The August long weekend marks the middle of the summer and if you haven’t already taken time off for holidays, you might be conjuring up ideas of last minute quick getaways.
There is a trip that you can take that does not require a lot of planning. Enjoy the journey of different places (that may not even be on your bucket list) by uncorking a bottle of wine from that destination. This is kind of like a worldwide staycation where you only have to hop in your car (or your bike) & head to the LCBO.
The latest Vintages release is featuring wine regions in California & France’s Loire Valley, yet dig deeper into the catalogue or shelves and you will find interesting wines from different places. Put your passport away & grab a corkscrew, a wine glass, then get your taste buds ready for an adventure.
Want to add a little spice to the trip? Bend the spine on your favorite recipe books & whip up some summertime favorites on the grill. After all, you have a long weekend!
If I only had $100, I would buy these wines at Vintages…
August 2, 2014
AC Côtes de Provence, France
$23.95 (Vintages 325076) 13.5% alcohol
Summer is not summer without at least one bottle of Rosé wine in my fridge. This one is a classic French Rosé made with an interesting blend of grape varieties – some that I even have never heard of before – Grenache, Rolle (Vermentino), Cinsault, Syrah & Tibouren. Dry & refreshing with elegant floral & berry aromas that carry onto the taste. TIP: save yourself a return trip to the LCBO & pick up two bottles.
Békaa Valley, Lebanon
$16.95 (Vintages #744805) 13% alcohol
This is one of the top selling white wines in Lebanon and at this price, why not give it a go? Like a travel guide, the Vintages catalogue offers the backstory about this winery to enhance your enjoyment of this wine adventure:
“Founded in 1857 by the Jesuits, Ksara is the country’s oldest, largest and most visited winery. It is no surprise, with such an investment in Lebanon’s winemaking heritage, that Château Ksara should also be a leading voice in modernizing winemaking in Lebanon. Their vineyards are situated at an average of 1,000 metres and are fed by melting snow that runs off the slopes of the surrounding mountain ranges. The valley and the slopes create a unique micro-climate that enjoys considerable diurnal variation – with cool nights offsetting the heat of the day, keeping the wines fresh.”
A refreshing white wine blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon and 20% Chardonnay grapes. Sip on its own or with salads, cheese or BBQed fish, pork or chicken.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
$16.95 (Vintages #301127) $16.95
Yes, a white wine that is already 9 years old…and it’s traveled half way around the world to land in your shopping cart! At this price, they are giving this wine away. Unoaked and made with the not-that-well-known Semillion (a variety that it is often used for blending) there are notes of beeswax, rich spices and juicy fruits (think pears, peaches and apple crisp). Bring out the cheese & charcuterie plate as you uncork this wine!
Sonoma County, California
$29.95 (Vintages #942151)
When I am traveling to wine regions, I buy wines rather than postcards. I enjoy sharing stories about my trip with friends back home over a bottle of wine that I discovered along the journey. On a recent trip to Sonoma, I stumbled across Seghesio Winery. I have vivid memories of this neat place, complete with the coolest picket-fence posts – shaped into wine bottles. I confess that I popped more than one of their wines in my suitcase (please don’t tell). Deciding which red Zinfandel to bring home from California is always a challenge, so when memories of places that I visited during this trip appear on the shelves at Vintages, it is hard to resist.
Big, bold & black are the best descriptors of this Zin. Aromas of blackberry, black cherry & black licorice waft from the glass that coats your mouth with each sip. Jammy texture makes this a joy to drink. A BBQed steak would be a great match as the grilled taste of this red wine will enhance the smoky taste in the wine.
GRAND TOTAL: $87.80
A few others to consider, yet it will take you a few loonies over the $100 mark. These two reds would be good to add to your tasting trip, especially when you fire up the BBQ.
Barossa, South Australia
$17.95 (Vintages #138883)
Maipo Valley, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages #93831)