August 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
Full disclosure, Chianti and Chianti Classico is a true love of mine. I’m not sure how or when, but the supple texture, rich seductive body, cherry flavours, floral elements along with savoury spices are a baseline for me. I can easily sink into a glass of Chianti Classico like a great book.
$20+ for Chianti Classico is t be expected and thus I’m looking for it to deliver more than a simple Chianti or Sangiovese at $15. When I say more I don’t mean more density or stronger flavours, rather I’m looking for greater complexity of flavours and structure. I’m looking for find more flavours and flavours that work together. I’m looking for a more supple and seductive bottle that what I am likely to find in a $15 wine. Sadly I didn’t find that here. Don’t get me wrong, there is lots to like and love in this wine, but it is not that dissimilar to the flavours and texture found in regular Chiantis such as Gabbiano, Cecchi and Frescobaldi.
Purchased At: BC Liquor Stores
Foods: Pastas, Pizza, roasted chicken or pork, hard cheeses, comfort foods and foodie foods.
April 9, 2015 § 1 Comment
You know how some scents can instantaneously transport you back in time. My grandfather used to smoke White Owl cigars and when I was a kid I used to climb up onto his lap and he would tell me stories of his hockey playing days. His favourite cardigan held the subtle scent of a freshly unwrapped cigar. Some of my best and favourite memories of being with my grandfather automatically invoke the wonderful, delicate aroma of an unwrapped cigar. As I first opened this wine and put my nose to it, I was immediately transported back to my grandfather’s lap. It brought a smile both to my face and heart.
Tasting Notes: The colour is dark red with violet highlights on the edges. The aromas show red tree fruit such as cherries, ripe black plums, hints of violet and licorice and something that I absolutely adore, the scent of a freshly unwrapped cigar. The palate is velvety, juicy, well balanced and of medium to full weight. Flavours of cherries, leather, savoury spices, dried plums and pepper come alive. The finish is almost silky and juicy with a final cherry kiss at the end.
Value: This is a case buy for sure. After my first purchase I have gone back and grabbed few more bottles. If I have $18 to spend I would be hard pressed not to make this my choice if I were having lamb, beef, or just a simple platter of cheese and charcuterie.
Added Value: This wine really shines as a BBQ Wine, Comfort Food Wine and because of its sultry, velvety nature, as a Date Night Wine. I would also highly recommend this wine to anyone who is looking to explore either unique grape types or regions.
Food Pairings: As mentioned above, this wine works beautifully with roasted or grilled beef or lamb, but my favourite pairing is a simple platter of cheeses, cold cuts, olive oil and some olives.
Service: Room temperature is best and let it breathe for a good 20-30 minutes. If you have a Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
, run the wine through a couple of times and you are good to go.
Store Section: Italy
Appellation: Salento – The Salento region of Italy is on the heel of the Italian boot. As you can imagine it is a very warm region which produces voluptuous red wines that are very dark in colour. Did you know that Primitivo is the Italian cousin of California’s Zinfandel. Have a little fun and try a Cali Zin beside a Salento Primitivo and sense the differences.
Grapes: Negromaro, Primitivo
Available: Everything Wine
The Dork UnCorked
PS – if you do try this wine, please let me know what you think by submitting a comment.
March 27, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 6.7 – Good Drop
I love Chardonnay! There I said it. It’s not cool to like Chardonnay, but I do. I love the curvy, sultry, seductive nature of a well balanced oaked Chardonnay. It is almost as if such a Chardonnay is one of temptations that those on a pulpit may warn you of. This wine was once one of those, however retains a good amount of its previous allure. I really liked this wine but it has seen better days.
Tasting Notes: The colour is a bright amber yellow. The nose shows caramel, ripe ripe delicious apple, and just a touch of hazelnuts (the hallmark of an older wine). The palate has a welcome creamy texture with a delightful caramel apple flavour. On the finish there is a touch of hazelnut to go with the apple flavour.
Value: This wine is for one looking to taste how older whites develop without spending $25/bottle. It also provides a great opportunity to taste the region that popularized Chardonnay.
Added Value: This wine has added value for those looking to explore the flavours of older Chardonnays; Exploration Wine. This is also a damn fine wine for movie night with lots of hot buttered popcorn.
