Because there are so many good wines out there….. and chances are you’re not trying them. I’m not pointing fingers, I’m looking into the mirror. We are all creatures of habit and I have a tendency to go back to my favorites. Guilty! They’re our favorites for a reason. We love them! One of the great things about taking the courses and training to becoming a Sommelier, is that each week our Instructors bring in different wines. I also have a fantastic relationship with my local NSLC store staff, (probably no big surprise there) and get to try many fantastic wines there. Here’s a couple of new wines I have tried recently, and they are all reasonably priced, so it won’t hurt the wallet to try something new.
The Penfold’s Bin Series. I jokingly thought there was 100 of them, with the 407, I’m now wondering if I wasn’t wrong. I may have written about the Bin 2 before as this has become a staple in my wine rack. This wine was originally $43, but my local wine store has re-released it at under $25. Wow. This wine was first vintage in 1960 and is a delicious blend of Shiraz and Mourvedre. Most wine drinkers know Shiraz, a great structured wine with flavors of pepper. If Mourvedre is new to you, it’s very well-known around the Chateauneuf du Pape area of France. A wine that adds tannins and spicy herbs to a blend, as we are approaching BBQ season in Canada, hopefully, this wine will go beautifully with anything you put on your grill. The Bin 407 is a Cabernet Sauvignon. Developed by Penfolds chief winemaker John Duval, he designed it to be drinkable now and able to age well in a cellar. So on Monday, I tried the 2008 and could have swooned at the gorgeous bold dark fruits, licorice, smoke and hints of cigar box. It was rich with structure, and the words our Instructor used was ‘not goopy’. I love him… I thought it was perfect.
The next one I’m telling you about for two reasons. I loved the name of the wine, and some times I only talk about wine I absolutely love. I didn’t love this wine, because I found it a little sweet. But you may love it, and that’s why I wanted to tell you about it. If you love Apothic Red, and I know many of you do, you have to try this wine… you’ll love it too. It wasn’t quite as sweet as Apothic, or that was my opinion. I’d love to hear yours. Hey, wedding season is on the horizon, and although the label reminds me of something from Halloween, it is a cool name wine. A blend of many different grapes, it is juicy, and a little sweet. Also from California is the Dead Bolt. I made a mistake writing about this wine two weeks ago and called it a Cabernet Sauvignon. There is mostly Cabernet in this blend, but it contains many of the same grapes, without the sweetness. This is a wine you are going to want to have on hand for the summer. Easy to drink blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah just to name a few, it’s juicy, structured, and perfect for sipping on the patio or food friendly as well.
A couple of weeks ago we studied New Zealand. And regular readers will know what a fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc I am. We tried a couple of new ones, and I discovered New Zealand also makes great Riesling. Nobody had really heard of New Zealand wines before the early 80’s and by the 1990’s they were established and respect. Zero to hero in a decade. And here are a couple of reasons why. The Mt. Difficulty Riesling on the left had gorgeous aromas of honeysuckle and apricots and none of that petrol flavor associated with new Riesling. It was lively and vibrant and very food friendly. On the left is the Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc. New Zealand wears the crown for Sauvignon Blanc in my opinion, and here’s one of the reasons why. Gorgeous mineral flavors, bell peppers with a hint of citrus. People tend to eat more salads in the summer, and this is the wine for it! Serve it nice and chilled and you’ve got a wine to be enjoyed on every patio.
Well, that’s it for this week. In the past week alone, we tried 22 wines, and 20 of them were new to me. Like I said, I found some new favorites and staples for my wine rack. Get out of that wine rut, and try something new today. You won’t regret it.
Till next week, cheers