Are you ready for a throwdown? I totally stole that from the “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” show on the Food Network. I love just about everything on the Food Network that doesn’t have Rachel Ray on it. I especially love the food. The only problem with the Food Network is that people forget that food is the star of all the shows (my rant du jour is now complete).
For this throwdown (or showdown for my Hockey Night in Canada friends) I have two BC reds going head to head. One from Mission Hill and the other from Prospect Winery. Both wines are marketed as Cabernet Merlot wines and fit in the same price range. Prospect Winery markets wine similar to the Australians – there is a good story and a cool name for each of their wines. Mission Hill Family Estate has more of a Napa style – promoting the wine tourism industry with a great restaurant and fantastic architectural buildings.
PROSPECT WINERY MERLOT CABERNET VQA HAYNES BARN
LCBO 145144 | Price: $ 15.95
51% Merlot 26% Cabernet Sauvignon 23% Cabernet Franc
This Merlot forward wine is rich, bright and friendly – the Cabernet Franc personality comes through nicely. It was a little sharp with the grilled venison but matched nicely with grilled chicken – especially the dark meat. Easy to drink on its own. Advantage – cool name and photo of Haynes Barn.
MISSION HILL CABERNET MERLOT VQA FIVE VINEYARDS
LCBO 145102 | Price: $ 16.45
45% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Merlot 25% Cabernet Franc
This Cabernet Sauvignon forward wine is strong and structured – Cab Sav is the star in this wine. It poured a little tight but after it relaxed and got a chance to breathe it stood up perfectly with the grilled venison. Advantage – muscular tannins.
Tough call to pick a winner since they are so similar. Both are Bordeaux blends with grapes grown in Osoyoos & Naramata vineyards in the same year, and both have been aged in American and French oak for 14 months.
I guess the final word should come from my friend Roger – a Parisian who taught me wine lesson number one – “It depends what you are eating”. Isn’t that always the answer?