Ironstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Date December 3, 2014 | Chuck | Cabernet Sauvignon & Red Wine & USA

If you're looking for a cab which is less fruit forward and more leathery/tobacco-like, this is a good choice.  Not overpowering but present with good blackberry character to round things out.
One site (lcbo) reports that there is some merlot blended into this vintage.
Alcohol/Vol: 13.0%
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, leather, tobacco
Smell blackberry, vanilla, leather
Food red meat, bbq
Sweetness dry
Price $18.95
LCBO# 537597

Inniskillin Unoaked Chardonnay 2012

Date November 14, 2014 | Chuck | Canada & Chardonnay & White Wine

This unoaked chardonnay is quite crisp and not at all buttery.  The lemon and citrus are sharp and would go well with a fatty seafood or fish dish. 
One of the better wines we've seen from Inniskillin (not a favourite around here).  I think this wine is weighing in a bit too heavy at 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
At a Glance
Taste lemon, mineral, green apple
Smell lemon, grapefruit, mineral
Food fish
Sweetness dry
Price $11.95
LCBO# 66266


Farnese Sangiovese IGT 2014

Date October 14, 2014 | Chuck | Italy & Red Wine & Sangiovese

The house red lives. I've been recommending this wine for 5 years now and will continue to do so. This is the bottle that I always keep stock of because not only is it an amazing wine for $7.95 but it's a crowd pleaser that's very versatile.
This also comes in a large format bottle (1.5L) for 13.05.
Alcohol/Vol: 12.5%
At a Glance
Taste black cherry, tobacco, leather
Smell black cherry, tobacco, oak
Food lasagna
Sweetness dry
Price $7.95
LCBO# 512327

Sawmill Creek Riesling

Date August 15, 2014 | Chuck | Canada & Riesling & White Wine

Look at us staying true to our roots after all these years! This large format bottle (1.5L) was a bargain and a crowd pleaser.
Breaking News: this wine also comes as bag-in-a-box! (4L for $36.95 is a mega score...not counting the impending walk of shame)
Editors Note: a 'walk of shame' can be caused by any beverage with a percent sign on the label (not just this wine)
At a Glance
Taste peach, melon, mineral
Smell honeydew, peach, citrus
Food appetizers, fish
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $16.00
LCBO# 263079

Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

Date July 20, 2014 | Chuck | Red Wine & USA & Zinfandel

Whenever I see Ironstone in the vintages section I always pick-up a bottle and yet again I was not disappointed. This zin is a full bodied, lush fruit forward drinker with a great mouth-feel.
Released: May 10, 2014
Alcohol/Vol: 14.5%
At a Glance
Taste boysenberry, blackberry, oak
Smell blackberry, cassis, vanilla
Food red meat
Sweetness dry
Price $17.00
LCBO# 951889


Reif Estate Riesling 2011

Date June 29, 2014 | Chuck | Canada & Riesling & White Wine

This bottle was discovered by my Mom and is a great find. The wine was very crisp and had plenty of depth from first sip to the end of a long finish. Lime and stone-fruit push through most in this slightly off dry Riesling
Pick up a few bottles if you see it on the shelves (it's a crowd pleaser).
Serve in a chilled wine glass. Alcohol/Vol 12.0%
At a Glance
Taste lime, honeydew, mineral
Smell mineral, peach, lime
Food appetizers
Sweetness off dry - medium sweet
Price $12.95
LCBO# 111799


Ruffino Chianti DOCG 2012

Date April 10, 2014 | Chuck | Chianti & Italy & Red Wine

I was pleasantly surprised by this entry level chianti from the large producer Ruffino.
Overall this is a good value chianti for the price and availability. 13.0% Alcohol/Vol.
Tip: balloon glass
At a Glance
Taste raspberry, vanilla, cherry
Smell strawberry, black cherry, sweet oak
Food italian, cheese
Sweetness extra dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 1743


PKNT Carmenere 2010

Date February 14, 2014 | Chuck | Carmenere & Chile & Red Wine

Wow there is a stock photo of a chili pepper on the bottle, I better by this for someone I know who likes spicy foods!
Editor's note: that is a horrible idea
Could someone explain to me why the label says "contains eggs"?
At a Glance
Taste spicy, dark fruit, vanilla
Smell blueberry, vanilla, oak
Food tex-mex
Sweetness dry
Price $10.95
LCBO# 191858

