Ventoux Rose 2019

At a Glance
Overall floral, hibiscus, honey, vaguely citrus, underripe strawberry
Notes Roses get a bit of a bad reputation for being sickly sweet. This rose is definitely not that. The first time I tasted it a few years ago it was an instant favorite. Lately, it is so dry and austere it needs a moderately sweet companion to be properly enjoyed.
Sweetness extra dry – 2 g/L
Food fresh berries or berry forward sweet desserts
Price $14.55
LCBO# 134916

Cycles Gladiator Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

At a Glance
Overall black cherry, currants, mocha, raspberry
Notes Scrapping in just under the $20 mark, this is a solid wine. Big currants, loads of berries, easy drinking. If you select your wines based on the fun label and value, this is a winner on both fronts.
Sweetness dry – 8 g/L
Food bbq, pasta, stews
Price $19.95
LCBO# 16481

Solid Ground Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

At a Glance
Overall raspberry, black cheery, ripe blueberries, rhubarb pie
Notes GOOD DEAL ALERT!!! Loads of black cherry and overflowing with blueberry. Silky, aromatic, deep garnet in color. This is a steal of a deal under $20. We bought a few for future enjoyment.
Sweetness extra dry – 6 g/L
Food slow braised meats and stews
Price $17.95
LCBO# 13305

Anco Jalapeño Gouda




At a Glance
Overall Medium aroma.  Firm but not hard, it springs back fast when squeezed.  Somewhat like a jujube or winegum candy.  Smooth texture.   Made with cow’s milk.  Very nice overall
Notes You can taste the presence of jalapeno but no heat whatsoever. Neither of us would guess it was a lactose free cheese.
Price $3.80/100 grams


Is calling a wine oaky and buttery a good thing? Sometimes it’s not…

Buttery. Vanilla. Charred. When I read these words on a bottle of Chardonnay, I put it right back down. The label might as well read “Oaky, with a hint of oak, and a mouthful of wood.”


Big oaky Chardonnays (California is especially guilty) need to join the other 1980’s trends like shoulder pads and slap bracelets and die a quick death.


When used correctly, oak is critical to the wine making process and nearly as important as the grape itself. When used incorrectly, it overpowers what could have been a beautiful wine. I also suspect it is used to cover the flavor of not-so-great wine (lazy winemaking).


Before you @ me and send angry emails, let me say that there is nothing wrong with liking oaky Chards. They are just not for me and the reason is that unoaked or unwooded Chard can be magical. They can burst with tropical fruit, melons, and similar lush happy mouth stuff.


Go forth and ask your wine retailer for lightly wooded, unoaked, or unwooded Chardonnays and let me know what you think.


Pro Tip: A lot of French white table wine is actually Chardonnay and rarely involves oak.



Go Deeper…

Continue reading “Is calling a wine oaky and buttery a good thing? Sometimes it’s not…”

Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

At a Glance
Overall ripe plum, medium-light oak, dark berries, light vanilla
Notes rich, smooth and juicy.  low-medium tannins.  light on structure but very flavourful and easy going in the california way.  this is a very popular wine and the fruit is sourced from 3 counties.
Sweetness extra dry – 5 g/L
Price $19.95
LCBO# 461053

Sartori Bellavitano® 2021

At a Glance
Overall Medium firm but still pretty smooth.  Slight crumble. Not too aromatic, smells Italian in style and has some nuttyness.  Very flavourful and works well with Italian charcuterie boards and red wine.   Well, beer too.
Notes The merlot is just for visuals.  We’ve also had the original and there is no difference to us.
Price $7.4/100 grams