1 Bottle = 1 Year of 💧 for Someone in Need. Next Subscription Ships in December. 🚚 Delivery Included!

Past Wine Selection

October 2022

White Wine #1: 

Name of Winery: Parés Baltà 

Name of Wine: Xarel·lo

Region, Country of Origin: Penedès, Spain

Why we love this wine:

As its name suggests, Parés Baltà Calcari is made from vines grown in calcareous soil, providing a particular minerality to the wine. The grape is Xarel-lo - one of the three traditional Cava grapes - grown biodynamically. The aroma of ripe pears and stone fruit with a touch of vanilla, even though the wine is unoaked and tangy. Extended lees ageing has given great creaminess to the broad pear fruit on the palate, kept vibrant by citrus acidity.

About the Winery: 

The roots of Pares Balta go back to the 18th century. In 1790 the first vines were planted on the estate surrounding the winery. Today, however, more than 220 years later, almost everything is different. Since 2000 the management has been in the hands of Joan and Josep Cusine Carol. They have brought new and fresh ideas into the company but have also shown respect for its tradition and guarded the heritage. They have continued to develop new wines and increased their focus on quality. Today, Pares Balta produces a wide range of high-quality wines and Cavas, organically and biodynamically, that have been nationally and internationally acclaimed. 

Food Pairings: 

Pair with oysters, shrimp cocktails and raw seafood (sushi).

Somm Hint:

The pronunciation of Xarel’lo is intimidating! But remember that the ‘Xa’ is pronounced as ‘Cha’.

White Wine #2: 

Name of Winery: Santadi

Name of Wine: Villa Solais 

Region, Country of Origin: Vermentino di Sardegna, Italy

 

Why we love this wine (this is the note part): 

This is a very fresh, delicate white wine made from Sardinia's best-known white grape, Vermentino grapes. Citrusy nose with appealing minerality along with floral, fruity and mineral notes. The acid and texture are nicely balanced, with a pleasant mouthful of herbs and almonds to finish.

About the winery: 

Cantina Santadi is located on gently rolling hills in the province of Sud Sardegna, in the southwestern corner of Sardinia. This stunning wine-growing area features unique sandy soils that allow pre-phylloxera rootstock to thrive - many native grapes and old vines are bush-trained. President Antonello Pilloni and Winemaker Riccardo Curreli work together to produce wines deeply rooted in the Sulcis terroir, driven by a great desire to bring Sardinian wines to the world.

Food Pairings: 

It is an ideal match with seafood dishes with some herb sauce. Try it with one of the following; fried fish with dill tartar sauce or poached salmon fillets with dill creme fraiche.

Somm Hint: 

Grape phylloxera is a tiny (less than 1 mm) insect that lives and feeds on the roots of grapevines. Root damage caused by phylloxera results in grapevine decline and, eventually, death of the plant.

White Wine #3: 

Name of Winery: Black’s Station 

Name of Wine: Chardonnay

Region, Country of Origin:Alto Adige, Italy

 

Why we love this wine: 

The Black’s Station Chardonnay has pretty aromas of stone fruit and barrel spice that lead to fresh flavours of apricot and white peach. 15% of Verdejo (a Spanish grape varietal that tastes similar to Sauvignon Blanc) blended into this Chardonnay. The result is appealing fruit sweetness mingles with a creamy, buttery note balanced by a crisp apple in the finish. 

About the Winery: 

A small town called Zamora is located east of Napa, tucked away in northern California’s rolling Dunnigan Hills. But In the late 1800s, people around here used to call it Black’s Station. Today they grow grapes just three miles from Zamora in Yolo County: homegrown fruit farmed with careful attention to quality and an eye to value. Black’s Station sticks to the classics, Chardonnay and Bordeaux varietals, grown in our vineyards and made to showcase the spirit of their region; frontier-style of that old town.

Food Pairings: 

Pair this easy-drinking wine with roasted chicken, fish tacos or a big caesar salad.

Somm Hint: 

Serve well chilled to preserve the freshness.

 

White Wine #4: 

Name of Winery:Alfredo Arribas

Name of Wine: Luno Blanc

Region, Country of Origin: Priorat, Spain

 

Why we love this wine: 

The farming and wine making for Luno Blanc follow the principles of biodynamics, which are governed by the moon's phases - hence the name. Luno Blanc is a blend of Grenache Blanc and Macabeo. Notes of under-ripe yellow fruit, citrus zest, honeydew and hazelnut. The palate is rich and ripe but well-balanced by minerality and almost racy acidity.

About the Winery: 

Alfredo fell in love with the landscape and possibilities of Priorat on a visit and bought some land, from which he produced and released his first wines in 2004. Alfredo is making wines with ‘no history or tradition’ in Spain. The vineyards are directed by the oenologist Juan Asens. Juan’s winemaking ethos is to have as little human intervention as possible. Today, Alfredo and Juan are known for making some of the most elegant wines in Priorat - massive in terms of flavour, yet balanced, fresh and largely uninfluenced by new oak and any other manipulation.

Food Pairings: 

Great food wine! Pair with rich dishes like baked cod, halibut or cheese risottos. 

Somm Hint: 

The wine will show best served in a Burgundy glass and chilled to 10-13 °C. If the wine is too cold, it will suppress the aromatics, so pull it out of the fridge 15m before opening it.

White Wine #5: 

Name of Winery: Le Vigne di Zamó

Name of Wine: 

Region, Country of Origin:Friuli-Venezia Giulia, France

Why we love this wine: 

The Zamò Bianco is a blend of 50% Friulano, 15% Pinot Grigio, 15% Chardonnay, 10% Riesling and 10% Sauvignon. All grapes are hand harvested and vinified separately in stainless steel tanks, then blended and bottled. The wine shows expressive aromas of ripe peaches, basil and a touch of nutty undertone. The palate is medium-bodied on the palate with a juicy fruit concentration and creamy texture to balance the firm, mineral-driven acidity. 

About the Winery: 

Le Vigne di Zamò is a family-owned winery in Manzano, one of Friuli Venezia Giulia's most renewed wine-growing areas. Brothers Pierluigi and Silvano Zamò inherited the estate from their father, Tullio, and Brigitte, Silvano’s wife, has made Le Vigne di Zamò one of the greatest names of the area. Along with the traditional white varieties that dominate the hills of Friuli Colli Orientali — Ribolla Gialla, Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio — Le Vigne di Zamò is one of the few wineries of this area, with 40% of the production focused on indigenous red varieties, some of them very rare, such as Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso and Schioppettino.

Food Pairings: 

Very enjoyable on its own or enjoyed with a plate of Montasio cheese, native to Friuli. 

Somm Hint: 

Serve nice and chilled.

White Wine #6: 

Name of Winery: Joao Barbosa & Filos

Name of Wine: Vale da mo Branco

Region, Country of Origin: Carnuntum, Austria 

Why we love this wine: 

This wine is a blend of local grape varieties Viosinho, Moscatel Galego Branco & Rabigato from selected north-facing vineyards in the Douro Valley. North-facing vineyards are the key to retaining acidity; otherwise, it can get extremely hot. The wine shows tart, ripe green apple, lemon zest, and bosc pear. There is a distinct saline minerality and underlying notes of white pepper and crushed acacia petal. The wine is rich and round on the mid-palate with a refreshing finish.

About the winery: 

João Teodósio Matos Barbosa founded his winery in 1997, and by 1999 the first vineyard was planted in Vale de Junco, Esperança, Portalegre. The wines were first made available on the global market in 2005, after a small production in 2004. Their philosophy has always been to approach wine production in the most hands-off, natural way possible.

Food Pairings: 

The perfect pairing with shellfish, raw or cooked. Also, with good quality olives and canned sardines.

Somm Hint: 

This is 750ml of pure joy! Serve straight from the fridge.

 

Red Wine #1: 

Name of Winery: Angulo Innocenti

Name of Wine: ‘Nonni’ Malbec

Region, Country of Origin:Mendoza, Argentina

Why we love this wine: 

Angulo Innocenti Nonni Malbec is not the typical heavy, rich Malbec. It rather expresses the freshness of the varietal due to the grapes coming from Uco Valley, where it’s cool, with lots of sunny days and cold mountain nights. The nose has fresh dark blackberries and a hint of iodine, soy and sesame seed. The palate is medium-bodied with loads of dark, brambly fruit, soft round tannins and an elegantly smooth finish. Deliciously gluggable!

About the winery: 

Angulo Innocenti epitomizes the small family producer, and their story is remarkable. Two European vinegrowers, Pedro Angulo and Angel Innocenti, 19th-century immigrants from the Basque country and Tuscany, respectively, who moved to Argentina with thousands of other European settlers to plant their vines and carve out a living in the vast, dry plains of Mendoza. Grandchildren Mariano and Maria now run the estate and make pure and balanced wines with a bit of a European, food-friendly edge.

Food Pairings: 

Perfect with your favourite pub food, burgers, saucy BBQ chicken wings and ribs

Somm Hint:

This Malbec is ‘no fuss, no muss’ because it can be enjoyed any day and time without special preparation!

 

Red Wine #2: 

Name of Winery:Domaine De Séailles

Name of Wine:Cubik Rouge

Region, Country of Origin:Côtes de Gascogne, France 

Why we love this wine: 

The vineyards around Domaine de Séailles are famous for producing Armagnac and are, therefore, mainly planted with white grapes, which go into the local spirit or still white wines. Séailles has had such success with their red wine that they can't make enough! This medium-bodied mix of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon entices plummy and spicy on the nose and hints of graphite, leather and garrigue. Lively in the mouth, with generous dark berry fruit and terrific acidity. 

About the winery: 

Domaine Séailles is one of the pioneers of organic viticulture in the Côtes de Gascogne region of Southwest France. A family-owned estate since 1961, Séailles is now run by Jean Labérenne, who led the domaine to Ecocert organic certification in 1997, swearing off all chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic chemical products. 

Food Pairings: 

Pairs well with many hearty vegetarian dishes with root vegetable casserole, eggplant parmesan or baked pasta

Somm Hint: 

Serve slightly chilled, and go ahead and enjoy!

 

Red Wine #3: 

Name of Winery:Vinicola Palama

Name of Wine: Primitivo 'Albarossa'

Region, Country of Origin:Puglia, Italy 

Why we love this wine: 

This is a classic expression of Primitivo (Zinfandel); dry, full-bodied, and rich in flavour. Ripe and dark fruit drives the wine showing notes of black cherry, blackberry, plums and cassis. There is a warm, baked earth note to the wine with underlying notes of a smoky cigar box. The finish is long with finely integrated tannins and a lingering note of dark bitter chocolate.

About the winery: 

The Palamà Winery is a small family estate located in the Apulia region of southern Italy. Established by Arcangelo Palama in 1936, the winery is now on its third generation of winemakers. Arcangelo’s son, Cosimo (known as Ninì), took over in 1988; the wines are crafted from varieties indigenous to the region and are celebrated for their expressive and robust character.

Food Pairings: 

Pair with big flavours: prime ribs and slow-roasted pork. Or you can enjoy it with chocolate!

Somm Hint:

Use a big large wine (Bordeaux) glass, or it can be decanted.

 

Red Wine #4: 

Name of Winery: Raul Perez 

Name of Wine: Ultreia St Jacques

Region, Country of Origin: Bierzo, Spain

Why we love this wine: 

One of the winemakers to watch in Spain these days! Raul Perez does many exciting things, and his wines regularly get top scores from critics. This Ultreia St. Jacques, made from Mencia grapes, is fresh and floral on the nose, with a hint of coffee; it is round and expressive on the palate, with plummy fruits and a little gaminess. Ultreia comes from the Latin spoken by pilgrims who passed through the area in the Middle Ages. To encourage each other on their journey, they'd call "Ultreia," which means "Onward."

About the winery: 

Raúl Pérez Pereira is universally considered to be one of the world’s most visionary winemakers. Since he produced his first vintage for his family’s winery in 1994 at the age 22, he has been at the forefront of the conversation about what has been called “The New Spain”. In 2005, he left his family business to strike out on his own, creating Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez, quickly becoming the point of reference for the Bierzo appellation.

Food Pairings: 

Mencía pairs best with herbal-driven dishes or roasted meat & veggie dishes such as Rueben Sandwiches, Chorizo Sausage, Portobello Mushroom Steak, and Fajitas.

Somm Hint:Serve slightly chilled, and pour into burgundy style glasses that beautifully showcase this wine's aromas.

 

Red Wine #5: 

Name of Winery:VINDEDOS RUIZ JIMENEZ

Name of Wine: Paisajes Embotellados Garnacha

Region, Country of Origin: Rioja, Spain

Why we love this wine: 

Many consumers, including myself, perceive "Rioja" as a generic red wine subjected to prolonged aging in barrels, with the typical characteristics of Tempranillo wines. But Rioja is not only Tempranillo. This Rioja from Ruiz Jimenez is 100% Garnacha (Grenache) from the heart of Rioja Baja. It’s organically farmed, ripe & full, deliciously concentrated raspberry, with a hint of smoky spice, forest floor & dried herbs—beautifully judged oak & a silky finish.

About the winery: 

Vinedos Ruiz Jimenez was the result of a dream come true when in 1998, Francisco Ruiz decided to build his winery to use the grapes he was growing instead of selling them. All the vineyards are organically farmed in the small village of Aldeanueva de Ebro in Rioja. The idea was to offer the land's best quality, most terroir-expressive wines using only organic and sustainable parameters. This was quite a rare idea in Rioja in 1998, but he knew that organic and biodynamic was the only way to give quality and terroir to the wines. Today they are the only organic and Demeter-certified winery in Rioja.

Food Pairings: 

Roast Lamb, Sirloin Steak, Strong Cheeses

Somm Hint:

For optimal enjoyment, serve in larger Bordeaux wine glasses.

 

Red Wine #6: 

Name of Winery: Cloud Bream

Name of Wine: Merlot 

Region, Country of Origin: California

Why we love this wine: 

We expect juicy, plump flavours from Cali Merlots, but this wine adds something extra, a bit of rustic charm. Savoury herbs, tart berries and light spices are produced from the cooler vineyard sites of Lodi. Part of the larger Central Coast wine region, these vineyards foster slow, even ripening of the grapes, producing the perfect balance of rich, ripe fruit flavours and crisp acidity. Supple, inviting aromas and flavours of black cherry, herbs and spice. They are balanced with a smooth texture and soft tannins for a pleasing, satisfying finish—a straightforward Merlot with a deft dose of oak.

About the winery: 

Spring’s “cloud break” leads to California’s near-perfect weather combination of long warm days and cool evenings to yield grapes of remarkable quality and consistency. Then winemaker Steven Decosta takes over, focusing on creating wines with a character from premier appellations and fruit. Working to ensure the highest winemaking standards are met, he also oversees research and development and introduces new technology implemented across the winery.

Food Pairings: 

This can easily be enjoyed on its own or with various food pairings, from pizza & pasta to grilled steaks.

Somm Hint: 

Pull the cork and enjoy!

---------------------------------------------------------

September 2022

FEUDO MONTONI, LAGNUSA NERO D'AVOLA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

Beautiful ruby red in color. A complex perfume with notes of dark cherry, red plum, blackberry and warm spices balanced in delicate harmony with one another. It’s soft, velvety with the right amount of delicate tannin on the palate. A great expression of Nero D’Avola, a classic Sicilian variety.

About The Winery:

Feudo Montoni is a family owned and operated winery in the heart of Sicily is one of the most respected wineries of the island.  The winery is presently led by the third generation of owners of this family, Fabio Sireci.  Feudo Montoni makes a range of critically acclaimed wines. The vineyard itself is a historic location where high-quality wines have been produced since the mid-1400s.

Food Pairings:

Pair this wine alongside any red meat or seared tuna and aged cheeses.

Somm Hints:

“Lagnusa”, which is part of the name of this wine, is one of the Montoni vineyard sites.  The name means “that which is lazy and produces small quantities”. In the wine making, lands that produce less are thought to be lands that produce better quality.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

LOBETIA, TEMPRANILLO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

This is a great everyday Tempranillo! Deep cherry colour with a violet shade. Red berries and cherries on the bouquet with similar notes following through to a fresh and harmonious finish on the palate. 100% Tempranillo. Organic vines planted in 2005.

About The Winery:

Situated in the town of Las Pedroñeras and at the north end of La Mancha, the main Spanish wine region, Dominio de Punctum distinguishes itself by its exclusive estate production and the singularity of its organic and biodynamic wines. Organically Farmed with no chemical pesticides or herbicides used.

Food Pairings:

Examples of great pairings for this full bodied, robust red would be grilled meats, Lamb shanks, Osso Bucco and of course… a little sharp cheese.

Somm Hints:

This perennial favourite is made from organic grapes and is well known as "the butterfly wine". Lobetia comes from the Lobetani, a small pre-Roman Iberian people of ancient Spain, established near where the vineyard stands today.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DE GRENDEL, MERLOT, SOUTH AFRICA

Why We Love This Wine:

Bright ruby garnet in colour, this exceptionally elegant, fruit driven wine is well balanced in its tannins and the perfect hint of spice. The enticing aromas of sweet red plum and raspberry on the nose press against the nuances of mocha and cocoa. The palate is medium-bodied, full of juicy fruit, wonderful texture, fine grained tannins and a silky finish.

About The Winery:

The vineyards at De Grendel are situated 7 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean, at a height of 200 meters above sea level, on the slopes of the Tygerberg. The grapes were handpicked, destalked, crushed and fermented in a stainless-steel tank. The proximity to the cold Atlantic, excellent foliage management, and the Tygerberg itself shielded the grapes from sunburn, which reduced grape quality in other regions and thereby distinguishing this Merlot above its contemporaries.

Food Pairings:

It really is difficult to go wrong with a good Merlot. It will pair excellently with most meats, but especially well with roast lamb served with sweet roasted vegetables.

Somm Hints:

It really is difficult to go wrong with a good Merlot. It will pair excellently with most meats, but especially well with roast lamb served with sweet roasted vegetables.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BOSCHENDAL, CHENIN BLANC, SOUTH AFRICA

Why We Love This Wine:

Picked from 28-year-old bush vine vineyards with low yields adds concentration and intensity of flavour. Exotic mango, peach and pineapple with hints of limey citrus on the nose. A beautiful fruit core of peach-infused citrus characteristics and a hint of honey-glazed nuts. A well-balanced, full-bodied wine with a long, lingering finish.

About The Winery:

Boschendal lays claim to a proud winemaking tradition stretching back to the late 17th century.  To produce premium wines of unwavering exceptional quality, Boschendal employ dedicated red and white winemakers in separate cellars for focused expertise. From award winning wines to fine dining and exquisite grounds, this world class estate seamlessly blends its rich past with a tireless commitment to constant innovation

Food Pairings:

Well balanced and a great pairing for sautéed fish or vegetables.

Somm Hints:

Ready to enjoy now but will age with much complexity for the next five to eight years.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GABA DO XIL, BRANCO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

Fresh and lively, this yellow-hued white wine delivers a big punch on the nose. Sensations of bay leaf, white peach, and crystallized ginger dance on the palate with a salty, thirst-quenching finish.

About The Winery:

Renowned Spanish producer Telmo Rodriguez worked for the biggest companies before starting his own business. In this tiny appellation of the "valley of gold" (Valdeorras), Mencìa is expressed with balance under a profile that is both fruity and spicy. Gaba do Xil offers the drinker an incredible value for handmade Galician wines for everyday drinking, which rival the wines of similar quality in Burgundy and Beaujolais.

Food Pairings:

Perfect as an apéritif, but also a beautiful compliment to salads with creamy dressings, picnic fare, and fish.

Somm Hints:

100% Godello – a grape native to Galicia, the lush green corner of north-western Spain. Mature and fresh, Gaba do Xil truly shows the virtues of the Godello grape and the singularity of soils evolved on slates.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

DOMAINE SANTA DUC, CÔTES DU RHÔNE LES QUATRE TERRES, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

This Blackberry and bramble-scented blend of Grenache and Syrah is an approachably fruity introduction to Santa Duc's majestic (and more expensive wines) but maintains a trademark vitality and finesse. Juicy cassis and plum flavors along with a lively mineral finish, it's a delicately tannic red that should drink well over the coming years.  

About The Winery:

Domaine Santa Duc was founded in Gigondas 1874 and is now led by 6th generation owner and winemaker, Benjamin Gras.

The goal at Santa Duc has always been to produce top-quality fruit from impeccably tended vineyard sites, the style of winemaking has changed with each generation. Benjamin’s father, Yves Gras took over the estate from his father in 1985 and made an immediate impact. Not long after taking over, Robert Parker wrote: “Santa Duc combines the muscle, richness and fire of a classic Gigondas with a degree of elegance and purity that many wines of this appellation lack.” The sites in Gigondas nestled in at the foot of the Dentelles are some of the most beautiful vineyards you could ever visit!

Food Pairings:

Dark fruit and herbs… if your turkey and cranberry sauce is tired of Chardonnay, this is the perfect red to give thanks for;)

Somm Hints:

This wine incorporates grapes from the elite Cru appellations of Vacqueyras and Rasteau as well as Côtes-du-Rhône Villages sites in Roaix and Séguret.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PINE RIDGE, CHENIN BLANC - VIOGNIER, CALIFORNIA

Why We Love This Wine:

Crisp, bright fruit and a mix of floral and citrus aromas. Refreshing on the palate with flavours of lemon curd, melon, sweet mango, and orange blossom. A balanced acidity and a long, clean finish.

About The Winery:

Established in 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards produces classically proportioned, expressive wines that embody their history and distinct place of origin. Pine Ridge founder Gary Andrus, inspired by the illustrious wines of Bordeaux, believed in the Napa Valley’s potential to produce wines of similar stature. He planted the property’s original namesake vineyard on a steeply terraced hillside flanked by a dramatic ridgeline of pine trees in the Stags Leap District.

Food Pairings:

Use as an aperitif, pair with spicy foods, or your favourite seafood dish.

Somm Hints:

This vintage is a blend that is comprised of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier. Grapes for the Chenin Blanc are sourced from the Clarksburg appellation, referred to as the “Gem of the Delta.” It is an appellation that is showing a great affinity for Chenin Blanc.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CARMEN, DO QUIJADA SÉMILLON, CHILE

Why We Love This Wine:

This is a bright, golden-yellow wine with a serious nose and aromas of white flowers and citrus notes such as mandarin. The palate is full of texture accompanied by a sharp acidity. The wine was neither fined nor filtered before being bottled giving it a cellaring potential that will reveal other layers of flavors and textures.

About The Winery:

This vineyard was planted on soils of granitic origin in the Apalta (Colchagua) zone in 1958. Here the grapes ripen early with good concentration and much elegance. The soils of moderate depth with deep clay beneath an alteration of the granite bedrock make this sector of Apalta a bit unusual. Don Juan Quijada has worked his family’s vineyards for years and makes surprising wines. This wine is a homage to the union of wineries and producers who have dedicated their lives to magical vineyards.

Food Pairings:

Try this with a flavorful Thai curry, a frittata with sweet onions and ricotta, or a shrimp and avocado tostada.

Somm Hints:

This wine is full of character that will come out best when decanted.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

MICHEL LYNCH, BORDEAUX ROUGE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

A brilliant garnet colour, the Michel Lynch red displays notes of blackcurrant and fresh bread, with an overall impression of ripeness and power. Generous, balanced and round on the palate, with firm, ripe tannins.

About The Winery:

Founded by Jean-Michel Cazes, the owner of Château Lynch-Bages, in 1990, and named for one of the early proprietors of Lynch-Bages. Lynch was a key figure in revolutionizing winegrowing practices in the Médoc during the 18th Century. The company specializes in the production of red, white and rosé Bordeaux blends from its cellar in Macau, in the Médoc. The Michel Lynch Red is based on grape varieties typical of Bordeaux, like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. These grapes are harvested from around Bordeaux: from Médoc and Graves, as well as Fronsac, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux and Blaye.

Food Pairings:

Enjoy with rack of lamb and mint sauce or T-bone steak with garlic butter also enjoyable with soft cheese.

Somm Hints:

This is a fresh wine packed with young fruit. The flavours and acidity particular to this vintage indicate that the fruit was not given enough time to fully ripen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

GUSTAVE LORENTZ, EVIDENCE RIESLING ALSACE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

Straw yellow with green tints and a lovely nose of apple, lime and cedar. The palate comes in with roundness and concentration that has an overtone of apple peel and citrus zest. It's rich and fresh all the way to a dry finish with a peppery touch.

About The Winery:

Since 1836 la Maison Gustave Lorentz owns a 33ha vineyard in Bergheim including 13.5ha for the Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim and 1.5ha for the Grand Cru Kanzierberg. Convinced of the need to protect the environment, in 2009, the GUSTAVE LORENTZ estate converted all its property vines to organic farming. Since 2012, the estate has been inspected and certified Organic Agriculture by Ecocert. Wishing to go further, they had their Organic Wine Range Evidence certified 100% VEGAN.

Food Pairings:

A very fresh and pleasant wine perfect for some very freshwater fish!

Somm Hints:

The Evidence Range is deliberately vinified very dry to focus on its intense minerality.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WEINGUT BERGDOLT-REIF & NETT, RIESLING TROCKEN, GERMANY

Why We Love This Wine:

Vibrant, fresh and mineral, this wine is packed with complexity – spicy citrus notes of orange, lemon and grapefruit are followed by hints of something creamy and thyme, building to a long, mineral finish.

About The Winery:

The winery is located in the municipality of Neustadt-Duttweiler in the German wine-growing region of Pfalz. The origin lies in the farm estate in Duttweiler, which has belonged to the Benedictine monastery of St. Lamprecht since 1290. After the dissolution of the monastery, the estate in Duttweiler was bequeathed to the University of Heidelberg in the 16th century, which administered it for 200 years. Starting with a division of the estate in 1900, today's winery was subsequently created; the current name came about through adoption and marriage.

Food Pairings:

It’s the perfect pour for the start of an evening with appetizers such as goat cheese, radishes, and olives.

Somm Hints:

Winemaker Christian Nett beautifully described the winery’s motto in a recent article saying “In our cellars tranquillity and reserve rule – we allow our wine the pleasure of time - from the gentle pressing of the grape, to the restrained fermentation of the most (maceration) and the gentle aging storage of the young wine, through to final bottling.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

ZUCCARDI Q, TEMPRANILLO, ARGENTINA

Why We Love This Wine:

Big value and big spicy fruit accented by some herbs and oak. On the palate, this Tempranillo is well balanced and full of berry flavours. Hints of spiced plum along the way to a dry and focused finish.
A true full-bodied and full flavour wine.

About The Winery:

The Zuccardi family’s approach to sustainability starts with the environment and people before any product. They’re dedicated to producing the highest quality wines through sustainable practices such as a focus on nurturing biodiversity, organic farming, efficient irrigation practices, composting, water treatment, comprehensive waste and recycling efforts, and the use of solar energy.

The grapes used for Zuccardi Q come from recognized micro-regions in the Uco Valley and selected old vineyards. Made from old vine Tempranillo grown in the high desert of Mendoza.

Food Pairings:

This is a meaty, savory wine perfect for dishes with that very same description. Not feeling like meat? Try it with a hearty tomato-based pasta.

Somm Hints:

This is a blend of varietal wines, distinct blends from select vineyard which come from the best part of Mendoza. Each batch is harvested separately at different times, with the goal of achieving elegance and excellence in the wine.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PAUL CLUVER, CHARDONNAY, SOUTH AFRICA

Why we love this wine:

While Chardonnay can grow in many different climates, it thrives in cool climate regions. Proximity to the South Atlantic Ocean and prevailing southerly winds moderating the temperature makes for slower, more-gradual ripening and, thus, more-balanced wines with great depth and complexity of flavour. This lightly-oaked Chardonnay opens up with beautiful aromas of apple, citrus, flint and some notes of vanilla. The acids on the palate are zesty and mouthwatering, but ample weight and depth support them. The finish is crisp with hints of nectarine and apricot– a real “crunchy” style of Chard.

About the Winery:

Paul Cluver Wines is a family-owned, and family-run winery focused on producing world-class wines that reflect the uniqueness of the cool-climate Elgin terroir.  The family is proud to have pioneered the Elgin appellation and to be a leader in sustainable farming.

Food Pairings:

It goes well with a roasted turkey dinner with a side of creamy mashed potato

Somm Hint:

Let the wine gradually warm up in the glass to bring out the aromatics of this wine.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LUBERRI, ‘ZURI’, SPAIN

Why we love this wine:

Zuri (which means white in Basque, the native language of the Monje family) is a fresh, mineral-driven, unoaked Rioja Blanco from traditional Rioja grapes: 80% Viura & 20% Malvasia that expresses the mountain vineyards of the Alavesa region. This wine is crisp but substantive, fruity yet dry and minerally – a lovely medium-bodied white wine that pairs perfectly with food or is easily crushable on its own!

About the winery:

Luberri [loo-beh-ree] is located in the heart of northern Spain’s Basque Country in Rioja Alavesa, where the Monje-Amestoy family farms old-vine estate vineyards between the key villages of Elciego and Laguardia. Luberri produces complex and layered Rioja wines from single vineyards that are lively, joyous, and simply delicious to drink. 

Food Pairings:

Perfect match for fresh food, veggies, salad, sashimi, and crudos.

Somm Hint:

Nothing fancy is needed… just chill and enjoy!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

J.HOFSTÄTTER, PINOT BIANCO, ITALY

Why we love this wine :

Pinot Bianco is a versatile white-wine grape variety used to produce still, sparkling and sweet dessert wines. Although not the most glamorous member of the Pinot family, the variety has proven its worth in various regions, most notably in the Alto Adige region of Italy. This wine from Hofstätter, one of the best producers in the region, shows an elegant fragrance of peach combined with apple and pear. Graceful and harmonious on the palate with crisp acidity and delicate fruit. Subtle notes of hazelnut on the finish.

About the Winery:

Joseph Hofstätter established this winery in 1907, which lies in the warm southern part of the region, where figs, lemons and olives thrive. Hofstätter farms 50 hectares and is unique in that they have vineyards on the east and west sides of the Adige River, with a very distinct terroir. More recently, in 2017, they expanded into the neighbouring Trentino region. This highlights the position of the J. Hofstätter winery as one of the largest family wineries in Alto Adige, with unique, outstanding vineyard sites.

Food Pairings:

Smoked fish, steamed shellfish with lots of herbs.

Somm Hint:

Pinot Bianco is a versatile white-wine grape variety used to produce still, sparkling and sweet dessert wines. Also known as Pinot Blanc in French, and Weißburgunder in German.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FAMILIENWEINGUT SATTLERHOF, SAUVIGNON BLANC, AUSTRIA

Why we love this wine :

The Südsteiermark is a remarkable source of fragrant and refreshing wines, especially Sauvignon Blanc. The Sattler family was one of the first in the region to bottle high-quality dry white wines under their own name in the 1970s. This is a steely, fresh, herbal white wine with an expressive citrus fruit aroma. There is a creaminess to counteract the varietal tartness, providing depth and nuance and resulting in a lovely balance.

About the Winery:

Sattlerhof is a leading producer in Austria’s South Styria region, known for its benchmark examples of Styrian Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc. The Sattler family has been growing wine in the village of Gamlitz since 1887. Willi Sattler is the current family member in charge and has grown the estate to 35 hectares of biodynamically farmed vines in some of the region’s most famous vineyards.