Mill Street Barley Wine 2013

Date December 12, 2013 | Chuck | Barley & Canada & White Wine

Well is this beer or wine or something else altogether? My Answer: something else.  My final thought: Glad I tried it but not worth the price of admission for the non-adventurous.
It's made from barley and not grapes so really it's more beer than wine.  It's very lightly carbonated and has few traces of hops besides early bittering hops (guessing noble hops).  However this beer weighs in at 11.5% so you better sip it like a wine...or else you're gonna lose the night.
Tip: Be a gentleman (gentlewoman?) and serve it in a chilled wine glass.  You'll get about two 8oz pours.
At a Glance
Taste tobacco, earth, oak
Smell leather, caramel, sweet orange
Food aperitif or digestif
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $13.95
LCBO# 70359

Farnese Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2012

Date November 8, 2013 | Chuck | Italy & Montepulciano & Red Wine

A swing and a miss by the winery of my house wine. With no depth in the nose or on the palate, this wine is very mundane.
It's one of the cheapest reds in the LCBO, so there is that. 12.5%
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste red berry,vanilla,plum
Smell pomegranate,vanilla,oak
Food italian, pizza
Sweetness off dry
Price $7.95
LCBO# 621912

J.J. McWilliams Cabernet Merlot 2011

Date July 12, 2013 | Chuck | Australia & Red Blend & Red Wine

Pickup a few bottles of this well rounded value red wine.  It was easy drinking and turned out to be a crowd pleaser.
Alcohol Content: 13%
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste pomegranate, oak. blueberry
Smell blackberry, cherry, spice
Food pizza
Sweetness dry
Price $10.45
LCBO# 621599

McWilliams Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Date May 16, 2013 | Chuck | Australia & Cabernet Sauvignon & Red Wine

Overall a decent weekday wine.  Not a lot of structure or depth but worth picking up a bottle if you're looking for a different general list cabernet sauvignon priced around 15 bucks.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste strawberry, raspberry, spice
Smell blueberry, oak, dark cherry
Food sandwiches
Sweetness dry
Price $15.00
LCBO# 214577

Barefoot Merlot

Date April 11, 2013 | Chuck | Merlot & Red Wine & USA

I've had better bottles from Barefoot.  This one is a pretty simple medium bodied off dry weekday merlot.  Give their Shiraz a go.
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste cherry, vanilla, chocolate
Smell dark berry, cherry, raspberry
Food bbq lunch
Sweetness off dry
Price $9.95
LCBO# 53991

Red Rock Malbec Reserve 2010

Date December 16, 2012 | Chuck | Malbec & Red Wine & USA

While typically not a fan of malbecs, this one is quite good. I liked the fruit forward characteristics of it - which aren't seen in malbecs from places like South America, making this bottle...very...Californian.
I disagree with the LCBO's sweetness descriptor of Extra Dry. Dry it is, Extra it is not.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste mulberry, oak, cherry
Smell mulberry, currant, oak
Food beef, asiago
Sweetness dry
Price $16.95
LCBO# 284315

Barefoot Shiraz

Date December 8, 2012 | Chuck | Red Wine & Shiraz & USA

Barefoot could very well be leading the way on value wines nowadays (Yellow Tail fans...take note)
Having a value shiraz on hand that's also a crowd pleaser is always handy. Pickup a few bottles since they are currently under $10 in Ontario.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste dark berry jam, spice, vanilla oak
Smell blackberry, jammy, spice
Food french onion soup
Sweetness off dry
Price $9.95
LCBO# 54015

Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2010

Date October 6, 2012 | Chuck | Red Wine & USA & Zinfandel

This wine has a great profile however while drinking it I found it lacks mouthfeel and depth. Both key aspects this California Zinfandel lover craves.
I will say Dancing Bull is a good value if you are just getting into zins. (Expect to pay an extra 5 to 6 dollars to get the depth).
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste spice, raspberry, oak
Smell blueberry, cherry, oak
Food anything grilled, asiago
Sweetness dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 669499


Poderi Angelini Primitivo Di Manduria 2008

Date September 20, 2012 | Chuck | Italy & Primitivo & Red Wine

Easily the best Primitivo we've reviewed on this site. Extra dry, firm tannins and plenty of depth makes this a great match for fans of Italian reds and Italian food.
Special thanks to Nurse Nancy for the bottle! It was enjoyed with family and Sunday lunch.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste ripe strawberry, oak, light vanilla
Smell mulberry, dark cherry, light oak
Food italian
Sweetness extra dry
Price $17.95
LCBO# 268136

