I HEART WINE Club, Vol 4 Food & Drink

Welcome to According to Amanda’s unsophisticated I HEART WINE Club. I say unsophisticated because I am in no way a sommelier. I am not a connoisseur of fine wines or skilled at tasting and comparing. What I am good at, is drinking wine and telling you about it!

If you like wine as much as I do, you should also check out our past parties!

The ‘Method’

Once a month, a group of girlfriends and I yank off the lulu’s for a night, put on our big girl adult clothes and sip fine wines like ladies. The host picks the 3 wines for the evening and keeps it a secret except for the grape variety. We also attempt to pick 1 cheap, 1 expensive and 1 middle of the road priced bottle. As a group we sample one wine at a time. First noting the colour or appearance, then the aroma and finally the taste and after-taste of each wine. I am making this sound quite organized and structured, but really we look, smell, drink and gab = our unsophisticated wine tasting!

Cheese Pairings

When I think wine, I always think CHEESE! Traditionally, Pinot Noirs pair nicely with goat cheese, gouda and swiss cheese. In this edition of I HEART WINE Club, we sampled the wines with some of these cheeses to see how the flavours would play off one another. I selected Anco Gouda Smoke Flavoured, a hard Goat Cheese by Blyth Farm Cheese and Anco regular swiss cheese which were all purchased from a Metro grocery store.


Today’s review is a set of 3 Pinot Noirs from France, New Zealand and California

2016-02 I HEART WINE Club Vol 4 P

Lulu B, Pinot Noir, 2013, France, $10.95 CDN

Bottle Description: Medium ruby red colour; aromas of berry fruit, anise, plums with earthy notes; dry, light-medium bodied, with ripe, juicy berry fruit flavours and hints of spice on the finish.

According to Amanda… the verdict is:
  • Light, ruby colour
  • No legs on the glass
  • Aroma of berries and pepper
  • Not very flavourful, light taste, nothing distinctive
  • Would be a good cooking wine
  • Did not care for this wine at all
  • Tasted horrible with the hard goat cheese
  • When sampled with gouda the taste of the cheese completely disappears
  • Swiss cheese compliment this wine


Stoneleigh Marlborough, Pinot Noir, 2013, New Zealand, $18.95 CDN

Bottle Description: Pale ruby colour; aromas of cherries, violets and spicy oak; dry, medium-bodied, soft tannins, flavours of cherry, mineral, and oak spice with balanced acidity.

According to Amanda… the verdict is:
  • Long legs
  • Light, ruby colour
  • Aroma is much stronger than Lulu B
  • A unique woody taste, a little acidic, sweet as well
  • Distinctive flavour but not strong
  • Would describe it as an easy and flexible wine for many occasions
  • Tastes awesome with hard goat cheese
  • I liked this wine but not wowed


Mirassou, Pinot Noir, 2014, California, $13.95 CDN

Bottle Description: Pale ruby colour; raspberry, sour cherry and touch of vanilla in the nose; dry light to medium body; soft cherry and cranberry flavours, soft, smooth finish

According to Amanda… the verdict is:
  • Darker than the other 2 wines with long legs
  • Very little aroma, a little sweet
  • A balanced wine with a nice currant flavour
  • Finish was very quick and abrupt
  • Crowd favourite of the night
  • Gouda flavour was hidden by the wine
  • Goat cheese complimented very well


And because here at I HEART WINE Club we love wine, why not a fun wine fact!

Impress your guests at your next dinner party with some random facts about wine! Each month you can add to your vast knowledge and become a walking encyclopedia. One purely dedicated to all things wine!

“Romans discovered that mixing lead with wine not only helped preserve wine, but also gave it a sweet taste and succulent texture. Chronic lead poisoning has often been cited as one of the causes of the decline of Rome.”

Estreicher, Stefan K. 2006. Wine from Neolithic Times to the 21st Century. Algora Publishing.
via 82 Delicious Facts About . . . Wine from Random Facts

Tell me what wines you want me to test! Comment below and let me know if there is a region, blend or grape variety you want us to test for you!


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Based in Toronto, Amanda is a full-time mom of 2 little monsters, creator and editor of the blog According to Amanda (accordingtoamanda.ca) and since that isn't enough to keep her busy she also manages her own marketing consulting agency, Amanda Mercier Consulting (amandamercier.com).

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