Tag Archives: KellyLee Evans

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

Feeling Good – The White Daily Slosh

28 Aug

kellyleeA few weeks ago, I said that I would get back to my music links and I gave you JJ Cale earlier this week. I wanted to continue by mentioning the best concert I attended in the last three years or so (at least back to the Leonard Cohen night which I’ll leave for another time),  KellyLee Evans. Thought I’d promote her a bit – click here to hear this exceptional performer. So genuine, so generous, so much fun, so talented. If you ever get a chance to see her live at a jazz festival near you – don’t miss it. A disclaimer – she gave me a hug at her concert!

Now to the White Daily Slosh – with an interloping sparkler.

laileychardMy first brush with Lailey was hearing about it from Arlene. She had attended a cooking class at Kiss the Cook and Tanya Lailey (and I may have the first name wrong) poured their wines while Chris Squires hammed it up and made something spectacular, as always. So, I made it a point to get myself to Niagara and see what the fuss was about. I did, and it has remained one of my always-go-to wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I even make sure to recommend it to people who ask me what wineries to drop in on. The people are great, it’s more like a cellar door than many of the others – informal, understated. The wines are some of the most consistent performers year-in-year-out (for me the pinots, cab blends and chardonnays). They have mid-term cellaring potential in many cases (we still have a 2008 Brickyard Chardonnay that’s got some time to go, I suspect). They also try innovative things like using Canadian oak to age their pinots. So, if you’re heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake to catch some wineries, dinner and a play, drop in to Lailey along the Niagara Parkway. Say, hi from me, someone that they have never heard of. This week, the 2011 Lailey Chardonnay #193482 $19.95 graces our shelves. I’m not sure it isn’t always there but I guess the LCBO has taken some time to highlight it – good thing. This chardonnay has some acidity to carry what the Vintages Panel calls ‘ripeness’. I’m not sure I understand that term as I taste the wine itself. It seems like it’s trying to be Californian (a bit buttery) but knows it’s really cool climate and doesn’t give in to the temptation of being all about the fruit (more stony and appley, which is a fruit, I admit). I think just the right balance to please the big chard hounds but subtle and structured enough to please the rest of us. Simple. Nice finish too.

santoNow, when wine wankers (apologies to the real Wine Wankers) talk about terroirs they many times mention the soils of Santorini and Assyrtiko wines. To quote Wine & Spirits magazine – “Santorini is a rugged, sun-baked half-ring of tufa – the remains of a volcano responsible for one of the largest eruptions in the history of the earth”. Now admit it, none of us knows what tufa really is (Hell, spellchecker says it isn’t a word) – but I think we get the gist. If you’ve been, and I see a few nods out there, you’ll agree that Santorini is one of the most spectacular places on this earth. For the grapes, the vines are trained in a tight circle on the ground and it’s hard to believe that they could manage to survive let alone provide any fruit clusters. So, from this stark and challenging climate – you get a wine that sings to us about its home. Sounding a bit philosophical here but then again, I’ve had two glasses of Aglianico and if I want to philosophize and cry a little, I will. 2011 Santo Assyrtiko #627760 $16.95 – get it every year – with memories of overlooking the cauldera – minerally, but with loads of fruit and flavour. Bigger than I remember most Assyrtikos to be. It is a foundational hot weather wine. Serve cold with seafood, simple tomatoes and eggplant and/or saganaki – OPA!

A wine that I’m going to pick up but haven’t had is the 2011 Finca la Emperatriz Viura #342766 $15.95. I have had only a handful of Viura wines. But have had the same grape under it’s French name, Macabeo, in white wines from the Roussillon area. It’s light, can be fruity and usually dry and crisp. Why don’t we all enjoy a bottle and talk amongst ourselves next week?

auntsfieldSometimes, I hear people say that they have a ‘go to’ wine. When pressed, it sounds more like the only wine. Is it because it’s safe? Hell, all wine is safe! Now, in our house, I have to make sure that there’s some oaky chardonnay hiding somewhere in a cool spot. But, it isn’t always the same label. So, when I heard about a Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc fixation, I felt compelled to respond and provide some type of gooseberry Nicoderm to wean this person from her addiction. I mean Kim might be her entry level drug but she needs to move on! I thought it best to just try sauvignon blanc from someone else.  So, let’s start with one of my favourite, usually available, kiwi sauvignon blancs – 2012 Auntsfield Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc #663286 $19.95.  This is such a complete wine. It’s pretty dramatic in the glass, swirling around and providing great aromas of citrus and gooseberry – maybe a little tropical thing too. Full in your mouth and what I’ve come to know as New Zealand’s stamp of freshness and flavour – too good. But, I discovered someone who might be better equipped to tell her about New Zealand wines and that’s a blog called What’s In The Glass Tonight. I’ve provided a link here to her great blog and review of Marlborough wineries.

malvoltiI’d think that most of us are ambivalent towards prosecco. It’s alright and suits a situation – but we can live with it or without it – no biggee. The first time that I had a prosecco that was more than that was when I visited Jennifer and Andrew and he served Carpenè Malvolti Cuvée Brut Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore #727438 $15.95. This is a dry prosecco. Now, by that I mean – dry. But that doesn’t mean that it’s uninteresting. I’d say that it brings enough soft flesh (or stone) fruit to keep you quaffing. The biggest compliment I can bestow is that it’s a two glass Prosecco.

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