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Tag Archives: white

Hurray for Vouvray!

I was looking for a wine to take to a fancy pot luck dinner party. I was assigned the cheese course, and it’s next to impossible to pair a wine with cheeses (plural).  One cheese, sure, but four cheeses from mild to sharp is tricky. So I searched, and the internet told me if you need one wine to rule them all (bottom) go with something like an off-dry Riesling.Clos le Vigneau Vouvray 2012

Before settling on a Riesling at the LCBO, I passed by the French section and saw a white with a recommendation note from the staff on it. It was a Vouvray, which..what? To the Googles!  Ok, so Vouvray is made in the Loire Vally with chenin blanc grapes, and it comes in dry, off-dry and sparkling. This 2012 Clos le Vigneau Vouvray has a sugar content of 13 g/l, which puts it into the off-dry category, and was described as “concentrated and full-bodied, with a long, delicious finish.” Done.

Sweetness Weirdness: The LCBO has “extra dry” on the web page, which doesn’t make sense to me at all. A couple of years ago they did change how they describe sweetness, but I think this one’s a mistake because I don’t see how anyone could get extra dry out of this. I had this happen with a rose in the summer. It was listed as “dry” but drinking it was like sucking on a  jolly rancher. I returned it. Anyway…


Delicious! I love this wine. It was the best wine of the evening. I love that it’s a richer white that isn’t chardonnay, with lots of flavour, and the touch of off-dry really did work well with the cheeses (well, three out of four…I don’t think anything was really going to go with “Old Grizzly”, an aged Gouda that bites back). It’s at the upper end of my weekend wine scale, but there are also a couple of other Vouvrays in stock for a bit less, so I’ll definitely try another one soon.



“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.

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.

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.

New Look for Aveledo Vinho Verde

Hey, remember when I wrote about Aveledo Fonte Vinho Verde and made fun of the cheesy label? Clearly the Aveleda people were reading my post (clearly), because when I went to buy a bottle last week I discovered that it now looks like this. Much better, eh? I kind of miss the lad in tights, though.

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.