Fontana Di Papa Castelli Romani 2010

Date September 14, 2012 | Chuck | Italy & Red Blend & Red Wine

Well, this wine isn't giving me much to work with, but that's because it's your very basic Italian D.O.C. table wine. One of the least expensive reds I've seen at the LCBO, not because all their wines are great, it's because the prices are beyond terrible in Ontario and not much better country wide.
Made From: Cesanese, Sangiovese, Merlot, Montepulciano (unsure of the percentages). 12.0% Alcohol/Vol
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste medium berry, dried fruit, vanilla
Smell cherry, light fruit
Food grilled meat, mild cheddar
Sweetness extra dry
Price $7.45
LCBO# 219634

Bear Flag Red Blend

Date September 3, 2012 | Chuck | Red Blend & Red Wine & USA

As stated on the label it's a very smooth and fruit forward red blend with soft tannins.  A blend comprised of: Tempranillo, Touriga, Zinfandel, and Alicante.
Liked it more after decanting.  The artwork is interesting but personally I don't like having to hunt for information on the bottle.  Even once found it was hard to read against the background.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste dried cherries, blackberry, vanilla
Smell dried cherries, blackberry, vanilla
Food bbq
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 226514

Apothic Red 2010

Date August 18, 2012 | Chuck | Red Blend & Red Wine & USA

The label says "Winemaker's Blend" and they weren't joking! This wine is made using Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Overall I believe the amount of blending in this bottle muted much of the contributor's individuality. In a blind tasting I would guess it's just a Syrah/Merlot blend.
Tip: tasted better the next day, so try decanting after opening
At a Glance
Taste vanilla, dark fruit, mocha
Smell plum, vanilla
Food cheddar cheese
Sweetness off dry
Price $15.95
LCBO# 234369

Barefoot Moscato

Date August 8, 2012 | Chuck | Moscato & USA & White Wine

Thankfully this wine is only 8.5% because after my first sip on this hot summer day I accidentally downed the 10oz glass. Of course I poured myself another so I could help our readers with their weekend wine shopping. In a nutshell: buy a few bottles, open them when it's hot out and enjoy a sweet wine for a change!
2010 gold medal at the ultimate wine challenge - usa
Tip: think of this as a baby ice wine, but a fraction of the price and 2x the volume
At a Glance
Taste honeydew, tangerine, citrus
Smell lemon, pineapple, floral
Food flan, dessert, fruit
Sweetness extra sweet
Price $9.95
LCBO# 234351

35 South Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2009

Date July 15, 2012 | Chuck | Cabernet Sauvignon & Chile & Red Wine

A big, fruit forward, juicy cabernet sauvignon from Chile isn't something I've had in years.  They had a good run in 2007-2008 but it's been an uphill battle ever since.  Was pleasantly surprised with this bottle.
A strong red weighing in at 14.0 %
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste rasin, cassis, oak
Smell rasin, dark berry, oak
Food cheese, red meat
Sweetness dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 170019

Sandbanks Selection Baco Noir 2010

Date June 8, 2012 | Chuck | Baco Noir & Canada & Red Wine

Deep, rich, flavourful and fruit forward. VQA from Prince Edward County.
LCBO number below reflects the 2009 vintage, review is for 2010
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, leather, vanilla
Smell blackberry, chocolate, vanilla
Food pizza, bbq
Sweetness dry
Price $19.95
LCBO# 211318

Astica Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2011

Date May 8, 2012 | Chuck | Argentina & White Blend & White Wine

Light straw, greenish color. Clean on the nose with a touch of mixed citrus fruit. Crispy, fruity and refreshing in the mouth. The acidity of the Sauvignon is balanced by the fullness and length of the Semillón.
A great value wine that was well received
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste lemon, mineral, floral
Smell citrus, floral, tropical fruit
Food apertif, fish
Sweetness off dry
Price $7.95
LCBO# 359083

Pillitteri Gewurztraminer Riesling Fusion 2010

Date March 25, 2012 | Chuck | Canada & Gewürztraminer & Riesling & White Wine

An excellent buy that is full of flavour and aroma. Goes well with the listed foods or simply as an aperitif
Blend: 51% Gewurztraminer 49% Riesling
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste peach, cantelope, floral
Smell peach, cantelope, pineapple
Food seafood, chinese
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $12.95
LCBO# 349126

