della Valpolicella Classico
Hanwood Cabernet Sauvignon 2000
House Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc
Riesling Reserve Henry of Pelham Family Estates Winery
Rita Chardonnay Reserve Vina Santa Rita
This is one of those
special moments wine - you probably can’t afford to
drink this every night, but for Valentine’s Day or another
special occasion, you may want to splurge on this one. It’s
truly worth it!
della Valpolicella Classico
by Tommasi - Viticoltori
1997 (DOC) - Product of Italy
Lots of raspberries and
other ripe red berry fruit flood flood your nose as well as
some spice and lovely vanilla aromas. Beautifully balanced
on the palate with ripe tannins and excellent acidity. Long
We drank this with filet
mignon and a mushroom ragout delicately flavoured with cream
and tarragon, both accompanied by steamed asparagus. It was
a perfect complement. This wine is so delicious, it could
be a meal in itself!
Last November, a friend
and I visited the Wine and Food Show at the Congress Centre.
If you’ve never been, it is a MUST visit for those of
you interested in wine. It showcases a huge array of wine
producers from around the world and a good selection of wineries
from the Niagara area. We sampled a lot of wines, including
an amazing scotch! (that’s the idea!), and this wine,
which is great value for the price. It is 76% Zinfandel and
24% Shiraz grapes. Lots of ripe red berry fruits on the nose
combined with blueberry and vanilla and the powerful peppery
spice that ones expects from a Zinfandel. A well balanced
wine with a lovely finish. We drank it the other night with
chicken thighs simmered in an exotic sauce (salsa seasoned
with cinnamon and cumin and sautéed onions) served with rice
and oven-roasted carrots. It would also pair well with grilled
meats. This wine is part of the Kendall-Jackson Collage
line which also includes a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot.
If you like this one, you might want to try the others too.
month is "Aussie Month" at the LCBO. Considering the popularity
of Australian wines in North America and in Canada in particular,
sales are sure to be a success. Just about anyone familiar
with Australian wines is familiar with such names as Lindemann’s
and Rosemount Estates, but there are other wines available
that are very delicious and worth trying. And, as always Michael
and I enjoy trying new ones. We recently tried this one, McWilliams
Hanwood Cabernet Sauvignon, which we found to be quite
delicious and wasn’t overpowered by the usual oak that
is so characteristic of many Aussie wines. This is a rich
red wine filled with lots of ripe red fruit, cassis, pepper
and spice as well as vanilla and oak on the nose and the palate.
The wine has a nice balance of tartness and acidity with a
long finish. It would pair very well with hearty meats such
as grilled lamb or steak.
alcohol Sale Price: $11.45 (save $1) until April 27
produces some excellent wines and one attractive feature about
wines from this country is that they only release the wine
for sale to the consumer when they deem it to be properly
aged. Here’s one we think you’ll enjoy that is
decently priced and quite enjoyable. It is a Crianza-aged
wine (probably aged one year in an oak cask and one year in
the bottle) and a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon-Tempranillo-Merlot
grapes. We found it to have a lovely aroma of vanilla, oak,
ripe red berries, and hint of spice and leather. On the tongue
we tasted all these aromas plus some tartness. Medium to strong
tannins and a long finish. It would pair well with typical
Spanish-type cuisine such as paella or tomato-based meat dishes
with lots of garlic and even BBQ’d steak.
you know that Sauvignon Blanc is the grape that put New Zealand
on the wine map? Some wine connoisseurs believe that New Zealand
makes the best SB's and we personally agree that they make
superb wine. This month's pick is a lovely, light bodied crisp
white wine with intense aromas of sweet peaches, apricots
and tart gooseberries melded together with grassy notes. It
has a long tart and crisp finish with good acidity. It would
be very enjoyable on its own on a hot summer evening or with
fish or shellfish. You can find this product in the Vintages
section at the LCBO.
Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc
Waipara, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol $15.90
good cork screw is a must-have for any wine lover and we've
been on the lookout for one for a long time. We finally
found what we were looking for this past weekend in Quebec.
It is made by "Pulltaps" and we highly recommend it. The
handle is curved to fit beautifully in your hand, has a
screw that doesn't damage the cork, a serrated knife for
removing the foil and a double-jointed lever that can easily
remove the cork. Although I've never seen one like it here
at the LCBO, you can buy it for $9.95 at the SAQ in Quebec.