Food Pairings:

Great food wine! Stick with classic pairings for Sauvignon Blanc; goat cheese, seafood, asparagus and fennel.

Somm Hint:

Recommended best served well chilled.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 

MONTE RIO, SKULL ‘WHITE’, CALIFORNIA USA

Why we love this wine :

This spunky white is a blend of five grapes - 24% French Colombard, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Chardonnay, 18% Clairette, and 18% Riesling - sourced across five vineyards in California. This unusual white blend is made from organically farmed grapes, fermented in neutral vessels to give a bright wine with a refreshing acidity and some food-friendly texture. The resulting wine is a true quaffer - light on its feet, spicy, and delicately floral. Perfect for wine for the end of summer.

About the Winery:

Monte Rio is a collaboration of Patrick Cappiello (ex-somm) and Pax Mahle (winemaker). They both share an appreciation for holistic winemaking - choosing their vineyards with care - all grapes are from organic and sustainable sites. It’s also an homage to the undervalued grapes - like Mission, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and French Colombard - from heritage vineyards in California. They make easy-to-love, food-friendly, low-intervention wines in the spirit of old California.

Food Pairings ::

Perfect for weekday dinner. Pair with a tomato salad or kale Caesar salad with grilled chicken.

Somm Hint (how will the wine show best… temperature/glassware/decant etc):

Save this wine for your Halloween party

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NETZL, GRUNER VELTLINER, AUSTRIA

Why we love this wine :

This Gruner grows in one of the cooler places in their region, which benefit from the chilled winds of the nearby River Danube. This factor allows for the intensive aromatic and fizzy acidity in the grapes to be preserved. This Gruner mingles apple, bright acidity and peppery undertones in just the right proportions. A textbook Gruner from Austria.

About the winery:

The Netzl family has lived and farmed in the same village since 1650. Having helped her family run the mixed farm and vineyards from an early age, owner and winemaker Christina Netzl knew she wanted to be a winemaker at the tender age of five. Inspired by the quality of the natural wines she discovered while living in London and the birth of her two daughters, Christina decided to turn the whole property organic in 2013 and started her range of natural wines two years later.

Food Pairings :

Pairs are great with fried chicken and light fish and seafood or go for Wiener Schnitzel if you feel like a full-on Austrian experience is needed.

Somm Hint (how will the wine show best… temperature/glassware/decant etc):

This is 750ml of pure joy! Gruner Veltliner is something we should all be drinking more of instead of Italian Pinot Grigio!!

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHOZAS CARRASCAL, LAS DOS CES TINTO, SPAIN

Why we love this wine:

100% Bobal. An elegant and fresh red with a fruit-forward nose of black plum, strawberry, anise, black cherry, tobacco and hints of red pepper. Subtle tannins with bright acidity lead to a lengthy, velvety finish. Dominated by primary fruit flavours and not nearly as rustic as many other examples of Bobal. A light chill is best for this red.

About the winery:

In 1990, husband and wife Julin López and María José Peidro purchased an established vineyard in the Requena-Utiel region of Valencia in south-eastern Spain. Their climate is significantly more continental than the rest of the D.O.P., with hot, dry summer days and cool, fresh nights. The winery’s uniqueness was recognized in 2012 when it was awarded ‘Vino de Pago’ status, meaning the winery is its own D.O., separate, distinct and at the top of the Spanish wine hierarchy. Their vineyards are farmed and certified organic, and the wines exhibit elegant structure, intense, complex character and, most importantly, delicious drinkability.

Food Pairings:

Grilled pork loin, pulled pork or charcuterie and aged Manchego.

Somm Hint:

There are 20 “Vino de Pago” properties in Spain, each representing a singular identity that combines the best of tradition and modernity.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 

OLIVIER COSTE, OLD STAR CARIGNAN, FRANCE

Why we love this wine:

Carignan [care-in-yen] wines have long been known as a low-quality and major blending grape to bulk up the production; however, many producers are reinvigorating old vineyards and making fruit-driven spicy single-varietal wines. This 100% Carignan is pure, fresh, sapid and wild, with bright acidity and tight spice on the finish. Crushable on its own or great with food. Bit of spice and a lot of tasty good vibes here! Different, and we love it!

About the winery:

Since his childhood, Olivier Coste’s favourite places to play have been the vineyards and the family wine cellar at Domaine Montrose, his family’s wine estate founded in 1701 in Pézenas. With this upbringing, Olivier developed a profound attachment to the Languedoc’s terroir and landscape and later to its wines. Olivier and his team are committed to respecting the environment so future generations can enjoy nature’s heritage.

Food Pairings:

Carignan is one of the world’s perfect Thanksgiving wines! Roasted Turkey with squashes

Somm Hint:

The first sip packs a bit of a punch, so give it a minute and then try your second and third sips to get settled.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

QUINTA DA PEDRA ALTA, DOURO, PORTUGAL

Why we love this wine:

Pedra a Pedra Tinto is an approachable, fruit-driven,  modern expression of the Douro, made from a blend of indigenous grape varieties (50% Touriga Franca, 44% Touriga Nacional, 5% Tinta Barocca, 1% Fernão Pires.). Full flavoured, red and blue fruited wine, with some fine herbal notes here and a bit of a tarry, tannic grip. It’s fresh and quite elegant with massive drinkability. Holds up really well on day two and even improves a little.

About the winery:

Based in the Cima Corgo of the Douro region in Portugal. In 1761, the Marques de Pombal demarcated the region by placing rectangular-shaped granite markers (feitorias) around the best parcels of land. And Quinta da Pedra Alta is the only vineyard in the Douro to have three of these granite markers, known as Marcos Pombalinos, of the highest quality on its property.

Food Pairings:

Weekend bbq platter with smoked meats and sausages or weekday burgers and fries.

Somm Hint:Use a big large wine (Bordeaux) glass or can be decanted.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BARNARD GRIFFIN, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, USA

Why we love this wine:

Delicious Cab from Washington states! Unbelievably lush, jammy dark fruits (plums, blackberry, currants) and some anise on the nose. The black fruits continue on the palate, mixed with some blueberry, mocha and a touch of mint. Full-bodied but not ponderous, the tannins are apparent but soft and woven into the wine. Well-composed wine.

About the winery:

Rob and his wife, Deborah Barnard, established Barnard Griffin Winery in 1983 with a small truckload of borrowed fruit and a rented cellar. It has now become one of Washington’s most enduring and award-winning wineries. Maintaining true craftsmanship, Rob continues to fully engage in the winemaking and leadership of Barnard Griffin. The early vision of handcrafting the highest quality Washington wine continues to drive the company as Rob and Deborah move to incorporate a second generation.

Food Pairings:

Serve alongside a rack of lamb, with a good steak or dark chocolate.

Somm Hint:It’s so easy to drink and hard to put down... No big fuss.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PALMENTO COSTANZO, ‘MOFETE’, ITALY

 

Why we love this wine:

Palmento Costanzo Mofete Rosso is an organic red wine made from Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes from up to 30 years old vines. It is a wine with a spicy bouquet with hints of fresh wild herbs, rose and volcanic ash. The taste is mineral and juicy, well-balanced and elegant with a long sapid finish.

About the winery:

In 2000, Mimmo Costanzo and his wife, Valeria, purchased vineyards on the northern slopes of Mount Etna in the Santo Spirito area of Passopisciaro. With over 100 terraced slopes, 14ha in total, rising from 600-800 metres, the vines – some more than a century old – are supported on wooden trellises surrounding the ancient winery. Combined with picking by hand, organic farming, and low yields, this unique set of conditions helps to create some of the most outstanding wines in the region.

Food Pairings:

It's wonderful with charcuterie, pizza, pasta or roast beef sandwich.

Somm Hint:Can be served slightly chilled. Use a burgundy glass. Treat it like Pinot Noir.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VILLA PAPIANO, ‘LE PAPESSE’, ITALY

 

Why we love this wine:

Le Papesse di Papiano" is one of the great classics made annually by the Villa Papiano farm. It is a blend where the Sangiovese is the absolute protagonist, adding a very small percentage of balsamina, a native vine recovered from the cellar in a project that aims to enhance the territory. The wine exhibits bright cherry fruit with herbal notes wrapped in persistent tannins and a velvety finish.

About the winery:

Villa Papiano is first and foremost an enchanted place: an ancient Villa, located at 500m  elevation amidst the valleys and the forests of the Appennino that runs between Romagna and Tuscany. The estate is owned and managed by Francesco Bordini and his Siblings: Maria Rosa and Giampaolo. Francesco is a true expert in the native grapes of Romagna, and his winemaking style is minimalistic and low-key. They have been farming organically since 2000 and officially certified organic in 2009.

Food Pairings:

Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano and Ragù alla Bolognese which all comes from this region

Somm Hint:

This great red won’t weigh you down at the table. It is best enjoyed lightly chilled (between 13 and 16 degrees).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHATEAU DE SAINT COSME, COTES DU RHONE, FRANCE

Why we love this wine:

The nose opens with a lovely floral violet, followed by dark berries, tobacco and charcoal notes. The palate echoes the nose and shows the varietal’s typical spicy notes of sandalwood, violets, and black pepper. There is a pleasing grip on the finish. This is a well structured Cotes du Rhone, with excellent purity of fruit and vibrancy.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALTAMENTE VOLALTO, MOURVÈDRE, SPAIN

Why we love this wine:

This project from Fernando Barrena (of Azul y Garanza) and his wife, Marian, is located in the northernmost part of the DO Jumilla in the high Hoya Torres Valley with shallow, calcareous soil in arid conditions. The majority of the vines are Pie Franco (on their own rootstock) and farmed 100% organically. This is expressive and plump Monastrell from 30-year-old vineyards located 900m above sea level in Jumilla, about an hour from Alicante. This organic Spanish red is full of plummy fruit flavour, smooth and completely delicious. Perfect for late summer BBQs!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

August 2022

TAIT THE BALL BUSTER, AUSTRALIA

Why We Love This Wine:

Tait’s 2018 The Ball Buster Proprietary Red is a blend of 77% Shiraz, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot. Deep black/purple colour with an intense nose of blackcurrant, stewed plums, cherry, and chocolate. Mint and baking spices lead the way, backed by a big mouthful of blackberries and black cherries. Full-bodied yet supple, it’s spicy and rich, with lingering notes of mixed berries and spice on the finish.

About The Winery:

The grapes that make up the Ball Buster blend are sourced from different vineyard locations throughout the Barossa Valley. Vineyard sites are chosen to ensure that the resultant fruit is intense and that cropping levels do not exceed 3.5 tones an acre; typically, these are clay soils on the fringes of the Barossa. Each vineyard site is visited twice a week during the maturing season to ensure that the fruit is maturing slowly, and that water is only applied when necessary. Picking is only done when the grapes are physiologically ripe.

Food Pairings:

The concentrated ripe berry flavours counterbalanced by a juicy acidity make this bold table wine a great match for any dinner or dessert with flavours just as bold.

Somm Hints:

Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FILIPA PATO & WILLIAM WOUTERS, 'DINAMICA - DNMC' BICAL – ARINTO, PORTUGAL

Why We Love This Wine:

White flowers, nectarine pit, sea, salt + stone on nose. On palate, flowery lemon notes mingle with herbs, mint, stones, and a touch of orange.

About The Winery:

Winemaker Filipa Pato makes "authentic wines without makeup" - this is a blend of native Portuguese grapes Bical & Arinto. Along with her husband and partner William Wouters, the diverse polyculture essence of Bairrada allows them to work in sync and alongside the surrounding nature systems in a biodynamic, organic fashion. The resulting wine is a raw expression of the native grapes and land. Unfined, unfiltered.

Food Pairings:

Load a Paella with seafood like mussels, clams and shrimp to match with this dynamic white!  

Somm Hints:

Bairrada’s unparalleled elegance is due to the specific climate, soil, and winemaking techniques of the region. These elements provide a style of wine found nowhere else in Portugal, or the world for that matter.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CANNONBALL, CHARDONNAY, CALIFORNIA

Why We Love This Wine:

The aromas of the 2019 Chardonnay display honeycomb, sweet cream butter, pastry, and honeysuckle notes.  Soft, medium weight palate unfurls layers of flavour of poached pear, lemon curd, yellow plum, and toasted almond. A lively streak of acid prevails on the finish. Strong nutmeg and vanilla aromas lead into ripe pear and peach flavours and more baking spices on the palate. It’s oaky and complex, offering a light grip in the smooth texture.

About The Winery:

Cannonball Wine Company was founded in 2006 by longtime winemaker Dennis Hill and former attorney turned wine entrepreneur Yoav Gilat.  Dennis is a Sonoma County native from a family with a long viticultural tradition in the region. The iconic label image of a child doing a ‘Cannonball’ refers to jumping into the water with your knees tucked into your chest in order to make a big splash and get your nearby friends as wet as possible.

The Cannonball name and label symbolize the uninhibited and pure spirit of a child having fun. This is the soul of Cannonball Wine Company:  life - and wine - should be fun!

Food Pairings:

This Chardonnay is your BBQ white! The Cannonball pairs remarkably well with barbequed salmon, barbequed pork roast on a spit or a roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings.

Somm Hints:

Pairing hint: Match the wine to the most prominent element in the dish. This is critical to fine-tuning wine pairings. Identify the dominant character in the dish; often it's the sauce, seasonings or cooking method, rather than the main ingredient.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ASTROLABE MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC, NEW ZEALAND  

Why We Love This Wine:

A skillfully made example of the modern Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc style. It is impressively balanced with a ripe bouquet of elderflower, gooseberry, and passionfruit. The palate is broad and lush; those elderflower and gooseberry notes are perfectly matched by an almost Loire-like flinty acidity.

About The Winery:

In New Zealand’s largest wine-producing region, surrounded by a sea of Sauvignon Blanc vineyards owned by corporate wineries, Astrolabe stands strong as an independent, family-owned producer of stunning wines. The Waghorn family should be proud of their success: seven consecutive vintages of 90+ scores from Wine Spectator earned through perseverance and skill.

This wine is made solely from Sauvignon Blanc and comes from growers in Marlborough’s Awatere, Waihopai, Wairau, and Brancott Valleys. The fruit is lightly pressed with minimal skin contact. The clear, cold-settled juice is fermented in stainless steel vats at low temperatures allowing the powerful fruit flavours to dominate.

Food Pairings:

This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wine would be a match made in heaven with a fruit and cheese charcuterie board.

Somm Hints:

Sauvignon Blanc is the flagship varietal of New Zealand and is typically a very crisp aromatic wine with notes of grapefruit, tropical fruit and cut grass. The much-lauded white wines of New Zealand tend to be slightly sweeter than those from Bordeaux and the Loire Valley and are hugely influenced by the growing conditions of the country.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PETIRROJO, RESERVA CARMENÈRE, CHILE

Why We Love This Wine:

Petirrojo is a tribute to the beauty and simplicity of the meadowlark, a typical bird of the Colchagua Valley. This ruby red Carmenère with violet accents combines notes of paprika on the nose along with enticing aromas of ripe red fruit. Medium bodied with a flavorful mid-palate, sweet tannins, and a pleasingly fruity finish.

About The Winery:

Bisquertt Family Vineyards winery was founded in 1978 by Osvaldo Bisquertt, a winegrowing pioneer in the Colchagua Valley. Since it began, Viña Bisquertt has received national and international recognition for the production of fresh, elegant and expressive premium wine of origin.

Food Pairings:

Our best pairing suggestion for this Chilean red has two directions. Try a vegetable gratin with white sauce and creamy cheeses or some savory roasted red meats with herbs and mushrooms.

Somm Hints:

The Carmenère grape is an old French grape variety, which was exterminated by the phylloxera in the 19th century in Europe.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MASIA F VINO TINTO, TEMPRANILLO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

This single varietal wine is made exclusively from Tempranillo grapes grown in the extraordinary climate of Central Spain. It has been blended to appeal to a broad spectrum of taste profiles. This classic Spanish red is bright, layered, and delicious. Full of dark summer fruit flavours, a touch of spice, and savory herbs.

About The Winery:

Alchemy Wines was established in 2002 with a focus to offer customers something truly unique – the opportunity to deal directly with the producer. Alchemy has production partners in both Spain and the South of France and boasts a portfolio of wines that show excellent quality across a variety of price points in order to fulfill their philosophy of bringing the customer closer to the source.

Food Pairings:

This classic Spanish Tempranillo is full of dark summer fruit flavours and a wonderful partner with many meat dishes or on its own.

Somm Hints:

Alchemy has been proud to produce wines for some of the most luxurious high-profile outlets in the World. The Tempranillo blend, along with other varieties, were the house wine selection for over three years at the first Seven Star hotel in the World – The Burj al Arab in Dubai.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COTEAUX BOURGUIGNONS GRANIT VIEILLES VIGNES – ROUGE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

With a spirit straddling Burgundy and Beaujolais, this charming gourmet wine opens with a fruity nose filled with aromas of currants and raspberries. The mouth is faithful to the nose, supple, round and greedy. The finish is fresh and balanced. This is truly accessible luxury perfect dinners and events!!

About The Winery:

The Masse family, present in Burgundy since 1595, has never stopped developing its vineyard and the quality of its wines. It was mainly Jean-Baptiste Masse who launched the development of the estate after the Second World War. There were two sons, Raymond and Roland. Raymond now runs the estate, while Roland became a renowned oenologist. The winery, the ageing cellars and the estate have all been modernised. Vineyard plots located on great terroirs have recently been bought in order to extend the estate. Ideally located in the heart of Burgundy, between Givry and Mercurey, we produce quality wines from Givry, Mercurey, Montagny, Rully, Bourgogne and Maconnais.

Food Pairings:

Ideal to accompany a beef carpaccio, a duck breast with porcini mushrooms or a cheese platter.

Somm Hints:

This is an original Coteaux Bourguignons using 100% Gamay grapes variety in order to bring fruit, lightness and freshness to the wine.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VILLA GUELPA, LONGITUDINE 8.26 ROSSO, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

Rose and red-berry aromas mingling with wild herbs. This juicy and delicious, red is smooth, graceful with a palate featuring cherry, blood orange and star anise alongside polished tannins and bright acidity.

About The Winery:

Villa Guelpa is a winemaking project inspired by the variety of terroirs across northern Piemonte. The Longitudine8 wines embraces how the region’s variety of soils produces distinct Nebbiolo wines even when the vineyard plots are separated by just a few meters.

Food Pairings:

Light and immediately approachable, this wine is a wonderful stand-alone drinking experience.

Somm Hints:

The Nebbiolo grape varietal featured in this wine is known as “The King of Grapes” in the Piedmont sub-region where this was produced.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RONCO DEL GELSO, FRIULI ISONZO LATIMIS, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

The "Latimis" is an aromatic and refined white wine from the Isonzo area that comes to life from a blend of Pinot Bianco, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. Bright straw yellow. Lemon and citrus peel and white flowers on the nose. On the palate it is harmonious and intense aromatic, pleasantly fresh and with a mineral texture. Lightly saline and floral on the fresh, long finish.

About The Winery:

Situated on a small plain created by the tributaries of the Isonzo, which extends from the hills of the Collio region towards the Adriatic Sea, the Ronco Del Gelso bottled it’s first wine in 1988. Since then, the vineyard strategies have always respected the distinctive nature of the soil, whose low fertility makes them perfect for high-quality viticulture. The poor, stony, dry soils are ideal for viticulture.

Food Pairings:

A wine like this is best suited to foods with more subtle flavoring. It will match up well with soft cheeses, salads with cream dressings and flaky fish.

Somm Hints:

Poor soils are very important because they limit the vigour of the vines and prevent excessive production.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DOMAINE SEGUIN-MANUEL MACON-VILLAGES, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

Pale gold colour. On the nose, it shows pure aromas of grapefruit and floral nuances. Very clean and straightforward on the palate, it develops a combination of honeysuckle and grapefruit aromas. The wine shows great purity.

About The Winery:

A local and artisanal winery which carefully crafts great wines from the French region of Burgundy. Seguin-Manuel has undergone a major rejuvenation since its acquisition by Thibaut Marion in 2004, 180 years after its foundation in 1824.

Coming from a ten-generation family of winegrowers, Chanson Père & Fils, Thibaut started his career -- and honed his skills for seven years -- at the family winery in Beaune. Today, he puts his experience, passion and energy at the service of the great wines of Burgundy.

Food Pairings:

This wine was born to be enjoyed as apéritif or with a gourmet tartine.

Somm Hints:

Because this wine was aged only in steel on the fine lees, it shows an intense and enveloping olfactory profile, marked by notes of citrus, tropical fruit, balsamic hints and aromatic herbs.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REDSTONE, CHARDONNAY, CANADA

Why We Love This Wine:

Blend of individually-fermented Chardonnay lots sourced from select mature Beamsville Bench vineyards. Barrel-fermented and aged 12 months in French oak, this wine displays complex notes of white flower, citrus, ripe apple and a touch of toasted oak.

About The Winery:

In 2009, inspired by the red dust which covered everything, including his boots, the first time he strolled the vineyard, Moray Tawse named his new winery Redstone, for its intensely red clay soil and large stones. The 38-acre estate vineyard, farmed organically, is perfect for maturing late-ripening varietals including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. There is also Pinot Gris on the property.

Food Pairings:

Pair this Bistro Chardonnay with a silky risotto or crisp-skinned roast chicken.

Somm Hints:

Organic farming feeds the vines and controls diseases without the use of synthetic insecticides, fungicides, and fertilizers.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES RUEDA VERDEJO, SPAIN

 Why We Love This Wine:

Elegant, subtle nose, unveiling the fragrance of white fruits with fine citrus notes. An outburst on the palate, lavish and intense. Crisp and tasty fruit unveil balance, freshness and a fine touch of grapefruit that that lingers on the mouth. Very drinkable!

About The Winery:

In 1970, Enrique Forner founded Marqués de Cáceres, Unión Vitivinícola, S.A., a historic Alliance between a region (Cenicero, La Rioja Alta), an enterprising family that has been devoted to the wine trade for five generations, the best vine growers and vineyards in La Rioja and a Bordeaux concept which revolutionised the production and business model with a single objective: the quality to obtain the best wines, an obsession that today continues to be the  driving motivation of Cristina Forner, the third generation of this distinguished wine family.

Food Pairings:

Serve this rich and fresh Spanish table wine chilled with shellfish smothered in garlic butter.

Somm Hints:

The grapes are harvested at night, at cool temperatures in order to preserve and maximize their organoleptic qualities and prevent oxidation.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quinta da Raza, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Why we love this wine :

With magnificent sun exposure, and an altitude of 250 meters, uncommon in the Vinho Verde Region, the Quinta da Raza vineyard has a unique terroir, with the vineyard noted for the quality of the grapes produced here. This wine results from a rigorous selection of our best grapes, Arinto, Azal and Trajadura and the perfect communion between technique and tradition.

This attractive, fruity, light wine is classic, just slightly spritzy Vinho Verde. Its citrus flavour is lifted by bright acidity and a fine, zesty texture.

About the winery:

Quinta da Raza Winery has been family-run for four centuries and is owned by the Teixeira Coelho Family. Now Diogo Teixeira Coelho, the fifth generation of the family, runs the winery. He has been passionate about vineyards and wine since childhood, which is visible in his work. The winery combines traditional values with modern and innovative techniques to produce high-quality wines.

Food Pairings :

Cilantro! Fish tacos, cilantro-lime chicken, salsa, ceviche or something Japanese. California rolls, teriyaki bowls, edamame salad.

Somm Hint :

Serve well chilled to preserve the freshness.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tunella Ribolla Gialla, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Italy

Why we love this wine :

Ribolla Gialla is an excellent vine native to Friuli, one of the jewels of this beautiful region, renowned for the production of premium white wines. This Ribolla Gialla “Rjgialla” is a great example produced by La Tunella. The nose is elegant, floral and fruity, with notes of acacia, plum and, peach, crab apple. The palate is full, dry and fresh, with a pleasant flavour and an aromatic aftertaste. It is a wine that proudly shows its roots in Friuli.

About the winery:

La Tunella is a winery run by two brothers, Massimo and Marco Zorzettig that is located in Friuli, Italy. With a minimal carbon footprint, this winery focuses on the area's indigenous varieties and long-standing winemaking traditions. While many people would associate Italy with big, bold reds, Friuli is known almost exclusively for its fresh and floral bright whites.

Food Pairings :

Cold Italian antipasti - olives, salted anchovies, sardines, fresh or pickled vegetables, shellfish, peppers, and cheeses.

Somm Hint :

Once the bottle is open, keep it out from the fridge or chiller. The wine becomes much more aromatic as it starts to warm up.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Casa Marin, Sauvignon Blanc, San Antonio Valley, Chile

Why we love this wine :

When this Sauvignon Blanc's first vintage was released, Robert Parker heralded it as the best white wine in South America. A moment of great satisfaction for Maria Luz Marin, who insisted on planting her vineyards in Lo Abarca. The wine is bright, fresh and lifted with distinctive melon, kiwi and grassy notes. Clean and beautifully structured with hints of citrus and honey and finely balanced acidity. An admirable effort!

About the winery:

Casa Marín is a boutique winery and fine wine producer. It stands out for its unique cool climate terroir located in Lo Abarca – part of the San Antonio Valley – just four kilometres from the Pacific coast. Despite warnings about problems with location, the cool climate and people’s disbelief, Maria Luz Marin successfully created a company whose wines have been awarded worldwide and helped position Chile in a distinct light with its high-quality wines.

Food Pairings :

Goat cheese! Creamier, the better.

Somm Hint :

Chill well and keep it chilled!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Château Beauregard Ducasse, Graves Blanc, France

Why we love this wine:

A blend of equal parts Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, the Château Beauregard Ducasse Graves is a wonderfully fresh and fruity dry white wine that displays aromas of white flowers, pineapple, peach and tangerine from the Sauvignon. The Semillon gives the wine roundness and complexity in the mouth, providing hints of honey, lemon and almond notes on the lingering finish.

About the winery:

The Château Ducasse or Beauregard Ducasse vineyard is located south of the "Graves" region in Mazères near Langon. This vineyard has been a family property since 1850. Marie-Laure and Jacques Perromat represent the sixth generation of winemakers. Château Beauregard Ducasse offers a wine of high quality perfectly representative of its beautiful name, the Graves.

Food Pairings:

Because of its freshness and flavour profile, white Bordeaux pairs well with almost any white food, including all types of fish, shellfish, clams, oysters, mussels, sushi, pork, veal, and chicken.

Somm Hint:

While very pleasant now, this wine will gain added complexity with short-term cellaring.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gaia, ‘Moschofilero’ Wild Ferment, Greece

Why we love this wine :

A fantastic wild-fermented wine using the versatile Moschofilero grape from Gaia. Moschofilero is a pink-skinned, aromatic grape variety grown mainly on Greece's Peloponnese peninsula. The wine has a complex bouquet of white flowers, apricot, jasmine and rose, with slightly buttery notes, perfectly balancing the aromatic and richly flavoured palate.

About the winery:

Gaia Wines Estate was established in 1994 by Greek winemakers Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, one of the pioneers of the modern Greek wine revolution. They are operating two different wineries. They make cutting-edge wines in both Nemea and Santorini. The Gaia wines aim to present the potential of the indigenous Greek grape varieties to wine enthusiasts worldwide.

Food Pairings :

Enjoy it with grilled branzino or swordfish, or Middle Eastern mezze spread.

Somm Hint :

Moschofilero is pronounced moosh-ko-fee-lair-oh. Its grapey flavours often compared to wines made from Muscat.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Marcel Cabelier, ‘L’Etoile’ Chardonnay, Jura, France

Why we love this wine :

L’Etoile is a tiny Appellation within the Jura region, so named as its limestone-rich soils contain fossils that mirror the five points of a star. The village is also surrounded by five hills which also mimic the star formation. This wine shows the typicity of Jura wines. Gold in colour, the wine exhibits yellow fruits with toasted and vanilla notes on the nose. On the palate, the wine shows its wonderful, natural minerality and freshness.

About the winery:

Marcel Cabelier is the principal producer of the Jura region, passionately raising the entire region’s great reputation. The wines still owe their excellent reputation to the quality of the region’s soil and its conservation of cultural practices and traditional winemaking methods. The climate, soil, and native grape varieties, such as Savagnin, Poulsard and Trousseau, make Jura a unique winemaking region that will continue to delight from your first sip to your hundredth!

Food Pairings :

Something you would have with roasted almonds. Salad with Feta cheese, roasted chicken breast, mild Soft and creamy cheeses, and poached Salmon with butter almond sauce.

Somm Hint :

Jura is known for an unusual wine called Vin Jaune. Vin Jaune translates to “yellow wine”; wine rich in spicy notes such as curry or even more pronounced nutty flavours.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chateau Les Croisille, Cahors, France

Why we love this wine :

The New Wave of French Malbec! Once known for rich reds, the Cahors region is making lighter, fresher styles. Winemakers are returning to basics as they cycle back from the highly-extracted, tannic styles of Malbec to a fresher take on wines that speak of place. This is an easy-drinking Malbec with lots of juicy fresh raspberry, pomegranate and juicy blackberry fruit with a smooth and supple mouthfeel.  

About the winery:  

In 1979 Cecile and Bernard Croisille rented an abandoned property on the Causses de Luzech to cultivate vines. Their children have since come on board to look after the 30-hectare Domaine and have brought with them a sense of innovation and desire to take risks, all while respecting traditional winemaking and encouraging the terroir to speak through the wines. They are members of Vignerons de Nature.

Food Pairings :

It would be fantastic accompanied by grilled chicken or lamb, not beef.

Somm Hint: 

This rather elegant wine can be served in Burgundy (bowl shape) wine glasses than traditional tall Bordeaux glasses.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bodegas Vallemayor, Rioja, Spain

Why we love this wine :

This is a classic Rioja made from 100% Tempranillo grapes. This maturing Rioja shows cedary spice on the nose, with some leather, dried herbs and dried cherry fruit. It is medium body, firm and well structured with very good flavour intensity. Acid-texture balance is excellent; tannins are dusty but well integrated. Long finish with earth and red cherry flavours.

About the winery:

Bodegas Vallemayor S.L. is a family-owned winery located in Fuenmayor, into the geographic area of La Rioja Alta. The winemaking tradition of the Pérez Foncea family dates back to the late 19th century. But, in 1984, Luis Pérez Foncea decided to transform the distillery in Fuenmayor into a modern, functional bodega to make, age and bottle Rioja wine. His children are currently in charge of producing wines that express the land's outstanding characteristics and the grapes harvested there.

Food Pairings :

Rioja is one of our all-time favourite food pairing red wines, from roast chicken to pork or Lamb.

Somm Hint:

Let this wine decant for 30-40 minutes.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hamelin Bay , ‘Rampant Red,’ Australia

Why we love this wine :

Margaret River is a world-class wine region located in the South West of Western Australia.  This wine was created by blending Cabernet and Shiraz with a small amount of Malbec. Intense nose of blackberry and ripe raspberry with hints of smoke, char and toffee. A sip of the wine offers generous fruit flavours—tastes of Raspberry and toffee flavours mingling with smoke and spice.

