Episode 5 – In The Shadow of Stardom, Beaujolais Nouveau, Carmenere

November 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Episode 5 – Link to Podcast

Show Notes

Segment 1: Beaujolais Nouveau

The first wine of the vaunted 2015 vintage. Critics are saying that 2015 is the vintage of a century no matter if the wine is from BC, California, or Europe. This years Beaujolais Nouveau is a harbinger of the wines to follow.

Beaujolais is a region in France and is the southernmost area of the famous Burgundy Appellation. All the red wines from the region must be made of 100%  Gamay Noir and all the grapes must be hand harvested.

Recommended Wine: Georges DuBoeuf Paper Label ~ $18.49

Segment 2: In the Shadow of Stardom

It’s really about basic economics of supply and demand. Those regions that are world famous only produce so many bottles but have huge demand. Regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Napa Valley have no trouble in selling their wines at top dollar each and every year. However there are many more regions and wines around the world that exist in the shadows of stardom.

Recommended Regions for Value:

Italy – Umbria, Sicily, Marche, Puglia, d’Abruzzo

France – Languedoc, Provence

Other Europe – Portugal, Croatia, Hungary, Greece

California – Lodi, Paso Robles

Other World – South Africa, Chile, Argentina

Other BC – Similkameen, Kamloops

Specific Wines Mentioned – Periquita (Portugal), Painted World (South Africa), Masia F (Spain)

Segment 3 – Carmenere

Thought to have vanished from the world after phylloxera destroyed thousands of acres of vineyard in the Europe in the 1860’s, and one of the original 6 Bordeaux grapes, Carmenere was only recently rediscovered as being alive and well in Chile.

In the late’s 90’s Alvaro Espinoza noticed that certain vines in the blocks of Merlot were consistently ripening later each year. He had the DNA analyzed and it was found that the mystery vines were indeed Carmenere.

Recommended Wines – Falernia Carmenere ($17.99), Concha Y Toro Terrunyo Block 12 Carmenere ($34.99), Terra Andina Carmenere-Syrah ($9.99-$10.99)

Segment 4 – Best Buy of the Week

Terra Andina Carmenere-Syrah

Grilos 2012 Dao

February 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

Price: $14.99 IMG_0726

Have you ever done this? Gone into the Liquor Store with a specific purpose like “Washington, red between $12-$16”, and come out with something completely different? That was me this past weekend. I thought I would get something ‘SuperBowl-ish’ from Washington State to show my support for the Seahawks (can you believe that last play call!?). I can’t say what grabbed my attention about this wine, maybe it was the packaging, maybe it was because it looked a little lonely being the only Portuguese wine in a sea of others. Perhaps it was the underdog and I always cheer for the underdog (yes, I’m a Canucks fan. To be one you have to cheer for the underdog).

As I got home doubt had crept in. It was Sunday night, special dinner, had I just wasted $14? How was I going to explain this to my wife and kids if I had. Oh my god what have I done!?

Finally, after a crappy end to the game, the moment of truth arrived.

Tasting Notes Sipping: The colour is medium ruby red and the aromas feature plum, black cherry, just a hint of oak and spice. The palate is of medium weight, fresh, with just a touch of tannin or grip on the finish. Flavours of plum, cherry and some dried herbs. Not very complex for $14.99 hence the dead average rating.

Tasting Notes with Food: Being Super Bowl Sunday dinner was a mish mash of a number of things. There was some proscuitto, some English & Irish cheddar, Spinach Salad, and some leftover pork tenderloin. I tried the wine with each of the ‘tapas’ and I have to say the wine kind of cowered from the food. Given its ‘okay-ness’ as a sipping wine, I really hoping to see it shine through some more, at least with the pork tenderloin and cheese.

Value: This is an okay wine, but I think there are better values in the same price range. In fact if you want Portugal I would go after the Periquita for $9-$10.

Added Value: Given that the wine is a blend of only Portuguese grapes, this is a great wine for the Foodies or to explore. Although for $14.99 it didn’t blow me away, it is well made, there is varietal character and it would interesting for those looking to explore.

More To The Story: The verdict is that the wine was pretty average, thus I don’t feel that I threw my money away, I’m glad I had the experience, however like you I want more for my money, especially as the price of gas seems to be on the rise again.

One thing this wine did do that I have to give it credit for, it was able to transport me to a cafe in Porto that overlooks the Douro river and the many Port houses on the south bank. I saw myself sitting across from my wife on a pleasant late spring day. We were enjoying the sun on our faces, the pleasure of the moment that wrapped together the flavours of the olives, local cheeses, small plates of fish and meats, the view, the pace of the river and of course each other. For this I am greateful to the Grilos.

Score: 5.6  – Dead Average

Service: Pull the cork and let it breathe for 30 minutes or run it through your Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
a couple of times.

Grapes: Touriga Nacional. Tinto Roriz, Joen

Store Section: Portugal

Appellation: Dao

Available: BC Liquor Stores

Alcohol: 13.0%

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January 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 9.0 – Best Buys2015/01/img_0649.jpg

Price: $9.99

About the Wine: The nose shows dried fruits, ripe red berry and delightful spicy, earthy tones. The palate is remarkably complex, complete and lively given the price. The texture is round and soft while the finish features figs and spice and is of medium length.

Value: When I have the choice, and I always do, I would choose Periquita over the likes of Copper Moon Malbec, Barefoot Shiraz and Naked Grape Merlot everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. Periquita is a better match for food and a very enjoyable sipping wine, however my bias has always been to wines that show finesse and completeness over one-dimensional boozy juice bombs. I suggest you save yourself a buck or two over $11-12 California or Aussie reds and red blends.

Added Value: If you want to have some fun when the ‘foodies’ come over, stun them by serving this wine, asking what they think the price is and then showing them the bottle. I’ve done this at Brown Bag parties and it amazes people every time. This wine also shines for BBQ’s, Comfort Foods, Crowd Pleasers and Movie Nights.

More To The Story: Over my years as a buyer and importer I have come to find that the best wines values in the world are often not from the best known regions. Wine from the best known regions is a limited resource and therefore basic economics instead of quality, bumps the price up. However looking in the shadows of the celebrity regions often bears great fruit for a great price. Portugal is just such a place.

Nestled beside Spain and its superstar regions of Rioja and Ribero de Deuro is Portugal. Its most famous wine regions like Duoro, Dao, Alentejo do not enjoy much notoriety outside of the Cork Dork world, but in terms of wine value, that is a good thing.

Red table wines from Portugal have always offered incredible value and are one of the best buys on the market and the Periquita is a great example.

Service: Serve at room temperature and there is no need to worry about breathing this wine. Food wise, I love this wine with anything pork related, even a simple BLT. Grilled pork tenderloin seasoned with some cumin and paprika is not only simple but to die for with this wine.

Grapes: Castelao, Trincadeira, Aragonez

Store Section: Portugal

Appellation: Terras do Sabo

Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine, Liquor Depot, Metro Liquor, Beverly Corners Liquor Store, Firefly Wines & Ales

Buy Online/Delivered To Your Home: Liquor Depot, Everything Wine, Metro Liquor, Firefly Wines & Ales

Alcohol: 13.4%

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