In Vino Veritas - the WINE thread, what you enjoy, current drinking, tastes, recommendations

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  • <geek>
    Jancis Robinson's thick tome has been a spoilsport for many traditional theories of how grapes and their names came to be. She classifies Albarino as probably Portuguese in origin, apparently because of the high level of morphological diversity found in Portuguese Alvarinho vines - the longer a plant has been around, the more mutations its acquires. And also DNA profiling suggests it may be related to Loureiro which is thought to be certainly Portuguese in origin (apparently it is now also grown in Galicia in smaller quantities).

    An interesting Santiago-related tidbit though is the Cabernet Franc has been shown to have parentage in Basque wine grapes, and was grown by the priests at Roncesvalles, which I gather was historically an important stopover on the way. They theorize that CF was brought to France from there, originally to the Loire and later to Bordeaux.

    Last tidbit: apparently it was discovered by accident though DNA profiling that Cabernet Sauvignon is in fact a natural cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
    </geek>

  • On the camino, in Galicia, I stopped at a farmhouse that did lunches. I stopped for a glass of wine on the patio. I asked the host what the grape was (the wine came in an unmarked bottle and was served in a simple, unstemmed glass). He said that he didn't know, but "It comes from over there," he said, pointing to the opposite slope. In retrospect it might have been Godello, but a so-so iteration, as it was a little sweeter, citrusy but not well defined. That said, it was OK enough to have a second glass and admire the view and reflect on St James and St Vincent.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Trotted out the Waitrose Petit Manseng to go with tonight's fish. Definitely in the running to be the House White for a bit.
  • Nice. I have a vague recollection of perhaps having seen a Manseng in Ontario at some point but it was a long time ago. As @Augustine the Aleut says the Quebec selection from that part of world is much better.

    We had a Pinot weekend. A very likeable Ontario Pinot Noir last night (light but full of character), and then that Pearce Predhomme Oregon Pinot Gris I mentioned upthread this evening.
  • What was the Ontario Pinot Noir?
  • It was the 2016 Westcott Estate (not the Reserve, which I haven't tried). I don't think the LCBO has it - the winery was shipping for free with a minimum order a while back though and may still be.
  • On the camino, in Galicia, I stopped at a farmhouse that did lunches. I stopped for a glass of wine on the patio. I asked the host what the grape was (the wine came in an unmarked bottle and was served in a simple, unstemmed glass). He said that he didn't know, but "It comes from over there," he said, pointing to the opposite slope. In retrospect it might have been Godello, but a so-so iteration, as it was a little sweeter, citrusy but not well defined. That said, it was OK enough to have a second glass and admire the view and reflect on St James and St Vincent.

    Not only on the Camino, but in most small towns and villages, travellers in Spain will encounter the same phenomenon. In one particularly nowhere-place between Agreda and Soria (I later found out that a Clin Eastwood film had been shot there in the 1960s), they were going to produce a bottle of Muga (not bad) for me but could not, apologizing that the unmarked bottle was just local. I told the waitress that this was fine, as I liked to drink the wine from fields through which I had been walking. Some discussion ensued with the innkeeper, who then produced a litre-jug, foaming from having been poured from the barrel. It was from his uncle's finca, which I would have seen on my right-hand side coming into the town. He always sent them a barrel for Christmas, and since I cannot be there, I may as well have some now. It may have been my exhaustion from the day, or from sitting in the cooling plaza as the sky turned indigo, but this was liquid velvet. Luckily my room was just upstairs from the table.
  • Buen camino, indeed!
  • We have a friend who did the camino last year - not for the wines, she assures us - but nonetheless reports many very enjoyable wine experiences on the way.
  • Sarasa wrote: »
    I’m fond of Malbec ...

    Likewise. Our current house wine is a Malbec - Alamos, from Argentina. Also have purchased Don David Malbec when the Alamos is not available. Cost of the Alamos Malbac in Ontario is $17 Cdn (about $12.60 US). At Costco in Washington DC, it is $6.99.
  • NenyaNenya All Saints Host, Ecclesiantics & MW Host
    This thread is A Beautiful Thing.

