Tag Archives: cosimo commisso

Celestial Serenade with Cosimo Commisso

If you’re tired of staring at a screen (and you know you are), look to the sky. No matter the time of day, the weather or the location, this is the world’s best high-definition big-screen TV — and it’s all yours. Whenever I find myself dizzy with modern life, watching the stars, the clouds, the activity of the heavens, brings life to a blissful standstill and replenishes my internal reservoir of inspiration.

With love,
Cosimo Commisso

24 Hours In Niagara-On-The-Lake With Cosimo

Cosimo Commisso shares his dream itinerary for staying one night, two days in coveted Canadian paradise Niagara-On-The-Lake

There’s no place quite like Niagara-On-The-Lake. At least not in Canada! The quaint little town transports visitors to the rustic and flower-strewn villages of the early 20th century, and its charmed culture is reminiscent of small European hamlets. When I want to get away but not too far, NOTL is my ideal local destination, whether for a romantic night out of the city or a personal retreat. Here is my guide to making the most out of 24 hours in NOTL.

STAY

The Prince of Wales Hotel:

For a true NOTL experience, the Prince of Wales Hotel truly embodies the heart of the town. Its stunning antique exterior and opulent interior melt the heart and tantalize the eyes. It’s also a fantastic spot to stop by for High Tea.

Queen’s Landing:

A Cosimo Commisso favourite! For a less antique-y, more mid-century feel, this luxury Georgian-style hotel is a dreamy place to rest your head after a long day gallivanting around town. Its fresh, plush vibe is matched by attentive service — it’s no wonder it’s won so many awards.

The Charles Inn:

For a sophisticated experience, opt for the Charles Inn. The hotel is a fully restored, circa-1832 manor house, and while it’s been modernized it hasn’t lost its old-world charm. The exterior facade is irresistible, and is only matched by the gorgeous interior and impeccable service.

The Charles Inn

WINE & DINE

Treadwell:

The rustic vibe at this restaurant is as delicious as its farm-to-table cuisine. The menu aims to offer an exploration of Niagara cuisine, and have an on-site sommelier that directs the restaurant’s charactered selection of local wines.

Cannery:

Comfort food in an Instagram-worthy, rustic setting makes any meal at the Cannery an unforgettable one. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this spot is a must-try.

The Irish Harp Pub:

For a more casual dining experience that’s still impeccable, this spot offers up the classic pub experience. Not only is the food, beer and wine selection delicious, there’s always some form of entertainment going on to make your meal that much more fun.

Konzelmann Estate Winery:

This gorgeous estate was the seventh winery to open in Ontario, and it certainly meets its stellar reputation. The vino produced here is as stunning as the history-steeped landscape on which it stands. This place is definitely “Cosimo Commisso-approved” — and you know how much I love my wine.

Konzelmann Estate Winery

Niagara Vintage Wine Tours:

If you want to get the full Niagara wine experience, I recommend scheduling a tour with Niagara Vintage Wine Tours — especially if you’ve never really had the chance to explore the region’s wine industry before. They offer a colourful variety of tours that will let you taste your way through a variety of local wineries, rather than investing an entire day at just one or two.

ARTS AND CULTURE

Shaw Festival Theatre:

The Shaw Festival is one of our country’s most renowned theatrical festivals and a right of passage for any Canadian. If you’re going to experience one thing in Niagara-on-the-Lake during the spring/summer season, make sure it’s a mind-blowing play! (And maybe a glass of wine or two afterwards).

The Romance Collection Gallery:

Even if you’ve somehow never heard of iconic Canadian artist Trisha Romance, you’ll love stopping by her studio. The Anne of Green Gables-esque little home is as charmed as her works of art.

The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre:

This historic building now houses the cultural hub of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The non-profit organization hosts educational programs, exhibitions and special events to create and celebrate visual arts.

With love,
Cosimo Commisso

Fontodi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione “Vigna del Sorbo” 2012

Cosimo Commisso spills the details on another sublime wine, this one from the rustic, Florence-based winery Fontodi

Located in Florence, Italy, Fontodi has belonged to the Manetti family since 1968. While the Manettis are also known for crafting “terrecotte” tiles, their savvy in the vineyard is unparalleled.

