Wine and food captures most of my imagination and this space is in tune with that straight and narrow path. Diversions are always present, but rarely of Pinterest. This past weekend I came across something new in beer. Not so much in terms of brand or flavour, but in closure. Molson Coors has launched a wide mouth can with a resealable screw cap closure. I am certainly not a behemoth beer company advocate but I do applaud the innovation.
Related story: ‘Beerology’: Mirella Amato’s exploration of beer
Three beers are being bottled, well canned, in this fashion. Coors Light, Molson Canadian and Coors Light Iced T. Coors Light in a can, well, that’s res ipsa loquitur. The MC absolutely resembles its Don Cherry self. The Iced T is quite refreshing, on the acrostic poetry, feminine side of beer and quite frankly, I don’t mind it at all.
The can and closure are the rub. Nothing new here, this beer in a can thing, but they get iced cold faster and hold that cold better than bottles. No light transfer means no skunk, so there is a reduction in spoilage. And while the larger opening certainly means you can drink more and faster, the resealable option means nothing can crawl inside between sips. The light weight can also floats so they are perfect for camping and the cottage dock.
If you want to read more about the new line, check this out and this.
OK. Enough about suds. On to the main event.
The grape: Priero Picudo
The history: Rosé from the Tierra de Léon in the south of Spain
The lowdown: Don’t be frightened by the Dayglo colour. This pinky is perfect for hot weather
The food match: Fluke or Medium-rare Tuna Tacos with Pico de Gallo Salsa
Pardevalles Prieto Picudo Rosado 2011 (274449, $12.95) of huge hue is a veritable candy shoppe of licorice, gum drop, strawberry Lola and Kool-Aid. Funky cheese, currant jam and bracing acidity combine for an odd yet invigorating IVR*, Rosé experience. 87
The grape: Chenin Blanc
The history: Loire varietal has become the signature white of South Africa
The lowdown: MAN Vintners out of Paarl employs the original name “Tormentoso,” meaning storm, for the Cape of Good Hope
The food match: Paad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp
Tormentoso Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2011 (278366, $14.95) is outright Victorian where revivalist Gothic meets modern steel. A dark and stormy cocktail of flint, mineral, Paarl granite and Chakalaka. Tomato leaf, fried-green tomato and dusty chalk round out this perfect tempest of purple prose. Fomenting and fascinating Chenin. 88
The grape: Moscato D’asti
The history: Italian Muscat from Asti, a northwestern province in Piedmont
The lowdown: Very low in alcohol with a slight effervescence. Ideal served well-chilled on a hot summer’s day
The food match: Grilled Chicken Breast with goat cheese and grilled peaches
Dezzani Morelli Moscato D’asti 2010 (187997, $14.95) with its sacchariferous, honey spritz glides quickly past grapefruit and into everything orange. Fresh squeezed juice, rubbed blossom, pith and rind. Light, refreshing and altogether satisfying quencher. 88
The grape: Sangiovese Grosso
The history: Younger sibling to Brunello, meant for early consumption
The lowdown: Esteemed producer and the lowest possible price for a Rosso. Much better choice than the $18 Vino Nobile by Casetllani in neighbouring Montepulciano, the sample of which happened to be corked anyway
The food match: Fresh Tagliatelle with Wild Boar Ragu
La Velona Rosso Di Montalcino 2009 (285429, $17.95) of medium girth is sturdy, taut, spot on. Tar, rose petal and cherry stand out. “My little pretty one” has got the knack just like good Brunello for bringing me back to Montalcino’s intoxicating reds, again and again. My Velona. 89
The grapes: Muscat, Perle of Csaba
The history: As in Moscato D’asti from Piedmont mixed with a smaller amount of the Hungarian Vinifera derived grape
The lowdown: Nova Scotian sparkling wine made in the traditional Champagne style and at a remarkably low 6.5 % alcohol by volume
The food match: Salmon Tartare, salmon roe, crème fraîche and homemade crackerbread
Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 2011 (256289, $25.95) the sweet-smelling starlet is seductive and wholly unique to the world of bubbles. The aleatory contract between unknown sparkling wine and imbiber turns to stone after just one sip. Causes me to react with a start and a coup d’oeuil. I have been here before; in Champagne, in Moscato D’asti. “Here’s a little agit for the never-believer.” In Nova Scotia they can put a man on the moon. They can make great, if unusual sparkling wine. 89
The grape: Nebbiolo
The history: Royal red grape of Piedmont
The lowdown: The cheapest Barolo at VINTAGES since the 1990’s seems too good to be true. That’s because it is
The food match: Low and Slow Veal Roast with Nebbiolo, black currant sauce
Patrizi Barolo 2008 (653527, $23.95) is not the weekend wine you might hope it to be. Already bricking like a rural Woodbridge faux-mansion, the Patrizi would have best been consumed in its first year of business. An LCBO buy up for teasing purposes, this Nebbiolo carries a Jarrian curse. “Clichés are the armature of the absolute.” Typically and varietally correct but with fruit already fading. You get what you pay for. 86
The grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot
The history: Bordeaux blend in true Napa Valley Meritage form
The lowdown: Though more than just a Cab, it’s essentially a “second” wine to Beaulieu’s Georges Latour Reserve. A loyal servant to the 1980’s heyday of California red wine
The food match: Grilled New York Strip finished with olive oil and a baked potato
Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Reserve 2008 (50393, $34.95) is an elegant and masterful blend unmasked and unblinded by oak. There is rusticity, antiquity and servitude to history. A woven carpet of cherries, forest scents and morning coffee. Makes me “feel the earth move under my feet.” You’ve got a friend in Beaulieu. 90
IVR* – Vintage Direct intrigue-to-value ratio
CVR** – Vintage Direct curiosity-to-value ratio
Good to go!