Everyday Gourmet Column by Mark Dewolf
This week I picked up a few wines from some old favourite wineries to see if fond memories were just that. It's a bit of an unfair test in some ways as every winery has the odd off vintage and judging an old friend by a single effort is a bit tough. While a slightly green and out of balance 2010 Masi Tupungato Passo Doble left me longing for the silkier, fleshier efforts I recall from the past, two others made me want to renew many more old relationships.
Everyday: 2010 Sibling Rivalry White (Canada) (Select NSLC stores, $15.99)
In last week's article, I lamented about the lack of quality Canadian wines available at a competitive price. Well, here is one. The Sibling Rivalry in question here are the three Speck brothers who collectively own and operate Henry of Pelham winery in Niagara, Ontario. When I first became a sommelier, a little more than a decade ago, their Baco Noir Reserve was one of those wines that proved to me the wine world is a lot more interesting with more than just Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Grigio. This offering which is a blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay is delightfully fresh with floral, spice, citrus and green fruit aromas and flavours. It offers a nice balance of residual sweetness and vibrant acidity which some might find it a little sharp; I don't. Enjoy this as a patio wine or serve as an intro to a summer dinner party.
Pairing: Pita chips with guacamole
Gourmet: 2008 Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile) (Select NSLC stores, $24.99)
Santa Rita's Medalla Real Cabernet broke onto the local wine scene a little less than a decade ago. I can still recall those first few sips of this oily, rich wine that was immensely satisfying. My wife served this latest version to me blind (that is I didn't know what I was being served). Instinctively, my first judgement of wines these days is value and the nose on this one delivers in the $30-$40 price point. This Cabernet is full of black currant flavours mixed with a savoury tobacco and earthy edge. Expect a round yet very dry finish. This is way more than just a simple fruity Chilean Cabernet.
Pairing: Grilled strip loin with truffle whipped potatoes.
Mark DeWolf is the Food & Drinks editor of Occasions Magazine, a sommelier instructor and owner of By the Glass.