680 NEWS wine reviews, October 5–7, 2018

Pelee Island Mousseux de Pomme Apple Wine
The difference between apple cider and apple wine is the alcohol content. Apple wine has some 10% alcohol, twice as much as most ciders. There’s an apple wine currently on LCBO shelves, made by the Pelee Island winery: it’s called Mousseux de Pomme Sparkling Apple wine. Pale straw in colour with a delicate red apple nose, it’s light-bodied with a light fizziness and clean apple and pear flavours with lemony acidity. Easy drinking and refreshing. It’s on a limited time offer at $13.95 until October 14th. Serve it with chicken breast or roast pork. That’s Pelee Island Mousseux de Pomme Sparkling Apple wine from Ontario. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($13.95, LCBO #556324) (89)

Sandeman Vau Vintage Port 1990
With the cold weather coming, my mind turns to port – the ultimate winter adult beverage. And what a bargain this one is: a half bottle of Sandeman Vau Vintage Port 1999 for $12.95. Deep ruby-purple in colour with a mature rim, it has a spicy, mulberry nose with an earthy note. The flavour of ripe plum, blackcurrant and dark chocolate fill the palate, refreshed by lively acidity. Serve it with blue cheese. That’s Sandeman Vau Vintage Port 1990 from Portugal at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($12.95, Vintages #583013) (90)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, September 28–30, 2018

Flat Rock Pink Twisted Rosé 2017
Pink wines are all the rage, it seems, and where once vintners would make their rosés from a single variety, now they’re creating blends. Niagara’s Flat Rock Pink Twisted Rosé is a blend of Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer and Riesling. Bright pink in colour with a bouquet of red apples and lemon, it’s light to medium-bodied. It’s just off-dry with a peachy-apple flavour, a light mineral note and good acidity to assure a drier finish than the nose suggests. It costs $17.95 at Vintages. Chill it and try it with charcuterie. That’s Flat Rock Pink Twisted Rosé 2017 from Ontario. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #39974) (88.5)

Avondale Jonty’s Ducks Pekin White 2016
My recommendation today is an unusual blend of Chenin Blanc, Roussanne, Muscat de Frontignan, Viognier and Semillon from South African. Equally unusual is its name: Avondale Jonty’s Ducks Pekin White 2016. The winemaker employs a posse of ducks to patrol his vineyard for snails. The wine has a minerally spicy peachy nose with a cinnamon note. It’s medium-bodied, dry with peach, melon and citrus flavours, well-balanced with good length. It costs $16.95 at Vintages outlets. Serve it with roast chicken or Caesar salad. That’s Avondale Jonty’s Ducks Pekin White 2016 from South Africa at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($16.95, Vintages #439554) (89)

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Bottega in Toronto

by Sheila Swerling Puritt

bottega_sandro_bottles

Sandro Bottega (photo: Roy Maeder)

Recently Italy’s answer to the Energizer bunny, distiller and vintner Sandro Bottega, paid a visit to Toronto and Vancouver. In his usual enthusiastic style, he discussed his new products coming into the Canadian market, how they are made, the soil the grapes are grown in and ideas on his organic principals. And, of course, he served us wine and food. Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, September 21–23, 2018

Gérard Bertrand Minervois 2015
Gerard Bertrand is one of the best-known producers of wine in the South of France. You’ll find many of his wines in Vintages because the LCBO likes his pricing. Virtually all of them are under $20. Betrand, who used to play rugby for France, concentrates on local varieties in Languedoc and Provence. I’m particularly fond of his Minervois 2015. A blend of Syrah and Carignan, it’s dense purple-ruby in colour; the bouquet is black raspberry with a light oak influence. Medium to full-bodied, it’s dry, firmly structured. It costs $16.95 at Vintages outlets. A good bet for a BBQ night. That’s Gerard Bertrand Minervois 2015 from France. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. (Vintages #952804, $16.95) (89)

Château des Charmes Brut
Ontario is making some top-flight sparkling wines now. Recently tasted and enjoyed was Château des Charmes Brut Sparkling. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it’s made in the tradtional fermentation in bottle. Pale straw in colour with an active mousse of tiny bubbles. A toasty nose of apple with a honeyed note; medium-bodied, a touch of honeyed sweetness in mid palate kept in check by fresh acidity that gives commendable length on the palate. ($25.95, Vintages #224766) (89)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 707: Okanagan Valley Wines

Black Hills Estate Winery Ipso Facto 2016

Wines I tasted this past week: Continue reading

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