Episode 6: Terroir, Screwcaps & Aussie Shiraz

November 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

Episode 6 – Link to Podcast

Segment 1 ~ Terroir

Terroir is the concept that tells us why a wine made of the same grape, on the same street, can be unique. It is one word that suggests that a number of influences including soil, sun, water make a difference in the flavour of a wine.

A great example of this is found right here in BC. Every region seems to excel with a grape or two. In Argentina it is Malbec, Burgundy it is Pinot Noir, but here in BC I believe that grape to be Cabernet Franc.

Although not as commercially popular, I find that Cabernet Franc is more expressive and consistently delicious than is Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. My first wow experience was with the 1998 Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc, and that experience has been matched every year since.

Trick of the Trade ~ Most BC Cabernet – Merlot blends are made of mostly Cabernet Franc with, obviously Merlot, and perhaps some Cabernet Sauvignon

Suggested Wines ~ Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc $23-25, Hester Creek Cabernet-Merlot $17, Bartier Bros. Illegal Curve $20 (private & VQA stores only).

Segment 2 ~ Screw Caps

Although looked down upon as the symbol of a cheap, ‘hobo’ wine for many years, the public image of a screw cap has done a 180. It is now often preferred for everyday consumption to that of a cork.

Pioneered by the Australian Wine industry as a cost reduction measure as the cost of replacing a faulty wine due to cork taint was 2-3x more than it was for European and North American wineries.

For every day wines the screw cap is a better closure than is cork or synthetic cork and the wine stays fresher longer.

Screw caps are no longer simply for wines priced from $10-$20, many $30, $40 and $50 wines are now available in screw cap.

Segment 3 ~ Aussie Shiraz

Shiraz is to Australia, what Malbec is to Argentina or Cabernet Franc is to BC (do you like how I threw that in there), and is another example of the concept of Terroir.

Shiraz and Syrah are genetically the same, but the flavour of Aussie Shiraz is world’s apart from that of BC Syrah or the wines of Cornas in the Rhone Valley of France.

So why the different name after all Syrah/Shiraz immigrated to Australia from parts of the world that called the grape Syrah?

Naming the Australian expression of Syrah Shiraz is actually quite brilliant actually. In one word they told us the Australian story of terroir and linked the wines back to their ancient roots (pun intended).

The story goes that Alexander the Great fell in the love with the wines of a particular region of Persia that is now called Iran. So to did the Roman Emperor Probus. In fact Probus is credited with bringing the original clippings from Persia, up the Rhone river where the ships ran aground and instead of tossing the clippings, the industrious citizens of southern Gaul (now France), planted the clippings. The name given to the vines spoke of where the vines originated and, with time, became Franglecized to Syrah. The original name – Shiraz.

Suggested Wines ~ Wolf Blass Gold Label Barossa Shiraz – wonderfully balanced and graceful – $26-$28 (private stores only), Skulls Shiraz – big and boozy – $18-$20, McLarens on the Shiraz – delightful and full flavoured – $13-$14.

Segment 4 ~ Best Buy of the Week

Penfolds Koonunga Hill 2012 Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon

The current vintage available is 2014, and is very similar to the 2012. The only difference is that there is an added layer of complexity and flavour. An enjoyable hint of smoky-ness is present that wasn’t showing in the 2012.

Let us know what you think or make a suggestion for a show by dropping us a line ~ dorkuncorked@gmail.com

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What I’m Tasting This Week

November 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

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I won’t necessarily provide a review this week of each of the following wines, but I thought I would let you know what I’m tasting over the week ahead.

Hester Creek Cabernet-Merlot 3L – Okanagan, BC

Hester Creek Pinot Gris 3L – Okanagan, BC

Wolf Blass Grey Label 2012 McLaren Vale Shiraz – Australia

Wolf Blass Gold Label 2012 Barossa Shiraz – Australia

Blue Grouse 2013 Quill White – Vancouver Island, BC

Blue Grouse 2014 Gamay Rosé – Vancouver Island, BC

If there is something that you would like me to taste and review, let me know by dropping me a line – dorkuncorked@gmail.com

 

The Entertainer 2012 Red Blend

November 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

What makes some people incrediblethe entertainer red blend accountants, lawyers, plumbers and entertainers? I don’t have the answer, but I do know that everyone who is fantastic at their jobs brings a special quality. Let’s face it every task can be broken down and learned, but some people just inject a little bit of
inspiration and magic in each step. In the wine world one of the great entertainers was Wolf Blass.

