Wine O’lutions

Hello and Seasons Greetings

 

It’s the time of year when many of us start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. I have never been someone who spends a lot of time thinking up new ways to torture myself. Run 20 minutes a day ? Get up early and do push ups? Not gonna happen. What I will do is make Wine O’Lutions. I have a few suggestions and want to show you how to work it into your everyday life.

  1. Try new wines. This is a pretty simple one and quite easy to fulfill. Try a grape variety you haven’t heard of or an obscure producer from a store or off a wine list. It’s all too easy to keep trying the same genre of wines over and over as it’s not a big risk. I’m suggesting you stretch your brain a bit. Have you ever tried wine from Lebanon ? Try Chateau Musar or Kefraya . Have you tried Tokaji Azu from Hungary? Look for the Royal Tokaji Company wines.
  2. Try wines you drank when you first started drinking wine. Often sweeter wines are the first wines to be tried when you first get into wine . Moscato can be a classic example. When was the last time you had Asti Spumanti ? BCLDB Listing . Did you ever try Mateus when you were exploring wine ? BCLDB Listing . I can already imagine you shaking your head. Try them again and you will be surprised flavours are a powerful trigger for emotion and nostalgia. Maybe you have young adults in the house that have never tried wine before. Tasting a 61 Lafite or a lean Northern Italian wine might be too much for a first timer.
  3. Drink a couple of your best wines this year. There is a human tendency to procrastinate drinking your “best” wines for a special occasion. My experience tells me that that occasion rarely happens and it’s often a disappointment when it does. Collectors/wine lovers often keep wines far longer than the winemaker intended. They also have a lot of pent up hopes for those wines when the time comes to open them. How about just opening a great bottle of wine on a Tuesday night with pizza? They pressure is off for the wine to perform and you will be surprised how much more enjoyable the wine will be. In my old days at Marquis Wine Cellars I had a customer and his wife that had an amazing cellar. Blue Chip wines from all over the world, young old … everything. They used to wrap 12-24 bottles in aluminum foil and drink them randomly over the next few weeks. Generally I’m not fond of blind tasting wine. In this case it taught me a valuable lesson. They weren’t drinking wines based on the price or the emotion connected to the wine. There is a certain serendipity to this approach that simply says “I’m going to drink 26 ounces of wine just for the sheer pleasure of it”. I loved that approach. Tomorrow is a promise, not a guarantee.
  4. Share some great wines with friends that don’t have the opportunity to try/purchase the wines you have in your cellar. I have been the beneficiary of many friends, customers and collectors that shared amazing wines with me. No doubt you have as well. Now it’s time to pay it forward. Do you have a young clerk at the wine store you shop at that is keen to learn? Share a bottle with them. Is there a passionate wine lover that is a server at your favourite restaurant? Open something that ignites their passion. Show them how wonderful wine can be when it’s a Reserve wine or has had some time to age. It can be very satisfying to share in this way. In my mind wine is not a solitary beverage it is a social beverage and deserves the chance to be explored in this way.

 

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

Cheers

David Lancelot

Christmas Wines 2016

It’s the time of year most wine lovers look forward to. Dinner party season is upon us and it’s the time to pull out the big guns. Bring out your best wines to share with friends over the holiday season. New Years is coming as well so good Champagne/Sparkling is in order as well.

But what if you are just getting started and need some recommendations for December? I’m so glad you asked. Here are a few of my favourite wine options for the next few weeks.

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Riesling Zind Humbrecht 2011 or 2012 listed and available for sale at 13 different BC Liquor Stores $33.99 (not including tax) .Solid press from Wine Spectator. My take on it is there are few producers of white wine in the world I would take over Zind Humbrecht. Under the leadership of Olivier and Margaret Humbrecht since 1989 and converting in 1997 to bio-dynamic agriculture this winery has gone from strength to strength. Early on Olivier committed to increasing the amount of time the wines spent in the bottle before release. The grapes are picked very ripe with no chaptilisation or fining. Some fermentations take as long as a year to complete. This is richness density and purity of fruit at its finest. Enjoy with blue cheeses or a really smoky ham. Brilliant stuff.

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Ridge Geyserville 2013 available for sale at New District Liquor Store in Vancouver BC $61.99. Ridge has been waving the flag for California Zinfandel for almost 50 years. This blend of 60% Zinfandel, 24% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, and 4% Mourvedre. Geyserville used to be called a Zinfandel however after a vineyard audit in 1989 the winery stopped using the reference to Zinfandel on the front label and switched to an accurate listing of the percentages. This is your go to Lamb wine; bring on all the garlic and rosemary you want. It begs for more.

winebottle2Domaine de Bosquets Gigondas 2013 available for sale at Marquis Wine Cellars $46.90 tax included. Grenache 65 %,Syrah25 %,Mourvèdre7 % and Cinsault3 %. Think of this wine as your gateway drug to Chateauneuf du Pape .” Intense, with very pure, focused raspberry, boysenberry and blueberry fruit flavors that pump along, while a racy graphite note bolts down the finish. Alluring spice and black tea accents hang in the background. The finish features subtle, latent grip. Rock-solid. Best from 2016 through 2021. 500 cases imported. Score: 91 points— JM, Wine Spectator, Oct 2015” Run, don’t walk to MWC and buy some of this wine. Great host/hostess gift and a wonderful compliment to Prime Rib or vegetarian dishes that include fennel.

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Gaston Chiquet NV Brut Blanc de Blancs d’Ay available for sale at Marquis Wine Cellars $75.90 tax included . Champagne can be divided in a few categories. Negociant Champagne is made by producers that typically don’t own all of the land the grapes are grown on and many times don’t control the viticultural practices either. A grower Champagne is exactly that, a single owner who grows the grapes, owns the property and makes the wine on their own. They are idiosyncratic and fabulous deals. The Gaston Chiquet is your ultimate bubble with seafood. If you are doing BYO Chinese Restaurants over the holiday you can’t go wrong.

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

Cheers

David Lancelot

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