Monday, July 31, 2006

A Tasty & Cheap French Viognier

Moillard Hugues Le Juste
Viognier 2004
Pays d’Oc
Southern France –Languedoc Region
Serve Chilled
$11.75 for 750 ml

I love this wine. It’s a great value and was one of the wines that got me hooked on Viogniers. Now, there’s always a bottle or two in my wine rack. It’s also a good Chardonnay substitute.

Named after a Cathar knight, this Viognier is lighter-bodied than some other typically full-bodied Viogniers, but it’s smooth, fresh and flavourful with a spicy, fruity lingering aftertaste.

Ageing in 10% oak gives this straw yellow wine a hint of vanilla aroma and flavour. It also has aromas of toasted oak, honey and sweet flowers (honeysuckle). It usually gives me a little pucker at first sip, as crisp green apple and citrus hit my tongue. I also taste apricot, peach and spices.

It’s great as an aperitif or with spicy dishes or light dishes such as seafood, chicken, pork and fruit. Enjoy this wine young because it’s ready to drink now. What are you waiting for?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Chilean Chardonnay

Chardonnay 2005
Valle de Casablanca, Chile (Central Valley)
Serve chilled
13.5 %
$13.95 for 750 ml

I love it when I have a yummy glass of wine at a restaurant or a party and find out it’s not only available in liquor stores, but it’s inexpensive, too.

I found this Chardonnay to be extremely crisp and refreshing with predominant pineapple and citrus aromas and flavours. It’s pale yellow, dry and light bodied. Partially fermented in oak, it has nice mild toast and caramel flavours, along with pineapple, citrus, pear and peaches.

It’s a tasty summer wine, perfect for warm days when you need something cold, crisp and smooth to sip on. Try it with chicken, lobster, green salad, fresh veggies or mild cheeses. Next time you’re invited to a BBQ or patio party, bring a bottle of this along.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Wild Goose Vineyards Bestseller

Wild Goose Vineyards
Autumn Gold 2004
Serve Chilled
$14.95 for 750 ml, VQA
Okanagan Falls, BC

This is an award-winning, popular white wine that’s sure to please your palate. Its warm golden colour could’ve inspired its name. It makes me think of warm sunshine, colourful leaves and crackling fires. A blend of Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Riesling creates a flavorful wine with a stone fruit aroma.

It’s semi sweet, with citrus, pear, apricot, apple and mineral flavours. It has a nice, fruity finish, yet has a slightly tart bite that makes me want more. I found this wine to have a slightly syrupy texture, almost like a dessert wine, which made it perfect for sipping on its own. This goes down smooth and easy. Try it and enjoy!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Perfect Summer Sipper

Thornhaven Estates Divino se Levanto 2005 (Rosé) (VQA)
Summerland, BC (Okanagan Valley)
Serve chilled
$13.90 for 750 ml

There's something about summer and Rosé wines (and light, sweet whites). It must be the enveloping heat or the fragrance of blooming flowers that makes us want to sit back and sip on something refreshing and aromatic.

This Rosé is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which gives it a nice sheer raspberry colour. It has aromas of strawberry and raspberry and mineral. It’s a crisp, fruity, semi dry, semi sweet wine that’s perfect for the patio on a warm Vancouver night. What could be more perfect for summer? There's nothing like a Rosé that's smooth, cool and goes down easy.


Monday, July 03, 2006

A fab California Pinot Noir

Mark West Pinot Noir
Appellation Central Coast
Sonoma, California, 2004
$22.79 for a 750 ml bottle

This is a great full-bodied Pinot Noir with a spicy bite. Not as rich or spicy as a Zin, but great for drinking alone or with salmon, roast beef, mushroom risotto or pork tenderloin. I’ve enjoyed it alone, with ginger beef and prawns & scallops (at UnWine’d) and with a roast beef dinner, complete with Yorkshire pudding. Delicious! I also found it great with smoked Gruyere, as the cheese brings out the oak and makes the wine taste mellow, smooth and slightly smoky.

This garnet coloured wine has fragrant aromas of cherry, raspberry, rhubarb, ripe fruit and black tea. It also has an almost sharp alcoholic scent, but it goes down warm, velvety and smooth. I tasted spice (cinnamon), cherries and dark berries and toasty oak. It's low tannin with a rich almost chewy texture. Nice finish.

Next time you’re in the liquor store looking for an enjoyable red, seek out a sunny yellow label and pick up a bottle of Mark West Pinot Noir (note: there’s a few different appellations available). To learn more about Mark West wines, check out their faux revolution website that’s all about “Pinot for the people.”