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, August 15, 2012

Wine for the Weekend

Last weekend found us adventuring deep into to Canada’s prairieland for a reunion on my mother’s side of the family.  At first glance, Woodmore, Manitoba hardly warrants the sign that indicates its existence, but gathered within the local hall we found both community and family spirit that made me proud to have Grier blood running through my veins.    

This edition of wine for the weekend will have you sipping aged Riesling from the Saar in Germany plus a medium to full bodied but nicely balanced red from the McLaren Vale in Australia.

Our WineSpot this week is via an online friend from Long Island, New York.  Jac has a knack for finding the exotic tastes and this label is one of those ‘weirdo wines’ that left her almost speechless… I can’t wait to share it with you, and please don’t forget to visit her site Champagne Taste when you are finished here. 


2006 Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett – Germany

After sipping an older bottle of Riesling from the cellar this week, I feel compelled to share something similar with you.  The bottle I enjoyed was from the 1998 vintage and unfortunately is no longer available.  This label however is a formidable substitute and shows softer aromas of over-ripe melon, apricot, and hints of petrol.  The obvious effervescence in the glass is barely noticeable to taste while vibrant acidity provides plenty of mouth-watering flavour.  A wine like this pairs beautifully with a multitude of food styles but to be very honest, I`d enjoy it solo.   $17.95 (282343) Vintages – off dry

2008 Kangarilla Road, Charlie's Blend Shiraz / Cabernet – McLaren Vale

What makes this Aussie red so intriguing is not only the great price, but also its sense of balance.  There is significantly more in the glass than a simple palate-coating dose of fruit and oak.  Expect a combination of bright red fruit and earth on nose with tastes of chocolate covered cherries and spice plus just a touch of heat on the finish.  Another wine to side with ribs or burgers hot off the grill.  $13.00 (212720) General list – dry


 2007 Plantăze, Vranac 'Pro Corde' Reserve Montenegro

I am thrilled to have Jacqueline Malenda sharing her thoughts in this week's WineSpot: Jac recalls that Vranac is one of the most important grapes in the Balkan growing regions, and perhaps the most important in all of Montenegro.  Plantăze is a large producer of Vranac and they ship all over the world. The grapes were grown in the Podgorica region of Montenegro, in the sub-region of Lake Skadar Valley.  The term ‘Vranac’ literally means black stallion, and for under $20, this wine absolutely blew my mind! 

For pairings, I’d suggest firm cheeses as well as smokey and roasted meats.  For summer pairings I’d go with BBQ, and for winter I think it would be a nice pairing with hearty dishes or sipping fireside - it’s really smooth and delicious.  I didn’t decant the bottle and I do not recommend decanting either; the wine became quite acidic and lost some of its smoothness after spending a few hours open.

Please take a moment to visit Jac`s site Champagne Taste where you can read her formal tasting notes on the ’07 Plantăze 'Pro Corde' Reserve along with many other fascinating wine tales.    

Cheers for the great WineSpot Jac!

Note from Tyler:  There is only one example of Varnac-based wine available here in Ontario.  It is a different label by the same producer: Plantăze Monte Cheval Vranac.  Through some research, I understand that this particular wine is also the house red at several restaurants in the Toronto area - certainly worthy of a taste, I'd say...

Montenegro | 750 mL bottle
LCBO 542498 | $11.85

The specific wine that Jac tasted can be ordered by the case through the LCBO Private Orders department at (416 864-6739 or 1-800-668-5144).

~> 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.