Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The wine cellar - Part 2

As my wife so profoundly and eloquently put it after she saw my plastering job on the wine cellar walls, "Don't quit your day job". OK...I admit it. Construction is not my strong suit but I have finished other home renovations with some success and I'm pretty proud of this little project. Granted, there are some defects but the walls, ceiling and trim are finished, painted and the wine rack secured to the studs to prevent any accidental tipping which would result in tears and possible heart stoppage. I also installed a thermometer and hygrometer (measures humidity) to monitor the room environment. The door has insulated trim around the seams to prevent warm/cold air outside of the cellar from going into the room and causing a temperature fluctuation. The lighting fixture has a 20W bulb to provide lighting but not high enough wattage to generate any incandescent heat which would raise the temperature in the room. There are no windows or external lighting that can affect the cellar other than when the door is open when you enter.

 The room essentially stays dark and cool all of the time. The temperature over the first month has been 17C (+/- 1C) with a relative humidity of about 65%. Not perfect but close to what I need. The real test is to see if the temperature and humidity can remain constant over a 12 month period. I will update this blog as the year progresses.

I've begun stocking it with wine but have so far resisted going out and buying a huge amount of wine so that it looks full. I want to stock it with hand pick wines that I purchased for the purpose of aging and look forward to tasting it in the future. I'm also stocking some wines that I  received as gifts from friends and relatives with the purpose of opening them at a later date when they return and we can enjoy them together.

Here's a list of my current stock
2009 Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau (2)
2008 Seven Deadly Zins Zinfandel
2008 Smoking Loon Zinfandel
2008 Bergeron Estates Winery Cabernet Franc
2008 Chateau de Fontenille Bordeaux
2007 Rosso Del Volcano
2006 Castiglion Del Bosco Rosso
2006 Perrin & Fils Chateauneuf du Pape

Here's this weeks picks

Liberty School - 2008 - Chardonnay - California

A really nice medium yellow chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County in California. Aromas of caramel, melon and tropical fruits are crisp and refreshing. A blend of 50% american and french oak gives this chardonnay some nice crisp fruit flavours with a hint of caramel in the background.
This chardonnay has a medium smooth finish of tropical fruits.
Price - under $18 (LCBO)
I tried this wine because I really like their Cabernet Sauvignon and I'm pleased to report that this wine is also in the same class. It would pair well with honey garlic chicken wings and a greek salad

Carvalhais - 2008 - Duque De Viseu - Portugal

This is well balanced deep red wine made from the Tinto Roriz grape from Portugal has aromas of dark fruits, raisin, spice and mint with a nice medium finish of cherry, blackberry and dark fruits. It has a  medium to full bodied mouth feel with mild tannins
Price - not currently available at LCBO
I've tried this wine twice and it has been great both times. This wine would pair well with most red meats and stews or is great on it's own.

Cheers !