen to have a wine sippy-cup, fill it up with the light and fruity 2010 Anima Negra MUAC! This wine still carries wonderful aromas and flavours if slightly chilled so you don’t have to worry about it hanging out in the cold for a little while. This wine is bright and juicy with red fruits, which will also make it a great pairing to the traditional Christmas turkey dinner.


3.) Opening presents

When Christmas comes and it’s finally time to open presents, we recommend enjoying a glass of Undurraga Brut, made of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Or, if you received the Giolio Cocchi ‘Primosecolo’ Brut, made entirely of Chardonnay, enjoy it instead. Both of these sparkling wines are fresh and bubbly with layers of pink grapefruit and citrus. Regardless of the time, these wines will help ring in Christmas day. Mixing with orange juice is optional.


4.) Building a gingerbread house

Perhaps after opening gifts, your family shares the tradition of building a gingerbread house which typically, does not last for long. This month, we featured the 2012 Jasci & Marchesani Trebbiano. This wine was a rare and unexpected treat when we tried it in our WineCollective headquarters. With aromas of baked apples, nutmeg, graham crackers and caramel, you will nearly think you’re drinking Christmas itself. Even more, it’ll taste great with the gingerbread pieces you keep sneaking into your mouth.


5.) Christmas Dinner

To go along with the feast of the year, we recommend some big food wines including the 2010 El Bonhomme. This vintage is layered with dark fruits and spice that will make it a great pairing to smokey or spicied dishes. So, if your family strays away from turkey, this may be the wine for you. Otherwise, we would recommend the 2011 Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that needs an hour or so to decant before serving. The Guidalberto will work nicely with whatever food spread you enjoy, including rabbit, sausage, ham and even green or root vegetables.


We hope this list helps to guide you through the holidays. Of course many other package editions will carry great wines for any of the upcoming dinners or celebrations you have. Should you need a hand with pairings, feel free to give us a shout and our vino experts will be happy to share all that they know.

To all of our WineCollective members and friends, Merry Christmas and have a wonderful holiday.


The WineCollective Team.

WineCollective’s Wine n’ Wares

This past Friday, the women of WineCollective transformed the office into a boutique for a festive ladies night. We welcomed friends, family, wine distributors and customers for Wine n’ Wares, an evening combined all of our favourite gifts and personal pampering products into a one stop shop.



Friend of WineCollective, Shelly Bata filled our boardroom with fabulous Stella & Dot jewelry and accessories. While skincare and beauty products from NuCerity and Arbonne were also featured, thanks to consultants Amy Wilford and Amy Protti.


Shelly was kind enough to offer a free draw prize, which happened to go to our NuCerity representative, Amy. She won a beautiful Stella & Dot turquoise necklace that caught her eye earlier in the evening.


Of course, bottles were popped to pair alongside the snack spread, which even included a very fancy Cabernet Sauvignon cheese. We selected the 2010 Le Roc Blanc, a red wine blend of Syrah, Mouvedre, Grenache and Carignan that was featured in most WineCollective June 2013 packages. While light, this wine is impressively flavourful with notes of blackberries and oak. The vintage is a great companion to food; however, it can easily be enjoyed alone while trying on jewelry or sampling lotions.


We also served the 2009 Palmadina Pinot Grigio for our white wine fans. This vintage is full bodied in its fresh and crisp flavours of grapefruit and peach and also makes a great pairing for appetizers.  You may have this Italian charm in part of your November shipment.

All of the ladies that attended Wine n’ Wares were entered in a draw for two bottles of each wine. We hope that our winner, Amanda, enjoys the gift as a thank you for attending! Both the 2010 Le Roc Blanc and 2009 Palmadina Pinot Grigio can be found in our WineCollective store for a member’s only price.


Once again, we would like to thank all attendees and hostesses for a great evening at WineCollective. Ladies, stay tuned for future Wine n’ Wares events!

Discovering Porto wine

Although Porto or Port wine is created in the eastern mountainous range of the Douro Valley in Portugal, its name is in thanks to the city of Oporto, where the wine was originally exported. The first recorded shipments of Porto wine dates back to 1678. For the last several centuries, Port wine has not only put Portugal on the map for fine wine, but also captured the hearts of chocolate and cigar lovers around the world.

Port is a fortified wine, created by adding grape brandy (beneficio) to the wine before fermentation is complete. Made by indigenous grape varieties, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa and Tinta Barroca, the characteristics of Port wine are very true to the outstandingly unique terroir of the Douro.

Traditionally, Port wine was carried down the Douro River from the Valley to Oporto using boats known as barcos rabelos. It was then unloaded into lodges where it would be further aged, bottled and shipped. Port wine is extremely popular in Britain and Scotland. In fact, many Port producers in the Douro are English and Scottish, such as Taylor’s and Croft respectively.

