February 20, 2016 § Leave a comment
I was feeling like I was on top of the world. The sun was out, the kids were happy, business was positive and I wanted something that had some depth, substance and a strong sense of destiny. As I was strolling the Italian section I saw the Tormaresca Trentangeli. I have had and enjoyed the Tormaresca Neprica ($14-$16 private stores only) on a number of occasions and loved it, so I thought I would put on my wings of exploration and take on the Trentangeli.
Price ~ $18
Score ~ 8.2/10 Way Over Delivers
The Neprica is a blend of Negroamaro, Cabernet Sauvignon and Primitivo, whereas the Trentangeli is a blend of Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah and the difference is striking.
Trentangeli and Neprica share a well balanced nature with a vibrant heart, but this is where any similarities end. Trentangeli is dark, deep, substantive with a well defined body. As I was filled confidence and feeling bold this was the perfect wine for me.
Black in the glass with aromas of blackberry, ripe plum, black currant/cassis, savoury spices, hints of smoked meat. The palate shows depth, structure and some muscle, the kind of muscle that suggests that any challenge is welcome.
My mood called for a meal that would stick to my ribs. Something like steak, a hearty pasta, cheesy dishes, roast Pork or pork chops. In my case we had a grilled steak and it was fantastico!
Oh and here is a bonus – the grapes for this wine are organically grown.
Grapes ~ Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
Store Section ~ Italy
Availability ~ both private and government stores.
When you head out looking for this wine, please let the store know who sent you.
the Dork UnCorked.
December 16, 2015 § Leave a comment
There are lots of new spirits that have made their way onto the shelves of your local bottle shop in recent weeks. I was chatting with Stacey Brennan of the Hillside Liquor Store (North Dairy and Shelbourne in Victoria) about which items really tickled her fancy and this what she said.
Legend Distilling Blasted Brew Coffee Liqueur ~ $26 + Tax
Legend Handmade Vodka and locally roasted organic coffee from Backyard Beans in Summerland come together to create a spiked coffee exploding with flavour. Hints of dark chocolate and vanilla mingle with the smooth flavour of cold brewed coffee to create this unique craft liqueur. Perfect sipped on it’s own or in your favourite coffee cocktail.
Legend has it, blasting through rock to build the Kettle Valley Railway was dangerous work, especially during winter, when the explosives would get a little frosty. When workers slept in late, they’d have to make up for lost time by defrosting the dynamite in a roasting pan over an open campfire. You can probably guess how the story ends… let’s just say their railroad careers were a ‘flash in the pan’. Don’t fall asleep on the job, keep your eyes wide open with a sip or two of our spiked cold coffee brew.
Ingredients: Legend Handmade Vodka, Organic Coffee, Demerara Sugar, Raw Cocoa Nibs, Pure Vanilla Extract.
375ml – 24% ALC
as you no doubt surmised, Legend Distilling is a craft distiller based on the Naramata Bench just outside of Penticton. Link to Website
Sheringham Distilleries Seaside Gin ~ $25 + tax 375ml, $42 + tax 750ml
Citrus, floral and notes of the sea make our Gin as refreshing as a seaside stroll.
Elegant for sipping and noble in your favourite cocktail…clean as the South Island surf.
Made from B.C. organic white wheat, B.C. malted barley, natural botanicals and sustainable hand-harvested local winged kelp (Alaria marginata).
VOLUME 750mL + 375mL
Sheringham Distillery is located in the metropolis of Shirley on Vancouver Island (about 1 hour up the coast from Victoria). Link to Website
Merridale Cowichan Vodka ~ $46.99 + tax 750ml
Made entirely from B.C. fruit and distilled in our hand-crafted copper still to create a silky, soft finish. To further enhace the smoothness, our true craft vodka is mellowed for over three years in stainless steel and then cold-filtered through charcoal. The result is a round, full-bodied spirits that pours cool and clean across your tongue. Enjoy it neat, over ice, or in your favourite cocktail.
Merridale Cidery and Distillery is an apples throw away from Mill Bay on Vancouver Island. Link to Website
Stacey Brennan is the GM of the Hillside Liquor Store and knows her stuff. You can contact her or any of the staff at the store click the link to their website for contact info and hours.
