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, August 2, 2012

Wine for the Weekend

We spent last weekend in our nation’s capital touring the sites and dining/sipping outside on the patios of ByWard Market.  Jac and I seem to lean towards Italian dishes and therefore copious amounts of crisp white wine found its way to our table over the three-day stay in Ottawa. 

In this edition of wine for the weekend I’ll stick to that same theme and recommend a crisp Italian white.  Our red selection leans toward a lighter bodied and fruity style that you can sip while imagining yourself sitting on an old stone bistro patio in rural France.

In this week’s WineSpot, Marc from Hamilton has found us a neatly packaged bottle of Borolo for two.  Additionally, his choice of wine and menu planning is a good lesson for everyone.


2011 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio – Südtirol Alto Adige, Italy

This is one of the labels that we enjoyed last weekend in OttawaItaly’s Südtirol region is located at the northern most limits of the Italian landscape and is one of the country’s smallest growing regions.  In terms of quality however Südtirol Alto Adige ranks very high.  This Pinot Grigio offers fans of the crisp mineral driven style a taste of something well above average for the variety.  Stone fruit on the nose in the form of peach and pear make way for a balance mix of citrus and mineral flavours followed by a clean finish that begs for cream based pasta - I’d go for the Pesto Chicken Alfredo :)   $17.95 (954024) Vintages (dry)

2010 Laurent Gauthier Grand Cras Vieilles Vignes – Morgon, Beaujolais

Morgon is a step up in terms of Beaujolais, and this example offers aromas of red plum with hints of raspberry tartness and floral scents.  Juicy to taste; mouth-watering acidity if not with a slight mineral edge. Try with salads alongside grilled ham & cheese on a Panini bun. Serve slightly chilled.  $15.95 (279059) Vintages (dry)

VINTAGES 173195 | Italy
500 mL bottle | $29.95

Marc recalls purchasing this 500mil bottle for he and his wife to take to a restaurant that offers a corkage service.  I agree with his logic 100%; the mark-up on a bottle of Barolo in a better restaurant is mindboggling and thus to take advantage of a smaller bottle with a $15-20 serving charge not only demonstrates common sense, but it also allows you to drink fine wine without breaking the bank.

Marc recalls that this Barolo is loaded with power and finesse.  He asked the waiter decant the wine upon arrival and it sat in the open air for about and hour before the arrival of their entrées.  Marc notes lots of dark fruit and some expresso too with a big mouth-feel and firm tannins.  Barolo is a massive Italian wine made from the Nebbiolo grape.  It sounds like this one could benefit from a few more years in the cellar, but if you do elect to try it now, follow Marc’s lead and decant the bottle well before serving. 

Note: smaller bottles such as this 500mil will age faster that the standard 750ml size. Conversely, the larger magnum (1.5 litre) will tend to retain its firmness longer. 

To accompany the big Barolo, Marc says that by choosing a red meat based dish (tenderloin for himself and ribs for his wife) they were able to meet the tannic structure of the wine on the same level to create a delicious dining experience.

Note:  the protein in the red meat acts to breakdown the tannic structure of the wine. 

Well played Marc and thanks for the WineSpot!

~> 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.