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 13, 2012

Wine for the Weekend

Last weekend was spent poking around used bookshops and flea markets north of Toronto where I stumbled upon an old copy of Wines of France by Alexis Lichine. I now have three copies of this book in various editions, one of which travels everywhere with me. Lichine's words captivate, and I am truly fascinated by his recollection of the historic villages in Burgundy. I also intend to follow his notes next month as I make my way through the same villages and stand in the same stonewalled vineyards 60 years later.  Excitement might be an understatement! 

This week, a Spanish favourite of North of 9 makes its third appearance in Wine for the Weekend.  This red changes slightly from one vintage to the next (as do all quality wines) and this year, I find that it packs a slightly bigger punch in terms of flavour intensity.  We’ll also travel to Germany’s Pfalz region for a taste of Gewurztraminer that I think you will enjoy as well.

I am thrilled to have Christine Cooper aka. MamaCoop sharing her thoughts with us in this week’s WineSpot.  I’ll be sure to link you to her website after the post where you can explore a never-ending cookbook of recipes, photos, and delicious pairings…

Thanks for reading and enjoy the wine!

2011 Darting, Gewürztraminer Kabinett – Pfalz, Germany

An über tasty last minute quaffer as we wave good-bye to summer.  Ripe stone fruit with a creamy richness; stewed peaches, lychee(ish), and a hint of spice that grabs you mid-palate.  The 10.5% alc/vol allows for the residual sweetness and there is the slightest amount of effervescence, though only barely detectable in terms of texture.  A touch more acidity would benefit, but this suffices nicely as a light, simple, and unassuming sipper.  Serve well chilled.  $16.95 (#944181) Vintages – off dry

2008 LAN Rioja Crianza – Spain

Aromas of vanilla extract, subdued dark fruit and hints of leather. I really enjoyed this. The taste explodes with plum skin and cranberry tartness; medium bodied and laced with mouth-watering acidity.  The cranberry lingers well into the finish.  This one just begs for a food pairing - let’s try it with tapas on the patio as the leaves begin to fall.  $15.95 (#166538) Vintages – dry

VINTAGES 947440 | Italy
750 mL bottle | $15.95 

Christine shares her thoughts with us:  Castello Banfi has a well-earned reputation for producing some incredible wines from Italy’s Montalcino region, in particular, their expensive Brunello di Montalcino labels.  At $15.95, the 2010 Centine may not be a bottle of Brunello; it is, however, a blend of sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and a straight up bargain!   For its age and cost, this one is a winner all the way.

The 2010 Centine is very light on both the palate and nose.  It’s not a complicated wine but there is no denying the very distinct taste of sweet, juicy, ripe black cherries synonymous with wines produced in this region.  The blend of the three grapes lends itself to drinking this wine while it is still quite young.  I jokingly refer to this bargain as a 'Super baby Tuscan'.

As for food pairings, this wine begs for simplicity.  You can keep it really easy by serving it alongside a basic rustic cheese & charcuterie board or even better, a Margherita styled pizza with fresh basil, San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala.  This wine is also perfect for a cheap and cheerful spaghetti dinner - Nothing says loving quite like a big plate of pasta!  Here’s my recipe for my all time favourite pasta sauce, a traditional Emilia Romanga styled Bolognese: recipe link

Link to Vintages product availability >> here

* Please take a moment to visit Christine online at CoopSpeak Eats   

Thanks for the great WineSpot MamaCoop! 

~> 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.