    We don't know a great deal about wine, apart from what we like and what we don't (and we like pretty labels too), but we have a friend who's a bit of an expert and who does a virtual wine-tasting every week, so we take note of what he says.

    On his recommendation we're currently trying out some Aldi wines - had a full-bodied Côtes de Rhône Villages (with which, apparently, you can't go far wrong) last weekend and this weekend we have a Sauvignon Blanc to go with our meal tomorrow evening and a Cabernet Sauvignon for Saturday. Said friend rates the Wine Society very highly and we're planning to join.

    We keep wine drinking to weekends, except for when on holiday. Or if family or friends are over.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Firenze wrote: »
    @Piglet , if you want to continue the economical wine-buying, I'd recommend Lidl and Aldi.
    Thanks for the tip, Firenze - I found a very decent (and cheap) NZ Sauv. Blanc on the one occasion (so far) that I've been in Aldi, and I suspect I'll investigate them further when I move to Linlithgow.

    On my sister's recommendation, I downloaded an app today called Vivino, where you photograph the label of a bottle and it gives a star rating out of 5, so I'll be looking like a right nerd next time I'm in a wine shop.
  • NenyaNenya All Saints Host, Ecclesiantics & MW Host
    Our Aldi Sauvignon Blanc last night was from New Zealand and we didn't think a great deal of it; maybe we don't have very refined tastes, or maybe yours was a different one, Piglet. This evening's Cabernet Sauvignon is Argentinian so it'll be interesting to see how we get on with that.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Purgatory Host, Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    A couple of friends stayed at our place last night (which is still allowed for now :grimace:) and it was also the birthday of one. Being rather broke for eating out and paying the babysitter and all the rest, I had a luminous idea. The foire au vin a couple of weeks ago provided three bottles of Champagne, a Nicolas Feuillate half price at €15 a bottle.

    We cooked a guinea fowl, got a Brillat-Savarin (one of the few cheeses that goes with Champagne) and stuck a candle in a nice cake from the patissier's. Bingo! Friend is happy.

    I love Champagne.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Both Lidl and Aldi stock a lot of wines as unremarkable as their prices suggest - bear in mind that if a bottle costs £5, £4.69 of that will have gone on excise, VAT, packaging and transport (figures from Bibendum).

    The fun lies in finding the ones which punch above their price.
  • My favourite wine is Vouvray (La Forcine) - it's demi sec which I definitely think tastes better, suppressing the sometimes too-sweet usual Vouvray taste. We stock up once or twice a year from the market town wine merchant, I've not seen it for sale in a supermarket. It's around £11 a bottle, more than we would normally pay for white wine, but it really is worth it. Although places recommend it goes well with fish, we only ever drink it with roast chicken.
  • We had a very nice Tyrell's Hunter Valley Shiraz last night, a recommendation from our local wine press but also brought to mind by @Barnabas_Aus 's post upthread. Very tasty, and not as over the top as some of its South Australia counterparts.
  • By itself, or with something?
  • It lost out in a competition with an excellent Rioja to be the dinner wine - it probably would have gone better with the roast than with our crackers and cheese beforehand, but in the circumstances the Rioja probably deserved pride of place. 2012, and drinking very nicely. (It was a family event and I wasn’t responsible for the Rioja, so unfortunately I don’t remember the producer.)
  • By itself, or with something?

    It would have gone very nicely with a leg of lamb roasted over charcoal.
  • We had roast lamb last night, but paired it with a very young durif which we picked up on our Riverina travels last week. It has been made for early drinking, and although not a premium drop by any means, will be a good quaffing wine for the summer.
  • Is The Independent trolling us? "Gin and tonic drinkers are more likely to be psychopaths"

    https://www.indy100.com/article/gin-tonic-psychopaths-emotion-study-bitter-taste-antisocial-dark-chocolate-8134841
  • @JuanaCruz I just read that article. I drink G&Ts, love dark chocolate, Campari, and that article is such complete bunk. I'd very much enjoy giving the authors a thrashing.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    edited October 2020
    It being Mr F's birthday, we cracked out a 27-year-old Rioja ( Faustino), and very nice too.
  • Sounds like an excellent birthday wine. We had a very nice (but much younger) Valpolicella Classico with our pasta this evening - cranberry/red-cherry, spice, curiously a hint of bell pepper. No oak to speak of.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    It being Mr F's birthday, we cracked out a 27-year-old Rioja ( Faustino), and very nice too.

