I always look forward to Friday nights in the summer and at the end of a busy week it’s just nice to unwind and relax in my beautiful backyard. For me there’s nothing better than sitting around and sipping a cool glass of wine on an evening like that, so on my way home I stopped at the liquor store to pick up a bottle or two.
Now I have nothing against beer or hard liquors like rum or vodka but I’m a wine drinker and generally during the summer I prefer something light and cool so I stick to whites and a good Sauvignon blanc covers that off nicely. I’d never had this particular wine before but the bottle just sort of jumped out at me. The label was blue and white with words like tranquil, cool, relaxed and peaceful with a starfish on it. From South Africa it was called “the beach house” and for under $10 it seemed like a good value especially since it was listed as a Best Value on the 2012 wine guide.
Being such a great night some of the neighbors popped by to enjoy a glass with us and well the guide was right…it was easy drinking, cool and refreshing and everyone enjoyed it.
As I mentioned I do not profess to be a wine expert only a wine lover. I will try just about anything once and I’m always happy to try a wine I haven’t had before. Recently someone brought me a bottle of James Oatley Tic Tok, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Western Australia and since my husband bbq’d up a nice steak I thought we should crack it open.
It was medium bodied with a nice fruity taste but also a bit savoury which was perfect to go with the steak, even though my husband went a bit heavy on the pepper. I try not to criticize too much since he does all the work so happily I just drink a little more wine and smile like it’s the best meal of my life.
Since it was a gift I figured I should check out the price and found it’s $15.95 at the LCBO which is a good price point for most people for a half decent bottle of wine.
I checked out the webpage for the winery and found out the winemaker, Robert Oatley is a fifth generation Australian a direct descendant of the convict, James Oatley, who was born in Warwickshire, England in 1770, the same year that Captain Cook discovered the east coast of Australia.
James Oatley was a clockmaker who was found guilty of stealing, punished with a life sentence and sent to Australia. He was officially pardoned in 1821 he was appointed Keeper of the Town Hall Clock by Governer Macquarie.
The label on the TIC TOK bottle was designed by Bob’s grandson James, and features an arrow, representing both the hands of a clock and the British Empire’s symbol for Government Owned Property, stamped prominently on convict uniforms of the day.
Many wineries have amazing historial stories and aside from enjoying a great bottle of wine, should you decide to gift this to one of your friends you’ll have a great story to tell during dinner.
Late last year we attended a great event put on by the LCBO. From north to south, they invited the women of some of Italy’s most prominant wine making families. From Piedmont to Tuscany and down to the Abruzzo, it was an evening that showed not only the strength of the women involved in the industry but the wines were absolutely delicious.
So as the evening ended we couldn’t leave without putting in an order. We paid half up front and left excited that we’d soon be enjoying more of these great wines. We knew it would be about six months until the wines arrived from Italy and they were almost forgotten about until the notice arrivedthat they’d arrived at the LCBO warehouse.
Calling in straight away to settle the bill in hopes we would crack a bottle that same weekend our hopes were dashed when we were told it would take another 4-6 weeks for the warehouse to process the order. Seriously?
If and when they arrive we’ll be sure to let you know if they were as good as we thought. Now I’ll just dream about our next trip to Italy so we can visit some of these great vineyards ourselves.
It was so hot last night I decided a salad was the perfect meal. Feeling like a glass of wine I was looking for something nice and light. Someone had recommended I try the Alianca Vinho Verde 2010 from Portugal. It was slightly spritzy in the glass like a soft Procesco. It was fresh tasting and a perfect match to the salad. You’ll want to serve this chilled and even without the meal to accompany it, it would make a great wine to sip on a sunny summer afternoon.
We are the women of wine….we are not cork dorks we just appreciate a great glass of wine. We also love to travel and of course drink while we do. Shortly we will be posting lots of travel and wine stories.