For all of you super-Tuscan fans that love what Cab and Merlot bring to table in Tuscany, this Rosso is a good entry-level wine.
Every week, Bill Zacharkiw identifies his top wine picks available at the SAQ and offers ideas for food pairings.
The Curator 2017, Western Cape, A.A. Badenhorst, South Africa red, $13.65, SAQ # 12819435. Reminds me of a riper wine from the southern Rhône. A dark, rich fruitiness, with lots of spice on the finish. Lots of mass, pretty soft tannins and somehow, despite the mass and texture, doesn’t feel heavy in the least. It has that ease of drinkability. Grape varieties: Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre. Residual sugar: 2.7 g/l. Serve at: 15 C. Drink now. Food pairing idea: filet mignon brochettes with tamari.
Toscana IGT 2017, Rosso, Altesino, Italy red, $19.60, SAQ # 10969763. For all of you super-Tuscan fans that love what Cab and Merlot bring to table in Tuscany, this is always one of the better examples in the entry-level category. Lots of fruit and power, but it never loses its Tuscan soul. The Sangiovese still drives this wine with all of its leathery goodness and freshness. Grape varieties: Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot. Residual sugar: 2.3 g/l. Serve at: 16 C. Drink now-2020. Food pairing idea: veal parmesan, lamb chops.
Saint-Véran 2017, Combe aux Jacques, Louis Jadot, France white, $23.65, SAQ # 597591. Easy to dismiss the more established wineries in lieu of smaller, more artisanal houses, but Jadot always does a god job, and this wine is consistently one of its best in the inexpensive category. Classic, southern Burgundian Chardonnay where you get the butter, the fat, the mineral finish and all in perfect harmony. Other regions around the world struggle to find this balance. Burgundy just does it. Grape variety: Chardonnay. Residual sugar: 2.2 g/l. Serve at: 10-12 C. Drink now-2022. Food pairing idea: aperitif, seafood pasta with cream sauce.
$25 and up
Champagne, Brut, Blanc de blancs, Cuis 1er cru, Pierre Gimonnet, France mousseux, $66.75, SAQ # 11553209. I’m often asked what are my favourite Champagnes (and not just in December). There is almost always a bottle of this in my house. This is wonderfully nuanced, not too much brioche, green apple with a whisper of orchard fruit, comfortable mid-palate, and a crystalline finish. Classic blanc de blanc. Yes, summer is done. But get some oysters, a bottle of this, and that blow will be softened. Grape variety: Chardonnay. Residual sugar: 7 g/l. Serve at: 10 C. Drink now. Food pairing idea: aperitif, smoked salmon, sushi, oysters.