Tag Archives: Weekend WIne Picks

Italian Wines that WOW and other Weekend Wine Picks

Every two weeks, LCBO’s Vintages  delivers a flutter of joy to my inbox. If you are over 40, it’s the same kind of greedy excitement you felt when the Sears’ Christmas Wish Book came to the door. If you are under 40, it could be the Victoria’s Secret, Restoration Hardware or Canadian Tire catalogue that gives you the same kind of thrill. The Vintages online catalogue features the new releases and each edition spotlights one particular region. Last week, joy of joys – the feature: Tuscan Triumphs – featuring  many affordable wines and others that are wishlist worthy.

While I start to make my way through the new releases, a few of them made The Women of WIne’s weekend picks.

Teruzzi & Puthod Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2011 DOCG (Tuscany)

Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2011
Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2011

The Italian white is fresh and lively- think citrus and green apples – pale straw coloured and nicely aromatic with a creamy  texture. The Vernaccia di San Gimignano appellation was the first wine designated DOC – an Italian mark of quality. It was later upgraded to DOCG or quality guaranteed.  The Vernaccia grape is grown in the stunning area surrounding San Gimignano, the Tuscan town declared a UNESCO heritage site. If you have ever seen the movie Tea With Mussolini, starring a trio of British treasures: Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Joan Plowright, part of the film was shot there. Like this wine, the movie too, has a big finish. I won’t spoil it, but definitely worth watching with a glass of this wine in hand.

 Valiano Poggio Teo Chianti Classico 2008 DOCG (Tuscany) 

Valiano Poggio Teo Chianti Classico 2008
Valiano Poggio Teo Chianti Classico 2008

The scent of a good Chianti is one of life’s true pleasures. This deep ruby wine is full of plum, cherry preserves, spice and chocolate notes. Its tannins will make you pucker so decanting is a good idea. This is 100% Sangiovese and comes from Chianti Classico, an area within the gorgeous Chianti region. This wine also has the favourite WOW (women of wine) characteristic. It tastes a like it should cost more than it actually does.  13.5% alcohol. $18.95

 

 

 

Out of the New World WIne

Barista Pinotage WO 2011 (Western Cape, South Africa)

Barista Pinotage
Barista Pinotage

Pinotage is South Africa’s specialty. It is a cross between Cinsault and Pinot Noir and when it is good, it is very very good. The name is highly appropriate. Barista is like sipping from a strong cup of coffee with mocha flavours all wrapped up with red fruit and oak. I have not always been a big fan of Pinotage, but some of the latest releases have been terrific. And at $14.95, so is the price. 13.5% alcohol. Have it with a burger or even biscotti.

 

 

 

Deal of the Week

Vina Alicia Paso de Piedra Malbec 2008 (Mendoza, Argentina)

Vina Alicia Malbec 2008
Vina Alicia Malbec 2008

This is an exceptional value wine. Deep and delicious with black cherries and spice. It is 100% Malbec, the signature grape of Mendoza which produces 70% of the wines of Argentina. This wine is full-bodied and fruity. And if you need an official rating for proof, uber-critic Robert Parker gave it a 92 points. Not bad for $19.95. Buy one for yourself, one to hold and one to gift to someone you love.

 

 

Splurge of the Week: A Few More Dollars But a Lot of Delicious

Poliziano Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2009
Poliziano Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2009

Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2009, (Tuscany)

Cherries and spice and everything nice – this is a superb example of this noble wine of Tuscany made by Poliziano, one of the region’s top producers. Some refer to Vino Nobile di Montepulciano as a baby Brunello at a more affordable price.  I am a big fan and not just because Montipulciano is one of my favourite places on the planet. Sure, like any type of wine,  some are better than others, but when a Vino Nobile is well-produced – like this one, it is elegant, giving, well-structured  and keeps you wanting more.  It is 85% Prugnolo Gentile (a Sangiovese clone) and 15% blend of Canaiolo, Merlot and Colorino grapes. Pick up a bottle, they are going fast – or even better – get yourself to Montipulciano – it will taste even better. I promise.  14.5% alcohol. $25.96

Have a great weekend. Let us know if you try out one of the picks or if you have another to suggest.

 

2013 Wednesday Wine Picks with a Sexy Suggestion

A Bottle of Kaiken that Didn't Last Long
A Bottle of Kaiken that Didn’t Last Long

Kaiken Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina  LCBO $14.95

Argentina is becoming known for great value wines and this is a good  example. It is one of the reasons Argentina has become the fifth biggest wine producer in the world. Dark purpley red in colour, this beauty is full-bodied with soft tannins and fruit and spice flavours. Nice match with barbecued meat. 98% Malbec which is Argentina’s most important grape, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignion. 14.5% alcohol.

 

 

T Sanzo Vino De La Tierra di Castilla di Leon, Spain  LCBO $14.95

A Rich Recommendation from Rioja
A Rich Recommendation from Rioja

Continuing in the Spanish-speaking countries – this one from the Rioja region of Spain -also at the right price.  Yummy, delicious and fruity, it is made from 100% Tempranillo, one of the stars of Spain. Well-balanced and great value. 13.5% alcohol.  And if a rating helps to  convince you, Jay Miller, from eRobertParker gave it a 90.

Salud!

 

 

Finally my splurge recommendation:

Deep and Delicious
Deep and Delicious

La Vita Lucente 2010, Montalcino, Italy LCBO $28.90

A dear friend asked me for a recommendation the day after I uncorked this lovely and the infatuation was still burning the next morning. When I read the description I sent to her, it sounded less like a wine review and more like a review of 50 Shades without the handcuffs. This is sex in a bottle. The magnificent rich ruby red colour alone is enough to make me break my No Wine on Weekdays resolution – lucky I don’t have a bottle to open. The first sip had promise, 10 minutes later – it delivered exquisitely. It’s 75% Merlot and 25% Sangiovese blended perfectly. With a little research, I learned producer  LucedellaVite (The Light of Life) was originally a coproduction between the Frescobaldi family – Italy’s oldest wine producing family and the late Robert Mondavi of California. The Frescobaldis have since taken full ownership, and continue to produce a terrific wine perfect for any occasion.

 Send us the name of your favourite wine under $20.