Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bargain Wines - Part 2

Some people like shopping for electronics, some like a good book or magazine and some people are into shoes. Myself...I enjoy surfing the shelves of my local liquor store. I came across another gem from the LCBO clearance sale that's on till February 2nd 2014. I almost missed it as it was on the bottom shelf in the corner of the Vintages section. A nice Aussie Chardonnay from the Margaret River area of south western Australia.

2011 Brookland Valley Verse 1 Chardonnay - Margaret River, Australia

Everything an Australian chardonnay should be. Sur lie aging for six months, some malolactic fermentation to soften the texture and a little oak to bring out the butterscotch gives you a great straw coloured chardonnay with flavours of pink grapefruit and some pear.
Price - $14.25 (originally $17.95 - save $3.70) - Vintages
This wine paired well with a pork tenderloin prepared in a Greek style sauce with feta.

Cheers !!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bargain Wines

   It's that time of year at the LCBO when they put the end of bin wines on clearance and there are usually some terrific bargains to be had. You need to do a little research before heading to your local LCBO as not all stores have the same selection of wines. I use the product search tool on the LCBO web site or the Vintages web site (see my home page for a link) to search for some good bargains. The bigger the outlet, the more wines will be available so if you have a Saturday afternoon to kill, you could try one of the bigger stores and look through the Vintages section for some great wines. The price discount can be anywhere from $1.50 to $5 per bottle depending on the original listed price. More expensive wines ($40 and up) will have bigger discounts.

Here's one that my wife found and it's a great buy at $14.25 (save $4.70)

2009 Familia Mayol Malbec - Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza Argentina

Oak aged for 12 months this dark and rich Malbec has aromas of cherry, spice and some menthol. The wine really excels in the flavour end with dark cherry, some spice and a long smooth finish of cherry.
Price - originally $18.95 but on sale for $14.25 (Vintages) 
Pork tenderloin, beef short ribs or most BBQ dishes would work well with this wine.

Cheers !!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A New Year and New Resolutions

It's a brand new year and that means that it's time to make some resolutions. A time to reflect on changes we'd like to make in our lives and maybe new paths to follow. The usual promises to shed some pounds and get in shape. It's either lose weight or figure out a way to work jogging pants into my daily wardrobe.

  I was out for a New Years day dinner at a local restaurant and found myself talking to the waiter about wine. He was very enthusiastic about wine and asked for my recommendation on a good red wine to buy. I pondered for a few seconds before suggesting a nice California Zinfandel which I thought he would like. After the waiter left I started to rethink my suggestion. Here's a guy that obviously enjoys wine so my job as a Sommelier is not necessarily to tell him what to buy as it is to stoke that fire of enthusiasm for wine. So I called him back to the table and said "Forget about the wine that I told you buy. My recommendation is that you try different wines. Go outside your comfort zone. Maybe try a Zweigelt from Austria or a Primitivo from Italy, maybe a Rioja from Spain, a port from Portugal or a Baco Noir from Ontario. Try as many different wines as possible."

So my new year resolution is to suggest to you as reader of my blog to try new wines. Be bold, be daring and try wines that you wouldn't normally buy. Here's a few suggestions to get you started.

Try a ...

  • Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region in New Zealand
  • Malbec from the Mendoza region in Argentina
  • Chardonnay from the Sonoma County or Central Coast region of California
  • Riesling from the Alsace region in France
  • Amarone from Veneto region of Italy
  • Baco Noir from Ontario
  • Gamay Noir from Prince Edward County
  • ....keep trying different wines

Cheers !