Posts Tagged ‘patagonia’

A Perfect Sushi Wine

April 17, 2010

Wine to pair with Sushi? Well, that is the 100 million dollar question. When I first tasted Torrontes I thought the varietal was a serious candidate. Of course, Sushi is such a wide umbrella term that is rather simplistic to say “this wine pairs with Sushi.” But some wines get closer to the job than others. Torrontes, with its ripe apricot palate and floral and spice aromas, definitely qualifies for the job. But its bubbly incarnation, the Deseado Torrontes, is really the wine that stands up to the challenge. Sweetness matched by incisive acidity, fruity and muscaty, Deseado meets the diversity of flavors accompanying a set of rolls, nigiri and oily tempura snacks. Available in Vancouver for 22-26 dollars, this is the ultimate Sushi wine. Gochiso Sama!

ps. while you eat your sustainably fished albacore tuna, the bluefin tuna species, perhaps the most majestic animal in the oceans is being caught to extinction by greedy northamerican and japanese fishmongers. let’s put a  stop to it! write a letter to your MP and demand Canada supports a total ban on bluefin tuna fishing

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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.

A different Malbec from an unlikely location

May 27, 2009

Who would have known that they make Malbec in the wind swept plains of Patagonia? Well, they do, and vin_43athey do a pretty good job at it, albeit, quite different from what we are used to. Familia Schroeder brings their Saurus Malbec to British Columbia. A purple, inky color, precedes a surprisingly chocolate, plum, tobacco, French vanilla loaded nose. Medium-plus body with red fruit, good acidity and soft tannins. The finish is rich and unusually chocolatey for a Malbec and spice.

Product: Saurus

Variety: Malbec

Vintage: 2007

Winery: Familia Schroeder

Origin: Patagonia, Argentina

Alcohol: 14.0%

Price: 21.99

Deseado, Sparkling Torrontes

May 26, 2009

Deseado, Sparkling Torrontes

Looking for a crisp, lively sparkling for the warm season? Don’t look any further. Deseado sparkling Torrontes has fruit, character and is a lot of fun. An intense nose of apricot and ripe grapefruit, follows with a creamy body with citrus and pineapple. For those who “never drink sweet wine”, this one may change your mind, as the vibrant acidity more than balances the sweetness. The finish is very long with lemon zest, mineral notes and white peach. Deseado is Spanish for “the one you wish for” and for sure this wine honors its name.

Product: Deseado, sparkling wine

Variety: Torrontes

Vintage: 2008

Winery: Familia Schroeder

Origin: Patagonia, Argentina

Alcohol: 10%

Sweetness: 03

Price: 25.99 (Everything Wine)