2017 Sandbanks Pinot Grigio vs Super Nibs

There’s a lot to be said for cold, easy-sipping, summer wine.

And then there’s also that wonderful flavour of cherry licorice that reminds me of road-trips that I used to take every summer from St. Catharines, ON, to Sauble Beach, ON. My grandmother always had nibs or licorice because it would shut my brother and I up for at least a minute.

Sauble Beach.

In a way, this pairing is not just of a wine and a junk food, but of my childhood summers and adult summers.

So let’s get into it.

2017 Sandbanks Pinot Grigio

First thing anyone notices is the beautiful amber colour on this Pinot. You ever see your grandma drinking Pinot Grigio and notice that it’s a really clear looking wine? Yeah. Not this one. This one has the perfect amount of colour from the skins to make sure that you don’t mistake it for a rose, but you notice this thing glimmering in the sun.

This is a dry wine, some decent acidity on it. For me, I feel like this is a truly old-world take on Pinot Grigio in that the acidity is high but managed, and it does have a bit of a heavier body feel to it. What I learned from a few botanically-inclined Italians back in Niagara is that sometimes Pinot Grigio might get harvested earlier in the season just to keep that acidity higher.

Now, when I think summer wine, I think citrus, tropical flavours, and that refreshing feeling in the back of your throat that makes you loudly exclaim, “AHHH!” at the end of a good sip (read: gulp). I get some pear, lemon, and grapefruit flavours out of this one. And as mentioned, that high acidity makes this wine come across as incredibly refreshing.

All I’m really driving at here is that sometimes a pinot grigio goes down like water; you hardly notice it and you drop that bottle like a bad habit right on top of your liver. But you notice this one.

The Pairing


I honestly straight up lack the descriptors for some of the things that happened here, but I’m going to do my best.

At first, the sweetness of these Super Nibs cut the acidity of the Pinot Grigio, mellowing out the wine. But then, as the flavours mingle, I got more of an anise flavour (think black licorice), but then the aftertaste was something just wholly new to me.

It was like the artificial cherry flavour and citrus came together to create a whole new candy flavour and I just couldn’t stop eating and drinking. I was addicted. This was new. Like hearing a cool song for the first time, I just threw that on repeat until I was just… drunk.

For me, this was one of our best pairings yet. It was honestly more of a shot in the dark that brought these two things together, but man, did it pay off.

Give it a shot and tell us what you think!

2017 Diabolica Red vs Kit-Kat bars

As I begin this review, I need to say that not all pairings work.
I mean, like, this one does. But then there was — okay. Let me clear up everything I’m trying to say. This is fast becoming a mess.

I was walking home earlier today and thought, “OH! Maybe that 2017 Diabolica Red would ALSO work with Sour Cherry Blasters!”
It doesn’t.
It just kinda tastes like more of the same. So, let’s move on to the Kit-Kats!

This is Eryn’s favourite pairing so far, I think. I heard tell that she was ripping into some Kit-Kats and Diabolica without me just last night.

2017 Diabolica Red


It’s a little hard to tell what’s gone on with this wine and I think Diabolica has planned it that way. They want things to be mischievous, mysterious, and their branding would have you believe that their wines would be what happened if you were to let Hermes make Dionysus’ wine.

I’m a nerd. And if you understood my Greek myth reference, let’s pretend we’re fist-bumping right now.

Year by year, I suspect that Diabolica has altered the make-up of this wine. And because I can’t just tell by taste in this case, I have to believe their website that this wine is made up of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Shiraz.
The Merlot makes perfect sense to my mouth. There are some strong hints of cherry and plum in this one.

The Diabolica Red has almost no tannin bite. It’s a smooth, slightly on the sweet side, medium to heavy bodied wine that sits a little heavier on the palette. It doesn’t seem to carry much acidity either.

The 2013 vintage of this wine is said to have done 11 months of oak aging. However, the 2017 that we’re talking about here carries only subtle hints that there was oak involved. So if you’re one of those wine drinkers that doesn’t usually like an oak taste to your wine, this might be a great gateway wine into reds.

