Posts Tagged ‘good value wines at the LCBO’

It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas!

Posted by Julie

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
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You tell me…is it too early to start your festive shopping?  The 23 November LCBO Vintages release features “Our Finest, Holiday Gifting and Premium Spirits” which just put me in the mood to start picking up a few gifts for Christmas.  Since most people I buy for imbibe, it makes my holiday shopping almost one-stop.

While there is no one on my list that will be receiving the Glenfiddich Gran Reserva 21 Years Old Highland Single Malt at $241.95, it would sure make a great splurge for a lover of single malts.  I also did not realize that Spain produces a wine called Alion 2009, DO Ribera del Douro with a dear price tag of $84.95.

Although, I may splurge in a bottle of Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz 2010 (Vintages # 243592, $35.95). I remember featuring this wine at a Savvy Event a couple of years ago and folks literally swarmed my booth for a sample of this nectar or after having tasted it, and then returned for more. In this release, there is also another incredible Aussie red wine from Barossa, called The Holy Trinity by Grant Burge (Vintages# 236257, $29.95). With one sip, my taste buds really did think they had died and gone to heaven!

There are many lovely wines in this release. Just remember when you are shopping for others, it does not hurt to pick up something wonderful for yourself as well.  You deserve it!

Cheers!

Julie

If I had $100 I would buy at LCBO Vintages…

 

Tinhorn Gewurztraminer 2012

VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$24.95 (Vintages #904185)   12.9% alcohol 

I was first introduced to Tinhorn wines when Susan – another Savvy Sommelier – asked me to split a case of some Tinhorn Creek red wines with her. I jumped at the opportunity knowing her expertise for wines in the Okanagan Valley.  And the red wine certainly did not disappoint. I was excited to see this Gewurztraminer white wine and hope more BC wines will make their way to Ontario. Lovely aromas of white blossoms and lychee, some tropical fruit flavours on the palate, a little mango and lime and just cries for a spicy shrimp curry with jasmine rice. That sounds like a dinner party.

 

Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$16.95 (Vintages # 80234)  10% alcohol 

Crisp, fresh and delightful are the descriptors that come to mind when tasting this delicious Riesling. Mind you, I don’t think there are any Featherstone wines I don’t like. This white wine has lots of flint and wet stone  – typical of Niagara area Rieslings  – combined with yellow and green apple flavours, not typical in many Rieslings. It is a delicious afternoon sipper or a great appertif as it could accompany almost any hors’d’oeuvres…stock up for the holidays!

 

Salentein Reserve Malbec 2011

Mendoza, Argentina
$17.95 (Vintages #640854) 14.5 % alcohol 

There’s nothing like those dark inky Malbecs in the heart of winter. In this red wine are aromas of blueberries and spice, lots of black currants on the palate and a little cassis. It has loads of flavour and a tight structure, nice firm tannins but juicy and a peppery, ripe berry aftertaste. I liked it just on its own or can imagine that it would pair nicely with any grilled meat; even with chocolate or a piece of Christmas cake.  Practically takes you through two courses.  Argentina be proud with this outstanding red wine!

 

Montes Limited Selection Pinot Noir 2011

Casablanca Valley, Chile
$14.95  (Vintages #354340)  14% alcohol 

While some folks look at me in horror when I say that it has taken me awhile to cuddle up to Pinot Noir’s, lately, I have discovered some good ones. This light cherry coloured, medium bodied red wine is is quite lovely and smooth. It has smooth mouth coating red fruit flavours with a touch of smoke, a little forest floor pepper and earthiness in the after taste. At 14.95, it is an incredible price point.  Serve with mushroom lasagne…and please put my name on the dinner invitation!

