Tag Archives: red wine

Tetra pack

Why oh why don’t we have these in Canada?  I double dog dare somebody in Niagara or PEC to make these.

 Cuando en España hacer como el español

When in Spain ….

Dear Wine Snob

This is an open letter to all wine snobs on the release of le Beaujolais Nouveau this week.

Dear Wine Snob,

I have the greatest admiration for you as a snob, and specifically as a wine snob. And so I know you will laugh at me when I declare that I am excited about the Beaujolais Nouveau release

I know why most “wine people” don’t really get into the Nouveau spirit of things.
• Beaujolais Nouveau is a very simple wine
• In fact it was only harvested 2 months ago
• It hasn’t been aged
• It hasn’t been blended with any other varietal – straight gamay
• In fact not much has been done to it at all except that the French have marketed the heck out of it – and they have done so brilliantly.
• Most of you refer to it as “wine Cool-Aid”.

Yes, I know it’s not a serious wine but I don’t care. I like it. It inspired me to start this wine blog in 2009.


In fact I would go so far as to declare myself a Nouveau snob. I’m unreasonably hesitant to try a Novello from Italy (although they are always delicious) and I don’t get as giddy about a syrah Primeur as I do with a true Nouveau made with gamay grapes.

Fresh, juicy, “new” French wine is just the thing to start the holidays for me.

So to all you wine snobs that think that the words “Beaujolais Nouveau” translate as “I can’t believe I paid $12 for that” – this is what I have to say to you…

I like my carbonic maceration.
I like my red wine chilled.
I like the hype – bring it on Georges Dubœuf with your clever little œ in the middle of your name.
I like Gamay.
I like drinking wine that you don’t swirl and sniff.
I like Chateau des Charmes in Niagara producing Seven Generation Gamay Nouveau, because Canadians demand a little locavore in our drinking.

So while you wine snobs will be “pooh-poohing” me on November 15th, I will be proudly buying a 6-pack of Nouveau and loving it.

Travis Oke
Self proclaimed Beaujolais Nouveau snob.

St. Paul on wine

“Stop drinking water – rather drink a little wine for the stomach ailments that you’ve been getting” St. Paul the Apostle.

I have half a theology degree – which isn’t as dangerous as it sounds – so I am inclined to believe everything that St Paul says. In this, his first letter to Timothy, Paul addresses the topic of wine – presumably red wine.

The message seems clear and straightforward to me.  However, I think I may keep on drinking a little wine to prevent stomach ailments before I get them.  As the bible says “The Lord helps those who help themselves“. No wait, that’s not in the bible – I should have completed that B.Th.

Here is what we are drinking this week. A Monastrell from Spain for $11 which hits the perfect balance of fresh and rustic for your mid-week bible study.


La Romaine Rhone – everyday red

LCBO 28779 |Price: $ 12.95

“When we read we begin with A-B-C, when we drink we begin with Cotes-Du-Rhone” – paraphrasing Julie Andrews.  My favorite wine writer, Billy Munnelly, starts his Wine Boot Camp with a Cotes du Rhone (but not this one).  He says that if you understand Cotes du Rhone then you understand most of the world’s red wines. I believe him (mostly because he has authored a book and I haven’t).

Syrah and Grenache : Spice and Fruit.  Each grape in this wine adds its character that has made them favorites in Spain, Australia, and in North America.  Produced right in the same region as Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and Chateauneuf du Pape at a fraction of the price.  Pretend that you are drinking a $50 bottle and act a little snobby if you like. The French would love it if you did.

Brouilly by DuBoeuf – everyday red

This is one of the most beautiful bottles you can buy.  That’s why I put it in the “impress at a party” category.  Even my earlier embarrassment over the Beaujolais region – Wine Lesson Number 1  – doesn’t stop me from recommending this great wine.

LCBO 70540 |Price: $ 16.95

A Grand Cru, this Beaujolais is not so light and fruity that you want to gulp it, although it’s tempting and possible.  There is nice structure so that the tannin works perfectly with the cherry and berry in the wine. Also, it comes in a cool bottle that will stand out on your table and impress as much as the wine. This should be served lightly chilled