About the winery:

Hamelin Bay Wines is owned by the Drake-Brockman family, whose association with Margaret River dates back to the first settlement by the Bussell family in 1830. Hamelin Bay’s symbol is the heraldic beast called a wyvern, which is shown in full sway or rampant on this label.  It suggests the wine has an exuberant spirit and lively character. 

Food Pairings :

Enjoy this red blend with BBQ steak, prime cuts of beef, and aged hard cheeses.

Somm Hint:

For optimal enjoyment, serve in larger Bordeaux wine glasses.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JM Raffault, Chinon ‘Les Picasses’, France

Why we love this wine :

Cabernet franc fans will find happiness in this bottle from Raffault. This textbook Chinon is on the riper, fleshier side of the spectrum with dusty tannins and firm acidity. Typical tart red fruit, violet, licorice and herbal flavours linger nicely. Best enjoyed with food to settle the more intense structural elements.

About the winery:

Jean-Maurice Raffault and Rodolphe Raffault’s family began cultivating vines in Chinon 14 generations ago in 1693. The late Jean-Maurice Raffault, the father of the present manager and winemaker Rodolphe, took over the family Domaine in 1973; he revolutionized local practices. First, he abandoned polyculture in favour of the cultivation of only wine grapes. Beginning with only the 4.5 hectares he had inherited from his father, he purchased and planted some of the finest known sites of Chinon, expanding the Domaine to 50 hectares. All wines will be certified organic by 2021.

Food Pairings :

These structured wines call for richer foods such as braised beef, meat in mushroom sauce, duck or other game dishes.

Somm Hint:

Serve slightly chilled. 10 min in the fridge before you open would do.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bogle Vineyards, PETITE SIRAH, California, U.S.A.

Why we love this wine :

Petite Sirah is known for its concentration and intensity; this wine is no exception. Purple. Inky. Rich. Jammy. This wine truly over-delivers, from the touches of mocha and cocoa on the nose to the juicy blackberry and blueberry fruit on the palate. Luscious and decadent, it finishes with vanilla and sweet clove, lingering after aging in American oak for 12 months.

About the winery:

The Bogle Vineyards is family owned and-run enterprise established in 1968. They started with 20 acres of wine grapes – 10 each of Petite Sirah and Chenin Blanc. It started small and grew exponentially. Today the winery has risen to be the 12th largest US winery, leading the industry by becoming utterly compliant with the California Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing and was named the American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Food Pairings :

BBQ! BBQ! BBQ!

Somm Hint:

Serve this wine in larger wine glasses or give a quick decant.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Luis Seabra Vinhos, Xisto Ilimitado Tinto, Portugal

Why we love this wine :

A field blend of six varieties planted across three subzones, ‘Illimitado’ is a soil survey of the schist-driven terroir in the Douro. This year the blend is led by Touriga Franca and includes Tinta Roriz, Tinta Marcela, and Malvasia Preta in the mix, all sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards. White pepper and herbal aromas overlay the core of red cherry fruit, tinged with wet stone and violets. On the palate, lush but with bright acidity to balance the red cherry and pomegranate fruit. Xisto Ilimitado is an excellent introduction to the new Douro!

About the winery:  

After a decade as head winemaker at Douro powerhouse Niepoort, Luis Seabra launched his project a few years ago. He aims to make wines that show where they come from. Wines of terroir from the vineyards, almost without intervention. Genuine and honest wines! 

Food Pairings :

Grilled poultry served with lots of peppers and tomatoes, like ratatouille or peperonata.

Somm Hint:  

Serve slightly chilled, especially on a hot day.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hofstätter, Lagrein, Alto Adige, Italy

Why we love this wine :  

Lagrein is an ancient grape variety known to be strong and full-bodied. This wine from Hofstätter, one of the best producers in the region, shows its native characteristics deep, dense in colour, and with plum and wild cherry flavours. Superb balance between spice, black fruits and floral notes of violets. Very harmonious on the palate, with assertive but supple tannins that are full, broad, and velvety. The texture is round and the finish displays subtle spice enlivened by palate-lifting acidity.

About the winery:  

Joseph Hofstätter established this winery in 1907, which lies in the warm southern part of the region, where figs, lemons and olives thrive. Hofstätter farms 50 hectares and is unique in that they have vineyards on the east and west sides of the Adige River, with a very distinct terroir. More recently, in 2017, they expanded into the neighbouring Trentino region. This highlights the position of the J. Hofstätter winery as one of the largest family wineries in Alto Adige with unique, outstanding vineyard sites.

Food Pairings :

Pork chops with fennel and roast potatoes or Strong, hard cheese like Grana Padano

Somm Hint:

Lagrein (pronounced lah-GRAH'EEN) is a grape variety native to the valleys of South Tyrol, northern Italy.

===================================================================================================================================

July 2022

TASCA D'ALMERITA, REGALEALI BIANCO, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

Regaleali Bianco is a great classic wine with its unmistakable Rhenish style bottle. This wine is a blend of three local varietals, cultivated on the high hills: Inzolia, Grecanico and Catarratto, with a small addition of Chardonnay. This famous estate has been making this blend of local white grape varieties for over 50 years, and they get it right. The wine is balanced, refreshing and loaded with peach, ripe lemon and apricot flavours. A perfect wine to sip on a hot summer day!

About The Winery:

Tasca d'Almerita is a wine producer with vineyards distributed around Sicily. The company's history dates back to 1830. After the two wars of the last century, proprietor Count Guiseppe Tasca began to focus on quality and enhance several local varieties; Nero d’Avola, Catarratto, Perricone, and Grillo. Today, its wines are exported to four continents.

Food Pairings:

This wine is excellent as a sipping wine but also pairs well with antipasti, ceviche, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, and Asian cuisine.

Somm Hint:

This is a genuinely delicious white! Chill well!!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FOURTH WALL WINES, PINOT GRIS, ONTARIO, CA

Why We Love This Wine:

Pinot Gris is merely the alternative French name for Pinot Grigio. Pinot Gris is usually more fruit-forward and rich, while Pinot Grigio is often more citrusy, light and fresh. Joel Wilcox has found a fine balance between the two. The wine has flavours of crisp green apple, Asian pear and apricot, with a zesty lime finish—a wine for any day and everyone.

About The Winery:

Fourth Wall Wines is the novel vinous project from Joel Wilcox, turning out bottles made collaboratively with different winemakers and different vineyards. The plan is to make limited wines honing in what can be achieved in Niagara’s climate and vineyards; lower alcohol, higher  acid, restrained oak, and the fruit teased out to shine a light on the different sites of origin.

Food Pairings:

Fish and shellfish are classic pairing partners with Pinot Gris. Try it with sushi, steamed mussels, or even seared white fish with lots of butter!

Somm Hint:

Serve well chilled to preserve the freshness.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TIN BARN, ‘R8’ CHARDONNAY, CALIFORNIA, USA

Why We Love This Wine:

A joint venture by Canadian and American wine lovers, sourcing fruit from highly reputable California vineyards, small lots of wine are created with fine attention to detail. This is not your ordinary “Cali Chard” with overly ripe, jammy fruit. The wine is crisp and fresh on the palate with citrus, apple and pear notes, a hint of roasted hazelnut and finishing with a touch of lemony creaminess.

About The Winery:

Toronto native Mike Lancaster founded Tin Barn. When Mike fled the corporate world, he did so on two wheels, pedalling through some of the world's most fabled wine regions. Returning to Toronto a year later, he knew he’d never wear a suit and tie again. In 2000, Mikel launched Tin Barn Vineyards, located in a hidden warehouse district adjacent to Sonoma Skypark. After 20 years of winemaking, Mike is in-demand as a consulting winemaker. Many ‘cult wines’ are made under Mike’s respected mentorship here at Tin Barn.

Somm Hint: 

Once the bottle is open, keep it out from the fridge or chiller. The wine becomes much more aromatic as it starts to warm up.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHÂTEAU PESQUIÉ, ‘QUINTESSENCE’ BLANC, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

The Ventoux Quintessence Blanc is a blend of 80% oak barrel fermented Roussanne and 20% stainless steel tank fermented Clairette. Delicate notes of buttery stone fruits, white flowers, toasted spice, and a touch of earthy garrigue. Beautiful on the palate as well, it’s medium to full-bodied balanced by clear acidity and hints of lemon and lime zest, and has plenty of mid-palate depth followed by a great finish.

About The Winery:

Château Pesquié is a pioneering estate in the Côtes de Ventoux AOC, an appellation in the Rhône Valley established in 1973 that sits beneath Mont de Ventoux: the highest massif in Provence (1912m above sea level) and is known as a subject of Petrarch’s poetry and, more recently, as the gruelling peak of the Tour de France. Frédéric Chaudière and his brother Alexandre together run the estate. Both brothers, with great love for their wines and passion for quality, are currently seen as pioneers of their region and are a shining example for the Ventoux appellation.

Food Pairings:

A white wine you can pair with lighter meat, roasted poultry, pork dishes, and chard smokey vegetables

Somm Hint:

Let the wine gradually warm up in the glass to bring out the aromatics of this wine.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RAZA, VINHO VERDE, PORTUGAL

Why We Love This Wine:

In the Vinho Verde Region, Raza Vineyard has a microclimate provided by mountains in the west that prevent Atlantic winds' influence. Therefore, the weather is less rainy, which means that the vineyard is subject to more sun than perhaps other vineyards in the Vinho Verde Region, an important factor for the development of the vine. This attractive, fruity, light wine is classic, just slightly spritzy Vinho Verde. Its citrus flavour is lifted by bright acidity and a fine, zesty texture.

About The Winery:

Quinta da Raza Winery has been family-run for four centuries and is owned by the Teixeira Coelho Family. Now Diogo Teixeira Coelho, the fifth generation of the family, runs the winery. He has been passionate about vineyards and wine since childhood, which is visible in his work. The winery combines traditional values with modern and innovative techniques to produce high-quality wines.

Food Pairings:

Cilantro! Fish tacos, cilantro-lime chicken, salsa, ceviche and Japanese like, California rolls, teriyaki bowls, edamame salad

Somm Hint:

Traditionally Vinho Verde is made lightly sprizy.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JEAN-YVES BRETAUDEAU, SAUVIGNON BLANC, LOIRE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

A lovely, refreshing and elegant Sauvignon Blanc with complex flavours of bright citrus fruit. Peach and stone fruits shine through with a subtle Herbaceous nose. Surprisingly textured on the palate while maintaining bright acidity and a perfect hint of minerality on the finish.

About The Winery:

Domaine du Colombier is a fourth-generation sustainable winery with 80 acres of vines in the Loire Valley. Just over half of Jean-Yves Bretaudeau's production is Melon de Bourgogne for Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, and the rest is a variety of red and white grapes planted in Vin de Pays. We've tasted all the wines before, but Bretaudeau's Blanc was so good that we decided to opt for this.

Food Pairings:

Goat cheese! Creamier, the better.

Somm Hint:

Chill well and keep it chilled!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 

ANTICA ENOTRIA, ROSSO PUGLIA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

Antica Enotria Rosso Puglia is the organic wine made from Montepulciano, Nero di Troia and Sangiovese grapes. Rustic but fresh Italian red. Earth and leather with bursts of cherry and ripe raspberry. A delicious weeknight treat!

About The Winery:

Antica Enotria was founded in 1985 by Raffaele Di Tuccio who today runs the estate with his wife Antonia and son Luigi. After several years of reviving the 18th-century farmhouse on their property, Raffaele, Antonia, and Luigi set about converting their entire estate to sustainable and organic viticulture in 1993. Their goal was and remains to be to make wine that accurately represents Puglian terroir (often masked by over-ripe fruit and oak) and to farm with nature’s rhythms.

Food Pairings:

It works brilliantly by itself, or as a partner to pizza, pasta and much else besides.

Somm Hint:

This rather elegant wine can be served in Burgundy (bowl shape) wine glasses.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GUARDIAN PEAK, MERLOT, SOUTH AFRICA

Why We Love This Wine:

The Guardian Peak Merlot displays a textbook style of new world Merlot. Bold red fruit on the nose, cranberry and pomegranate with thyme. A juicy combination of fig, red currant and black plums on the palate balances with savoury flavours of tobacco, cedar, and licorice (6 months on oak). A superbMerlot with a round, juicy finish.

About The Winery:

Guardian Peak is named after the towering peak on Stellenbosch Mountain. It was founded in 1998 by Jean Engelbrecht, who combined his knowledge of international wine markets with his experience at his family wine estate in Stellenbosch to create a range of everyday-drinking, fresh and approachable wines. Two decades later, they pride themselves on producing sustainable wines of consistent quality that are friendly and easy to enjoy.

Food Pairings:

A perfect casual sipper. It pairs nicely with a delicious classic hamburger.

Somm Hint:

Whenever you decide to drink this wine is the right time.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RABL, ST LAURENT, AUSTRIA

Why We Love This Wine:

St Laurent is local to Austria. This small-berried vine yields cherry-flavoured wines that have been compared to a deeper-coloured, meatier version of Pinot Noir.  This beautifully balanced St. Laurent has an elegant nose of raspberries and a hint of vanilla, a dense body, dry with soft tannins. It was matured in old oak barriques, which gives it textual roundness without any evidence of the oak remaining. Juicy and fresh, but a serious red.

About The Winery:

The Rabl Winery can be traced back to 1750, when it was a traditional mixed farm. In 1986 Rudolf Rabl junior (Rudi), joined his father Rudolf senior at the winery. From this moment on, the joined efforts of father and son allowed to expand the size of the winery from then 20 ha to now 80 ha of estate vineyards. Not only has the size grown, but the reputation has also grown with it, as numerous national and international awards prove. Weingut Rabl exports 50% of its wines and is, therefore, one of the best-known Austrian wineries worldwide.

Food Pairings:

It tastes delicious with few snacks such as olives, salumi and cheese

Somm Hint:

St. Laurent was named after St. Lawrence's Day - August 10th – the day when the grapes begin to change colour.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MONTIRIUS, CÔTES DU RHÔNE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

Montirius is the 1st Biodynamic Southern Rhône Valley Estate. To let the Terroir and the grape express their flavour, they only use concrete vats (also rare in the region). This 80% grenache/20% syrah from 25-year-old vines are wonderfully balanced here. On the nose, it reveals the aromas of cherries and raspberries and leads to a fresh, spicy, lingering finish on the palate.

About The Winery:

MONTIRIUS is a family estate for six generations in Southern Rhône Valley. MONTIRIUS is part of the surname of each of Christine and Eric SAUREL’s children: MON (Manon) - TI (Justine) - RIUS (Marius). Christine & Eric SAUREL, with their two daughters, Justine & Manon, converted the entire estate to biodynamic culture in 1996. The first certified biodynamic estate in the region.

Food Pairings:

Simple meat dishes like marinated flank steak or grilled sausage with herb roasted potato

Somm Hint:

Serve slightly chilled. We tend to drink red wines at room temperatures, but inreality cellar temperature should be the rule of thumb for serving red wines.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BROWN BROTHERS, ‘WINDMILL’ SHIRAZ, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Why We Love This Wine:

Brown Brothers harvest this Shiraz from a vineyard planted in rich volcanic soil near the Mount Camel Ranges in Victoria. The distinctive soil distinguishes this wine and allows rich, earthy notes to tone down the concentrated saccharine associated with Australian Shiraz. We love this wine for its generous darkplum and blackberry notes enhanced by cedar and spice. Soft and velvety tannins with an elegant finish.

About The Winery:

One of Australia’s pioneering wine families dates back to 1889. The Brown Brother’s Windmill has stood proudly at Milawa for over 150 years. It has drawn pure water from the deep, mountain-fed spring and reliably nourished their vineyards. The old Windmill is a tribute to the pioneering days of their past and their family’s ongoing dedication to exceptional winemaking.

Food Pairings:

BBQ! BBQ! BBQ!

Somm Hint:

Serve this wine in larger wine glasses or give a quick decant.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DOMINIO DE PUNCTUM, ‘SIN SULFITOS’ TEMPRANILLO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

Organic and biodynamic with no added sulphites. This Punctum Sin Sulfitos is a modern and fruity Tempranillo from La Mancha, Spain. Notes of sour cherry, red plum, dried rose, pastrami, chocolate and cedar. This stylish Spaniard delivers a medium body, a great balance and a fruity finish.

About The Winery:

Dominio de Punctum is a family-owned company founded by three siblings: Jesus, Ruth, and Cristina. For years they worked to achieve their dream of producing quality Organic and Biodynamic wines in their family’s old vineyards. In 2005, this dream came to fruition when their estate and winery were established.

Food Pairings:

Great wine for weekend bbq or weekday pasta and pizza.

Somm Hint:

Serve slightly chilled, especially on a hot day.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REMOLINOS VINEYARD, DECERO MINI EDICIONES TANNAT, ARGENTINA

Why We Love This Wine:

This wine has great aromatic intensity, displaying wild blueberry combined with quince notes and spices. A Tannat with deep body and structure; blackberry, earthy, coffee and leather notes. This wine has potential for extensive ageing.

About The Winery:

Remolinos Vineyard is located in the Mendoza region at an amazing elevation of 3500 feet. A truly one-of-a-kind vineyard where each vine and grape are nurtured by hand. Sustainable and sensitive winemaking without compromise. The unique natural attributes of the Remolinos Vineyard shine through in their single vineyard wines, handcrafted Decero ‘from scratch’.

Food Pairings:

The acidity is intense, get some steak to round this one out.

Somm Hints:

‘Remolinos’ means whirlwinds. Those winds keep the grapes dry and in perfect condition before being handpicked by the vintner.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TELMO RODRIGUEZ, AL-MUVEDRE TINTO MONASTRELL, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

Deepish red colour with a good tint of purple. The bouquet is reserved and quiet, subtly woody and savoury with a note of sage, a hint of pepper, while the palate is rich and chewy and has some texture and density, partly due to abundant tannins. The tannins are ripe and supple, extending the length of the palate. A more earthy, savoury and solidly-textured style of red. It grew and grew in the glass and was a most delicious wine, soft and rich, fleshy and beautifully balanced.

About The Winery:

Telmo Rodriguez is one of Spain’s pioneer winemakers, advocating native grape varietals tied to the climates and conditions of their sites, and making world-class wines from undiscovered as well as known regions. Perhaps most impressive, while Telmo Rodriguez makes rare and limited wines of astonishing character and quality, his everyday wines have been equally praised, and widely recognized for the tremendous value they offer.

Food Pairings:

Served slightly chilled, this is a treat that pairs with a host of barbecue fare.

Somm Hints:

Monastrell (also known as Mourvedre or Mataro) here south of Cataluña along Spain’s East coast. The wine is produced from high altitude plantings of bush vines grown in sandy loam soil. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PATRICK LAMBERT, CHINON GOURMANDISE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

“Gourmandise" is a beautiful young cuvée from Patrick Lambert, made from Cabernet Franc vines grown on sandy gravel soils near the Vienne. The wine shows a bright black/red color with lush high-toned aromas of crushed strawberry and black raspberry, with hints of citrus and pepper. The palate is supple and bright with luscious black raspberry and red currant fruit, quite lush and supple but still with refreshing acidity.

About The Winery:

The Patrick Lambert estate (as opposed to Pascal Lambert) dates back to 1990, but was restructured in 2005, as Patrick "downsized" to 6 hectares of the best terroirs. The soils are plowed or left with grasses, according to the parcels and the estate is certified organic by Ecocert. Vinifications are traditional with wild yeasts and the wines age either in vat or in small old barrels in his cold cellar cut into the limestone hillside.

In 2011, after many years of integrated farming, Patrick Lambert converted to organic farming and obtained his first organic vintage in 2014. Today all his wines are organic.

Food Pairings:

Serve this lovely wine quite cool with charcuterie and grilled chicken, pork or burgers.

Somm Hints:

Chinon is the appellation covering wines produced around the historic town of Chinon, in the central Loire Valley. This area has been producing wine for many centuries, and although wines of all three colors are made there, the focus is now very clearly on red wines. The typical, quintessential Chinon wine is tannic, leafy, berry-scented and made from the Cabernet Franc grape variety.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MAQUINA Y TABLA, EL OSO, Y LA ALEMANA, TINTA DEL PAIS, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

El Oso y la Alemana Tinto is a fine, delicate and elegant wine, quite different from most Toro red wines. Deeply coloured and richly fruity, this is a quite full bodied, warm and fleshy wine with some sweetness and mocha notes.

About The Winery:

Máquina & Tabla is a project by Oriol Illa and Susana Pastor. Oriol is the winemaker. He has worked in emblematic wineries such as Clos Mogador, and currently advises Vinya l'Hereu, Heretat Montrubí, El Jelipins and Prieto Pariente. Susana is devoted to communication, and they undertook this project together in 2012.

The Tinta de Toro vineyard for El Oso y la Alemana Tinto is very old and is planted un-grafted; I.e., the plants are a single individual and not a graft-pattern combination as they are in most vineyards. In addition, the El Oso y la Alemana Tinto vineyards are cultivated following biodynamic principles.

The grapes for El Oso y la Alemana Tinto come from the Toro area in Zamora, but the wines do not have the Toro D.O. because they are produced outside the denomination.

Food Pairings:

Let’s be honest, we’re not making Tapas at home, but this wine deserves it. Find something meaty and Spanish on Uber Eats and open the bottle while you wait for delivery.

Somm Hints:

The wine is aged for 12 months in 500 litre French oak barrels. Very large barrels are used so that the contribution of wood from the barrel does not mask the wine’s aromas.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CAN SUMOI, PERFUM, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

Perfum combines beautifully the floral notes and the Macabeu grapes’ freshness and vivacity. Displaying lively, clean aromas of fresh grapes, extremely floral with touches of peach and fresh figs notes. Acidity and volume on the palate, lovely flavorful finish.

About The Winery:

Can Sumoi is the latest project from the Raventós family (Raventós I Blanc). Their new acquired estate in the Serra de l'Home in the Pla de Manlleu, DO Penedès, dates back to 1645 and comprises 20 ha of vines. Here, at 600 meters of altitude, is where the family, following their passion, produce their exceptional range of high-altitude natural still white wines from local varieties growing on limestone soils, farmed organically and made without the use of additives or any other manipulation. Grapes are hand-picked from sustainable, organic and biodynamic vineyards. Fermented in stainless steel vats at 16ºC only using native yeasts.

Food Pairings:

Easy to drink and pleasant, with a lot of expression. Pair with raw seafood, Smoked dishes, Foie gras, Aperitifs & Complex salads.

Somm Hints:

Best enjoyed in its youth within the first year.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FILIPA PATO & WILLIAM WOUTERS, 'DINAMICA - DNMC' BICAL – ARINTO, PORTUGAL

Why We Love This Wine:

White flowers, nectarine pit, sea, salt + stone on nose. On palate, flowery lemon notes mingle with herbs, mint, stones, and a touch of orange.

About The Winery:

Winemaker Filipa Pato makes "authentic wines without makeup" - this is a blend of native Portuguese grapes Bical & Arinto. Along with her husband and partner William Wouters, the diverse polyculture essence of Bairrada allows them to work in sync and alongside the surrounding nature systems in a biodynamic, organic fashion. The resulting wine is a raw expression of the native grapes and land. Unfined, unfiltered.

Food Pairings:

Load a Paella with seafood like mussels, clams and shrimp to match with this dynamic white!  

Somm Hints:

Bairrada’s unparalleled elegance is due to the specific climate, soil, and winemaking techniques of the region. These elements provide a style of wine found nowhere else in Portugal, or the world for that matter.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ROCCA DELLE MACIE, MOONLITE CHARDONNAY. ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

A modern, fresh, enjoyable white, the Moonlite Chardonnay from Rocca delle Macìe shimmers into the glass with a brilliant light yellow. Light-footed and complex, this velvety and crisp white wine presents itself well on the palate. The taste is pleasantly fresh, fruity and smooth with mineral hints perfectly blended with citrus notes. In the finish, this storable white wine from the wine-growing region of Tuscany finally inspires with beautiful length. Once again, hints of grapefruit and pink grapefruit show.

About The Winery:

Chardonnay grapes are the starting point for the first-class and wonderfully elegant Cuvée Moonlite Toscana Bianco from Rocca delle Macìe. After the harvest, the grapes are immediately taken to the press house. Here they are selected and carefully crushed. Fermentation follows in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The fermentation is followed by a few months of maturation on the fine lees before the wine is finally bottled.

Food Pairings:

Experience this white wine from Italy well chilled at 8 - 10°C as an accompaniment to seafood or a fruity endive salad or asparagus salad with quinoa.

Somm Hints:

Although its fame rests on high quality red wines, Tuscany still manages to surprise with effective whites. Marrying Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Vermentino.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FRANÇOIS CHIDAINE TOURAINE, SAUVIGNON BLANC, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

Clear colour, floral nose with citrus notes, the balance and freshness in the mouth reveals salivating fruity aromas. The nose is delicate mix of white grapefruit, sage, and fresh white flowers, and the palate is fresh and rounded, only faintly herbal rather than overtly vegetal as some Sauvignon Blanc can be.

About The Winery:

Francois and Manuéla are a husband-and-wife operation based in both Montlouis and Vouvray located in the central Loire Valley. In a region that produced bulk wine for years, particularly after WWII, the Chidaine duo brought an emphasis to wines of quality and regenerative farming; they also look to natural winemaking. One of their largest goals is to look to the future, “an effort to save the world.” Chidaine’s household wines are varying styles of Chenin Blanc from dry to off-dry to sparkling. Their inspired lineup includes classic reds and whites from the Loire made into vibrant, juicy styles ranging in price points. Their momentum only continues as they seek to better the world around them.

Food Pairings:

Well balanced and a great pairing for sautéed fish or vegetables and certainly with goat cheese.

Somm Hints:

While Touraine might be an off-the-grid region in the Loire, this particular wine delivers way above its classification. The Sauvignon Blanc is intense and minerally while still having a backbone of fruit with it.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JOEL GOTT, SAUVIGNON BLANC, CALIFORNIA

Why We Love This Wine:

The 2019 Joel Gott California Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of pineapple, mango and peach with citrus notes. On the palate, the wine opens with ripe, tropical fruit flavors followed by crisp, refreshing acidity on the mid-palate and a long, clean, balanced finish. Sourced from vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Lake County. To preserve the wine’s fruit and natural acidity, the wine underwent a long, cool fermentation in stainless steel tanks.

About The Winery:

Since their start in 1996, they have selected the best fruit from growing regions in California, Oregon and Washington which they blend to create more balanced, clean, complex, and elegant wines. Vineyards across California influence this stunning white: From Monterey, Lake, Napa, and Sonoma counties to the warm Happy Canyon AVA of Santa Barbara, all have a hand in its citrus notes, minerality, vibrancy, and depth of character.

Food Pairings:

Ideal with small grilled fish or as an aperitif.

Somm Hints:

Joel Gott, founder of Joel Gott Wines, is a fourth-generation California vintner, entrepreneur, lover of great food and an athlete. Born into a family of California vintners – his grandfather ran Inglenook Winery in the 60’s, and his father founded Montevina Winery in the 70’s.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WILD GOOSE VINEYARDS, GEWURZTRAMINER, CANADA

Why We Love This Wine:

An intensely aromatic Gewürztraminer with bold notes of lychee, dried rose petals, peach, poached pear, golden apple, and lemon sherbet. The palate is off-dry with crisp balancing acidity and powerful flavours of ginger, pineapple, mandarin orange, Bosc pear, apricot, and honey with a long, zesty finish.

About The Winery:

Wild Goose Vineyards & Winery’s award-winning approach to winemaking has been to grow the highest quality fruit and then transform this quality into ultra-premium wines. This is made possible by-way-of prioritizing innovation in viticulture and viniculture technology. Year after year Wild Goose wines have exhibited the best that Mother Nature has to offer. From carefully tended vines to delicately harvested and vinified grapes, Wild Goose wines are benchmarks of British Columbia winemaking at its best.

Food Pairings:

Pair with a Thai green curry, Moroccan chicken tagine, or Rose Harissa marinated and grilled vegetables.

Somm Hints:

The grapes for this 2021 Gewurztraminer were harvested by hand in September and October 2020 from vineyards between Osoyoos and Summerland. Grapes from each vineyard were processed separately and each was aged for 5 months.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LA JOYA, CABERNET-SAUVIGNON GRAN RESERVA, CHILE

Why We Love This Wine:

This classic Cabernet Sauvignon from the La Joya Gran Reserva line from the Bisquertt family winery has a full body and a deep purple colour. The wine is rich in aromas of blackberries, cherries and black currants. Its complex body with subtle notes of clove and nutmeg is highlighted by 8 to 10 months in French oak barrels. It develops velvety tannins that result in a pleasant and persistent finish. A true classic of Chilean viticulture!

About The Winery:

La Joya® Reserve wines are Estate Bottled and produced by The Bisquertt family from the Colchagua Valley, Chile. The Bisquertt family vineyards is currently one of the most prestigious vineyards in Chile. Colchagua, its place of origin, is considered to be one of the best valleys in the world for the production of Premium wines. The quality of its wines is recognized in over 30 countries.

Food Pairings:

The elegant tannins of this Cab make it an excellent accompaniment to lamb and pork.

Somm Hints:

This a very classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in oak barrels to imbue the wine with finesse and delicate fruitiness.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FINCA DECERO, THE OWL & THE DUST DEVIL MALBEC, ARGENTINA

Why We Love This Wine:

The Owl & The Dust Devil Malbec shows violet aromatics and silky profile with a core richness of fruit and well-integrated oak tannins from time in French oak barrels. This wine is a single varietal malbec which exhibits richness of fruit in the mid palate whilst maintaining an overall elegance in style which is the hallmark of a high-altitude vineyard.

About The Winery:

This wine pays homage to two natural wonders of Remolinos Vineyard: the eponymous whirlwinds which form dust devils and the protective owls who seek to chase them (and any other pests) away from ‘their’ precious vines. This wine is sourced from richer profile parcels of Malbec in the Remolinos VIneyard. Whilst it maintains some of the aromatic profile of Malbec typical of the estate, it displays a core richness of fruit balanced by integrated tannins from 14 months in oak.

Food Pairings:

High acidity makes for a zesty palate. Pair with some sharp cheeses or spicy meats.

Somm Hints:

The wines of this vintage show extremely high quality with a richer concentration than previous vintages yet with good balance between body and structure. 2018 will be remembered as a stellar vintage in Argentina’s recent history.

====================================================================================================================================================================================

June 2022

Closson Chase, Vineyard Chardonnay, ON

Why we love this wine: 

Beautiful Chardonnay from Prince Edward County. This Chardonnay is a blend of two vineyards, the South Clos vineyard and the Churchside Vineyard. Sourced primarily from the warmer South Clos vineyard vinified and fermented in barrels with about 10% new oak. The result is a wine with wet stone, candied walnuts, popcorn, floral tones, and hints of under-ripe melon complete the nose. The mouth is round and plush with zesty fruits, beautiful bright acidity, and a slightly briny flavour leading to a refined finish.

About the winery: 

Closson Chase is a quality-driven producer that helped spearhead the birth of the Prince Edward County wine industry, using centuries-old European traditions & sustainable, innovative techniques to create world-class wines using only the finest Chardonnay & Pinot Noir grapes. French-inspired vinification and careful barrel ageing from small yields deliver exceptional wines.