 

Château D’Anglés Grand Vin 2008

AC Languedoc La Clape, France
$20.95 (Vintages #286492)  14.5% alcohol 

How can you go wrong with a blend of 55% Mourvèdre, 35% Syrah and 10% Grenache Noir. These classic grape varietals are used extensively in the Rhone Valley in southern France to make big bold red wines. Rich and heady with leather and smoke aromas this is a red wine combined with dense dark fruit on the palate. Baked fruit pie, stewed plums and Christmas cake spices that linger long after the last swallow. This is one of our all-time favorite blends with a beef stew or lamb shanks. 

 

Grand Total: $95.75

 

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Say ‘Si’ to Argentina!

Posted by Susan

Friday, June 7th, 2013
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The spotlight is shining on Argentina’s Mendoza region – the country’s major grape-growing area – in the June 8 LCBO Vintages release. This is a great opportunity to stock up on value wines, many under $20. The selection includes a creamy Chardonnay from Alamos (only $13.95),  the country’s signature white grape – Torrontes – and a range of varietal red wines and blends showcasing classic red wine varieties such as Malbec and Bonarda. A good example of this red blend is Familia Mayol ‘Quatro Primos’. Look for loads of flavour, attractive complexity, warmth and balance in the wines.

Mendoza – The ‘Wine Capital’

Mendoza, the city, is known as Argentina’s ‘Wine Capital’ and anchors the wine region at the heart of Argentina’s wine production. Wines in Mendoza benefit from the intense sunlight of high altitudes, cool night temperatures that ensure retention of acidity, and dry air that mitigates against disease. Warm temperatures produce well-ripened grapes with plenty of sugar, leading to softer tannins and higher alcohol. The soils are sandy, and flood irrigation has been used for many years (although drip irrigation is making inroads), with the result that phylloxera has not posed a significant threat and many vines can be grown on their own rootstock.

Malbec is perhaps the best known grape of Argentina, a variety that was relatively insignificant as a part of Bordeaux blends in France but has come into its own in Argentina. The deep-coloured, flavourful Bonarda is increasingly making its presence felt in the export market, either in varietal wines or as a significant part of blended red wines.

Looking for a Father’s Day idea?

In addition to wines from Argentina, this Vintages release focuses on high-end Scotch and wines for Father’s Day, including a fine Chardonnay from Coyote’s Run, approachable red wines such as the deLoach Zinfandel, and wines to be cellared such as the Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. My personal choice would be the Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon, a wonderful wine at a very reasonable $29.95.

Rosé wines are here!

For those of us who love rosé for its versatility, and for sipping on a warm summer’s day, peruse the Local Talent feature for some delicious Ontario wines; two of my favorites—Château des Charmes ‘Cuvée d’Andrée’ Rosé and Pondview Cabernet Franc Rosé, appear in our selection at only $14.95!

More great value wines…

And to top it all off, there are more great values, several of which are included among the six wines I have selected below in my shopping list. And if you have some spare change, add to your shopping cart these extras: the full-bodied Côtes du Rhône blend, Les Halos de Jupiter, Rocca delle Macie’s  Chianti Riserva,  the Tedeschi Appassimento, and Lealtanza Crianza, a finely balanced Tempranillo from the Rioja.

Cheers and Enjoy!

Susan

 

Luigi Bosca Pinot Noir 2010

Mendoza, Argentina
$17.95 (Vintages #143420) 12.6% alcohol

With just six months in barrel, this is a very attractive mid-weight Pinot Noir showcasing vibrant red fruits, dried herbs, a hint of cedar and an elusive floral note. Dry and quite juicy in texture, the delicate tannins and lively acidity complement lovely red fruits—cranberry, raspberry and cherry. Touches of spice, toast and earth add complexity through a lengthy dry finish. A versatile wine offering great value, pair it with lighter meat dishes, grilled vegetables or salmon.

13th Street  Winery White Palette 2011

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #207340) 12.5% alcohol

A blend of several perfumed grape varieties, the aromas of Gewürztraminer and Riesling shine through on the nose with notes of spicy tropical fruit, citrus and white flowers. Dry, medium bodied, the wine is fleshy yet fresh, fruity and spicy with a nice slightly pithy note on the vibrant, clean finish. Sip on the patio, or serve with salads or seafood.

