December 26, 2015 § 1 Comment
Episode 10 is all about Sparkling Wine as New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. The show was broken into 4 segments. In each segment we speak to a category of sparkling wine starting with Champagne and ending with Budget or Value options.
What would a New Year’s show be without touching on famous hangover cures. I have added some bonus content here given that we were a little pressed for time on the show.
Episode 10 ~ Link to Podcast
Segment 1 ~ Champagne
Sparkling wines are made all over the world often using the same methods as they do in Champagne, however unless the wine is made in the appellation (AOC) of Champagne the wine can not bear the most famous of sparkling names. Below is a list of recommended champagnes that can be found in most stores.
Veuve Clicquot ~ $62-$65
One of the first global businesses run by a woman, Madame Clicquot’s champagne is bright and crisp, filled with apple and citrus flavour along with the taste sensation of lightly buttered toast.
DYK – the orange/yellow colour of the label reflects the colour of yolks of the eggs laid by the wineries chickens. Each morning Madame Clicquot would have two eggs and found that the colour of the yolks were unique to her farm, thus the colour would clearly distinguish her champagne.
Bollinger ~ $70
Bollinger is made famous by being the champagne choice of James Bond.
Flavours leaning more to fresh pear, melon and citrus, this is a very clean and lively wine with a texture of velvet. The finish show hints of walnuts and baking spice.
Taittinger ~ $57 (currently on sale)
Delicious scents white peach, pear and acacia flowers greet the nose, while the palate is treating to refreshing, almost creamy, wash of fruit and brioche.
Moet and Chandon ~ $62-$65
Makers of the world famous Dom Perignon, the Moet and Chandon Champagne features apple, pear, white peach with floral tones and some delicious brioche on the finish.
Segment 2 ~ BC Sparkling Wine
Perseus Sparkling Chardonnay ~ $21-$22 (Private Stores Only)
Fresh, alive and an incredible value. Bright apple and citrus greet the nose while the palate is velvety and fresh with hints of honey and white flowers. I really loved this wine.
Cipes Brut ~ $23-24
A classic BC Sparkling wine that is aged with energy of a pyramid (if you haven’t visited the Summerhill Winery you really should). Baked apples and pears, hints of caramel and honey, with a wonderfully vibrant yet creamy mousse (bubble).
Stellar’s Jay Brut ~ $27-$29
Crafted originally by one of the true pioneers of the BC Wine industry, Harry McWatters, this wine is bright, lively and shows pear and white peach with just a hint of brioche.
Blue Mountain Brut ~ $30 (Private Stores Only)
Citrusy aromas and palate with a wonderfully elegant mousse. The finish is bright and citrusy with just a kiss of honey toast.
Segment 3 ~ Prosecco
Lamarca ~ $17 (currently on sale, Dec. 2015)
Sweet apples, grassy, pear are the hallmarks of this very approachable, straightforward Prosecco. In many ways this embodies the reason why Prosecco is so popular – it is simply about enjoyment and simple carefree lifestyle.
Nua Prosecco ~ $16-$18 (Private Stores Only)
Harder to find but a deliciously crafted Prosecco that should be on more shelves than it is.
Apple, pear, orange blossom with a whimsical, refreshing bubble that delights every time.
Terre Prosecco ~ $17-$19 (Private Stores Only)
Pear, citrus and acacia flower with a wonderful kiss of honey on the finish. The palate is lively and vibrant. This is a classic Prosecco that makes a great Aperol Spritz as well as a crowd pleasing pop for New Year’s Eve.
Segment 3a ~ Global Sparklers
Here are some brilliant Sparkling wines from all over the world.
Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Wine (Australia)~ $13 (On Sale Dec. 2015)
This is sunshine in the glass. Primarily Chardonnay this is bright and feels like a summer morning. Baked apple, bright pear and melon, with a honeyed finish. Perfect for a New Year’s Eve BBQ.
