Tag Archives: Beaujolais

Nouveau on the way

The Beaujolais Nouveau is on its way and I have a bit of a sneak preview. Well at least I’m training my palate for a preview. At the very least it’s the same grape as Nouveau.

The fine folks at Chateau des Charmes in Niagara deliver this tasty Gamay 52 weeks a year. Coming soon to a store near you [if you love in Ontario] will be their “Nouveau” Gamay #jesuisarrivé13 – by far the cleverest marketing name for a wine I’ve ever seen.
Thanks Bosc family – and thanks or not naming your nouveau after a cute small animal.

LCBO 57349 | Price $ 12.95

Restocking at the LCBO

My top shelf is empty.  For those who follow this blog you will recall that the top shelf is the vin ordinaire – the wine that my wife can open without asking “is this saved for something special?”.

So a restocking is in order.  Here’s what I came up with – 8 bottles for $90. They are the wines that are good and inexpensive too.


  1. France – GEORGES DUBOEUF BEAUJOLAIS  LCBO 212480 |Price $ 10.95
  2. Pelee Island – PELEE ISLAND BACO NOIR VQA LCBO 485128 | Price $ 10.45
  3. Spain – BODEGAS CASTANO HECULA  LCBO 300673 | Price $ 11.80
  4. Niagara – CHATEAU DES CHARMES ALIGOTE VQA ST. DAVID’S BENCH  LCBO 296848 |Price $ 13.95
  5. Italy - MEZZOMONDO NEGROAMARO SALENTO IGT LCBO 588962 |Price $ 9.00
  6. Spain [Cava} – CODORNIU BRUT CLASICO SPARKLING LCBO 215814 | Price $ 12.95
  7. Portugal – BERCO DO INFANTE RESERVA LCBO 253864 |Price $ 9.20
  8. Niagara – CALAMUS RIESLING 2010 VINTAGES 158642 | Price $ 16.95 [I spend big $$ on this one because my man Orest vouched for it]

Frost Rail

Frost usually makes me mad at this time of year. The novelty of scraping off my car again is gone. Come on morning sun, stop making me do the work for you!

However, there is a rail of frost at the OX Guelph bar that is guaranteed to make even the most miserable winter hater happy. The frost rail system creates a crisp, dry layer of frost on the top of the bar. It looks a little like a curling rink – and it certainly makes more sense than curling. Besides being wickedly cool looking there are many other advantages …

  1. Keeps the last gulp of your pint cold
  2. A little ice rail all summer feels like you’re thumbing your nose at nature – and who doesn’t want in on that?
  3. You can also keep your Beaujolais, or Ontario Gamay, down to temperature by serving it in a flat bottom tumbler (clever girl – you know who you are)
  4. The ice rail bar is like one of the Seven Wonders so you can claim a “pilgrimage” to the bar at least once this summer

Ask your bartender to “brand” the ice rail for you – very cool OX guys, very cool.



A Vacuum of Information

First of all, how cool is the word vacuum?  If there’s a better word with consecutive u’s in it then I don’t know it.

Secondly, how come I can’t find any information on the most important wine event of the season – BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU? I can’t get a list from the LCBO (even though I have a reliable inside source) and hardly anybody even discusses it on the interweb.  It certainly is not garnering the attention it deserves.

I think that I am one of the few that champions the event.  So what is it? Well apparently if I tell you I break one of the rules about wine blogging. Three years ago when I was researching how to write a wine blog (yes I did that) the overwhelming cardinal sin was to explain Beaujolais Nouveau.  NUTS TO THEM.

Read about it here in Wine Weekly (I didn’t just invent that). About the only question it doesn’t answer is “Who drinks Nouveau?” Answer – I do.

Label me a Nouveau Freak

Hey Art historians – here’s some real art for the Nouveau lover.  A brief history of Nouveau from Georges Dubœuf.

2003 - Our first party in Guelph








Road Trip? The Geography of French Wine

Reims to Rhone - the perfect iTrip

I am planning early for retirement.  Champagne to Chateauneuf – that’s my first road trip!  And I do believe that despite what my iPhone says, it will take more than 6 hours and 25 minutes. Here are the details …

The only thing I’ll need is a convertible as I already have a good-looking wife for the passenger seat (an essential part of retirement).

