Friday, June 28, 2013

Happy Canada Day !!!

Happy Canada Day everyone !

This is one of my favourite holiday weekends of the year. It's warm, sometimes hot, with daylight that goes well  past dinner which means you can sit out on the deck with your friends enjoying a nice glass of wine without flicking on the lights and attracting the swarms of bugs. Lets celebrate all that is good in the great white north we call Canada. Invite your friends over, fire up the BBQ and turn up the music. It's party time !

In honour of celebrating all that is Canadian, I've compiled an all-star Canadian list of wines paired with food and music that says I am Canadian ..Eh !

2011 Angels Gate Gamay Noir VQA
A nice ruby coloured Gamay Noir from the Niagara region. Raspberry and some spice as well as a little bit of smoke. This wine is well suited for BBQ pork tenderloin with some roasted root vegetables. A layered wine like this requires  some great jazz music in the background from performers like Diana Krall or Oscar Peterson.
Price - under $13 (LCBO -  107714)

2010 East Dell Estates Unoaked Chardonnay VQA

Light, clear and crisp with lots of citrus flavours and some green apple. The perfect wine for a hot Canada Day weekend sitting on a patio in the Byward market enjoying a fresh chicken Ceasar salad while listening to Canadian rock legends like The Stampeders, The Guess Who or Neil Young.
Price - under $14 (LCBO - 609867)

2011 G.Marquis The Red Line Riesling VQA

Lots of aromas in this Riesling like peach, melon and honey. It's off dry with a really nice peach and melon flavour. We're a multicultural country so why not pair this wine with that order of Thai or Chinese that you and your friends are splitting. Plug in the MP3 player and play some Great Big Sea or Tragically Hip hits.
Price - under $12 (LCBO - 274670)

Cheers.... Go Canada Go !!!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Wines

So you went wine shopping and picked out a wine that you thought you would really like. The ambiance is set (maybe some Steely Dan on the stereo), the bottle is uncorked, a glass is poured, the first taste of the fermented grape juice hits your lips and you think to yourself that this wine is about exciting as zip lining across the prairies...nothing, bland, boring.
 Well it happens. Not every wine out there is going to give you that euphoric "Eureka!!" moment. There are some wines that are exceptional, some are good, some are mediocre and some are just ... blah!
 The good news or silver lining is that you can pick out the good ones from the bad ones. It takes a lot of practice but after tasting a lot of wines, you begin to notice things like how a wine finishes. Is there a long or short finish of fruit after you tasted it or does it disappear once it goes down your gullet? Are the tannins to strong or too weak. Is the acidity level too high and the wine has almost a sour or bitter aftertaste to it.
 Stick with it my friend. Be brave and keep trying different wines to find that exceptional wine. If you do find it, let me know so I can try it.

Here's my picks for this week.

2011 Las Moras Reserve Chardonnay - San Juan, Coyo, Argentina

 Theses grapes are grown in the Zonda valley, a protected area at nearly 3000 feet above sea level with mountains on the east and west side. This means that even though the daytime temperatures may be high, the late sunrise and early sunset keeps the area relatively cool.
A nice golden Chardonnay stored for 12 months in french oak and 6 months in the bottle. Lots of citrus and pear like fruits blended with vanilla flavours and an oaky finish.
Price - under $13 (LCBO - 270025)
Pairs well with salmon or chicken wings

2012 Wolf Blass Red Label Shiraz Cabernet - South Eastern Australia

Lots of fruit like plum and dark berries flavours with some spice in this purplish Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Australia. A full bodied blend with a nice balance between the Shiraz and Cabernet and at 13% ABV it doesn't have a hot finish from too much alcohol.
Price - under $15 (LCB0 - 311795)
Pairs well with most beef dishes like roast beef or stew

Cheers !