Tag Archives: chenin blanc

Peace Offering…

28 Oct

It’s been so long, dear readers. I know it’s all my fault. I can’t blame BC for sucking the energy out of me, or the cold weather sapping inspiration, or even the Packers ridiculously close losses in recent weeks for shoving me in a corner, sulking and rocking back and forth. I’ve simply been caught up in this windstorm called life, but I have made a promise to write more often.

To counteract the eerie silence that has been The Corkscrew for so long – I present the following as my appeasement to the Wine Blog Gods.

This here, folks, is what everyone is after. I can’t tell you how many text messages I get from family and friends asking for exactly what this bottle delivers.

Rémy Pannier’s Anjou isn’t just affordable (but it is – LCBO#5967, $12.10). It isn’t just refreshing and balanced (but it is – with pear, apple and honeyed notes that would be outstanding with everything from hors d’oeuvres like crisps topped with goat cheese and cherry preserves to mains based on everything from the sea, oysters and lobsters especially). It isn’t just special and different (but it is – Chenin Blanc is approachable without being boring and overdone). It isn’t just from a popular, substantial wine growing country like France (but it is – from the AOC Anjou region of the Loire Valley that’s known for fantastic whites). It isn’t just an InterVin award winning bottle (but it is – and a best value one at that). It’s the whole package.

The best part? There’s more when this comes from. Take a look at the InterVin Best Values list and hunt them down. Trust me, this list is way more helpful than texting me.


14 Jun

So, the FIFA World Cup has begun. Footie fans are running amuck, drinking at 10 a.m. and sticking flags out of their cars. I may not make friends here, but I like football football. As in big, burly men crushing into one another, Hail Mary’s and the latest gossip about Brett Favre’s return (or retirement – depends on the week). In order to get through a month of soccer hijacking the sports channel, I’m going to do what I do best… drink.

Did you know that World Cup host South Africa has a wine history that dates back 1652?!? I sure didn’t.

Way back then, these crazy bunch of Dutch traders decided that they’d had enough of the Portugese monopoly over the Cape sea route (they really liked spices, okay?) and so Jan van Riebeeck was tasked to grow a garden and supplies for their ships that would stop along their travels.

Vines were imported in 1655, and there’s even six acres of that original planting preserved in a botanical garden today. Finally, in 1659, our adventurous and hardworking Jan wrote a sweet little diary entry that read:

“Today, praise be to God, wine was pressed for the first time from Cape grapes, and the new must was tested fresh from the vat.”

You just know Jan and his buddies got a little tipsy and someone shaved someone’s eyebrow.

From that storied history comes a great wave of wine. There’s the impressive cross-pollintaion of Pinot Noir and Hermitage that created Pinotage, the first uniquely South African grape variety and in 1965, the single largest selling branded wine in the world, Lieberstein. And South African wines have just continued to get better and better.

I thought I’d share two stand outs from the 16 participants at the SA tasting I was lucky enough to attend last week on the eve of kick-off. (It is kick-off, isn’t it?) Hopefully, you’ll either enjoy them with your favourite team’s match, or in place of having one.

Ken Forrester ’09 Chenin Blanc (VINTAGES 2011, $15.95)

A great full wine with a lot going on. Baked apple pie is the first thing I recognized on the nose, but it has layers of melon, honey and carmel. It’s an approachable, everyday drinking wine that can shake up your obsessive Pinot Grigio habit. It’s not too sweet, nor too oaky. It’s just, honestly, delightful. It’s definitely on my list and it should be on yours.

Graham Beck ’09 Chardonnay/Viognier (#140608, $11.95)

Seriously, just go try this bottle. It’s a great price and I’m in love with Viognier right now. It cuts the Chard so nicely, and adds such a great nose and interesting other layer to this wine. You get citrus from the Chardonnay, peaches from the Viognier. If you haven’t tried this grape, get out there and do it. Trust me.