Planning a weekly wine schedule
My wife like to plans her meals on a weekly basis. It’s a good thing, because it saves you time and gives you a sense of structure for your weekdays. Why not do the same thing with wine? I proposed this idea to my wife last weekend and she looked at me quite perplexed. She argued with me, that it was not the same thing since I could just pull something from my cellar according to my fancy. Actually, it is kind of the same situation because how to plan your wine drinking can save as much time as your weekly cooking. You will spend less time at the SAQ and by having a wine program, it’s is a good system to learn about wine.
A matter of common sense, your wines should match the season and the dinners that you are cooking. Also, for the weekday, you should spend between $10-$25 for your bottles leaving the pricier bottles for the weekend.
Here is a sampler wine program with suggested meals for you week. Enjoy!
Monday: Start your Monday with a black bean and beef chili with a hearty southern rhone blend. Regular readers of this column know of my fondness for the region. A magnificent wine to have is the Lirac 2015 by Chateau Mont Redon ( SAQ # 11293970, $24.75). Perfumed and expressive with a pronounced complexity. Red currants, garrigue, gauloise tobacco with mint. Fresh and elegant with ripe and round tannins it will elevate the cumin and cocoa notes of your chili.
Tuesday: How about a baked cod casserole?. With everything prepare in advance, arrive home and put your dish in a preheated oven. Enjoy it with a Catena Zapata Chardonnay 2016. ( SAQ #00865279, $20-LCBO # 918805) A steely and structured Argentinian chardonnay with ripe tropical fruit aromas, buttery palate and neo classical style. This wine has enough flesh to handle the creamy and pungent flavours of the dish.
Wednesday: Take an incursion in Bordeaux with the Marquis de Bordeaux 2015 ( SAQ #13364807, $18.65). A dominant blend of Merlot ( 65%) and Cabernet Franc ( 35%) will be outstanding with pulled pork quesadillas. A brooding mix of red and black fruit flavours, plush palate with firm and grippy tannins. Rich enough to handle the smoky bbq and pronounced cheese flavours of the quesadillas.
Thursday. One of my all time Asian style dishes is a chicken and cashew nut stir fry. In the future this dish should be wonderful with a Canadian Riesling. I recently tasted the 1765 Cave Spring Cellars Riesling 2015 ( SAQ # 10745532, $18.45-LCBO # 10745532, $15.95)This Riesling show pretty aromas of lime jelly,stone flint with a pronounced floral side. On the mouth, fleshy with a zesty acidity and pronounced floral side and a passion fruit aftertaste.
Washington state wines.
La Grande Dégustation of Montreal is coming very soon just in 4 weeks. Two major themes of this year edition will be Washington state wines and Rieslings. At la grande dégustation, which will take place on the coming 3rd and 4th of November, you will able to meet 180 producers and taste more than 800 products both available at the SAQ and in private import.
Washington is an important winegrowing state that’s is getting momentum for its high-quality reds and whites, Washington trails California in production numbers but is less popular than Oregon. Slowly but surely, this is beginning to change as Washington’s wines continue to get praise from wine lovers alike. Producers draw inspiration from the Napa Valley, Bordeaux, and the Rhône.
In the latest press tasting of the AQAVBS, as a preview for La Grande Dégustation in Montreal, I had a chance to taste some of the products available for the Quebec Market. Here are my top picks:
In the appellation Walla Walla, L’Ecole No.41 was created in 1983 by Jean and Baker Ferguson and is now run by their daughter and son-in-law, Megan and Marty Clubb. The schoolhouse after which the winery was named was constructed in 1915 in Frenchtown, a tiny community just west of Walla Walla whose derives from the numerous French-Canadians who settled there in the early 1800’s and planted the original vineyards. The French name of the winery is in homage of their efforts (the number 41 is the number of the precinct to which the school once belonged).
Chenin Blanc 2015 SAQ # 11416950 $27.60
On the nose delicious notes of passionfruit and white grapefruit with soft herbaceous undertones. On the palate, rich with round edges, medium acidity and well balanced. Pairing nice with a well seasoned salmon tartar.
Frenchtown Merlot Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon Mourvedre 2014 SAQ # 13234210 $30.25
Powerful nose reminiscent of tobacco leaf, dark cherry with cola and gunpowder. On the palate, full body with an enveloping mouth and ripe tannins. Good balance between acidity and power. This could be a good candidate for braised beef short ribs.
Syrah 2014 SAQ # 10709030 $41.00
A sanguine and earthy nose reminiscent of smoke, red meat, black pepper and lavender. On the mouth sweet tasting, ripe tannins with dark black fruit, cocoa and aromatic fine herbs. Very long finale. Excellent choice with braised lamb shanks.
Ste Michelle Wine Estates
Ste Michelle wine estates is the third largest luxury wine company in the U.S. Headquartered just outside of Seattle, Washington, they have a track record going back to 1934. Wines under the Ste. Michelle label were first introduced in 1967, and since that time the company has expanded its vineyard holdings to more than 3,700 acres in both Washington and California. These are good introductory wines to experience the Washington wine style.
Ste Michelle Wine Estates Chardonnay 2016 SAQ # 11416116 $19.55
Very aromatic with coconut, pineapple and other tropical fruit aromas. Dry and quite tight with a palate dominated by wood aromas. An aftertaste that bring to mind citrus fruits such as lime. Pairing it well with grilled pork or veal chop.
Ste Michelle Wine Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 SAQ # 11882221 $19.55
Classic cabernet character. Well seasoned aromas of prunes, cassis, bell pepper. On the palate, full body, quite extracted with muscular tannins, generous acidity and a ravishing finale. A wine like this needs a thick T-Bone steak.
Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2014 SAQ # 10293169 $43.60
Osoyoos Larose is owned by Groupe Taillan, a french company that owns many Chateaux including Chateau Gruaud-Larose of St. Julien. Larose is located 80-acre bench overlooking Lake Osoyoos in the South Okanagan, British Columbia.
Osoyoos is located in Canada only desert. The climate here is influenced by the Coast Mountain Range that protects the region from the Pacific weather systems. The end game is a special microclimate which is arid with clement temperatures
Vintage after after, this Canadian Bordeaux blend delivers consistent results. The grand vin is usually barrel aged for 18-20 months on bottle and a further 6 months in bottle On the nose marvellous aromas of dark chocolate, espresso with blackberries and red morello cherries. Beautiful palate with a silky and elegant texture. Structured and balanced with a good acidity and well endowed tannins. Hard to resist drinking it now but will age for a decade or two. Enjoy it with Tournedos Rossini style.