January 9, 2016 § Leave a comment
There is a ton of jargon in the wine game. Some of it has meaning and some of it seems to simply be there to create an air of exclusivity. This episode of the Dork UnCorked Radio Hour touches on some of the most misunderstood ‘jargon’ that actually has meaning.
Segment 1 ~ In The News
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye seems to have made it’s way back onto a number of BC Liquor Store shelves. As of Thursday Jan. 7, 2015 the only island store to have any was Fort & Foul Bay and at the time the had 5 cases. As of this writing (9am Sat. Jan. 9) Fort St. has sold out but Nanaimo Terminal Park shows 22 bottles.
The word on the street is that more may be arriving in the last week of January or the beginning of February.
Jargon – Glut and Plonk. Carol asks “in previous episodes you used the terms Glut & Plonk. I had an idea of what these mean but I thought I would ask.”
Glut – means more wine is available than there is demand. In the 90’s there was a glut of Australian wine on the market that was eventually sucked up by the Chinese market.
Plonk – a derogatory term suggesting the quality of the wine is far below the price being charged. Typically wines under $10 are often written off as plonk and that is ashame.
Segment 2 ~ Flavour Based Jargon
Terms like minerality, jammy, red fruits are all there to describe what flavours the taster may find in the wine, but often they serve to confuse instead of define.
Minerality – this is a fairly delicate flavour that most found in wines made with Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chenin Blanc and others. The flavour is similar to that which you find in a glass of water that you scooped out of a mountain stream (Petrol is a flavour you would find in the Gorge Waterway).
Red Fruits – typically found in Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc etc, this refers to flavours like raspberry, red cherry, red currants.
Tree Fruits – For white wines like Chardonnay, Viognier and South American Sauvignon Blanc, this refers to fruits like Apples and Pears.
Stone Fruits – This refers to flavours like Peaches, plums and apricots. For white wines you can find these flavours in Moscato, Riesling, Australian Chardonnay. In reds flavours of plums are often found in Merlot, Malbec, Negromaro & Zinfandel.
Black & Blue – this is all about black and blue fruits like blackberries, blueberries and black cherry. Typically found in Malbec, Zinfandel, Primitivo and Syrah/Shiraz.
Segment Three ~ Texture
Texture is all about how the wine feels in the mouth, or on the palate. Wine has sugars, acids and tannins and each contribute to the texture of a wine.
Round/Angular – Deborah had emailed asking if these two terms were contrastive. Deborah, yes they are! In fact most terms regarding texture are. Round means that the acids in the wine have been tamed through winemaking or ageing. One way to look at the difference is the difference between milk and apples. Milk has a creamier, rounder texture, whereas an apple can be more crisp and angular or with edges. Neither is bad in the right context. If you want a round wine like to richer bodied, and often older wines like Merlot, Grenache or oak aged Chardonnay. For angular wines look to younger and generally white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Vinho Verde.
Crisp/Zippy/Vibrant – These are wines which showcase their acidity. This is a good thing. Sparkling wines, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.
Unctuous – This is related to Round, but is a higher level of round. This is a wine that is seems of explode in the mouth and is full flavoured.
Flabby – This is a derogatory term that means the wine doesn’t have enough acid and is more or less grape juice.
Sweet Tannin – Tannin is a component of every wine but it is more prominent in bigger reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Zinfandel. In fact tannin is the reason these are considered bigger reds. Tannin is what gives the wine, and tea for that matter, it’s pucker. You know, that feeling when your mouth wants to pucker up. Tannin reduces over time and is counter acted when paired with ficher, fattier, foods. Tannin is why Cabernet Sauvignon goes so well with a big thick steak. Sweet tannin means that the tannins don’t over shadow and dominate the fruit. They add structure and yet are in balance with the rest of the wine.
Segment 4 ~ Finish/Overall
The finish of a wine is the flavour and texture impressions it leaves you with and for how long.
White wines mostly have a short to medium long finish, and there are not many that are considered to have a long finish. On the other hand there aren’t many wines that offer a short finish. The vast majority have medium or long finishes.
Throughout the show we talked about what is better and the answer is the combination of flavour, texture and finish that makes you go wow. This changes over time, season and the mood you are in. Sometimes a fresh, crisp short finish sparkling is ideal, whereas other occasions require a big, full flavoured, jammy, put you on your ass red. You are the judge of quality and value and no one else.
Best Buy Of The Week ~ Farnese Primitivo $11.49
Thanks for listening and feel free to drop us a line here in the comments or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
August 17, 2015 § Leave a comment
Overall this is a very simple wine to enjoy. It is fruit forward, soft and supple and if you are looking for something easy to go with a simple comfort food meal this is a good choice.
Having said that I personally want a little complexity for my $15. I love a good Merlot and a good Primitivo, and together there is a ton of potential. Outside of the fruit and texture it didn’t do much. Certainly it is better than a number of $15 competitors but is not my first comfort food/pasta choice in this category.
Purchased From: BC Liquor Stores (I suspect this is an exclusive to BC Liquor Stores)
Foods: Pasta, Burgers, Mac N Cheese
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
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PS – if you do try this wine, please let me know what you think by submitting a comment.
January 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 6.9 – Good Drop
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.
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
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