 

Château des Charmes Rosé ‘Cuvée d’Andrée’ 2012

 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #333260) 12.5% alcohol

The depth and character of this Pinot Noir rosé is suggested to reflect the personality of matriarch Madame Andrée Bosc. An electric deep rose, it’s wonderfully fragrant with notes of apple blossom, red berry and cherry. Dry, vibrant and mid weight, notes of dried herbs and white pepper add complexity to the luscious red fruit—strawberry, red currant and raspberry. Tangy acidity offers a nice balance to a well-crafted wine that finishes crisp and fruity. A versatile choice that has the heft to pair with a range of foods from strawberry balsamic spinach salad to grilled meats. Stock up and enjoy!

 

Pondview Cabernet Franc Rosé 2011

 VQA Four Mile Creek, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #241802) 13.5% alcohol

Lou Puglisi has done it again, creating a salmon-hued beauty that offers amazing complexity—sweet cherry/berry aromas, honey and toasted coconut—as well as outstanding value. Just off-dry, medium bodied, this is a rosé with presence and a fine tension between crisp acidity and tangy, juicy red fruit. There’s a light touch of spritz on the palate, warmth and intense flavour through the extended finish. Savour it well chilled on the screened porch this summer.

 

Sileni ‘The Triangle’ Merlot 2010

Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
$16.95 (Vintages #586081) 14.0% alcohol

Aged in French and American oak, this is an impressive, value-laden wine serving up complex aromas and flavours. On the nose, dark and dried fruit, vanilla, dried lavender, sandalwood and cocoa. Displaying a firm yet subtle structure, it grabs your attention with a tangy peppery note followed by a rush of dark plummy fruit, notes of licorice and earth. Tasty, well crafted, and well worth cellaring, you’ll want to pick up a few bottles.

 

 

Les Vignes ‘Bila-Haut’ Côtes du Rousillon-Villages 2011

 AOC Côtes du Rousillon-Villages, France
$14.95 (Vintages #168716) 14.5% alcohol

This blend of Grenache and Syrah from Chapoutier is a remarkable value and consistently good from vintage to vintage. Deep ruby, fruit forward, with a kiss of spice and vanilla, it’s dry, round and full bodied. Very approachable, loaded with luscious dark fruit, notes of licorice, pepper and spice add interest and allure. There’s the structure to balance the fruit and a big lip-smacking finish that says ‘bring on the barbequed meat’.

 

Load up  your shopping cart!

Grand Total: $94.70

 

 

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‘Tis the Season for Snazzy Sparkling wines

Posted by Julie

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
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Holiday season is upon us, so it’s no wonder that one theme for this next release on December 8 at the LCBO Vintages features is “Fabulous Fizz”, also known as sparkling wine.

There is nothing more celebratory or inviting than being given a glass of sparkling wine when you go into someone’s home and this release offers all kinds of festive fizz. Of course if you are in for the big splurge there are some new Champagne releases starting at $44.95 going to $299.95 for a rare Dom Perignon Rosé Champagne. My features however show that you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy great bubbly.

Sparkling wine is generally lower in alcohol than many table wines with more delicate flavours to entice the palate. This makes it a great aperitif to serve with hors d’oeuvres, especially salty ones. The bubbles act as palate cleansers which send you reaching for one more nibble. For this reason sparkling wine is also known to be incredibly food friendly from appetizers through to desert. During the Christmas season, I add pomegranate seeds to the sparkling wine which, in a tall flute, makes for a very festive presentation.

So don’t neglect to have a few sparklers on hand. What is not enjoyed before Christmas, can provide some “pop” at New Year’s. There are some new, some old and I am sure you will find one to suit your budget.

Since this will be my last “If I had a $100” blog until next year, I wish you a fabulously, fizzy season.

Cheers, Santé, Salute, Aplausos to my readers!

