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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Friday, June 8, 2012

Wine for the Weekend

This has been a very eventful week to say the least.  A neighbour of mine just bought himself a small four-seat aircraft.  His new toy however was in Calgary (2700km from Toronto), so he asked me if I’d go get it for him.  I have just returned from that trip. Incidentally, the same flight takes just under four hours in the Airbus… I lost count at around the 13 hour mark in the new bug-smasher.  All in all, an epic voyage at 100kts in a very cool little machine.  Thanks for the opportunity Jan! 

With my feet now planted firmly back on terra firma, here is this week’s delayed but delicious edition of Wine for the Weekend.   Italy is the focus in this report, with two bottles showcasing some grape varieties that you may not be familiar with. 

This week’s Wine Spot is a little off the beaten path, but I am curious to know your opinion with respect to the marketing technique…

2010 Zenato, Soave Classico – Veneto, Italy

Soave is a zone within the Veneto region, while Garganega is the principal grape in the blend that makes up this traditional Italian white.   If you close your eyes while you drink this, you can envision a place in the old-world where fruit does not always constitute the primary profile of the wine – minerals abound with pronounced spice and a refreshing streak of lime.  It gets better with every sip!  $12.75 (268417) General list (dry)

2010 Umani Ronchi, Montipagano – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy

The label says it’s an organic wine made from the Montepulciano grape.  Generally, I don’t care whether a wine is traditional, organically grown, or biodynamic crafted; if it displays some form of individuality and uniqueness of place, then I’m an easy sell.  This example, from the Adriatic coast of Italy is not only a shinning example of the potential for organic wine, but it’s also only $14!  Normally, better organic products run well in to the $30 range.  Expect blueberry and blackberry followed by a hint of bell pepper and then on to cranberry tartness – it’s really good!  Juicy acidity and softer tannins will pair perfectly with lunch on the patio:  think bbq chicken and pork, or lasagna alla Bolognese.  And the perceived sweetness will keep you coming back for more.
$13.95 (134585) Vintages (dry)

Satisfied with the five bottles I had chosen to taste for this week’s post, I was on my way to the LCBO checkout when I passed by this marketing ploy. Words (appropriate or otherwise) cannot adequately describe my reaction as I paused to take a look…

For the record, the wine is ‘not bad’ and yes, I have tried it on a few occasions.  The variety is Chardonnay which is sourced from numerous growing locations in the south of France.  As most of you know, when I write about wine, I speak about the atmosphere that it creates in a given environment and how it can enhance any social gathering.  Of course, not every bottle we drink need be a classy affair either, but this one in my opinion takes the cake.  My question for you is would you buy this wine based on the overall marketing strategy that the producer has chosen?

… oh, for the record, I despise the entire package: It is mass-produced, tactfully offensive, and grossly over-marketed.  Furthermore, I am confused how a 25 cent pair of sun glasses will add to the appeal of the product??  To worsen the experience, as this bottle sat on our kitchen counter-top, my 9 year old curiously asked me what a ‘fat bastard’ is and could he have the glasses? Down the drain and into the recycle bin for this week’s Wine Spot!  

~> I’d love to hear your thoughts on a food & wine pairing:  What is your favourite dish?  And which wine highlights the flavours of the food?  Send me a quick note with your thoughts and I’ll publish it in a future edition of Wine for the Weekend.