Food Pairings: 

A white wine you can pair with meat, especially roasted poultry, pork dishes, and grilled vegetables.

Somm Hint: 

This is an Ontario wine that can benefit from a few years of aging.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Domaine Sclavos, ‘Alchymiste’ Kefalonia, Greece

Why we love this wine: 

Kefalonia is one of the most beautiful Greek islands of the Ionian, which also produces beautiful wines!  As an agronomist and winemaker, Evriviadis is dedicated to preserving old-school grapes and values by crafting natural, organic wine from traditional varietals. Alchymiste is 35% Vostilidi, 35% Moschatela, 20% Moscat, 10% Tsaousi. An aromatic floral nose with lemon and nuts on the palate. It finishes with baked buttered apples and herbs. Balanced acidity keeps this wine fresh.

About the winery: 

The Sclavos family traces its roots back for centuries in Cephalonia, with a branch of the family immigrating in 1700 to the Black Sea port of Odesa in modern-day Ukraine with contracts for the distribution of wheat using their privately-owned commercial boats as early as 1860 records exist of Evriviadis Great-Great-Grandfather owning a large winery and family estate in Odesa. In 1919, following the Russian revolution, Evriviadis's Grandfather returned to the island of Cephalonia to their property of 6 hectares in the Paliki peninsula, some of which are still in use today.

Food Pairings: 

Pair greek food! Grilled whole fish, hummus, tzatziki, Feta, tabouleh, and olives. 

Somm Hint: 

Let the wine gradually warm up in the glass to bring out the aromatics of this wine.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Domaine Langlois, Val de Loire Sauvignon, France

Why we love this wine: 

As fine a Sancerre-styled French Sauvignon Blanc. The regional chalky limestone soil is evident in this wine, a brilliant mouthful of zesty lime, fresh-cut grass and salty, stony, chalky, gun-flinty bite. There is also a hint of tropical fruit due to a warm vintage. Notes of citrus fruits and pear reinforce the freshness on the palate—a true crowd-pleaser.

About the winery: 

In 1996, Catherine And Michel Langlois settled in Pougny to devote themselves to vine growing and wine elaboration, which respect the Loire Valley vineyard traditions. They started by taking over the 0,3 ha of vines from the grandfather of the family farm. Now their 17-Hectare estate is situated within the Pouilly Fumé and Coteaux du Giennois, one of the latest appellation.  

Food Pairings: 

Pair with fresh summer greens from your local farmer's market

Somm Hint: 

Serve well chilled to preserve the freshness.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Loveblock, Pinot Gris, Marlborough, New Zealand

Why we love this wine:

Loveblock is the love-child of Kim and Erica Crawford, created after a short break from the industry and the sale of their first wine label, which still carries Kim’s full name. This organic Pinot Gris has elegant aromas of melon, citrus and chamomile. The palate has Asian pear and citrus fruit notes with lingering texture, mouthfeel and fresh acidity. Finishing with hints of wet stone minerality.

About the winery: 

Founded in the early 2000’s high on the hills overlooking Marlborough’s Awatere Valley, Loveblock is anchored in two distinct plots, Hillside and Woolshed. Erica and Kim use 100% organic processes to grow their grapes, allowing both sites to fully express pure and naked terroir in their wines. The Loveblock team believes in sharing the love affair between humans and the land through their wines and employs the lowest-intervention farming techniques possible.

Food Pairings:

Amazing with Asian cuisine (especially seafood), pork tenderloin, avocado and papaya salads.  

Somm Hint: 

Serve it nice and cold.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Pazo de Señorans, Albariño Rias Baixas, Spain

Why we love this wine:

Pazo Señorans Albariño is a fine mineral-driven Albariño from the leading Albarino producer in Rias Baixas. If one were to remember the three best Albariño, one of them would be Pazo de Señorans. This wine is made with 100% Albariño. Natural fermentation in stainless steel helps to retain the exuberant fruit character, while the following ageing on lees helps develop texture and spice. The resulting wine has aromas of nectarine, fresh ripe citrus, orange zest and white flowers. The palate is dry with citrus flavours and a mineral finish. 

About the winery: 

It’s hard to believe Pazo de Señorans have been making wine for 28 years, given that they are now considered one of the finest producers in Spain. They worked hard to create wines which faithfully reflect the land which gave them birth. They sincerely believe in their potential and always seek the highest quality standards, using the latest cutting-edge technological advances.

Food Pairings:

A white wine you can pair with lighter meat, roasted poultry, pork dishes, and grilled vegetables 

Somm Hint:

This is a rare Albariño that can benefit from a few years of aging.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

La Carraia, Grechetto, Italy

Why we love this wine: 

An exceptional white wine from the Umbria region in Southern Italy. One of the oldest native Umbrian grape varieties, Grechetto has a beautiful structure and aromatic intensity. This particular Grechetto is made with grapes grown in volcanic soils. The wine is bone-dry, light and refreshing, with notes of peach, grapefruit and garden herbs—a perfect wine for a hot sunny day.

About the winery: 

La Carraia was founded in 1988 by Odoardo Gialetti and world-renowned enologist Riccardo Cotarella. The winery is located in the rolling hills of Umbria, centred upon the lush Apennine Range in the centre of the Italian peninsula. You can still find Cotarella in the cellar and Gialetti in the vineyards to achieve their goal is to creating modern wines that maintain the terroir of the Umbrian hills they grow on. 

Food Pairings: 

It is ideal as an aperitif wine, but it is versatile with most light appetizer dishes.

Somm Hint : 

Nothing fancy is needed… just chill and enjoy!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Collovray & Terrier, ‘Notre Côté Sud’ Limoux, France

Why we love this wine: 

Literally meaning "Our south side", Notre Côté Sud Vinos is a Burgundian project making wines from Southern France, blending Chardonnay with local varietal Mauzac. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in oak barrels, a long aging on fine lees, just like in Burgundy. The wine is aromatic with ripe yellow fruit, honeysuckle and lemon zest. Slightly toasted notes. Ample, rich and harmonious palate with a fresh and elegant finish. A style that evokes white Burgundy, complex, powerful and marked by a woody note.

About the winery: 

Jean-Luc Terrier and Christian Collvray were recently hailed as Burgundy's Winemakers of the Year by the renowned Gault-Millau guide. They are better known for their exemplary White Burgundies from Domaine Des Deux Roches. This quality-conscious duo have been producing an outstanding range of wines from 30-year-old vines on slopes 500 metres above sea level south of Limoux in the Languedoc region.

Food Pairings: 

A lovely pairing with anything cooked with butter like asparagus, shrimp, scallops and white fish.

Somm Hint: 

Serve in a large glass that will make this wine textural.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Domaine du Tabatau, ‘Cuvée Camprigou’ Saint-Chinan, France

Why we love this wine: 

A red wine you would want to drink on a hot summer day! It’s a blend typical Languedoc varietal; Syrah, Grenache, Mouvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault. The wine is made with no oak to retain the freshness of the fruit. The result is a wine with an aromatic nose of red fruit and a surprisingly fresh palate with black pepper and the herbal garrigue, a classic note that southern France wine is synonym with.

About the winery: 

Bruno Gracia operated Domaine de Tabatau. After Bruno’s retirement, he sold the winery to his nephew Jean-Paul, who now runs the winery under its new name, Domaine de la Femme Allongée. The name of the estate refers to Mont Caroux, visible from where the estate's vineyards grow. This mountain has a very special shape and some see a sleeping and petrified woman, from a local legend, that of the goddess Cebenna, daughter of the Titans. Jean-Paul has been farming organically since his acquisition.

Food Pairings:

This wine would work well with bbq, especially lean meats such as Sirloin steaks. The pairing becomes even better if you use herbaceous sauces like a Chimichurri.

Somm Hint: 

Serve at cellar temperature and decant right before serving.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Grayson Cellars , Zinfandel, California USA

Why we love this wine:

Grayson Cellars wines always show the varietal character and are spot-on across the board. This is an excellent example of Cali Zinfandel: Dark in colour, with rich mixed berry notes and hints of black pepper and wood smoke on the nose, full mouthfeel, and a lengthy finish. You’ll pick up on the spicy French barrel notes through the finish.

About the winery:

The O’Connell family, owners of Grayson Cellars, believes that decades of Napa Valley winemaking experience allows Grayson to create a better bottle of wine for everyone, not for the very few. For nine years before coming to Grayson Cellars, winemaker Larry Levin led winemaking at Icon Estates, where he oversaw the Mt. Veeder, Robert Mondavi, Quintessa and many more. Larry also consults for wineries in the Stag’s Leap and Oakville districts in Napa and Sonoma.

Food Pairings:

A perfect casual sipper. It pairs nicely with a delicious classic hamburger.

Somm Hint: 

Whenever you decide to drink this wine is the right time.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALPAMANTA ,‘NATAL’ CABERNET SAUVIGNON, Argentina

Why we love this wine: 

All of the wines at Alpamanta are certified Organic and Biodynamic, which is of high cost in Argentina, as the government requires a yearly percentage of total proceeds to maintain these statuses. This is a rich, velvety Cabernet Sauvignon. Classically spicy and herbal with smooth tannins and a long finish. A pure form of Cabernet Sauvignon.

About the winery: 

Alpamanta means "Love to Earth" or "terroir" in the native Quechuan language. A tenet of the region’s ancient Indigenous culture has promoted a way of working that requires co-existing in harmony with nature and the environment—taking care of the Earth. In 2005 three close friends, Andrej, André and Jeremie, from Austria, Switzerland and France, joined forces to establish a boutique winery focusing on biodynamic cultivation in Mendoza, Argentina. Andrej and Andre are of the noble family Sayn Wittgenstain, who owned vineyards in Moldavia and Jeremie’s family are producers of rosé wine in the Cotes de Provence region. Their familial connections to wine and their passion made their project come to life.

Food Pairings: 

Enjoy with steaks, grilled sausages, lasagna, and Caesar salads. 

Somm Hint: 

If you have, you’ll want to decant for this a half-hour before serving and pour it into Bordeaux-style wine glasses.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bodegas Traslanzas, ‘Tres Cuestas’ Cigales, Spain

Why we love this wine: 

Cigales is a little-known DO just west of Ribera del Duero in the Castilla y Leon region of Spain. The Tinta del Paìs (Tempranillo) grapes are hand-harvested from a low-yielding 75-year-old vineyard, giving this wine a deep concentration. Crushed red berry fruit, fine minerality, and shady forest notes with bright acidity to freshen things up. The tannins are quite dense and chewy. Aged in French and American oak barrels for 6 months. 

About the winery: 

Maria Pinacho teamed up with enologist Ana Martin to revive vines planted in 1945 by her grandfather, Aurelio Pinacho, and a 14th Century cellar that is truly lost in time. These two women are committed to being true stewards of the land, creating minimal intervention and unique single-vineyard wines expressive of their wild and rustic terroir. 

Food Pairings: 

Serious wine you want to enjoy on a special occasion, with a nice cut of steak.

Somm Hint:  

You’ll want to decant this a half-hour before serving and pour it into Bordeaux-style wine glasses if you have.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DOMAINE BEATRICE ET PASCAL LAMBERT, ‘LES TERRASSES’ CHINON, France 

Why we love this wine: 

The perfect example of Loire Valley Cab Franc. A medium-bodied wine with ripe dark and red fruit notes, a touch of black licorice, and a slightly herbaceous quality that’s common in this region. The wine is a deep and brilliant purple with an elegant bouquet of ripe red fruits, a vibrant palate, lots of crunchy red fruit and light, approachable tannins. 

About the winery: 

Founded in 1987 near the town of Chinon, at the locality of Les Chesnaies, Beatrice and Pascal have carefully cultivated Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. For over 20 years, between Chinon and Cravant-les Coteaux, the estate has been practicing organic viticulture and biodynamic preparations since 2005, becoming certified in 2012. Their overall purpose is to accentuate the purity of the terroir from which their vines come, while allowing them to elaborate on their personalities in the cellar. 

Food Pairings: 

You will be surprised to taste this wine with cured meat or hard cheese. It makes the wine much more approachable.

Somm Hint: 

Serve slightly chilled, especially on a hot day.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Giovanni Rosso Barbera d'Alba DOC "Donna Margherita", Italy

Why we love this wine: 

If you like Pinot Noir, especially Burgundian, you will like this wine. Burgundy-trained winemaker Davide Rosso leads one of ’s most fascinating wineries in Piemonte. This wine displays clear aromas of red plums, raspberries, and blueberries with delicate wisteria hints. The palate follows the nose with some smoked meat flavour at the end.

About the winery:

Owner-winemaker Davide Rosso runs the 40-acre, family-owned estate in the heart of Serralunga d’Alba with the philosophy that his wines should reflect their origins. The family grew vines for over a hundred years when Giovanni Rosso began an estate-bottling program in 1995, exploring 11 separate parcels, including blocks in the prime Barolo vineyards of La Serra, Vigna Rionda and Cerretta. All vineyard plots are farmed according to organic and biodynamic practices, with minimal intervention in the cellar. 

Food Pairings:

Great wine for weekend bbq or weekday pasta and pizza.

Somm Hint: 

Serve slightly chilled, and pour into burgundy-style glasses that beautifully showcase this wine's aromas.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MAVERICK ESTATE, PINOT GRIS, CANADA

Why We Love This Wine:

Maverick Estate wines are gaining a strong following for their consistency, elegance, complexity and balance. This Pinot, as with all of their wines, was made with minimum intervention. No inoculants, no sugars no additives. This simple, patient approach builds wines of beauty and detail: rich, daring reds and flavourful, elegant whites.

About The Winery:

Maverick Estate Winery’s four vineyards are all located on hot and sunny, southeast facing slopes in the southernmost part of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. The area boasts an extremely dry climate, geologically young soil, and more consistent hours of summer sunlight than anywhere else in Canada.

Co-founders Schalk de Witt, daughter Elzaan and husband Bertus Albertyn, an accomplished winemaker, purchased the acreage that is now home to the Maverick Estate Winery in 2009. The first vintage of Maverick Estate wine, produced in 2011, drew high praise from critics and customers alike. In April 2020, the Albertyn and De Witt families sold the winery and vineyard to Ontario native and winemaker Andrew Windsor and Okanagan native Jan Nelson, who believe Maverick is a perfect fit for their philosophy, dedication to people, land and community, and uncompromising approach to winemaking.

Food Pairings:

This easy drinking, fresh & fruity Pinot will pair well with light fare, seafood and mushrooms.

Somm Hints:

Maverick Estate Winery’s emblem is inspired by the blending of ancient pictographs drawn on cave walls around South Africa (reflecting the origin of the winery’s founding families) and cave drawings found peppered throughout the Okanagan Valley. The Maverick man represents the enthusiastically unconventional free thinker.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CASTLE ROCK, PETIT SIRAH, CALIFORNIA

Why We Love This Wine:

This Petite Sirah is grown in carefully selected California Vineyards. This fruity wine is inky and dark plum in color with aromas of blackberry, highlighted by toffee notes and a touch of plum jam. On the palate it has a robust structure with lively pomegranate notes and hints of mocha on the long harmonious finish.

About The Winery:

Since its inception in 1994, Castle Rock Winery has built an enviable reputation for producing high quality wines at affordable prices. This winning formula has been highly successful, as proven by an increasing number of customers and members of the wine press who have given the wines glowing reviews.

After the harvest, the wines are made in accordance with Castle Rock’s winemaking standards, and are bottled at wineries, boasting state-of-the-art equipment, located in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and Washington’s Columbia Valley.

Food Pairings:

This wine makes an excellent accompaniment to beef, game, spicy grilled foods and charbroiled meats.

Somm Hints:

Castle Rock wines are great value due to their low overhead model. They consistently earn 87-90 points and “Best Buy” or “Recommended” accolades by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CASTLE ROCK, SAUVIGNON BLANC, CALIFORNIA

Why We Love This Wine:

This Sauvignon Blanc is produced from grapes grown in selected California vineyards where climate and soil conditions are ideal for this varietal. It carries aromas of lemongrass, grapefruit and lemon thyme with a hint of minerality. On the palate it is lively and fresh, with balanced acidity and flavors of pineapple and mandarin, with a lingering citrus zest.

About The Winery:

Since its inception in 1994, Castle Rock Winery has built an enviable reputation for producing high quality wines at affordable prices. This winning formula has been highly successful, as proven by an increasing number of customers and members of the wine press who have given the wines glowing reviews.

After the harvest, the wines are made in accordance with Castle Rock’s winemaking standards, and are bottled at wineries, boasting state-of-the-art equipment, located in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and Washington’s Columbia Valley.

Food Pairings:

This wine makes an ideal accompaniment to seafood, chicken, salads and vegetable dishes.

Somm Hints:

Castle Rock wines are great value due to their low overhead model. They consistently earn 87-90 points and “Best Buy” or “Recommended” accolades by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CASA DE COMPOSTELA, GRANDE ESCOLHA WHITE, PORTUGAL

Why We Love This Wine:

Wine of lively freshness, harmonious and fruity. Citrus floral notes. Good and persistent aftertaste. This wine should be consumed very fresh, at a temperature between 6º to 8º, within 1 to 2 years, a period in which it will evolve positively.

About The Winery:

The Casa Agricola de Compostela is a company engaged in agriculture, located in the middle region between Douro and Minho, in the parish of Requiao. The vineyards are rich in clay and silica and have excellent exposure to the sun. The wine is made in the cellar of the property, following the most modern processes and equipment including automation and control.

The cultivated grape varieties are the recommended for this wine region: The Alvarinho- Arinto- Sauvignon Blanc- Loureiro- Pedernã- Trajadura.

Food Pairings:

Pair this white wine with salads, pasta, grilled fish, seafood and grilled white meats.

Somm Hints:

“Grande Escolha” means “Grand Selection”.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHATEAU DE L'OISELINIERE, MUSCADET SEVRE-ET-MAINE SUR LIE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

Straw yellow. The personality is expressed in an olfaction of exuberant fruity traits, where apricot, pineapple, melon and a citrus hint of lemon make up the picture. Light licorice notes appear soft in the background, based on a rich bouquet of white flowers. The taste is fresh, tense, savory and endowed with a pleasant balance.

About The Winery:

Domaine Chéreau Carré occupies one of the most privileged positions in the Loire-Atlantique department of France, in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine appellation, directly at the confluence of the two rivers. This family-owned winery has been an innovator since the 1960s by focussing on the qualitative advancement of the Sèvre-et-Maine appellation through their exploration of their numerous single vineyards.

Food Pairings:

Ideal with aperitifs, fresh cheeses, fish and oysters.

Somm Hints:

Vinification – All the melon de bourgogne vines are picked by hand. After fermentation with selected indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks, the wine is aged for six months sur lie in underground concrete vats with regular bâtonnage, followed by 12 months aging in bottle before RELEASE.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CALCARI, XAREL-LO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

From the flagship variety of the Penedès, the xarel-lo, comes this organic single-varietal wine. Calcari brings together the purest and most sincere expression of this ancestral variety. Very pale straw yellow colour. Clear and transparent. A markedly varietal nose combining the ripest pear, almost candied, and banana with creamy notes from working with the fine lees in the vat.

About The Winery:

Calcari is made from the flagship Penedès variety, Xarel·lo, grown organically on our Penedès estates. Hand harvested. After a light pellicular maceration of 4 hours, the grapes are gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel vats for 18 days at an average temperature of 16 °C. After fermentation, the wine remains in contact with the fine lees from the fermentation for 3 months with daily bâtonnage to put the lees in suspension for several minutes a day.

Food Pairings:

Pair with oysters and raw seafood, white meats and grilled fish. Recommended serving temperature between 10ºC and 12°C.

Somm Hints:

Organic wine made with minimal intervention in the cellar. Wine suitable for vegans.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CATALINA SOUNDS, PINOT GRIS, NEW ZEALAND

Why We Love This Wine:

The wine has integrated aromatics of baking spice, Asian pear and desiccated coconut. The flavour builds on the palate from soft to rich, then underpinned with subtle minerality and oak extracted notes to render a layered and textured palate with an elegant mouthfeel. It ends with a focused and long finish.

About The Winery:

Catalina Sounds lies in Waihopai Valley, Marlborough. The area is rich in clayey loam soils, with hot summers and cold winters providing ideal growth conditions for cultivating cool-climate varieties such as Pinot Gris. Sourced from three vineyards across the Southern, Wairau and Awatere Valley sub-regions of Marlborough, giving a distinct regional expression that is uniquely ‘Catalina Sounds’.

Food Pairings:

This Pinot Gris is terrific with Asian cuisine (slightly spicy Thai and Vietnamese foods), white poultry dishes, root vegetables, squashes, quail and pork belly.

Somm Hints:

The fruit for this wine was sourced from the Pinot Gris block in the Catalina Sounds vineyard. Although a hot summer and some frost damage to the fruit resulted in low crop turn-over, the fruit still maintained a good concentration of flavour. The Pinot Gris thus created has a ‘dry white’ liquor style.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LAPOSTOLLE, "CUVÉE ALEXANDRE" CARMÉNÈRE APALTA, CHILE

Why We Love This Wine:

Succulent and sweet carmenere aromas of crushed dark berries and cherries with dried flowers fill the nose of this medium to full body vintage. Deep dark red with purple hints. The body is generous, full of black fruit flavors and slight herbal touches. A well-balanced structure of firm, silky tannins, good acidity, and a long, racy finish.

About The Winery:

Lapostolle Wines was founded by Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet in 1994. Alexandra is a member of the renowned Marnier Lapostolle family that has for several generations dedicated itself to the production of high-quality wines.

In the creation of Lapostolle Wines, the family has maintained the same absolute commitment to quality that has always characterized them. Its aim is as simple as it is ambitious: to create world class wines by combining French winemaking philosophy with the magnificent terroirs of Chile.

Food Pairings:

Meat, Vegetables, Game, Poultry all work but our favourite pairing for this beautiful red is… Indian!

Somm Hints:

Lapostolle is one of the oldest vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère in Chile, if not in the world. The region's particular soil and climate conditions make for very elegant, complex wines with great structure, depth, color and an excellent aging potential.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MICHAEL DAVID LODI ZIN “OLD VINE” ZINFANDEL, CALIFORNIA

Why We Love This Wine:

Another great Michael David joint!!!

Hailing from the heart of Zinfandel country, Lodi “Zin” Zinfandel was created to compliment a wonderful meal but is just as great all on its own. Pale ruby in color and filled with aromas of juicy raspberry, tobacco and toasted oak on the nose. Medium bodied and food-friendly, flavors of blackberry, plum and clove lead to a balanced, oak-inspired finish.

About The Winery:

With over 150 years of family farming, the Michael David name has become more than just a winery; it’s a culture. Founders and brothers, Michael and David Phillips, are 5th generation grape growers who have raised their families in the vineyard, and now the 6th generation has joined the team.

During Prohibition, the family continued to grow grapes and sold bricks of concentrated juice with explicit warnings detailing the steps not to take to ferment and produce wine from the concentrate – an act that became lucrative while remaining technically legal.

Michael David Winery farms more than 200 acres (80 hectares) of estate vineyards. All its vineyards are certified organic by third-party organizations and all of the fruit crushed at the winery is certified as sustainably grown.

Food Pairings:

Pair with your favorite barbecue dish or just enjoy on a patio with friends...Either way you can’t lose!

Somm Hints:

This wine has been aged for 24 months - 87% American oak, 13% French oak (11% new)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DOMAINE DE L'OSTAL, ESTIBALS MINERVOIS, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

This is an award-winning wine from renowned winemaker Jean-Michel Cazes. Taking its name from one of the domaine's finest parcels... ''Estibals''.  This balance of grape varieties provides a perfect expression of the Minervois appellation. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months.

Beautiful garnet red color, lively and shiny; offering a bouquet noted with small red berries (blackcurrant, raspberries, blueberries), thyme, rosemary and a touch of fresh licorice. An elegant and generous wine with a nice balance between freshness, roundness and acidity. Its structure is harmonious, and its tannins are dense and silky. Powerful and elegant.

About The Winery:

Domaine de L’Ostal is situated in the foothills of the Montagne Noire, half-way between the mediaeval town of Carcassonne and the old Roman port in Narbonne. The 60 hectares of vines are situated in one of the finest terroirs of the Languedoc, including a spectacular parcel of Minervois La Livinière. The property was purchased in 2002 by Jean-Michel Cazes, the owner of Château Lynch-Bages in Pauillac. He immediately embarked upon a comprehensive restructuring of the vineyard involving mass uprooting, replanting varieties and soil drainage. The aim of this exhaustive approach was to express the full potential of the terroir and the Languedoc’s finest grape varieties: Syrah, Grenache and Carignan.

Food Pairings:

This red is dying to be paired with romance. Drink in this aphrodisiac with fresh strawberries and dark chocolate.

Somm Hints:

The bronze disc on the label represents the warm and sun-drenched character of wines from Minervois.

 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TAIT THE BALL BUSTER, AUSTRALIA

Why We Love This Wine:

Tait’s 2018 The Ball Buster Proprietary Red is a blend of 77% Shiraz, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot. Deep black/purple colour with an intense nose of blackcurrant, stewed plums, cherry, and chocolate. Mint and baking spices lead the way, backed by a big mouthful of blackberries and black cherries. Full-bodied yet supple, it’s spicy and rich, with lingering notes of mixed berries and spice on the finish.

About The Winery:

The grapes that make up the Ball Buster blend are sourced from different vineyard locations throughout the Barossa Valley. Vineyard sites are chosen to ensure that the resultant fruit is intense and that cropping levels do not exceed 3.5 tones an acre; typically, these are clay soils on the fringes of the Barossa. Each vineyard site is visited twice a week during the maturing season to ensure that the fruit is maturing slowly, and that water is only applied when necessary. Picking is only done when the grapes are physiologically ripe.

Food Pairings:

The concentrated ripe berry flavours counterbalanced by a juicy acidity make this bold table wine a great match for any dinner or dessert with flavours just as bold.

Somm Hints:

Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

BARONESA DE VILAR, TOURIGA NACIONAL DOURO, PORTUGAL

Why We Love This Wine:

A brilliant representation of the National Grape of Portugal, Touriga Nacional. Big, bold and beautiful, this Douro red is a Gargoyle favourite.

Full bodied with intense black cherry, plum and spice flavours. Delicate aromas and a silky finish.

About The Winery:

Alvaro Van Zeller’s family are most famous for starting the finest port house of all time, Quinta do Noval. But their talents don’t stop there. Since moving on, Alvaro has become famous for establishing the reputation of Douro’s dry reds. Ones like this gorgeous 2018. Named after his grandmother, Baronesa combines the family’s two talents: darkly spiced Douro reds and fine port. All the grapes are from the Van Zellers’ Douro vineyards, handpicked and gently pressed to extract their deep colour and floral aromas. Then 12 months in old oak barrels adds that dense spice, superb complexity and a long, velvety finish.

Food Pairings:

Perfect for rare meats and mature cheeses.

Somm Hints:

Decant and enjoy slowly.

========================================================================================================================

May 2022

DOMAINE DES SCHISTES

‘ILLICO’ BLANC ROUSSILLON, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

Roussillon is all too often lumped together with its eastern neighbour, Languedoc. And while the two regions do share similarities—namely warm temperatures and common grapes—Roussillon is more Catalan than French, located just over the Pyrenees mountains. This wine is a blend of Vermentino and Macabeu, known in Spain as Macabeo. Very aromatic and vibrant on the nose, with notes of quince, pink grapefruit, white flowers and almond. The palate, citrus comes through with notes of apricot and honeydew, along with refreshing acidity.

About The Winery:

The Sire family have been grape growers in Roussillon since 1906, as long-standing local cooperative members. But it wasn’t until 1989 that they decided to vinify and bottle their fruit under Domaine des Schistes. The winery is now under the stewardship of young, energetic Mickaël Sire, a part of France’s "next generation” of vignerons obsessed with quality and sustainability. He farms organically and adheres to the principles of low intervention winemaking; native yeast ferments, minimal oak, and no fining or filtering.

Food Pairings:

Grilled sea bass with lemon caper sauce. It will also pair nicely with simply prepared summer citrus salad.

Somm Hint:

Let the wine gradually warm up in the glass to bring out the aromatics of this wine.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANT MOORE

SAUVIGNON BLANC MARLBOROUGH, NEW ZEALAND

Why We Love This Wine:

A zippy Sauvignon Blanc with flavours and aromas of tropical fruit, peach, lemon and fresh-cut grass. Laser-like acidity and a long finish. Ant Moore’s vineyards are based around Marlborough in the sub-regions of the Awatere, Waihopai, and Wairau Valleys. Blending wines from each sub-region provides a unique personality and adds complexity to the wine.

About The Winery:

Anthony “Ant” Moore is a grape grower, a winemaker, and an entrepreneur through and through. An Australian outsider in New Zealand, Ant has built not only his own winery but saw a need to add a custom crush facility to help other small growers, making him a central figure among independent winemakers in Marlborough.

Food Pairings:

A gorgeous aperitif to drink on its own on the weekends. You can also enjoy with fresh Ontario asparagus with lemon butter sauce!

Somm Hint:

Nothing fancy needed… just chill and enjoy!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VINO LAURIA

CATARRATTO, SICILY, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

This organically farmed Catarratto tastes, smells and brings feels of the Mediterranean sea; fragrant orange blossoms, melon, and honeysuckle on the nose. The palate matches the nose with a slightly oily texture and nutty and saline finish.

About The Winery:

Vito Lauria is a Sicilian local master of organic farming practices. After studying winemaking in Friuli, he returned home in 2005 to take over his family's winery in the west of Sicily, renovating the vineyards, and focusing on organic viticulture. His approach to winemaking delivers wines of more restraint and balance than you find in many offerings from Sicily.

Food Pairings:

Look to local fare when pairing with indigenous grapes; seafood antipasti, lighter fish dishes, or a vongole pasta would all play beautifully.

Somm Hint:

Serve it nice and cold.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CLOUDSLEY

CHARDONNAY NIAGARA, ONTARIO

Why We Love This Wine:

Very much in a Burgundian style Ontario Chardonnay from a section within the highly regarded Wismer Vineyard in Niagara's Twenty Mile Bench appellation. There is reductive flint with pear, lime and a slightly cheesy note. It is medium-bodied with mouthwatering acidity and mineral on the palate. Very focused with excellent length.

About The Winery:

That love of Burgundy brought Adam Lowy and his family to make a move to Niagara and put everything they had into Cloudsley. Before that, Lowy spent 17 years working for Lifford Wine and Spirits, one of Toronto’s premier wine agencies. Lowy established Cloudsley with the singular goal of making boutique Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from different terroirs in Niagara, using a minimalist approach to winemaking that best shines a light on where the grapes are grown.

Food Pairings:

This is a wine you can pair with poultry, pork dishes and, of course, any seafood.

Somm Hint:

Try this wine in a glass that is larger than your standard ‘white wine’ glass. I think you will be impressed with the ‘volume’ of this wine.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PIONA

GAVI, PIEMONT, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

If you like bright, crisp wines like Pinot Grigio, you will be taken by Gavi's balance of freshness and racy fruit flavours, unique to the Piedmont area. This wine is bursting with zippy and zesty citrus and grapefruit flavours. It's the ultimate refresher with lovely floral aromatics and mouthwatering acidity.