 Julie

Oyster Bay Brut Sparkling Cuvée

New Zealand
$21.95 (Vintages #163634) 12% alcohol

Some of you may be familiar with the Oyster Bay Chardonnay on the LCBO general list so it was a real treat to see that the winemakers made a sparkler just in time for the Christmas season. Produced with the same finesse that is given to their Chard., this does not disappoint and tastes similar to Champagne, done in the Charmat style. (This is when the wine undergoes a secondary fermention in bulk tanks and is bottled under pressure.) A lovely nose of lemon-lime, fine moussy bubbles with a creamy texture in the mouth feel. It is a lovely sipper on its own with hors d’oeuvres and could easily go to the table to serve with salad and seafood.

Jackson Triggs Entourage Grand Reserve Brut 2008

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$22.95 (Vintages #234161) 12% alcohol

The wine was fermented first in stainless steel tanks and like the above Traditional Méthode or Méthode Classique, it was then aged in the bottle for 3 years before being disgorged (removing the sediment). A blend of Pinot Noir (70%) and Chardonnay 30%) how could it not be anything but elegant and refined? It has a generous mousse (wine speak for lots of tiny bubbles) aromas of white blossoms and almonds, with creamy tastes of apples, citrus and apricots. It’s one classy wine!

Domaine Du Clos De L’Epinay Tete De Cuvée Brut Vouvray 2007

AC, Loire Valley, France
$19.95 (Vintages #298398) 12% alcohol

The Chenin Blanc grape varietal initially hails from the Loire valley of France. It is known for its’ great acidity which means it can be blended, or produced on it’s own in everything from sparkling to still wine to luscious desert wine. This sparkler has lots of “nose” giant flavours of yellow apples, almost a little sweet spice reminiscent of baked coconut pie but dry and a pinch vegetal. All these fabulous flavours dance on the palate with a delicious hazel-nutty finish. Another great partner for seafood appetizers or a fish course.

Masottina Brut Prosecco

DOC, Treviso, Veneto, Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #297838) 11.5% alcohol

I can’t count the number of times I have served Prosecco (and Cava, below) to start a dinner party and this is the new kid on the block. Very pale in colour with a slightly greenish hue, delightfully aromatic; white blossoms and fresh scents of apple and pear, with a slightly edgy taste of citrus on the palate. It sure gets those taste buds moving before sitting down to the main course and is a great all year round sparkler. This would be a fabulous prior to a creamy hot or cold soup, depending on the season. It also goes without saying it’s a splendid beginning to some Italian food.

Naveran Dama Extra Brut Cava 2010

DOC, Spain $17.95 (Vintages #223602) 12% alcohol

Fresh and lively with aromas of tropical fruit and a little spice. A blend of Chardonnay and Parellada grapes gives it a fairly weighty mouth feel for a sparkling wine with lots of bubbles to create lingering fruit flavours on the finish. A great start to a paella dinner or with tapas or just on its own. Lots of flavours and interest, a great value wine.

Grand Total: $ 99.75

(maybe in the New Year I will hit $100.00 spot on)

 

 

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People are talking…about Ontario Wines

Posted by Julie

Thursday, September 13th, 2012
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It is no wonder that the world has started to notice Ontario wines. As seen in this week’s release at LCBO Vintages (September 15), we have much to be proud of. The recent count at the end of 2011, there were just over 130 wineries in Ontario.  And I noticed many new wineries in my recent trips to Niagara and Prince Edward County this summer.

And there is a great buzz amongst wine lovers across the province who are being constantly amazed with the wine made in their own backyard.  Read some of these discoveries on www.lcbogolocal.com or on follow the tweets on #LCBOgoLocal

Most winemakers agree that great wine starts in the vineyard and it’s the soil content that places Ontario wines on the international map. We often see tasting notes on Riesling that mention the zippy minerality in the wine. This is largely due to the soil. Last fall, I spoke at a seminar at the “Taste” festival in Picton and I learned there were over 10 different soil types in Prince Edward County alone. Talk about a challenge for the winemaker.

