Posts Tagged ‘paiara’

O Pensador, Value Red Wine from Portugal

February 24, 2010

The Thinker, the famous sculpture by Auguste Rodin has inspired a wine version, from Alentejo, Portugal. The wine is called “O Pensador” (from pensar, to think) and comes conveniently packed in a 3 liter bag-in-a-box format. Price wise it competes against the cheapest. Three liters mean 4 bottles. At 33 dollars it comes to be $8 + change per bottle, a real bargain for the quality.

O Pensador is a blend of Portuguese grapes, driven by Aragones and Trincadeira, plus 10% Touriga Nacional, Portugal’s best, commonly used for Port.  The other 10% is Cabernet Sauvignon. I always find it fun to taste a good wine made of something other than the Cabernet-Merlot-Shiraz triumvirate, or the currently ubiquitous Malbec.

Expect a coffeeish nose followed by an easy drinking fresh-fruit flavored somewhat lower alcohol (13%) wine. The kind you can drink without pocket guilt. Also, the kind you can drink more of in less time, which is always fun. Try that with a 14.5-15% malbec or shiraz and you will know what I am talking about. I feel inclined to say it is my new favorite under 10 dollars, after a long time keeping that spot for Puglia‘s Paiara Cab Sauv Negroamaro blend.

What else  is good about this thinker of a wine? Well, it has a convenient spout which reseals the wine automatically after pouring, so minimum O2 will affect your plonk. Will keep it fresh and in good drinking condition for a lot longer than any screwcap.  Once you pour the last of it, get the bag out  and clip one corner. Pour out the leftover, as you will get at least a big full glass. Put bag back  in box and claim your pennies when you recycle your wine empties, which, if you are at all like me, must be hitting the basement roof by now. All that good red one needs to go through those hard winter months, you know.

What else could you ask for? Dont need to be a pensador to figure this one out.



ps. I guess I got carried away in my Pensador enthusiasm. Once you pour the last bit of it there is very little left in the aluminum pouch. I inflated it back blowing into it and used it as a space pillow on my ferry trip to Victoria. Those seats are uncomfortable, really. It worked so well that I am planning to take one on my camping trips in the ever closer summer.

ps1. Photo from Flickr by True Russian Vodka


Budget Fall Wines

October 20, 2009

In good and bad times it is always nice to find good quality, inexpensive vino. Customers are always looking for a bargain, aka “bang for your buck” and I have tasted innumerable cheapies to separate the grain from the chaff. Prices vary greatly in Metro Vancouver, so be sure to buy your wines in stores where you will get the lower tags.

Starting with whites, I recently found two wonderful Chardonnays. The first one hails from Southern France louislatour_chardand is produced by world known winehouseLouis LaTour. The 2007 Ardeche Chardonnay is a delightful unoaked version, which has been allowed to go through malolactic fermentation. Light, slightly creamy, with touches of tropical fruit, I enjoyed this one a lot and since I posted a shelf talker many a customer has become a fan. It sells for 13.99 at Everything Wine (North Vancouver) and LDB stores (check website for branches that carry it. Some cold beer and wine stores sell this product for up to 23.99 so beware.

From Southern Italy, in the Puglia region, we have the Tormaresca Chardonnay (2006, 2007). Light and 3348-tormaresca-chardonnay-500minerally this wine offers great value. I think this one to be unoaked or only slightly oaked. At 15.99, it has become one of my favorite whites.

Puglia also brings us an excellent red, perhaps on the top ten under ten dollars. The Paiara blend of paiara Cabernet Sauvignon and Negroamaro grapes is round, balanced and persistent, surprisingly so for a wine so inexpensive. LDB stores and Everything Wine sell the product for 9.99 and once you taste it you will probably make it a staple for weekdays. My woman recently made a delicious Tortilla de Patatas (potato omelette, Spanish style. Click link for recipe) for brunch and this medium-light red was the perfect companion.

From the land of Kangaroos, Koalas, venomous critters and man-eating sharks, the 2006 Rock Art Cabernet Merlot is sensational for the price. Everything wine carries the product for 12.99 but it had it as special during the Thanksgiving long weekend, selling scores of cases at 8.99, an absolute steal. Even at 12.99 this little wine is serious and convincing, with a solid fruit front, balance and a bit of structure that suggests that the 3 years spent in bottle added a little quality.

To finish this ripasso, let’s go to Patagonia, Argentina, and taste the 2007 Diego Murillo Merlot. Organic, diegomurillovelvety and full flavored, this wine is perfect for the nostalgic, sweet emotions that only the season of falling leaves can arouse. Dark and deep, this little jewel by Humberto Canale winery is well worth the 10.99 you pay for it at LDB and Everything Wine.

Enjoy the rest of the season and brace yourselves for overwhelming, rainy, grey November.