Mustaches rock. Getting your prostate checked out, not so much. Raising funds and awareness for men’s health while drinking a glass of wine? Good combo.
Last year 854,288 men worldwide registered to grow moustaches, raising a staggering $125.7 million CAD to change the face of men’s health. The Movember Wine Company out of Walla Walla, Washington is doing their part in supporting Movember by donating a portion of the sales to prostate cancer research.
Whether you are a participant, a supporter or just someone looking for a good bottle of wine this weekend, here are five current releases to sidle up alongside the stash.
The grape: Pinot Gris
The history: In a Skyfall Euro-world, nobody does it better than Alsace
The lowdown: The vineyard sounds like a law firm or a duet but this Grand Cru PG is the stuff of legend
The food match: Portuguese Picadinho, pork bits and shrimp
Dopff & Irion Vorbourg Pinot Gris 2009 (292227, $17.95) is most unusual in its viscous, Loire-like, demi-sec residual Chenin Blanc grain, verging on Spätlese. The candied palate is widened by blossoms and minerals with a spice kick coming in on the back bite. Kickin’ PG worthy of a perennial visit through 2018. 90
The Grape: Albariño
The history: You say Alvarinho, here I say Albariño, the Galician name
The lowdown: From Rias Baixas in northwest Spain, versatility thy name is Albariño
The food match: Roast Black Cod, salsa verde, olive tapenade
Pazo Pondal Leira Albariño 2011 (115816, $15.95) may sport the hue of Cava and indicate bubbles spinning around like a frotteur but its “gotta have no illusions” about itself. A hint of seltzer in a sparkling, platinum hue swirls to honey and paraffin. Acts and looks sharp yet remains in balance. 90
The grapes: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot
The history: H of P is named for Henry Smith of Pelham’s nom de plume
The lowdown: Hard to imagine Mr. Speck Sr. putting together this kitchen sink red blend but good on the brothers for getting this one right
The food match: Du Puy Lentil Soup, porcini mushroom, speck
Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2010 (247882, $18.95) shows good concentration befitting the poker-faced vintage. Vanilla, cocoa and currants mingle in their oak bath in graceful continuance. Well-made Short Hills Bench brew. 88
The grape: Pinot Noir
The history: Pierre Lafond is a pioneer grower in the Santa Rita Hills viticulture area
The lowdown: Proletariat Pinot of efficiency and loyalty with a price tag that has remained fixed for a decade
The food match: Smoked Duck Tacos, pickled vegetables, bbq hoisin
Lafond SRH Pinot Noir 2010 (998666, $26.95) ain’t no “jive turkey so close to Thanksgiving.” There is a jam factor but don’t be thinking it’s trading places for Shiraz. The sweet and tart berry red fondant fruit shows smoke, ash tea and spiced, plum pudding. Duck, duck, goose. 88
The grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault
The history: Michel Lucien is a rock-solid citizen, offering up the best of the Rhône to the world
The lowdown: The best deal in CdP, bar none
The food match: Crispy Duck Confit, trumpet mushrooms, savory pesto
Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010 (700922, $53.95, SAQ 10817461, $50.50) will dare you to claim any better value from the storied appellation. “Da price boss, da price!” Like I’ve landed on Fantasy Island where Châteauneuf is flowing and it’s always affordable! Kirsch galore, a Rhône cat, sensuous and gorgeous. Goldfinger garrigue, with herbs and acidity so alive and purring. Approachable now, the heavenly structure will see the Donjon through 2025. 94
Good to go!