Tag Archives: concha y toro

Celebrity Rant and The Rainbow Daily Slosh

13 May
uscover

Who the hell are these people?

I was sitting in the optometrist’s office this week and picked up a copy of US magazine. I don’t know if US magazine is legit or if like People is a bit of a National Enquirer under the guise of legitimacy. But, I scanned a copy and sat waiting, waiting (after all it is a waiting room). I got through two US magazines actually. The thing is I didn’t know very many of the people profiled – and there were thousands, it seemed. If truth be told, I didn’t know 10% of them. I didn’t have a clue at all. Before you say anything critical of my clue worthiness, hear me out. Were they television stars? Singers? Exploited reality television stars? Taxidermists? No clue. And their trials tribulations and designer wear wasn’t that interesting to me.

There was a time not so long ago (check that: it was a really long time ago) when I knew every person that was culturally significant. That’s an exaggeration but it’s my blog. I read Tom Wolfe, John Updike, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Munro; watched every episode of The Wire; studied Victor Frankl; knew who Jeff Beck, Yo Yo Ma, and Ginger Baker were; loved Julie Christie and Jessica Lang. And then later, because I had hip kids and nieces, I adjusted, I got to know Eminem, Paloma Faith, Lady Gaga, and Zoe Saldana (she is smoking’ hot!!). These people all did something besides just be. They are famous because they do something that people appreciate. They work in the public sphere. And, work at a level that is significant, noteworthy whether, like in the case of Eminem, you appreciate the craft or not.

kjennerBut now, even though I watch a bit of the tele, read a bunch, and I really do pay frigging attention, I don’t know the difference between one Jenner and the other (are there only two?). Hell, I didn’t know there were Jenners at all until the optometrist and they were on several pages. That’s Kylie on the left BTW – sexualized from birth. I checked out of the ubiquitous Kardashians – wait, I never checked in. I don’t know one from the other there either and can’t for the life of me understand why anyone gives a shit about them. How can anyone sell a magazine that gives so little information on so irrelevant a population? The cover above highlights a Bachelorette, or is it Bachelor, for Christ’s sake. How can that get anyone to think, “Hey, I’ve got to know about this before I read stuff that actually impacts my life…….like Duffs Wines. I better buy a copy”? If you are raging against my tone deafness to ‘today’s’ important people or you agree with me, let me know. But, before you do, ask yourself, “Why do more Canadians know all the judges on Dancing With The Stars but not who their Minister of Justice is?” Sad. Or, more relevant, why don’t more Canadians know the difference between Blancs de Blancs and Blancs de Noir? Seriously.

On to wine recos.

terra nobleWandering back home from a dinner with my niece a few months ago and stopped into The Church Key, a Richmond Row staple and a great place to eat or just sip and chat with the patrons. I ordered one of my favourite wines by the glass – 2012 Terra Noble Gran Reserve Carmenère #957050 $19.95. This is one of the better Carmenere out there that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It’s smoky, full-bodied, and dark. Interesting. Great intro to Carmenere. So, if you haven’t tried this grape, pick up a bottle or two of this. Or if you are one of the Carmenere hounds of Providence, a case.

carte noirLast week, I did a post on rosés. You can read it here. I wanted to talk about the 2015 Carte Noire Rosé #319384 $17.95  but it wasn’t out yet. Now, it is. I’ve loved this pink for years. My write-up went something like this, “I believe that Brigitte Bardot lived in Saint-Tropez when she was, well, really hot. Maybe as un hommage to Brigitte, you could chill a bottle of this and serve with roast endangered species, carpaccio di baby seal?” Ok, the was a bit uninformative. This wine is due Provence. Crisp, cool matched perfectly to sliced avocados with olive oil, tomatoes, and sunshine. I have a couple of bottles of this already for the cottage dock at 4:30.

zontesA few months ago, a friend heavily recommended an Australian red due to the fact that they enjoyed the wine over Christmas. The wine? Not sure but it was a Zonte’s Footsteps effort. I’ve recommended their stuff before here. But I hadn’t had the particular cuvée but found a representative select this week – 2013 Zonte’s Footsteps Lake Doctor Shiraz #072975 $17.95. The thing is these guys, despite the fact that they access grapes from different terrors, have a particular house style that is restrained. I had their Avalon Tree #353193 $17.95 just the other night (Confession: drinking it as i typed this) and it had the same thing going on – focus on fruit, subtle, but purposeful. Just plain good. This Lake Doctor is spicy – Shiraz spicy a bit hot but all expressive, fresh Shiraz.

chardWe go through a yuuuuuge bunch of Chardonnay each year at this house. The Director prefers the grape, well-done and oaked just a little bit. That means that there aren’t too many available that we haven’t had.This week, there’s a Chilean effort. Question: Do you say Chlill-ay-an or Chill-ee-an? This week – 2013 Concha y Toro Serie Riberas Gran Reserve Chardonnay #287995 $16.95. This is a perfect summer Chard – fresh, vein of acid, and tropical.

One thing that we all probably do is wash, rinse, repeat. In wine, that means, we pop, drink and repeat with the same wines all the time. “There’s nothing wrong with that”, he says, as he proceeds to discuss what is wrong with that. It’s just that we enjoy different cuisines and foods. Who wants chicken every night? So, I’m going to break out of the norm with this week’s offerings. Let’s start with a Basilicata. I’ve checked and this is the very first time in seven years that I’ve recommended a wine from there. Where is ‘there’? Well, where Puglia is the heel of the boot of Italy, Basilicata is the arch and toe (minus Sicily).

sacraviteWe stopped in to Basilicata when we ventured to Matera several years ago. Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s eerie, haunting, unbelievable, yet fantastic (picture below). Caves and a history of poverty and another way of life that’s inconceivable. You can read the wiki piece on Matera here. This week, there’s the 2013 d’Angelo Sacravite #440834 $15.95. This is made from Anglianico yet is soft and accessible. I say ‘yet’ because Anglianico can be a bit edgy and dense. This isn’t either. A perfect, yet, atypical introduction to the reds of Basilicata. Have with BBQ.

