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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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wine for the Weekend

Living on the outskirts of a big city certainly has its advantages.  We are far enough from the hustle and bustle to ignore it completely but close enough to make short impromptu visits if we feel so inclined.  Last weekend was one such occasion with Saturday and Sunday spent moving from one activity to next in an effort to entertain the kids while draining their seemingly endless supply of energy.  Eventually we’ll need to do New York and San Fran but for now Toronto still mesmerizes them both.  I hope you had a great weekend as well! 

This edition of wine for the weekend features two very flavour forward wines that will send your taste buds into a tizzy.  On the white side is a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand that I don’t believe anyone has graded under 90pts yet.  Our red example is an Italian variety that I am constantly on the search for to pair with gourmet pizza.  I think you will enjoy the Barbera grape as well.

I am thrilled to have Jason Solanki return with a second Wine Spot.  This time he takes us to Australia to try what sounds like a phenomenally good Chardonnay.


2010 Blind River, Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough, New Zealand 

Reminds me of the Shower Massage commercial with the stodgy old fart; this wine too will awaken your senses.  Sauvignon Blanc fortissimo: grassy and herbal with loads of grapefruit; sour and bitter at the same time while only hinting at sweetness on the finish; laser focused acidity.  Try it with Asian cuisine but avoid any salads that are heavily vinegar based.  $19.95 (141499) Vintages (extra dry).

2010 Ca' Dei Mandorli La Bellalda Barbera D'asti – Piedmont, Italy

I first tried the Barbera variety in Phoenix, Arizona with what was arguably the best pizza I have ever tasted.  The clean, fresh acidity of the wine paired perfectly with the tomato-based sauce and rich flavours of the dish. 
This particular Barbera boasts aromas of bright red fruit and a funky new raincoat smell; the palate is slightly sharp, but in a good way; cherry and plum skin, a subtle spice, though it's the SweetTart candy finish that has me returning for a second glass.  Chill slightly before serving.  $15.95 (264598) Vintages (dry)

LCBO 269829 | Australia
750 mL bottle | $19.95

Jason recalls lovely aromas of citrus, oak, nut and hints of spice. On the palate, peach, apple, citrus and oak mingle together with racy acidity and a long finish. Medium-bodied. Tastes and feels more expensive than it is. Excellent as a summer appertif, but can also be paired with lightly seasoned salmon.  

Jason Solanki is the author of Vintages Wine Picks & Reviews.  Please take a moment to visit him at:

Thanks again Jason – great 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.