About The Winery:

Camilla and Silvana are the owners of Piona. They want to transform their passion into a young, feminine company with a well-rooted philosophy in which modernity and tradition are linked. The attention to every detail is taken care of, from the vineyard to the bottle.

Food pairings:

The texture and acidity here help pair nicely with the sushi party tray, where you have different flavours.

Somm Hint:

Chill well and enjoy under the sun!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LAURENT CAZOTTES

'CHAMPETRE' MAUZAC BLANC, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

While Mauzac has mainly been supplanted by fashionable Chardonnay, it is used to make still and sparkling wines in Southwest France. Laurent Cazottes started collaborating with vigneron in his area to promote the varietal, who share the same philosophy of winemaking. This wine is made from a selection of grapes carefully chosen when the vintages are good. The wine has lots of yellow and white fruit flavours like peach and pear. The nose also shows white flowers and a hint of honey. The palate is fresh, precise and sincerely seductive.

About The Winery:

Distillerie Cazottes is an organically farmed artisanal distillery located in Tarn in Occitanie. Laurent makes gorgeous wines from local grapes Mauzac, Braucol, Prunelart, and Duras, His wines are farmed biodynamically and treated with great care. Just honest, well-made wines for everyday drinking.

Food Pairings:

Fried food are a good match with Mauzac wines! Fried chicken, fish and chips, Tempura, or even chicken fried rice!!

Somm Hint:

Recommended best served well chilled.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PAUL CLUVER

PINOT NOIR ELGIN, SOUTH AFRICA

Why We Love This Wine:

Elgin is the coolest growing region in South Africa, with temperatures rarely rising above 30°C during the growing season, perfect condition to grow Pinot Noir. The wine is textbook cool-climate Pinot with intense, bright aromas of cranberry and red plums alongside subtler notes of smoked meat and kitchen spice. Mid-weight with silky tannins and fresh acid to finish.

About The Winery:

The Cluver family are pioneers in the exciting, bourgeoning wine region of Elgin Valley in South Africa. They were the first to plant vines in the Valley in 1986 and released their first commercial wine in 1990. This 2000+ hectare estate forms part of the UNESCO world heritage site, the Kogelberg Biosphere. Half of the estate has been set aside for conservation into perpetuity. Wine production is relatively small here, focusing on quality and expressing the unique terroir of the Valley.

Food Pairings:

Roast duck breast or mushroom risotto is classic pairing for Pinot Noir, yet something simple like pork pâté or salumi from your neighbourhood butcher will also do!

Somm Hint:

Pop this bottle in your fridge for 20 minutes before serving. The red fruit aroma will benefit from a slightly cooler serving temperature.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PLANETA

NERO D’AVOLA, SICILY, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

La Segreta takes its name from the wood surrounding their vineyard at Ulmo. This young fresh wine composed of Nero d’Avola grapes is a perfect example of Sicilian wine. Typical varietal aromas of ripe plum, cocoa, wild berries, and flawless spiciness. The palate matches the nose with full body and structured tannins without excess.

About The Winery:

Planeta family is one of the eldest families of winegrowers in Sicily, now in their seventeenth generation. They operate five wineries spread around Sicily and produce wines from many of the DOC zones. While the family focuses on innovation and modernity, they never distance themselves from wine’s historical and traditional interpretations. Respect for the environment and the development of biodiversity are the watchwords of this company.

Food Pairings:

A perfect casual sipper. Pairs nice with a weekday bbq or pizza.

Somm Hint:

Serve this wine in larger wine glasses, if possible, to showcase all of its complexity.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AGRÍCOLAS DE VINOS LA HIGUERA

‘LA PINADA’ UTIEL-REQUENA, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

“La Pinada” is a cheerful and joy of wine! It showcases the fruit, freshness and balance of a genuine single varietal Bobal. With a fresh and fruit-forward nose, the wine displays aromas of blackberry, dark cherry, orange blossom, and a hint of earthiness. On the palate it is juicy, focused and well balanced, with a crunchy acidity and some light drying tannins.

About The Winery:

Agrícola de Vinos La Higuera’ is a small project founded in 2017 by two friends, Javier del Blanco and Jorge Navascues, to join their knowledge in the wine industry while working separately with top Estates from different regions all over Spain. The aim is to nurture and craft honest wines that will honor their origins, with great value and genuine quality, expressing the purity of the grape variety and the environment they are grown in.

Food Pairings:

The savoury flavour is perfect for a grilled vegetable salad with lots of peppers and summer squash!

Somm Hint:

Treat this wine like a Pinot Noir, so if you have Burgundy glasses(bowl-shaped) now would be a great time to use them!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DOMAINE MONTROSE

‘ILLEGAL’ MOURVÈDRE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

This wine comes from a small appellation in Languedoc, but 100% Mourvèdre is illegal there. Thus, the winery declassified it as "Vin de France“ and hid its origin. There are aromas of blueberry, blackberry, violet, smoke and rose. Fresh, spicy, but not spiky on the palate. Tannins are balanced and well-integrated, making this wine smooth and pleasant.

About The Winery:

Since his childhood, Olivier Coste’s favourite places to play have been the vineyards and the family wine cellar at Domaine Montrose, his family’s wine estate founded in 1701 in Pézenas. With this upbringing, Olivier developed a profound attachment to the Languedoc’s terroir and landscape and later to its wines. Olivier and his team are committed to respecting the environment so that future generations can enjoy nature’s heritage.

Food Pairings:

Mourvèdre works very well with bbq, especially lean meats such as Sirloin steaks, or some cuts of Pork and Lamb. The pairing becomes even better if you use herbaceous sauces like a Chimichurri.

Somm Hint:

Serve at cellar temperature (slightly chilled) due it's low alcohol for 100% Mourvèdre.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

QUINTA VALE DO OLMO

‘GOLPE’ DOURO, PORTUGAL

Why We Love This Wine:

A dry red made from traditional port grapes! From the oldest vines at Quinta Vale do Olmo, this blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca enjoys partial aging in French oak casks for 18 months. Expect flavours of cherry, raspberry and plum with notes of baking spice and chocolate. Rich and structured but still balanced and accessible.

About The Winery:

The Quinta Vale do Olmo vineyards are planted on terraces on the schist-rich soils of the Douro region of Portugal. Though the Carvalho Martins family has managed these vineyards for four generations, up until recently, the Domaine sold the majority of their fruit and wine to larger companies within the region. The youngest generation - the Carvalho Martins brothers, who grew up amongst the vines, eventually came together to realize the full potential of their family's estate, to make their own wine to represent the unique terroir of the Douro region.

Food Pairings:

Burgers, Ribs and left overs of Cote du Boeuf and Potatoes from Saturday.

Somm Hint:

Share this wine with your friends and family. They will be amazed with the quality of Portuguese Red.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DOMAINE DE CASSAGNAU

PAYS D'OC, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

This is a true charmer of a wine, with a round front-of-palate and creamy extract and a superbly fresh finish. Using Merlot instead of Mourvedre in the GSM blend truly rounds the flavours. The aroma is with notes of blackberry and blackcurrant with mild spice and the fragrance of the Mediterranean herbs. The palate has just the right amount of richness without excessive extract and a creamy texture enveloping balanced tannins.

About The Winery:

At the confluence of the Mediterranean and oceanic climates, on the first foothills of the Pyrenees is where Cassagnau makes its Languedoc wine with a western accent. Jacques Abet, doctor by profession and winemaker by passion, runs this family vineyard with a unique terroir with enthusiasm and meticulousness.

Food Pairings:

The wine pairs well with cold ham especially the French jambon persillé (jellied ham and parsley) and/or with good company and friends.

Somm Hint:

Whenever you decide to drink this wine is the right time.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BOSCHENDAL

CHARDONNAY, SOUTH AFRICA

Why We Love This Wine:

So much flavour on this South African Chardonnay, fragrant and juicy with ripe tropical fruit, lemon citrus and well-integrated oak spice with a buttery finish on the palate. Well balanced, the soft, buttery character adds to the complexity and roundness of the wine.

About The Winery:

Much like many South African estates, Boschendal represents the complicity between ancient traditions and modernity. To produce premium wines of unwavering exceptional quality, Boschendal employ dedicated red and white winemakers in separate cellars for focused expertise. Plus, they have made a commitment to focus on their Chardonnay right in their mission statement.

Food Pairings:

Pair this Chardonnay with roast turkey, sautéed pork tenderloin, buttered lobster rolls.

Somm Hints:

This Chardonnay is ready to enjoy now but will age with much complexity for the next five to eight years.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VIGNETO CIALDINI

LAMBRUSCO, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

This artisanal Lambrusco comes to us from the Chiarli family in Emilia-Romagna, the oldest producer of Lambrusco in Italy. Made from single-vineyard Grasparossa grapes, this Lambrusco has bright blackberry and raspberry fruit. This sparkling red will dance on your tongue before finishing dry.

About The Winery:

The Vigneto Cialdini is Cleto Chiarli's top-of-the-line Lambrusco Grasparossa. The vineyard is located in the heart of the Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro denomination, where this member of the Lambrusco family has been cultivated since time immemorial. The wine is made through a single fermentation under pressure, rather than the normal two-fermentation process of almost all other sparkling wines. This is in the brut range, with a slight sweetness detectable. Vigneto Cialdini is the name of the vineyard, dedicated to Enrico Cialdini, who was a famous general during the unification of Italy. 

Food Pairings:

Lambrusco, is perfect to enjoy with a casual spread of cheese and meat. It's also a popular pairing with pizza.

Somm Hints:

“Crackling Red” = slightly fizzy. Serve chilled.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DON AURELIO

LA LEATAD SYRAH, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

The wine is a dark ruby ​​color with a violet hue.  Lively structured with an energetic bouquet of black berries and fruits, wrapped in velvety tannins. Shades of plum, blackberry, red currant and violet can be sensed in the aroma of wins.

About The Winery:

"Don Aurelio" is the most famous brand of the company Navarro Lopez. The winery is located in the famous Spanish region of Valdepenas and is surrounded by numerous vineyards. Thanks to the close neighborhood with the production, the grapes are immediately taken to the factory, where they immediately start making wine. Its turnover is about 14 million bottles.  The company Navarro Lopez was founded in 1904 as a modest family winery Don Juan Sanchez Megia. The original winery still preserved in the city Valdepenas. More: https://winestyleonline.com

Food Pairings:

This Spanish Syrah would be a great match for lamb or chicken.  

Somm Hints:

The range "Don Aurelio" offers young varietal wines and aged wines. Many of them have been awarded at various prestigious national and international wine contests, such as "Mundus Vini" and "Vinalies Internationales".

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DOMAINE LUNEAU-PAPIN

MUSCADET SEVRE-ET-MAINE TIRE SUR LIE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

This is an aromatic white wine with pretty floral notes, hints of lemon zest and touches of nutmeg. On the palate it is fresh, crisp and lively. A wine with a lemony texture that caresses the palate and is supported by pleasant acidity. On the finish its seductive mineral influence stands out.

About The Winery:

Made by a family winery with remarkable longevity, in 1970 Pierre Luneau began specialising in Muscadet. Although this grape actually originates in Burgundy under the name of Melon de Bourgogne, it is the queen grape of the Nantes wine region (France). With impeccable work, he soon became one of the main champions of the lower Loire. In 2005, his son Pierre-Marie Luneau took the reins of the vineyards and, with his wife Marie, continued the efforts of the eight generations that had come before him to develop a sustainable and traditional viticulture. As a result of these expertise, they produce Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin La Grange Vieilles Vignes, a wine from the AOC Muscadet Sèvre et Maine made with Melon de Bourgogne vines growing in their favourite land with soils composed of mica schist rocks and two-mica gneiss. They are cultivated using organic agriculture with biodynamic practices and manual harvesting by plot. Once the grapes reach the winery, they are vinified and aged separately, respecting the authenticity of each terroir. After spending time on its lees, the wine is bottled without filtration or clarification.

Food Pairings:

Excellent as an aperitif with shellfish, fish, Asian cuisine, or fresh cheeses.

Somm Hints:

Serve at 12oC

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LYNCH BORDEAUX

SAUVIGNON BLANC NATURE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

This Organic Sauvignon Blanc is a fresh, light and vibrant white. On the nose it is citrusy with floral and tropical notes (mango, pineapple). On the palate it is slightly bitter and dense. Light. Long finish.

About The Winery:

In honour of Michel Lynch, an 18th century gentleman who dedicated his life to improving the wines from his Lynch-Bages winery, the Cazes family, who have owned the winery since 1939, have extended their viticultural offering and created a new range of wines using sustainable practices and producing exclusively with organically cultivated vines.

Food Pairings:

Oysters!!!

Somm Hints:

Lynch Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc Nature ferments in stainless steel tanks with great patience and a controlled temperature. It is actually the result of a selection of wines that reflect the richness and diversity of Bordeaux’s terroirs and the intrinsic qualities of each vintage.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ZSIRAI

JUHFARK, HUNGARY

Why We Love This Wine:

Quite charming in the nose with flowery and fruity notes. In the palate a little residual sugar balances the wine, makes it super easy to drink. It was fermented and aged partly in oak, partly in stainless steel.

About The Winery:

Established by Csaba Zsirai based on his principles of winemaking: “Creation, attention, thoroughness, values, preservation, perseverance, love, joy, beauty, charm, simplicity, sensitivity, sensibility, uniqueness” – Zsirai Winery has become a golden award winning vineyard present at several terrains in the country with 19 hectares of vineyards. Producing wines with the belief that the secret of good wine is excellent soil, proper selection of grapes varieties, diligent care, and a good year; Zsirai only produce wine from the grapes they grow themselves. 

Food Pairings:

It is a classic food wine, which, thanks to its lively acidity, works well with hearty, fatty dishes. Hungarians love to pair the Juhfark with a dish called Töltött Tojás. Google that for something different at your next garden party!

Somm Hints:

The literal translation of “Juhfark” is Sheep’s Tail.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PERTICAIA TREBBIANO

SPOLETINO SPOLETO, ITALY

 Why We Love This Wine:

Full-bodied wine, with an enjoyable freshness and solidity, supported by an excellent base sweetness. Tropical fruit fragrances, yellow flowers, straw yellow colour with typical greenish hues.

About The Winery:

The 50 hectares of vines belonging to the Becca family are in Montefalco, in the heart of green Umbria. After purchasing the land and planting the vineyards, they began the construction of a modern winery, perfectly involved in the surrounding environment. Among the rows, in addition of course to sagrantino plants, there are also varieties of sangiovese, colorino, Trebbiano spoletino and grechetto. The vines are grown in full respect of the environment, nature and ecosystem.

In the cellar each production step is aimed to enhancing what the season and the territory have been able to express in the fruit. In this way, today perticaia is an organic farm model for the territory: a cellar able to produce wines of great expressivity and elegance.

Food Pairings:

It accompanies dishes such as fish and seafood very well, as well as white meat, and it is an excellent aperitif.

Somm Hints:

This is a wine that can easily age for 4-5 years in the bottle, notably improving its quality over time and acquiring a surprising complexity.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LAKE SONOMA

PINOT NOIR, CALIFORNIA

Why We Love This Wine:

Sources 100% from Sonoma Coast, this is a classic expression of Pinot Noir. Bright Pinot Noir, ripe cherry with an accent of lilac, vanilla, white pepper. Aromas of bramble, plum, baking spices and cedar fill the glass. On the palate, this Pinot Noir opens with cherry cola, a touch of toasted oak, brown sugar and a silky sweet cocoa finish.

About The Winery:

Established in 1977, Lake Sonoma Winery focuses on the individual appellations in Northern Sonoma County where California’s top grape varieties achieve their ultimate expression of character. The intrinsic excellence of these regions is enhanced by sustainable farming techniques in the vineyards, which uses natural amendments and controls to enrich the soil and combat pests.

To preserve and complement the extraordinary character of these grapes, Lake Sonoma Winery meticulously handcrafts each wine. Vineyard lots are kept separate until blending and aging in small oak barrels is tailored to each individual wine.

Food Pairings:

Soft, mouth filling and ready to drink, serve this Pinot with duck, pork, or chicken.

Somm Hints:

The Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir has the composition of 100% Pinot Noir from Carneros and the Russian River. Both places are the official boundaries of the American Vinicultural area – AVA

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ELENA WALCH

SCHIAVA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

Bright ruby in colour with a delicate hint of cherry on the nose. On the palate, it is harmonious and elegant due to naturally mild acidity and tannin with a pleasant bitter almond flavour on the finish. An elegant, fruity red wine with good length.

About The Winery:

Elena Walch is a leading family estate in Alto Adige with international success. With outstanding wines and the oenology lab, the wine estate is among the elites of Italian wine production and has become well respected over the last 20 years. Sustainable efforts in the vineyard and wine cellar, with particular attention to the long-term protection of the vines, is the heart of the work today.

Food Pairings:

An interesting wine for Mediterranean dishes and Pasta dishes, as well as antipasti.

Somm Hints:

The Schiava grape is one of the best grapes to eat out in the vineyard. It is sweet and ready to eat right off the vine.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOUTHERN RIGHT

SAUVIGNON BLANC, SOUTH AFRICA

Why We Love This Wine:

This Sauv Blanc stands out for its complex, layered elegance, purity and mineral liveliness. Exhibiting a balance of old world minerality and length with hints of modern texture and body. A significant percentage of fruit from iron and clay-rich soil has added a textural and structural component and additional overall complexity to this wine. The Sandstone soils have contributed their typical bright, tensile character and a marked minerality.

About The Winery:

Southern Right is a small Pinotage and Sauvignon Blanc specialist located on a strikingly beautiful 448-hectare property in the cool, maritime, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus. The wines are named after the rare Southern Right whales, which frequent the cool South Atlantic Walker Bay, 3 kilometers from the vineyards.

Food Pairings:

Pair this South African gem with salads, especially if they contain seafood and/or ‘grassy’ ingredients such as asparagus, pea-shoots, green peppers and herbs.

 Somm Hints:

Lighter structured sandstone-derived soils combined with clay-rich soils add the exceptional minerality and complexity in the Sauv Blanc.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FLIGHT OF THE CONDOR

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, ARGENTINA

Why We Love This Wine:

This wine has a vibrant, fresh fruit profile, and is varietally pure with a linear structure and nuanced complexity of well-integrated light oak contact. The 2019 vintage is the second consecutive stellar vintage in Mendoza, characterized by even and average temperatures throughout the season. Nice combination of ripe berries with some fresh and dried herbs, such as thyme. It’s medium-to full-bodied with medium round tannins and a delicious, fruity finish. This Cab was rated 91 by James Suckling and is ready to drink!

About The Winery:

Each wine in the Flight of the Condor range shows varietally pure wines which excel in their region of origin. Dry summers and excellent health in the high elevation vineyards of Mendoza produce the Flight of the Condor Cab and Malbec. The grapes are selected for their balanced fruit profile, cold soaked and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine then spends 6 months in contact with French oak prior to bottling.

Food Pairings:

Serve with beef or venison.

Somm Hints:

Mendoza is by far the largest wine region in Argentina. Located on a high-altitude plateau at the edge of the Andes Mountains, the province is responsible for roughly 70 percent of the country's annual wine production.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CALLIOPE WINES

FIGURE 8 CABERNET MERLOT, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Why We Love This Wine:

A nose that shows both vibrant cassis, cranberry, raspberry, red plum and cherry alongside a floral violet note as well as sage and dried thyme. The palate is juicy, energetic and fresh with a medium body and medium tannin level and some intriguing layers of dark chocolate, cocoa, paprika, pepper and some graphite supporting the cherry, currant and mixed berry fruit.

About The Winery:

The Wyse Family - founders of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery in Oliver BC - is proud to introduce a line up of wines under a new label: Calliope. Pronounced ka-LIE-oh-pee. Grapes for Calliope wines are carefully sourced from local vineyards in the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys.

Winemakers are granted the freedom to escape from tradition and utilize their creative talents to explore new taste profiles and create delightful, expressive, fresh characteristics in each blend.

With a focus on early consumption, oak applications are minimized and closures are typically screw caps for convenience.

Food Pairings:

Pair this with spaghetti and meatballs or a lightly spiced stew or hamburgers.

Somm Hints:

The wine is named after the tiny but tough Calliope Hummingbird, the smallest avian migrant in the world.

========================================================

April 2022

Campo Flores,‘Blanco Orgánica’, Spain

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Campo Flores Blanco Organico is a wonderfully vibrant wine blended from organically-grown  Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc and Macabeo grown by farmers in the Cuenca part of La Mancha, who cultivate their crop in the traditional way, tending old bush vines on sandy-chalk soils where no pesticides or fungicides are needed due to the punishingly hot climate. The Verdejo adds a richer pear and peach and herbaceous backbone to match the citrus notes from the Sauvignon Blanc, while the Macabeo rounds out the blend.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Inspired by Spain's largely untapped fine wine resources, Masters of Wine, Fergal Tynan and Giles Cooke set off on a journey to find the unsung heroes of Spain, be they regions or growers. Fergal's interest in wine terroirs and Giles' instincts for flavour led them to unearth great Spanish wines whose stories were untold. The organic credential of Campo Flores is a reflection of all that is best in modern Spanish winemaking.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Fish cake with lots of dill and side coleslaw. Yumm!

SOMM HINT

Let the wine gradually warm up in the glass to bring out the aromatics of this wine.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

CORVALHO MARTINS, Golpe Branco, Portugal

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

80% Rabigato, 10% Voisinho, 10% Gouveio. Made from three indigenous Portuguese white grapes. Haven't you heard of any of those varietals? Don't worry; neither have many folks in the wine industry! Of the three, only Gouveio goes by a different name (Godello) in other countries. This is a nicely balanced wine with a medium to full body, high acidity and bright aromatics that keep the wine light on the palate. Look for flavours of orchard fruit, herbs, and citrus.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Carvalho Martins Family manages the Quinta Vale do Olmo for 4 generations. The vineyards are located in the Mêda area (Douro Superior). The climate here is hot and dry throughout much of the year, allowing them to successfully use sustainable and organic farming methods and avoid the excessive use of herbicides or fungicides in the vineyards. The youngest generation - the Carvalho Martins brothers, who grew up amongst the vines, make the wine to represent the unique terroir of the Douro region.

FOOD PAIRINGS

This versatile wine can be enjoyed with poultry dishes, roasted chicken or turkey, shellfish, crab, lobster in a butter sauce, or roasted root vegetables.

SOMM HINT

Serve well chilled to preserve the freshness.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Tenuta Tascante, ‘Buonora’ Etna Bianco, Italy

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

When anyone looks at Sicily these days, their eyes are immediately drawn to the island’s most prominent topographic feature, the great volcano Mount Etna. The grape, Carricante, is sourced from cool-climate vineyards on the north and east faces of the volcano’s slopes. Carricante is probably one of the most interesting multi-faceted varieties that ripen late and gains complexity with ageing. The wine has a fruity bouquet with grapefruit, white peach, and aromatic herbs. The taste is mineral and citrusy with lively acidity and freshness.

ABOUT THE WINERY

The Tasca d'Almerita family, one of Sicily's oldest and most esteemed wine families, is now led by seventh-generation Alberto Tasca. The family, who has been making wine across Sicily for over 200 years, is a leading producer of Etna wines at its Tenuta Tascante estate (the name is a portmanteau of Tasca and Etna). The winery is certified as sustainable under SOStain, a Sicilian-based program, in conjunction with the Italian Ministry of the Environment’s VIVA sustainability indicators.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Grilled fish with lemon caper sauce or fresh Ricotta with lots of olive oil, and grilled bread

SOMM HINT

Serve it nice and cold.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

William Wright, ‘Monterey’ Chardonnay, U.S.A.

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

The William Wright Chardonnay is a classic, fruity Cali Chardonnay! The nose is ripe and fruity with aromas of peach, pear, melon, and citrus with honey and coconut. The palate is medium-bodied, textural, and refreshing, showcasing the Monterey’s cool climate viticulture.

ABOUT THE WINERY

In the 1970s, with Napa Valley’s wines in their ascendancy, Monterey was known more for grape growing than winemaking. One of the pioneers in the region was Al Scheid, who in 1972 was selling 100% of its grapes to wineries. In the decades to follow, the estate began making its own wines. Scheid Vineyards produce the William Wright wines from the cooler site of 12 estate vineyards located thru-out Monterey.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Pork Chops with grilled peach or pineapple salsa

SOMM HINT

Nothing fancy needed… just chill and enjoy!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MarcoBarba, ‘Barbabianca’, Veneto, Italy

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

An exceptional white wine from the Veneto region in Northern Italy. Barbabolla is made with a mix of white-grape varieties native to the territory, some known, others not so much. Marco Barba is the name and face behind this wine. Marc's passion lies in showing the regionally, not the grape variety. This wine, mostly Garganega grapes, has notes of white peach, apricot, honeydew melon and marjoram. The wine sees a few days on skins, giving it a lovely texture.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Marcobarba began as a social project carried out by Marco and the 'Barbaboyz' (his friends + mentors). The team takes care of small plots of abandoned vines (owned mainly by older locals who wish to see the land revived) between the white sedimentary terrains of the Berici Hills and the dark and volcanic soils of Gambellara in Veneto.

FOOD PAIRINGS

The texture and acidity here help pair nicely with the sushi party tray, where you have different flavours.

SOMM HINT

Take out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving. Leave off ice.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

13th Street Winery, Pinot Gris, Niagara, Canada

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This Pinot Gris is fresh and fruity with aromas of honeydew melon and white peach with a touch of stony minerality. The palate is lively with refreshing acidity and flavours of pear, ginger, some fresh green herbs and wet stone, with a long refreshing finish. The grapes were fermented and aged with fine lees to provide added richness and creamy mouthfeel, making this wine French style ‘Pinot Gris’ rather than light crisp ‘Pinot Grigio.’

ABOUT THE WINERY

13th Street Winery is located just outside of St Catharines in Niagara’s Wine Country. Founded in 1998, 13th Street produces a range of exceptional, critically acclaimed wines focusing on Gamay and traditional-method sparkling wine. Jean-Pierre Colas joined 13th Street as a winemaker in 2009. He brought a rich heritage of winegrowing knowledge from his native Chablis in France, followed by ten years of experience in Niagara.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Its tropical fruit notes are the perfect foil for bitter leafy greens and vinaigrette dressing

SOMM HINT

Wait for the first nice day of spring, ditch off work an hour early and crack this open before dinner.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Claroscuro Bodega de Arte, Vista Flores, Mendoza, Argentina

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Claroscuro, the Mendoza winery that puts Argentine art on its labels! The wine shows the typicity of the grape and the region—intense, concentrated black fruit with spicy oak. Some rose floral aromas are typical of the Vista Flores vineyard in a cooler year. The palate is soft and elegant. Nice and juicy finish. A delicious glass of wine!

ABOUT THE WINERY

Gustavo and Paula Cucchiara undertook this family wine project in 2012. They fell in love with Finca San Francisco, Uco Valley, because of its slopes and view of the Andes. They purchased the property and renamed Bodega de Arte, reflecting their love of the arts. This Art Winery selects different labels for each cuvée and vintage.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Best BBQ wine. The smoke provided by the BBQ can amplify the aroma.

SOMM HINT

Give the wine a quick decant, or open in advance to allow the wine to breathbefore serving.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LUNARIA ORSOGNA, ‘Coste di Moro’, Abruzzo, Italy

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

'Coste di Moro' serves as the flagship wine for Lunaria, just as Montepulciano serves the flagship red varietal in Abruzzo. There is no other wine shared in the region like Montepulciano; with complexity, versatility, and punch, it's shared at dinner and between best friends at the end of the night. Red fruit and black cherry jam dominate the aroma, with hints of chocolate and tobacco. The palate is warm, fairly tannic but soft on the finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Lunaria is a brand of Cantina Orsogna, for organic, biodynamic and vegan certified wines. Cantina Orsogna, formed in 1964, is a cooperative company of 600 farmers committed to Organic & Biodynamic Farming and the conservation of Majella National Park- one of the most intact natural parks in Europe. Cantina Orsogna adopted organic practices in 1995 and, in 2003, started to convert from organic to biodynamic.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Montepulciano-based wines are my first choice when I see tomato sauce-based pasta and pizza. Easy going tasty wine.

SOMM HINT

Serve this wine in larger wine glasses, if possible, to showcase all of its complexity.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Da Cruz e Teles – COZs, ‘Pop’ Lisboa, Portugal

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

COZs vm-Castelão is a natural and organic red wine made with the Castelão variety in Lisbon. The grape comes from “Quinta da Murta”, a vineyard located a few kilometres from the Atlantic coast. Made without filters or additions, this is a "junior Castelão", lighter and fresher than most wines made of this grape; however, it still shows the uniqueness of Portuguese wines with its Atlantic character; Layered red fruit, dried savoury herbs, fresh acidity balanced by pleasant tannins.

ABOUT THE WINERY

José Mendonça was a reference point and guiding light for a new generation of winemakers in Portugal (including Tiago Teles and Antonio Marques-da-Cruz) endeavouring to make an unmanipulated, terroir-driven, fresher style of wine than what has been the norm in the country.

The project ended with the tragic and untimely passing of José. With the blessing of the Josés family, the pair launched their project (aptly named COZs) and enjoyed several harvests before ultimately moving on to purchase their own land.

FOOD PAIRINGS

The savoury flavour is perfect for a vegetable-forward meal with grilled beets, kale and chickpea with herb dressing.

SOMM HINT

Treat this wine like a Pinot Noir, so if you have Burgundy glasses(bowl-shaped) now would be a great time to use them!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FORREST Estate, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Marlborough is also known for its world-class Pinot Noir. This Pinot Noir from Forest Estate has intense aromas of raspberry, strawberry and black cherry with hints of violets, spice and savoury notes. It’s full, complex and delicious on the palate, exactly matching the nose. Great drinking now, but your patience will be rewarded by cellaring for 5+ years!

ABOUT THE WINERY

The Forrest family has been crafting wines since the late 1980s. Returning to family roots and generations of farming in the Marlborough region seemed a natural progression for John and Brigid Forrest after successful careers in scientific research and medicine.

FOOD PAIRINGS

A versatile wine that can hold up to big steak to delicate poultry dishes, yet best with duck.

SOMM HINT

Serve at cellar temperature (slightly chilled).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Los Tres Pacos, ‘Mas Buscados’, Spain

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Literally meaning "the most wanted", Vinos Más Buscados is a collection of wines grown and nurtured in the Southern half of Spain. With mug shots gracing the label, three grape growers, all named Paco (seriously) combine to make Los Tres Pacos. The wine has the aromas of bramble fruit with smoky, spicy secondary notes. The mouth is rich, creamy, and generous, yet it has great structure, fine tannins, balanced acidity and a long finish. Classy wine for everyday drinking!

ABOUT THE WINERY

Inspired by Spain's largely untapped fine wine resources, friends, colleagues, and Masters of Wine, Fergal Tynan and Giles Cooke set off on a journey to find the unsung heroes of Spain, be they regions, growers or winemakers. Fergal's interest in wine terroirs and Giles' instincts for flavour led them to unearth great Spanish wines whose stories were untold. Los Tres Pacos represents one of these discoveries.

FOOD PAIRINGS

A perfect casual sipper. Pairs nice with a delicious classic hamburger.

