You know that Canada has really come of age when we grow an Ontario wine called Apologetic Red to go with our very own Wildass Merlot.
The Foreign Affair Winery in Niagara brings you a whole magnum of medium-sweet red featuring (what else?) a moose saying Sorry! Cabernet Franc grapes partially dried and concentrated Valpolicella-style deliver raisiny-rich, chocolatey-cherry sipping pleasure: very OK with smoky BBQ fare, hard cheeses and ham (90). $159.95 for 1500mL.
The Wildass? From top-drawer Stratus Vineyards, also Niagara, this critter’s far more elegant, drier and better priced at $16.95 in a wild strawberry, black pepper, blackberry and cocoa vein. For the really good steaks (92).
For an excellent white for the 150th, Hidden Bench Estate has a finely oaked $29.95 Chardonnay that’s stony and crisp, sporting fresh orchard fruit and fine minerality (91). That, along with Southbrook’s peach-apple-pear-nuanced Triomphe Chardonnay, $24.95, (92) and you’ll be well prepared for big birthday bash.
There are also some come-from-aways of note: white wine magic is grown in Margaret River, western Oz and it’s Vasse Felix Filius, $24.95, a crisp lime-lemon, white grapefruit-style Chardonnay that’s subtly toasty and majorly pleasant (89).
Tahbilk, a longtime Australian wine import from Central Victoria is actually 7 years older than Canada! Used to be called Chateau Tahbilk. The newly arrived Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre blend is $24.95. Polished Rhone-style dry red with ample depth, character and length (91). Licorice, raspberry and bitter chocolate are the charm.
From Umbria, Italy, Signae Montefalco Sagrantino, $27.95, is intense new leather, licorice and blackberry-cherry red wine pleasure (91). Many happy returns!
* Slogan of the week: Because You Can – from mason jar maker Bernardin.