Archive | March, 2010

Esteemed doesn’t mean great…

31 Mar

First day on the job as an intern for Vines Magazine based out of Burlington, and I get gifted a bottle of white.

I mean, come on, can I even complain about that? Not really.

Task one is to taste it, figure out the rituals behind the whole shabang. More importantly, I’m supposed to decide if I like it.


I know we’re on this great adventure into wine and all, but it’s still kind of radically shocking to hear someone wants my opinion. The first time my brother called me to ask which white to grab off the shelf for his girlfriend’s party, I nearly had a stroke. You can only imagine my surprise to hearing my boss wanted to know what I thought.

Regardless, I brought the bottle home, and dove right in. Why not leap, right?

Well, turns out it was an easy task, this ‘speaking your mind’ bit.

Welcome the Gabbiano 2008 Pinot Grigio. (LCBO# 77990, $12.95).

It’s alright. I think the word I used to my boss was ‘meh’. It’s a pretty straw colour, light in the mouth and has a good long finish (that’s how long the taste lingers around after you’ve swallowed – or spit, like the ‘pros’ do). It’s zesty, and at the finish, it kind of feels like you’ve bit into a lemon peel. It’s got dominate tart apple flavours and from all these descriptors, you’d think I’d have liked it.

I didn’t. Gabbiano is an esteemed Tuscan winery (in the North East of Italy). They’re famous for their Chiantis in the way that Choo is famous for his shoes.

Meh. They need to work on their Pinot Grigio. It’s got potential, but with so many other wines out there, I’m not in a huge rush to drink it again.

You know, unless it’s for ‘work’.


Never Drinking Anything Else Again…

23 Mar

After diving head first into a pile of wine books, websites and tweets, I have come out ready, excited and particularly curious to try several different types of wine that weren’t really on my radar.

First up was Beaujolais.

Previously, I had generally steered my wine choices away from France. I mean, yeah, they’ve done wine very, very well, but they’re also kinda – well – French about it. Call it uppity, snotty, or just very secure in their fortune, but the Canadian in me never really cared much to venture to the rolling, grassy hills of France. Well, other than Champagne… but that’s a whole other chapter.

So. Beaujolais. After serious readings, what did I know about it?

Well, this wine takes its name from a region in France. I bet you can guess what it’s called. (Yes, for the blondes in the class, that’d be Beaujolais.) I know from my Grade 12 French class that Beau means beautiful, so that’s a nice start for a wine. Jolais I can only imagine stands for ‘Amazing Wine’.

Yes folks, it’s that good. I had read that it was that good, but didn’t want to believe the hype. Someone once said it was the perfect wine, and that guy cut it with water.

Well it may not be perfect, or at least not the stuff at my price point, but it’s as close as I’ve tasted.

I sampled a bottle (or two, what can I say, I’m hooked on the stuff) of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf 2008 Beaujolais – Villages (LCBO 122077, $12.95)

It smells like red wine, but drinks like a white. It’s as tender as they describe it on the bottle. It’s full of berries and juicy.

The best part is that you’re actually supposed to serve it chilled. Yes, this is a red wine we’re talking about folks. But those Frenchies have it right, that Gamay grape is amazing cold. It’s as easy drinking as a crisp Pinot Grigio. It’s great for picnics, matches everything from light red meats to chicken pasta. I can even imagine it being awesome with Asian cuisine.

It’s not bitter, but it’s not super sweet. It’s so damn good that I might never drink anything else again.