Map of Portugal wine regions from


There are various types of Porto wine that are differentiated by their ageing time:

Red Porto

  • Ruby, Reserve and Late Bottled Vintage (LBV)
  • Ages for a short time in large oak vats. Ruby is aged for 2-3 years, while LBV is aged for 4-6.
  • Full bodies and fruity characteristics of cherry, blackberry and black currant

We recommend: Fonseca LBV 2007

One of the largest and most respected Portuguese Porto producers. The vintage is fresh and intense with rich black fruit. Unfiltered, with no fining or filtration.


Tawny Porto

  • Rich and mellow
  • Aged in oak casks for 10, 20, 30 and 40 years
  • Typical nutty flavours with butterscotch and oak wood

port and glasses

We recommend: Quinta de Ventozelo 10 Year Tawny

Average of 10 years in pipas (550-litre casks), made of native oak and chestnut.


White Porto

  • Made from white grape varieties popular in the Douro region
  • Aged for 2 or 3 years in vats or stainless steel with no further aging required
  • Sweet or dry styles

We recommend: Dow’s Fine White Port.

Aged for 3 years at the Quinta do Sol winery, this Porto is semi sweet and can be blended into a cocktail with ice and soda.


Vintage Porto

  • Made from only the best grapes of a single vintage in years that are “vintage-worthy.”
  • Aged only for a few years, so it’s best to tuck it away in the cellar

2005 vintage port

We recommend: Quinta de Ventozelo Vintage 2005

Aged in stainless steel tanks for 2 years, to preserve the maximum purity of the wine. The wine is bottled without filtration at Quinta de Ventozelo.


Porto wine is an excellent addition to any dessert such as fine cheeses or chocolate cake. Better yet, make it a chocolate cheesecake. Or you can easily serve White Port as an aperitif.

If cellaring your Port, store bottles on their sides in a cool place (12ºC to 14ºC) away from direct light. Drink when released if you like young fruity Ports. Good vintages will develop for 15-20 years; in exceptional years, up to a century. Once open, drink within 1 day (old Ports) or 1 week (young Ports).

If you have yet to give Porto a try, we strongly suggest that you do. Tannic members have an exclusive on some of the Port featured. If you aren’t a member, sign up today! Or if you would like to share your favourite Port wines, we would love to hear your recommendations.

WineCollective + Carnivore Club

A few weeks ago, we discovered Carnivore Club, and for those of you that follow us on Twitter and Facebook, you have probably already seen our adoration.  Like WineCollective, Carnivore Club curates and delivers premium product on a monthly basis.  We recently received our first package and we decided to share it with you!


What do you pair with charcuterie? Quite simply, one might think that meat = red wine, but that is not taking into account all of the variables in seasoning, body and textures, from salami to pâté.


We decided to select some of our favourite Canadian wines and match them up with the November Carnivore Club shipment. Each package comes with your own “Meat-Eaters” handbook, explaining the flavours and uniqueness of each selection. This guide is very helpful when looking for your charcuterie wine pairing.

Here is what we received:

  • Iberico Chorizo – Produceed from the black Iberian pig. Seasoned with paprika, peppers, garlic, and wine.
  • Culatello – Produced from the rear leg muscle of the pig. Aged for 12 months in 500 year old caves in Parma, Italy.
  • Bresaola – Salt cured, air dried beef. Seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, juniper, pepper, bay leaf, cloves, thyme oregano, rosemary.
  • Pâté de Champage – A traditional Quebecois pâté from pork. Seasoned with pepper, wild mushrooms, white wine.
  • Pata Negra – Cured ham from Iberico, Spain. Free range Iberico pigs feast on grass, herbs, nuts and truffles in an ecological reserve of oaks, conifers and cork.
  • Toscana Salami a Finocchio – Traditional sausage made with pork. Seasoned with fennel seeds.


The common trend among cured meats is the astounding and delicious amount of fat and salt. If you were to pair one wine with all the above, go for a dry and crisp sparkling wine like a Prosecco or Cava. The acidity and freshness will be able to cut through the fats. Alternatively, sherry is also traditionally paired with cured meats and a great way to keep warm over the holidays! We decided to open a white, a red and a fortified wine, here are our thoughts:

Sperling Vineyards Gewürztraminer

The Gewürztraminer paired well with some of the lighter cuts and the pâté, but was too delicate for the chorizo and salami. The florals and honey notes were great with the pâté. An alternate white that could stand up to these meats would be a new-world Riesling with crisp acidity and light residual sweetness. You can order this wine directly from Sperling Vineyards and see what you think!

Kalala Zweigelt

This is a unique varietal from Austria, where a lot of the diet contains cured meats. Although we loved this wine, and it also paired well with the Bresaola and pâté, a spicier red like a Washington Syrah or Cab Franc would not be overshadowed by the seasoning of the Chorizo and Salami. You can find out more about Kalala and even order this wine directly from their wine club!

