Episode 4 – Charcuterie & Then Some

November 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

Episode 4Charcuterie and Then Some (Link to Episode)

Segment 1 – Guest Cory Pelan of the Whole Beast

Keywords – WHO (World Health Org), Pigs, Sausage, Nitrates, Natural Curing.

Connect with Cory– Click the links: Facebook Cory Pelan

Connect with the Whole BeastFacebook – The Whole Beast, Website – The Whole Beast, Twitter @wholebeastmeats, tel- 250-590-PORK (7675), Instagram -The Whole Beast Artisan Salumeria.

Dork UnCorked Wine Suggestion Charcuterie: Nua Prosecco ~ $14.99-$17.99

Segment 2 – Guest Italian Wine Correspondent Ceri Barlow

Suggested Wines for Cured Ham (Prosciutto, Serrano) – Fresh & fruity but lighter bodied wines. Specifically look for Frappato which is a grape grown in Sicily at elevation. A tremendous wine that offers great value. You can find great examples from $14-$27 that offer enjoyment levels similar to $20-$40 wines.

Suggest Wines for Spicier Sausage (Capicollo, Salami) – Ideal with Valpolicella wines from the Veneto region of Northern, Italy. Look for brands like Masi, Speri & Sartori. If you prefer a richer style of wine go with Valpolicella Ripasso ($20-$25).

Italian Wines for A Desert Island – Fontanafredda 2013 Gavi (White) $19-$22 Private Retail Only, Erik Banti 2012 Toscana IGT $17-$20 Private Retail Only, Agriolas Cannonau 2010 Sardegna $25-$30 Private Retail Only.

Connect with Ceri – Facebook – Ceri Barlow

Follow Victoria Wine Society (Ceri is the Pres!) – Victoria Wine Society (Facebook)

Follow Island Chefs Collaborative (Ceri, again is Pres!) – Island Chef’s Collaborative (Facebook) www.iccbc.ca

Best Buy of the WeekLes Dauphins Cotes Du Rhone Reserve

Is there something from the world of wine and food that you would like investigated, a product you would like reviewed before you buy it, a pairing with a dish or a dish to with the wine you already have… let us know by either adding a comment below or sending us an email at dorkuncorked@gmail.com

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Montalto Pinot Grigio

January 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

Price: $11.492015/01/img_0719.jpg

There are thousands of Pinot Grigio’s in stores these days. After tasting many they divide themselves into two groups- Marketing & Classic. The ones in the marketing group are those trying to take advantage of the popularity of the name Pinot Grigio. Those in the classic range are those that share classic Pinot Grigio aromas and flavours. The Montalto Pinot Grigio falls into the Classic group and certainly Over Delivers for the price. Having said that there are wines on the market at $13-$14 that I think are a better buy, even a Best Buy, hence why this one didn’t get the highly coveted Best Buy rating.

Tasting Notes Sipping: The colour is a light shade of pale straw, while the aromas are of citrus, hints of pear and mineral. Mineral is a positive thing and is a classic characteristic of Pinot Grigio. Think of it as that delicate hint of wet rocks you get from fresh mountain stream water… if that helps. The palate is light, fresh and crisp without being watery. Flavours of lemon and lime marry with Bartlett pear and minerality. The finish is crisp, short and refreshing.

Tasting Notes with Food: This is a sipping wine or a wine that should be paired with light foods such as salads, fruits or very mild cheeses. I love good rustic bread, specifically, traditional Boule. It comes in a round and has a thick crust that wraps itself around a bouncy, rustic bread. I had this wine with some Boule that I dipped in olive oil and a pinch of salt and it was phenomenal. I swear you can close your eyes and place yourself in Italy. The fruit flavours of the wine popped right up while the fresh, crisp acidity worked really well with the olive oil and the bread. The touch of salt and the olive oil integrated with the minerality of the wine to make it better than the sum of its parts.

Value: Definitely worth the trade up from pretenders like Barefoot, Copper Moon and such. However I would choose the Gabbiano Pinot Grigio at $13-$14 over this wine when I’m feeling a little more flush.