Zinck Cremant D’Alsace (France) ~ $21-$24
Made primarily with Pinot Blanc, then some Pinot Noir and Chardonnay this wine shows biscuits, apricots and white flowers. The palate shows an elegant mousse and a honey toast finish. Delish!
Mumm Napa Prestige Brut (California) ~ $21-$24
This wine is at the top of my list and I have to thank Roger Kershaw for that. If there is a man on the island that loves ‘champers’ and sparkling wines more, I don’t know who that is.
The wine shows baked apple, fresh pear and white peach with hints of acacia flowers. The palate is fresh and alive and the finish has toasty hints with a touch of baking spice.
Toso Brut (Argentina) ~ $16-$18
Did you know that Argentina is one of the world’s largest producers of sparkling wine? Well it is and only a few have the production necessary to be able to export. Toso is one.
Bright fresh apples, pear and melon, with a crisp palate of refreshing finish. This wine is all about vibrant expression.
Segment 4 ~ Value Bubbles
New Year’s is often associated with sparkling wine, but if all you need is a bottle pop for the sake of popping here are some great wines all under $15 that are delicious and great buys.
Henkell Trocken ~ $13 (On Sale December, 2015)
As much as people like to downgrade well known brands in terms of quality, Henkell Trocken has stood the test of time and is still one of the most enjoyable, affordable, bubbles on the market.
Bright pear and baked apple, a well balanced palate that finishes clean and alive.
Jean Louis ~ $12-$13 (Private Stores Only)
This little french bubble is ideal for mimosa’s and any time you need a toasting wine. I have literally recommended this wine to hundreds of wedding clients.
Baked apple and pear, delightful refreshing palate, with the kiss of honey on the finish.
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva ~ $13 (On Sale December, 2015)
A classic Cava from Spain. Baked pear, with melon and a hint of orange blossoms. Crisp, lively and very refreshing, this wine is be used to toast the New Year in more countries around the world than almost all others on this list.
Segment 4a ~ Hangover Cures
The fact is that there is not perfect hangover cure although one has been sought for thousands upon thousands of years.
What we do know is that hangovers are caused by 1) your body coming off of alcohol, 2) dehydration, 3) a significant reduction of Vitamin B in your system.
Some people swear by a greasy breakfast the next morning or what is called the hair of the dog (a Caesar like cocktail). Neither really do much more than make the symptoms a little less painful.
It used to be said that if you have a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil prior to drinking that you would slow the absorption of alcohol into the system. Partially true but the alcohol is still going to get in.
The best practices are preventative. First drink in moderation and make sure you eat and hydrate throughout the session. Second is to limit sugary drinks and foods as sugar causes inflammation and just makes a hangover a truly nasty experience. Third, and this is a tip from the pros, take a multivitamin prior to the session. Make sure it contains Vitamin B. Then take one the morning after. Doing all three of these things limits the pain and suffering of ringing in the New Year and anytime a session gets out of hand.
Best Buy of the Week ~ Perseus Sparkling Chardonnay
I trust you have a safe and wonderful New Year and please send us any comments or feedback you have.
Happy New Year
the Dork UnCorked
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 2, 2015 § 3 Comments
Best Buy – 9.3/10
This wine is the embodiment of the purpose of this blog. It is one of those wines that enters the market without much hope of discovery or success, but to those that find it, they are over-joyed.
Tasting Notes: Bright red berries and fruit with some ripe plum underpinnings greet the nose. The colour is dark crimson and the palate echos the nose. The palate is complete, there are no holes in this wine. The texture is bright, supple and of mid-weight. The finish is of medium length and features the juicy red berries prominent on the palate with the addition of delicate savoury herbs.
Value: At $$10.99-$13.99 this is a killer deal and is a case lot buy… as long as you can find it. This wine truly represents killer value and I would happily seek this out.
Added Value: This wine shines as a Foodie Wine, Crowd Pleaser, BBQ and Comfort Food wine. After all many of the dishes we consider Comfort Foods or ‘everyday meals’ were crafted by peasants in Spain, France and Italy.