If could be argued Wolf Blass is introduced the beauties and simplicity of wine to more people than anyone else. First he crafted very easy to enjoy wine. Then he made himself available to anyone who wanted to learn more. Finally he tirelessly entertained consumers around the world and made wine approachable to everyone.

When I saw this wine I read the back label and found that it is an homage to Wolf Blass himself and so I jumped at the opportunity to try it.
Hopefully it entertains the palate as much as he entertained the world.

Price: $17-18

Notes: The wine pours into the glass a dark purple with cherry red hues. The nose betrays the juicy, fruit forward, hedonistic wine this turned out to be. Aromas of juicy red and black berries, pastry and hints of smoky
pepper join a rich, textured palate to make a very enjoyable glass.

I would highly suggest this wine for a romantic comedy movie night or when you have friends over for light and enjoyable evening. It speaks well to fun loving nature of Wolf himself.

Score: 7.5/10 ~ Over Delivers

It pairs really well with mild cheeses, hot dogs, grilled chicken and
mashed potatoes, and plenty of comfort foods.

Section: Australia

If you have the opportunity to try this wine, please let me know your thoughts.

Cheers

Dork UnCorked

Episode 5 – In The Shadow of Stardom, Beaujolais Nouveau, Carmenere

November 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Episode 5 – Link to Podcast

Show Notes

Segment 1: Beaujolais Nouveau

The first wine of the vaunted 2015 vintage. Critics are saying that 2015 is the vintage of a century no matter if the wine is from BC, California, or Europe. This years Beaujolais Nouveau is a harbinger of the wines to follow.

Beaujolais is a region in France and is the southernmost area of the famous Burgundy Appellation. All the red wines from the region must be made of 100%  Gamay Noir and all the grapes must be hand harvested.

Recommended Wine: Georges DuBoeuf Paper Label ~ $18.49

Segment 2: In the Shadow of Stardom

It’s really about basic economics of supply and demand. Those regions that are world famous only produce so many bottles but have huge demand. Regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Napa Valley have no trouble in selling their wines at top dollar each and every year. However there are many more regions and wines around the world that exist in the shadows of stardom.

Recommended Regions for Value:

Italy – Umbria, Sicily, Marche, Puglia, d’Abruzzo

France – Languedoc, Provence

Other Europe – Portugal, Croatia, Hungary, Greece

California – Lodi, Paso Robles

Other World – South Africa, Chile, Argentina

Other BC – Similkameen, Kamloops

Specific Wines Mentioned – Periquita (Portugal), Painted World (South Africa), Masia F (Spain)

Segment 3 – Carmenere

Thought to have vanished from the world after phylloxera destroyed thousands of acres of vineyard in the Europe in the 1860’s, and one of the original 6 Bordeaux grapes, Carmenere was only recently rediscovered as being alive and well in Chile.

In the late’s 90’s Alvaro Espinoza noticed that certain vines in the blocks of Merlot were consistently ripening later each year. He had the DNA analyzed and it was found that the mystery vines were indeed Carmenere.

Recommended Wines – Falernia Carmenere ($17.99), Concha Y Toro Terrunyo Block 12 Carmenere ($34.99), Terra Andina Carmenere-Syrah ($9.99-$10.99)

Segment 4 – Best Buy of the Week

Terra Andina Carmenere-Syrah

Rio Madre 2012 Rioja Graciano

November 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Rio MadreOne of the things I truly love about my journey through the world of wine, is having my ‘knowledge’ challenged. It seems that as humans, in order to form an opinion we must collect a few seeds of ‘solid’ knowledge on a subject. From these seeds grows our beliefs of what is true. This was my introduction to the grape Graciano. It was early on in my journey and the seeds planted were from the proprietor of Rioja based winery.

Rioja is a region in the north of Spain and is certainly world renowned. The wines are governed by the rules of Denominacion de Origen Califcada (DOC) and at the time to be called Rioja the wine must be a blend of Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Graciano, with Tempranillo making up at least 60% of the blend. Graciano traditionally made up a fraction of the blend. Why? Well as the proprietor told me Graciano on its own “tastes like wet woolly socks at worst and dry wooly socks dipped in plum juice at best.” It has been almost 20 years since then, but I have continued to hold true that Graciano was nothing to get excited about. That was until last week.

I was happily walking through one of my local stores looking for the unusual, the lesser known, because my experience has always told me that this is where you find the best deals. A very nice staff person that I trust to point me in the right direction suggested that I try the Rio Madre 2012 Rioja Graciano.

