- I don't know where to start. There's so many different wines from so many countries. It's overwhelming to try and find something I might like.
- I won't go into the Vintages section at the LCBO because it's too intimidating. I've never heard of most of the wines.
- Where do I start ? What's good, what's bad and what is overpriced ?
Another thing that I like to do is sample wines at parties or dinners. If your host offers you a wine to try, ask for a small sample in a juice glass to try. You only need about an ounce to get a good idea of whether you'll love it or hate it. If you don't like it just pour the sample ounce down the drain (no harm done). Keep the sample glass and try a variety of wines through out the night. When I go to a friends house for dinner, it's not unusual to see me with 2 or 3 sample glasses of red and white wines in front of me at dinner. I like to match the wines with the meal to see what works and what doesn't.
The important point here is to keep an open mind. Try not to compare the new wine with your favourite wine as it will probably lose most of the time. After all it is your favourte wine. Ask yourself, What do I like about the wine? Does it have a nice feel in your mouth or does it have a long pleasant fruit finish or maybe a nice smoky after taste? So keep on sampling and before you know it, you'll have a list of favourite wines instead of just one.
Here's my picks for this week.
Red Diamond - 2008 - Cabernet Sauvignon - Washington USA
Washington State you say ! That's right. This medium red Cabernet Sauvignon with a purple hue around the rim has aromas of strawberries, cedar, spice, tobacco and dark currants. The wine was has a medium to full bodied feel with flavours of berries, caramel and tobacco with a medium to long finish of berries on the palate.
Price - under $15.00 (LCBO)
I like this wine because it has tremendous value for the under $15 range. It pairs well with multiple dishes like roast beef, steak or something as simple a lasagna. It's not heavy like some Cabernet's but has a richness to it that should be pleasing to most wine drinkers.
Toasted Head - 2008 - Chardonnay - California
If you like your Chardonnay with a creamy rich texture, this is the wine for you. This pale yellow 99% Chardonnay and 1% Viognier is barrel fermented and aged sur lie (on the yeast) in toasted barrels to bring out the caramel and oak flavours. It has aromas of pear, pineapple, caramel with smoky burnt sugar (Wow !). The mouth feel is a buttery full bodied wine with a predominant pear and caramel taste. You have to experience this wine to get the full impact of the barrel staves and head toasting. It's not your regular oaked Chardonnay.
Price - under $18 (LCBO)
I like this wine because the winemaker put a lot of effort into the toasted barrel fermenting with sur lie ageing and it shows in the wine. This wine should be chilled to get the full potential of the fruit flavours and can be served with poached salmon or at a corn roast. Delicious !