Friday Night Wine Pick: A Sticky End!

Last week three of us attended a wine event at Ottawa’s “Museum of Nature” called “New Zealand in a Glass”.  As you guessed, it featured wines from New Zealand.  It didn’t hurt that our very own Mary Anne had recently traveled to that beautiful country and done some wine tasting herself.


Source: Wikipedia

Let’s just talk a little about the venue first.  The Museum of Nature, built as the Victoria Museum, completed in 1912, has been home to several museums over the decades and from 2004 to 2010 underwent a major facelift.  It is a stunning building, one of the few in Ottawa that is an example of Tudor Gothic-style of architecture.

Museum of Nature
And the joint was hopping for this wine tasting!  Live music, delicious appetizers, cheeses and there may have been dessert, but it disappeared so fast we didn’t get to sample it.  We walked in, turned right and never looked back.   Most of the wines on sample were white, as the NZ climate isn’t conducive to many of the red grape varietals.  The reds were mostly Pinot Noir and there was one or two Merlots.

Now this tasting put me out of my element as I prefer a glass of red.  However, I also like to put on my adventurous hat and try new things.  Which brings me to my favourite pick from this evening.

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From the Marisco Wineries in Marlborough, in a series of “The Kings” wines, comes “A Sticky End” which is, you guessed it, a dessert wine.  If I’m not a regular white wine drinker, I’m even less of a regular dessert wine drinker, but this one brought me back for seconds.  Well, the wine and perhaps the conversation with the very funny and personable owner – Brent Marris.

You can read all about “A Sticky End” here, but know that it was not overly sticky sweet and paired excellently with the blue cheese, which I tried for the very first time as well – there’s that adventurous hat again.  Or more likely the arm-twisting of Mary Anne and Maureen.

Now, you are going to ask me where you can find this fine dessert wine.  Well….NOT at the LCBO unfortunately.  This one will have to be ordered through a wine agent, which the TBBs seem to be collecting like wine corks.  If you are interested, please leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.


Donna ThumbnailCheers…Donna

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Eleanor Marris Rogers - November 30, 2014 - 9:17 pm

Came across your site while looking for more info on “A Sticky End” wine. If you know how I can get hold of a case, please let me know! I just discovered the Marisco website and my mind was blown, I am distantly related to the owner, as I am related to William De Marisco, name sake of “A Sticky End”. Looking forward to getting their Chardonnay through the LCBO on Dec 6, but the sauv blanc would be great to have.
Eleanor Marris Rogers

When you visit NYC….

I was recently in NYC attending Modenus BlogTourNYC … tons of info about that here, but I decided to write a TBB post which would concentrate solely on the shopping and the dining that I enjoyed on that trip.  Although I was invited to the following shops and restaurants  via BlogTourNYC,  I have in no way been reimbursed for their endorsement…I simply loved the atmosphere, decor, service etc and wanted to share on this blog.



IMG_8522.jpg.jpg 1Michele Varian, a wonderful store in SoHo featuring Michele’s own wallpaper and fabric designs. This eclectic shop has a wide variety of artwork, pillows, furniture, dishes, and lamps. Not to be missed if you find yourself in SoHo. MIchele Varian is located at 27 Howard St. 

IMG_8563.jpgCalypso Soho Home Store is another in the chain of Calypso St Barth shops. The Home store showcases it’s wares in a neutral backdrop with tons of pattern and texture with the odd snippet of colour. Venture into this calm environment…you will not be disappointed. Calypso Home is located at 407 Broome St

IMG_1301.jpgTreillage, a garden, interiors and antique store is owned by interior designer Bunny Williams and her husband John Rosselli. Items found in this varied shop are sourced through Bunny’s and John’s frequent worldly sojourns. This is not a store that you want to rush through, as you won’t want to miss a single vignette – featuring  furniture, pillows, dishes, rugs and garden decor. Treillage is located 418 East 75th St.



Peasant is a lively Italian restaurant in Soho. Our BlogTour group, recently introduced to  each other, took up two full tables in the brick walled, moody ‘cellar’. We were served sharing plates which was a fabulous way to get to know each other. The food was absolutely delicious and I would strongly recommend Peasant, particularly if you love fish, sea food and are interested in having an authentic rustic Italian meal. Peasant is located at 194 Elizabeth St.


La Birreria is a rooftop restaurant and brewery located on the top floor of Eataly.  Again, we were served sharing plates at this scrumptious lunch organized for us through BlogTourNYC. I would go back in a heartbeat if for no other reason than to sample more beer. La Birreria is located at 200 fifth Avenue.


