Archive for the ‘Rosé’ Category

In my studies with the Vintners Quality Alliance, there lies within Ontario several “sub-appellations”: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelee Island, Prince Edward County just to name a few.  Grapes from the vines cultivated in the unique soils/terroirs of these sub-appellations carry with them the essence of everything in this wondrous dirt.

The sub-appellation of Costères de Nimes within the major region of Rhône is one such example in that most southern part of France.

Your vinoboy suggests slightly chilling this wine before tasting, but PLEASE not too much.  Intensely colored, floral and herbaceous nose, powerful mouth feel and an open, refreshing airy gasp of dried lavender on the finish.

The structure and balance of this vino makes it a perfect pair for exotically-spiced grilled chicken and veggies.  We’re actually crusting our chicken breasts with the famous Saffron restaurant’s Chef Sameh Wadi Spice Trail Exotic Blend Middle-Eastern blend.

LCBO/Vintages ~$14/btl   Cheers to Summer!!!



**image credit: republished via WineAlign – makes no claim to ownership; image used under fair use provisions for review and critique

Ok, so I must confess before I go any further that the only reason I chose this wine (the last of the wines I chose when last out with my good friend ‘S’…) was the shape of the bottle.  Hour-glass sculpted and sinuously tall, I was hoping the vino within would be voluptuous and yummy…

That’s not entirely true, I must confess. Côtes de Provence is one of the southern-most regions of France, in the foothills of les Montagnes Pyrénées -the range that divides the country from Spain. And since I’ve had delicious experiences with French rosés of late, a tasting was in order.

The faint nose was lightly rosy with a hint of lavender. On the palate, flavors of red peppers and stone berries fill both the front and back of the mouth.  The structure is slightly heavy, but otherwise, a rather pleasing vino.

Stock is low at the LCBO so if you find it at ~$14/btl, drink it right away or even try to cellar it for a year or two.




**image credit – Google Image search. makes no claim to ownership and republishes under Fair Use provisions for review and critique.

This calculated selection is the product of my enjoyment of Camp Viejo Crianza 2007, Rioja and my personal technique of exploring the various vinos from any particular region.  In this case, having enjoyed the Crianza which is the rich spicy toasty red and pretty much all Tempranillo, the rosé should be less dense, smoother, slightly sweeter and not wooded…

The winery itself is a fourth generation vineyard with the Faustino-Martinez family very much involved with the wine making, preserving the family integrity and unique character within this small region in Northern Spain.  Most prominent on the label is the portrait of who we can only assume is Eleuterio Martinez Arzok, who left his home village in search of a dream. He found it in Oyon, Alava where he bought a house and some vineyards and started making his own wines.

First off, the tall slender frosted bottle is beautiful!  A lovely watermelon pink in the glass, the 13%alc/vol produced some long legging when carefully swirled.  The nose is full of raspberry and light roses.  Almost creamy in the mouth, the raspberry turns jammy and smooth to refreshing finish.

Stimulating to the appetite, it didn’t take long for my guests and I to polish off this bottle with the baked penne Bolognese I prepared.  Find this vino in the Vintages section at the LCBO ~$13/btl.m  You may have to hunt for it as I’d found this tucked away in the corner of a lower shelf.




**image credit – Google Image search.  Please visit Bodegas Faustino and explore their website (annoying embedded music but can be muted).  Image re-posted under Fair Use provisions for review and critique.

Even though this is the fifth installment in my now-SIX part series on holiday bubbles, I’ll not be expounding much on this particular entry. Yes, ~$11/blt is in the ‘moderate priced’ category, this sparkling wine will be grouped in the ‘budget category’.

From what I can find online and in my local LCBO, MezzoMondo offers four distinct vinos: Negroamaro Salento, Sangiovese Merlot, a Sicilian Pino Grigio/Chardonnay, and this Sparkling Rosé. The Salento kicks major butt, the Sang-Merlot is decent, I’ve not tried the Pino Grigio/Chard yet and then there’s this…uhm…stuff…

I bought this hoping the previous two vino experiences were the benchmark of something wonderful.

The cork leapt from the bottle as any would but this time it felt like it truly NEEDED to be away from this one.  The mousse foamed like soapsuds and left odd webbing on the glass. There wasn’t the faintest hint of any scents on the nose, nor even on the palate. There isn’t anything I can possibly try to dredge up to say anything positive about this stuff.  The coral-pink color is very pretty to look at in the glass as it dances with bubbles the size of peas.

A very disappointing offering from MezzoMondo.

YUCK!!!!!!!  Spend the extra dollar and get something better



**image credit – a Google Images search produced a few results – I chose one and added the festive holly border.  Label and naming is naturally the property of the winery, pictured here under Fair Use provisions for review and critique.

I will be having guests over in a couple days so I have test-cooked the meal I’ll be serving and I can honestly say they will be impressed.  We’ve chatted about wine for a long time and both they and I abhor ‘White Zinfandel’. Its cloying and sickly with not much true flavor and not even worthy to cook with – we’re all shocked its such a good seller. I wanted a rose that would bridge the flavors of the h’ors d’oeuvres and the entrée.   This vino was on sale, so I bought three bottles (testing, serving, and an extra just in case one wasn’t enough with dinner…)

H’ors d’oeuvres: “Hummus on Pita Chips garnished w/ Pomegranate seeds” & “Chicken Satay skewers w/ Chipotle drizzle”
Entrée: “Roasted Pecan-crusted Salmon w/ a pepper relish”, baked Acorn squash, and a basic Arborio rice pilaf.

Deep salmon pink in colour, this Cab rosé shows fresh and savory aromas of wild strawberries, currants, ripe red pepper and a faint hint of citrus. It’s dry, medium-body carries a decent and pleasing amount of acidity. The medium-length finish features some darker notes of dried plum and a slight minerality.

I think it’ll be a hit with the dinner – each dish requires a little refinement; I have a couple days to perfect them. Wish me luck.  LCBO/Vintages ~$12/btl



EDIT: Dinner was a huge success!!  My guests were practically licking their plates! It was a good thing I’d picked up that third bottle; the vino was an extraordinary match.

From Austria, Rabl Cab Sauv. Rose 2008.  Wonderful!!




**image credit: Ganked from another reviewer who fails to credit his sources. I totally disagree with this other reviewer’s assessment of the vino, btw. (I’ve visited the winery’s website and there aren’t many images on there.)

Not at all a consumer of the nasty NASTY schlock called White Zinfandel from a winery who shall not be directly named, I otherwise hold most proper rose wines in a place of reverence.  So… I search long for roses that carry a very definite mark from the wine maker. At $20, and not knowing much about this French winery, I thought  I’d give Jean Olivier’s Chateau d’Aqueria TAVEL 2009 a try. The winery, which dates to the late 1700s, is located on the upper-west slope of the Rhone River Valley about 100km north of where it enters the Mediterranean Sea.

Primarily Grenache and Syrah, the deep ruby color and powerfully sweet bouquet of this Tavel is very reminiscent of a strawberry liqueur. That’s where the sweetness ends and this rose truly bursts to life. On the palate, the wine is beautifully crisp and dry with chewy flavors of strawberry and cherry. There is a complex mineral finish that took me quite a while to put my finger on –  just a certain something that lingered so long on the tongue.

I had this with sweet and spicy bbq pork ribs. Try it also with a Veal Scallopini or Crackers & Goat cheese h’ors d’ouvres.

A Saunte!



*images credit – Chateau d’Aqueria – fair use provisions for review and critique