Archive | June, 2014

Paying For Amy – Value and Wine #MWWC10

25 Jun

There’s a self-abusive, yet strangely entertaining, monthly event in wine writing circles called the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge. Last month the challenge was won by The Sybarite. And, as is the custom, he got to choose the theme for this month’s challenge – Value.

MWWCWe hear all the time about ‘value wines’. Wine Spectator and the other trade publications have an annual “Value Wines” edition. Frankly it’s a tall order for anyone to land on what wines might provide value for others. I used to studiously pour over the lists and compare to my local availability. Sure, it’s how I twigged to some of the wines that I’ve come to love in most vintages. So, it is a start to finding wines that taste good and within their definition don’t cost as much as they deliver. But I believe that’s a narrow definition of ‘value’. How does anyone, expert or not, determine what wine is of ‘value’ to me? And, does it have anything to do with price? I’m sure other bloggers will talk about this very thing in their value discussions. It’s not possible to set a value on a wine for me or anyone else – in monetary terms or otherwise. Each of us gets to decide a wine’s ‘value.’ And, how would we do that?

It’s kind of like paying for Amy. Wait, that came out wrong – it’s kind of like ‘paying’ Amy –that’s better.

galway pubLet me explain. We were recently in Galway, Ireland. One of the coolest cities I’ve visited in the last while – vibrant, youthful, pubs and music everywhere, great food, and loads of opportunities to experience what the city had to offer – few barriers to enjoyment. One of the things that we did was take a walking tour of the city. Amy, our guide, introduced us to a new concept – Free Tours! The way this works is that you take the tour and at the end, pay what you think the tour was worth to you. Sounds pretty simple – but think about it. How many times in your life have you been afforded the opportunity to set the tariff for a service or product that you receive? It isn’t easy to determine what to pay. Do you pay what you imagine Amy believes she should net for her efforts? I mean Amy has had to master the skills of storytelling, learn all the things that might be needed on the history of Galway and spent 2 hours of her time wandering you around. Or, do you pay based on what you learned against a previously determined schedule of objectives developed in concert with your annual personal growth plan? Sorry, couldn’t help myself, I used to be a bureaucrat. How about based on how many times you turned to your significant other and said, “Man, this is good?” What is the value of the tour to you – just you – because you have to attempt to translate that value into a dollar, or in this case, Euro figure. And you’re the one to reach in your pocket or man-purse.

Back to wine. We can’t drink a bottle of wine, say, take the figurative tour of a California Pinot Noir, and then, like in Galway finally determine what we think we should pay for it. I get that. Let’s just admit that the relationship between quality and cost QPR (Quality Price Ratio) is just one way to measure ‘value’. Maybe cost is the least of your considerations when asking yourself, “Do I highly value that wine?” So if it’s not cost that determines a wine’s value, what is it?

Good question, le Professeur Grand Fromage. Maybe the best way to explain my muddied thinking is by discussing some of the wines that hold my highest value ratings ever and trying to figure out why that is so.

In no particular order:

Morellino di Scansano (vintage and producer forgotten)

We enter a small ristorante in Rome – basement kind of place, staff in cool suits and none under the age of 50, passing a pile of the made-that-day mozzarella as we drift by the kitchen to our table. Once seated, I order a plate of ravioli with butter and sage. The wine? A Morellino di Scansano – maybe the third least expensive red on the wine list. Let’s just say, “I loved this wine.” The ravioli was superb – the best pasta I’ve ever had. I mean the situation was top drawer. Did the wine hold great value to me? You bet. But, why? Along with the meal (I’m not sure this wine was a match in any accepted matching paradigm) and the ambience, it held very high value for me. So, great food and ambience for me can contribute to the subjective value of a wine.

1999 Ch. Leoville-Barton, 2002 Ch. Montelena Napa Estate

We have a place in what we call God’s Country. It’s 300 feet of lakeshore on a Muskoka lake – surrounded by trees. You’re immersed in nature and family memories. So, one of our great pleasures is having friends visit us and share our favourite space. And, should one of those friends love wine too, there’s a bit of a pressure placed on them and me to deliver a good to great wine experience while on the lake. Last year we had a great day with friends. I can’t even remember the meal. The wine, however – 1999 Ch. Leoville Barton and 2002 Ch. Montelena Napa Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, I remember. Now, both these wines carry a bit of a price tag in my circle. I mean that they are more expensive than we usually drink. But, really. I mean, REALLY. There are moments that tell you seeking, finding, splurging on, and drinking wine is a very good thing. Very good. This was one of them. These wines held disproportionate value too. But why? Well, they were exquisite, beautiful, and that beauty was enhanced with friends. So, we have meal (accompaniment), ambience, the subjective experience of the wine itself, and friends all creating value in wine.

