Thursday, October 26, 2017

My November 11 Vintages Picks

What's old is new again (again!): Mead, one of the world's most ancient fermented beverages, is BACK, and that's why we have to protect the bumble bees from the nasty neonic pesticides that are wiping them out!

    Rosewood Mead Royale Honey Wine is a divine half litre of sweet stuff, aged in French oak barrels yet, for a mere $16.95. Less than the ancient Romans and Greeks would have shelled out for this ambrosia of peach, white flowers, roasted hazelnut, ginger and caramel pleasure. Historically fermented with water, spices, grains or hops, it makes the perfect medium-sweet sipper or elegant apres-diner closer to a fine meal. Grown in Canadian hives, too. 

    Reminds me of me favorite license plate; BZBZBZ, on a courier van! Also up there as a sweet pleasure is Noble One Botrytis Semillon from De Bortoli in Riverina, New South Wales, Oz. Another one for the Barsac/Sauternes crowd who'd love to afford priceless Chateau Yquem: a quirk of nature from grapes desiccated and intensified by Noble Rot (botrytis, looks hideous, tastes great). $29.95 for 375mL. After dinner, save a mint, literally, and it's not cloying, it's uplifting. Almost worth emigrating to Australia for... 

    Speaking of apres-diner, if something more bracing is your pleasure, there's Glenfarclas 21-year-old Highland Single Malt. It does have a hint of honey and a fino Sherry in its approach although the impression right behind that is that your mouth has been set aflame for a few minutes of BBQ flavors, malt and mocha. And that's OK, although it'll cost you $146.95. There was room and board for quite a while at the distillery. 

    If all that leaves you dry, let's talk Riesling, Henry of Pelham Estate 2013, a star value! This Ontario VQA from Niagara should really have a German passport! The profile is so classic Mosel, petrol, slate, green apple, and lime citrus, just off-dry, that the label should say Heinrich der Pelham. It's great! $17.95, even better.

    Just for the label, The Goatfather, $14.95, is worth trotting out for your next party and the guests will actually like the dry Italian style red. The grapes are grown in South Africa by the guy who makes Goats Do Roam just to tick off the uber-protective French (Cotes du Rhone??) 

    Monterra is a juicy and affordable Pinot Noir from the Adelaide Hills, $19.95. Has a delicate fruitiness, a touch of sweet beets and truffles. Great with any kind of mushroom dish. 

    Mr Black's Concoction is a Rhone-style GSM grape blend: that's Grenache, Syrah and Mataro (aka Mourvedre) and it's big on raspberry, strawberry, smoke, even a little tar, and savoury earth notes. Delicious $24.95, from Small Gully Wines.

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