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Two reds: light & heavy

My new favourite light red is this Angel’s Gate Gamay Noir. I should have posted about it long ago! I’ve probably drunk about six bottles of this alone since I first tasted it — that’s a lot for me. It’s a truly yummy wine: a VQA Gamay with a mild fruity flavour that stands up to some foods and most importantly for me, is sippable on its own in the evening.

AngelsGateGamayI wouldn’t drink this with spicy foods or really powerfully acidic foods, because it lacks bite, but I’ve had it on pizza night and I’ve had it on comfort-food nights and it’s great that way. I hate the bottle: my good corkscrew kind of slips on the overly-rounded lip. But I’m getting the hang of it, and it’s worth it.

Because I love this Gamay so, so much, I tried their Süssreserve Riesling recently — it was not as much of a hit. With a name like that, I expected to basically be sipping pear nectar; but it was more like a really generic Pinot Grigio than an off-dry Riesling. So, not everything from Angel’s Gate is necessarily a home run. But this Gamay is really hitting the spot when I want the flavours I love from a light red, but not the zingy/tangy feel of, say, a Beaujolais. This is a light red that’s lasting me through the winter. Yum!


Meanwhile, I did also want some variety recently (it was SO COLD OUT! who’d want to drink “light” anything?), and decided to try again with the bigger reds. I’ve loved several of Cono Sur’s wines, and the price is right, so thought I’d try their Syrah (Reserva edition). You can’t go wrong with bicycle wine, right? Right, at least this time. I really enjoyed the Syrah, though fair warning: it will turn your teeth as blue as the Farnese Montepulciano. In the glass, it’s extremely grape-juicey, with an opacity that is shocking to someone like me who’s more accustomed to lighter varieties. Still, it was very appealing, and robust without any of the tendencies that are “downsides” for me (leathery, moldy, smoky, earthy flavours in really noticeable amounts turn me right off). I would buy it again for drinking AT HOME ALONE ONLY. Especially with a meaty or spicy meal, since it has a lot of flavour but is still smooth and not too tannin-y. (Sometimes I feel like tannic flavours make spicy food in particular just unpleasant — everything is too harsh! But this would be a great complement, IMO.)



3 responses »

  1. I have yet to go wrong with bicycle wine. Cono Sur is my desert island wine, for sure!

    Also, that Angel’s Gate has also been on my to-try list for ages (just like Ashley’s post).

  2. Agreed on the Süssreserve Riesling – not my favourite. Gamay is the same grape used to make beaujolais, right? It goes to show how much difference location (er, “terroir”) can make in how the actual wine turns out. Have you tried Malivoire’s gamay? It’s often in the LCBO and it’s really yummy.

    The Cono Sur syrah is nice. I didn’t try it until I realized that syrah and whatever the Australians do with shiraz aren’t the same experience (not a fan of shiraz).

    • Yes, same grape, totally different wine. I suppose in addition to all the differences caused by the region/climate/soil/blah, grapes that have been growing here for a long time could have just changed over time to be quite different from grapes growing over there! This Gamay feels like only very distant relative to any Beaujolais I’ve ever had.

      And ditto on the Shiraz/Syrah thing… technically they are supposedly exactly the same (or so I keep reading) but I feel like at this point when companies decide whether they’re going to call their wine Shiraz or Syrah, they all seem to choose based on the same aesthetics (call a big overblown earthy version Shiraz, call a more middle-weight fruity version Syrah?!?). Odd. I’m glad I took a leap on the Cono Sur.


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