Once each month Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson can be heard on JAZZ FM with our feature called "Notes".  Together with host Brad Barker, we will explore wines and music comparing the notes in certain wines and similar notes in jazz. 

You can find JAZZ FM at 91.1 on your FM dial in southern Ontario or on line at www.jazz.fm.

Look for our featured recipes to match the wines each month!






Le Carla Colombard-SauvignonLe Carla Colombard Sauvignon 2014
IGP Côtes de Gascogne
Gers, France
438788 $13.95
400 (12 pack) cases available

This delightful white blend combines 80% Colombard with 20% Sauvignon Blanc to produce a bright, breezy white wine that is perfect for al Fresco dining. Colombard is the dominant white grape in Gascony, in southwestern France, and has a long history in the region. The IGP designation ensures the quality of the wine, while providing producers the flexibility to choose which grapes they would like to blend together. Here, the soft and fruity Colombard gets some acidity and citrus notes from Sauvignon Blanc.

At 11.5% alcohol, Le Carla is a bit lower in alcohol which a growing number of consumers are looking for. The winemakers have also added a tiny bit of residual sugar to reach 7 g/L which provides a little body and mouthfeel to the wine.

This blend is a terrific wine to have on hand all summer long. Enjoy it by itself or as an apéritif. It will match any food that you would squeeze a lemon over.


Spinyback-Sauvignon-BlancSpinyback Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Nelson, New Zealand
694737 $19.95
560 (12 pack) cases available

“This is lively and fresh offering classic notes of citrus, herbs and crunchy pea pods with a hint of white peach. Mid-weight, it’s almost spritzy with the pungency of grapefruit zest, tangy lemon-lime and passionfruit. Finishing dry and refreshingly crisp, you’ll enjoy this wine well chilled with a salad of, yes, crunchy pea pods with roast tomatoes and goat cheese”.  - winecurrent.com



Cigarzin 2014Cigar Zin
California Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
California, USA
269340 $21.95
672 (12 pack) cases available

Cigar Zin is a blend of 84% Zinfandel, 12% Syrah, 3% Malbec and 1% Carignane which has been released through Vintages in the past and which usually sells out quickly. The fruit is picked separately, cold soaked and fermented to extract maximum flavour and colour. Portions of the final blend are aged for eight months in French oak barrels before final blending. The result is a dark, brambly wine with plenty of Zinfandel character. It would be fantastic with barbecue, slow cooked pork belly, pizza or ribs.




dArrys Originald'Arenberg
d'Arry's Original Shiraz Grenache 2013
McLaren Vale, Australia
942904 $19.95
512 (12 pack) cases available

The 2013 Vintage in McLaren Vale was a little drier, a little hotter and a little shorter than usual. Most of the red grapes were harvested throughout late March and into early April. The fruit had fully ripened by then but because of the lack of moisture, the amount of grapes harvested was down. From a quality perspective, the conditions produced wines of incredible colour and flavour. The 2013 d’Arry’s Original is dark, brooding and full of chewy tannin and fruit. Winemaker Chester Osborn advises to open up the bottle and decant it for at least an hour or two before imbibing, ‘to allow the Grenache to impose its charm upon the more brooding, quintessentially McLaren Vale Shiraz’. Match with grilled red meat, especially lamb or beef.

“This has long been one the great values from McLaren Vale, a blend with considerable complexity, richness yet decent balance at the same time. It pours quite deep black purple. The nose is nicely lifted with florals, ripe black cherry, mocha, pepper and a touch of menthol. Some graphite on the finish as well. Very good to excellent length.” - David Lawrason, Wine Align




Coffee and Herb Rubbed Lamb Chops


It turns out that coffee and lamb like each other and the combined flavours are a super match for all three red wines featured above. Serve the chops with your favourite seasonal veggies and a variety of gently sautéed mushrooms.

Use a meat thermometer and remove the lamb chops from the oven when they reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees. The lamb will reach 130 degrees while it rests and the meat will be cooked perfectly to medium-rare.

For the Lamb Chops:


coffee rubbed lamb chops • 2 lamb racks, frenched
• 1/4 cup coffee, finely ground
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
• 1/2 tablespoon coriander, ground
• 1/2 tablespoon black pepper, ground
• 1 pinch cayenne pepper
• salt, to taste
• 1 tablespoon olive oil


Combine coffee, paprika, oregano, thyme, brown sugar, mustard, pepper, coriander, cayenne and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle generously over the lamb racks.


Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon reserved oil and the lamb racks. Cook over medium heat to brown all over, being careful not to burn the spices. Place the seasoned meat on a rack in the preheated oven. Cook until an instant-read meat thermometer reaches 125 degrees F. Transfer to a platter, tent with foil to keep hot and let rest for 10 minutes until ready to serve.