SOMM HINT

Whenever you decide to drink this wine is the right time.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Château du Moulin Noir, Montagne Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

A nicely aged mature Bordeaux! The wine is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc aged 12 months in oak. The wine offers appealing savoury notes and a mineral, iron component, and licorice spice. The oak treatment is well integrated with wood spice elevating the bright red fruit. Dusty, savoury, earthy, and elegant the flavours you want from a matured red wine.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Lussac-Saint-Émilion is unique as a Right Bank wine-growing region in that it sits at a slightly higher elevation with more undulating topography. Château du Moulin Noir is located just outside the village of Lussac-Saint-Emilion and is owned by the Tessandier family. Their dependable Merlot-driven wines are characterized by ripeness, refinement, a balanced taste, and soft tannins.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Cured meats and hard, salty cheeses. Avoid intense flavours that may overpower this wine.

SOMM HINT

Serve at cellar temperature, and decant as you might find some sediment (which is harmless) in the bottle.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RINALDI VINI, MOSCATO D’ASTI, ITALY

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Superb quality in this refreshing, well-balanced and pleasant wine. The palate is sweet and smooth with lingering aromatic persistence. Straw yellow in color, characterized by a wonderful scent of peach, mango and floral notes of honeysuckle and sage. This sweet wine is perfect as a brunch or dessert wine. Chill and uncork just before serving.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Rinaldi Vini is based in Ricaldone, on the hills of Alto Monferrato near the city of Acqui Terme. It is in the center of one of the most prestigious areas of south of Piedmont, where wines are precious and celebrated all over the world. The company is family-run and was founded in 1961 by Oreste Rinaldi. Now the activity is continued by his son Andrea. For over forty years the Rinaldi have “signed” wines obtained from their own vineyards.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Serve alongside fresh oysters and prawns for a luscious starter or end your meal on a sweet note and try it with desserts and fruit platters.

SOMM HINTS

Why is it call Moscato? It’s made from Muscat grapes. This Moscato di Asti style of wine that’s made in parts of Italy is also known locally as frizzante.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ELENA WALCH, LAGREIN, ITALY

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This Lagrein Elena Walch gleams invitingly with its intensive and dense garnet red color. The complex bouquet captivates with discreet spicy aromas, with cocoa together with wild berries and sweet cherries in the background. Distinctive tannin structure, smooth fullness, playful yet rustic elegance and youthful freshness as well as a long, juicy finish classify the palate.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Elena Walch is a leading family estate in Alto Adige with international success. With outstanding wines and the oenology lab, the wine estate is among the elites of Italian wine production and has become well respected over the last 20 years. Sustainable efforts in the vineyard and wine cellar, with particular attention to the long-term protection of the vines, is the heart of the work today.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Open this Northern Italian red wine for dinner and pair it with something else red… and a little gamey! Beef, lamb or venison.

SOMM HINTS

Oenology is the science and study of wine and winemaking. Oenology is distinct from viticulture, which is the science of the growing, cultivation, and harvesting of grapes. The English word oenology derives from the Greek word oinos "wine" and the suffix –logia the "study of".

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHATELET DE GAUDOU, CAHORS, FRANCE

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This is an expert blend from the 48 acres of vines the Durou family owns and farms on second and third terraces in the terroir of the village of Bagat en Quercy.

Crimson with dark purple hints. Floral nose of peony with raspberry and blackberry. Light concentration on the palate with supple tannins. Lovely fruit, and a floral presence nicely supported by freshness.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Château de Gaudou sits in Vire-sur-Lot (along the Lot River in the southwest, a few hours inland from Bordeaux) amidst a handful of Cahors’ other prestigious vineyard terroirs. This mythical location is referred to as “The Beverly Hills of the Cahors Appellation”, by notable wine critic Michele Bettane. Most vines on the estate are considered “old vine stock” and remarkably some are still on original rootstock that was planted as far back as the late 1800’s!

FOOD PAIRINGS

This elegant wine can be best enjoyed with roasted meats or poultry for dinner or aside your favourite cheeses beforehand.

SOMM HINTS

Cahors is a small town and red wine appellation in South West France, located east of Bordeaux. In wine terms it is known for its deeply colored reds made predominantly from Malbec (known locally as both Côt and Auxerrois), with small quantities of Tannat and Merlot. Interestingly, Cahors is the only red wine appellation in the South West France that does not sanction the use of Cabernet Sauvignon or Franc.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MATCH BOOK, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CALIFORNIA, USA 

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This full-bodied and moderately tannic wine is well-packed with ripe blackberries and blueberries on a velvety, mouthcoating texture. Good concentration and ripeness bring a warm, rich impression to the palate. The juicy texture is mouth filling and mingles with the fine, dusty tannins in the finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Matchbook Wine Company is a family-owned winery tucked away in Northern California's gently rolling Dunnigan Hills. The Giguiere family immigrated to Yolo County from Quebec City in the 1850’s in search of open ag ground. John and Karl Giguiere are 5th generation farmers who know the region’s soil, climate and true potential of the land. This knowledge combined with their curiosity and drive to innovate defines their determination to constantly improve the viticulture and winemaking of the region.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Steaks, lamb chops or burgers; this Cabernet will pair perfectly with your meats from your grill.

SOMM HINTS

“Red Gravel” refers to the Gravel Pit vineyard located on the family property and named for the high percentage of gravel found on this ranch. These gravelly soils are important for the production of red varieties because of their low water holding capacity, allowing for vine stress to control bunch and berry size.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CALLIOPE, RIESLING, BRITISH COLUMBIA,CANADA

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Crisp, dry, racy and fresh with a nose of lemon, lime, grapefruit, green apple, orange blossom and some complex baking spice. Light in body yet powerful in intensity with more of the citrus and apple to mirror the nose and joined by nectarine and white peach, citrus zest and stony minerality and a touch of pepper on the long finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Calliope. Pronounced ka-LIE-oh-pee, is a new line up of wines produced by the Wyse Family – founders of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery in Oliver BC.  This captivating name pays homage to a tiny hummingbird found in southern British Columbia which is Canada’s smallest bird. The word Calliope is of Greek origin meaning ‘beautiful voice’ and was chosen by the Wyse family in recognition of their interest in birds and music.

Grapes for Calliope wines are carefully sourced from local vineyards in the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. Calliope wines are designed to pair with casual lunches on the patio, or with contemporary cuisine.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Simple, but fun to drink on the patio on a warm afternoon. Pair this with a fresh summer garden salad or use its acidity to cut through rich pork belly.   

SOMM HINTS

Calliope is also the Greek Muse of Eloquence and Poetry.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LOUIS CHEZE, VIOGNIER, FRANCE

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Louis Chèze Viognier is a cuvée that has been produced since the domain was created. Light, clear gold in colour with aromas of apricot and pear. Subtle on the palate, there is lovely fresh white fruit which then gives way to a fully integrated butter that continues to the finish!

ABOUT THE WINERY

Taking over the family estate in 1978, Louis Chèze only owned one hectare of Saint-Joseph at the beginning of his career with a few rented vines. Today, the estate has become one of the most beautiful in the northern Rhône with its 30 hectares of carefully studied and wonderfully maintained vines. Situated on the right bank of the Rhône, the exceptional terroir of Seyssuel is a favourite place for Syrah, which, in the hands of the winegrower, produces the best of itself. With Louis Chèze, each vintage is a challenge to extract the quintessence of the terroirs that nature offers him.

FOOD PAIRINGS

As an aperitif, with a mixed salad or with delicious white meat, this 100% Viognier is designed to surprise!!

SOMM HINTS

Viognier (“Vee-own-yay”) is a full-bodied white wine that originated in southern France. Most loved for its perfumed aromas of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle, Viognier can also be oak-aged to add a rich creamy taste with hints of vanilla.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BASA LORE, TXAKOLI, SPAIN

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This is first and only 100% natural, zero added sulfites Txakoli on the market. Made from 100% Hondarrabi Zuri, the grapes were hand-harvested and naturally fermented. Once the fermentation was finished, the wine was cooled to below 40°F to preserve all the CO2 produced during the fermentation and maintain the nerve and freshness characteristic of the varietal, then aged 10 months on lees.

It is pale in color but vibrant with aromatics of tart green apple and peony. Fresh, light and fruity, the spritzy palate shows key lime, underripe stone fruit, green strawberry and a charming savory note. The finish is bright and juicy. Absolutely delightful!

ABOUT THE WINERY

Txakoli Basa Lore is a winery located in the northern part of Zarautz, right on the edge of the ocean, next to San Sebastian, 30 minutes away from the border of France. This family winery in operation since 1930, is currently run by the fourth generation of the family and continues their Basque Country winemaking traditions. Basa Lore means ‘Flor del Bosque’ in Spanish that shows the bubbling and green tones of the Txakoli when it goes into the glass. With plenty of experience and knowledge in winemaking, Basa Lore Winery has produced excellent quality Txakoli by combining modern and innovative techniques and machinery with traditional methods.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Perfect to pair with any type of grilled fish or seafood.

SOMM HINTS

“Aged on lees?” - Lees refer to the sediment that forms in the wine after fermentation. Lees ageing, when wine is left in contact with this sediment, can be used to enhance certain aromas or bring more body and texture to wines. It’s a technique commonly associated with white wines and sparkling wines. Wines can be aged on lees for a few weeks and months or several years. For example, a vintage Champagne must be aged on lees for three years minimum, although in reality many houses age wines for longer than this baseline threshold.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ELENA WALCH, PINOT BLANCO, ITALY

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This Pinot Bianco presents itself in clear, bright straw yellow, with fruity aromas, fresh apple notes and a touch of herbs in the bouquet. In the mouth, the wine surprises with elegant, mineral depth, lively acidity and a fresh finish. An inviting aperitif wine and an ideal accompaniment for light dishes.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Elena Walch is a leading family estate in Alto Adige with international success. With outstanding wines and the oenology lab, the wine estate is among the elites of Italian wine production and has become well respected over the last 20 years. Sustainable efforts in the vineyard and wine cellar, with particular attention to the long-term protection of the vines, is the heart of the work today.

FOOD PAIRINGS

This is an extremely versatile wine, delicious as an aperitif as well as an accompaniment for fish and poultry dishes

SOMM HINTS

The perfect serving temperature for Pinot Blanco: Lightly chilled, 12 - 14 °C

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

L’OSTAL, BLANC VIOGNIER, FRANCE

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

L'Ostal Blanc Viognier is a lovely fresh and aromatic wine with typical Viognier stone fruits, with a refreshing streak of acidity. Fresh and clean with a delightful apricot character and a touch of orange blossom; this L’Ostal Blanc is made entirely from Viognier and aged on its fine lees for several weeks.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Domaine de L’Ostal is situated in the foothills of the Montagne Noire, half-way between the mediaeval town of Carcassonne and the old Roman port in Narbonne. The 60 hectares of vines are situated in one of the finest terroirs of the Languedoc. The property was purchased in 2002 by Jean-Michel Cazes, the owner of Château Lynch-Bages in Pauillac. He immediately embarked upon a comprehensive restructuring of the vineyard involving mass uprooting, replanting varieties and soil drainage. The aim of this exhaustive approach was to express the full potential of the terroir and the Languedocs finest grape varieties.

FOOD PAIRINGS

This Blanc is a perfect match for your veggie days and vegetarian dishes. Light pastas and big salads are calling!

SOMM HINTS

Minervois is an appellation for distinctive wines like this from the western Languedoc in France. Archaeological evidence shows that viticulture here dates back to early-Roman or even pre-Roman times.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TABOADELLA, VILLAE, PORTUGAL

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This is the Portuguese red to try! One of the best reds we have tasted from Portugal. From the DAO, this wine is made from 4 indigenous grapes. It is not oaked so retains an abundance of fruit whilst managing to integrate some tannins to give it a satisfying heft. It is an intense wine, delicately scented with soft tannins and refreshing acidity.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Taboadella consists of 40 hectares of vineyards lying between Vale do Pereiro and the Vale do Sequeiro, in a high triangular plateau of 400 - 530 m altitude, with gentle slopes towards the Southeast, and a sunny exposition to the south and west. The mountain chains protect the vineyard from the Atlantic weather and the bitter winds from Spain, resulting in a microclimate perfectly located where maritime and continental influences meet. Vines planted in these soils at 400 - 530 m of altitude, gives slow maturation and great elegance, complexity and freshness to the Taboadella wines.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Portuguese Dão Red wine like this pair well with a wide range of food making them an easy choice for a dinner. Beef, lamb or even poultry.

SOMM HINTS

Dão red wines come from a wide variety of grapes. They include Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, Baga, Bastardo and Tinta Pinheira. The wines can range from thin to full-bodied due to multiple altitudes that these wines are grown in. The region is still considered off the beaten path and great value can be found in many of the wines.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HACIENDA ARAUCANO HUMO BLANCO, CABERNET FRANC, CHILE

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This grape variety is originally from the Loire in France and has found the perfect home for itself in the Colchagua Valley, where the low night-time temperatures allow it to develop silky tannins without losing its typical aromas. Beautiful ruby colour with blue touches. Aromas driven by ripe fruit, particularly blackberries and cherries. Black pepper, vanilla and toasted notes round out the aromatic spectrum. The wine is full and smooth in the attack, bearing witness to a warm vintage. A lingering, aromatic finish of ripe fruit.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Chile is a paradise for vines, thanks to its stable, cool climate and a lack of disease. Although François and his brother Jacques had been making Chilean wine since 1992, it was not until 2000 that they found the perfect spot in the Colchagua Valley. They bought 200 hectares (combining seven different estates into a single family) in an area that had never previously been used for winegrowing. Today, the Hacienda Araucano estate has 28 hectares of vines, and Lolol has become a sought-after location for wine production.

In 2008, the Araucano has moved to organic methods for both the estate as well as those growers whom they supervise. In 2012, all the wines under Hacienda Araucano will be certified 'made with organically grown grapes".

FOOD PAIRINGS

Cabernet Franc can be the most food-friendly of wines, as good with fish and veggies as it is with meat. This young wine has a distinctly herbal quality and will pair well with dishes flavoured with herbs, especially dill, fennel, rosemary and tarragon. Its slightly higher acidity makes it possible to pair well with tomato-based dishes. Leaner meats and meats served with a tomato sauce or spicy sauce are great options.

SOMM HINTS

Well-regarded for intense and exceptionally high-quality red wines, the Colchagua Valley is situated in the southern part of Chile’s Rapel Valley, with many of the best vineyards lying in the foothills of the Coastal Range.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ZSIRAI, VILLANYI KEKFRANKOS, HUNGARY 

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Kékfrankos is one of the must-taste wines of Central Europe. This 2020 vintage from Zsirai is a great example of the style. Low but evident tannins, notes of red and black cherry and the slightest hint of spice on the finish. This easy drinking young wine will be a dinner party crowd-pleaser.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Established by Csaba Zsirai based on his principles of winemaking: “Creation, attention, thoroughness, values, preservation, perseverance, love, joy, beauty, charm, simplicity, sensitivity, sensibility, uniqueness” – Zsirai Winery has become a golden award winning vineyard present at several terrains in the country with 19 hectares of vineyards. Producing wines with the belief that the secret of good wine is excellent soil, proper selection of grapes varieties, diligent care, and a good year; Zsirai only produce wine from the grapes they grow themselves. 

FOOD PAIRINGS

This fruity Kekfrankos will make a great match with salmon or other fatty fish, roasted chicken or pasta dishes.

SOMM HINTS

Perhaps you might already know this grape by its better-known name, Blaufränkisch. Confusingly, it also has many others. Many of its myriad of names in the region are based on translations of ’Blue Frankish’.

Hungarian urban legend states that it’s called Kékfrankos since occupying Napoleonic troops purchased wine in Sopron using their ‘blue francs’, then worth more than the local currency.

 

========================================================

March 2022

LA DONCELLA, 'De Las Vias' Tempranillo, Spain

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

The name "Doncella," which means "Maiden," comes from a young "maiden" who used to walk through the vineyard every afternoon to watch the sun setting on the vines. This organic Tempranillo from Spain has very clean, brilliant fruity aromas of blackberry and redcurrant some dark spice. In the mouth, the flavours are plentiful, ranging from tart and ripe red fruit, savoury herbs, smoke, spice and impressions of licorice on the finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Familia Conesa vines are located on the Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park borders, in a natural environment full of life, 1100 meters above sea level. It provides the perfect conditions for international grape varietals: Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viogner, Grenache and Petit Verdot. They all carry the "Pago Guijoso" designation of origin andare packed with taste, aromas, texture and character.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

This red could easily tackle a charcuterie board with Manchego cheese, Serrano ham and Chorizo.

SOMM HINT:

The wine will open with some time to breathe. Open it 20min before you want to enjoy it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LEANING POST, 'Cuvée Winona', Ontario

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

This blended wine (Cabernet Franc and Merlot) is one of the best Bordeaux blends we can get from Niagara! An amazingly intense nose of plum, cassis and mulberry is layered over a backdrop of tobacco-leaf, cracked white pepper, lavender, and licorice. On the palate, the intensity continues by adding earth, bacon, and mocha draped over powerful but soft tannins.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Husband and wife duo Ilya and Nadia Senchuk started Leaning Post winery in Niagara over 10 years ago. It began with a dream to take unique, interesting single-vineyard blocks in Niagara and turn them into distinctive, terroir-driven wines. Nadia and Ilya have had to rely on the support of family, friends and financial institutions to make the dream of owning a winery a reality. Leaning Post began as a virtual winery and is proud to now have the quaint tasting room at 1491 Hwy 8 on their home property in Winona, Ontario.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Great with burgers, cured meat, and hard cheese.

SOMM HINT:

It is immediately satisfying to drink now with a good decant, but it will certainly age well over the next 3-5 years.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALPHA BOX & DICE, 'Tarot' Grenache, Australia

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

Traditionally, McLaren Vale's Grenache was heavy and over-oaked, trying to imitate Shiraz. The Death Card embodies their signature style of Grenache – a new era (after Death, new life shoots forth, signalling rebirth, rejuvenation and transformation) for the variety in McLaren Vale as a bright, juicy red wine. Ripe, round and with raspberry, strawberry jam, and ample spicing. Tannins are present but well absorbed into the generous palate, finishing in a gentle raft of sweet spice.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Based in McLaren Vale, South Australia, Alpha Box & Dice are embarking on an Alphabet of Wine. Each ‘letter' embodies an individual winemaking project that celebrates the diverse styles and varieties found in South Australia's famous wine regions, including McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley. Since its beginning in 2008, AB&D has become a champion of South Australia's alternative – particularly Mediterranean – varieties, exhibiting innovation at every step of the process by bending traditional winemaking norms.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Grenache is one of our all-time favourite food pairing red wines, from roast chicken or turkey (Grenache is a classic Easter dinner wine) to pork or Lamb.

SOMM HINT:

Serve this wine in a larger wine glass -- it'll help you sense + appreciate +enjoy!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PIERRE & JEANNE GAILLARD, 'Terres de Mandrin' Syrah, France

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

A stellar Syrah from the esteemed Gaillard family of the northern Rhone! This wine expresses the fresh qualities and fleshy fruitiness associated with the Syrah grape variety. Superb, with precision and elegance, a gourmet concentration highlights this Syrah's spicy and smoky notes. Pleasurable on the palate with an acidic finish, full of freshness and red fruit.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Jeanne Gaillard, daughter of winemaker Pierre Gaillard, was forcibly introduced to wine when she was a child. Jeanne had gotten caught for some mischievous act and was made to work in the family vineyard as punishment. Her experience that day triggered a lifelong passion for wine! In 2008, when she was 24 years old, she acquired 5 hectares in IGP Crozes-Hermitage and 8 hectares in IGP Collines Rhodaniennes and has been managing them ever since.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

A robust red that works excellently with grilled or smoked meats! Also, a hearty soup like French Onion Soup.

SOMM HINT:

Syrah is the French term for Shiraz. French Syrah is likely to be less alcoholic, savoury, and tannic than Shiraz.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RUE NAUJAC, 'Lot 33' Cabernet Sauvignon, U.S.A.

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

California is not the only region in the US that makes fantastic wines from Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine from Colombia Valley, Washington state, is bold and full-bodied, balanced and complex. Showing aromas of black and red fruits, toasted herbs, graphite and leather. A mouthful of ripe dark fruit consisting of blackberry and black currant combined with spice and dark chocolate notes. Fruit-forward finish with an integrated tannin structure.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Born and raised in the New World but influenced by his time in Bordeaux, this Columbia Valley Cab represents Toronto wine professional, Nicholas Pearce's story in a bottle - New World terroir meets old world "savoir faire". Rue Naujac is the street Nicholas lived on while studying/working in France, and Bordeaux is the country's 33rd department, both of which inspired the name and lot #!

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Pair with BBQ meats, rich stews or steak.

SOMM HINT:

For optimal enjoyment serve in larger Bordeaux wine glasses.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PRINCIPE CORSINI, Chianti Classico ‘Villa Le Corti’, Italy

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

Chianti is a beautiful, exceptionally versatile, and useful bottle to keep in the rack. This wine is a blendof 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino. The classical nose of dark cherry, cranberry, exotic spice and alittle mint. The palate carries on the dark fruit, supported by refreshing acidity and fine tannins. There’s concentration but restraint and an invigorating juicy crunch on the finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

The Corsini Family has a great history with winemaking roots that date back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest Estates in Tuscany. The current custodian of the Corsini legacy, Ducci Corsini, is the 32nd generation. Duccio took over the Estate in 1992. As the years progressed, all activities from farming to winemaking and ageing are firmly oriented to preserving the fruit's integrity through their wines.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

This is a versatile wine perfect for food, Lamb or Pork, tomato sauce for a rich Ragu. Dishes that will appreciate the wine's freshness and cut.

SOMM HINT:

Serve this wine at a cool room temperature to enhance the aromas and balance out the warming nature of the alcohol.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PAPANTONIS, 'Metron Ariston' Peloponnese, Greece

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

The name of the wine Metron Ariston, meaning 'moderation is best,' implies the avoidance of extremes in the lives of human beings. It expresses the pursuit of the Golden Mean and Harmony in most human activities. This wine is a blend of indigenes grape variety Roditis and some Chardonnay. Aromas of spring; ripe grapefruit, citrus, pear and peach come to the nose. Creamy and full in the mouth, with acacia, fragrant florals, lemon, pear, offset by bright, lifted acidity. This Mediterranean's concentrated yet fresh white makes it exceptionally food-friendly.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Papantonis Winery was established in 1993 in Nemea by siblings Antony and Kallie Papantonis. The vineyards are situated just outside of the village Malandreni. The winery's goal remains to focus only on two Greek varietals (Agiorgitiko and Roditis) and an international one (Chardonnay).

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Salads with nuts and citrus segments, Seafood risottos & whole grilled fish

SOMM HINT:

Metron Ariston is pronounced "m'e-tron `a-ree-ston". The saying 'metronariston' is attributed to Cleo ulus of Rhodes, one of the seven sages of Greece. It has the same meaning as the other maxim, 'meden agan' ('nothing in excess')carved on the entrance of the temple of Apollo in Delphi.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE ATOM WINES, "Half-Life" Chardonnay, U.S.A.

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

Chardonnay is so much more than oak and butter! The crew behind The Atom brand has sourced top-notch Chardonnay grapes from specific coastal vineyards in California and turned the lush grapes into an excellent vino with scientific and technical winemaking skills. In honour of the science of winemaking, the team named this bottle "Half-Life." The juice is a balanced coalescence of ripe stone fruit, apple, lemon zest, and toasted coconut that greet the palate and dissolve to rich caramelized sugar, baking spices, and a touch of smoke.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Jason Truly worked for over 20 years in wine - having worked for distributors, wineries and later creating his own brokerage. The addition of The Atom wines to Jason's growing portfolio is a passion-play toward wines, reflecting his experience and expertise in bringing wines sourced from the finest locations and vinted with proven winemaking prowess to the discerning drinker.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

This versatile wine can be enjoyed with poultry dishes, roasted chicken or turkey, shellfish, crab, lobster in a butter sauce, or roasted root vegetables.

SOMM HINT:

Serve well chilled to preserve the freshness.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LUIS SEABRA, 'Xisto Ilimitado' Branco, Portugal

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

A blend 50% Rabigato, 20% Codega, 15% Gouveio (Godello), 10% Viosinho. Haven't you heard of any of those varietals? Don't worry; neither have many folks in the wine industry! Luis sources from old vines, at the high elevation of 500m in the Cima Corgo sub-region, noted for extreme highs and lows in temperature. These stressed vines produce low yields, and grapes have insanely wild aromatics and brilliant acidity. Minerality drives this white, wet flinty stones mixed with fresh nectarine, white peach, and pear on the nose. Full of fresh picked orchard fruits and more stony minerals on the palate. Xisto Ilimitado Branco is graceful and powerful without ever coming across as heavy.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

After a decade as head winemaker at Douro powerhouse Niepoort, Luis Seabra launched his project a few years ago. He aims to make wines that show where they come from. Wines of terroir, from the vineyards, almost without intervention. Genuine and honest wines!

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Match wines with ingredients from their region like Pan-Seared Cod with lemon butter sauce or baked salt cod.

SOMM HINT:

Serve chilled but don't keep it on ice. Too cold a temperature will mute the flavours. Let this one ride!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHURTON WINES, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

Grapes are hand-harvested from their organic and biodynamically farmed hillside vineyard above the Waihopai Valley. They are fermented long and slow in a mix of stainless and barrel, with each plot vinified separately and held on lees for nine months before racking and bottling. None of these techniques are common in the region. Fresh and floral wine, with white peach, melon and gooseberry notes, finishes with bright acidity over a creamy texture.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Churton is a small Marlborough winery in the Waihopai Valley, owned and operated by Sam and Mandy Weaver. Named after Sam's farm, Churton was built on family values and respect for the land. The reins have been handed over to the second-generation Ben and Jack, bringing youth and innovation to the Churton vineyard and cellar. The winery uses biodynamic practices in the vineyard operations and is Certified Organic with Biogro.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

You can enjoy this on its own or with a simple salad with goat cheese.

SOMM HINT:

Whenever you decide to drink this wine is the right time.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VITAS, Pinot Grigio, Friuli, Italy

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

This dry-farmed Friulian Pinot Grigio is different in style from Veneto's counterpart. The wine is deeper in colour. Its bouquet is elegant and intense, with hints of yellow peach and golden apple, some dry-hay intertwined with fresh and mineral notes. It promises a concentrated palate full of fragrant peaches, tangerines, and refreshing acidity on the palate.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

The Vitas Winery has been in the family since 1935 for four generations. It is located in the wine-producing area of DOC Friuli Aquileia, with the influence of the sea and warm sun, creating a perfect microclimate for vine-growing. Much importance is placed on conserving the environment, and they use methods that protect their natural resources and the surrounding environment.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

A perfect casual sipper, or to complement antipasti, fried fish or vegetables and light pasta dishes.

SOMM HINT:

Wait for the first nice day of spring, ditch off work an hour early and crack this open before dinner.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BONNET-HUTEAU, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie, France

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

This organically produced Muscadet is the natural expression of a terroir made of green rocks and amphibolite. The wine is crisp with lemon and grapefruit notes and subtle peach with savoury broken stones, refreshing acidity and a stylish, crisp aftertaste. This pure-fruited wine sings with minerality through the very saline finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Domaine Bonnet-Huteau, nestled in La Chapelle-Heulin, in the heart of Muscadet’s Sèvre et Maine appellation, has been producing Muscadet for over 150 years. Today it is run by the Bonnet brothers, Jean-Jacques and Rémi. This 42-hectare vineyard has been certified organic since 2005 and biodynamic since 2010. They've divided their Melon de Bourgogne into parcels to highlight the nuances and subtlety of their terroirs, and their focus is on producing pure, fresh Muscadet.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

This wine will be the perfect accompaniment to seafood appetizers like oysters, smoked salmon and shrimp cocktails.

SOMM HINT:

This grape has lots of names; Muscadet, or Melon de Bourgogne, or Muscadet de Bourgogne. Whatever it is, you can always expect the wine to be dry and crisp!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FINCA DECERO, SYRAH, ARGENTINA

Why We Love This Wine:

This 2015 Syrah was produced during a particularly warm spring and early summer which brought forward an incredibly limited but high-quality crop. Higher acidity than usual and slightly lower concentration, resulted in particularly elegant vintage. We love the great balance, bright acidity, fleshy fruit flavours and long, smooth finish.

About The Winery:

Remolinos Vineyard is located in the Mendoza region at an amazing elevation of 3500 feet. A truly one-of-a-kind vineyard where each vine and grape are nurtured by hand. Sustainable and sensitive winemaking without compromise. The unique natural attributes of the Remolinos Vineyard shine through in their single vineyard wines, handcrafted Decero ‘from scratch’.

Food Pairings:

Dark fruit flavors, spices and mineral notes makes this French oak aged Syrah a perfect match for that roasted lamb dinner you’ve been thinking of or that cheesy charcuterie board you’ve been craving.

Somm Hints:

‘Remolinos’ means whirlwinds. Those winds keep the grapes dry and in perfect condition before being handpicked by the vintner.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

UNSWORTH VINEYARDS, PINOT GRIS, VANCOUVER ISLAND,CANADA

Why We Love This Wine:

Dry and bright on the herbal palate. Intense pear and green apple notes; this is an incredibly well-balanced, single vineyard Pinot with aromas that will transport you right back to the winery. Just enough tartness to help cleanse the palate between bites of your favourite snack

About The Winery:

Unsworth Vineyards has approximately 11 acres planted with vines.  Half is Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir planted in 2013. From expanding the operation and restoring the farmhouse, to building a brand around sustainably managed vineyard practices, the Unsworth team have built the small vineyard into a truly exceptional single vineyard wine producer.

Food Pairings:

Seafood. Seafood. Seafood. This BC wine was made for BC seafood.

Somm Hints:

‘Single Vineyard’ is a term used to indicate that the wine in the bottle comes from a single vineyard site.  Which means this particular vineyard, and the grapes grown there, have been isolated from all other vineyards due to its superiority.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ELEONORE MOREAU, PETIT CHABLIS, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

Lively and fruity, with slight tart notes, this Petit Chablis is drunk young and is very appreciated as an aperitif, with cheese, pastries or oysters. It will awaken your taste buds and open your appetite.

Aged for 12-18 months, an unusually long time for Chablis, this vintage comes through to a  very well-balanced drinking experience.

About The Winery:

The Moreau family has been farming their own 13 hectares of vines organically for over a decade, though long sold their fruit off to exclusive wine merchants. Eléonore has a rare vision in Chablis, focused on producing exceptional wines while remaining an excellent steward of their land. When Eléonore took over the vinification in 2016, she insisted on unusually long aging for all the wines, organic certification, and a rigorous attention to work in the vines and the cellar.

Food Pairings:

Pairs well with Shellfish, Crab and Lobster.

Somm Hints:

The difference between Chablis and Petit Chablis is the quality of the soil and how much sun the vines get. Petit Chablis compared to Chablis is fresher, lighter and less complex for easy drinking.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

A&D WINES, MONOLOGO AVESSO , PORTUGAL

Why We Love This Wine:

Monólogo Avesso P67 is a monovarietal wine produced in Quinta de Santa Teresa. On the nose this wine shows a fruit driven profile, with notes of white flowers, passion fruit, thyme and a citric side to it. On the palate we find it young but delicate with notes of guava and pear, along with a well-adjusted acidity.

