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 9, 2012

Wine for the Weekend

We spent last weekend with family celebrating our son’s 10th birthday.  The celebration started with a scavenger hunt for the gifts followed by a feast of spice-rub ribs and lemon-pepper chicken with salads and grilled vegetables.  We enjoyed a bottle of off dry Ontario rosé and a crisp Italian white with lunch, though the highlight of the meal was the birthday cake which Jac created in the form of a giant cupcake – delicious!

This edition of wine for the weekend takes a slight deviation from conventional wine styles to focus on one of the more fragrant white varieties, that being Muscat from Alsace.  With cooler weather in the forecast I also thought we’d try a bottle of tawny port, though this example is displaced by over 18,000 km from its place of origin. 

This week’s WineSpot comes to us from Dan Trcka a good friend from Wine Align and author of the brand new website 


2008 François Schwach Muscat – Alsace, France

This is a highly fragrant variety known for its combination of floral and citrus aromas.  Winemakers in Alsace seem to have a knack for capturing the potential of Muscat.  Slightly off dry to taste and delicate in a word.  Expect a perfumed nose that precedes a clean, fresh and slightly sweet taste to a combination of orange/peach and spice on the finish. Quite good on its own or paired with Asian cuisine.  $13.65 (261644) Vintages off-dry

R.L. Buller & Son, Victoria Tawny – Victoria, Australia

Wood aging softens the tannic structure of port wine leaving it with a slight nutty character combined with hints of orange rind, raisin, and figs.  Traditionally port is served slightly chilled, though I prefer mine at room temperature – try it both ways and see which you like best.  Either way, make sure you have a chocolate dessert on hand to savour with this sweet treat.  $18.95 (271403) sweet

Ontario | LCBO 269795
$20.05 | 750mL bottle

Dan recalls that Sandhill’s 2009 Cab/Merlot is a medium bodied, integrated wine, with intense aromas of black cherry, blackberry, sweet vanilla, cedar and very faint green notes.  Slightly on the acidic side though the tannins are refined (decant for 1+ hours) and the finish is long.  He suggests that you can drink it now or cellar a few bottles for up to 5 years.  This wine can be enjoyed with food (perhaps homemade spaghetti and meatballs at the dinner table or with burgers hot off the grill while camping).  Incidentally Dan has just published an interesting article via detailing how to best enjoy your vino while camping – please take a moment to visit him.

Thanks for the WineSpot Dan! 

~> 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.