Cover photo by Martin.Cos, used under Creative Commons license

Happy 2016

To celebrate the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, we had a few friends over. Matt & Kaylea co-hosted, and we opened a little wine and served a little food. Here’s the menu:


  • Malpeque
  • Lucky Lime
  • Glacier Bay

Paired with

  • Stratus White 2010 (ON)
  • Bachelder Chardonnay 2012 (Bourgogne)
  • Fielding Rock Pile Pinot Gris 2013 (ON)
  • Benjamin Bridge Brut Reserve 2005 (NS)
  • Steam Whistle Pilsner (ON)
  • Muskoka Detour Session Ale (ON)



  • Grilled lobster rolls
  • Garlic cheese twists w/ donair sauce
  • Fried pepperoni

Paired with

  • Lightfoot & Wolfville Chardonnay 2013 (NS)
  • Pearl Morissette Chardonnay 2009 (ON)
  • Le Vieux Pin ‘Ava’ Viognier/Marsanne 2013 (BC)
  • Boxing Rock Cascadian Dark Ale (NS)
  • Uncle Leo’s IPA (NS)



  • Ahi Tuna
  • Organic Scottish salmon

Paired with

  • Thirty Bench ‘Wild Cask’ Riesling 2013 (ON)
  • Hugel & Fils ‘Jubilee’ Pinot Gris 2009 (Alsace)
  • Weihenstephaner (Germany)
  • Blanche de Chambly (QC)



  • Lamb lollipops
  • Flank steak
  • Venison rolls

Paired with

  • Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (USA)
  • Yacochuya Malbec 2005 (Argentina)
  • Pierre Amadieu Gigondas 2012 (Rhone)
  • Domain Queylus Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2010 (ON)
  • Boshkung Milk Stout (ON)
  • Innocente Charcoal Porter (ON)



  • Perrier Jouët Grand Brut (Champagne)
  • Bruno Paillard Premier Cuvée (Champagne)
  • Duval LeRoy Brut Reserve (Champagne)
  • Roederer Estate Brut Rosé (California)
  • Peller Ice Cuvée Rosé (ON)
  • Mikkeller Black Imperial Stout (Denmark)


There was sabering of champagne bottles, a grill fire, and cheers-ing at midnight.

Kaylea and Matt spent the next day here. We lazed about, watched the entire first season of Game Of Thrones, played Cards Against Humanity, ate the charcuterie and pulled pork we didn’t get to the night before, posed action-figure Daryl Dixon in odd ways, and drank a bunch of other sparkling.

Two days later there was some cleaning up:


Cover photo by Martin.Cos, used under Creative Commons license

Cover photo by Trixt, used under Creative Commons license

Hold on loosely

Yeah, I have too much to clean up after that party to spend time describing it. I’ll just cover what was consumed and let you extrapolate from that.


  • Hidden Bench 2008 Terroir Cache Meritage
  • Kew 2013 Fume Blanc
  • Le Clos Jordanne 2009 Claystone Terrace Chardonnay
  • Megalomaniac 2011 Bubblehead Sparkling Pinot Noir
  • Norman Hardie 2008 Cuvée L Chardonnay
  • Piper Heidsieck Champagne
  • Tawse White 2011 Members Select Chardonnay
  • Tawse 2011 Spark
  • La Vielle Ferme 2013 Recolte
  • Chateau Prieure Canteloup 2009 Cotes De Bordeaux
  • Wolftrap 2013 White
  • Rosewood 2012 Sussreserve Riesling
  • Moet et Chandon Brut Imperial
  • Henry Of Pelham 2012 Sibling Rivalry Red
  • Gustave Lorentz 2011 Riesling


  • 6 bottles of Duggan’s Sorachi Lager
  • Gulden Draak 9000
  • Affligem
  • Sawdust City Lone Pine IPA
  • 1 growler of Beer Academy Kolsch
  • Beer Academy Oatmeal Brown
  • Beer Academy Black Lager
  • Goose Island Matilda
  • 9 pints of Nellie’s Hoppy Birthday Brew (our first self-brew effort)
  • 3 bottles of Chimay Blue
  • 2 more bottles of Affligem


  • 1 bottle of Patron Silver tequila
  • nearly an entire bottle of El Dorado 12 year old rum
  • half a bottle of Basil Hayden’s bourbon
  • a mickey of Ballantine’s whisky
  • the .38 Special: a signature cocktail concocted by our good friend CBJ, to celebrate Nellie’s 38th birthday


  • Jesus, I can’t even.