From the bubbles of Champagne to the Pinot Noirs of Burgundy I promise only to take country roads. 

On to Beaujolais (which although technically part of Burgundy serves up Gamay grapes) where I can track down Georges Dubœuf and ask him why he connects his “o” and “e”. 

Lyon is the most northern point of the Rhone and the gastronomic capital of the world. I am a gastronimic fan.  We will stop for dinner. 

The Northern Rhone Syrah wines inspired the Shiraz movement all over the world.  It’s a good stopover before I get to my favorite French wine region – the Southern Rhone –   where wines are made with a blend of as many as 13 grapes.

This trip needs some careful planning.  Some further research is forthcoming as there is much to look forward to.

Labour Day Classic – Comfort Day

If you live in Ontario then you know that the Labour Day Classic features the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger Cats.  Other parts of Canada have similar “classics” that actually feature much better teams but I like my CFL local.

Labour day is the ultimate comfort day if you have anyone in your house that starts school tomorrow or teaches again after a summer in Europe.  I have short ribs, from Valeriotes Market, braising in the oven (4 hours at 25o) and am making mashed potatoes to serve with them. This is a comfort wine day – the day when you reach in the cellar, or cupboard, and pull out an old favorite. These are the wines that I recommend becoming your old favorites.

1. Nero D’Avola  LCBO 143164 | Price: $ 9.95 from Sicily – a simple red at a great price.  Leave a couple in your basement at all times.

2. Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier LCBO 624494 | Price: $ 14.95 South Australia – a manly Shiraz on a cool day but she’ll like it too.

3. Bouchard Pere & Fils Gamay Macon  LCBO 164582 | Price: $ 13.95 France. If it warms up outside today I may lightly chill my new favorite from the LCBO.

Go Argos!

Brouilly by DuBoeuf – everyday red

This is one of the most beautiful bottles you can buy.  That’s why I put it in the “impress at a party” category.  Even my earlier embarrassment over the Beaujolais region – Wine Lesson Number 1  – doesn’t stop me from recommending this great wine.

LCBO 70540 |Price: $ 16.95

A Grand Cru, this Beaujolais is not so light and fruity that you want to gulp it, although it’s tempting and possible.  There is nice structure so that the tannin works perfectly with the cherry and berry in the wine. Also, it comes in a cool bottle that will stand out on your table and impress as much as the wine. This should be served lightly chilled

Wine Lesson Number 1

Sometimes the best lessons we learn are learned “the hard way”, which is a nice way to say that we learned them “because of something incredibly stupid that we did”. 

So it’s Christmas time in my house – actually in many other places as well – and the decision of what is the best wine to drink for Christmas dinner was on my mind.  As I pondered, I realized that I forgot wine lesson number 1 – a lesson I learned the hard way.

While visiting France two summers ago I engaged Roger  in conversation. Roger is a Parisian, a man who has lived through a coffee shortage in WWII, married well (a beautiful Brazilian professor),  is smart enough to now live in Antibes, and of course is an expert in all things French.  As we were talking  I thought that I might impress him and get some information at the same time. 

“What is your favorite region of Beaujolais?” I asked, thinking myself clever that I know a little about the wine regions in Burgundy.  Roger paused (sighed), looked at me closely (too polite to spit at me), and with a slight tilt to his head (instead of shaking it) replied, “It depends on what you are eating”. 

It depends on what I am eating. For me, time stopped as wine lesson number 1 slowly worked its way through my brain. I wanted to raise my arms, look heavenward, and scream out loud “Of course it depends what I’m eating!”. 

The French are well-known for their patience with stupid foreigners, and yet Roger graciously allowed the conversation to continue.   The sumac encrusted frenched lamb chops that I was going to make would require a Fleurie – of course I wanted a Fleurie! – but what I really wanted was to go back about 5 minutes ago so that I could stop myself from asking a stupid question.

So what did I learn?  Don’t try to impress a Frenchman with a wine question, a lesson I will do doubt forget before my next visit.  Also, that I wanted a Fleurie.

Come to think of it, for Christmas this year I want a Fleurie.


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