Starting from Scratch – What’s In Your Wine Rack?

wine rack

A friend of mine asked me to start from scratch with a new wine rack.  I was allowed to fill it with one of each varietal, and he wanted to know if I could pick just one of each, what would be in my wine rack.  So here’s a little bit of a fun exercise, and I would love to hear your feedback on which varietal you would choose.

Let’s start with the Reds:

Mondavi ReserveDeadbolt

For Cabernet Sauvignon, I would head straight to California.  Since I visited the Napa Valley in 2001, I have been a California Cab girl.  And I wouldn’t have one of the lesser priced, nope, I would go for the high end Reserve Cabernet.  Given 95 points by Wine Advocate, this rich wine is full of dark fruit flavors and vanilla toasty oak.  A brand new California Cabernet is the one on the right.  Dead Bolt Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah.  Love it!  Full of dark gorgeous flavors and this one comes in at about $20.  With Summer around the corner, this is the wine for this year’s BBQ season.   Can you say hamburgers!

thorn MerlotHeating things up in January with Great Wine!

For a Merlot, I would travel to Washington State or Australia.  The one pictured is a Thorn Clark Terra Barossa Merlot.  Merlot is my BBQ pork wine, whether it’s stuffed pork tenderloin or a grilled pork chop.  The smoky plummy flavors of this fantastic Merlot with a hint of pepper,  would be welcome at any of my BBQ parties.  This wine is as succulent as the meal you’d serve it with.  Tempranillo – you Spanish lovely.  The wine on the right is still my all time favorite Tempranillo from Rioja.  I can’t get it here in Nova Scotia, but a trip home to Newfoundland means a visit to the NLC and a bottle of Marques de Riscal Rioja.  Most of the tempranillo grapes are grown in vines that were planted in the 70’s, so they have that smooth old vine taste.  It’s a Reserva, which means something in Spain.  It means it was aged for 3 years, and at least 1 year in oak.  Full-bodied and tasty, if you can get this wine in your area, try one today.

Calera label   Savigny label

Because Old World countries label their wine by region, I could have two Pinot Noir’s in my new wine rack, and most people wouldn’t know the difference.  The Pinot on the left is from winemaker Josh Jensen and Calera Vineyards, one of my favorite to come out of California.  Oregon also makes world quality Pinot Noir, but I had to choose one from the New World.  The wine on the left is a Burgundian red wine, and for those that know and love the wines from Burgundy France, you’ll know it’s also a Pinot Noir.  Pinot Noir is probably my favorite wine.  It is, in my opinion, the food-friendliest wine on the planet.  It goes with seafood, chicken, pork, turkey – just about anything.

Le Clos Jordanne Chardonnay   Saint Clair label

For Chardonnay, my go to region is California, but if I was only allowed one Chardonnay it would be this one.  Le Clos Jordanne le Grand Clos.  Smooth, creamy, flavorful and crisp – all rolled into one delectable wine.   My favorite chicken wine in the whole world.  Check out my blog with my Maple Dijon chicken recipe and this wine, and give it a try if you want to send your taste buds to heaven.  You can find it here.  The blog was called ‘Wine, Happiness, Chicken and Sommeliers in Training!”  One of my personal favorites.    I love Sauvignon Blanc, but I would have to head to New Zealand if I picked one.  One of the things I love most about  Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is that they are so aromatic.  Citrus and vibrant with great acidity, so many good New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – so little time.


Robert Mondavi Fume BlancNova 7

Another favorite white wine of mine (that sounds like it could be a song!) is the Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc.  Now, a little cheat note here, because this Fume Blanc is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion.  I love Semillion when it is blended with Sauvignon Blanc.  On its own, it could be a little waxy, but it’s very easy to cultivate, so it is grown a lot in France and Australia, but mostly used as blends.  Robert Mondavi did a fantastic job with the blend as well and called his Fume Blanc.  Crisp white wine – try it, you love it.  If I had to pick one Nova Scotia wine, I would pick Nova 7 by Benjamin Bridge.  (Although I would probably find a spot for the Borealis Ice Wine from Benjamin Bridge too! – Every girl needs a little sweetness in her life)   And since Nova 7 is a premium sparkling wine and Borealis a dessert wine, I should be allowed both in my new wine rack.    The Nova 7 2013 vintage just got released on Thursday, however, I haven’t tried it yet.  Last year’s was a beauty.  Beautiful salmon color in the glass, effervescent, and delicious.  Made from 8 different grapes, and all grown here in Nova Scotia – this wine is one of our provincial treasures.

BorealisRoyal tokaji

From Benjamin Bridge, the Borealis wine is named after the Aurora Borealis, also called the Northern Lights, a spectacular display of dancing lights in the sky.  Beautiful.  As is the wine.  Dried apricots, peach and sweet cream.  It’s your very own taste of heaven in a glass.  Another favorite dessert wine of mine is Royal Tokaji out of Hungary.  Luscious honey and apricots help make this one of my favorite desserts – I would take it over chocolate any day.

Whew, we’ve covered a few wines.  If you got a brand new wine rack, what favorites would you put in it?

Please feel free to comment, would love to hear from you

Till next week, Cheers













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