Southbrook Whimsey! The Anniversary

A fortified wine can be hit or miss depending on who you are serving. This is a great alternative to a common pairing with a still wine. The Anniversary offers great spice, texture and fruit, plus a slight sweetness that lightly coats the palate. You can also buy this online from Southbrook’s wine club.

Here are a couple quick guidelines when pairing wine with charcuterie:

  • When in doubt, choose sparkling!
  • Excess of salt requires great acidity and some residual sugar
  • Pâté and terrine can be paired with whites like Rieslings, and reds like Zinfandel
  • Spicy meats should be paired with spicier wines, like Syrah
  • Great bread is always necessary and helps to cleanse your palate when sampling a selection like charcuterie (ours came from our own in-house developer/baker, Tim)

We think that you should check out Carnivore Club, it is the perfect gift to compliment your Holiday Package or subscription.  WineCollective members can use the promo code “WC10” to receive $10 off the first delivery.

We are giving away one of the Carnivore Club packages to a WineCollective member. Tell us your favourite charcuterie pairing by commenting on this blog, writing to us on Twitter or Facebook by December 1. We will randomly draw from everyone who submitted a pairing suggestion!

Terralsole at Briggs Kitchen and Bar in Calgary

WineCollective and Tannic were invited to lunch by Fluid Imports, and we are excited to share all the details with you! We met with the Fluid crew at Briggs Kitchen and Bar to taste the new vintages from Terralsole. The kicker, we were hosted by the proprietor himself, Mario Bollag.

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Mario Bollag at the Willow Park Wine and Spirits Auction 2011. Photo from City Style Magazine.

What you should know about Mr. Mario Bollag:

  • He is Swiss
  • He can call his wines “girly”, and in his accent it sounds amazing (we may say feminine)
  • He is incredibly philanthropic; raising money for his charity Tè Solèy in Haiti (Mario lived in Haiti)
  • He is an animal lover, and it sounds like his dog is very spoiled
  • He is supportive of the arts; did you know he previously owned an art gallery?
  • He has a great love for music
  • His love and dedication to his family are apparent from the first time you meet him
  • He is a pescatarian! See, you can be vegetarian and appreciate red wine!
  • He visits Canada yearly, and is a great supporter of Canadian art and culture. The 2007 Brunello Riserva features a painting by Whitsler artist Lisa Geddes


Photo from Terralsole website of the Estate’s vineyards.
Photo from the Terralsole website of the Estate’s house and Cantina.

Why are Terralsole wines amazing?

  • Mario does not confine Terralsole to convention, he is ground-breaking with his winemaking philosophy (he planted Cab Franc in Montalcino!)
  • Mario’s wife, Athena Tergis Bollag, plays her violin in the vineyards (that must make for elegant and sophisticated wines!)
  • Mario’s understanding of Sangiovese Grosso and his terroir is replicated in the wines he produces
dining room
Photo from Brigg’s website of the private dining room with a prime view of the kitchen.
Photo from the Briggs website of the 48oz tomahawk.

Lunch at Briggs was a buffet of everything from the gnocchi and flatbread to the short ribs and 48oz tomahawk steak. Barely a crumb was leftover, not because the portions were small, but because Chef Xavier Lacave and his team produce nothing but the best! (check out the menu)

Tannic has featured Terralsole and have received great feedback. Here is what we tasted:

  • 2008 Terralsole Rosso di Montalcino D.O.C
  • 2008 Terralsole Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G.
  • 2007 Terralsole Brunello di Montalcino Riserva D.O.C.G.
  • 2006 Terralsole Coldoro Merlot I.G.T
  • 2006 Terralsole Solista Syrah I.G.T.
  • 2006 Terralsol Pasticcio I.G.T.

Join Tannic to be first in line to receive offerings of Terralsole’s new vintages!


Cured and couriered from Carnivore Club

We are very excited to introduce a new monthly club in Canada that may just be the perfect gift for any man in your life – unless he’s a vegetarian.

Carnivore Club is a monthly subscription that provides exclusive meat to club members. Each month, members receive 4 to 6 selections of “unique charcuterie, exotic terrines and artisan crafted jerky’s from around the world.”


The team at Carnivore Club ensures that you receive fresh and top quality selections that cannot be found at your local grocery store or butcher shop. Their partners are small producers because CC believes that they provide the furthest care and attention to their products.

What’s great about Carnivore Club is each month, delivered right to your front door, comes a perfect wine pairing. They are also very generous in providing WineCollective members with $10 off their first shipment when you use the promo code WC10 at checkout.


The WineCollective team has already ordered our first shipment and it’s headed straight for our office. We plan on creating a perfect pairing between Carnivore Club and WineCollective selections. You can look forward to an upcoming blog post on what the office foodies cook up, recipe and wine pairing included!