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scotts wine blog

Vermentino

Vermentino

Branu Vermentino di Gallura

Vur-Men-Teeno

Well, this may be the new “it” grape folks”. There has been a buzz about this Mediterranean variety for some time but I have not been successful in finding a sample that lived up to the advance hype until now. Branu comes from Gallura a northern province of Sardinia. Gallura is also renowned for its cork production so you are not going to find a screwcap on these bottles. It is a lovely white on the light side-recalling flavours of pears, peaches, lime, and citrus with a clean mineral finish. This floral white with a hint of roasted almonds is most similar to Sauvignon Blanc and surprisingly tastes a lot like a gin and tonic. In France (where as Steve Martin once said “they have a different word for everything”) Vermentino is called Rolle. Rolle is an important component of many of the best Rose wines in the south of France. Vermentino does not deliver a blockbuster kind of experience but for me the wine tastes like where it comes from-a crisp lively white from close to the sea. And not surprisingly it pairs best with fresh seafood. Vintages at the LCBO # 455246   $21.95.

Riesling in Winter

 

So last week I picked up a bottle of Riesling from Alsace in Northern France.

It was from a good house (Willm)-no relation and it was on special for less than $15.

Riesling is made in a wide gamut of styles –from excruciatingly sweet (Ice Wine) to bone dry (Alsace).In the middle, you will find off-dry fruity incarnations most famously represented by wines made along the Rhine and Moselle rivers in Germany.

Many of us in our university days kicked off our wine drinking history with accessible sweetish wines such as Black Tower and Liebfraumilch

Niagara has some great Rieslings as well. Here at Fellini's we carry a terrific off-dry version from Angel’s Gate. Niagara’s Cave Spring Cellars makes a superb “Alsatian style” version called Dolomite. These wines have a full bodied viscosity similar to a barrel-aged cool climate chardonnay. There is a pear and petrol perfume on the nose which is strangely intoxicating.

Alsatian Riesling pairs nicely with the regions’ most iconic dish-Choucroute Garnie. Over the centuries Alsace was off and on a part of Germany and this dish (composed of various sausages, potatoes and rich juicy cuts of pork on a bed of sauerkraut) has strong German roots. Here’s a delicious shortcut version of how to make it!

 

http://www.presidentschoice.ca/en_CA/videos/videolisting/choucroute-garnie.html