Month: January 2012

  • Is life worth living?

    Q: Is life worth living? A: It depends on the liver.   I read it was Iris Murdoch’s favourite joke.   We are taking a wine-out, some booze-free mid-winter faux-detox time away from the plonk but will be back renewed and more vigorous than ever in February.

  • L’Ecole No 1 Chenin Blanc 2010

    I defy someone not to like this wine.  It would be like finding Will Rogers abrasive or Queen Elizabeth vulgar.  Sure, chenin isn’t to everyone’s taste, but neither is tap water: You should still give it a go before you make the decision.  I would also like to line up a panel of experts and […]

  • Apothic Red, 2009

    Problem: You are in a generic government liquor store.  You have $20.  Not $20 and ten cents, to cover the deposit on a $19.99 bottle, but $20, so your ceiling is $19.89, a price that almost no wine is priced at.  You are buying a wine to match a not too spicy pork goulash.  If […]

  • Haras de Pirque Equus Chardonnay, 2008

    A very pleasant chardonnay.  Which I write with a touch of condescension. Imagine a science fair event: Take an inexpensive not-very-palatable chardonnay as a constant.  Let’s arbitrarily call the constant Lynn Deeman.  And let’s say someone was able to chemically alter the constant to make something more palatable.  Something drinkable and very much like a […]

  • Bodegas Alto Almanzora Este Monastrell Tempranillo Syrah Garnacha, 2009

    Este is a bit of an American Idol “out in the Hollywood round” red.  I think I would imagine, back in the day, Paula fawning over it and loving its sincerity, Randy praising its versatility as a blend but not finding it unique or idol-worthy and Simon calling it a pretender, like any old red […]

  • Concannon Conservancy Chardonnay, Livermore Valley, 2009

    Restrained.  In every sense.  Sort of like basic black with pearls. For us, we really liked the refinement to this wine, some oak, some minerality, pure chardonnay.  It does not, however, have heft, or the depth to stand up to anything but “gentle” cuisine: Superlative with poached white fish, bland and non-eventful with an orzo […]

  • Morandé Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2010

    93 points from Wine and Spirits.  Huh.  After tasting how much wine?  Slow day on the abacus?   First, sauv blanc is our go-to white and we love it, even (sometimes) cheap crap and even (sometimes) hugely overpriced OK sb (witness the nine pounds sterling for a decent glass at the Covent Garden opera…).  A […]

  • Sandhill Small Lots “One”

    Three of us drank this with a prime rib dinner and none of us liked it.  The wine that is; the dinner was superb.  The One we all found it over the top, forceful, trying too hard to be too many things to too few people.  It was as if they had focus-grouped this wine […]

  • From the cellar: Olivier Leflaive Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos Saint Marc 2007

    At Christmas I was one of the very few Canadians drinking Olivier Leflaive white burgundy.  How do I know?  You can’t get it in Canada.  I felt very, very special.  Hey: I’m now one of the “one per cent”! We visited Leflaive a year or so ago for an exceptional degustation meal (the food pretty […]

  • SANDHILL Small Lots Barbera (ba-beautiful)

    Let me get this straight: No one in Canada grows Barbera.  Except, in one tiny little corner of the Okanagan, where Sandhill, in their exquisite small lots program, churns out a miraculous red.  So this begs the question, if one tiny plot of grapes can produce such an exquisite bottle, why are winemakers across the […]