So last week’s wine blog was about Spring…. and how many people tend to have their first barbecue of the season right about now. Well, this is what Wednesday, March 26th looked like in Halifax, the left being a view outside of the Radio Station I work at, and the second my poor BBQ tied down so it didn’t blow away in 120 kmh winds. We’ll try the BBQ and wine matching blog again a little later on in the Summer. Spring in Atlantic Canada… come on California.
Speaking of California, I’ve been doing a fair bit of research lately on New World Wine done in Old World Style. I’m doing a presentation for my wine school as part of my journey to becoming a Sommelier. So I thought I would share some of what I’ve learned and share some really unique tasty wines from New world Countries done in Old World Style.
Quick run-down on what I mean by Old World and New World. Old World wine regions have been making wine for a thousand years or more and include countries like France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany – just to name a few. When many people think of Old World they think of European countries. New World vineyards have been making wine for under 200 years, and many of them, including California and Canada, just finding their stride in the last 50 years or so. Old World wine regions tend to be revered by many, and make their wine with terroir in mind and tend to be bound by tradition. New World wine, not so much. However, don’t get me wrong, I love New World wine. Wines from New Zealand, Australia, California, Oregon and Canada rank among some of my favorites. And I especially like their attempts at making New World Style Bordeaux. I know many are going to disagree with me on this, but the blog is called ‘In My Opinion’ for a reason – what can I say I like them.
So, a Bordeaux wine is always a blended wine using allowable grapes. The allowable grapes include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere. In the New World, a wine done in the style of Bordeaux is called Meritage. This one from Burrowing Owl in the Okanagan is one of my favorites. This wine, meant for aging, has delicious aromas of plums, cassis, cherry and cocoa. And on the palate – smooth and elegant with big juicy flavors of plums, cherry, raspberry and spice. This is a beautiful wine to go with roast beef, or once it warms up, anything done on the grill.
Here’s another Meritage, this one from Robert Mondavi in California. At $20 a bottle, this is a great wine at a great price. Robert Mondavi was inspired to create this wine after travelling abroad and tasting the wines. Lots of beautiful ripe fruits on this wine that can be enjoyed now or it can be aged if you so choose.
When Eleanor of Aquitane married the King of England, Bordeaux was under English rule. It didn’t take long for the English to fall in love with wines from Bordeaux, and put the name Claret on them. (not Clar-ay – .. Clar-it is how it’s pronounced) I have written about one of my favorites – the Francis Ford Coppola Black Diamond Claret out of the Napa Valley. This Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wine is full-bodied, well structured and full of flavor. It’s a big wine that will hold its own against any meat.
And it’s not just Bordeaux that get’s copied. Oregon is on the map as some of the finest producers of Burgundian style Pinot Noir. And they are doing Riesling, a wine that many people think of Germany when they think Riesling, in fine style as well.
Here are two examples. The Firesteed Riesling and the Firesteed Pinot Noir. The Riesling is a gorgeous example of a Riesling from Oregon. Full of aromas mandarin orange, lemon zest, and melon. This is one of my favorite wines to have with spicy food, Asian cuisine or Chinese food. It can also be paired very well with chicken and a whole array of other dishes. If you’re reading this, please feel free to share your favorite Riesling dishes. The Firesteed Pinot Noir with its vibrant flavors of cherry and spice will feel like your first taste of summer. And heaven knows we all need a little summer.
If you have been dumped on this week by snow or cold temperatures – hopefully some of the wines mentioned will help warm you up. If you’re enjoying Spring like temperatures, please share with the rest of us where you live!
Till next week, Cheers