Overall, if you want a fruit-forward, not-too-dry, and smooth red wine, the 2017 Diabolica Red is for you.


This was paired with uh… JOS LOUIS!


So, like I said right at the top: Not all pairings work.
Again, Jos Louis wasn’t bad. In fact, it was pretty good. But, the Jos Louis just didn’t stand up strong enough on its own.

So we moved right along to the Kit-Kats and that’s where we found our pairing.
I think the milk-chocolate and the wafer texture are the two things that allow the Kit-Kat to complement the Diabolica Red just right.

You get a smooth wine, but a crunchy wafer.
You get some cherry flavour from the wine, and the Kit-Kat takes that flavour and turns it up to 11. In the back of the mouth, we experienced a very pleasant flavour blend of the milk chocolate and wine that we could only call “intense” cherry flavour.

So anyway, that’s the crime. Break off a piece of that DIABOLIKAT.
I made that up just now. But you can use it.

2016 Konzelmann Pinot Noir vs Reese Minis

Konzelmann and Reese
I grew up in Niagara and with that comes a certain familiarity with the wines in that region. Konzelmann Estate Winery has been a semi-frequent stop for me since my early twenties. They’ve consistently produced good wines at good prices with the odd surprise to keep things interesting (like their peach wine).

Also, I really like peanut butter and chocolate together. I don’t think anybody has ever disliked Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — unless maybe they’ve got a peanut allergy. Then that just sucks, buds.

Anyway! Our pairing this week is a Niagara wine industry favourite. The first person I heard tell of this one was a fellow by the name of Jeremy Miron, who was working for Niagara Vintage Wine Tours at the time. He coined this “Peanut Noir.”
I tried this at home at his recommendation and it was a hit.

For Pinot Noir Day, we’ve revisited this divine combination:
2016 Konzelmann Pinot Noir and Reese Minis.

If you’d really rather just skip to the TL;DR, click here.

Reese Minis — Why?

So, here’s the thing: We could have gone ahead and bought the full sized cup, but those typically only come three to a pack and when you commit to drinking an entire bottle at a time like we do, you’re gonna need your pairing to last. So, grabbing a small bag of the minis made the most sense, ya dig?

Normally, there’d be a review of the junk food here, but uh… You seriously don’t know what a Reese Peanut Butter Cup tastes like? Seriously? Of course you do.

2016 Konzelmann Pinot Noir

Konzelmann’s pinot noir has always been a steady and consistent go-to for me whenever I feel a need for pinot noir in my life.
I’ve paired it with mapled salmon, with hot dogs (yes…), light red-sauced pastas, and weekdays.

It’s at a wonderful and accessible price point of $15, making it a perfectly acceptable every-day wine.

It’s light in colour, light in acidity, and very well rounded with notes of red berries and red licorice. Its tannins don’t really bite at the back of your mouth and, though it’s a dry wine, it won’t give you that cottonmouth feeling the way a lot of bigger, more robust reds might.

All that said, this wine won’t leave you astounded, and it doesn’t try to. It’s just a very versatile and enjoyable light red.

The Pairing

Take a Reese’s Mini. Put it in your mouth.
Take a sip of your pinot noir.
Swish and chew. Then bear witness to the unbelievable change in flavours.
First, that chocolate and peanut butter comes busting through hard, but as the wine begins to mingle with it, you’ll find that it just explodes with a sort of cherry and raspberry addition that mellows the peanut butter taste.

It just straight up becomes an alcoholic PB&J in your mouth without the bread.
It’s a god damned come-to-jesus moment as your relive every one of your days as a poor, indebted university student subsisting on ramen and PB&Js and wishing you didn’t blow all your OSAP cash in two nights out.

Those were rough times.
But now there’s wine in your glass and you’re not stressed about it.
Now there’s candy in front of you, and it actually isn’t being eaten as “dinner.”
Now, you’ve successfully blended your adult life with your stugglin’ 19th year on this planet.

That’s what this pairing does for you. It’s a taste of the past mingled with your current success.
I’ll toast to that every single time.