    Riojas (or anything else) normally don't get to stick around so long. I'm very glad that it stood up well. My usual question: What did you have it with?

    I love Rioja and Ribera del Duero. I was very close to my stepfather - truly, a fine man - and despite our political differences, we had tacitly declared the dining table a DMZ. One Christmas vacation I arrived back to my mother's superb roasted leg of lamb and a 17 year old Rioja. He had a wonderful, great, rumbling chortle, and when he tasted the Rioja, it rumbled forth. The wine had a wonderful, dark-flavour complexity of leather and cedar that still whispered of the original fruit. My stepfather and I looked at one another, laughing, our eyes moistening slightly.

    Firenze, I envy you the extra decade you got out of the wine. And, belatedly, a Happy Birthday to Señor F.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Firenze wrote: »
    It being Mr F's birthday, we cracked out a 27-year-old Rioja ( Faustino), and very nice too.

    Riojas (or anything else) normally don't get to stick around so long. I'm very glad that it stood up well. My usual question: What did you have it with?

    Essentially gussied-up steak au poivre - pieces of fillet pressed into black pepper, briefly frightened in the pan, add brandy to the juices, ignite, add double cream mixed with Dijon.

    The Rioja was actually 2nd choice - we'd intended having a 2012 Bordeaux (Château Fongaban) but sadly it was a bit over the hill - a tad sour, whereas the Rioja had mellowed out to a lovely balance of fruit and tannins.

  • Ah! Perfection.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Further on old wines drinking well - Heidsieck Monopole Gold Top 2001. Last surviving bottle from the couple of cases we bought for our wedding in 2007 (Mr F and I having been living in sin for some decades).
  • Sinful wine is the more delicious. "Les raisins volés sont les plus doux." (= Stolen grapes are the sweetest.)
  • NenyaNenya All Saints Host, Ecclesiantics & MW Host
    We had friends to a meal last night and one of them provided the wine which included a Picpoul de Pinet Domaine Félines Jourdan 2019. It was, as Mr Nen observed, "Very classy." :smiley:
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Are any of the Brits here in The Wine Society? David joined it when we lived in Belfast; at that time joining cost £20, and bought you a share in the company, which you kept for life (and can pass on to your heirs, so I've presumably inherited it since his death).

    It's still much the same (£40 pounds, of which £20 is returned to you in the form of a voucher you can spend in the first 6 months).

    I've generally had good experiences with them, and on the one occasion I complained they refunded the cost of the three offending bottles without hassle. The selection is sometimes not what I'd ideally like it to be, but in they have some good and also affordable wines.
    [*] Originating from a politically-incorrect country*

    * At the time, wines from places like South Africa, Chile and Argentina were (rightly) becoming very popular.

    Yeah, that's kind of my watchword as far as finding things that punch above their weight are concerned, and this is sometimes where I feel the Wine Society can be a bit lacking.
  • We're continuing our explorations of Ontario Pinot Noir chez Marsupial. We opened up a bottle of the 2017 Bachelder this evening with pork chops. Another light but very characterful red.

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    I'm afraid that Canadian wines are not on the market here - or at least not on the general one. It's a long time since we were last in Canada, and while none of the wines we drank was bad*, there was nothing particularly memorable about them.

    * We have, more than once, drunk bad French wines in France. That's what drinking local leaves you open to.
  • I don't think there's an enormous international market for Canadian wines - we make some good wines, but not really in quantity, and we're not particularly competitive in the mass market (unlike a number of countries with warmer climates and/or lower costs). A lot has happened in Ontario in the last 20 years or even the last 10 years for that matter.

    Ontario is increasingly making notable cool-climate wines - Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc - with a few that have received international recognition. There are parts of British Columbia that are much warmer but for complicated legal reasons it's actually somewhat easier to get your hands on a good selection of Australian wines in Ontario than a good selection of BC wines.