Ontario wineries produce largely wines made from the Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. With these varietals, sometimes blended with other less known ones,  come some great sparkling wines. The Peller Estate Ice Cuvee Sparkling Rosé, (featured this month at Vintages $35.95) was a winner of a gold Medal at Wine Access 2011 Canadian Wine Awards. Hinterland Winery in Prince Edward County specializes in sparkling wines and most wineries feature a sparkling wine. I recently tasted the Fielding Estates and13th Street “sparklers” which I can only describe as “seriously yummy”.

Niagara’s Stratus Vineyards is the world’s first winery to be given the coveted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green certification. Southbrook Winery’s  “Framboise” can be found at the prestigous Harrods in London, England. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth requested 6 bottles of icewine during her Jubilee Visit to Canada in 2002 from Canada’s Icewine Specialists at the Royal DeMaria Winery in Beamsville.  Ontario produces 75 % of all Canada’s ice wine which can be risky business since production requires the availability of a large enough work force to pick a whole crop within a few hours, often on a moment’s notice.

Niagara’s Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery is Canada’s first fruit winery specializing in wines made from 100% Niagara Peninsula grown tree fruit and berries. We even have a winery that, thanks to its location on Pelee Island, offers a Bird Observatory and another winery that offers tastings in an old caboose, not to mention the one in a converted convent. Many Ontario wineries also have taste-rooms in original homestead barns some of which are architecturally signficant dating back to 1815.

Every year, the serendipity excitment of finding new wine takes me on the Ontario journey. We need not look further than our own backyard. The following wines illustrate that Ontario has it all. I hope you agree.

Cheers and Enjoy,
Julie

Cave Spring Estate Bottled Vineyard Chardonnay Musqué VQA 2009

VQA Beamsville Bench,Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (Vintages #246579) 13% alcohol

This clean refreshing beauty just glistens in the glass. The Chardonnay Musqué is a clone of the Chardonnay grape which means a completely different taste from the latter. While it has aromas of white blossoms, the grapes were vinified in stainless steel that give the wine some grapefruit and green apple flavours. It is slightly off dry, smooth and supple all the way through to the minerally finish. It has solid medium body that could carry you from the appertif to desert, not to mention a thirst quenching sipper on its own.

 

2027 Falls Vineyard Riesling 2011

VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula
$18.95 (Vintages #294041) 11% alcohol

 

Pale in colour and almost watery in appearance, my first introduction to Falls Vineyard is a delicious one. I adore a light coloured wine. The Riesling is slightly herbaceous, lots of wet stone flavours that are typical in a Niagara Riesling with that pinch of lemon lime citrus that take your taste buds on a salivating roller coaster. It is light bodied, a lovely end of summer drink to enjoy with a field tomato salad, some coarse salt and a French stick. Get those taste buds moving !

 

 

 Lailey Vineyard Chardonnay 2010

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$19.95 (Vintages #193482) 13.5% alcohol

Winemaker Derek Barnett has created an elegant labour of love with this Chard. Think of ripe but crisp yellow apples, a pinch of lemon, a tad buttery but fresh, medium bodied with a slightly caramel finish.  Perfect for some baked or grilled tilapia and asparagus and a little soft artisan cheese to finish. It is a beautifully balanced wine, a good price point for this quality and I would be proud to serve this Chardonnay to anyone. A great all season Chardonnay.

Featherstone Cabernet Franc 2010

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$16.95 (Vintages #64618) 13% alcohol

 

Nothing like a bright ruby red wine that shows off aromas of sweet and sour cherries. Only 694 cases produced so do grab one while its on the shelf. It is slightly vegetal, red berry flavours, with a hint of green pepper and tobacco with grippy tannins (this is a good thing).  A fabulous bbq wine to have with meaty burgers or kebobs.

