The Imbiber's Report

Our Bi-Weekly Newsletter with Product Reviews and Much More!


April 29, 2017


rose-wineYou’ll have noticed that LCBO stores have sprouted rosé sections recently. The coordinated effort between the ‘regular’ stores and their Vintages sections gets a boost this weekend with the release of more than a dozen new rosé wines, including our very own Provençal Carte Noire. As an added bonus, our ‘general-list’ Gran Feudo Rosado from Navarra, Spain is on sale with $1 off until May 20, so stock up! The new 2016 vintage changeover has just happened and the wine is tasting better than it ever has! It’s full of verve and spice with perfect balance.

With a month or so to go before you can begin planting most things outside, here are two things to consider. IKEA Canada’s website has some great ideas for finding indoor plant growing spaces here: For those with the space, time and ambition, have a look at The Growroom, which was recently unveiled by IKEA’s dedicated design lab IKEA has been experimenting with gardening pop-up stores and information kiosks outside of their regular retail outlets. In other markets, like the UK, IKEA has already launched indoor gardening lines. Keep an eye out for future developments.

Let’s hope there is a bottle of refreshing Gran Feudo Rosado chilling in your fridge right now because it’s time to pour yourself a glass…



We noted one of our non-wine products in our last edition, and we have a few more Ready to Drink (RTD) treats to offer. These are the products you’ll find on display near the beer and ciders and sometimes (if you’re lucky) in the fridge. Bring on the warm weather!

Crazy Uncle Hard Root BeerCrazy Uncle Hard Root Beer
Craft Soda for Grown-Ups
448779 $2.95
473mL 5% alc./vol.

Crazy Uncle offers a premium vodka-based, all-natural artisanal Hard Root Beer for Grown Ups. It has a smooth and rich flavour of natural sarsaparilla, sweet birch, wintergreen and licorice root with a creamy vanilla finish. It is crisp, refreshing and not overly sweet, with no high fructose corn syrup. A fun, familiar and comforting flavour with a premium, all-natural ‘Grown-up’ twist.




Crazy Uncle Hard Cream Soda medCrazy Uncle Hard Cream Soda
Craft Soda for Grown-Ups
491498 $2.95
473mL 5% alc./vol.

A hard cream soda for true cream soda lovers. This delicious hard soda has been crafted from start to finish using all natural ingredients and care. It has smooth and rich flavours of real vanilla bean and lightly caramelized cane sugar with a long-lasting, cream finish.

Enjoy hard sodas with fun food like backyard barbecued burgers, ribs, hot dogs, sausages with potato salad and coleslaw.






VINTAGES RELEASE, April 29, 2017

Carte noire roseLes Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu’île de Saint-Tropez Carte Noire Rosé 2016
AP Côtes de Provence, France
319384 $18.95
880 (12 pack) cases available

Vintages Panel: “Regular Vintages customers are sure to recognize this popular Rosé, and newcomers to Vintages take note: This blend of Grenache and Cinsault has long been a customer favourite, beloved for its zippy personality, ripe red berry, raspberry and Provençal garrigue tones. A delightful summer sipper that pairs beautifully with smoked salmon, this is one that would be worth holding onto to enjoy with Thanksgiving dinner”.

Winemaker’s Notes: “Beautiful pale peach colour with notes of white flesh fruits and citrus fruit on the nose. There are floral notes on the palate which are nicely balanced with a slightly spicy finish. This dry rosé is 90% Grenache and 10% Cinsault”.

Saint-Tropez is located along France’s southern Côte d’Azur, it’s a wild rocky outcrop of granite that sees more sunshine than almost any other region in the country. Low scrubby wild herbs, gnarled pine trees and vines inhabit the peninsula high above the white sandy beaches and millionaire’s yachts. The region had always produced a small amount of wine which was supplied to local seafood restaurants and cafés.  With the idea to export their prized rosé, in 1964 a small group of winegrowers formed a cooperative called Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu’île de Saint-Tropez to produce a rosé wine called Carte Noire. More than fifty years later, Carte Noire is the international wine ambassador for Saint-Tropez and it is enjoyed around the world.

This Mediterranean rosé is incredibly versatile and will match a wide variety of food. Try it with grilled octopus and tapenade for a Provençal experience. It’s great with all types of summer salads, quiche or charcuterie. Have a bit of fun and try it with everything! (see Sautéed Black Olive recipe below).




This section of The Imbiber’s Report features products that are available at grocery stores with a tasting note and food matching suggestions.

Chivite Rosado largeGran Feudo Rosado
Navarra DO, Spain
450205 $11.10 Save $1.00 was $12.10

This very affordable rosé is vivid, bright cherry-pink in colour. You’ll find complex and intense aromas of strawberry, raspberry on the nose with hints of herbs. It’s well-balanced, fresh and medium-bodied on the palate with flavours of strawberry, mandarin orange and spice. This mouth-watering wine finishes crisp and clean with notes of strawberry and spice.

Enjoy on its own or with pasta, risotto, vegetables, fish and white meats. It will match all pan-Mediterranean flavours including dishes with olives, tomatoes and garlic. It could be the perfect pizza wine.
















Our JazzFM.91 appearance with Brad Barker is now posted as a podcast on their website. You’ll find it here:

This month’s featured wines include our Vintages Essential Willm Riesling Reserve and three reds that are available now at the LCBO: Bold Vine Old Vine Zinfandel, Patrick Ryan Redhead Red and Michael David Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon. Brad has seen the light and will be drinking some Riesling this summer. The three reds were all spectacular and really showed well. All three reds would make fantastic barbecue wines.

Tune in to Jazz.FM91 anytime to hear some great music and, if you’re lucky, Chris and Mark’s wine recommendations.






The following promotions are available now until May 21, 2017 at the LCBO:

Earn 6 Bonus Air Miles on Patriarche Pinot Noir (#522649)

Earn 12 Bonus Air Miles on Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider (#94094)

Earn 15 Bonus Air Miles on Marqués De Riscal Rioja Reserva (#32656)

Save $1.00 LTO on Sprucewood Shores Riesling VQA (#326249)

Save $1.00 LTO on Gran Feudo Rosado (#165845)

Save $2.00 LTO on Pisse-Dru Beaujolais (#2881)

Receive a free Koozie (where applied) with the purchase of Vodka Mudshake French Vanilla (#4606). While supplies last.

Find the following wines chilling in the Wine Fridge in Select Stores:
Alsace Willm Riesling Réserve (#11452)







Sautéed Black Olives

We purchase Kalamata Black Olives in bulk. They are packed in light brine that helps to preserve them. These olives are great for making into tapenade, putting on pizza or baking in bread. We like to dress them up by gently sautéing them in some olive oil with garlic and herbs.


black sauteed kalamata olives1 heaping cup of Kalamata olives
¼ cup of olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, lightly smashed
Pinch hot pepper flakes – to taste
1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano leaves
1 Tbsp. Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest
Fresh ground black pepper
Pinch coarse salt


Score each olive with a knife, making a small incision to the pit.

Heat olive oil to medium and gently sauté the crushed garlic - being careful not to burn it. Remove the garlic from the oil when it is golden brown and set aside.

Lower heat to medium-low, add olives, rosemary, oregano and hot pepper flakes and sauté for 3 minutes.

Remove the olives from the heat and add salt and pepper. Transfer olives to a heat-proof plate or bowl and sprinkle with parsley and lemon zest. Serve with grilled bread, cheese and salami. Enjoy with Carte Noire Rosé, Gran Feudo Rosado, Segura Viudas Cava, Dunavar Pinot Grigio or Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Réserve Blanc.


Mark Donaldson, Editor and Factotum




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