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Lamadrid: Great Value from Argentina

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Just a quick post to point you toward an Argentinian winery that delivers great value. We’ve had a few different wines from Lamadrid and every one has been delicious. However, now that I’ve visited the website for the first time I may have trouble forgiving them for what’s on the front page. Behind each door of our inner self, there is an objective, a goal that blinds and seduces by the glare of their flame… What is happening?? Is the wine behind the door? Is the wine the objective? Is the wine glaring at me? I’m confused!

ANYWAY, the wine is much better than the website content. We’ve had the Bonarda ($14.95), the cabernet sauvignon ($14.95), and the riserva cabernet sauvignon ($17.95), and all are very tasty.

It looks like all three are still in stores. Buy some!

Rich reds

Normally I go for the fruity, berry reds. But I must have been feeling red-deprived over the summer, because as soon as the first hint of fall arrived, I wanted something big and strong. The Pelee Island Cabernet Franc fit perfectly.

It’s a bit sour, and not what I would call a sipping wine, but it was great with food (yes, even my steak-less vegetarian food), and definitely made me happy that fall was here. I’ll be getting this one again.

(Yes, technically Billy’s Best calls this a “rustic red”. Felt pretty rich to me.)

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.

Beach House Rosé (eh)

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The Wine: Beach House Rosé from South Africa.

I’ll admit it – I started drinking Beach House because of the label. (Marketing people: a starfish will get me every time.) But I keep drinking it because I like it. (Some day I will post about Beach House White, another under-$10 I enjoy.) The rosé, though, we tried tonight for the first time.

The tasting notes for the rosé from the LCBO say “clear bright coral colour; strawberry and cherry aromas; medium body with ripe berry flavours and balanced acidity”.

I love the colour, it’s beautiful to look at, and I definitely get the (delicious) cherry and strawberry smells, but I don’t get an overwhelming berry taste. It’s got a deeper flavour, somehow, than other rosés I’ve tried, and I love it. And at $8.95 a bottle how can you go wrong?

As the spouse says: “it’s not quite a white, and it’s not quite a red, but man!”

The Whine: It’s seasonal, and is only available in limited quantities. I recommend trying it while it’s available!

Vinho Verd-eh?

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It’s fun, it’s spritzy, it’s $8.95 a bottle! Or, if you shop at the SAQ in Quebec you’ll pay $11.30 (suckers). This Aveleda Fonte vinho verde from Portugal is slightly fizzy, dry, and highly drinkable at only 10% alcohol. It’s zippy, zingy, tingly, and refreshing. I mostly get citrus from it…maybe some green apple, too. It’s a delightful summertime patio wine.

The LCBO website suggests serving it with oysters, grilled shrimp or deep fried calamari. If you come to my house you’ll be having it with party mix from Costco (it’s fun, it’s crispy, it’s $6.95 for a giant bag!)

Yes, it has a cheesy label. But it’s nice to know that if I go to Portugal a young man wearing tights and a puffy shirt will serve me vinho verde poured from whimsical fountain while I lounge at his feet.

You should plan on drinking it in one go, or  at least within a day or two, because it loses its spritz if it sits opened for too long. Give it a try! If you’re having a party, the magnum is only $15.95.

Greek white!

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Out for dinner at a Greek restaurant on Danforth the other day, the smooth-talking waiter convinced us to try the “greatest new thing, not yet on our wine list!” Restaurant wine prices always give me the heebs, especially since I know quite a few of the standby low-price LCBO items, and it can be tough to pay $7/glass when you know the bottle itself is only $7.95 (I’m looking at you, Farnese). ANYWAY. That’s what you get if you’re buying in a restaurant, and I flat-out asked the waiter what the bottle would cost; it was in line with the low range on their menu, so what the heck. (Image hunting reveals that the bottle we had seems to cost less than 4 Euros from overseas stores, so I’m betting that even with shipping the restaurant makes a killing charging over $30, but again: ANYWAY. I drank it, didn’t I? I sure did.)

This Tsantali Makedonikos White ($9.80) from the LCBO isn’t EXACTLY what we had; ours was called Tsantali Makedonikos Athiri (so I’m guessing it was a varietal they imported, while the LCBO carries a blend?). But for under $10 you could try this, especially if you are feeling cheap (or hot, like so hot you might put an ice cube in there, or start spritzering it with tonic water, or just pour it over your head if it’s coming right out of the fridge) and bored with the usuals. It was really perfect for lightening up the muggy-as-doom evening and the heavy food.

Yet more pink: Sibling Rivalry

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I haven’t tried the Red or White versions from this Henry of Pelham “hip and cool” branded offshoot, but I decided to sample the Pink, and I like it! More flavourful than the extra-dry rosés below, but not as sweet as Yellowtail’s, it seems like a really good balanced all-purpose rosé, especially for sharing with people you think might be wary of an off-dry, but when you want the “pop” of flavour and not just a summer white. At $13.95 it’s in my “mid-price” range (hilariously). But that and the kicky marketing also means I’d be comfortable bringing it to someone’s house who I couldn’t trust to understand that I don’t mean my $10 bottle as a diss, but a compliment to their tastebuds’ ability to overlook a price tag.

Worth trying!