 

Henry of Pelham 2010 Reserve Baco Noir

VQA Ontario
$24.95 (Vintages #461699) 13.5% alcohol

I remember having a prof in Sommelier school that said Baco Noir was only good for making jelly. I wish I could find him now to prove him wrong. The wine is dark and inky with aromas of raspberries, cherries and wood smoke.  Slightly vegetal with ripe chewy tannins that lend interest to the wine and give it a  long lingering finish. Would be fabulous with some sausages or pasta to soak up the bone dry tannins.

 

Grand Total: $96.75

The Ontario wines from this release were a really hard pick. I could have listed all Chardonnay’s but knew that would be uninteresting for you as the shopper. Who besides me would like a basket of Chardonnay wine?  I also like to showcase as many Ontario wineries as possible and plan to do so again next month. Some may also be from this release to help talk “turkey”.

If you do however happen to win the lottery, I tried an Inniskillin Riesling Icewine ($69.95) that won the 2012 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines and a Gold Medal for Best Vinifera Icewine at the The Lieutenant Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines. The honeyed pear and baked apple flavours with just the perfect balance of acidity was really over the top. I’m trying to think of a special occasion that could warrant such a splurge but there are so many Ontario wines that I want to put in my basket, that one will have to wait.

Happy sipping on the remainder of our summer days and nights. Julie

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This wine is a steal!

Posted by Susan

Friday, September 7th, 2012
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Like Chardonnay? Look no further! Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins discovered this Chardonnay from Chile.  After one sip, she raves that this Chardonnay wine made by Cono Sur a great value for the price.  Here’s her tasting notes:


Cono Sur ‘Reserva’ Chardonnay 2011

Casablanca Valley
$12.95
LCBO#270066
13.5% alcohol

Recently released in the LCBO, this wine is a steal. The grapes were harvested from select parcels, 15% of the wine aged 5 months in oak. The enticing nose offers aromas of pear, apple crisp, kitchen spice and a whiff of butterscotch. Medium bodied, fresh and fruity, the crisp apple and lemon/lime flavours carry through on a lengthy lively finish.

 

Enjoy!
Susan

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Two outstanding Chilean red wines

Posted by Susan

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
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At a recent wine tasting featuring Chilean wines, Savvy Sommelier Susan Dejardins learned that the modern wine industry began in Chile during the 1980’s with the arrival of Miguel Torres from Spain. He introduced state of the art technology, including stainless steel fermentation tanks and French oak barrels, and began transforming the vinification process. Chilean winemakers soon followed suit and the wine export industry began to flourish.

Today, winemakers and viticulturalists are searching for new ways to create wines with a unique sense of place, matching vines to soils, introducing new techniques, and planting vines in more challenging areas such as the higher slopes of the Andes.

 

Cono Sur ‘Reserva’ Syrah 2011

Colchagua Valley
$13.95
LCBO#221820
14.0% alcohol

Blended into this deep purple Syrah are small amounts of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère. Aged 12 months in French oak, the rich ripe aromas of berries and black cherries, sweet spice, vanilla and pepper lift from the glass. Dry, mid-full weight, the wine is loaded with ripe dark fruit and the tang of black pepper. Subtly structured and nicely balanced, this is a tasty, approachable, easy-drinking wine.


Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Aconcagua Valley
$18.95
LCBO#606764
14.0% alcohol

Blended with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Syrah, this delicious wine spent 12 months in a combination of French and American oak. Alluring aromas of rich ripe spice-infused fruit, dried herbs and floral notes, cedar and vanilla tantalize the nose. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s satin smooth and mouthfilling. There’s good complexity to the flavours—raspberry and blackcurrant, toasty oak, herbs and spice and a hint of pepper—and a fine balance of round tannins and fresh acidity. On the finish, it’s dry with lingering flavours of spiced fruit. Savour now or cellar short term. This wine was a hit at the wine and food pairing created by Sidedoor’s chef Korecki’s Dry aged striploin with raspberry pepper.

