Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hunkering Down For The Winter

It's time -- to seasonally adjust your body with some tasty and pleasantly substantial wines: such as Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 from Chateau des Charmes in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

    Nine months in French oak casks add complexity without overpowering the fruit, leaving you with a lightly buttery, melon-apple, and citrus-crisp charmer. It’s a satisfying13.4% alcohol and you can get one for $14.95.

    In the red wine world, the Chateau’s entry-level Pinot Noir 2015 is sourced from all four of the estate’s farms, 13% alcohol, $16.95. 
Elegant notes of cassis, vanilla, cranberry, raspberry and warm earth recall the summer when it was picked. 
    Venturing offshore for sustenance, you could happily go gaucho in Mendoza, Argentina with the lovely Dona Paula. 

    The Estate Malbec and the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, both $16.95, are big, 14.4%, and beautiful. 

    Grown at high altitude, over 1,000 metres, they’re complex and layered with flavors of black fruit, red peppers and spices to match the savoury stews, roasts and steaks we’re now favoring.

    We all know that wines is as old as the hills and the latest guess is that it's 8,000 years old. That's the word from researchers scouring the wilds of Georgia where archeologist Patrick McGovern is unearthing more evidence of ancient grapevines.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Thinking Inside The Box

Four bottles of versatile red
If people trusted a little more in the quality of box wines -- 3 litres of mystery you haven't tried yet -- they'd be buying shiploads of these practical packs.It's a sip too far for most of us to risk. 
    However, I've just come across a wine that's selling a million boxes a year in the U.S. and is available now in Ontario. Bota Box, $42.65. That's around $10 a bottle and it's California Cabernet Sauvignon of a fairly high order. 
    The profile is black cherry, black raspberry, crushed black peppercorns and a hint of cassis, round, fresh and mouth-filling with silky tannins. Not a wine to furrow your brow, a wine to enjoy with a bbq, stew, pasta or pizza
Original Bota, or wine skin of old
on the patio, on the kitchen counter, at a picnic, or anywhere you happen to be --without worrying about breaking the bottle of the bank. The airtight bladder shrinks as the wine is consumed and it'll last a month with this clever container. 
    Speaking of quality, though, there's three generations worth in the friendly wines from Delicato Family Vineyards, grown mainly in Napa, Lodi and Monterey. 
    Among the top ten grape growers in California with 4,200 of their own acres and oodles of long-term contract growers, Delicato offer brands like the tropical/green apple Irony Chardonnay from Napa, $24.95, the more elegant Black Stallion Chard (a few left at $30.95), Noble Vines Pinot Noir 667, $19.95, grown from the famous Dijon Clone 667 from Burgundy (cherry, raspberry, toasty oak), Z. as in Zac, Alexander Brown Uncaged, a terrific Zin for $21.95, Gnarly Head 1924 Double Black, a full-bodied field blend of Zin/Syrah that looks like ancient Port wine in the dark bottle, $19.95, and a light, suave Irony North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon for $24.95. 
    In each case, the grapes are vinified in separate lots before barrel aging and ultimately blending. Good value since 1924.