About The Winery:

The existing old cellar at Quinta de Santa Teresa tells the story of a big wine farm, but this property is way more unique. All over the property you can find gardens, lakes, tennis fields, a swimming-pool and a wooded which offering plenty of cozy places and beautiful corners. This is a contiguous and enclosed area of 33 ha of vineyards in the Vinho Verde region, sub-region of Baião, just in the border with the Douro region.

Food Pairings:

This Portuguese Vinho Verde White wine is a match made in heaven for snacks and appetizers!

Somm Hints:

One of the oldest wine producing countries of the world, Portugal to this day embodies an incredible diversity in the amount of regions and grape varieties used to produce wines.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SASYR SANGIOVESE, 2018 SYRAH TOSCANA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

This is a wine with a feminine soul. Sasyr is an incredible easy and enjoyable to drink wine that is fruity and polished on the palate, well-rounded with no sharp edges. Like all great Women, it has character and personality, making for a complete, well-balanced wine. In relation to more masculine wines that require specific matches to find a sense of equilibrium at the dinner table, Sasyr is a very versatile wine that works well with all manner of dishes but is also very pleasant on its own.

About The Winery:

Rocca delle Macìe was established in 1973, when Italo Zingarelli decided to realize his lifelong dream by acquiring the "Le Macìe" estate – extending across 85 hectares in all, of which only two were under vine – in order to create a winery in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone. The company estate now extends to more than 600 hectares with, in total, more than 200 used as vineyards and 80 as olive groves, subdivided across the company's six estates: Le Macìe, Sant'Alfonso, Fizzano e le Tavolelle in the Chianti Classico zone, in addition to the recently purchased Campomaccione and Casamaria in the Morellino di Scansano zone.

Their quality-oriented approach dictates low yields per hectare, green harvest and leaf removal being performed during the summer months and a manual harvest directed by expert winegrowers. They have an equally meticulous attitude in the cellars, which have been expanded and modernized over the years and now feature state-of-the-art fermentation equipment to ensure precise control of the must, as well as modern maturation vessels to ensure optimum ageing.

Food Pairings:

Close out the winter by pairing this ready to drink Syrah with a Beef, Lamb or Veggie stew. Pro tip…add Turmeric!

Somm Hints:

This vintage has rated better than any other year for this wine. Lucky drinkers!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

INVIVO X, 2019 SAUVIGNON BLANC, NEW ZEALAND

Why We Love This Wine:

This wine is fresh, smooth, and layered on the palate with stylish aromas and flavors of grapefruit peel and tropical fruits. At first, the palate is expansive and leads with a wall of sweet-scented fruits and a soft- but balanced- acid spine. The mid-palate grows to another level, where supple phenolics offer a framework to further lift the fruit. The wine continues to unfold and is very long and persistent. This is a seriously drinkable Sauvignon Blanc!

About The Winery:

The Invivo X, SJP Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of five estates in Marlborough, spanning both the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. Sarah Jessica loved the intensity of style from the Waihopai Valley and has blended that with pure fruit aromatics from the Western Wairau and the power and purity found in the Westhaven Vineyard in the Dashwood.

The Westhaven vineyard is one of the last blocks of Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough to be harvested and so has an extremely long season to develop flavour and power. The 2019 vintage enjoyed an ideal growing season which allowed for gradual ripening, so harvest was timed to harness the maximum warmth and sunshine of summer.

Food Pairings:

This Sauv Blanc is so easy drinking it’s one of the best wines to pair with itself. Just pour and enjoy!

Somm Hints:

Hit up YouTube to watch virtual wine tastings of this bottle with SJP herself!!

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

KENDALL-JACKSON AVANT UNOAKED CHARDONNAY, CALIFORNIA,USA

Why We Love This Wine:

This refreshing wine is cold fermented in stainless steel tanks to create a pure expression of this exceptional grape. Showcasing crisp green apple, citrus and tropical fruit notes, the resulting wine is youthful and lively, providing a superb affinity for food.

About The Winery:

For over three decades, Kendall-Jackson has remained relentlessly committed to producing only the finest quality wines from grapes grown in California’s cool, coastal vineyards. Carefully matching climates and soil types for each grape varietal, and then guiding each vineyard lot throughout the entire winemaking process.  This vintage is matched 50% Monterey County, 36% Santa Barbara County, 14% Mendocino County. Monterey County contributes lemony citrus and mineral notes. Santa Barbara County delivers a dash of fresh pineapple flavors. Mendocino County adds juicy green apple flavors.

Food Pairings:

Winner, winner, pair this buttery chard with your chicken dinner!

Somm Hints:

The difference between oaked and unoaked chardonnay is that oaked chardonnay is aged in new oak barrels, while unoaked is not. An unoaked wine will be lighter-bodied, with more fresh fruit flavors. A wine that doesn’t see the inside of a barrel (or barrel alternatives) is considered “unoaked.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

G.D. VAJRA, 2018 PIEMONTE BARBERA FREISA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

A new addition to the Vajra lineup, with this inaugural release of Piemonte Barbera Freisa a mere 3,000 bottles. The wine is inspired by a rare, old curio produced by Carlo (Carlin) Vaira, from a vineyard planted with a majority of Barbera and a row of Freisa. In 2018, Vajra brought the blend back to life with fruit from two neighbouring blocks in Bergera, Vergne. The wine combines the charisma of both varieties, with the sophistication of Barbera and the savage allure of Freisa. With not enough wine to fill a cask, it was aged in neutral barrels for eight months, until bottling on 26th August 2019.

About The Winery:

Today, G.D. Vajra is one of the most creative wineries of Barolo. A team of young talents, led by second-generation Giuseppe, Francesca and Isidoro Vajra, is enthusiastically at work crafting some of the most compelling wines of the Langhe. Their vineyards have been nurtured, and soil preserved with minimum tillage for almost 50 years now. With an incredible ratio of manual work per hectare, farming at Vajra is a labor of love. “The land asks for absolute dedication…” – Milena Vajra, matriarch of the G.D Vajra winery.

Food Pairings:

This rustic wine gives clues to its perfect pairing right in its bouquet. The fleshy fruit flavours and hints of grilled meat are waiting for Italian style veal chops.

Somm Hints:

Langhe is the region that encompasses Barolo, Barbaresco, and Roero. The name "Langhe" is the plural form of langa, which means a long hill.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CARMEL ROAD, 2017 MONTEREY PINOT NOIR, CALIFORNIA, USA

Why We Love This Wine:

You can really taste the full flavour development in this Pinot from the influence of the coastal region where the grapes grow. A long growing season full of long foggy days make this a perfect Pinot with a silky texture and a beautifully long finish.

About The Winery:

Carmel Road produces three varietals: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a limited production Cabernet Sauvignon. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive in areas where the temperature doesn’t get too hot during the day and falls off rapidly at night. In fact, Monterey’s weather would be too hot for these cool-climate grape varieties were it not for the maritime influence from Monterey Bay.

Food Pairings:

The wonderful hints of baking spice in this Pinot mixed with a really juicy palate makes it pair well with so many foods, but we highly recommend matching this Pinot with pizza. Yeah, you read that right, this is your pizza wine!!

Somm Hints:

The slightest differences in clonal composition and terroir can have a terrific impact on Monterey Pinot Noir, yet the essentials remain. The wines are bright, crisp and silky, with a perfumed fragrance leading to complex flavors ranging from cherry pie filling to rhubarbs, pomegranates and dusty brown spices, all accented by smoky oak.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

TANDEM VIOGNIER VIURA, 2018 INMACULA, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

A full-bodied style of Viognier with creamy notes of peach, hazelnut and lime jelly, packed with flavour. ‘Inmacula’ means without blemish and to make sure that’s true, these grapes were harvested at night to retain freshness. What’s even cooler is, Tandem's winery is built partially underground to create a gravity fed winery with minimal stress for the wines. This wine is so expressive, long and has a subtle minerality on the finish. Great drinking experience!

About The Winery:

Tandem's vineyard philosophy is based around sustainable farming and using minimal intervention, while maintaining the vineyard’s health and viability. The natural conditions of the valley ensure that pesticide treatments can be kept to a minimum and take the form of sulphur and copper, avoiding products made from synthetic chemicals. The vines are dry-farmed and undergo a green harvest, to obtain lower yields and a key factor in achieving a greater concentration in the berries.

Food Pairings:

Pairs well soft, mild cheese or shrimps and spicy food for the more adventurous connoisseurs.

Somm Hints:

Navarra, in northern Spain, is one of the country's 17 first-level administrative regions (comunidades autónomas) and a reasonably prolific – if lesser-known – wine region. Traditionally associated with the production of crisp, fruit-driven rosé, Navarra is beginning to attract attention for its high-quality wine varieties after years of being overshadowed by its southern neighbor, Rioja.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PALAMA, 2018 ARCANGELO PRIMITIVO SALENTO, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

Huge black-fruit intensity rushes to the nose and gives this wine a sun-drenched, jammy feel that is soft, but not necessarily sweet. In fact, this ripe Primitivo shows balance and a touch of refreshing acidity. Round but fleeting tannins provide easygoing support.

About The Winery:

Palama is a small estate in a sea of gigantic producers - a speck of an island on the salento peninsula and they would have it no other way. With perhaps the lowest yields in the entire appellation, Palama is committed to the highest quality everyday wines that can be produced without the fuss of new oak just ripe fresh powerful fruit. This Primitivo is a delightful creation from a delightful winery, lush yet bright and approachable with notes of dark anise cedar and blackberry confit.

Food Pairings:

Mama Mia! Match this red with meatballs, Marinara, or meat sauce.

Somm Hints:

Arguably more well known by its alter-ego Zinfandel, Primitivo is a huge, ripe Italian grape which is the pride of the Apulia region in the south of Italy. Primitivo is a delightfully brash wine that's very dark and very juicy. Much like Californian Zinfandels they have a very high alcohol content on account of the grapes ripening quickly.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GABA DO XIL, TINTO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

Gaba do Xil Tinto 2019 is a juicy red wine with an intense nose dominated by floral notes and red fruits. On the palate it is powerful and elegant. A fruity textured wine with refreshing acidity and balsamic touches. Made with 100% Mencía grapes that expresses all the granitic soil characteristics of D.O. Valdeorras. This is a great example of fruity freshness and minerality, made by one of the best producers in the country.

About The Winery:

Renowned Spanish producer Telmo Rodriguez worked for the biggest companies before starting his own business. In this tiny appellation of the "valley of gold" (Valdeorras), Mencìa is expressed with balance under a profile that is both fruity and spicy. Gaba do Xil offers the drinker an incredible value for handmade Galician wines for everyday drinking, which rival the wines of similar quality in Burgundy and Beaujolais.

Food Pairings:

This Tinto is the perfect companion to a Tapas spread that includes ham and grilled pork.

Somm Hints:

Gaba do Xil is named for the hillsides of the Sil River, which is the lifeblood of the region. They are the estate-grown red and white village wines, an introduction to the limited production single cru wines of Ladeiras do Xil.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

February 2022

ANTICA ENOTRIA PUGLIA BIANCO FIANO/FALANGHINA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine: 

From Puglia, the "heel" of Italy, comes this 50% Falanghina & 50% Fiano blend. Produced by a family whose organic vineyards and farms yield an enticing array of wines as well as tomatoes, artichokes and olives, you can feel the soul of this estate and their stewardship in the wine. An area of mild winters (which we are all jealous about) and warm, windy summers, Puglia is home to wines of both freshness and density. The wine is light and elegant, with floral notes and subtle pear hints ending with a mineral twist.

About The Winery: 

Raffaele di Tuccio bought this run-down farmhouse dating back to the 1700s in 1985 and over the past 30 years has worked tirelessly with his wife, Antonia, and son, Luigi, to bring the property back to life. In 1993, Raffaele was so inspired by the concept of sustainable, organic viticulture that he immediately converted his 40ha of land to organics. Very sadly, Raffaele passed away in late 2020; the care of the farm and vineyards is now in Antonia and Luigi’s hands.

Food Pairings: 

There's no better pairing with white fish like halibut or cod in olive oil & lemon than this wine!

Somm Hints: 

Falanghina [FA-lan-GHEE-nah] and Fiano [fee-AH-noh] are both native to the south of Italy.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DOMAINE CHANSON VIRÉ-CLESSÉ, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

Viré Clessé is one of the best white wines made in the heart of the Mâcon region, South of Burgundy. The two villages, Viré and Clessé, form a unique terroir. The soil is chalk and clay mixed with oyster fossils, like Chablis, conveying specific stoney, mineral notes to the wine. South-east-facing slopes give lots of sunshine and add ripe and round texture to the wine.  Overall, well balanced and precise. Tense with a very pure fruit combination. Refreshing finish with mineral tinges.

About The Winery:

Maison Chanson (also known as Domaine Chanson for their Domaine wines) was founded in 1750 and still occupies its original home in Burgundy. They don’t like the term negociant (wines are made from purchased fruit), as they instead behave like a domaine (fruit grown in the winery's own vineyard). They are a Bourgogne negociant doing things the right way. 

Food Pairings: 

A great dry apéritif, also good with light seafood and raw vegetable hors d’oeuvres.

Somm Hints:

Serve nice and cold to preserve the freshness.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HIDDEN BENCH FUMÉ BLANC, NIAGARA CANADA

Why We Love This Wine: 

Inspired by Bordeaux and California’s oaked Sauvignon Blanc wines, Hidden Bench ferments the wine in oak barrels. This exceptional Fumé Blanc has substantial depth and weight while maintaining balanced proportions. The barrel influence is nicely balanced with subtle flavours of ripe citrus, green apple, grapefruit, and fresh grass. This is a classy, sophisticated, and complex wine.

About The Winery:

Hidden Bench has been certified organic since 2013, and they've undertaken many sustainable winemaking initiatives as well.  Hidden Bench's focus is the translation of our unique terroir into small-batch artisanal wines using traditional, non - interventionist methods coupled with cutting-edge technology.

Food Pairings:

Baked fish or veggies, especially asparagus, with Beurre Blanc (classic French white wine butter sauce).

Somm Hints: 

Observe what happens to this wine as it warms up in your glass. As the temperature of the wine increases, the warmer notes of tropical fruit begin to show.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHÂTEAU DE MONTFAUCON COMTESSE MADELEINE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

The Lirac appellation is located just across the Rhône river from the prestige vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This is a blend of Marsanne, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul. The wine is medium to full-bodied with a creamy and lush texture coming from 8 months of barrel aging. There are flavours of honeyed tangerine, melon and lime. This is an excellent example of how deliciously white Rhône wines can be!

About The Winery:

The history of Château de Montfaucon dates back to the 11th century, when the castle’s first tower was built. The castle’s role in history was strategic; the Rhône River was the border between the French Kingdom and the Holy Roman German Empire. Montfaucon was one of a line of castles and fortresses along the Rhône River constructed to guard the border and later to tax ships carrying goods up and down the River. Rodolphe de Pins took over Montfaucon estate in 1995, following his agriculture studies in France and California (UC Davis). He rebuilds the winery and makes his first vintage in Montfaucon in 1995.

Food Pairings:

Think of Mediterranean flavours like Bouillabaisse. Yes, it’s a white wine you can pair with tomato sauce! 

Somm Hints:

Try this wine in a glass that is larger than your standard ‘white wine’ glass. I think you will be impressed with the ‘volume’ of this wine.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PAZO SEÑORANS ALBARIÑO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

Pazo Señorans’ Albarino is a masterclass in the varietal’s potential. Intensely aromatic, round, and consistently well-balanced. The wine ferments in cool stainless steel tanks, then aged on fine lees for five months. The result is a textural wine with waves of bright citrus, stone fruit, and white flowers on the nose and palate. Zesty but satisfying at once, this is the Albariño to use for converting any friends who’ve yet to try this Spanish white.

About The Winery:

It’s hard to believe Pazo de Señorans has only been making wine for a mere 28 years and given that they are now considered one of the finest producers in Spain. Ana Quintela, the winemaker, is meticulous in her approach, which could not be more pared-back or straightforward. There are no secrets to success; it is all about the quality of the fruit.

Food Pairings:

Shellfish. Oysters, clams, scallops, shrimp. Raw, steamed, baked or grilled. Your choice!

Somm Hints:

Albarino can be a young, drink-now wine or a creamy lees-matured wonder with considerable aging potential.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FALCHINI VIGNA A SOLATIO RISERVA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

If you’re going to use one winery as your source of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Falchini is the one. This wine has great elegance and structure, with light aromas of green apple and jasmine flowers. Fresh, balanced, fruity, and graceful on the palate. 

About The Winery:

When Riccardo Falchini bought Casale-Falchini in 1964, he was simply following his family’s footsteps – his predecessors had made wine for Cosimo de’ Medici. The estate is located just outside the walled city of San Gimignano in Tuscany and is blessed with superior terroir. Today, Falchini remains a leading producer of the region’s best-known wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, which comprises 60% of the estate’s production. After Riccardo died in 2010, his sons Michael and Christopher, along with consulting enologist Giacomo Tachis (the winemaker behind Tignanello, Sassicaia, Ornellaia and Solaia), continued to enhance the Falchini reputation for fine wines.

Food Pairings:

It is a great wine to enjoy with whole roasted sea bream or sea bass with lemon and herbs, but it is also an excellent choice as an aperitif.

Somm Hints:

Serve well chilled to preserve the freshness.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TABOADELLA VILLAE, PORTUGAL

Why We Love This Wine:

The 2019 Taboadella Villae Dão Red is a unique blend of four indigenous Portuguese grape varieties. It forms a set that they can call “perfect wedding” with four great characters! Tinta Roriz gives structure and muscle, Jaen shows his natural claw, Alfrocheiro brings minerality, and Tinta Pinheira demonstrates the aromas of forest and woodland. On the palate, this wine expresses pulpy/juicy blackberry notes with subtle hints of eucalyptus. Luscious and downright hedonistic, yet bright and energetic.

About The Winery:

The Amorim family have been involved in wine since 1870 when they first negotiated sales of cork to the Caves de Vinho do Porto in Vila Nova de Gaia. Since 1999, Luisa Amorim, the fourth generation of the family, is now creating wines of extraordinary quality with a sense of place.

Food Pairings:

Red meat from weekday burger to Sunday roast.

Somm Hints:

For optimal enjoyment, serve in larger Bordeaux wine glasses.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CANTINE BARBERA ‘LU CÒRI’ NERO D'AVOLA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

What could be more appropriate than a wine with a heart on the label for the month of love? This is a fascinating organic Nero d’Avola with a spicy and lively saline character. This wine truly represents the intriguing Sicilian terroir. The wine shows scents of mulberries and raspberries with a touch of light spices. The palate is fragrant and full, with soft velvety tannins that shape a vibrant, Mediterranean personality. A wine to love!

About The Winery:

Cantina Barbera is located in Menfi, on the west coast of Sicily. A third-generation farmer, Marilena Barbera, farms the grapes following an organic and biodynamic practice. To understand the wines of Cantine Barbera, you need to see the ocean. The vineyards are about one mile from the Mediterranean Sea: Vines that live this close to the sea in south-western Sicily turn the sea brine into vibrant tasty salinity. 

Food Pairings:

Match this fresh red with rich meats, any kind of pasta with tomato-based sauces and pizzas!

Somm Hint:

Open this wine with your loved ones, friends or family members. Don’t try to take this sweet bottle down on your own, no matter how charming it is on the first sip.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AZUL Y GARANZA GARCIANO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

An unusual blend of Garnacha and Graciano — hence the name Garciano! Soft fruity flavours from the Garnacha, combined with spicy flavours, acidity and deep colour from the Graciano, make this one a winner. Fine tannin brings the wine together with a taut structure. All of the wines from Azul y Garanza are made organically, with minimal intervention. One for fans of natural wines, made by hand!

About The Winery:

The Azul y Garanza vineyards began at the Natural Park of the desert of the Bardenas Reales and the Pre-Pyrenees. Founders Dani Sánchez, María Barrena and Fernando Barrena work with “landscapes” – not merely vineyards - with each of their plots enjoying as much biological diversity as this harsh climate will allowNavarra Just. The surrounding plants, shrubs, trees, and animal/insect life play as much in the grapes’ success as the vines themselves. 

Food Pairings:

Think Spanish like Chorizo and lentil soup, Spanish stuffed bell peppers.

Somm Hints:

Navarra, just to the north of Rioja, was one of the first to modernize the winemaking region. A region to keep your eye on!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FRANKLAND ESTATE ROCKY GULLY SHIRAZ, AUSTRALIA

Why We Love This Wine:

Frankland River is one of the coolest wine-growing regions in Western Australia. This is not your typical Australian Shiraz. Supple and elegant, an expression of cooler climate Shiraz. It starts with bright red fruits, plum, black pepper with subtle oak on the nose—a mid-weight palate with juicy fruit with spice. A small addition of Viognier gives aromatic lift and texture to the finish.

About The Winery:

Buried deep in the heart of Western Australia's most isolated wine region, Frankland Estate is as much a part of its natural landscape as it is a winery. They have invested a lot of time and energy into minimizing their impact on the region’s ecological balance, nurturing the micro-biology of the soils and supporting causes to improve the health and future prosperity of the local fauna and flora. It is their commitment to sustainable farming that informs their winemaking practices.

Food Pairings:

Grilled meats and winter stews. Beef bourguignon would be excellent to have on the weekend. 

Somm Hints:

Decant this youthful wine to let it open up and express its full potential.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TENUTE LE COLONNE BOLGHERI, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

The Bolgheri DOC, Tenuta Le Colonne is a balanced and harmonious red wine made of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Yes, Cabernet Franc dominated! Tenuta Le Colonne’s proximity to the sea further exalts the magnificent qualities of this blend, resulting in an intense, full-bodied wine with notes of ripe black fruits and delicate notes of vanilla. Long and persistent finish. It’s surprisingly elegant and fresh, a perfect example of Bolgheri’s refined wines.

About The Winery:

Alejandro Bulgheroni is an Argentine entrepreneur with a passion for wine. Over the years, he has invested significantly in Tuscany, first in Chianti Classico and later in Montalcino.

In 2016, purchased the historic property “Tenute Le Colonne” located in the southern portion of Bolgheri’s appellation. Since 2019, the estates’ entire production is certified organic.

Food Pairings:

You will need something big and bold. Roast meats, Pasta with meat sauce, Tagliatelle ai Funghi or hard-aged cheese.

Somm Hints:

Decant this wine for at least an hour, if possible, serve in a large wine glass to showcase everything this complex wine has to offer.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANTHONIJ RUPERT PROTEA MERLOT, SOUTH AFRICA

Why We Love This Wine:

Merlot has been forgotten for years. South Africa offers a style that often marries the perfect balance between the old world and new, delivering spicy, balanced and generous red wines. This Merlot from Anthonij Rupert is an unbelievable value. Vibrant black cherry and plum aromas with a hint of tomato leaf and dark chocolate. The wine has instant appeal with a soft, textured but supportive structure and frame. Lovely, generous ripe-fruited finish!

About The Winery:

Anthonij Rupert is one of South Africa’s top producers of premium wines grown across four properties in Franschhoek, Elandskloof, Kasteelberg and Darling. They produce complex, warm climate wines with ripe, palate-pleasing flavours. The Protea line, bearing the name of South Africa’s national flower, features accessible wines with a strong sense of terroir. 

Food Pairings:

Perfect match for everything from casual fares like burgers or pizzas right through to finer cuts of beef, lamb or game.

Somm Hints:

Serve this wine in a larger wine glass -- it’ll help you sense + appreciate +enjoy!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FEUDO MACCARI OLLI GRILLO, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

First of all, it’s Italian! What is not to love! There are so many flavours jumping out of the glass – oyster shells, grapefruit, almond and peach. This wine is salty, mineral, waxy, and herbaceous. It is complex while still being simply enjoyable. It evolves in the glass, while continuing to be refreshing after two or even three glasses…

About The Winery:

Feudo Maccari was established in 2000 and is owned by Antonio Moretti who is the man behind the legendary estates of Tenuta Sette Ponti and Poggio al Lupo in Tuscany. These credentials are truly apparent in the quality of all of their wines.

This wine is made from 100% Grillo which is a natural cross between 2 other varieties grown in Sicily, Catarratto and Moscato. It is an indigenous variety that is naturally suitable to the warm, dry climate of the region. The vines are bush trained on the southerly hillsides near the town of Noto. The vineyards are less than 2km from the ocean – the proximity to the sea, as well as the Mediterranean winds help to moderate the heat and give freshness to the wines.

Food Pairings:

Sicily is surrounded by the water! Sommeliers love the saying, ‘what grows together, goes together’… it’s so true!! In this case, pair with seafood! Grilled white fish with charred vegetables sounds like the perfect meal for this wine. Sushi or Thai green curry are also great choices if you’re ordering take-out!

 

Somm Hints:

Always look for the lesser-known regions or varieties. Your money will go twice as far in the search for quality.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BODEGAS IZADI BLANCO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

Rioja is Spain’s most well-known wine region but people don’t usually think of white wine when they think of Rioja! While an oxidative style was common for Rioja Blanco back in the day, trends have dramatically changed over the last 5-10 years to make wines that are more balanced and much fresher in style. This is a blend of many varieties, including Viura, Malvasia, Garnacha Blanca, Maturana Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, and Turruntes. While Izadi has only been around for 30 years, the fruit comes from some of the oldest recovered vineyards in Rioja. The wines have character and soul, just like the region.

On the palate, this wine has notes of yellow apple, lemon juice, mint, hazelnut skin, cedar and toast.

About The Winery:

Izadi was founded 30 years ago but Gonzalo Anton’s family has been growing grapes in the village of Villabeuna de Alava in Rioja Alavesa for many generations. Most of the vines are 50-60 years old and bush-trained on chalky clay limestone, which helps to bring a mineral edge to the wines. Old vines tend to lose productivity with age, which helps to increase the concentration of the fruit, giving more concentrated wines.

Food Pairings:

Most of these varieties have a lovely natural weight to them without being overly acidic or perfumed, which makes it a very versatile wine for many types of cuisine. Iberico jamon and manchego cheese are the classic way to start any meal in Spain, so pairing this wine with your charcuterie board and tapas is a guaranteed success. As a main course pairing, this wine will live up to roasted chicken, or pork loin.

Somm Hints:

Take it out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving. This wine will lose its lovely floral and fruit undertones if served too cold.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PIRRAMIMMA KATUNGA CABERNET SAUVIGNON, AUSTRALIA 

Why We Love This Wine:

We love this wine because it comes from McLaren Vale, which is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in Australia. People often consider Australia to be a young and new wine growing region, but in fact, they have some of the oldest continuously productive vines in the entire world – these vines date back to 1843 and are still producing fruit! So wild!

McLaren Vale has a great diversity of micro-climates and soil types, which brings complexity to many different wine styles. Their proximity to the ocean is a key factor in this hot region to ensure acidity retention and freshness in the grapes.

There are so many flavours in the glass – blackberry, blackcurrant and bramble fruit galore! Herbal, peppery and capsicum notes with eucalyptus, black tea leaf, Kalamata olives, and licorice. There is something savoury and meaty with this wine that balances all the juicy ripe fruit notes. 

About The Winery:

Pirramimma has been around since 1892 and continues to be run by the same family today. They are one of McLaren Vale’s oldest remaining family owned winery, possessing intimate knowledge and connection to the vineyards and the region. Winemaker Jeff Johnston just celebrated 50 vintages at Pirramimma – impressive! The grapes are all estate-grown, which means that all the fruit comes from their own property, just next to the winery itself.

This Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Orchard Block and their 30-year-old ‘Pig and Pony’ vineyard. After fermentation, the wine matures in French barrels for 2 years before bottling.

Food Pairings:

This wine needs some meat. Steak or lamb with potatoes! A bit of char, smoke, and salt are able to live up to this wine.

Somm Hints:

Long live the screw cap! Screw cap closures may have once upon a time been associated with cheap wines but this is not the case in Australia. 99% of closures are under screw cap for an easy crack and pour! These closures ensure freshness in even the most age-worthy wines.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TILIA BONARDA, ARGENTINA

Why We Love This Wine:

Bonarda is Argentina’s second most planted black grape variety, but continues to live in the shadow of Tempranillo on the export market, and is therefore mostly consumed domestically. This is why it’s always a treat when we see it on the shelves in Canada and have a chance to taste it!

The Tilia brand seeks to create action around social sustainability in Argentina. The playful label depicts the ethos of biodiversity through sketches of bees, mountains, ocean, and all things Mother Nature. They are hoping to inspire a movement among winemakers and producers all over the world that not only creates a connection with the natural environment but the local community as well. Amen! We can totally get behind this.

The colour is deep in the glass but the flavour is lighter and brighter than you might expect. The glass is singing with notes of red cherry, strawberry, plum, violets, basil, and blueberry. Earthy, peppery, and gamey with fresh acidity.

About The Winery:

Tilia was established in 2006 in Junin, Mendoza. All the grapes are sustainably farmed and sourced from the Uco Valley, the Eastern and Central regions of Mendoza. They are the first winery in Argentina to carry the ‘Bodegas de Argentina Certified Sustainable’ seal on the label. They support the local communities with an array of programs to ensure that ‘we all thrive as one’. You can hear birds chirping in the background when you check out their website. Love it!

Food Pairing:

Asado! This is the local name for the long Argentinean tradition of the BBQ! This wine is the perfect pairing for grilled skewers, good company, and sunshine.

Somm Hints:

Serve with a slight chill. This will help to bring out the fresh acidity that pairs so nicely with all the fruit concentration.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHÂTEAU PESQUIE VENTOUX TERRASSES, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

It’s playful but serious. Fruity and earthy, with silky tannins and fresh acidity. Notes of raspberry, strawberry, blackpepper, rose petals and cracked pepper.

We love that this is an organic wine! They have been certified organic since 2007 and continue to push the sustainability envelope by also implementing biodynamic practices in the vineyard – this means that they spray the vines with compost tea, bury cow horns under the earth to naturally fertilize the soil, and make decisions based on the lunar calendar – far out!

About The Winery:

Ventoux is a famous appellation in the Southern Rhône, just below the picturesque Mont Ventoux. The mountain provides an important cooling influence in the region due to the high altitude and cool air coming down it, which adds freshness to the wines.

Château Pesquié is a third-generation family affair. This wine is a blend of Grenache and Syrah, planted on limestone-rich soils. The wine spends several months in concrete vats before aging for 6 months in neutral French barrels.

Food Pairings:

This is fantastic on its own by the fireplace. If you are looking to pair with food, go for a mushroom risotto. This is a wine that could also live up to a pork loin or lean meats.

Somm Hints:

Look for the green leaf on the back of the label to ensure that the winery is following sustainable practices in the vineyard. Supporting sustainability will help to ensure that we have fresh and delicious wines to drink in the future!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MICHAEL DAVID WINERY SIXTH SENSE SYRAH, CALIFORNIA USA

Why We Love This Wine:

The wines are just as playful as the labels. With brands like Freakshow, Earthquake, Inkblot and Sixth Sense, you can imagine that they are a pretty fun Motley Crew at Michael David Winery. While they take their farming practices and winemaking techniques seriously, they understand that wines are meant to be unpretentious and enjoyable. The grapes for this Syrah were planted in 1982 and is one of the earliest plantings of Syrah in California. This wine expresses everything we love about Syrah with notes of violets, black cherry, plum, espresso beans, licorice and blackberries. The savoury and smoky character balances the ripe fruit notes and naturally sweetness of the wine. Bold and beautiful!