More To The Story: As I mentioned above this wine is an example of the purpose of this blog and shows that the diversity of the wine world means that one can’t assume that price or brand awareness will guarantee quality. This wine is imported by a small agency and I can see how most would overlook it. The packaging is dull, the bottle inexpensive, it isn’t blessed with a D.O. certification. I can also see where the price might scare some people away as being too cheap to possibly offer quality, but for those intrepid buyers who take the time to move beyond convention, they will be rewarded. For those readers that need a little more convincing that they should be buying this buy the case, This wine is the house wine at the world’s only 7 star hotel, Bariq Al Arab. Fine praise indeed.
Service: Pull the cork and let breathe for 20 minutes or run it through your Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
a few times. I love having to let a wine of this price breathe. Complexity and character develop as if a blossoming flower.
Store Section: Spain
Available: Spinnaker’s James Bay, Spinnaker’s Vic West, Metro Liquor Stores, Cascadia Liquor Store, Vintage Wines & Spirits, HIllside Liquor Store, One20 LRS, Cork & Barrel, Sooke River Hotel, Liquor Planet.
January 30, 2015 § Leave a comment
Here is another example of the best are often always in short supply. I first tried this wine last year at a trade tasting and it was very impressive. A year later and it is still a Best Buy. For $14.99 this is truly a no brainer for anyone looking for a wine that shows balance, finesse, depth, complexity, softness, bright fruit and spices. On the other hand this is not the wine for those looking for a simple fruit bomb with high alcohol. As it turns out it is a one time offer and a pricing mistake that was honoured by the winery… see below under More To The Story.
Tasting Notes Sipping: The colour is deep dark crimson, while the nose shows dark and red berries, plums, herbs and savoury spices. The palate is bright, complete and shows layers of flavours and textures much like a $20+ should do. The flavours are wonderfully married so as not to overshadow one particular component, rather to allow the enjoyment of sensing the blossoming of a beautiful flower. Black plum, red berries, balsamic, savoury spices and just a hint of oak. The finish is of medium length and supple. Beautiful.
Tasting Notes with Food: I had this wine over two nights. The first night was with roasted chicken legs, some rice and raw veggies and the second night was a classic (not creamy) Ceasar Salad with grilled chicken breast. In both cases the wine showed beautifully. With the roasted chicken legs the spices and dark fruits showed beautifully, whereas with Ceasar Salad and grilled chicken breast, the red fruits, balsamic and a hint of black licorice became the players. It was great in both cases.
Value: I’m not sure if there is a better value in the Spanish section. Sadly this wine only seems to be available in a very few stores. I would easily put down the Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza at $19.99 for the Artesa. As for trade ups I would happily move up from entry level $12-$14 California Cabernets and Merlots for this wine. Caveat: If you are looking for a big powerful fruit explosion, this is not your wine.
Added Value: This wine has huge added value when the Foodies come over and I would suggest it has the same for a Date Night or Movie Night with a Spanish or Southern European theme (Charcuterie, cheeses, olives, nuts, bageutte, etc.)
More To The Story: As I mentioned above this wine is a one time shot, or should I say an once in a lifetime shot. 2010 was one of the best years for Rioja in the last 50 and as such the wines are in high demand. The importer had struck a deal that involved a specific price for a specific volume, however the winery, at the last minute, noticed a pricing error. They had quoted the price of the wine a level below the Crianza (Joven or Young). In other words this wine should be priced at $20+, however understanding that the real value in this deal is in the relationship between the winery, the importer and the consumer, they agreed to honour the original deal. It is suppliers like this that make this industry more than just liquid in a bottle.
Score: 9.1 – Best Buy
Service: Pull the cork and let this wine breathe for 45 minutes or run it through your Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
. You’re going to love it.
Store Section: Spain
Available: Metro Liquor Tuscany Village
Buy Online: Metro Liquor Stores
The Dork UnCorked is getting hundreds of views a day which makes it ideal for sponsorship by complimentary items. If you are interested please contact me at email.