Sunday, February 5, 2012

Good and Bad Wines

 People ask me why I only write about good wines and don't mention the ones that are stinkers or dogs and believe me there are more than a couple bad ones on the market. There's a couple reasons why I don't like to talk about wines that are not "up to par".
 First, my appraisal or review of wines is not the definitive word on what is good or bad. Everyone has different tastes and expectations from a wine. You have the final word on whether you will purchase that product again or recommend it to a friend.
  Second, I always refer back to some good advice my mother gave me when I was a wee lad growing up. She said. "If you haven't got anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all".

 So if I'm not going to tell you which ones are bad wines, how do you know when you've selected a "dog of a wine"? How does one know what is a good or bad wine. Well... you could take the Sommelier course and become more knowledgeable about wine or I can give you a few tell tale signs of a bad wine.
  • Wine should be balanced. It should not be too acidic or fruity, not too tannic or flabby and certainly not too sweet or too dry. Think of the wine sitting on a scale. If your white wine is too fruity the scale starts to tip in one direction and that's all you taste. You need another aspect of the wine to come forward like acidity (crispness) and tip the scale back in balance.
  • The aroma of the wine should be layered and not dominated by one smell. Every time you take a sip and your nose goes into the glass, you should smell different aromas and not just one.
  • The taste should linger but not hang around forever like that annoying college buddy who comes over for "a beer" and doesn't leave till the next morning.
Keep these signs in mind when you try next wine wine and see if you can tell if it's good, bad or somewhere in between.

Here's my pick for this week.

Castillo de Monseran - Granacha - Carinena Spain - 2010

What a nice surprise! I bought this wine on sale for $7.95 so I wasn't expecting a lot but this medium bodied Granacha really delivered the goods. Aromas of blackberry and dark fruits with some vanilla in the background. This ruby red Granacha which is related to his french cousin Grenache has a nice fruit flavour of blackberry and some dark chocolate.
Price under $9 (LCBO)
 I like this wine because it's an easy drinking wine an pairs well with beef ribs or some hard cheeses.

Cheers !!