June 26, 2016 § Leave a comment
You know that part of the store that you walk past each time. Typically it is the dark corner where the dust bunnies hold their daily get togethers. This is where retailers categories that have the lowest sales, but have enough sales to justify being in the store.
I often have walked right by the section but the other day I stopped. I’m not sure why. Maybe I was feeling what it was feeling- I just need some love. Maybe the dusty bunny chatter was getting loud and it caught my attention. Anyway I stopped, looked and found the next wine that I had to buy.
When you think of Italian, French or Spanish wines you likely conjure up visions of rich colours, sensous landscapes and, of course, a couple of little old wizened folk that make the vision complete.
But what of Bulgaria? If you are like me you are likely thinking of row upon row of drab gray concrete Soviet era buildings, with downtrodden colourless people strolling the pock marked, beaten up streets. Hardly inspires confidence or enthusiasm for the wine, but this is exactly where you find great buys; where they are unexpected.
I reached out and firmly grasped the Lovico Gamza by the neck, wiped off the dust, and proudly presented it to the cashier who immediately tried to sell on an Aussie wine. Nope! I’m going Gamza!
Price ~ $9.99
Score ~ 7.8 Over Delivers
I have to say I really got into this wine. I pulled the cork and did my first taste and I thought “funky”, so I let it breathe for 20-30 minutes. Yes a $10 wine that needs to breathe.
When I can back to it the aromas had blossomed and were so intriguing. One would be forgiven if you thought Cabernet Franc. No wait, it must be Pinot. No, no there is too much spice, maybe Gamay Noir. Wow what is Gamza!
Gamza, it turns out, is related to that other household name, Kadarka. When I taste it I can’t believe that its not the distant cousin of Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir and Cabernet Franc.
Aromas of crushed red berries, cherry and grapes, with spice and pomegranate. The palate is light to medium bodied, hence I wouldn’t suggest those that buy $10 Malbecs run out and get this. Yet there are some many interesting things going on in this wine.
I gotta say that for under $10 the Lovico Gaza was a great find and one that I will definitely seek out again.
Grapes ~ Gamza
Store Section ~ Eastern Europe
Availability ~ most private and public stores.
July 16, 2015 § Leave a comment
Amongst cork dork Gruner is hip and worthy of many a lavish superlative. However outside of that world Gruner is not very well understood or often enjoyed. So when I say a Gruner at under $10 and from Hungary I just had to try it.
Gruner at its essence is like a Riesling and shows peach, pear and citrus and some pretty good spicy-ness.
I enjoyed this wine and it certainly delivered on its price promise. The nose shows pears, apricots and melons and finish shows some spice.
For $9.29 this is a pretty great white wine buy and I really enjoyed it with white fish like cod and halibut, or even prawns on a fresh citrusy salad.
Score: 7.5 ~ Over Delivers
Purchased at BC Liquor Stores
January 11, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 7.4- Good Drop
About the Wine: This is a really good value Pinot Grigio. True to the grape there is melon and citrus aromas and flavours, while the palate is crisp and elegant. Classic.
Value: Definitely worth the $1 trade up from Copper Moon or Naked Grape Pinot Grigio and much closer to a classic Pinot Grigio than many of the Aussie and Californian offerings at $12 or $13.
Added Value: Where this wine really shines is with simple Comfort Foods. This is a great ‘Tuesday’ night wine but I want a little complexity with more complex meals. Very much a Crowd Pleaser and a great Wedding Wine.
More To The Story: In the mid 19th Century all the way up until the mid 20th century, Hungary’s status as a wine region was similar to that of Portugal or Greece. After the Iron Curtain fell on the country following WWII, quality viticulture and winemaking were in very short supply as was the wine itself (most going to Moscow instead of London or New York).
Since the fall of the Eastern Bloc in the late ’80s more and more investment has been flooding into Hungary. Some of the biggest names in wine like Rothschild and Vega Sicilia are spending big dough on upgrading vineyards, wineries and re-establishing a winemaking tradition.
Hopefully we will soon see more than just low-end Pinot Grigios and Muscats, and we will start to see some premium quality indigenous and classic wines.
Service: Chill down and serve, that’s about it. For what to have with it, Pesto pasta, mild cheeses, pizza, grilled or roasted chicken.
Grapes: Pinot Grigio
Store Section: Eastern Europe/Other
Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine, Metro Liquor, Cascadia Liquor Stores
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