Even us “wine folks” need to have a break from scouring the shelves looking for unique wines made from obscure grape varietals or robustly flavoured wines that have unique flavours such as barnyard that appeal to a small percentage of the population (I admit I like to a smell the occasion sweat saddle in my glass of red wine). Here are a couple wines you can find at many NSLC stores that deliver quality, consistency and value and a level of comfort knowing they are simply good wines but no barnyard or sweaty saddle aromas or flavours.
Juno Shiraz (Select NSLC, 12.49)
Passionate and beautiful, powerful and seductive, Juno is the goddess in every woman and this wine a celebration of mother earth that is South Africa's ancient soils. This value-priced brand offers a mildly spicy note and is rich with fruit flavours and a mild finish. What's not to love? This wine won’t overwhelm you with its complexity, but for an everyday drink it will prove to be a good choice.
Serving Suggestion: Enjoy on its own or with mild sausages.
J Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon (Select NSLC, $22.79)
A decade or so ago, almost every Nova Scotian's go to wine was Wolf Blass Yellow Label. For the better part of a decade the wine over delivered on price to quality ratio but sometime around the middle of the last decade quality weighed, undoubtedly a consequence of increased demand, and now new favourites have emerged. One of my go to wines when I need something that is available at most larger NSLC stores is J Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon. It is loaded with inviting hazelnut, vanilla, blueberry and plum aromas and boasts a rich fruity palate. The finish is dry but not bitter. It is guaranteed to impress.
Serving Suggestion: Grilled rib eye with a red wine reduction and roasted potatoes
Mark DeWolf is the Food & Drinks Editor of Occasions Magazine, a sommelier instructor and owner of By the Glass.