Some more wines to try that are out of the ordinary?

2014 Barone Montalto Viognier #435479 $15.95 – Floral, yet clean, crisp sipping white. I dare you. A Viognier form Sicily. Chill it, sip it, repeat.

2013 Ilocki Podium Traminac #435412 $14.95 – Traminac is Gewürztraminer in these parts. A Croatian wine with history and richness.

IMG_1688

Matera

Have a great weekend.

Cheers.

Bill

 

Front-On, Dude – The Red Daily Slosh

13 Feb

This is for the February 15 release.

barI read a bunch of bloggers (actually a ‘barrel’ of bloggers is the proper term when they write stuff about wine) that do a great job of educating readers on the world of wine. I’ve been at this ‘real’ blog thing for a year and a bit after three years of a newsletter, and the penny just dropped – I recommend wines, ramble about stuff, but it is frequently the same stuff nothing new or educational. I know this because I did a statistical analysis of my recommendations, collated the wine tasting terms used to describe these wines, and applied an algorithm to evaluate the variability of wines and their characteristics. These were further divided into quadrants that represented sixteen different experiences and price points. The graphic analysis is below. OK, I couldn’t copy the chart from my Excel worksheet. But if it was below you’d notice that I have never used the term unctuous.

cytcarmenereSo, let’s start the Red Daily Slosh with a repeat recommendation (that didn’t last long, did it?). Technically, it isn’t a true repeat because it was a different vintage before but…. Anyway, it’s the 2011 Concha y Toro Winemaker’s Lot 148 Carmenère #030957 $18.95. They say that this is an Ontario market-only bottling. Don’t get too excited because they just call it something else elsewhere, I’m betting. What’s carmenère? An opera whose title is the victim of a fat-fingered typist? No. Actually, it is a traditional Bordeaux grape that they don’t use much, if at all, anymore in Bordeaux blends. It migrated to Chile and other regions where it was thought to be merlot (Chile) or cabernet franc (Italy). Interestingly, the mistaken identity came to light when it appeared on an episode of Maury Povich (Who’s The Father of My Baby, Merlot?), had a DNA test, and found out it was, wait for it………………gasp, carmenère! It’s Chile’s answer to Argentina’s malbec in that it is arguably done best and definitely most frequently in Chile. Usually medium to full-bodied, dark, and yummy. Cheaper versions can be a bit sweet and creamy a la cheap malbec but good ones are chewy, edgy and great burnt meat wines. The Concha y Toro above is the latter – the full-bodied and yummy one. It’s syrah-like spicy, dense but some edge to make it feel less ‘heavy’ and has some bush on the nose and in the mouth – woodiness. Love it. Tannins are smoothing out nicely. I think that, if you’ve never had carmenère, this would be a great place to start. If you have had it, do it all over again with this wine from the most complete winery in Chile.

charvetI’d like Spring, please. Yes, it’s a bit of a bugger here with temperatures in the minus 20 Celsius range many days. And, what will we see on the shelves this weekend but a Beaujolais. Wait, isn’t Beaujolais a better warm weather red? Well, it can be but this is maybe more a shoulder season Beaujolais. More substantial and serious. The perfect wine as we wait out the shitty weather. The 2012 Domaine Gérard Charvet La Réserve d’Amélie Moulin-à-Vent #356741 $20.00 would be a bit expensive for a common Beaujolais. But, this one is worth the splurge, IMHO. This is strawberries and even some darker fruits on the sniff – pure and straight forward in the mouth but I don’t mean one-dimensional; rather purposeful – it sneaks up on you on the second swallow and the second glass is even better, duh. Make sure it isn’t too warm – basement temp is best. I’ve recommended a bunch of Beaujolais (mostly for Grant) and love the Cru Beaujolais. Moulin-a-Vent is my favourite. Hurray for Beaujolais! Spring can’t be too far away.

gamayAnd while we’re sipping on gamay why not try one of the better versions of this grape from Ontario. The 2012 Malivoire Gamay #591313 $17.95 is always good value but this year it is a bit deeper with darker fruit than usual. Not sure if they allowed the grapes to ripen more or it just worked out that way given the vintage. This would be a good gamay-off with the Beaujolais above. This one a bit lighter. Buy them both and re-familiarize yourself with the two faces of gamay. I really appreciate the consistency of Malivoire at all their price points. I had this at the cellar door and I encourage you, if you’re down that way to make Malivoire one of your stops.

foretThere’s a club that I’ve mentioned before called the Wine Century Club. It requires that you drink wines that represent 100 different grape varieties. This week there’s a grape that I haven’t knowingly had – negrette and I think it might be my first catalogued wine for WCC sainthood. The negrette grape is mostly found in southwestern France – this one is from AC Fronton (hence the title) 2010 Chateau Bellevue la Forét #354134 $13.95 . They say it’s “hearty old-school”, brambly, and goes with an Olivier salad. I think that they have confused me with someone who knows what an Oliver salad really is. We’ll see. Try one with me and we’ll compare notes.

That’s all that I have any positive perspective on for the weekend.

Music accompaniment – Last time I included a video of Cream and a friend wondered why I made the Eric Clapton reference in the lead up, because he didn’t recognize Eric in the video. Why not? He’s the old worn out crooner isn’t he? Nope, he’s like 18! So, I’ve included one this time of Cream and an iconic song, again – Eric is in the red. He’s not Eric The Red but wearing the red Sergeant Pepper knock off.

Barrel picture from wikipedia

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