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, September 6, 2012

Wine for the Weekend

We have the good fortune of celebrating four birthdays in our extended family at the end of August / beginning of September.  In other words, one party knocks-off a good portion of the family all at once i.e. less travel throughout the year.  But it’s a good size group and the party involves considerable preparation around our house. Jacquie is the head chef [extraordinaire] while I co-ordinate the table and beverage selections (sommelier type stuff, you know).  I’ll also add that we are diehard fans of the television series Hell’s Kitchen - Jac more so than myself, but we both watch the show faithfully each week.  In keeping with the theme and attempting to lead by Chef Ramsey’s example, as Jac was busily plating the food for our guests, I walked into the kitchen and boldly stated ‘Service Please’… Well, if looks could kill!  I won’t make that mistake again anytime soon.  I should also mention that I spend a fair amount of time on dish washing detail...

Let’s up the level of interest this week and try a dry white wine from Greece that is receiving some rave reviews online.  For our red selection, I’ve found you a very tasty version of the Sangiovese grape, though in this case, it is not from Chianti, but rather the Montapulciano region of Italy  

Our WineSpot this week is via fellow WineAlign taster and author of the website ‘The Yummy Grape’ - Monika Janek.   This week, Monika will have you fine tuning your palate with a bottle of slightly atypical California Chardonnay.  Of course she also pairs it with a delicious dish to complete the package perfectly.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the wine!

2011 Estate Hatzimichalis Chardonnay – Greece

Not that I have an issue with Greek wine, but this one really caught me by surprise.  Captivating from the first whiff to the very last sip.  Floral delicacy with subtle tropical aromas but in no way aggressive.  Just a hint of effervescence and oak lead to an uplifting and highly refreshing taste – you’ll enjoy this!  $14.95 (#269654) General list – very dry

2009 Castellani Filicheto, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano – Italy

Standing at the checkout in the wine shop, the two people ahead of me in line were also buying this wine – we must be on to something here… From the Sangiovese grape, the nose is full of dark plum skin and more earth-driven aromas such as leather and cedar. Vibrantly refreshing to taste, even mouth watering; cranberry tartness and certainly delicious not to mention highly food friendly, though I could easily sip this one on its own all day! Tasted Sept 2012.  $17.95 (#184937) Vintages – very dry

VINTAGES #290536 | 750 mL bottle

As the Toronto International Film Festival descends upon the city for ten days of glitz and glamour, why not celebrate the star-studded week with a wine from California's most famous region - Napa Valley.
Monika recalls that the 2010 Anitca Chardonnay goes against the often stereotypical role of big, buttery and brutish. It resembles a classy Hollywood star from the 40s: smooth and elegant with considerable length.  Displaying flavours of lemon and pear with hints of spice, the mineral notes shine through. The oak takes a step back from the limelight. The 2010 Anitca Chardonnay is definitely fresh and "cool" in character. Although I personally would be happy to enjoy this Chardonnay on its own, it will pair well with braised pork or grilled chicken with herb jus.  Not an inexpensive wine, but certainly one that you'll enjoy having in your collection. So go ahead and splurge! 

Link to Vintages product availability >> here

Thanks for the amazing WineSpot Monika! 

* Please take a moment to visit for more educational adventures in wine. 

~> 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.