Price Paid: $14.99

Notes: Pleasure is part of the fabric of being who we are and thus as our lives weave the tapestry that will be our story, different things provide pleasure. I have spent the last couple of years shedding the shackles of the expected and making a living by changing longstanding truths and behaviours. In other words life has been a wild, fully flavoured ride. As good as this sounds, a wild ride doesn’t always meet ones needs or desires.

I pulled open the cork and let the wine breathe for about 15 minutes and poured a generous glass – it had been a wilder day than normal – and I immersed myself in the aromas. There is indeed a wildness to the wine, but also a timeless, natural beauty. Aromas of black fruits, plums and floral tones blend with the untamed spicy essence of drylands.

The body of the wine is rich  but balanced. As the wine washes over your tongue you will get the sense of wild fruit like blackberries found in the back woods at the end of a long dry summer, combined with refined layers of plum, spice and a hint of hickory.

I really really enjoyed this wine and highly recommend it to others, especially those feeling a glint of excitement from the wild side of life.

Rating: 8.25/10 ~ Over Delivers

Purchased From: BC Liquor Stores

Section of the Store: Spain

If you happen to try this wine, please let me know what you think, and if you have any questions or want a specific wine researched, drop me a line.

Cheers

Dork UnCorked.

Episode 4 – Charcuterie & Then Some

November 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

Episode 4Charcuterie and Then Some (Link to Episode)

Segment 1 – Guest Cory Pelan of the Whole Beast

Keywords – WHO (World Health Org), Pigs, Sausage, Nitrates, Natural Curing.

Connect with Cory– Click the links: Facebook Cory Pelan

Connect with the Whole BeastFacebook – The Whole Beast, Website – The Whole Beast, Twitter @wholebeastmeats, tel- 250-590-PORK (7675), Instagram -The Whole Beast Artisan Salumeria.

Dork UnCorked Wine Suggestion Charcuterie: Nua Prosecco ~ $14.99-$17.99

Segment 2 – Guest Italian Wine Correspondent Ceri Barlow

Suggested Wines for Cured Ham (Prosciutto, Serrano) – Fresh & fruity but lighter bodied wines. Specifically look for Frappato which is a grape grown in Sicily at elevation. A tremendous wine that offers great value. You can find great examples from $14-$27 that offer enjoyment levels similar to $20-$40 wines.

Suggest Wines for Spicier Sausage (Capicollo, Salami) – Ideal with Valpolicella wines from the Veneto region of Northern, Italy. Look for brands like Masi, Speri & Sartori. If you prefer a richer style of wine go with Valpolicella Ripasso ($20-$25).

Italian Wines for A Desert Island – Fontanafredda 2013 Gavi (White) $19-$22 Private Retail Only, Erik Banti 2012 Toscana IGT $17-$20 Private Retail Only, Agriolas Cannonau 2010 Sardegna $25-$30 Private Retail Only.

Connect with Ceri – Facebook – Ceri Barlow

Follow Victoria Wine Society (Ceri is the Pres!) – Victoria Wine Society (Facebook)

Follow Island Chefs Collaborative (Ceri, again is Pres!) – Island Chef’s Collaborative (Facebook) www.iccbc.ca

Best Buy of the WeekLes Dauphins Cotes Du Rhone Reserve

Is there something from the world of wine and food that you would like investigated, a product you would like reviewed before you buy it, a pairing with a dish or a dish to with the wine you already have… let us know by either adding a comment below or sending us an email at dorkuncorked@gmail.com

Episode 3 – The Wonderfully Colourful History of Liquor Laws in B.C. Part 1 – Show Notes

November 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

There has been lots of talk about the recent changes in Liquor retailing and laws in B.C. Have you ever wondered how we got here? It is a very colourful history and beautifully told in two parts by storyteller Chris Mathieson. Here are the show notes for Part 1.

Link to podcastThe Wonderfully Colourful History of Liquor Laws in BC Part 1

How to get a hold of Chris…

Facebook – Chris Mathieson

Twitter – @cogno

Website: Old Grist Mill & Gardens

Best Buy of the Week: Borsao Garnacha 

Coming up next week – Part II

DYK (Did You Know) that Australian Shiraz is the same as Syrah? The terroir & climate insure that the Australian expression is unique in the world of Syrah, as such it didn’t seem right to call it Syrah, so the powers that be in Australia decided to call their expression Shiraz after the name of the town in Iran where the initial clippings of Syrah were found.

Thanks for being a part of the Dork UnCorked, see you again next week.

the Dork UnCorked

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