May Wine Selection


May already!  Val & Anthony are safely in Spain now, and soon enough they will be leading their tours in Tuscany and Crete.  With them away I’m jumping on the opportunity to share some really cool wines I’ve been sitting on for a while.  I’m still on a Loire Valley kick with some great inexpensive wines for you, and those bottles have made room for a couple high end treats.  Lastly, this months Wine Workshop will be on Friday the 31st, covering Body & Old vs New world styles.


La Marinière

Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie

Something about this simple label grabbed me right away.  The simple blue lines, red cursive font, and sur lie embossing instantly transported me to a sun bleached cafe on the French west coast, with a plate of oysters in front of me.  It just so happens that this imaged conjured up is exactly the setting for this crisp white.  Sur Lie marks this wine as having spent the winter aging on its yeast, lending some texture to the body. Lemon, lime, chalk, and green olive notes get the mouth watering, while the finish ends with a clean finality that makes this perfect for having with any kind of appetizer in the mid-day sun.

Oysters and French cafe sold separately.




Most roses’ show a bouquet of strawberry and rose petal, and while they are delicious, sometimes it’s nice to change that up.  Enter the Cabernet Franc Rosé.  These bring many of the flavours of the red wine, tart cherry, cranberry, and a whiff herbal notes to the easy drinking style of rosé.  There is a hint of sweetness to this, but it is balanced out by crisp acidity and finishes with a dry sensation.


Les Brémailles


A Gamay from the Loire?  Yes!  While mainly found in Beaujolais, this grape is by no means restricted to the region.  Beyond that, there’s not a lot to say about this one, it’s super easy going, with a fresh fruity nose that pulls you into the glass.  Some white pepper lingers in there but otherwise it’s just a totally chilled out summertime red - you could even serve it slightly chilled!




When I sat down with Andres from Vinolution he started to get into his pitch for the Pecorino grape, telling me about the how it got the name from sheep eating the grapes, comparing it to chardonnay and viognier, while being distinctly different too, and so on.  I let him go for a while because I could feel his excitement for it, but eventually I had to stop him with a smile and let him know that we’ve been championing the pecorino grape for some time here.  After that we were able to share the excitement together over a glass.  It’s not often that I drop “badass” in the notes I take when tasting a wine, but this one got it.  Rich, complex, long, this wine has got it going on.  Overripe pear comes in strong, but it leaves room for other flavours like baking spice and honeysuckle.  Tombacco presents this simply, with a single label on the bottle that has been largely unchanged since 1919, opting to let the liquid speak for itself, which it does.



Cabernet Sauvignon

Today is the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby!  Megahertz is named after owner Michael Bello’s champion racehorse, and while she never competed in the Kentucky Derby, it still seemed like a fitting enough story for this month’s wine club.  This Cab starts with bright, ripe dark fruit, held up by a firm acidity.  The Californian expression of oak is here with vanilla, cedar, and smoke.  The twist comes in on the finish, showing earthy dark chocolate and espresso notes.  I’m a bit picky when it comes to American Cabernet Sauvignon, the acidity and earthy finish of this one took the drinkability to the next level for me.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Chateau de Montifaud

Vieux Pineau de Charentes Rouge

Wait, what the heck is Pineau des Charentes?  Well like Penicillin and the slinky, it was created by an accident!  The story goes that a winemaker added grape must to a barrel thought to be empty, when in fact it held a small amount of unaged brandy known as Eau-de-vie.  That barrel went into the cellar and was forgotten.  A couple years later it was retrieved and it was discovered that the liquid had taken on its own flavour, different from wine or cognac, but delicious nonetheless!  This “old” Pineau des Charentes is a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot must, showing many of the clear characteristics of those grapes like black currant and cherry, while extended oak aging gives some baking spice and chocolate notes, finally the Eau-de-vie gives some dried fruit qualities.  Ultimately the result is a complex, sweet, and somewhat boozy drink at 17% alcohol.  


The way to drink this is either on ice as an apertif, or after dinner with a selection of strong cheeses.  The bottle can be kept in the fridge for a couple months after opening so you’ll have time to try it both ways!  Pineau can also be used as a sweet ingredient in many cocktails!  I am eager to try it in place of sweet vermouth in a Manhattan!


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