Last one: Assyrtiko

While in Santorini, we visited a winery whose name I can’t remember that perched high on the edge of the cauldera. If you’ve been to Santorini you’ll know what magic that place carries. As we sat by the edge (and, I’m not big on edges), sipping a glass of Assyrtiko, it all made sense. In my view, there are few, if any, wines that tell you where they come from more than Assyrtiko. It couldn’t come from, say California, south of France – maybe Sicily – nope not Sicily either. Assyrtiko is pure Santorini in a glass. Wine geeks call it terroir. Not sure what I’d call it. But, this wine provided such a connection between what we were experiencing at the edge of the cauldera and the swish, sip, and swallow. After all, winemaking is agriculture and when a glass of wine connects you to the land from which it comes it is an experience brimming with value for me.

So, there you have it IMHO. Food, ambience, objective experience of the wine, friends, and connection to its source, for me, all contribute to the value of a wine. And, even better in combination. And, unless, I’m not paying attention, none of those include a sterile evaluation of the wine against cost in the midst of a tasting room full of a hundred or so other wines. How much would I pay for those valu’able’ wines? If I took the “tour” in advance, it might have been expensive. But, alas, we can’t experience the wine first then determine, like with Amy, how much we will pay. So, instead, I pay attention to the when, with whom, with what, where from, and where of a wine that I’m thinking of buying or pulling from the basement. And, hopefully, the value takes care of itself.

BTW, Amy was great. Fun, informed and personable. Highly recommend both Galway and Amy. What did we pay? That’s a secret.

 

Don’t Mess With The Rhone – The Red Daily Slosh

20 Jun

A good theme song for Duffs Wines? The Marvelettes don’t exactly drop it like it’s hot but they are seriously bustin’ some moves. And, despite the comments inserted, the Supremes are not my favourite group.

These recommendations are for the June 21st release.

Can we talk? A friend asked me the other day what my favourite wine was. And, before I could answer, he said, “It’s Southern Rhone red, isn’t it?” I had to think about it. I don’t think it is. I mean I recommend an awfully lot of them. They can be a shade cheaper than other good European wines. They are readily available at the mother ship. They can fit almost any occasion. Grenache and Syrah are two of my favourite things (cue: Julie Andrews). Maybe they are my “Go To” wines. But, I love just about all wine. I’ll have to think some more on it. What are your favourites? And I mean, what do you reach for the most?

lfdmWell, since we’re waxing about reds from the Southern Rhone, let’s talk about a repeat recommendation – 2011 La Ferme du Mont Le Ponnant Côtes du Rhone-Villages #171371 $19.95. Our monopoly must have bought a tonne of this as it was offered previously with good availability. This wine is a seriously good CdR . It is medium-bodied but has a very powerful aroma after a swish or two – not as shrubby and garriguey as some other CdR’s – but dark and fruity. My previous post (June 21/13) on this wine says that it’s serious. Not serious as in dealing with the global financial implications of destabilization in Iraq. But, serious as in ambitious, full-flavoured, and structured. Some nice lip-smacking acidity for food friendliness and enough tannins to match serious food. I’m getting a few for the cottage BBQ. It was only $17.00 last June. But, don’t let that dissuade you. It’s still good QPR.

pondviewcmA while ago, I wrote a piece on Pondview Estate Winery. I was impressed with their reds, and in particular, the premium Bella Terra line. But, there is a ‘reserve’ level too. Now, as far as I can tell, there are no hard and fast industry rules in Ontario around the use of the term ‘reserve’. Correct me, if I’m wrong but a quick look at other Ontario labels leads me to believe it means for most wineries a step above their entry-level products – priced accordingly. This weekend the 2011 Pondview Cabernet/Merlot Reserve #307561 $18.95 reappears at the LCBO. This winery sits in the Four Mile Creek appellation which, with Bordeuax grapes such as these, usually shows a riper, more fruit dominant profile. Not sure why it’s not labeled as from Four Mile Creek unless there are non-estate grapes being used. Regardless, this wine is excessively drinkable by itself or with some burnt meat. Cherry, darker berries balanced nicely with evident tannins and a hint of smokey cedar. If your thing is California cabernet, give this a try. It’s regularly $22.95 – so maybe limited availability at $18.95.