Between what was brought for a gift or what was left behind, we made out pretty well:

  • Bouchard Pere Et Fils 2012 Petit Chablis
  • Desiderio Jeio Cuvee Rosé
  • Gardet Chigny-Les-Roses Brut Tradition Champagne
  • Angels Gate 2010 Mountainview Chardonnay
  • Blu Giovello Prosecco
  • Marc Kreydenweiss Barbarelle 2007
  • Coastline Paso Robles 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Il Sestante Amarone Classico 2008 Tommasi
  • Flying Monkeys Chocolate Manifesto Triple Milk Stout
  • St. Bernardus ABT 12
  • Citadelle gin
  • Bowmore 12 year old scotch
  • Macallan Gold scotch
  • 2 bottles (!) of Grey Goose vodka

Of course, this was also left behind:


Cover photo by Trixt, used under Creative Commons license

Jewellery, meat & companionship

Since Nellie’s birthday last year was a (pretty kick-ass) trip to New York, this year we decided to do our celebrating closer to home. The festivities took three parts:

Diamonds. Diamond earrings, to be exact. She was more than a little bit happy about that.

Steak. Three years ago, shortly after our escape from vegetarianism, we went with friends to Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse for Nellie’s birthday. We had such a great meal that we always planned to go back. And go back we did, last summer, but it was an ill-advised visit as we’d had far too much to drink before we arrived, making it a wasted and wasteful visit. However, another birthday seemed just the occasion for a proper return, and so we booked our spot for her birthday Thursday. We had a drink first at Crush, then skipped just around the corner to Jacobs and strapped in. We each had a drink to start (bubbles for Nellie, naturally) and then got into things with the lobster bisque and a chard that I just don’t remember. For our mains we decided to go big, each ordering a different 10 oz Wagyu to share. We paired it with a 2009 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which tasted like chocolate with the steak and like vanilla on its own. Maybe one of the best flavour combinations I’ve ever had in my mouth. Neither of us had room for dessert but our server did talk us into a glass of port, and sent us on our way with muffins for Friday’s breakfast. None too soon either; Jersey Shore-lite sat down at the booth next to ours just as we were sipping our port, and we wanted out of there. But even their cheesiness couldn’t tarnish a delicious (triumphant, maybe?) return to Jacobs.

Friends. Nellie wanted to do something with friends, so we invited everyone over to ours for a Saturday evening. No agenda other than just to drink some drinks, eat some eats, and laugh some laughs. We braved the shite weather to pick up a bunch of little snacks and beer (Beau’s Lugtread, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Garrison Porter) and Prairie Girl cupcakes and Cumbrae’s pulled pork with slider buns, and we spent a little time coming up with an Ontario-focused wine list, ’cause that’s what we like to do.

  • To start: 13th Street 07 Cuvee Rose, Appleby Lane 10 Sauv Blanc (the “house white”), Dowie Doole 09 Shiraz (the “house red”)
  • Whites: Five Rows 09 Riesling, Lailey 08 Old Vines Chardonnay, Norman Hardie 09 Pinot Gris, Thirty Bench 10 Riesling
  • Reds: Colaneri 08 Cab Sauv, Le Clos Jordanne 08 Petite Colline Pinot Noir, Southbrook 09 Triomphe Syrah, Staff 09 Cab Merlot

I think the last couple wandered out some time after 2AM, and we got to bed around 3. We spent Sunday lazing on the couch and finishing off the pulled pork, I think the pulled pork put us over the top, as Nellie declared this the best birthday ever.