Tag Archives: Yalumba

Labour Day Classic – Comfort Day

If you live in Ontario then you know that the Labour Day Classic features the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger Cats.  Other parts of Canada have similar “classics” that actually feature much better teams but I like my CFL local.

Labour day is the ultimate comfort day if you have anyone in your house that starts school tomorrow or teaches again after a summer in Europe.  I have short ribs, from Valeriotes Market, braising in the oven (4 hours at 25o) and am making mashed potatoes to serve with them. This is a comfort wine day – the day when you reach in the cellar, or cupboard, and pull out an old favorite. These are the wines that I recommend becoming your old favorites.

1. Nero D’Avola  LCBO 143164 | Price: $ 9.95 from Sicily – a simple red at a great price.  Leave a couple in your basement at all times.

2. Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier LCBO 624494 | Price: $ 14.95 South Australia – a manly Shiraz on a cool day but she’ll like it too.

3. Bouchard Pere & Fils Gamay Macon  LCBO 164582 | Price: $ 13.95 France. If it warms up outside today I may lightly chill my new favorite from the LCBO.

Go Argos!


Australian Cabernets – $20 Reds

I enjoyed two great Australian wines last night and I thought it only good form to write a letter of appreciation. This letter is to Kathy, a Yalumba wines representative that I met recently. She knows her wine.

Dear Kathy,

We had a chance to try two great Yalumba products last night –  the Ringbolt and the Mawson’s Hill Block 3 Cabernet Sauvignon.

It was a small dinner party featuring risotto al funghi (Mario or Jamie’s recipe, I can’t remember – I watch far too much Food Network).  I cooked while the ladies started with a spring salad of shaved fennel, pears, and Parmesan Reggiano, tossed with prosciutto and garnished with asparagus spears. Yes, that does sound delicious. We started with a chilled unoaked Chardonnay from Kacaba, an Ontario craft winery, while I worked the risotto – stir, add stock, repeat, repeat, and repeat until al dente. 

We tasted both Cab Savs with the risotto.  They are so diverse – probably reflective of their growth regions. I know that terroir is something that Yalumba is trying to show off a little bit in Australia.

The Mawson’s was a fruit forward,  medium bodied wine while the Ringbolt hit you just like the name implied that it might.  I loved the tannic structure and strength of the Ringbolt but at the same time the Mawson’s was quite delicate for a Cab Sav.  Very nice – they appealed to all three of us at the dinner table.  I think you could more likely drink the Mawson’s without food while the Ringbolt needed all the Parmesan Reggiano, mushrooms, and pancetta garnish  to stand up to its tannins. It was difficult to tell which wine paired well with the chocolate dessert since we were honestly too full to taste anything at that point.

Thank you so much for contributing to a wonderful evening with the wines.


Note to the reader (you – not Kathy) both wines are available at Vintages – I know for a fact that Kathy already knew this. Get them both if you can.  In fact, get the Kacaba unoaked Chardonnay too!

Red Brick Café – Spring Menu

J’aime le printemps – and I love the Spring menu at the Red Brick Café.  The new food is fantastic – Jessica’s bruschetta is a creation of tomato and herbal magic (but not like the registered trademark herbal magic). Likewise her paprika hummus with veggies is mouth wateringly mouth watering (thanks to Peter Mayle for that one).

Try all three wines any night for $10 – then go buy them at the LCBO.

LCBO 145136 | Price: $ 13.95 Okanagan Valley, BC 12.5% Alcohol

This wine has aromas of lime and peaches and has a nice long finish – much longer than a typical Riesling.  It is best served cold, for maximum coldness.  The producer’s tasting notes mention hints of fennel and honeysuckle. You will taste the honeysuckle more as the wine warms up.

Larch Tree Hill stands well on its own and would make a great apéritif – it reminds me of the Olympics – probably because I drank it during the Olympics.  I’m just guessing.

NERO D’AVOLA Cusumano 2007
LCBO 143164 | Price: $ 9.95 Siciliy,  14.5% Alcohol

This is why trattoria’s were invented – or why Nero D’Avola was created – its hard to say.  Let’s just say that we considered renaming the Café to Red Brick Trattoria and Ristorante after this went on the menu.  “Never match wits with a Sicilian when death is on the line” (Princess Bride) but bet  your life that people will enjoy this at your next party. At this price you should buy a case. And don’t EVER call this an Italian wine – appearantly both the Italians and Sicilians object to being confused for each other.


Y Series SHIRAZ VIOGNIER Yalumba 2007
LCBO 624494 | Price: $ 14.95 South Australia,  13.5% Alcohol

Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier. They have won several environmental awards including the Climate Protection award from the US Environmental Protection Agency. How cool is that – the freekin’ EPA!  A blend of Shiraz and a small percentage of white Viognier wine that turns a tough “John Wayne” manly Shiraz into a sensitive 21st century “I’m not afraid to cry at a romantic comedy” wine with softer tannins and interesting floral hints.