csmsyrahIf you play along at home, you’ll know that I’m partial to Washington wines – Syrah, Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Riesling mostly. They provide good value and I tend to like them – Charles Smith, Dunham Cellars, Columbia Crest, Canoe Ridge, et al. I guess I don’t have to defend it – I just like them most times. I shill for Chateau Ste. Michelle a bit too as it’s one of the producers that we have good access to in our market. I know they are one of the ‘big’ guys but I think they do an honest job with their products. I recommended their chardonnay last time out. This week there’s a great summer wine of theirs – 2011 Chateau Ste. Michelle Syrah #949651 $17.00. I detect very little of the spiciness that syrah can bring. But, there’s a lot of fresh fruit, earthy herbal stuff with balanced acidity and tannins (tannins perhaps subdued after a couple years in bottle). It’s drinking well right this minute. Give this a try if you like Aussie shiraz but sometimes find it a bit too over the top – and it’s warmer weather now so you want a lighter experience. This would be the one.

Haven’t had but drawing interest:

morgonWarmer weather suggests Beaujolais to me. Beaujolais and baseball. Another thing – why no wine at the Blue Jays games? “Get your Chatty Nuf dee Pap heeeeere.” Just sayin’. This week there’s a promising Morgon – 2012 Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Morgon #264465 $23.95. The label is different from their Cotes de Brouilly Beaujolais, which I don’t get when that one is so distinctive. But, perhaps their crack marketing team thought that an unexpressive and boring label could best capture the imagination of Beaujolais lovers by blending in with every other label on the shelf. Regardless, the previous vintage was a very structured, bigger then ‘just Beaujolais’ Beaujolais. I liked that it had some backbone, some cellaring potential too. Some describe Morgon as a ‘masculine Beau’. I’d have to agree. I’d think a great cottage/patio and appetizer wine. I’m getting a few for next month.

Just a tip: if it’s hot outside or inside, it’s not a bad idea to chill red wines so they aren’t 30 degrees Celsius when they’re poured. That’s not what’s meant by ‘room temperature’. What I like to do but forget most times is leave these reds in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes before serving. I’m sure there are wine expert approved comprehensive charts on the web that would be a great help. But, without getting too complicated, I’m just suggesting that you try and get a bit of the heat off the bottle before serving, particularly during the dog days of summer.

 

 

Reflections on Rod, Humour, and Social Media in Wine

10 Jun

Yes, that’s Diana Ross before Michael stood in for her.

I’ve been doing this ‘real’ wine blog for 115 posts plus and it’s time to reflect on the journey – what I know now. I accept that its a bit self-indulgent on my part but it’s my blog.

I started this public wine schtick about 8 years ago, when I led wine tastings for friends and colleagues. Then I started writing an email to a few friends about what they might want to pick up from the bi-weekly LCBO releases. It grew to an email to a hundred and fifty people when I thought that I’d better grow and that’s when I started this blog.

What I’ve learned:

§   #1 – There is a youuuge community of people a lot like me; that love wine and write about that love. These communitypeople know a lot about wine, want to learn more about wine, and are great at sharing their experiences. I never imagined that there was a group of people that I’d fit in with (sniffle, sniffle). This community has been incredibly important to me as I trundle onward. Encouraging, educating, correcting, and challenging me as I go. I’ve altered my blogroll on the right banner to better reflect those folks. I owe a lot to these people. It would be great if those following me also read their posts as you’ll learn a lot, have a few laughs, and meet some new wines, wine stories and some great people from all over the world.

§   #2 – My sense of humour is an acquired taste. As I write each post I just free-wheel and then edit accordingly. Here’s the problem: I break me up. I mean, if you know me, I am the person that enjoys my humour the absolute most. It’s not an endearing trait, I’m told. The phrase I frequently hear is, “I don’t find that funny at all, Bill.” So, I have to take out much of what I think is incredibly hilarious because : 1) people won’t find it funny, because it may not be; 2) people will think that I’m not really serious about wine and, paradoxically, I’m serious about absolutely everything in life; and, 3) so that people won’t be put off and will read down to the bottom – where, it just so happens, there’s a pretty funny bit. I think that wine should be fun unless it’s your business and even then maybe a bit. So I’ll try and focus the silliness and get a little more serious. No, on second thought, I’m not doing that because ………. well, I break me up too much.

