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Monthly Archives: September 2012

“Late Autumn Riesling” – three words designed to appeal to me

I was telling a couple of you last night that I saw this in the store and said to myself, “What a wonderful idea!” and then took it home and put it beside… the bottle of it I already had at home. Doh!  Good thing it’s quite lovely.

I gave it a sniff before drinking and if someone had told me it was pear cider, I’d have believed them. Fortunately, it tastes better than just flat pear cider. It’s a 2 sweetness, so it doesn’t have a lot of bite, but now that it’s cold in the house I’m fine with that. There are a ton of beautiful fruit flavours. Compare to what I think of as the quintessential autumn white, which is a vidal, and there’s a lot more going on here than in any comparably-priced Vidal  I’ve had (not that I’ve had them all or anything). I drank this with fish (please feel free to imagine a classy homemade lake trout with some sort of delicate sauce rather than frozen battered haddock). And leftover chocolate cake. Better with the former than the latter.

$10.95 LCBO.

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Fall red, label pandering edition

Cattail Creek Catastrophe Series – Red, $13.95 at the LCBO. I usually try to be immune to cute/trendy labelling, but they got me with these cats. Actually, the bottle I bought has quite a different label — a sleeker, black-on-black silhouette, rather than the cuddly black kitties on white shown here and on the winery website. In my defense, I also chose it because it was on the VQA “Wines to Watch” display with a tempting description. 🙂

This is a nice light dive-back-into-reds wine (and I bet it would be a good spring red, too). The site says “A blend of Gamay Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc creating a crowd-pleasing, medium-bodied red wine with flavours of black cherry, raspberries and vanilla with just a touch of mint on the finish.” I don’t get the mint or vanilla, but it’s very tangy without being too sweet or too light (I drank it with a heavy pasta meal). It’s very clean and refreshing for a red, but it’s definitely RED in flavour, which makes the colour in the glass all the more surprising. For the first glug or so I thought maybe I’d accidentally bought a rose! Observe (yes, that’s pie for dessert):

It’s pale!

A bit of the money from the sale of the Catastrophe wines goes to help rescued cats, which I’m a huge fan of, so there’s that too.

Non-LCBO wine whine

A couple of days a week lately you can stalk me at C’est What, where they serve the owner’s Silver Peak wines, which I don’t think are available at the LCBO. It couldn’t be more local, though — the winery’s located in Oakville (I drive by the sign a lot but have never been). They don’t even seem to have a website! This is a ridiculous post. However, I’ve tried a couple reds recently and wanted to write up my favourite so far: the Baco Noir. It’s a completely perfect in-between-season drink, IMO: something like a Beaujolais but with a bit more depth, with the vinegary tang that sometimes jumps out of a Beaujolais-Villages… but again, with more deep flavours. If someone put sour cherries in your Pinot Noir and aged it for a year? Or just added a touch of sweet balsamic vinegar to your bog-standard popular Cab Whatever? I’m having trouble here. But I liked it A LOT.

I may try it a few more times at the restaurant and then… maybe I need some direct from the source!

(NB There’s a California Silver Peak as well — I don’t think they’re at all affiliated, but it’s confusing.)

Best-ofs: Another off-dry Riesling

Fielding Estate, Lot No. 17 Riesling

The Fielding regular Riesling is good, too, and more reasonably priced (usually about $16 I think); the Lot 17 pushes up to about $25. However, this is amaaazing and I get to drink it from time to time at a friend’s house where they buy it up in bulk. For the price, I’d rather have 1.5 bottles of Lingenfelder; but it’s really a wonderful wine. Quite complex while still qualifying as a “light” white; lots of identifiable flavours and scents from the pears/apples/light woods family. It always seems a shame to drink it with food, because there’s so much going on and it’s lovely to sip, going from very refreshing to more mellow as it warms up to room temp. Great gift wine if you need something truly nice for someone who’ll appreciate it.

Last pink for a while?

This might be the last pink wine for a while… I’ve been craving reds like I’ve been craving fall. 🙂

This, bizarrely, tastes almost like a Wild Vines type of thing. After my first sip, I went back to the fridge & checked the bottle to see if it was raspberry flavoured or something. So it’s definitely… not for everyone/every situation. But I enjoyed it with a very spicy sausage dinner, and certainly a second glass to sip with some after-dinner comfort TV was pretty much perfect (except I was cold, it is already so cold in the house). It occurred to me that you could add a really tiny amount of token fruit to this and call it rose sangria without waiting for the fruit flavours to blend their way in. That might have seemed more appealing in July.

Beachhouse Bingo

I like many more wines (and varietals) than I used to. I don’t know if it’s because my palate is expanding, or because I’m less picky than I used to be (wine is good!). So it’s interesting to me when I hit something I don’t really like. Which isn’t to say that the Beachhouse Sauvignon Blanc Semillon is terrible, it’s just not exciting. Give it a pass.