Torre Varano Taburno Falanghina 2009

Date February 11, 2012 | Chuck | Falanghina & Italy & White Wine

Native to the Campania region of Southern Italy, the Falanghina grape makes full-bodied and well-structured wines.
Release Date: Aug 6, 2011
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste apple, melon, floral
Smell pear, apple, mineral
Food calamari
Sweetness extra dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 106351

Mirassou Pinot Noir 2010

Date January 9, 2012 | Chuck | Pinot Noir & Red Wine & USA

A soft, fruit forward, easy drinking (very) California pinot noir
Pickup a few bottles, it makes a great house pinot
Tip: balloon glass
At a Glance
Taste strawberry, vanilla, raspberry
Smell cherry, plum, vanilla
Food salmon, risotto
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 185249

The Beach House Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010

Date November 5, 2011 | Chuck | South Africa & White Blend & White Wine

Most people aren't fans of either Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon, this wine won't change their minds.
Made from 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon in South Africa (Cape Coastal Region)
Tip: chill well
At a Glance
Taste gooseberry, lemongrass, bitter citrus
Smell green apple, gooseberry, lemongrass
Food sushi, crab, shrimp
Sweetness off dry
Price $9.95
LCBO# 122390

Hardys Bankside Shiraz 2009

Date October 11, 2011 | Chuck | Australia & Red Wine & Shiraz

A great Aussie shiraz for the price, I can recommend buying a couple for the rack.
Works as a nice benchmark shiraz for beginners and intermediate wine lovers.
Tip: Stock up on a few
At a Glance
Taste dark currant, medium berry, warm spice
Smell raspberry, leather, dark chocolate
Food red meat, bbq, ribs
Sweetness dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 436022

Huff Estates Rosé 2007

Date September 10, 2011 | Chuck | Canada & Rosé & White Wine

It's true, not all pink wines are sweet and syrup like.  Here's a dry to off dry rose that has a serious side to it.
Seems to only be available via the winery
Tip: Serve well chilled
At a Glance
Taste cranberry, grapefruit, grass
Smell grapefruit, herbaceous, lychee
Food appetizers, salmon
Sweetness off dry
Price $14.95

How to Identify a Great Wine

Date August 17, 2011 | Chuck | Editorials & How To Series

Likely the most frequently asked question: " What makes a wine 'good' ". Like most great questions, the answer can be slightly subjective, but overall everyone will agree that there are 5 cornerstones in which newcomers and critics alike look for, even if they don’t realize it.

Wine Cornerstones

The 5 cornerstones of wine tasting


What we’re going for is balance. When all five cornerstones are present and not overpowering each other or your taste buds, balance has been achieved and thus, making it a great wine. It’s important to realize that just because a wine is balanced, it doesn’t mean you’ll like it, but odds makers will say it stands a greater chance.

How to Taste Wine

Date August 14, 2011 | Chuck | Editorials & How To Series

Based on our previous article “How to Smell Wine”, we all know how important your sense of smell is when judging wine. However, there are still some very important aspects of wine that you can only assess by tasting it. So, lets continue to find out what your mouth can tell you, but your nose cannot.

The Basic Maneuver:

  1. After swirling the wine, take a small sip and let it roll around your entire mouth to make contact with all your taste buds.
  • Try: Bouncing the wine up and down with your tongue
  • Try: Chewing the wine
  • Try: Inhaling air through a puckered mouth while looking slightly down

The main goal here is to force the aromas into your nasal passage. Mouths will Mouth-off about:

  1. Astringency
    • Derived from tannins, which produce a drying sensation that you can only feel in your mouth (particularly on your teeth and gums).
    • Can be simulated with a mouthful of very strong black tea
    • Not to be confused with bitterness, which is a taste. Tannins have no flavour.
  2. Body/Mouthfeel
    • A feeling of weight and richness in your mouth
    • Think: full body, thin, watery, etc...
  3. Alcohol
    • Produces a hot sensation on your tongue
    • Serving a wine too warm will emphasize the alcohol sensation
  4. Finish/Aftertaste
    • How long the flavour persists after swallowing

Once more traveled, you may be able to tell the following aspects of the wine from tasting it:

  1. Grape Variety
  2. Country of Origin
  3. Fermentation Techniques Employed

Notes/Tips: · Sweetness is our weakest sense of all the tastes. · Bitterness is the highest. · Use taste to confirm the aromas you smell. · Remember to give your taste buds a rest between sampling, as they get tired.

