Wine & Cheese Part Deux: Episode 16 Show Notes

February 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

Second in the series that pairs wines under $20 with cheese that you likely have in your fridge. In Part Un we covered Cheddar, Parmesan and Flavoured Goat Cheese (in case you missed it, here is a link to Part Un). In Part Deux we get into Gouda, Brie and Swiss Cheese.

Link to Part Deux Podcast

Segment 1 ~ Shout Outs

Royal Bay Bakery – Royal Bay Bakery can be found at the corner of Lagoon Road and Metchosin Rd in lovely Colwood. From the outside it looks like any other bakery but it is truly the people that make and have made the difference.

David & Gwen opened the Barkery 19 years ago and have made a commitment to local, organic ingredients (they grow all their own herbs) and have been at the forefront of solar power in Victoria. Oh, and the goods they craft are extremely good. Stay away from the jelly donuts and there never seems to be enough to satisfy my craving.

Royal Bay Bakery is also where I buy my coffee beans and that leads me to the second shout out – 2% Jazz Coffee.

Sam Jones is the vibrant and gregarious proprietor and has been operating 2% Jass since 1996 and now has two locations (click the link above for details). His roasts are balanced and wonderfully aromatic. A simple shot of his espresso and a jelly donut and everything is right with the world.

Segment 2 ~ Wine For That Hunk of Gouda

Gouda, like most cheeses, has a wide range of flavours, however for our purposes I have focussed on the mild Gouda which, when I talk to the Cheesemongers, is the most popular of the Gouda family.

Mild Gouda is softer than parmesan meaning there is more moisture left in the cheese and it has a mild, nutty flavour that makes it very versatile.

Red Wines

The best red wine options for Mild Gouda are juicy wines with dark and red fruit flavours. Tannins should be mild and the finish should be juicy with a kiss of black pepper spice. To that end seek out either Aussie Shiraz or Languedoc Grenache. Here are two that I think offer the best bang for the buck when it comes to working with Gouda.

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz (Australia) – $18

Three Winds 2009 Grenache (France) – $14

White Wines

Over the years I have found that one varietal consistently works the best with mild Gouda and that is Riesling. In particular I recently found two BC Rieslings that were spectacular with Mild Gouda.

Ganton & Larsen Prospect Riesling (BC VQA) – $12

Gehringer Brother’s Private Reserve Riesling (BC VQA) – $14

Segment 3 ~ Brie

Brie is perhaps the cheese most associated with wine. It seems to be in every photo of wine and cheese and is easily the most common ‘special’ cheese. Creamy, sometimes nutty, but often buttery, Brie loves wines that have ripe fruit flavours and silky finishes. Here are a couple of recommendations from what is currently on the market.

Red Wines

Sibaris Pinot Noir (Chile) – $13

Paul Mas Grenache Noir (France) – $12

White Wines

In terms of white wines, Brie has a special affinity for Chardonnay. Have you ever had a wedge of Granny Smith Apple with some Brie. Truly outstanding! Granny Smith Apple is a classic flavour in cool climate Chardonnay (BC, Ontario, Central Coast California, Chablis France, New Zealand & Coastal Chile).

On of my favourite Sunday morning breakfasts is fresh, flaky butter croissant and room temperature Brie with maybe some apple wedge or fresh strawberries if they are in season. Fresh pastry like Brioche, or Buttered Toast coupled with flavours of apple or pear (strawberry if you like Rosé Sparkling), are classic Champagne and Sparkling Wine made with Chardonnay, flavours.

I guess this is a long way to say that Chardonnay and Sparkling wines made with Chardonnay are fantastic with Brie. Let the Brie warm up so that it is creamy and you will be well rewarded.

Perseus Sparkling Chardonnay (BC) – $21, available in private stores only.

Grove Ridge Chardonnay (California) – $14, available in private stores only.

Segment 4 ~ Swiss Cheese/Emmental

Swiss Cheese is a little harder than Gouda and has a more distinct flavour. I particularly love wines with ripe, sweet fruit, a round silky texture and a little spice on the finish.

Red Wines

Simple Life Pinot Noir (California) – $14, available exclusively at government stores.

Mark West Pinot Noir (California) – $18, available in both private and government stores.

White Wines

Cono Sur Viognier (Chile) – $13, available in both private and government stores.

Best Buy of The Week ~ Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio (Italy) – $15 available in private and government stores.

