Monthly Archives: May 2012

It happened in Spain

My brother lives in Spain. In Spain you can buy cava (Spanish Champagne) at the gas station while you pay for your diesel fuel.  My brother-in-Spain got up to the counter with his gas station cava – actually a respectable brand – when the young gas attendant said to him something like (and I translate from the original Spanish), “Dude. You can totally get a better deal on this other cava because it’s 2 for 1”.

Slightly taken aback, my brother-in-Spain initially opted NOT to follow the advice of the clerk selling petrol, gum, soccer scarfs, and pairs of fine Spanish sparkling wines.  Fortunately he came to his senses. “Of course I’m following the wine purchasing advice of gas attendant – I’d be loco not to.  Also, this feels like an SNL skit“.

When in Canada I buy  these cava.  They aren’t 2 for 1, and they’re not available at Norm’s Esso, but they’re good sparklers.


Segura Viudas

Phil’s wine

Phil Andrews is probably most recognized as the managing editor of the Guelph Mercury.  What is little known about Phil is that he recently entered the world of wine making.  Admittedly that involved pouring a packet of yeast into a container at the wine shop in a suburban strip mall, but a wine maker nonetheless.

Phil’s venture into wine began with a Pinot Grigio started on St. Patrick’s Day this year. He has named it Pinot Greenio (or something like that). Historically, this may be the first time that alcohol and St Patrick’s day have ever gone together.

Phil arranged a meeting with me, as the resident wine blogger, to drop off  a bottle of the wine.  I gave him my word that I would be honest in my assessment.  For his part he wanted me to sign a waiver  in the event that I went blind drinking his wine.

Pinot Grigio wines are meant to be consumed early.  This one qualifies as it is less that 2 months old. I opened it and gave a glass to my wife – not because I was scared of it. Her first response was “Mmm, this is light”.  Now Phil, I think you should be very pleased with that.  Amongst the things that she could have said was, “Is this homemade?”, “Oh, I don’t like that at all”, or “What is this?”.

Verdict – We found the wine very light in colour, in the Italian style of Grigio  and light in taste.  It bordered dangerously on being watery but was crisp and acidic enough to keep us sipping.   We agreed that we would spend $8 on it at the LCBO.

Well done Phil the wine maker. Let’s arrange another drop off.

Color variations among different styles of Pinot gris. (L-R) Italian Pinot Grigio with a straw yellow color, Alsatian Pinot gris with a lemon color, Oregon Pinot gris with a copper-pink color

Water – I’m not convinced

For the past 3 years I have tried to point out the insanity of drinking water instead of rosé.  Odourless, colourless, tasteless?  Who puts that in their body?  This is what my new research on the internet has found – and it wasn’t easy to research as most sites still tell you that water is good for you.

  1. Water contains bacteria – eek
  2. A woman lost her sight drinking too much water – that’s one too many for me
  3. The human body is mostly water already – so why waste your time
  4. Water vapour is invisible as a gas – it may be around you and you don’t even know it!
  5. The water molecule carries a slight negative charge – NEGATIVE CHARGE!

If those 5 facts, from internet sources including Wikipedia, don’t convince you then maybe the Vintages annual release of Spanish rosado – Muga – will.

Price: $ 12.95
Made in: Rioja, Spain
By: Bodegas Muga S.A.
Release Date: May 12, 2012

Gord on my nerves again

Gord Stimmell is the Toronto Star’s wine columnist and he’s written about another fantastic wine.  Last year he did the same thing and I couldn’t get the wine for almost 3 weeks because it was sold out.  At that time I called Gord a jerk. The irony (and schadenfreude) was that after the article  Gord went to his local LCBO  to buy his recommended wine  only to find out that it was sold out. In the words of Nelson Muntz, “Ha, Ha”.

Gord is at it again. This is from his column this week in the Toronto Star. “Our top three performers on the general list …(blah, blah, blah) …  I’ve saved the best for last. The Jacob’s Creek merited a huge 92 score, stunning for a general list wine under $20. …(yadda, yadda, yadda) I am rushing out to buy a half case before this column appears in print. Cheers!”

Maybe it’s just me – but I interpret “cheers” as “nuts to you“.  Gord – I can’t find your wine anywhere – and it really only makes me mad because the scope of  your influence fills me with envy. You’re a powerful man Gord – I’m scared of you.

This man both scares me and fills me with envy

I did it my way

I discovered a way to instantly age my wine this past weekend and all it took was a steady hand and a blue Sharpie. I started by making it an 1891 vintage – which seemed absurd – and ended up with a very approachable 2001 – a very good year for Tuscan wine.