2012 Fontodi "Vigna del Sorbo" Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

I’m particularly fond of the Fontodi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione “Vigna del Sorbo” 2012, which Antoni Galloni awarded an incredible 98 points, stating it “is one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted at Fontodi. Period.” A bold claim, but with reason: the wine is sublime, and I highly recommend adding it to your personal collection. The Vigna del Sorbo 2012 truly is a work of art, which a wine should be, taking tasters by surprise with its careful balance of bright gentleness and vivid power. Giving off hints of sweet rose petal, mint and lavender, the Vigna del Sorbo 2012 is comprised of 100% Sangiovese fruit from vines that are over four decades old.

Vigna del Sorbo 2012 is comprised of 100% Sangiovese

With love,
Cosimo Commisso

Dominus Estate “Napanook” 2012

Cosimo Commisso divulges one of his newest favourite wines: Dominus Estate’s “Napanook” 2012

In all the wines crafted by Dominus Estate in Napa Valley, one can taste the heart and soul that went into it. In 1981, Christian Moueix — son of the famed French wine merchant Jean-Pierre Moueix — established the winery after falling in love with Napa Valley and acquiring the ancient vineyard. He named his estate “Dominus,” or “Lord of the Estate,” to reflect the commitment he feels for the land, and that commitment can be felt and savoured in every glass sourced from the picturesque establishment.

Dominus Estate “Napanook” 2012

My particular favourite, however, is the 2012 Napanook. The Napanook series is a blend of Bordeaux varietals selected from the estate vineyard for its lively and bold fruity flavour. Youthful and exuberant, Napanook is intended as a more casual wine. A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2012 tastes reminiscent of fresh strawberry, caramel and minty sage, and the undertones are earthy and complex with hints of dark cocoa and roasted almonds. The harmony experienced in this wine is evident of the perfect growing season that yielded it: lots of rainfall and a mild spring.

2012 Dominus Estate Napanook, Napa Valley

The 2012 Napanook was awarded 94 points by Antonio Galloni on vinous.com, and for good reason. I recommend sipping this while enjoying a laid-back evening with friends during the warmer months, as the 2012’s exuberant flavours naturally lift the spirits and reflect the warmth and brightness of summertime.

With love,
Cosimo Commisso

Cosimo Commisso on Dominus Estate’s “Dominus” 2012

Cosimo Commisso on Dominus Estate’s “Dominus” 2012, the Napa Valley-based winery’s signature production

Dominus Estate in Napa Valley is the source of more than one of my favourite wines, not only because the wine itself is superb, but because the winery has such a poignant history and such an incredible respect for its craft that it can almost be tasted in its product. The estate’s namesake wine, Dominus, is known for its complexity and balance, having been grown on an exceptional terroir. While one of my other selects from this winery — the Napanook 2012 — is more of a casual wine, the Dominus is a more elegant choice that enriches with age.

Cosimo Commisso on Dominus Estate’s “Dominus” 2012

The 2012 is comprised of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, and entices with hints of lavender, Asian spices and cedar, creating an experience that’s as racy as it is refined. Having enjoyed the same flawless growing season as the Napanook 2012, the Dominus 2012 came out a well-rounded wine charged with character. Dominus Estate recommends decanting the wine before serving it in order to allow it to develop to its full potential — an important ritual especially with young Dominus wines.

Cosimo Commisso on Dominus Estate’s “Dominus” 2012

Wine critic Robert Parker gave the Dominus 2012 a score of 98%, describing it as “full-bodied and opulent, with no hard edges” — so really, wine lovers are left with no choice but to add it to their “to drink” list. Save it for your next romantic evening in, or the summertime soirée you’re planning.

Cosimo Commisso on Dominus Estate’s “Dominus” 2012

With love,
Cosimo Commisso

Forman Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cosimo Commisso spills the details on one of his preferred wines this spring from Forman Vineyard

Forman Vineyard is different than most, seeing as it has a very limited selection of wines, usually only releasing one or two at a time. It may seem like a tease to any wine lover, but rest assured that by only working on a few at a time, the wines crafted at Forman Vineyard are unique and stellar.

Forman Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

The Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 stole my heart with its relaxed yet voluptuous air and its scrumptious notes of sweet mocha and spice. It’s a soft, silky wine, perfect for casual drinking at the dinner table or by the fire with friends. It’s no wonder Antonio Galloni awarded it 94 points and applauded it, advising it’s “a great choice for drinking while some of the more structured vintages rest comfortably in the cellar.”