If there is anything that you would like us to cover on the show please let us know by dropping us a line either in the comments here, by email at dorkuncorked@gmail.com, on Facebook at DorkUncorked or on Twitter @dorkuncorked.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

 

 

Santa Cristina 2014 Pinot Grigio

February 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

Santa Cristina Pinot GrigioThere was a time when I craved Pinot Grigio. I loved it citrus, mineral flavouring and the freshness with which it greeted my palate. Then came along a tsunami of Pinot Grigio’s trying capitalize on the grapes global popularity and I quickly lost interest.

A couple of week’s ago I was tasting a number of wines to pair with the cheeses that we have in the fridge. I tasted the next glass and recognized it as a classic Pinot Grigio and wouldn’t you know it, it comes from Italy.

The Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio is a true delight that over delivers for the price.

Price ~ $14.99

Score ~ 7.2/10 Over Delivers

Aromas of citrus, melon and ripe pear that are matched on the palate with some lovely minerality near and through the finish.

Chill this wine, but if it comes out of the fridge with some condensation, let if warm up a bit for best results.

I had this with some Gouda, Swiss, Parmesan and Saint André (it was on sale), and the Santa Cristina worked beautifully with the Saint André as well as the Parmesan (I’m sure there is no surprise there). I also had it with some Mac N’ Cheese, and then some chicken wings and it over delivered on both occasions.

Grapes ~ Pinot Grigio

Store Section ~ Italy

Availability ~ Both public and private stores

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

 

Cielo 2014 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie

April 30, 2015 § 1 Comment

Score: 6.6 ~ Good Drop image

Price: $13.99

Do you know what the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio is? It’s subtle and with the explosion of Pinot Grigio on the market, the lines have been blurred. Pinot Grigio is about freshness, citrus and minerality in a light bodied wine. It is something simple and refreshing and that is its beauty. On the other hand Pinot Gris should have more body, show tree & tropical fruit flavours and be far more complex. I don’t hold one over the other as each has their place. The trick is to be in the frame of mind to truly enjoy each.

Tasting Notes: This is a simple classic Pinot Grigio. It is pale straw, flinty green in colour and shows good citrus fruits with a mineral backbone. The palate is light and straightforward, while the finish is crisp and clean with just a hint of pear on the finish.

Value: At $10.99, the sale price, this is a steal, at $13.99, regular everyday price, it is a good drop that you won’t be disappointed in.

Added Value: This wine would have added value for Girls Night Out or on Date Night.

Food Pairings: This is a great wine for simple fair. Grilled trout or chicken breast, but perhaps best with a simple plate of fresh fruit, light cheeses, baguette and some nuts.

Service: Chill down and serve.

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Veneto – The ‘delle Venezie’ region is primarily clay and volcanic soils with some health elements of limestone thrown in the mix. This and the rolling hills of the region account for the citrus and mineral flavours that come through with classic Pinot Grigio.

Grapes: Pinot Grigio

Available: Everything Wine

ABV%: 12.0%

Cheers

The Dork UnCorked

PS – if you do try this wine, please let me know what you think by submitting a comment.

Picks of The Week Jan. 26-31, 2015

January 31, 2015 § Leave a comment

Here we go, the top 3 scoring wines of the week, and what a week it was. Glorious weather and a lot of fun seeing how the wines fared with the meals of the week. To be clear there was no attempt to pair the wines with the meals as the meals were just the usual fare.

You can click on the link and go directly to the full review. In this post, under each of the top scorers I have included an excerpt from the review.

By the way 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 my email.

Top Scorer: Artesa 2010 Rioja CrianzaIMG_0724

Price: $14.99

Score: 9.1 Best Buy

Excerpt: “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.”

#2 Rosso del Gello 2009IMG_0718

Price: $15.99

Score: 8.9 Over Delivers

Excerpt: “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.”

#3 Montalto Pinot GrigioMontalto PG 2

Price: $11.49

Score: 8.6 Over Delivers

Excerpt: “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.”

I would to hear your comments, especially if you have found one the reviewed wines at a store that I have not listed. If you let m know I will update the post and will forever be in your debt. Otherwise let me know what you think… feedback no matter the nature is makes the blog better.

Cheers

The Dork UnCorked

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%

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.

2015/01/img_0719-0.jpg

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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Dunavar 2013 Pinot Grigio

January 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 7.4- Good Drop2015/01/img_0680.jpg

Price: $10.99

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

Appellation: Hungary

Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine, Metro Liquor, Cascadia Liquor Stores

Buy Online: Everything Wine, Metro Liquor Stores

Alcohol: 11%

Receive fun, useful, daily reviews of wines available in BC under $20 per bottle directly into your own personal e-mail box. Simply subscribe by clicking here, going to the main page and clicking the e-mail subscription button.

 

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