How to Smell Wine

Date August 12, 2011 | Chuck | Editorials & How To Series

Your sense of smell is by far your biggest asset when assessing wine. Food scientists have identified over 200 aromas in wine; your tongue can identify 4 main flavour groups (sweet, salty, bitter and sour) while your nose is able to comprehend well over 10,000 aromas.

What to do:

  1. Pickup the glass by the stem
  2. Swirl it 3 times (increases the surface area and removes any old evaporating vapors from the glass' bowl)
  3. Put your nose deep into the glass and inhale gently for 2-3 seconds (for some, 3 one-second bursts works nicely)
  4. Identify and take note of some aromas (these may change as the wine opens [or warms] up)

What we're Smelling for:

  1. Intensity
    • Mild
    • Moderate
    • Aggressive
  2. Aromas
    • Fruity
    • Spicy
    • Floral
    • Vegetative
    • Earthy
    • Woody
    • Nutty
    • Caramelized
    • Chemical
  3. Flaws
    • Sour
    • Moldy
    • Cork Taint
    • Oxidized
    • Vinegar
    • Sulfide
    • Brett


Aroma vs Bouquet

The terms Aroma and Bouquet are often used interchangeably but there's a distinction between the two: · Aroma is used to describe the one-dimensional smells that make themselves very apparent on the first few sniffs. · Bouquet is used to describe layers of aromas perceived in the wine. The wine's bouquet does not develop until after fermentation.



Practice makes perfect

A professional taster is continually adding to his or her smell vocabulary. Remember, you can't identify a smell if you've never experienced that smell before. Use our About Grapes page for help on identifying some of the aromatic characteristics of the varietal you're accessing.




Give your nose a break when smelling a variety of wines or the same wine over and over. Your sense of smell can become 'tired' just like a muscle. · If the bottle's label indicates an aroma but you just can't pinpoint it, the aroma may no longer be present. If the wine is a few years old, so is the label. The wine matured, the label did not. · Don't try and smell a wine while in a kitchen full of other aromas. Try to be in a neutral place. · Avoid wearing perfume or cologne



How to Look at Wine

Date August 9, 2011 | Chuck | Editorials & How To Series

The first step in enjoying a glass of wine is examining it visually. Knowing how to read a wine using visual keys can tell you many things about it’s past, present and future. What does the color tell me? What are ‘legs’ I hear everyone talking about? Read on…


What to do:

  1. Pickup the glass by the stem (fingerprints are ugly and the heat from your hand will warm up the wine)
  2. Give it a few swirls (2 or 3) (looking for viscosity)
  3. Tilt it sideways against a white napkin or piece of paper (lets us see the gradient)
  4. Stand it back up (check out those legs)


Taking a Closer Look:

As you look at the wine on step 2 and 3, note the following: The color can indicate the grape type, check the About Grapes page for help on matching the color to the grape. If the wine is dark, chances are it was a warm growing season. This is a result of a high grape skin to juice ratio. Cooler temperatures produce wines with lighter hues due to unripe or diluted grapes. Red wines get their color from the grape skins steeping in the fermentation tanks with the juice (remember, red grapes can make white wines too) therefore, if the wine is extremely dark, you may say the winemaker chose a longer steeping time, which can also increase flavor. As reds bottle age, their colors lighten and become more ‘brick’ or ‘amber’ like. Also with bottle age may come sediment, it’s harmless. Once you get to step 4, you’ll notice the film on the glass where the wine swirled up to is breaking apart and streaming down the glass. The streams are called ‘Legs’ or ‘Tears’. Legs indicate the alcohol content in the wine. The more legs...the higher the alcohol content.

Talking about wine Ice-Breaker:

Did you know that with age, red wines become lighter while white wines typically become darker?



