It's $33 and just the fuse waiting for a platter of creamy seafood stew with all the shellfish ingredients you can muster. The razor-like acidity is the catalyst for a gustatory explosion.
The ancient limestone deposits bequeathed by primeval oceans have blessed us with intensely mineral wines delivered to us through 20-year-old Chardonnay vines. Bless 'em! Snag them on-line via lcbo.com
Likewise, on-line for the very different-style Chardonnay from Patz & Hall 2015 grown in California's Sonoma Coast. Upscale at $65, with half a forest of toasty new oak aging and full, rich ripeness of the Golden State. Some new leather notes among the Delicious apple, Anjou pear and Key lime complexity.
For incredibly intense nutty-sweet, dried fruit and dried walnut taste sensations, there's Osborne's 10 RF Oloroso Medium Sherry, $17 on-line. A sipping sensation like few others, especially with fruit pie or my favorite St Agur cheese for dessert. A simply delightful change of pace and guaranteed de-stressor.
For 30 bucks, again on-line at lcbo.com, is a rich, reliable and more-ish red, Tablas Creek Cote de Tablas 2015. Grown in the Adelaida district of Paso Robles, it's a concentration of blackberries, new leather, raspberries, black cherries and a whiff of shoe polish. Stunningly good!
For fans of more herbaceous vino pleasure, there's Nordesia Vermouth Red, $27 for a whole litre, a most elegant clove-citrus oriented aperitif all the way from Galicia, Spain's cool Atlantic northwest corner, on-line again.
Taste a little California history in this bottle named for the founder of Buena Vista winery in Sonoma County: The Count Founders Red 2014. The patriarch was flamboyant adventurer, author, innovator, proto-capitalist and viticulturist Agoston Haraszthy. Hungarian-born, he imported European vines to California where ironically they died of the phylloxera virus that later killed Europe's own vineyards. This visionary pioneered premium winemaking in Cali, dug the first wine cellars, built the first winery of stone.
This Zinfandel blend, $17 in stores, is typical Cali: ultra-fruity, smoky, easy-drinking and great with any barbecue fare.
Fascinating Aussie blend of Shiraz, Cabernet and the more exotic Dolcetto, the junior grape in the Barolo regions of northwest Italy, Heartland Stickleback Red 2014 is pure South Australia value, $15 in stores: silky tannins, smoky-spick and ripe berry flavor profile, easy drinking and very affordable. Think slow-roasted lamb, ribs, BBQ or aged cheeses.
Speaking of Barolo, meet Sordo Gabutti 2012, a 100% Nebbiolo grape-based aristocrat to enjoy now or cellar for a decade. Sinewy is a good way to describe this mineral- leather, rare roast jus flavored work of art, $69 in stores, fair for a Barolo
There's wild strawberry, maraschino cherry, wild flowers and pipe tobacco, too. Paler red color intensity typical of the grape but it packs the power to give huge pleasure with the finest roast, steaks and stews.