    I know that Ontario wines do get around at least a little because we found a bottle of Ontario Cabernet-ish wine (maybe a Cab Franc?) at a somewhat touristy restaurant in Dresden (Germany) a few years ago. We decided to give it a try. It was fine, but not worth bringing all the way to Germany. I do sort of wonder why they decided to bring in that particular wine, but it was a slightly strange restaurant.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    * We have, more than once, drunk bad French wines in France. That's what drinking local leaves you open to.

    You can get a decent French wine in France for significantly less than in the UK. But I have also experienced that if you pay 50p a glass, you get something they wouldn't dare export.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    You rely to a major extent on the honesty of the restauranteur.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    You don't see Bonarda that often, it being AFAIK only grown in Argentina. But should you, goferit. We had a bottle (Los Haroldos 2018) which reminded me how good it is.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Purgatory Host, Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    I think a restaurateur selling wine for 50 cents a glass is being honest :wink:. You're going to get what you paid for - plonk (or "piquette" as the French would call it).

    We took a rare oenological excursion outside of France with a Lebanese Kefraya. Pleasant enough, although we find it less interesting than Ksara.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Our first visit to France together was over 40 years ago, and while I don't remember paying 50 cents a glass, we would often get a pleasant enough glass for double that - in small cafés well away from regular tourist areas.
  • I wasn't meaning to inpugn anyone, just point out that proper good French wine was cheap, but there was still an end of the market not really mentioned.

    I actually have no idea how much anything cost - my visit was some 40 years ago as well. I was a mere teen at the time.
  • A friend brought over a Marlborough (New Zealand) Pinot Noir last night. A riper, more extracted style than our Ontario Pinot (I want to say more New World, not that Ontario is exactly Old World), though still definitely characteristic Pinot to my mind.
  • I wasn't meaning to inpugn anyone, just point out that proper good French wine was cheap, but there was still an end of the market not really mentioned.

    And AFAICR there have been a few scandals where certain vin du pays were being cut with grapes from well outside the region -- so yeah, there's a mentality of cutting corners at the low end.
  • Actually, analysis of a few no-so-low-end OACs uncovered adulteration about a decade ago, even by (shudder of scandal) Algerian grapes.
  • I suppose the thing is if you're going to cheat, you need to really cheat, because legitimate suppliers aren't going to help you...
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Tonight's wine was a Uruguayan Viognier this one to be exact - of which you don't see many. It definitely saw off the salmon en croute.
  • I think that the only Uruguayan wines I've had are Tannat, certainly never a white. I note two things: that was not inexpensive; that was pretty potent. Was the 14% well integrated, or was it a bit hot?

    Out of curiosity I just checked the website for our provincial monopoly, and they had four Uruguayans, of which the one white was an Albariño(!). The prices were higher than I recalled - closer to your range, not the plonky stuff thatI'd pick up on my way home from the office.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    edited October 2020
    Garzon seems to be making most of the Uruguayan wine coming into Ontario right now, including a Tannat and probably that Albariño you mention. I tried the Tannat a while back and it was likeable but didn't really make me think Tannat (what is Tannat without fierce tannin, I ask?).* The first vintage of the Garzon Albariño that came in last year was on the riper side but really, really good; this year verging too much on the tropical fruit punch side of things we thought.

    (*In hindsight, I wonder if microoxygenation may have been involved, though I have no way of knowing...)

    We had a Barossa Viognier-Marsanne-Roussanne with dinner tonight. Unapologetically New World but complex and well worth exploring. Langmeil is the producer - never heard of them before this wine actually.
  • Langmeil is one of the oldest of Barossa wineries, founded by the first wave of German immigrants to the region. It has had some very tough times over almost 180 years. Still family-owned, the vineyard neighbours the much better-known Peter Lehmann Wines. That VMR you had goes for $20AU a bottle direct from the winery, so quite reasonable in price in our market.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Turning briefly to the silliness that often accompanies wine correspondents, a reviewer in a Sydney paper today talked of a wine having a "quiet bouquet"!

    For dinner, I bbqed some duck breast fillets over charcoal (touch and go with a heavy shower not long before I lit the fire). Very enjoyable, and we drank half a bottle of a young Yarra Valley Pinot sol by a well-known discount grocery chain. It was surprisingly good and we may buy some more.
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