Open Riesling-Gewürztraminer 2010

Date August 3, 2011 | Chuck | Canada & Gewürztraminer & Riesling & White Wine

This VQA fuses two great varietals and the outcome is a success in my books since characteristics from both grapes are allowed to shine through. The palette is crisp all around with a slightly sweet yet tart citrus finish.
This bottle was well received by 3 of 3 white wine drinkers at the table.
Tip: Serve well chilled
At a Glance
Taste pear, tropical fruit, floral
Smell pear, citrus, lychee
Food thai, salad
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $11.95
LCBO# 134965

Château Poitevin 2003

Date June 21, 2011 | Chuck | Bordeaux & France & Red Wine

The second saddest part about cellaring is that when you finally decide to reach for one and it's great, you can't get any more.  Unless you bought a case to begin with.
Release Date: Sometime in 2007
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste spicy fruit, blueberry, leather
Smell dark fruit, spice, leather
Food ribs
Sweetness extra dry
Price $12.95

Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Date April 19, 2011 | Chuck | Cabernet Sauvignon & Red Wine & USA

This vintages release is a great way to drink some full bodied, fruit forward California Cab at a great price. I will be picking up a few more bottles on my next trip.
Release Date: March 19, 2011
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, blueberry, leather
Smell blackberry, blueberry, cinnamon
Food pasta, pizza
Sweetness dry
Price $15.95
LCBO# 684399

I am not a hoarder. I think.

Date March 23, 2011 | Sean | Editorials & Special Features



I am not a hoarder. I think.


Nothing gives me more satisfaction than pitching and heaving bags and boxes of unused stuff from my home. But when it comes to shrinking my wine cellar – logic gets a swift kick in the pants.


I consistently get asked the same questions about my wine collection. What do you do with all those bottles, and do they ever go bad? I will admit that I do take too much pleasure from looking at row after row of bottles waiting to be uncorked. All arranged neatly, labels up, necks out, foils shining in the light. My own private army of soldiers ready and willing to take on any occasion or menu I may throw at them.


Every “collector” (hoarder) has a different philosophy on purchasing wine. Mine is to drink it. But that doesn’t always go according to plan. The three bottles in the accompanying picture were, at one time, some of my best finds and favorite wines. They have each passed their peak and were unceremoniously poured down the drain. Tragic indeed.


That doesn’t hold true for all wines, some age longer than others. Some can’t age at all. These particular bottles could take a little aging but were really constructed for immediate to near future enjoyment. But I do so hate depleting my army.


So remember, store your wine at around 55 Fahrenheit (12 Celsius, eh), in a low light and low vibration environment. Be kind to your wine and drink it.


Farnese Negroamaro 2009

Date February 4, 2011 | Chuck | Italy & Negroamaro & Red Wine

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Farnese is the best at what they do, and what they do is produce good, consistent, Italian IGT wines at more than affordable prices, vintage after vintage. Their Sangiovese has been my house wine for over 2 years, this Negroamaro will have some constant shelf space as well. If I could change anything, I would add a little more structure / edge - but then again, I'd get a Sangiovese clone.
To sum up: easy drinking, fruit forward, very little oak, high alcohol at 13.5% but you don't taste it whatsoever. Nice tannins felt along the gumline on the finish.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste black cherry, blueberry, herbaceous
Smell black cherry, blueberry, vanilla
Food pizza, hard cheese
Sweetness dry
Price $8.00
LCBO# 143735

Pelee Island Gewürztraminer 2009

Date January 31, 2011 | Chuck | Canada & Gewürztraminer & White Wine

If you're looking for a sweeter white wine with loads of honey and pear notes, look no further. Serve this nice and cold but take it easy, as the easy drinking nature hides it's 12.5% alcohol content very well!
This is the non-VQA version, do I mind? nope. Watch for the hint of spice on the finish.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste sweet fruit, honey, pear
Smell pear, honeydew, honey
Food apertif, chinese, stir fry
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $10.95
LCBO# 135970

Colio Lake and River Series Cabernet Franc 2008

Date January 11, 2011 | Chuck | Cabernet Franc & Canada & Red Wine

Franc is harder to find than it should be, this bottle is medium light, food friendly and fruit forward - a good intro to theis varietal.
Made from 100% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol Content: 12.2%
Tip: balloon glass
At a Glance
Taste strawberry, raspberry, herbaceous
Smell raspberry, strawberry, pepper
Food pizza, burger
Sweetness dry
Price $10.95
LCBO# 183079

Fetzer Pinot Grigio 2009

Date December 22, 2010 | Chuck | Pinot Grigio & USA & White Wine

Unfortunately nothing great to report on this 2009 white, I had some high hopes based on the 2007 vintage but 2009's did not show as well.
Slightly bitter on the finish
Tip: serve chilled
At a Glance
Taste lime, melon, bitter apple
Smell melon, lime, floral
Food tapas
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.45
LCBO# 34041

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