Tag Archives: Vintages

History Lessons

This is a brilliantly produced history lesson on Malbec. And really, isn’t a good history lesson  just story-telling  [granted, with facts you have to memorize for a test later on]. But a history lesson on wine? That’s worth a taste test later on isn’t it? That’s my kind of test.

I highly recommend these wines that you can get in Ontario from Cantena – producers of high altitude Malbec and Chardonnay in Argentina. Don’t know why high altitude makes a difference? You didn’t watch today’s history lesson did you? Watch the video – and then take the test 😀.

Catena MalbecVINTAGES# 478727 | 750 mL bottle
Catena Malbec

Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay 2016VINTAGES# 918805 | 750 mL bottle
Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay 2016



Green Eggs and Ham

Do you know that Dr Suess’ classic Green Eggs and Ham is all about trying new stuff?  I didn’t really know his books had a point to them [10 Apples Up On Top baffles me and i can already juggle!] but i’m starting to revisit these classsics in an attempt to answer many metaphysical questions of our world.


We should try new stuff.  I recently purchased a bottle of hot banana peppers and now keep it in my fridge. I was inspired by the Harveys employee [also a student at my school] who asked me if i wanted banana peppers on my veggie burger.  Kids know stuff.  It was delicious.

I’m pleased to see that the LCBO is trying new stuff.  Recently i purchased a Syrah from the region of Jumilla in Spain.  Honestly, i didn’t even know Jumilla exported any Syrah. I guess i’m not surprised that they grow it – Jumilla is basically Spain’s answer to the Cotes du Rhone – but it seemed daring of the LCBO.  Usually we import Spanish Rioja, Ribero del Duero, and then get crazy with a Monastrell or two. But I applaud somebody’s daring Dr Suessical approach to buying wine last month.  I guess it doesn’t hurt that Luis Gutierrez, from erobertparker.com rated it a 92.  Well done Luis G!  Thanks for convincing somebody at the LCBO to try Green Eggs and Ham.  I drank it in a glass, with a spouse, beside a daughter, in the rain, with a goat, and on a train [except for the rain and goat and train].

VAlceño Premium 50 Barricas Syrah 2012 VINTAGES#: 398933  $13.95

85% Syrah/ 15% Mourvèdre This may be the best value wine i’ve purchased in years


Also, I realize the irony, writing about green eggs and ham and promoted the Veggie burger at Harveys [best veggie burger around]. Maybe green eggs and ham will inspire you to try their veggie burger next time and give a cow a break.

The letter e

This blog post is brought to you by the letter “e”.  Specifically increased usage of the letter e as a prefix as in Email, ebanking, ereader, eetc. [see what I did there?].  Now it’s hitting the wine industry.

Every two weeks the LCBO sends me a Vintages catalogue – the wine geek’s equivalent of Popular Mechanics.  This next release [Aug 31] has some great values on some highly rated wines. My  most likely purchases were rated 90 and 94 pts by a certain Robert Parker Jr – who goes by erobertparker on his reviews. How clever – an “e” version / secret identity of himself.  I want an e-version of me.

After all – isn’t the e-version almost always better?  Consider this list

  1. Email vs. regular mail – email is always faster and easier to ignore
  2. e-trading  If that baby on TV can do it then so can I
  3. e-commerce  Actually I don’t even know what this means – it never came up while obtaining my PE degree at York

E-enough of that talk. The Vintages catalogue has some great wine coming in Aug 31.  This is what etravisoke is going after – you might want to follow suit.

  1. Los Clop Reserva Malbec 2009 $16.95 90 pts erobertparker
  2. Los Clop Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $16.95 90 pts erobertparker
  3. Mount Langi Ghiran Billi Billi Shiraz 2009 $17.95 94 pts James Halliday
  4. Breca Old Vines Garnacha 2010 $19.95 94 pts Robert Parker Jr

I guess I should email the internet to see if anyone else is using etravisoke already.

Robert Parker Jr as his alter ego - erobertparker

Robert Parker Jr as his alter ego – erobertparker

Excessive Celebration & Hyperbole

Like any good wine blogger I start my morning with a double espresso and baseball highlights. “Back to the diamond we go …” gets my attention almost as much as a perfect crema.

But I’ve been recently become annoyed with the reoccurring trend of excessive celebration in baseball.  Last night I saw a Boston Red Sox player hit a walk off home run, then get gang mauled at the plate, then get a gatorade bath during his interview.  Hey Boston baseball players – It’s July and you’re 5 games over .500 – you didn’t win the pennant! Can’t we just celebrate with a handshake and “three cheers for Johnny, hitter of the walk off home run“.

But I guess we live in an age of excessive celebration and over-exaggeration. Everything is “unbelievable”, and filled with unnecessary superlatives.

Even the Vintages catalogue [my favourite piece of mail] got into it this week. I ask you, how are people ever going to believe that they understand a thing about wine when the following descriptions of wines are used to sell them?

  • with raspberry suggestions piling onto the flavours replays” [I don’t like the sound of a flavour replay]
  • Aromas of stones, white fruit, pear, plum, lemon and buttercream make for an enjoyable and rich nose” [I can’t  smell all those things at the same time]
  • A stunning effort, at a very exciting price” [“stunning” seems a tad hyperbole to me]
  • This may read like hyperbole but more embellishment would fall short and fail to do these wines justice” [Ha – admitted hyperbole – embellishment indeed]
  • The nose offers wonderfully intense aromas of lime, cordial, lemon custard, white peach, pear, mineral and and attractive petrol note. Very pretty and lithe” [I didn’t make that one up}
  • The crisp, dry finish brings some apple peel and cherry stone to the flavour replays” [I think that I would choke on a cherry stone replay]

I guess it could be worse.  We could live in the world of teenagers where every taste, aroma, and walk off home-run is “random“.


Hidden in Como – Cantina Follie

I know, I know – “ooh you’re telling us a story about the time you went to Lake Como”.  And now you think I’m a pretentious world traveller. I’m okay with all that.

I learned that when you don’t understand a culture things can appear tacky that really aren’t. Cantina Follie seems like such a ridiculous name in English and their logo, a laughing wine cask, seemed like a SNL parody of German humour (Mike Meyers as Dieter in his talk show Sprockets).

However, this Cantina was my highlight of Lake Como.  We walked past a narrow alleyway with lots of steps in it and my daughter noticed the silly barrel with a funny face on it.  What we found was a great wine store with a tasting room and our host, Joost.  Originally from Holland, Joost was as enthusiastic about his wine as I was to listen.  It was Joost that introduced me to Salice Salentino – I now pick up a bottle every time Vintages carries one.

Here is my review for TripAdvisor.com

Despite the unfortunate barrel logo, this wine bar was the highlight of our dining in Lake Como.
Up the stairs from the main street, hidden in a cave is the Cantina Follie.
The staff knew their wine and had over 300 Italian labels.
The patio had a nice selection of wines by the glass at a very inexpensive price (2.50 Euro per glass) which included tapas. Let the owner suggest his favorites and buy a bottle on your way out. You MUST visit this wine bar if you are in Como.
On your way out stop at the Red and White Bar and order the pita with brie, rocket, and speck to take back to your hotel (you might want to order 2).