The 2016 Konzelmann Pinot Noir is a perfect every day, affordable wine, that won’t bring with it the same kind of tannin bite as the bigger reds and its acidity is balanced well. Makes for a very versatile wine as far as pairings are concerned.

Reese’s Minis are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but there’s more. And you know what these things taste like.

Together, it’s kinda like having a peanut butter and jam sandwich without the bread and it’ll get you drunk.

If you try this one, let us know what you think on Twitter, Instagram (to your right), or even in the comments here!

2015 Galharda Tinto vs Steak Flavoured Doritos (and cheese strings)


Portugal is nice.
I liked the Jurassic World movie.
I also have a very strong craving that comes and goes that drives my open mouth down on top of a series of Cool Ranch Doritos™.
If you’re lazy and you want to just skip to the TL;DR, simply click here.

Anyway, my love for both Doritos™ and steak led me to really wanting to try out these new Steak flavoured (there’s a ‘u’ in this word because I’m Canadian; don’t @ me) Doritos™.

Then, on the flip-side of things, Eryn had just returned from Portugal’s Porto region with a couple of wines. We like wine the way that cats like catnip — on occasion, we can be found rolling and frolicking in it.

Now, here’s how I’m going to relay this tale of boujee-ass living:
First I’m going to tell you about the Steak Doritos™.
Second I’m going to tell you about the 2015 Galharda Tinto.
Third I’m going to tell you what the pairing of these two things is like.

Steak Doritos™ — an abomination, or a gift from on high?

Eh. I am going to be uncompromisingly concise and real here: These things are gross.
On their own, they’re nearly intolerable. They smell like dog treats that were shaved down into chips and baked. And I believe the smell is an accurate representation of how they taste.

Alright. That’s all I’ve got on the Steak Doritos™.

2015 Galharda Tinto

This was an incredibly hard find online for any information that the bottle and our taste buds didn’t freely offer up.

First of all, yes, this is a 2015 vintage. Galharda is the name of the winery, and the winery (and thus the wine) is located in the Duoro region, within the Duoro Valley. The Duoro Valley is a gorgeous place with wineries lining the hills all along a long river. This is near Porto, which immediately informs the snobs among us that this bottle had been found in the region for Port wines and, as might be expected, may have some Port qualities as it is made with a few grapes typically in Port wines.

The last remaining word to cover here is “Tinto.” Simply meaning “Red” in english, this wine is a standard red table wine and it contains three grape varietals: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, and Tempranillo.
So, what this essentially means is that they used a typical Port grape that’s considered to be Portugal’s finest, another typical Port grape, and then a really dark coloured and typically heavy bodied grape to round it out as a table wine.

While smooth with really mild tannins, this wine has a heavy mouth-feel and an ability to give you wonderfully purple wine-lips if consumed with the lust befitting a thirsty wine-o. But, as suspected in a wine from Duoro, it was a little bit sweeter and honestly did not come across as a very straight-faced, serious, stand-alone wine.

So let’s give it a dance partner and make this bitch dance Corridinho style.

The Pairing

Together, the wine and the Steak Doritos™ work.
Together, the flavours of both elements are enhanced and they combine to make a surprisingly pleasant taste.

The texture of the Doritos™ manages to trap and soak up some of the wine, making the flavours inescapable from one another and forcing the combination to take place across your tongue.

It almost tastes like a cherry and raspberry-based steak rub.

This straight up makes these gross Steak Doritos™ edible. But, honestly? We found that even though the pairing works, and together, you can very thoroughly enjoy both the wine and the Doritos™, this still could use another ingredient.

This couple became a thruple, as if to live into now. I mean — hell — it’s 2018.
We introduced some cheese strings. Peel ’em up and put it on the Dorito™. Then insert into your gaping maw and throw the wine in there.
This triple-threat is legit. Get some.


Okay, here it goes:

The Steak Doritos™ are awful.
The wine is meh.
Together, they’re great.
Add a cheese string and make the whole thing an absolute delight.

Try it for yourselves and let us know what you think.

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