Added Value: This wine shines as a Crowd Pleaser or Wedding Wine as it is simply enjoyable. I would also suggest that this wine has added value for Date Nights or Girls Night Out.

More To The Story: Sicily is not normally where you find really good Pinot Grigio. However the slopes of Mt. Etna have volcanic soils and are steep enough to cool the grapes at night. As a Cork Dork there is something else in that statement that shows extra value in the wine. Typically wines in this price range are not hillside grown as harvesting can be more expensive. I’m very happy to see that the proprietors at Montalto have found a way to deliver a wine of this quality, at this price to our market.

Score: 8.6  – Over Delivers

Service: Chill down, but not too cold. You will know when it is too cold by the fact you simply get an acidic wine without a lot of fruit flavours.

Grapes: Pinot Grigio

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Sicily

Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine

Buy Online: Everything Wine

Alcohol: 13.2%

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Monte Nobile 2013 Nero D’Avola

January 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 7.4 – Good Drop2015/01/img_0715.jpg

Price: $14.99

I rated this at the top end of Good Drop because it was a toss up whether it hit the Over Delivers category or not. Finally I came to the conclusion that at $13.99 this would be in the Over Deliver category for sure; at $14.99 it’s a pretty damn Good Drop.

Tasting Notes Sipping: This is blackberry pie on the nose and in the mouth. The aromas betray the wines origins. Blackberry, blueberry and savoury spices on the nose, while the palate shows some good weight, and a little grip. Flavours of blackberry, raspberry, savoury spices and custard/pastry (hence the Blackberry pie reference). The finish is short to medium and is a showcase for the fruit and the tannin.

Tasting Notes with Food: I had this with baked chicken leg and thigh that was seasoned with a touch of salt, pepper and thyme. On the side was rice with butter and parmesan, spinach salad with bacon, blue cheese, cranberry, olive oil & balsamic vinegar (seems like a long list, but really simple; made in a total of 40 minutes). If you love big fruit flavours coating your mouth, making it water, this wine is for you. I really enjoyed how the food made the fruit flavours pop, and the tannins worked to smooth out the texture of both the wine and the food.

Value: I have said for a long time that Nero D’Avola, like Negromaro & Primitivo, are Europe’s answer to California Zinfandel and Argentinean Malbec. If you get value from discovering new things then this wine offers great value to you. I would also content that it is worth spending a buck or two more for this wine than entry-level California Zinfandel, or if I were having a steak, from $12 Argentinean Malbec. As for saving, I would choose this over Dancing Bull Zinfandel or Apothic Red any day of the week, and pocket the $2 for something great like a good pretzel or shot of espresso.

Added Value: The wine really shines with BBQ. Whether it BBQ brisket or pulled pork, grilled steak or chicken this is a winner. I would also serve this to the Foodies when they come over, as they are always looking for a new experience and to save a few bucks.

More To The Story: Nero D’Avola has ancient roots. The Romans used to demand the wine of the black grape from the port of D’Avola on Sicily. Previous to the Romans, the Greeks held the island. The story goes that the reason the Greeks fought so hard to keep control of Sicily, was because of the quality of the wines.

Service: Twist the cap off and let breathe for 15-20 minutes or run it through your Vinturi.

Grapes: Nero D’Avola

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Sicily

Available: Everything Wine, BC Liquor Stores,

Buy Online: Everything Wine

Alcohol: 14%

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Voga Pinot Grigio

January 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 5.9 – Dead Average2015/01/img_0711.jpg

Price: $14.99

This wine sits at the top end of Dead Average (high praise indeed) as it has improved from the wine flavoured water that it was a few years back.

Tasting Notes Sipping: The nose shows some lifted lime and lemon which are to be expected from Italian Pinot Grigio. The palate shows some additional flavours of peach, apple and pear. It is a clean and fresh wine, but I expect this at $14.99+.

Tasting Notes with Food: I had this wine with what my daughter calls Veal Style Chicken, which is simply substituting Chicken breast for veal in a Vitello al Limone recipe (relatively light meal). The palate became muted and only showed hints of fruit. The good news is that the acidity was up to the task which allowed my palate to remain fresh, thus the whole experience was made better.