§   #3 – There is a lot I don’t know about wine – may never know – particularly within the professional ‘wine education’ paradigm. Like in a previous #MWWC – wine is a mystery to me. I’ve tried to learn sans Google on my wine journey. It means reading those aforementioned bloggers. It writer cartoonalso means reading lots of books, magazines and, most importantly, drinking a lot. I love it all more than when I started – the drinking of the wine the most. Despite my gaps in knowledge, I don’t think that I’ll take a a WSET course or ever get my certification in britt detection. I don’t dismiss this education or minimize how much it helps people to appreciate and enjoy wine. It just isn’t for me (school-a-phobic?). If I keep reminding myself that the mystery is sometimes the best part, Bill will be fine.

§   #4 – This web stuff is a lot of work. I had my friend Louanne set it all up and insert the posts, links, and art for a while. Basically all the hard work. She made me look all 21st century. And then she…………well……….she sat me down and said that we needed a change……….it wasn’t working for her…………she said that it wasn’t me, it was her………..told me she was holding me 

rodback by doing everything for me………that I should do it myself to better get the results I wanted, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. I thought then and still do that there was someone else. I was gutted. But, I pulled myself together and here we are. I’m a bit old for this social media stuff. How old is he? He’s so old he saw Brian Jones with the Stones, Neil Young with CSN, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, and Rod Stewart (picture on right) with the Jeff Beck Group which means I heard Rod when he was really good. But I try to do the blogging/Twitter/Facebook thing as well as a child of the sixties and seventies can manage. It’s a lot of work. Isn’t it fellow bloggers? But bottom line? I break me up or I’d just drink and not tell people about it.

Come to think of it, I think I’ll do that right now – drink that is. Do I have any more 2008 Beronia downstairs? Do I? Are you shitting me? Of course I do.

A big thanks to those that follow me, comment on my posts, and keep me honest. Let’s have some fun and share a glass together before too long!

Scan_Pic0023

 

Kellylee Rides Again – The White Daily Slosh

5 Jun

One of the great songs done by one of my fav live performers. Hit play and listen while you read.

As I seem to point out each time that I post a White Daily Slosh, the WDS doesn’t show up as regularly as the RDS. Let me explain why.

I come to recommend wines through an empirical technique only used by a handful of the truly great wine writers. The method is called “le methode du Duffs” in the biz. I taste wines and then recommend those wines that I like and think that you’d enjoy. And that means, I haven’t tried every wine in each release. If you read my earlier post on swallowing, you’d understand that it wouldn’t be a good idea. Plus, I don’t ever get samples from the mothership and am not included in that lofty group who are invited to taste each wine pre-release. I’m sure that the LCBO really wants to address this oversight given the upselling that I do each week on their behalf. Simply put, I have tasted the wine either through earlier access here, at the winery, or in another jurisdiction. So, these are my best bets given what I’ve had – based on my tasting notes, such as they are. There will certainly be some great wines going unmentioned. And, if I’m recommending you try something based on other vintages, reviews, etc., I’ll mention that. So, why fewer WDS? Simple. I drink fewer whites than reds.

So, without further ado, Because we certainly have enough ado. Just the other day I was saying, “I’ve had about enough ado. Like watching the provincial election debate. Way too much ado. Not enough ah….don’t” These recommendations are for the June 4th release.

Marotti_Campi_Verdicchio_Luzano_2012_smallIt always puzzles me why pinot grigio is the ‘go to’ wine of so many. I defy you to find a restaurant that doesn’t have a pinot grigio as one of its whites by the glass. It’s not that pinot grigio is bad or unworthy of all the attention. Well, maybe unworthy of all the attention, yes. But, I’m not meaning to disparage the grape or wine. But, do you want to get crazy? Try the 2012 Marotti Campi Luzano Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore #375295 $17.95. This wine comes from the Marches region. Where’s that? Well, to quote the Friendly Giant look at the heel of the boot on the east coast and look up, look way up a bit more until you get to about the upper middle and there you have it, the Marches – east side of the boot about upper middle – right of Umbria. I predict it will become a ‘go to’ wine/food area. These verdicchio wines are usually crisp, dry, and recently are starting to round out a bit with fuller flavour. It’s this last part that makes this one perfect for sitting on the patio (minimum 30 SPF) with some Italian-style nibbles (prosciutto and melon, olives, bruscetta). There are some weaker verdicchios around, just like PG, but this one has oomph. If I were to say, stone fruit, would you all laugh and say I was pretentious, a wine snob wannabe? No? OK, some stone fruit – peaches? But, still crisp, fresh. Break the PG spell and venture to the Marches. Look out for verdicchio!

