Some friends of ours just got back from Tuscany with that look in their eyes. You know, that look that says for at least a few moments, a few days, a few weeks – all was right with the world. There was no rush, no anxiety, no reason to consider anything except the perfection of where you are sitting, and equally important, what you are drinking.
Their tales of joy sent me straight to the Italian aisle for this week’s red wine picks. A couple of VQA’s round them out.
Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2012, Fielding Estate Winery Beamsville Bench, $21.95 Gold in the glass with citrus aromas, pear and peach. Rich and lovely over dinner or just a warm conversation at twilight.
Burrowing Owl, Merlot 2009 VQA Okanagan, $41.95 An award-winning wine that is wracking up the hardware. Full-bodied and plum juicy with a strong finish – this winery looks worth visiting as much as the wine was worth tasting.14%
Palazzo Vecchio Vino Nobile de Montepulciano 2007 DOCG $23.95 Some refer to this wine, aged two years in oak, as a Baby Brunello. While the price is friendlier than a Brunello – this baby can easily stand on its own long and luscious legs. This doesn’t just feel like home to a lover of Italian reds … it feels like Christmas. 14%
San Felice Il Grigio Chianti Classico Riserva 2009 LCBO $26.95 SAQ $27.00 It’s easy to splurge in the tasting room but it is a double-edged sword. You get to taste a great wine for a buck, but after you taste it, you really, really want to take it home. This is one of those. Blackberries, black cherries, and spice are dominant in this wine. Riserva’s must be aged at least 24 months, and it should even improve with age, if, unlike me, you can wait. Worth splurging for yourself or a really good friend. 13%
Finally, what to drink with your Thanksgiving turkey, white wine lovers can do well with a Riesling or Pinot Grigio, but if you are like me, a lazy long turkey dinner with a glass of Pinot Noir or Chianti is the idea of holiday perfection.
Happy Thanksgiving! To family, friends and good music and great wine!