About The Winery:

The founders, Michael and David Phillips are 5th generation grape growers. Their family has been farming the soils in Lodi since the 1860s and cultivating wine grapes since the early 20th century – they go way back.

Lodi sits at the northern end of the Central Valley in California. There is a flat land in the area with breaks between the North and South Coast Ranges, which means that breezes off the San Francisco Bay can travel far inland. This means added freshness is a region that is commonly associated with high alcohol and lots of fruit concentration.

Food Pairings:

This wine is calling for lamb chops! Serve with some grilled eggplant and don’t be afraid of the pepper shaker!

Somm Hints:

Often times, Syrah makes a wine that needs to lay down in your cellar for a decade, but this is a wine that is ready to drink. Give it a decant before bringing it out to the dinner table. There isn’t any sediment, but a little aeration will help to open up all the aromas and soften out the tannins. If you don’t have a decanter, toss it in a juice jug or coffee Bodum. Don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit when pouring!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE WINERY OF GOOD HOPE UNOAKED CHARDONNAY, SOUTH AFRICA

Why We Love This WINE:

The Winery of Good Hope Unoaked Chardonnay is brimming with optimism & bright ripe fruit.  Notes of fresh citrus & ripe pineapple sing from the glass.  As the name suggests, the wine has not seen any oak barrels – choosing instead to age the Chardonnay in steel to preserve the freshness and fruitiness of the wine. 

About The Winery:

Based in Stellenbosch, the Winery of Good Hope is fully accredited for environmental, ethical, and social-upliftment practices. 

Food Pairings:

Lemon Garlic Prawn Linguini. 

Somm Hints:

A wine glass with a big bowl will give this wine a chance to open up & sing!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HUMO BLANCO SAUVIGNON BLANC (EDICIÓN LIMITADA), CHILE

Why We Love This Wine:

The aromas of this Sauvignon Blanc jump out of the glass at you! Guava, yellow grapefruit and fresh green herbs. 

About The Winery:

Hailing from Bordeaux, François Lurton sought out his ideal vineyard site in Chile.  He found it near the town of Lolol in the Colchagua Valley, just 2 hours from Santiago.  Hacienda Araucano is certified Biodynamic. 

Food Pairings:

This wine is not shy & will stand up to some bright & strong flavours.  It will pair beautiful with fresh cilantro. Fish tacos with cilantro & pico de gallo. 

Somm Hints:

This is a wine that is made to be enjoyed upon release.  No need to cellar the bottle – it should be enjoyed while fresh & bright!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GUSTAVE LORENTZ PINOT BLANC ALSACE EVIDENCE, FRANCE

Why We Love This:

Pinot Blanc is a variety that does not receive enough attention!  The Alsatian expression of Pinot Blanc is delicate and floral.  The Lorentz ‘Evidence’ shows off notes of fresh pear, lemon blossom and acacia. 

About The Winery:

Established in 1836, Domaine Gustave Lorentz is a family run winery under the direction of the 7th generation.  Set in the idyllic village of Bergheim, Alsace, the domaine is committed to producing quality wines with a focus on organic viticulture. 

Food Pairings:

A secret weapon to pair alongside a notoriously difficult ingredient – eggs!  This wine will be a perfect pairing alongside a simple omelette or a vegetable frittata. 

Somm Hints:

Pinot Blanc from Alsace does have the ability to age a few years in the bottle.  A good quality Pinot Blanc can be enjoyed upon release but will also benefit from 4-6 years ageing in bottle. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MCMANIS VIOGNIER, CALIFORNIA, USA

Why We Love This:

This is a full bodied white wine with a profile of fresh fruit and flowers.  Ripe peach & apricot are the stars of the show along with

About The Winery:

The McManis Family have been farming the land for 5 generations.  They established the family winery in 1990. 

Food Pairings:

Butter Chicken – the weight of the wine will match the creamy sauce, while the ginger and spice will be complemented by the flavours in the wine. 

Somm Hints:

Viognier is a variety that packs in flavour in a full-bodied wine without the influence of oak barrels.  The weight and flavours come from the grape itself.  While some Viogniers will be aged in oak, the McManis release is a great example of what the grape can express on its own. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

January 2022

Elvio Cogno Dolcetto d’Alba ‘Mandorlo’, Piedmont Italy

Why we love this wine:

Native to Piedmont, the Dolcetto grape used to be much more prominent than it has been in recent history.  Although the name translates to “little sweet one”, the wines, while often juicy, bright and fruit driven, are predominantly dry.  It is a difficult grape to work with in the vineyard, which may be why it fell out of favour, but it can produce alluring wines that are exuberant, full, floral, fresh and perfumed.  As a result, fortunately, Dolcetto seems to be making a comeback. This charming wine is such a great example of Dolcetto’s bright personality showing grapey aromas and flavours, wildberries, bright juicy acidity and a mouth-watering, palate cleansing finish. 

About the Winery:

The Cogno family has been making wine for generations in the Piedmont region. In 1990, Elvio Cogno left a long partnership with one of the area’s long-established wineries and bought a historic 18th-century farmhouse, surrounded by steep sloped vineyards, on the top of Bricco Ravera, near the town of Novello.  Elvio passed the torch to his daughter, Nadia, and her husband, Valter Fissore, who had worked beside Elvio for 25 years. Today, co-owner and winemaker Valter oversees the production of all Elvio Cogno estate wines.  Valter and Nadia grow indigenous grape varieties with organic vineyard practices. Cogno is largely responsible for the resurgence of the Novello area and the winery consistently is among the region’s top producers.

Food Pairings:

Great with salumi, soft cheese and bbq pork ribs.

Somm Hint:

Serve slightly chilled to enhance the wine’s freshness.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Redstone Gamay Noir, Niagara Peninsula Ontario

Why we love this wine:

Bright and juicy with aromas of tart cherries, violets, cedar and baking spices with bright acidity, soft tannins and flavours of cherries, raspberries and black currant. Delightfully easy to drink, but still possesses loads of character. Gamay (the grape of Beaujolais) is one of the most underrated grape varieties growing in Canada. We all need to drink more Gamay for it’s freshness, flavour, drinkability and food versatility.

About the Winery:

In his quest to explore terroir, Moray Tawse first established his namesake winery in Vineland, ON. Then it was Marchand-Tawse and Domaine Tawse in Burgundy. And now Redstone Winery, in Beamsville, ON. Moray purchased the Lincoln Lakeshore property, formerly Thomas and Vaughan Estate Winery, in 2009, citing that it was an opportunity to explore a different terroir that he simply couldn’t pass up. Inspired by the red dust which covered everything, including his boots, the first time he strolled the vineyard, he named the new winery Redstone, for its intensely red clay soil and large stones. The 38-acre estate vineyard is farmed organically.

Food Pairings:

Great with turkey and chicken, burgers, duck or pork chops.

Somm Hint:

Chill in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes before serving to really bring out the brightness in this wine.

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc ‘Grand Selection’, Chile

Why we love this wine:

This zippy white wine has a fresh and expressive nose with notes of melon and citrus, and a fresh and lively palate. Sauvignon Blanc does quite well in Chile when planted in cooler sites to maintain the grape’s natural freshness. A small amount of Semillon is blended into the wine to add a little texture and weight.

About the Winery:

Lapostolle Wines was founded by Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet in 1994. Alexandra is a member of the renowned family that has been dedicated for several generations to the production of high-quality spirits and wines. After visiting Chile, Alexandra and Cyril not only fell in love with the Colchagua Valley, they also detected the enormous potential of the country to produce premium wines due to its exceptional geographical characteristics. In the creation of Lapostolle Wines, the family has maintained the commitment with the quality that has always characterized them…to create world class wines using the French experience and, in this case, the magnificent terroirs of Chile. Lapostolle Wines has been a pioneer in the wine industry in Chile through the production of premium wines with a focus on terroir and a strong emphasis on sustainability.

Food Pairings:

Great with all types of seafood, sushi and as an aperitif.

Somm Hint:

Serve chilled with a nice patio on a hot summer’s day (if drinking in the middle of our Canadian winter, enjoy while dreaming of being on a patio on a hot summer’s day)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Boschendal Shiraz, Cape Coast South Africa

Why we love this wine:

The grapes for this wine are from selected vineyard sites in the mountainous region of the Cape coast. The high elevation vineyards produce smaller quantities of grapes per vine, but great quality. The wine is generous, deep, ripe black fruit with pepper spice, richness and juiciness with a round, integrated fruit core and silky ripe tannins. Shows elegant freshness and length with lingering fruit on the finish.

About the Winery:

Boschendal (Dutch for bush and dale) is one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa and is located between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch in South Africa’s Western Cape. This wine farm is nestled in one of the most picturesque valleys in the Cape Winelands. With a winemaking tradition spanning over 330 years, Boschendal Wine Estate take the utmost care to find specific terroir driven sites best suited to grow their wines and prioritize sustainability across their farming and cellar practices in order to retain the country’s biodiversity.

Food Pairings:

Anything off the barbecue, particularly lamb and pork.

Somm Hint:

The wine is very approachable right out of the bottle, but it will continue to open up and develop in your glass.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nine North Hullabaloo Zinfandel, California USA

Why we love this wine:

Taking advantage of some strong grower relations, Nine North was able to source some wonderful old vine Zinfandel from several Lodi vineyards. Don’t ask them from where, as they have been sworn to secrecy; just know the same grapes go into wines that retail for three to four times the price.  They chose the classic 19th century strongman icon for their label as they thought it was fitting of the period between 1850 and 1900 (around the same time Zinfandel was planted and began to flourish in California). The strongman was not only an exhibitor of feats of strength but his main purpose was also to showcase his great size, boldness and symmetry—kind of describes old vine Zinfandel. The wine shows bright fruit and freshness, is elegant juicy, rich, intense and bold.

About the Winery:

Nine North Wine Company is a unique portfolio of small production handcrafted wines from Napa Valley, North Coast, Central Coast, California and Washington State appellations. Nine North specializes in offering exceptional quality and value. In 2009, Chris Nickolopoulos and Elijah Pfister were approached by a high-end winemaker friend who had some extra Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: could they do anything with it? Samples were sent and both were greatly impressed with the quality. Moreover, given the recession at the time, it was available for pennies on the dollar. They took it all. Desiring a fruitier character in the finished wine, they also purchased several lots of Merlot and spent two weeks experimenting with blends until they hit the sweet spot. They branded the wine Ministry of the Vinterior (MOV) and the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon was their first négociant wine. While the gents were blending Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir for their MOV line, word quickly spread among winemaking estates that there was a discreet home to be found for the glut of wine that was in the market, and hundreds of samples came their way. Concurrently, retailers seeking proprietary blends learned of their efforts and they began to fulfill requests for them. It was an excellent business model in that stellar juice was obtained for a fraction of the cost and the consumer received appellation-specific wines that over-delivered at the price point.

Food Pairings:

A great burger, steak or ribs are perfect partners.

Somm Hint:

Serve this wine at cellar temperature (16 C) to maintain its bright freshness. If served too warm, the alcohol will tend to dominate.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Antoniolo Erbaluce di Caluso, Piedmont Italy

Why we love this wine:

In a region that is best known for the Nebbiolo grape of the great red wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, comes this intriguing and delicious white wine from the hyper local Erbaluce grape. This wine features bright and light green nuances and a brilliant mouth-watering character, floral aromas, and a lovely savouriness with almond-flavoured notes on the finish. Erbaluce has the ability to age and will develop more complexity, structure and minerality with even 3 or 4 years of aging in the bottle.

About the Winery:

Antoniolo is considered by many to be one of the most important reference-point estates in Alto Piemonte (northern Piedmont). It is run by brother and sister team Alberto and Lorella Antoniolo but was established in 1948 by their grandfather Mario. In the 1950s and 60s, when many Italians were fleeing the countryside for work in Piedmont’s factories, Antoniolo was snapping up the area’s best vineyards. In 1974, Rosanna Antoniolo, Mario’s daughter and Alberto and Lorella’s mother, accepted the suggestion of Italy’s most famous wine journalist, Luigi Veronelli, and bottled single vineyard wines – something few producers were doing at the time. Today the estate has 14 hectares under vine, and brother and sister follow the strict guidelines of their pioneering mother. Fermentations are done slowly in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts. The winey produces only 4600 cases of wine annually on average.

Food Pairings:

A very versatile food wine having the ability to pair with everything from vegetable frittatas, herb risotto, fried fish and soft cheeses.

Somm Hint:

Serve slightly chilled because if too cold, the aromas and flavours will be muted.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Château Haut-Grelot Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, France

Why we love this wine:

Do you like Sauvignon Blanc? Then guess what, you will love this wine! Sauvignon blanc was born in Bordeaux and is a primary ingredient of the White Bordeaux blend. The Château Haut-Grelot Blanc is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc with 10% Semillon. The wine is floral, crisp and elegant, with subtle hints of grapefruit and lemon pith. The round palate and a lingering finish let you savour every drop.

About the Winery:

Château Haut-Grelot was established in 1920 in the village of Les Grelots by the Bonneau family. Today, the domaine comprises 58 hectares of vineyards and is run by Céline and Julien, who have been awarded the title of "Best Young Talent" in Bordeaux.

Food Pairings:

A gorgeous aperitif to drink on its own on the weekends. You can also enjoy with light pasta dishes and baked white fish with potato and asparagus.

Somm Hint:

This is a genuinely delicious white! Serve nice and cold to preserve the freshness.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tenute Orestiadi 'Zibibbo' Sicilia, Italy

Why we love this wine:

The Zibibbo, also knowns as Muscat of Alexandria, is a white grape variety member of the Muscat family. In Italy grown mainly in Sicily and its islands. Bad news for those who think of Zibibbo by associating it with sweet wine. Zibibbo is much more than that! The "dry" version is presented in the glass with floral and fruity aromas of citrus fruit, peach, and yellow melon. On the palate, it’s fresh and elegant, sapid and harmonious.

About the Winery:

Tenute Orestiadi is the name of a very young and dynamic Sicilian winery, born a few years ago from the efforts of many vinegrowers in the area of Gibellina and the Orestiadi Foundation. The production philosophy of Tenute Orestiadi is aimed at the production of modern Sicilian wines closely linked to the territory and to the Sicilian oenological tradition.

Food Pairings:

Great seafood wine from sushi to pasta with Mediterranean sardine (or anchovy) with lemon and capers.

Somm Hint:

Look for “Passito di Pantelleria” for the distinct style of sweet white wine made from Zibibbo.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris, Alsace, France

Why we love this wine:

An exceptional Pinot Gris from a celebrated Alsatian winery! Grapes come from a variety of Zind-Humbrecht's estate vineyards surrounding the winery located in the village of Turkheim. Ideal full sun exposure ensures that these wines are ripe, opulent and fruit-driven. Fermented to near dryness, this Pinot Gris exhibits intoxicating aromas of honey apples, citrus blossoms, and nectarines. The palate is powerful and dense with a sapid fresh acidity.

About the Winery:

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht is managed by Master of Wine, Olivier Humbrecht. The Humbrechts have been growing grapes in this part of Alsace since 1620. Today Olivier farms 40 hectares of vineyards, which are spread across 5 villages. During his tenure, Olivier has brought the winery to the next level by renovating the cellar and converting the vineyards to biodynamic farming.

Food Pairings:

A perfect wine for french inspired weekend brunch like quiche lorraine and ham and Gruyere cheese crepe.

Somm Hint:

A perfect wine for french inspired weekend brunch like quiche lorraine and ham and Gruyere cheese crepe.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Keint-he 'Vacay' Chardonnay, Niagara, Ontario

Why we love this wine:

Missing the sunshine? We’ve got you covered. This vacation in a bottle shows aromas of ripe TROPICAL fruits, including honeydew and pineapple. The mouth exhibits a dense texture, with flavours of pineapple and lychee. Low acids complemented with a baking spice finish make this wine an approachable crowd pleaser.

About the Winery:

Keint-he is a boutique winery focusing on varietals that are typically grown in Burgundy. Centrally located in Prince Edward County’s wine region, Keint-he produces domestic wines exhibit European minerality and acidity. The result is award-winning, terroir-based wines that reflect the standard for quality and the region’s character in which they were produced from either the County or Niagara.

Food Pairings:

A good match for most summery foods flavoured with tropical fruit. Grilled pork loin, scallops, and Thai Red Curry.

Somm Hint:

This Chardonnay is ‘no fuss, no muss’ in that you can enjoy any day and time, just like when you are on vacation.

 

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quinta do Vallado 'Prima' Moscatel, Douro, Portugal

Why we love this wine:

 This unique white differs from other typical Moscatel wines due to its dryness. The grapes come from three different vineyards – one parcel with more than 50 years old vines. The juice goes through a slow fermentation process with skin contact. The result is a fruity wine with ripe citrus and tropical fruits notes as lychees and mango. The wine is dry, rich with intense fruit fragrances.

About the Winery:

Quinta do Vallado, established in 1716, is one of Douro Valley’s oldest and most famous estates. It is located on the banks of the Corgo River, a tributary of the Douro River, right next to its mouth and close to the town of Peso da Régua. It belonged to the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira and remains in the hands of her descendants.

Food Pairings:

Excellent with any Asian cuisine, Japanese, Chinese, Thai and even with spicy Korean food.

Somm Hint:

Recommended best served well chilled.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chiesa Carlo Roero Arneis, Piedmont, Italy

Why we love this wine:

When we think of wine from Italy’s Piedmont region, we usually think Nebbiolo, but there is a white wine that should be on everyone’s radar, and that is Arneis. This 100% Arneis wine is hand-harvested from high-density plantings, fermented low and slow to preserve its fresh acidity. On the nose, there are notes of white flowers and dried herbs. It is dry, crisp and refreshing on the palate, offering green pear, apple, white peach and honey notes with a citrusy, mineral core and hints of almond.

About the Winery:

Chiesa Carlo is little known but has a long history, and they make fantastic wines. Founded in the mid-1700s in the sun-drenched hills of the Roero, Chiesa Carlo is a prestigious family business that spans over five generations. They’ve always practiced organic farming throughout this long time – no chemicals have ever been used. All vineyard work, including the harvest, is done by hand. Their wines stand out for their lack of intervention and manipulation, which shows in the production of their celebrated Roero wines like the Roero Arneis D.O.C.G.

Food Pairings:

Food pairing is a treat with Arneis, ranging from simple antipasto (marinated olives, seafood) to mussels and grilled sea bass.

Somm Hint:

Take out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving. Leave off ice.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tempore 'Generacion 73' Garnacha, Aragón, Spain

Why we love this wine:

Garnacha, or Grenache in French, in its purest form! On the organically certified vineyards at an altitude of 550 m above sea level, pure Garnacha is grown for the Generación 73. There are rich high-intensity aromas of blackberries, vanilla and sweet caramel and floral notes such as violet. This full-bodied wine has dense ripe berry fruit balanced with integrated tannin and a light taste of the toasted oak.

About the Winery:

The Yago Aznar family belongs to this region of Lécera in Aragón, attuned to the extreme climate and challenging landscape with a shared passion for wine-making spanning four generations of viticulturists. Today the 70 hectare estate is run by siblings Paula and Víctor Yago Aznar and their organically certified operation is predicated on the principle of 'Tempore' or time, or more precisely 'seedtime', leaving the vines to express themselves free of intervention and with the utmost respect for the land.

Food Pairings:

Don’t overthink this one. Steak and Potatoes, grilled lamb, roasted portobello mushrooms, and aged hard cheeses.

Somm Hint:

Pour into your largest glass. This is a smooth operator!

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Folly of the Beast Central Coast Pinot Noir, California

Why we love this wine:

Folly of the Beast is the result of a winemaker’s quest to make good and approachable Pinot Noir. The 2019 Folly of the Beast Pinot Noir begins with a pleasing, classic Pinot aroma of cranberry, black cherry, spice and a little wet earth. This medium-bodied wine has a fruity ripe berry beginning giving way to the hints of the toasted oak. Sweet spice notes lead into the very long, dry finish.

About the Winery:

Folly of the Beast wine is made by Winc. Winc’s story began in 2012 under another name: Club W. Club W was the world’s first personalized wine club. It made the process of discovering and buying wine easier than ever; eventually, this club expanded to other facets of the wine experience. Winc Wine Company opts for small-lot winemaking techniques and philosophies, favouring quality over quantity. It strives to showcase the best that every region, varietal and style has to offer, at the best value possible.

Food Pairings:

Ideal with roasted poultry or a mushroom risotto with parmesan cheese.

Somm Hint:

If you have the proper stemware, bring out the burgundy glasses to accentuate the wine’s aromas

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Renner Rennersistas Zweigelt, Brugenland, Austria

Why we love this wine:

A Wine that is stepping up the game for Austria's most planted red variety. Too often, Zweigelt can produce distinctly average red wines, but here it shows its true colours. Intense aromas of ripe black fruits, minerals, licorice, and the slightest hint of bergamot. The palate is mineral, complex and juicy. There’s loads of concentration, but also loads of acidity – it’s lively and harmonious, but with real depth, brings this red to the next level!.

About the Winery:

Started by sisters, Susanne and Stefanie Renner, Rennersistas have been certified organic since 2012. They have been attracting international attention and recognition within the natural wine community for their stunning natural wines. Currently, they farm 13 hectares of land with a lot of care.

Food Pairings:

Zweigelt is one of those rare reds that pair well with fish, particularly shellfish. Try pairing it with fish cooked in wine or tomato-based sauce to really bring out the flavors! Poultry and Zweigelt also go very well together.

Somm Hint:

The first sip packs a bit of a punch, so definitely give it a minute and then try your second and third sips to get settled.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ca' del Monte Ripasso Classico Superiore, Italy

Why we love this wine:

This complex Ripasso shows a pure red and black-cherry bouquet with notes of herbs and violet. Even though there is a great depth of flavour and concentration, the wine is silky and surprisingly elegant and finishes with plump fruit and well-integrated spicy/oak flavours.

About the Winery:

Ca del Monte is situated on the hillsides overlooking the village of Negrar, in the heart of Valpolicella. The original building of the estate is a 17th-century mansion built on an ancient monastery. Producing wines here for six generations, the two brothers Umberto and Giuseppe Zaconte oversee all production steps of their Amarones and Valpolicella wines. All of the farming is done traditionally and non-certified organic.

Food Pairings:

Pair this rich wine with game meats, roast chicken, wood oven pizza and pasta with full flavoured sauces. ​It is also amazing when served with aged cheeses.

Somm Hint:

Ripasso was created to impart more complexity to Valpolicella by using the leftover dried grapes skins of Amarone to infuse the wine with more complexity. Thus, Ripasso, meaning “re-pass,” or “go over again,” a process that proved so successful it was given its own DOC in 2007.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy

Why we love this wine:

Classic Chianti in every way! Calcinaia's Chianti Classico is very aromatic and savoury, with bright red fruit and hints of roses, violets and dried herbs. It is supple and dry on the palate, with round fruit flavours, refreshing acidity, and well-integrated tannins. The balance is excellent with a long finish.

About the Winery:

Villa Calcinaia is situated in the centre of Chianti Classico near the town of Greve-in-Chianti. This historic estate has been home to the Counts Capponi since 1524 and is maintained by Sebastiano Capponi and his brother Niccolo. In 1992, Count Sebastiano Capponi became the first in the history of the family to manage the winery personally, giving a new life to the vineyards and the cellar.

Food Pairings:

It pairs terrifically with rich pieces of meat: from cured meat boards to the regional classic bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-bone steak).

Somm Hint:

Definitely decant as you might find some sediment (which is harmless) in the bottle.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stephane Aviron Chénas, Beaujolais, France

Why we love this wine:

If you love elegant Pinot Noir, you will love this! Made from pre-phylloxera vines averaging 100+ years old, this lovely Gamay is from the village of Chenas. The old vines, poor soils and biodynamic farming combine for incredibly low yields and highly concentrated grapes. Deep, ripe aromas of black cherry with a hint of black pepper and laurel. Very good weight; fleshy and round, very soft and harmonious.

About the Winery:

Stéphane Aviron can be considered a pioneer in his approach to winemaking in Beaujolais, however, he would just tell you that he’s simply returning to the traditional practices that have always made fantastic Gamay wines. Sustainable viticulture, extremely old vines and classic Burgundian techniques. Authenticity and a distinctly Beaujolais style of winemaking are what sets Stéphane apart from the rest.

Food Pairings:

Subtly flavored, simply seasoned poultry and pork dishes

Somm Hint:

“Vieilles Vignes” indicates old vines, which produce less fruit, so the wines are more concentrated and flavourful!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

D.V. Catena 'Tinto Historico' Mendoza, Argentina

Why we love this wine:

DV Catena Historic Red Blend is made in honour of Don Domingo Catena and his legendary abilities as a Master of the Assemblage. This big and bold red blend is composed of elegant Malbec from the high altitude Uco Valley, Bonarda, which adds red fruit character, and spicy Petit Verdot, which adds complexity and structure. Luscious cassis, black plums and ripe cherries define the nose. The palate is well structured with intense dark fruit flavours and a spicy finish with hints of black pepper and coffee.

About the Winery:

The Catenas are easily Argentina’s most respected winemaking family. Today the estate is in the hands of the fourth generation, represented by Laura Catena. Over the past 20 years, Laura and her father Nicolás Catena Zapata have worked tirelessly to discover, identify, and develop key microclimates in Mendoza, Argentina’s high-altitude wine country.

Food Pairings:

We’re dreaming of roasted prime rib or lamb chops on a cold snowy night.

Somm Hint:

This wine can be decanted if you’d like or enjoyed immediately. Serve this wine in a larger & taller wine glass.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bodegas La Senda 'Vinedemiatrix' Bierzo, Spain

Why we love this wine:

D.O. Bierzo, located in the northwest province of León, is known for its Mencía-based wines with plenty of fruit and spice characters and an essential stop for travellers who walk the Camino de Santiago. The grapes are sourced from 7 old-vine parcels in which red and white grapes are inter-planted, so Diego co-ferments the different native grape varieties, as was done in the past. In this case, the blend is 80% Mencía, 10% Palomino and 10% Doña Blanca. This is a refreshing, engaging, powerful, crystalline wine with amazing red fruit intensity and woven earth, smoke, and spice flavours.

About the Winery:

Diego Losada is a Bierzo native who, after working at a couple bigger wineries, struck out on his own with his project La Senda (meaning “the path” or “the way”) in 2013. He looks for bush vine vineyards that are not easily accessible by road and planted on hard and stony soils since they are less likely to be exposed to chemical treatments. He works organically and produces some of the most revolutionary Bierzo wines that we have encountered.

Food Pairings:

Bierzo works very well with bbq, especially lean meats such as Sirloin steak or flank steak. Due to its spiced character, the pairing becomes even better if you use herbaceous sauces like a Chimichurri.

Somm Hint:

Mencía (“Men-thee-ah”) is only grows in Spain and Portugal on the Iberian peninsula. If you love Pinot Noir then Mencía is something worth investigating!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wild Goose Riesling, Okanagan Valley, BC

Why we love this wine:

Wild Goose has an excellent reputation for its aromatic white. This fruit-forward Riesling comes from Estate grown grapes, including the 32-year-old Wild Goose Vineyards and the 10-year-old Secrest Vineyards. Subtlely floral and honeyed with ripe stone fruit, apricot and peach aromas. The palate is surprisingly dry, delicate yet flavourful, with very good length.

About the Winery:

Early in 1983, Adolf Kruger purchased land east of Okanagan Falls. He immediately secured a contract to sell the grapes to Mission Hill Winery. After 7 years, he opened Wild Goose Winery as the seventeenth winery in BC. Over time, it has established itself as one of the premium small producers of VQA wines.

Food Pairings:

Amazing with Asian cuisine (especially seafood), pork tenderloin, grilled radicchio, avocado and mango salads.

Somm Hint:

Recommended best served well chilled.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lake Sonoma Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California

Why we love this wine:

Full, plush, round yet bright chardonnay from Russian River Valley. The cooler Russian River Valley has imparted some fresh acidity with ripe flavours of peach and apricot and some orange blossom notes. It is medium-full bodied, almost creamy in texture with quality oak spice—well-balanced, beautiful chardonnay with very good length.

About the Winery:

Stewart Family Estates is one of the rare Canadian wine companies to have ventured abroad, in this case to Sonoma. Lake Sonoma Winery produces wines exclusively from esteemed vineyards of Sonoma County, a wine-growing region home to some of the most diverse terroirs and micro-climates in the world. With Sonoma directly on their estate name, they take great pride in their region and the quality of grapes planted, grown and bottled to be poured into your glass.

Food Pairings:

A lovely pairing for a rich winter meal… roasted meats and seafood with rich sauces and your favourite vegetable dishes. The wine has enough body and fresh acidity to work with rich meal.

Somm Hint:

This Chardonnay is ‘no fuss, no muss’ in that you can enjoy any day and time.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dona Matilde Douro Branco, Portugal

Why we love this wine:

Portugal has always been at the forefront of producing wines that are high quality with a long history of winemaking. The white Dona Matilde wine is produced from the grape varieties Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio and Rabigato. It is a wine with an intense citrus aroma, with tropical notes of passion fruit, mango and hints of anise. The palate is fresh, clean, ripe and creamy. This is a wine with fine purity of fruit that you would enjoy whatever your mood is.

About the Winery:

Dona Matilde is a family-owned estate located on the banks of the River Douro. Dona Matilde, formerly known as Enxodreiro, is among the oldest and most famous properties in the Douro. In the 18th century, the estate was already part of the vinhas de feitoria– the small set of properties within the first wine demarcation of origin in the world by the Marquis of Pombal. Even today, the vineyards have the highest rating in the region, used in the Port wine sector.

Food Pairings:

An excellent wine to start sipping while you are cooking! Any light dishes, a salad with your favourite vinaigrette dressing and/or perhaps some seafood - grilled, raw, or steamed!

Somm Hint:

Recommended best served well chilled.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

La Comarcal Delmoro Blanco, Valencia, Spain

Why we love this wine:

Delmoro Blanco comes from vineyards near the village of Venta del Moro, just west of Valencia, a blend of young and old vines from the indigenous Merseguera and old-vine Chardonnay. The nose is full of citrus, orange peel with hints of green olives. The palate is crisp, refreshing easy-drinking to savour!

About the Winery:

La Comarcal is a boutique wine project created by rising-winemaker, Javi Revert and Victor Marqués. Meaning “the District”, the project was founded in 2017 in the mountainous village of Venta del Moro. The aspirations of Javi and Victor were to create youthful wines made from organically grown native Valencian grape varieties harvested from high elevation sites.

Food Pairings:

An easy drinking white wine that lends itself well to shellfish. Drink this white blend with a linguini vongole or garlic butter shrimp pasta.

Somm Hint:

Do not serve too cold. Remove from the fridge 10min before opening. It will help to release the flavours and aromas.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------