Tag Archives: Monte Antico

Picking the perfect party wines

We attended the first Christmas party of the year – the hosts denied it was a Christmas party but really, it’s December for pity’s sake. It felt all Christmas-y to me.  I was very impressed with the wine selection.  Hosts C&J claimed to have just purchased whatever was on sale on the end aisles at the wine store. I have my suspicions that they knew exactly what they were doing. Either way, this is a good recipe for selecting party wines. Or you can buy inexpensive bottles with cute animals on the label – that might go over well too.

Start with bubbly - "Tiny bubbles in the wine" and all that - Prosecco from Italy is much cheaper than Champagne from France

Côtes du Rhône is the backbone of your selections - who can argue with French red?

A second Côtes du Rhône makes it look like you really know what you are doing

There are sure to be Italians at any party - don't risk offending them - have a "vino rustico" on hand

American Zinfandel is an intersting alternative to an all-European lineup- "He must know what he's doing serving Zinfandel at a party"


Went the other way

Last week I opened a wine that was bad. So bad that it ultimately “went the other way” – which is a cultural reference to the camp classic “Found a Peanut” (full lyrics below).  In this classic camp / bus ride song a man finds a peanut, ultimately discovers that it is rotten, but eats it anyway. It is at this point that my brother stops singing and voices his concern over the idiot that eats it anyway. Camp counsellors, in their quest for lengthy programming, don’t even stop the song to say to kids “don’t try this at home”.  Well, I took the way of counter-culture and did NOT “drink it anyway”.

It was so bad that I did pour it down the drain.  It didn’t really bug me that I bought a bad wine because in the words of Donald S. Cherry, “You have to try stuff”.  I took a risk, bought an inexpensive cheap wine and lost.

So instead of crying over spilt milk (bad wine) I went to my cellar and drank my last Monte Antico

Sometimes a man just has to do what the Wine Spectator tells him to do. Besides getting a great score from the tasters at WS (90), the Monte Antico also was also wine #61 of the WS top 100 in 2009. The blend for Monte Antico is 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Drinking it reminded me that I like Sangiovese. It also reminded me that I have a newly found low tolerance for really bad wines.

For those of you that just cannot sleep without reading the lyrics of  Found a Peanut, here they are along with my brother’s commentary.

Found a Peanut Lyrics – traditional sung to the tune of Clementine.

Found a peanut, found a peanut,
Found a peanut last night,
Just now I found a peanut,
Found a peanut last night.

Cracked it open, cracked it open,
Cracked it open last night,
Just now I cracked it open,
Cracked it open last night.

It was rotten, it was rotten,
It was rotten last night,
Just now it was rotten,
It was rotten night (and the song continues endlessly on the bus ride in this manner)

Ate it anyway, ate it anyway, – which is the key to the story as far as my brother is concerned.  What idiot eats it anyway after discovering that it was rotten?

Got a stomach ache, got a stomach ache,
Called the doctor, called the doctor,
Penicillin, Penicillin,
Operation, operation,
Died anyway, died anyway,
Went to heaven, went to heaven,
Wouldn’t take me, wouldn’t take me,
Went the other way, went the other way,
Didn’t want me, didn’t want me,.
Was a dream, was a dream,
Then I woke up, then I woke up,.
Found a peanut, found a peanut,.

And the winner is …

 I played a Blind tasting game with my friends Friday night! We all brought  a “bistro red”  that cost around $12. We wrapped them in newspaper, poured them, drank them and voted on them. It was fun but also a little scary as I suspected that everyone else at the table had a better palate than I did – that’s a lot of pressure as the only person there who writes a wine blog.

Seven of us ranked the wines and then cast our votes to find the winner and the results were interesting.
Best overall scoreTrapiche Reserve Malbec 2007 LCBO 614651 | $ 11.95
Most first-place votesLa Vieille Ferme (4 out of 7 first place votes) LCBO 298505 | $ 11.95
My personal favorite (and I was alone on this one) – Monte Antico, Toscana Vintages 069377 | $ 14.95  At least Wine Spectator supported me by scoring it a 90 even if nobody else loved it. 
Other notes of interest – The top two wines scored well ahead of the other four.   Also,  four of the six wines recieved a first place vote!