As Hull is just a hop, skip and a jump from Ottawa, take
a look for one next time you're in the neighborhood.
a wine note, we "initiated" our new corkscrew by opening
a bottle of this dry Canadian Riesling made by Henry of
Pelham Estate Winery. This refreshing wine has a lovely
pale straw colour with aromas of mild petrol, green apples
and cantaloupes. We found it to be well balanced with good
acidity and a tart crisp clean finish. Enjoy it this summer
with fish or shellfish, poultry, appetizers or even on its
own. It would pair very well with the Gravad Lax featured
of Pelham Family Estates Winery
in recent years has been producing some superb wines at very
good value. Here's one that is reasonably priced that Michael
and I think you will enjoy. It's a medium bodied wine with
notes of grapefruit and tropical fruits melded with vanilla
and oaky tones. Delicious with grilled chicken and seafood.
We also enjoyed it on its own.
Rita Chardonnay Reserve
remember before Michael and I took our first wine course
at Algonquin College several years ago, both of us really
liked those big oaky whites from Australia. We thought they
were just terrific, and actually so do a lot of people.
In fact did you know that one producer from Australia makes
the largest selling brand of chardonnay in the world. However,
since taking the course neither of us can stomach these
big oaky wines anymore - we find the oaky taste overpowers
the delicate fruit aromas and flavours. And so, this month,
we're featuring a chard from Australia that has a more balanced
taste because it's only been aged a short time in oak barrels.
This one has a minerally rather than an oaky character combined
with aromas of honeydew and stone fruit. It has a creamy
texture and a clean finish. Enjoy it with a variety of dishes
from mild to spicy foods. It's also great on its own.
of South Eastern Australia
is a medium bodied rather elegant red wine made from Grenache
grapes blended with Syrah and Mourvedre. We found this wine
to be quite fruity with lots of red berry flavours and a nice
taste of black pepper. As this wine sits (if it lasts that
long in your glass!) it becomes very pleasantly jammy in flavour.
It would pair well with pasta dishes as well as lamb, veal
and chicken in richly flavoured sauces.
is a lovely wine that pairs well with a range of foods.
Unfortunately, Rieslings frequently take a back seat to
the extremely popular Chardonnays, but if in doubt as to
what type of wine to serve with a meal, a Riesling is most
often a safe choice. Chards, depending on their method of
production, can be very oaky and buttery and overpower or
even clash with the meal. Rieslings on the other hand, carry
enough acidity to cleanse the palate and allow you to enjoy
the flavours of the food.
and I really enjoy this one from Cilento Wines in Woodbridge,
Ontario. If you're ever in the Toronto area, take a drive
up Hwy 400 and visit their facilities. They are producing
some stunning wines, frequently winning medals at National
and International wine competitions. You'll find this one
(as well as their Riesling Reserve 2000) to be an excellent
buy (both are the same price). This wine is dry tending
toward off-dry and carries an intense aroma of petrol (a
characteristic trait) as well as tart pink grapefruit and
hints of tropical fruits. Very good acidity with a crisp,
clean long finish. Yum!
VQA Niagara Penninsula
11.5% alv, $10.95
and I think the quintessential after-dinner drink is a great
glass of port. The one we've chosen this month is a 10 year-old
tawny port from Portugal. It's an elegant medium bodied
wine with flavours of dried fruits, nuts and caramel and
has a lovely warm finish. Serve with a delicious crème brulée
or an almond tart, or as the Portugese do, just on its own.
Otima 10-Year Port
alv, 500 ml
Product of Portugal
and I are always on the search for good value wines. And
it's not easy. But, one winery, Penfold's Wine
in South Australia has been producing some very interesting
and delicious tasting blends, including this one that we
think is big, rich and plummy. It has a lovely earthy aroma
with lots of deep red fruits mingled with oak, black pepper
and vanilla. A full bodied wine with a long finish. We drank
it with barbequed rare rib-eye steak and found it to be
delicious. It would also match well with full-flavoured
stews, chili, pasta with a tomato-meat sauce, roast duck
or goose with a cherry sauce, or herb- and mustard-crusted
Koonunga Hill 2001
(52%)-Cabernet Sauvignon (48%)
$17.99 (Sask); $14.95 (Ont)
Product of South Eastern Australia
and I purchased and test drove this straightforward California
Cabernet Sauvignon from the Woodbridge line. A blend of 88%
Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Zinfandel, 3% Syrah, 2% Merlot, 2%
Cabernet Franc it's filled with aromas of red berry fruit,
plum and cassis mingled with hints of vanilla and spice. We
found it to be a full bodied wine with a lovely long finish.