Forman Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

With love,
Cosimo Commisso

Cosimo Commisso’s favorite Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2013

Cosimo Commisso reveals another divine wine to add to your spring drinking list: the 2013 Merlot from Napa Valley’s Shafer Vineyards

Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2013

Freshly released in fall of 2015, this merlot didn’t take long to steal my heart (and those of any wine lover who tasted it). The Napa Valley-based vineyard is known for producing award-winning wines, and this one only continues that legacy with its splendidly brisk yet buoyant personality. With its notes of sweet red cherry, plum and spice, Shafer’s Merlot 2013 is an idyllic wine to complement those cooler summer evenings, the ones where you’re wrapped in your favourite knit blanket by the fire outside. Pick up a bottle to discover every reason why it was awarded 92 points by Antonio Galloni.

With love,
Cosimo Commisso

Cosimo Commisso’s Favourite Saint Jean Du Barroux La Pierre Noire 2011

Cosimo Commisso shares another recent favourite wine, Saint Jean du Barroux’s “La Pierre Noire” 2011

Saint Jean du Barroux is a France-based winery that is very good at infusing both poetry and professionalism into its products. Headed by Philippe Gimel, who studied with some of the masters that include Beaucastel, Pierre Bise, La Janasse and Château Deves, the estate has truly mastered its craft and produces memorable, moment-enriching wines.

Saint Jean du Barroux Ventoux La Pierre Noire

“La Pierre Noire” means “the black stone.” This simply refers to the soil type but the wine itself reflects the dark elegance portrayed by its title. La Pierre Noire is Saint Jean de Barroux’s top wine, comprised of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah — a blend that is enriched by spending at least three years in a concrete tank prior to bottling. It has a multi-layered personality, showing off its svelte complexity with notes of kirsch, dried licorice, ground pepper and underbrush.

Saint Jean du Barroux Ventoux La Pierre Noire

Philippe Gimel truly is a “winesmith.” He considers his craft an art form and only continues to produce delicious and inspiring wines that have been perfected through his unique and fine-tuned process. Experience the creativity and passion of this estate by bringing home a bottle of La Pierre Noire 2011 and savouring it in a special moment.

With love,
Cosimo Commisso

Cosimo Commisso Enjoy Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cosimo Commisso sheds some light on the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, one of his preferred wineries in the Napa Valley region.

Cocoa powder, wild blackberries and currants burst from this plush wine, which pairs beautifully with coffee-marinated wagyu beef with a fig glaze. The undertones of dark blueberry, wild berry and hints of spice make this 100 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon an even more thoughtful experience, evoking warmth and instilling serenity while you dine.

Beyond its distinctive characteristics — having been derived from the Napa Valley appellation and aged for 21 months in 100 per cent new French oak — this Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is a reflection of the acclaimed winery that created it. Stag’s Leap was established in 1969 and has since become a Napa Valley favourite, not only for its stellar wines but also for the architectural beauty of the estate. I highly recommend stopping by Stag’s Leap for a wine tasting and tour next time you’re in the area — it’s an experience that’s as inspiring as it is delicious.

Cosimo Commisso’s favourite Signorello Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Cosimo Commisso spills the details of one of his current favourite wines, a charactered 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley

This wine has personality of its own. Napa Valley-based Signorello Estate’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon boasts a charactered collage of background flavours like cassis, florals, tobacco, cedar, vanilla and chocolate, as well as hints of spice and licorice. It’s earned stellar reviews from various sommeliers and wine journals, including Gismondi on Wine, which described the 2010 as “Modern Euro/Napa style,” and Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate, who claimed it’s “capable of evolving for 15-plus years.” We’re a few years into that sentence, and while the wine is still young, it’s a delicious complement to a meal or simply a scenic view. The rich flavour profile and intense aroma have earned the Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 an air of sophistication — and I can only guess how much better it will be after another decade in the cellar.

Cosimo Commisso like Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley

Cosimo Commisso like Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley

The wine also reflects the unique character of its hillside vineyard and terroir. Signorello Estate was founded in 1977 by the Signorello family, who has since passed on the tradition of planting and cultivating the fruits through the generations. Currently under the leadership of Ray Signorello Jr., Signorello Estate has been quite successful in its mission to “produce the perfect Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.”