Although we (may have) failed miserably at getting around to taste all 780 wines offered at this year’s VIWF, we did find the inner strength to pull ourselves away from the lengthy row of Champagne producers long enough to discover a handful of gems. Being mindful that there is a place and time for everything, here are our notable picks for best wine fest bets:
Tuesday night wine…
Rocca delle Macie ‘Occhio a Vento’ Vermentino 2012, Italy| $17-20
This dry Italian white is perfect for any old night of the week. It is light, crisp and refreshing with zesty acidity and flavours of green apple, pear and lemon-lime. To us, this is the perfect white wine to sip while making dinner and unwinding after a crazy day at the office.
For date night…
Gunderloch ‘Jean Baptiste’ Riesling Kabinett 2012, Germany| $30-$34
German producer Gunderloch hit it out of the park with this fresh and lively Riesling. Flavours of honey, peach, lemon-lime and green apple are combined with nervy acidity, a hint of sweetness and a long, dry finish. Pair it with Asian-inspired dishes, preferably with an element of spice.
Hanging out on the patio….
Boutinot ‘Les Cerisiers’ Cotes du Rhone Rosé 2012, France| $23-25
This Rosé is made from a blend of classic Rhone grape varieties: Grenache Gris, Grenache Noir and Cinsault. A gorgeous pale salmon-pink colour and notes of blossom and wild strawberry on the nose make it pretty enticing even before taking a sip. The palate does not disappoint with refreshing acidity and delicate flavours of cherry, raspberry and crunchy nectarine on the finish.
Miguel Torres ‘Celeste’ Ribera Del Duero 2010, Spain | $24-$28
If you haven’t already ventured into the world of Spanish wine, producer Miguel Torres is a great starting point. “Celeste” is made from the variety Tempranillo and possesses all the hallmarks of a great summer BBQ wine: structured tannins, ripe black and red fruit and a spicy/smoky combination that will make you crave something from the grill. Enjoy it with grilled meats or classic Mediterranean dishes, such as Paella.
An evening with friends…
Georges Deboeuf ‘Cuvée Prestige’ Morgon 2009, France| $30-35
Beaujolais is a lighter style of red wine made from the Gamay grape variety. This wine is from one of the 10 cru villages in the area, making it a bit more interesting than your standard Beaujolais, yet still reasonable in price. Serve it slightly chilled and enjoy all the charm of what Gamay has to offer: flavours of pure raspberry, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper and powdery soft tannins.
A special occasion…
Charles de Cazanove Champagne Brut NV, France| $50-$55
One thing to point out before we dive into the description of this wine is that there is a difference between Champagne and sparkling wine. Champagne is the sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France. It is made with specific grape varieties, using a method called “Methode Champenoise” and has been aged in caves before being released. This ritual offers a certain complexity you won’t find in many other sparkling wines (hence the higher price). Our point is that you can taste the difference and Champagne has earned its keep as the drink associated with celebration and luxury. This Champagne is rich and flavourful, with aromas and flavours of brioche, golden apples and toasted hazelnuts and a long finish. It stood out from the crowd as being particularly great in value, as most Champagne is $60+.
Louis Bouillot ‘Perle Aurore’ Cremant de Bourgogne Rosé, France| $27-31
We think of this bubbly as baby Champagne because it is also made using the “Methode Champenoise” and exhibits some of the complexity of Champagne at a lower cost. This Cremant is dry with flavours of biscuit, citrus and delicate red berry character. It punches above its weight in terms of value and would be a worthy bottle for a celebration if you don’t want to break the bank on Champagne.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)
Cover image from: Celebrations.com