 

Enjoy!
Susan

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Chile’s history in the Making

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
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Chile has a long history of winemaking, dating back to the arrival of Spanish, who found an ideal environment to grow vines. The soil was and is still free of phylloxera (a blight that decimated many of Europe’s vineyards in the late 1800s), and the climate provides the type of growing season that ensures full ripening of the fruit. Wealthy Chilean families looked to France as a model and soon imported a selection of rootstocks, just before the outbreak of phylloxera. In this manner, Carmenère came to Chile, where it prospered, misidentified as Merlot for decades.

Savvy Sommelier Susan Dejardins discovered during a wine tasting this delicious Carmenère red wine that she recommends picking up next time you are at the LCBO

Carmen ‘Reserva’ Carmenère 2011

Colchagua Valley
$11.45
LCBO#169052
14.0% alcohol

Dense and darkly hued, this is an aromatic wine with surprising complexity of aromas—spice, plum, blackberry jam, earth and notes of smoky roasted red peppers. Dry, medium-full weight, the round tannins and soft acidity frame ripe berry fruit garnished with notes of grilled spice, pepper and coffee bean. Another approachable, fruity wine that offers great value.

 

Enjoy!
Susan

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C is for Chile!

Posted by Susan

Monday, September 3rd, 2012
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This week we feature Chilean wines that Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins recently discovered when she was invited to a wonderful tasting hosted by Wines of Chile.

While Susan learned about the country & the culture while sipping & sampling on a range of Chilean wines, the host, Lisa Ulrich of Andros Communications, focused the tasting on Chile’s regional diversity. Susan shares what she learned about this country that is 4,300 km in length and only 177 km at its broadest point & offers recommendations of wines to purchase that are readily available at the LCBO for you to explore Chile too.

Wines of  Chile – Quality and Value in One Great Package

The tasting was held at Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen & Bar in Ottawa’s Byward Market where chef Jonathan Korecki wowed the guests with the visually stunning and fabulously tasty food matches he created for the Chilean wines.

Chile is protected by the Atacama desert to the north, the Pacific to the west, the Andes to the east, and the Patagonian ice fields to the south. These natural features protect the vineyards from pests and disease and provide a geographic diversity that allows for tremendous variation in terroir.  Variations in altitude, the cooling effect of the Pacific currents, healthy well-drained soils all contribute to the success of the wine industry in this country. As a result of a benevolent climate and these natural barriers, Chile has become a centre of sustainability and organic viticulture.

A commitment has been made to a Sustainability Program, which includes close attention to the environment, the people and the economic bottom line. The goal is to be the number one producer of premium, sustainable and diverse New World wines by 2020. Fourteen Chilean wineries have now been certified in the first segment of the Sustainability Code, which pertains to vineyard management processes and management.

With many wines to choose from, here are two Sauvignon Blanc white wines that Susan recommends to pick up at the LCBO:

Errazuriz ‘Max Reserva’ Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Aconcagua Valley
$15.95
LCBO#273342
13.5% alcohol

Sourced from a hillside estate only 12 km from the Pacific Ocean, the wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged 3 months on the lees, providing a silky texture and good volume on the palate. Fragrant with tropical fruit and citrus aromas, this wine also proffers subtle herbal notes. Dry, medium bodied and tangy, the wine offers a lovely balance of refreshing acidity, soft texture and fine underlying minerality. Flavours of passionfruit and fresh herbs mingle on the lasting fresh finish.

 

Quintay ‘Q’ Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Casablanca Valley
$14.95
LCBO#276493
13.0% alcohol

More in the classic New Zealand style of Sauvignon Blanc, there’s bright pungency on the nose with aromas of nettles, herbs, fresh-mown grass mingling with citrus and tropical fruit. Zesty, fresh and vibrant in texture, the grassy notes replay, while grapefruit and passionfruit mingle on a pithy energetic finish. This was a great match to chef Korecki’s Papaya salad with torched albacore tuna sashimi.

 

 

Enjoy!
Susan

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