Archive for December, 2011

And now, a word about wine

Let me start by saying that I am not a wine expert.  Not at all.  In general, I’m not a big wine fan, but once in awhile I find a wine that I love.

A and I live very close to the Niagara wine region and we will often head to Niagara-on-the-lake to do wine tastings.  A couple years ago we went to the winery Stratus, and I fell in love with their 2007 Red.  I find this to be a bold wine with berry tones.  A finds it peppery.  From their website:

“The hot and dry vintage of 2007 is a hallmark for the Niagara Peninsula. The vintage was ideal for the art of assemblage and each varietal was able to show signature typicity. Made up of predominately Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, other varieties were included to lift the body and nose. The result is a concentrated, complex and ageworthy wine that expresses the diversity of our vineyard.”

Unfortunately, this wine is $44.  We bought one bottle and received one as a gift, but the price keeps me from buying more.  We can always stop in for tastings, though.

My next discovery is more affordable.  I was tasked with purchasing a wine for dinner with A’s parents.  His parents are wine appreciators.  A’s advice was to get something bold, with a good rating.  I purchased The Black Chook Shiraz Viognier 2009 from Woop Woop winery in South Australia.  It was excellent! It reminds me a lot of the Stratus 2007 Red, but at a price of $17.95, it is easier to purchase.  Plus, there’s a chicken on the label.

Here’s the description:

“This 2009 Shiraz Viognier was matured for 10 months in French and American oak, 30% new. Deep garnet purple in color, it has intense cherry and crushed blackberry aromas with an enticing fruity lift and just a touch of peachiness. A solid backbone of high acidity and medium- firm fine tannins support the fleshy, medium-full bodied palate, finishing long. Approachable now, it has some capacity for development and should cellar to 2016+. Score: 90 LPB”


If you want to get your hands on the Stratus 2007 Red, it is available in some LCBO vintages, but the best way is to go to the Stratus winery.  It’s a gorgeous building and they have many wines and ice wines to try.  Here’s their website:

For The Black Chook, check the LCBO website for availability.  You have to search for this wine.  When I found it again, I bought 4 bottles, just in case.

xo Saree


Christmas Cookies

Every year I try to make a couple of different cookie recipes to take to my parents’ house.  This year I went with ‘white chocolate topped gingerbread cookies’ and ‘lemon burst cake mix cookies’.  A is a big fan of lemon, so these were really for him.  The lemon cookies needed to be baked about 1 minute longer than the recipe called for, but they were super easy to make.  A liked them, but I wasn’t as keen.  The gingerbread cookies were perfect, though.  I will definitely be making them again.

{Lemon burst cake mix cookies}


{White chocolate topped gingerbread cookies}

xo Saree


Crochet hat and infinity scarf

Since my last post about infinity scarves here, I made another scarf using a bulky yarn from Bernat.  I used the same pattern and like it much more as a soft and thick scarf.

My other project was the Divine Hat from the free pattern here.  If you are new to crocheting, or just new to making adult hats (as I was), I will include some links that I found useful.  The first is how to make an adjustable ring, which you will need to start this hat.  Next, this hat uses the stitch fpdc (front post double crochet), which has instructions here.  At the end of the pattern, there is also the stitch bpdc (back post double crochet), which is explained here.  Finally, the pattern suggests H and J hooks (5 mm and 6 mm, respectively).  I only had 5 mm and 6.5 mm hooks, so on the body of the hat, I used the 6.5 mm (K).  This didn’t seem to make any difference in the finished product, but I was trying to crochet a bit tighter than normal.  In the end, the hat is really comfortable and warm.  I added one round of a lighter pink yarn for a bit of detail, but the spiral stitches turned out great.  I really recommend this pattern, especially for beginners.


xo Saree