A glass or two would taste delicious alongside a rare grilled
steak, chicken dishes prepared with a red wine sauce, or pepper
Product of U.S.A.
750 ml $14.95 (Sask) 1500 ml $27.00 (Ont)
Robert Mondavi Winery)
often an experiment to try to match wine with food. Sometimes
you think you intuitively know exactly which wine will match
a certain food, and then surprise, you're wrong. Our first
guess for a match with the Linguine recipe above was a Farnese
Sangiovese Daunia 2000 . It seemed a logical
choice given the Italian twist on the dish, but when we
actually tasted it with the pasta, the sauce only accentuated
the peppery rough character of the wine and made it overpowering,
even bitter tasting. This wine is better suited to tomato-based
sauces where it really shines.
we tried it with a Mission Hill Family Estate Cabernet-Merlot
2000 and found that it complimented the food beautifully.
The tannins in this wine stood up very well to the sauce
without overpowering it. Made with 46% Cabernet Sauvignon,
33% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot grapes, this is a well
balanced wine with flavours of rich dried cherries, cassis
with vanilla and black pepper notes. It has a long finish.
This wine also paired exceptionally well with citrus and
black pepper-crusted salmon fillets with a balsamic-maple
Hill Family Estates
(Sask); $13.45 (Ont)
Courtesy: Mission Hill Winery)
kangaroos and... Shiraz. Like crocodiles and kangaroos,
the word Shiraz is synonymous with Australia and with good
reason, Aussies make some of the best in the world. The
other evening, Michael and I enjoyed this one that was excellent
value. Wyndham Estate 2001 Bin 555 Shiraz came
with a good mouthful of fruit, a good measure of vanilla,
and hints of black pepper and spice. A well balanced medium
to full-bodied wine with a smooth rich finish. Lots of good
tannins without being overpowering. All and all, very enjoyable.
Try it with BBQ'd beef or lamb.
Estate Bin 555 Shiraz
$16.95 (Sask); $14.60 (Ont)
Great Canadian Chard According to a recent wine column
by Rod Phillips, wine columnist for the Ottawa Citizen,
there are some wine lovers who won't go near a bottle of Canadian
wine. We have a couple of friends who think just like that.
Our friend Xav, swears that B.C. wine is the worst - boy does
he have another thing coming! Another friend, Erina who a
real wine lover, also dislikes Canadian wine, so we always
get a charge when we serve it and she says, "Hey, this is
great. What is it?"
been on the lookout for a decent chardonnay lately. Personally,
we don't really want to pay more than $12 to $14 for a bottle
of wine, unless of course, it's a special occasion. But
finding one (we're talking Saskatchewan prices - Ontarians,
figure our estimate to be about $2 less), has proven to
be really difficult. Some are overly oaked but our biggest
complaint is that the finish is really bitter - to us a
demonstration of poor quality, mass produced wine.
we've found one that is within our set price range
and really proves to be great value for the money. Cave
Springs in the Ontario Niagara region produces one of our
favorite wines, Riesling Reserve - a very dry and
wonderful wine. This chardonnay is one of their's - a pretty
wine that is very nicely made. Well balanced with a buttery
finish but no excessive oak. Personally, we think this is
a keeper. It was steel fermented with 20% aged in French
and American oak. It has lovely aromas of tart green apple,
honey dew, and mild mineral notes. The finish is crisp
and buttery with good acidity. Hey... and for once Saskatchewan's
price is less than Ontario's!
Spring 2000 Chardonnay
$11.96 (Sask); $12.95 (Ont.)
we eat spaghetti with meat sauce or food in a flavourful
tomato base, we love a rougher more robust wine. Italy has
plenty in that department, including this blend of 60% merlot
and 40% sangiovese. This is a very earthy wine with aromas
of ripe berries and anise. The merlot softens the sangiovese
grape producing a wine with medium tannins and one that
is nicely balanced. Medium to full-bodied.