How I make my selections...

Rarely will I publish a review of a wine that I did not enjoy; my taste is purely individual, as is your own. If I write about a particular wine, I do so because I also want you to try it.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wine for the Weekend

I left home yesterday where it was +5˚C in dense fog.  I’m in Calgary at the moment where it is -30˚C – yes, you read that right… actually it's -42 with the wind-chill!  For my friends south of the border working on the Fahrenheit scale, that’s damn cold!  Of course my frozen jaunt does not come without reward, for there are some great wine shops here in YYC and I have managed to secure three more fantastic bottles of German Riesling for a price that would cause the mighty LCBO to cringe.
My frozen adventure also sets the tone for this edition of Wine for the Weekend.  For when the frigid Alberta air reaches Ontario later in the week, you'll wish that you had a bottle of Vintage Port to warm your cockles… I just happen to have one for you.  And with my success reflecting on the great land of the Mosel, I’ll recommend Ontario’s version of the same – a lovely off-dry Riesling for your tasting pleasure.

I hope you enjoy them both!

2010 Tawse, Sketches of Niagara Riesling – Ontario, Canada

How about a top-notch off-dry Riesling… We do this very well in Ontario as Tawse demonstrates with this beautifully balanced example from the 2010 vintage.  A fruit forward, clean, and very food friendly style with just a touch of sweetness.  Pair it with an Asian dish or with a salad topped with spice rubbed chicken. 
$17.95 (89029) LCBO Vintages (off dry)

2003 José Maria da Fonseca & van Zeller, Vintage Port – Douro, Portugal

Yes, the name is a bit of a mouthful, but then so is the wine!  Translating the label, this is a relatively new partnership between José Maria da Fonseca, the oldest table wine company in Portugal, and Cristiano van Zellar of Quinta Do Noval port house fame.  The two combine a great deal of winemaking tradition and experience with their 2003 Vintage Port, and second only bottling of the style.

Expect aromas of raisins, stewed black fruit and hints of exotic spice; initially quite smooth across the palate with ripe cherries and blackberry, though an interesting element of spicy heat kicks-in on the finish that leaves you smacking your lips in curiosity.

I am rather perplexed by what this is versus what it cost - $20 for a bottle of authentic vintage port is simply unheard of.  And for that reason alone, you should probably grab a bottle to enjoy with dessert one night this weekend.   Decant before serving to breath.
$19.95 (638924) LCBO Vintages (sweet)