If I only had $100…I would buy at LCBO Vintages
For someone who is not a winter person the LCBO Vintages release this Saturday Jan 23 are real perk me ups. This release features the dynamic duo of Argentina and Chilean wines and since Buenos Aires is on my travel list, it’s great timing. Not to mention there are fabulous wines at a popular price point.
Don’t forget that Robbie Burns Day is right around the corner and if you are a whisky lover the LCBO has whisky tastings to help you celebrate. While I can’t fit many single malts into my shopping basket without going over my $100 budget, there’s nothing to stop YOU!
If you have cabin fever, I noticed that all over Ontario, the LCBO is offering workshops on everything from wine appreciation, to pairings to “bubbles”. So if you have the winter blah’s, one of these workshops, plus a couple of new releases will surely beat the mid-winter blues.
Light the fire & enjoy a glass of one of these wines, Julie
$16.95 (Vintages #37036) 14% alcohol
A powerful trio of 70% Malbec, 20% Bonarda and 10% Syrah this black inky beauty is one fine red wine. Loads of ripe blueberries, blackberries and plums. If you like big fruity and dense wines, this one is for you. Although the Malbec grape steals the show, the Bonarda grape, offers the black cherry easy going fruit flavours. Soft tannins, creamy and smooth, a great hallmark for a classic Argentinian blend. Charred meats, grilled veggies, it’s worth the splurge of a porterhouse steak under the oven grill.
$14.95 (Vintages #055558) 14.5% alcohol
The Bonarda grape slipped into the country in the 19th century (sounds like an illegal) and has mysterious origins. There’s 3 different Bonarda grape varietals grown in Italy, one in Croatia and another in California where is known as Charbono. It’s the second most planted grape in Argentina after Malbec and has become known as a workhorse for its easy, less demanding growth compared with other varietals.
Lots of juicy plum and chocolate flavours in this red wine, very smooth sipping and spicy on the long finish. Talk about Argentina’s best kept wine secret, this one is a steal.
Maipo Valley, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages #60244) 14% alcohol
Maipo valley is the closest wine region to Santiago, the capital of Chile, extending east from the city to the Andes mountains. Although Chile is known for its Carmenere, the Maipo valley is often described as the Bordeaux of South America with its rich fruit-driven Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in French oak , this nectar offers scents of dark fruit and ripe red berry flavours that follow through on flavour of this red wine. The finish delivers easy going tannins with pencil shavings, tobacco and a little spice. Fantastic value with great character.
$17.95 (Vintages #396416) 13.5% alcohol
Great Viognier at a reasonable price tag is hard to find. These golden hue beauties often have a higher alcohol content than other whites since the thick-skinned grape has to be left on the vine a long time before developing its characteristic heady aromas. That said, when the scents of orange blossoms, apricots and honeysuckle hit the olfactory, it is paradise to the nose. Slightly off dry, creamy smooth with loads of orchard fruit flavours make it extremely palatable. There is not much acidity, but its a lovely sipper or try it with a seafood casserole. I’m already planning my next dinner party.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
$19.95 (Vintages #333286) 14% alcohol
Pale in colour but not in taste. The Pinot Gris grape originated in France and is the same grape varietal as the Italian Pinot Grigio but the change in names have come to infer a slightly different style of wine. The latter being more light-bodied with stone fruit and floral aromas. I never used to pay much attention to the Pinot Gris grape varietal, but recently I’ve found such fabulous citrus and zesty acidity; this one really shines. Layered with vibrant fruit and a medium rich texture: honeymelon, yellow and green apple, aromatic nectarines and lots of citrus. How could anyone not love this white wine? It’s fresh but the earthy minerality at the end adds interest and depth. It’s a versatile match for all kinds of lighter fare food. Delicious.
$12.95 (Vintages #579862) 13.5% alcohol
Some wines are just meant for cheap and cheerful spaghetti nights and this is one of those.
Altano is the name given to warm summer thermal winds that blow across the vineyards. Ripe blackberries, blueberries and cherries pretty much sum up this red wine, medium bodied with firm tannins. A little young and bone dry and made for the above.