December 29, 2018 § Leave a comment
It has been years since we have gone out to a New Year’s party. We typically ere on the side of a quiet New Year’s at home where we enjoy a late meal of Lobster, Charcuterie, fresh veggies and some sort of dessert. If this sounds like you here are some Sparkling wines to celebrate a quiet New Year’s at Home.
I do love Champagne but at this time of year we have usually spent our New Year’s budget on Christmas, so let’s focus on some bubble that is special enough to match the evening but are not $60+/Bottle.
Cremant’s are sparkling wines made using the same methods as used in Champagne, but are made in other regions of France. I have soft spot for those made in the Alsace, referred to as Cremant D’Alsace.
My pick can only be found in private liquor stores by is well worth the effort to find – Zinck Cremant D’Alsace.
A wonderful blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this wine is super expressive. Biscuitty, fresh tree fruit, exuberant and truly loves food with nuanced flavours. Stick with seafood including shellfish, but a decent terrine and charcuterie plate will benefit from this wine. You will find wine at private retailers for anywhere between $25 and $30.
Second is a perennial favourite and can be found in most quality liquor stores, and even a few grocery stores now – Steller’s Jay Brut.
The Steller’s Jay Brut has long been a standard at our table around the holidays. Made in the same method as are Champagne’s this fizz sports truly BC flavours. Flavours from the orchard – pear, apple, hints of peach and strawberry. Pair with lighter fare and will work very very well with a charcuterie plate, prawns and fresh fruits. $22-$27.
Originally made by the legend Harry McWatter’s, a true pioneer and founding cornerstone of the BC Wine industry, it has been crazy consistent good through all it evolution. Originally made at the Hawthorne Mountain Winery which became Sumac Ridge and then was sold to wine giant Constellation Brands. I wish all wines could say the same.
Lastly is a truly versatile wine that is great on the pocket book, seductive on the palate and easy to find – Cordoniu Classico Cava.
I prefer Cava to Prosecco as there is a little more weight and complexity in the wines and they work with a broader range of foods. For instance Cava can easily work with a Pork dish from Aranda as with a seafood dish from Galicia. The Cordoniu Classico is likely not the best ever Cava, but in my opinion it punches above its weight and a little cheaper than many. You can find this at government stores at $14.99.
Anyway, I hope this helps. If you have any questions or want specific pairings for what your New Year’s meal will have, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give it a shot.
The Dork Uncorked
December 24, 2018 § Leave a comment
Every Christmas I run into the same problem. Not enough money to buy all the wines that I want and the tough choices that ensue.
This year is no different. Coming off a November to remember that had the effect of exhausting any financial stores we had for Christmas, I found myself in the aisles looking for steals.
Typically this is the wrong time of year to look for steals. This is the time of year I go back to tried and true deals. Nonetheless here are a couple of steals as you run out to do the last minute wine buys.
First is a BC Liquor Store exclusive, thus you won’t find it in private liquor stores. What is weird is I couldn’t even find in the back end of the LDB pricing structure. Clearly they don’t want the trade to know anything about it. Anyway it is a killer Santa Barbara grown Pinot Noir called Alta Maria priced at $14.99.
Originally this was priced at $21.99, although I suspect this was originally priced with the idea of dropping the price by $7 for December, this wine is featured in the LDB’s radio ads (I hate hate hate them for so many reasons).
Very plush, loads of ripe cherry, berry and floral flavours upon first sip, but just wait, if blossoms into an unctuous explosion of silky seduction. The nose has classic cherry cola notes but doesn’t give a hint to the wondrousness that abounds on the palate.
Pinot Noir is also one of the classic pairings for Roast Turkey, and it would likely work with Tortiere, and Ham.
This is definitely a buy, in fact do what I did and buy at least 12. Your January will be demonstrably better.
Next is a wine that I discovered way back at the beginning of December. I was in the Italian aisle (a default for me) and wanted something rich and relaxing. Something that would smooth out the edges that were ever sharpening at the time. I also needed it to be under $15 (parking fees at Royal Jubilee Hospital really ate into my wine budget).
I chose the Passimento Veneto IGT. On sale to $13.99 for December it also has a really cool label. If you have ever been to Verona Italy or heard of Juliet’s wall you will recognize it right away. If you haven’t here is a link: Juliets Wall Verona.
Anyway, let this wine breathe and it will provide millions of dollars of value and dreams of a bright future. It sports lots of savoury richness, dried and fresh fruits, spices, earthy-ness and, truly mesmerizing savoury herbs of lavender and rosemary.
If you listen to the show, this was my pick of the week a few weeks back. Since then I have purchased at least a dozen bottles, including those that will be on my Christmas dinner table.
This wine will be absolutely delicious with Turkey dinner that has savoury spices abound. I’m so looking forward to this. My wife makes a killer, well balanced gravy from the Turkey drippings that will be awesome with this.
Both of these wines are great last minute steals for anyone and not just those of us where frugality is the rule. In fact if you can swing it I highly recommend getting a case of each as your January will be much better for it and both will help heal those aching muscles as you keep your New Year’s fitness resolution for at least a couple of weeks.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know and I will do my damndest to answer the,
Cheers & Merry Christmas.
December 21, 2018 § Leave a comment
A little while back I was sent a bottle of a Lemon Heart Blackpool Spiced Rum that is new to the market.
Over the following weeks I put it through its paces. I tasted it neat, with ice, and, of course, with egg nog.
You know what, that is not enough. It had been awhile since I had tasted the likes of Capt. Morgan, Bacardi Oak Heart, Sailor Jerry’s & Kraken. If I were to really review the Lemon Hart Blackpool, I had to see how it would fare against other items that have been long established in the market.
Here is the skinny. the Lemon Hart Blackpool brought some serious game. It had more character and a richer, more complex, flavour than the Captain Morgans, while working better in Egg Nog than the Kraken.
The Captain Morgans and Bacardi are lower in price ($25.49 & $22.99 respectively), but I found at $26.99, the Lemon Hart was a better buy. Treat yourself to the quality difference $4 makes.
If you have any questions please drop me a line.
Next: The BC Government recently announced that it would be conducting yet another review of the liquor industry. I will be penning a few thoughts shortly.