That’s all by the way of recommendations for wines that I’ve enjoyed. But, this release holds a few wines that I haven’t tasted that I think will be worthy of my investment based on past record or review.

chsmichelleAt our house, chardonnay is king. Or, should I say, queen? It is poured as an afternoon sipper, with chicken dishes, shrimp dishes, beef dishes, and, most importantly and frequently as a “work was a bit of a bother (read: it was a bitch) today. Get me a glass of chardonnay.” There’s nothing wrong with that. Drink what you like and like what you drink is a good motto for life. Come to think of it, it relates to the PG lovers that I slagged in the recommendation above. Sorry ‘bout that. Well, for this very reason, there are some constants in the basement: La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay; and, Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay from Washington. When I think of Washington, my mind does not jump first to chardonnay but syrah, cabernet sauvignon and riesling. But, this wine can change a person’s mind, can’t it? The 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay #232439 $19.95 usually gives a ‘fresh’ first impression – then you get the fruit and a little bit of vanilla, oaky at the finish. It’s a good house style for those that like oak but also want some definition not just flab. Make sense? Anyway, I know that I’ll be buying a bunch of this for medicinal reasons – all of the 2011 gone. So, don’t make me feel awkward – get some for the chardonnay lover in your house.

moscatogirondaIf, like me, you need some wine around for those that like it a bit more fun and sweet, pick up some Moscato d’Asti. These wines come from Piemonte and are made from the same grape as Asti Spumante. But, don’t let bad memories of those wines sway you. This wine is frizzante – meaning less fizzy than spumante wines and a little sweeter. It’s a low alcohol, sweet, mildly fizzy white. I don’t favour sweet wines but I have to tell you that served with fruit dessert, this wine is usually perfect. This week, the 2012 Moscato d’Asti La Gironda #368746 $16.95 hits the shelves. I included this in a sparkly tasting once and those I-prefer-dry-only people actually quite enjoyed it served with assorted desserts. The low alcohol makes it a good evening ender instead of opening another heavy red or creamy white and wondering, “What was I thinking?” It could be a gateway wine as well for younger people. Get ‘em hooked on wine like this and then move them to Mateus from your guy on the corner. It will save them from Strawberry Samba and cake-flavoured vodka, maybe. Get your fizz on!

And, just ’cause I can – it’s my blog, here’s a neat dessert idea using bubbly that takes about a minute to prepare. Take parfait glasses and put in a small scoop of rainbow sherbet. Or, if you wish to bump it up a notch substitute un petit boule de sorbet from the same carton and pour a little bit of bubbly over glass to fill. Careful, it foams a bit. Serve with parfait spoons. We use Cava or Prosecco (Translation: cheap dry bubbly) mostly as the sherbet is pretty sweet already. Looks fab, tastes great, perfect on the patio after a Q.

Images:

Chateau Ste. Michelle http://www.vintages.com

Moscato d’Asti Gironda http://www.winesearcher.com

Verdicchio http://www.wineshop.com

Strawberry Samba Duels Chianti – The Red Daily Slosh

3 Jun

My favourite Neil song in an abbreviated cut. Shout out to all my Neil Young fanatical friends, in particular, AL and DJ.

dievoleBefore we wade into the new release, I want to mention a wine that I had the other night that led to running back to the store for more – 2010 Dievole La Vendemmia Chianti Classico #283101 $19.95. This vintage has shown a bunch of winners in Chianti Classico, but I think that this might be the one that I’ll remember the most so far. Let’s ignore the notes with all the scents/tastes and get to the experience – have you ever been somewhere, a different culture and country and having just sipped a smidgeon of their local wine, thought to yourself, “This is really fill in the blank.” Well, not fill in the blank but wherever you are. This wine made me think of Italy on the first swallow. And, not so much country-side Italy but more sophisticated Italy, smooth Italy. That doesn’t sound just right as all Italy is sophisticated in its own way. But, I hope you get it anyway. I’m not sure you need food with this but it’s ripe and ready for some less heavy fare – perfect evening-patio red or wait-out-the-rain cottage red. Case purchase? Still lots out there.