The Dork UnCorked
January 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 8.9 – Over Delivers
If you are a regular reader you will know that great values are often found in the shadows of ‘celebrity’ regions. This wine is no exception. The Montecucco DOC of the Maremma appellation in South of Tuscany. It is central Tuscany (Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino) that gets most of the attention, however for those in the know, and watch vintages carefully, Montecucco is a place where you can find some amazing values. By the way this wine also certified organic.
Tasting Notes Sipping: You will immediately notice the colour of this wine; it is dark, dark ruby red which gives you a clue to the depth of this wine. The nose shows dark ripe cherry and berry, with some dried herbs and lavender highlights. The palate is deep and complex. Layers of flavours including the above and hints of earthy leather, unfold across the mid-palate right through the dark fruit and slightly hot finish. There is definitely a little grip or tannin on this wine, but the tannins are in check, but do ask for food.
Tasting Notes with Food: I had this wine Roasted Rosemary Chicken, which, like it sounds is a whole roasted chicken stuffed with rosemary, lemons, carrots and onions. One of my favourite dishes and really easy to do. The wine was a perfect match for this dish, right from the aromas through the flavours. The weight of wine kept the palate fresh and alive, while the rosemary and citrus made the fruit flavours pop. The slightly hot finish vanished and was replaced with a long, complex finish that included dark berry, herbs and spices and just a hint of purple flowers like lavender and violets.
Value: If you are a fan of Chianti Classico or Sangiovese based wines in general, this is a keeper. I have chosen this over straight up Chianti at $16/$17 many times. I have even put down some Chianti Classico at $20 for this wine as it is in limited supply and really, really enjoyable. The depth and character of this wine is a good starting point for anyone looking to dip their toe into the pool of European wines. It’s just a small step from $13-$17 California or Aussie wines into this wine and the enjoyment is truly there.
Added Value: This wine really shines when the Foodies come over and it is a great option for Sunday dinner kinds of Comfort Foods like Roasted Chicken, Roast Beef, or Roast Pork.
More To The Story: 2009 through central and northern Italy, like that in the Rhone Valley and Bordeaux in France was one of the best vintages on record. The result is that there was a ton of top quality wine on the market meaning that many wineries in relatively unknown regions were having a tough time selling their stocks. The Rosso Del Gello is a one time buy here in BC. Once it is gone there is no more, and certainly not at this price. The winery was staring the bumper 2010 vintage in the face and needed to move through the last of the 2009. Fortunately the enterprising importer was Johnny on the Spot and grabbed whatever he could. In fact the 2009 sold out in the UK at £11-£13.
Service: Pull the cork and let this wine breathe for a good 30 minutes. Alternatively run it through your Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
a few times and enjoy.
Grapes: Sangiovese Grosso Store Section: Italy Appellation: Maremma
Available: Everything Wine Buy Online: Everything Wine
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January 17, 2015 § 1 Comment
Score: 8.5 – Over Delivers
About the Wine: Dark purple/ruby in the glass. The nose shows ripe plum, currant, red berries and just a hint of black pepper. The palate is ripe and well-balanced. Juicy soft tannins make this a good sipper or a great match for red meats and hearty dishes. It is also certified Organic.
Value: This is a no brainer trade up in price from Santa Rita 120 Cab or Merlot, Beringer California Cab, and Bear Flag Smooth Red. I would also suggest that, if you’re having Steak or Lamb, you might as well save yourself a couple of bucks and choose this wine over the likes of Apothic Red, or 14 Hands Hot to Trot.
Added Value: This wine really shines if you are BBQ’ng. It is also very applicable to Movie Night or Girls Night Out.
More To The Story: The people in the Chimbarongo region of Chile have always had a down to earth tradition. Simple foods, sustainable agriculture, and perhaps most importantly, respect for others. Did you notice the bicycle on the label? This is the main mode of transportation in the Chimbarongo and has become the symbol that represents their way of life.
Service: Let this wine breathe for about 30 minutes or run it through your Vinturi. This wine is like a rose that needs to blossom; give it time and it will be a wonderful experience.
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere
Store Section: Chile
Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine, Metro Liquor Tuscany Village, Beverly Corners Liquor Store
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