One of my sweet gigs is picking wines for the Red Brick Café here in Guelph. Friday night was selection night - kinda like America’s Got Talent, except the wine is auditioning and I’m not on TV. So in another very real way it’s not like America’s Got Talent at all. My wife and I met with 5 Red Brick employees, 5 red wines, and selection night began.
Red wines up for consideration
Selecting wines is like being the Westminster Kennel Show judge. All the dogs you inspect are fine animals but do they properly represent their breed? Beagles are to be compared with the ideal Beagle, Huskies with the ideal Huskie, and so on. One of the good things about selecting wines is that you don’t have to inspect a dog’s bum.
Back to my point – If you pick a Cabernet Sauvignon it needs to taste like a Cabernet. The one we tried was tasty but it would have been misleading to put on a wine menu. It was too grassy and green for a Cab Sav. We also tried a Shiraz that was good but not big enough for what I want an Aussie Shiraz to taste like.
In the end we chose 2 great red wines to go with the harvest white wine we selected back in the Spring. They unveil later this week at the Red Brick Café.
Live in Guelph? Close to Guelph? Heard of Guelph? Have you been to the Red Brick Cafe downtown on Douglas street? If you haven’t then shame on you. Guelph has a great downtown and the Red Brick Cafe is one of the finest anywhere. A European inspired cafe that displays local artists, serves espresso, baked goods, pizza and Panini, but most importantly to pullthecork readers, it has a delicious wine list.
Here’s where the conflict of interest starts – Shelley Krieger, the owner, lets me select the wines each month so really I am shamelessly promoting myself – but isn’t that what the word “blog” means? The wine tasting set up is one of the cleverest anywhere (Shelley’s clever idea). For $8 you get to try three wines, there is no wine snobby person talking you through them. In place of a snooty sommelier you are provided with the tasting notes that I wrote. The notes are informative, entertaining, easy to read … there I go “blogging” again.
Also, the wines change monthly – for less than $20 a couple you can plan a date night each month and enjoy a changing selection of wines. Chances are you will run to the LCBO and buy a bottle of your favorite (or buy a half case like I recommended in Y210K It’s Time to Panic).
For January the wines move to South America where it’s warmer this month than it is in Guelph. Somehow knowing that makes me feel warmer when tasting these wines. There is a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, a reserve Malbec, and a Carmenere that will warm you inside when it’s snowing outside.
The wine tasting is daily from 11am to 11pm. The list of wines can be found on the Red Brick Cafe website.