Food Pairings: This wine is a great pairing for a Spinnach salad with nuts and feta, otherwise it is a great wine for hot buttered popcorn.
Service: Serve this wine chilled but not cold. If it comes out of the fridge with condensation, let it warm up a bit before serving.
Store Section: France
Appellation: Macon-Villages – Macon-Villages is in the South of the region of France called Burgundy… you may have heard of it. You may have also heard of French oak as being the oak of choice for many winemakers and, certainly, Chardonnay. The combination of Macon-Villages with its relatively affordable pricing (in comparison to Mersault or Pouilly Fuse), aged in French oak is the style that inspired the pioneers of California winemaking and lead to the Judgement of Paris that truly launched the California wine industry.
Available: Liquor Depot ‘Preferred Vintages’ (wines exclusive to Liquor Depot and Liquor Barn stores)
March 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
It takes a little while for the true beauty of this wine to show itself. It’s kind of like a self-conscious super model. All the senses tell you that she has everything it takes to be great, however her true beauty only comes out when you get to know her.
Tasting Notes: This wine starts as a classic Montepulciano experience. The colour is deep dark crimson and the nose is shy. This wine needs time to blossom. I found this wine to finally show itself after 2 days being open. When I first pulled the cork, the nose showed a little fruit and a little dried herb, but after two days it showed ripe plum and berry, dark cherry, dried savoury herbs, hints of leather and anise.
The palate is dense and structured, but shows wonderful complexity and depth. The finish is long showing both muscular and sweet tannins. In other words it was both puckering and mouth-watering.
Value: The real value for this wine is when you can let it breathe for a couple of days. This is not a great buy for those who want a wine to consume within a couple of hours of purchase. However if you are patient this is a great buy for this weekend BBQ or to stow away for a number of years.
Added Value: As I said above, this wine has added value when intended for a BBQ featuring steaks, and or slow roasted pork. This also has added value for the Foodie in the crowd, especially when you pull it out of your cellar after Canada wins the Gold Medal for Hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Food Pairings: This is a great match for a hearty pasta, a thick seasoned steak, meat lovers pizza and, slow roasted pork.
Service: Open this up and let it breathe for as long as you can but at least 60- 2 days minutes or run it through your Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
a number of times.
Store Section: Italy
Appellation: d’Abruzzo – d’Abruzzo lies directly to the East of Tuscany and, like Umbria, is often overlooked when it comes to premium Italian wines. It is home to as much Sangiovese (Rosso Piceno) as it is Montepulciano. For centuries the wines of the d’Abruzzo were rustic and made for the ‘less than discerning’ Italian wine market. In recent years producers like Talamonti and Mascarelli have applied viticultural techniques known to increase the quality of the grapes to their vineyards, and have produced some of Italy’s most sought after premium wine. The great news is that a premium wine from d’Abruzzo, even a super premium wine, doesn’t fetch anywhere near the same price as its cousins from Tuscany or Piedmonte.
Grapes: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Available: BC Liquor Stores
January 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 8.2 – Over Delivers
About the Wine: What a delightful wine. Classic notes of sour cherry and fresh plum, dried herbs and violets. Hints of leather and oak combine with the fresh fruit on the finish.
Value: Pay the extra dollar or two, and buy this by the case. Most Chiantis are priced $14-$16, but most Chianti Classico is over $20 which means this could have been a dud, but it way over delivers for the price.
Added Value: There is added value to those who are foodies. This wine seems to have been made to have with a meal, break some bread and dream of tomorrows to come.
Service: Let breathe for at least 30 minutes or run it through your Vinturi and serve at room temperature. If you live in the desert and it is over 25C in the house/on the patio chill it down a few degrees. As for a food pairing, I had this wine with a simple plate of prosciutto, olives, baguette and Asiago and it was divine. Sometimes simplicity is the best thing when it comes to food and wine pairing.
Store Section: Italy
Appellation: Chianti Classico
Available: BC Liquor Stores (Multiple), Everything Wine , Hillside Liquor Store (Victoria), Beverly Corners Liquor Store
Buy Online: Everything Wine (Multiple)