Our final BlogTourNYC meal was enjoyed at ABC Cocina. Another delightful meal, again with shared plates.  If you go, you MUST indulge in the dessert…warm vanilla fritters with mexican chocolate ….  ABC Cocina is located at 38 East 19th Street.


And finally, although this was not part of my most recent trip to NYC, I would be remiss if I did not include a highlight from my previous trip to New York exactly a year ago.  My two daughters and I booked walking tours via City Rover Walking Tours.  We cannot express the absolute charm of the owner/guide Max and his ability to entertain us for upwards of three hours while giving us a fabulous history of the areas of the city we walked through.  A walking tour with City Rovers is a MUST DO!


Enjoy New York City!!

 Maureen thumbnailMaureen

Donna BorderDonna says: “I can never seem to get enough of NYC!  These stops for both shopping and dining will definitely be on the list for my next trip!”



Mary Anne Border Mary Anne says:” Thanks for the timely tips Maureen. I will try to see what I can squeeze in this weekend when I am in         NYC! Everything looks fabulous!”


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Friday Night Cocktail Pick: Did Somebody Say Beergarita?


The Beergarita has become a favourite drink with guests at our cottage (just to help beat the heat of  summer). It is, surprisingly not too sweet, and very refreshing.  In honour of Cinco de Mayo celebrations this week, I am sharing the recipe. It is fast, easy and consists of only three, readily available ingredients.





Empty one can of limeade concentrate into blender. Half fill the empty limeade can with tequila (Hint: don’t use your best tequila in this recipe). Add approx. 16 ice cubes and process on ice crusher program until slushy. Then pour 2 Corona beers into the blender and stir by hand to blend. Do not, I repeat do not, use the blender for this step or you will be very sorry! This is a great recipe for sharing since one batch will make about 4 drinks, and multiple batches are quick to mix up.

This post is part of RedEnvelope’s #redBar project!




Mary Anne thumbnail

   Mary Anne

Donna BorderDonna says: “These are so so good Mary Anne!  The perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo …. or anything else for that matter!”

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Plantation Love in Charleston

A few weeks ago, my hubby and I were in sunny Charleston, SC.  It was such a welcome relief from the cold, long and dreary winter we had.  We soaked in as much sun as we could.

One of the highlights of our trip was touring Boone Hall Plantation.

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Boone Hall Plantation was founded in 1681 by Englishman Major John Boone, on the banks of the Wampacheone Creek.  The plantation has been producing crops for over three centuries, and tours have been going on here since 1956.

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In 1734, the son of Major John Boone planted live oak trees in two evenly spaced rows.  Fast forward to two centuries later, and the oaks have grown and now form the moss covered canopy over the road.  This famous approach to the plantation is called “the Avenue of Oaks”.  And you may just recognize it!

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This famous road, and the plantation itself, have been the set for many movies and shows, including, the mini-series, North and South, and for the movies Queen and The Notebook.

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Unfortunately, no photos were allowed to be taken in the house….but believe me when I tell you that it did have the most amazing cantilevered staircase and, of course, some absolutely breathtaking pieces of furniture and lighting fixtures.

We were, however, able to take pictures of the exteriors and interiors of the slave homes, which run in a straight row right beside the oak trees, by the way.

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We even learned some Gullah, from a descendant of one of the original slaves on the plantation.  What a fabulous and powerful voice she has.

DSC_0096The grounds were truly spectacular, as I’m sure you can imagine.


Just look at these AZALEAS!


I was fascinated with this wavy brick fence. The bricks used on the property were also made on the property.

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So do be sure and add Boone Hall Plantation to your list of places to see the next time you are in the Charleston area.  Happy Travels!

Lisa Thumbnail   Lisa

Maureen borderMaureen says: “Fascinating history lesson Lisa. I had no idea there were plantations in the US as far back as 1681. Would very much enjoy visiting Charleston SC.”


Mary Anne Border Mary Anne says:“Another place to put on my must visit list, especially when Spring is slow to arrive in Ottawa! Love those azaleas!”
Donna BorderDonna says: “What a stunning property!  And the history …. I’ve read so many books set in that era, these pictures are a perfect visual for those stories!”





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Meredith - May 7, 2014 - 10:14 pm

Those azaleas are stunning! I can feel the warmth through the pics. I’m such a sucker for all things in the Carolinas, and these plantations are so stunning. I am glad they are ensuring the slave houses are a big part of the tour; it would be a shame if we ever forget that piece of horrid history.

Boone Hall Plantation - April 28, 2016 - 10:39 pm

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