Value: I think there are better values out there. I would trade up in price to Villa Theresa Organic Pinot Grigio at$15.99, it’s worth it. I also think a lateral move to the Gabbiano Pinot Grigio (Private Stores $14.99) is a better choice. The Montalto Pinot Grigio is not as good a wine but the $4 savings makes it a better value.

Added Value: Where this wine might offer some added value is as a Wedding Wine as the packaging is pretty damn good.

More To The Story: Pinot Grigio, until recently, was an everyday white wine commonly drank in the northern half of Italy (North of Tuscany). Following the massive move by the consumer from big rich opulent Chardonnays, Italian Pinot Grigio’s saw a huge up swing in popularity as did New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Both wines offer clean, crisp, zippy flavours and texture, but Pinot Grigio is commonly a couple of bucks less.

What happens when there is a huge upsurge in a product? There are millions of copy cats trying to tag along for the ride. As it turns out the market is now filled with pretenders, so be careful.

Service: Chill it down to close to cold and let it rip. Serve with light olive oil pastas, Tilapia and lighter chicken dishes.

Grapes: Pinot Grigio

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Northeast (Alto Adige, Trentino, Fruili)

Available: BC Liquor Stores

Buy Online:

Alcohol: 13%

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Ca’ Montebello Barbera

January 16, 2015 § 2 Comments

Score: 7.9  – Over Delivers2015/01/img_0686.jpg

Price: $13.99-$15.99

About the Wine: To me this wine is a Best Buy, if only because of the story of how this wine got to BC, however I believe that the story shouldn’t influence the scoring, so it is a solid Over Delivers. See below at More to the Story.

Dark/Blood red cherry in the glass with wonderfully engaging ripe plum and cherry aromas that are highlighted with floral tones of violets.

Barbera is a very low tannin wine. The key to a quality Barbera is the acidity. This wine shows bright acidity on the palate which enhances the fruit flavours. Medium weight with layers of savoury spices and purple flowers.

The finish is fresh and clean with a big juicy, slightly herbal but happy ending.

Value: Those who like red wine, but not the grippy texture of wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec, this is the wine for you. If you are looking for something different from your usual Shiraz or Zinfandel, give this a whirl as I think you will really enjoy it. As a softer, discovery wine I would easily choose this over Ravenswood Zinfandel or wines like Apothic Red, Dreaming Tree Crush or Cupcake Red Velvet.

Added Value: This wine really shines on the BBQ and with the Foodies. It’s juicy supple character means it is great with grilled chicken, pork or burgers off the BBQ. The foodies will love the nuance and finesse, especially when you wow them with a fish dish like Halibut.

More To The Story: A few years back I was invited to a tasting of Lombardian wines in Vancouver. Each supplier was hoping to find an importer. The Ca’ Montebello wines grabbed my attention because of the packaging. Classic and eye-catching. I tasted through the wines (word to the wise, their Pinot Nero Bianco is outstanding $15-$16) and was duly impressed. I thought if I could get these wines into the stores under $20 it would be a big win.

Luigi Lorani, the owner and winemaker, was standing behind the table so I asked him about pricing. Turns out he doesn’t speak any English and my Italian is sketchy at best (I’m your man if you want an espresso, but that’s about it). A good friend of mine is an importer and speaks Italian so I got him on the phone to see if we could work out a price in exchange for a volume buy. Within seconds Luigi’s voice was raised, ears bright red and arms thrashing through the air. Heads were turning in the room to see what the commotion was about as I tried to slip back from the table to no avail. After about 10 minutes Luigi handed me the phone back, I spoke to my friend and his only words were “deal is done, should be here in June.”

As it turns out Luigi’s wines had been in BC before and were priced in the high $20’s, so when I said before that this would be a Best Buy if you knew the whole story, this is what I meant. This wine sold at $28 and at that price I would give it a Dead Average rating, dropping it down $10 leads to a Best Buy rating. However knowing the price drop influence ones rating although it, perhaps, shouldn’t.The rating should reflect the wines ability to deliver enjoyment and quality as it increases in price, hence in an effort to compensate for this fallibility, I have given it an Over Delivers rating.

