My local LCBO advertised that some Ontario Craft wineries were coming to the tasting room – I thought that sounded like a great idea so I went to the tasting room. I found this tasty craft wine that is available at the LCBO and is going on sale April 26 for $9.95.
HARBOUR ESTATES MIDNIGHT CABERNET/MERLOT VQA
LCBO 58479 | Price: $ 10.95
This wine is Cabernet Franc forward (56%) – which is great because I love Cabernet Franc from Ontario. It is blended with some Cabernet Sauvignon (32%) and Merlot (12%) - which is also great because I love letting the winemaker show off their skills – something they can’t do as much with a single varietal wine. It is a light wine, low in alcohol, and reminds me a little of a really good homemade wine or a light Beaujolais. It is a simple wine that is a great addition to my “I can’t stop drinking this” category. And for my many neo-hippie locavore friends this is as good as it gets – small winery, good product, and only 93 kms from the café.
Powerful nose, with rich black fruits, smoke, eucalyptus, mint and anise. Soft on the palate, with a delicate richness. Blackberries, subtle blueberries and spice are noticeable. A truly elegant wine.
Everyday Red is one of my favorite topics on this blog. It certainly the most practical for anyone reading the blog – unless you claim my stories as your own and start telling them at parties. Everyday Red wines are my house wines. They are in the $10 wine category, perfect with or without food, and meet the taste bud standards of both adults in my house. This one is being served at the Red Brick Café right now. It is a true trattoria sipper.
NERO D’AVOLA Cusumano 2007
LCBO 143164 | Price: $ 9.95 Siciliy, 14.5% Alcohol
This is why trattoria’s were invented – or why Nero D’Avola was created – its hard to say. Let’s just say that we considered renaming the Café to Red Brick Trattoria and Ristorante after this went on the menu. “Never match wits with a Sicilian when death is on the line” (Princess Bride) but bet your life that people will enjoy this at your next party. At this price you should buy a case. And don’t EVER call this an Italian wine – apparently both the Italians and Sicilians object to being confused for each other.
Let me know if you tried it and if you liked it.
aka How I fell in love with the Red Brick Café
This is really a wine tasting note but there’s a great story in it so just bear with me and read on.
Just after the Red Brick Café opened in Guelph I walked in to find that they also served wine! Excellent. I was very surprised to find that their house red was a Gran Reserva. Who serves a Gran Reserva for a house wine when you can make a killing on Citra or some other $6 bottle of non-offensive red? I had to meet this owner – who turned out to be Shelley - who turned out to love both her café and wine – who turned into a friend – who now let’s me select the wines for her café. So really this wine found me a café, a friend, and a wine gig. Pretty cool.
LOS MOLINOS GRAN RESERVA
LCBO 620971 | Price: $ 14.70 VALDEPENAS – selected because it was Red Brick Cafes first Spanish house wine
A Gran Reserva ages 5 years – 2 in American oak barrels and 3 in the bottle before release. This aromatic wine from a tiny area in La Mancha tastes of moderate smooth tannins and vanilla. It is medium bodied with flavours of red fruit.
Unlike Rioja wines, here the tempranillo grape is smoother and takes on quite a bit of oak. It’s a great price for a Gran Reserva and tasty too (and people can say “oooh a Gran Reserva”, and you can be all “its just a little something I picked up”, and they can exclaim “that’s so totally thoughtful” … etc. etc.)
In a letter Ernest Hemingway, the original “Most Interesting Man in the World”, once called Spain “the last good country left”. While that may be debatable, (I can see my Italian friends in a fit of rage now) what is not debatable is that Spanish wines are certainly earthy and true to their roots – the Tempranillo grape.
TORRES CORONAS TEMPRANILLO
LCBO 29728 | Price: $ 13.25
Description - Catalunya is nestled between Barcelona and France - a great wine region. The first sniff is dry but swirl it in the glass to get the aromas of fruit. This wine is spicy with strong tannins, dark berries, and a longish finish. My brother in Spain tells me that a good Spanish wine should taste like a hot, dry summer – this one does. If you don’t think so then take it up with my brother. It is great with caper-stuffed olives as tapas.