Ramble Divertimento: Let’s talk about wine served at large functions, shall we? We were at an event this past Saturday evening and decided to purchase a bottle of red for our table. Perusing the wine list (they used the term ‘list’ shamefully as there were only three choices), they had really bad ($39), really bad and more expensive ($42), and really bad yet more expensive again ($44). Because I always know the second least expensive bottle of every wine list, we choose number 2. It has massive label recognition.  Well, how was it? As we say in Canada – “Brutal.” No, really brutal, eh. I subsequently checked out my local to find this wine resident in mass quantities. I asked a consultant how it sold and she told me that it was one of the biggest sellers in the store as far as red went. Loudhailer in hand – “People, you don’t have to drink this shit!” I have to ask myself why is it that people drink stuff like this:

  • Different strokes for different folks – not everyone gags on bad wine – some love it. Exhibit 1 – Girl’s Night Out “Strawberry Samba”. I’m not making this up. There is a wine called that. They even have a Darkberry Duet!
  • People haven’t tried other wines and think that all wine is this bad. Exhibit 1 – “Bill, I drink beer ‘cause wine doesn’t work for me.” Dude, this wine doesn’t work for anyone except those covered in bullet one. You didn’t like beer the first time out either unless you grew up where I did as most of us 13 year olds loved beer right out of the gate.

I can’t do much about the first bullet but I can try and encourage people to try different wines until they find their fav – and, if the fav remains an over-priced (even at $10) plonk – I can at least say that we’ve both tried. Wait, did I say $10 – so why were we paying $42? And, yes, of course we finished the bottle. I’ve already admitted that I have a slight problem. And, if memory serves me I didn’t do it all by myself.

Deep breath……..This week’s release (June 4th) concerns Aussie wines. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any of them in the vintage offered. But, I’ll mention one below that I’ve always loved in earlier vintages in case you’re looking for Aussie love.

leonMy comment above about the Italian wine ‘not’ bringing the country-side with it.? Well, the 2010 Salice Salentino Leone de Castris #597534 $19.95 brings the country-side from Puglia right to your dinner table. This smells, tastes, and warms you like Puglia. Lots of shrubby stuff, great acidity, spice and enough backbone to stand up to something tomatoey, meaty – sausage pizza? Gutsy yet seductive – like Lucy Liu. I love this stuff. Love Lucy as well, I must say. I had this wine overlooking a garden in Otranto. Sounds more romantic than it truly was – some road noise and smoke in the air from burn offs in the olive groves. But, I think that’s kind of what I’m saying about the wine – it’s genuine and representative – not presenting like a zillion other wines and not apologizing for it’s little imperfections.

laurasI haven’t been to Creekside Estate Winery near Jordan in a few years. It used to be one of my favourites – not sure why I’ve missed hitting it on my way around Niagara. Maybe it just shows how many great wineries are churning out stuff. I always appreciated the laid back vibe there. Anyway, this week, their 2010 Creekside Laura’s Red #117960 $19.95 hits the shelves of the mother ship. This is a solid mid-weight red blend. It tells me that there’s syrah/shiraz there somewhere due to a stripe of spice – particularly on the finish. Creekside is one of the few wineries in Ontario that attempts and succeeds with shiraz. This has cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec along with the shiraz. Fresh and juicy. Great stuff – a consistent performer that can do that performing as a stand around wine or with burgers and dogs.

BorsaoTresPicos_2Here we go with a threepeat recommendation – 2011 Garnacha Tres Picos #273748 $19.95. If you bought it before, you’ll want to get more. Here is my most recent post highlighting this wine. Great wine.

 

 

brecaAnd, since we are in to comparing wines here – I’m going to pick up the 2010 Garnarcha Vieilles Vignes Breca #329086 $19.95. This wine looks to be less fruit and more land. Sparser yet more powerful. Should be interesting.

 

 

 

 

Shiraz 2012 004And I did promise a sure-fire Aussie. If you’re looking to step out with some fatty meat (and, I’m not meaning your husband here, girls) on the barby, pick up a bottle of 2010 Haselgrove First Cut Shiraz #367425 $18.95. This wine is usually a full-bodied, wood nuanced shiraz. Smooth but still present tannins and a bit of a juicy end. Reviews of this are very positive.

Label Images:

Dievole, Leone de Castris – http://www.vintages.com

Breca – http://www.winesearcher.com

Haselgrove, Laura’s Red – http://www.haselgrove.com.au and http://www.creeksidewine.com respectively

 

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