Service: Serve at room temperature, however you will want to run this through your Vinturi or leave to breathe for about 30 minutes. See above for food pairing recommendations.

Grapes: Barbera

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Oltrepo Pavese (Lombardy)

Available: Metro Liquor Tuscany Village, Cascadia Liquor Stores

Buy Online: Metro Liquor Online

Alcohol: 13.0%

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Ogio 2013 Primitivo

January 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 6.9 – Good Drop2015/01/img_06681.jpg
Price: $12.99

About the Wine: Think of a blackberry, plum pie. Rich in ripe and baked fruits, with very subtle undertones of spice and white pepper grab the nose and palate. The texture is lush and lacking in fresh acidity which means it won’t last that long after opening (24-36 hours) and is not designed for ageing. The finish is juicy and gives you a parting kiss of sweetness in hopes that you will be back. Overall a good, hedonistic drop that provides decent value for the price.

Value: This wine is a direct competitor for the likes of Yellow Tail and Apothic. Priced the same as Yellow Tail and thus, for my money I would buy Ogio Primitivo every time. As for Apothic, I think the $4 spread between the two makes the Ogio a better buy, however I’m not so sure if the price gap were to be reduced to $1 or $2, which, given the shifting value of the Canadian dollar against the Euro and the US, is possible.

Added Value: The wine has added value for those that are wanting a sipping wine and aren’t to interested in food to go with it. That means it works well when serving the crowd. If food is to be involved then make it BBQ and then you definitely have a winner.

More To The Story: Primitivo is native to the Puglian peninsula of southern Italy; the heel of the Italian boot. ‘Primi’ in latin means early and Primitivo is an early ripening grape, but its background is the story of Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses.

During the 17th and 18th centuries Italy and the Balkans were a plethora of principalities. Political alliances were often consummated by marrying of a princess to a prince and that is exactly how Primitivo took root in southern Italy.

To form an alliance with a Puglian King based in Lecce, the Croatian King was prepared to marry off his daughter to the Puglian King’s son. The dowry included some livestock, gold, silver and grapevines which were often used as currency. In Croatia the vines are called Crljenak (Krel-yen-ak) Kastelan-ski. The name was ‘latinized’ to Primitivo and because they were ‘royal’ vines, enterprising vignerons started planting them throughout Puglia.

DNA testing has suggested that Primitivo is the European cousin to California’s Zinfandel and there are many flavour and aroma similarities.

Service: Twist the cap off and let if flow. There is no need to let this wine breathe. As for food a big juicy BBQ steak or burgers is the way to go.

Grapes: Primitivo

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: There isn’t an appellation on the label but I do know that the winery is from the Puglia region of Italy, the home of Primitivo.

Available: BC Liquor Stores

Alcohol: 14.0%

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Mezzomondo 2013 Negromaro IGT

January 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 6.5 – Good Drop/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/4dc/16438419/files/2015/01/img_0655.jpg

Price: $9.99

About the Wine: The Negromaro grape is aptly named as it is black in the glass and can be really fruit forward. The nose on this wine features dark berry and tree fruits and perhaps a little spice but not much more. The flavour reflects the nose but also shows a touch of leather and vanilla. This is medium weight wine with a soft texture. The finish is simple and juicy. All in all when you consider the price and the quality this is a pretty good drop.

Value: This is a very straightforward wine meant to appeal to a broad collection of palates and at this it price punches over its weight and would be my choice of $10-$11 California or Argentine wines that also feature black fruits and depth of colour (Zinfandel, California Shiraz, Malbec).

Added Value: To me this wine is well suited to Comfort Foods. Ordering in Pizza? Having a grilled cheese or meat loaf. This is where this wine has added value.

Service: No need to let this breathe, just twist the cap off and let it flow.

Grapes: Negromaro

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Puglia

Available: BC Liquor Stores, Hillside Liquor Stores, Liquor Express, Cascadia, Beverly Corners, Private Liquor Stores

Alcohol: 13.5%

 

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