On my journey to learn more about everything I love, I thought it fitting to really dive into the world of wine and learn from the people in the know, so that’s exactly what I am doing. That’s why this past Friday I finally went back to school, well wine school that is, with my friends from the iYellow Wine Club.
In my first week we started off with a wide selection of wines from none other then California, which if you weren’t already aware is the 4th largest wine producing region in the world, with over 70 thousand acres planted for Cabernet, and over 50 thousand 50 Zinfandels it’s no surprise why this sunny destination gets a class all it’s own.
We had the opportunity to taste many different wines that night, and also learn all about them; how they are made, and information about the region they come from. I must admit, the evening flew by, thanks in part to the great wines themselves, and with that, here are my favorites from the evening.
Brilliant silver straw yellow in colour. Intense aromas of apple blossom, ripe pear, and sweet lemon drop are complemented by toasty oak, spice, and cream. The silky texture of the wine is overlaid with bright, juicy flavors of ripe apple and pear. The finish is long and fresh.
This crisp, refreshing Chardonnay will complement a variety of foods, including fish, pasta in cream sauce, and herb-roasted chicken.
I must say I’m not a big Chardonnay fan, but this one was a beaut. Easy to drink, not too sweet, and at just $15.95 a bottle, you really can’t lose. (Available at the LCBO)
54% Merlot, 20% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 8% Other
2012 The Dreaming Tree Crush is blend of the North Coast’s finest varieties, this wine has some great caramel oak and mixed berry characters on the nose, juicy raspberry flavors, and full-but-soft and approachable tannins.
A quaffable wine that is tasty with Spanish orange and onion salad, or with Vietnamese-style grilled ribs and rice.
As I’m still learning about wines, thanks to the great team at iYellow Wine Club, I wasn’t really sure what drew me to this wine, well other then the fact it’s the brain child of singer/songwriter Dave Matthews, but I have a hunch it the beautiful blend and sweet fruit flavour that got me saying, pour me another glass.
This is also available at the LCBO for just $17.95.
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of blackberries and toasted coconut followed by hints of juicy plum. Black raspberry, red currant, and molasses flavors are complemented by subtle tobacco leaf notes. Medium-bodied with a nice, dry finish, the American oak aging adds complexity to this well-rounded Cabernet Sauvignon.
Enjoy this wine with mushroom pizza or marinated rib eye steak.
The mix of this wine from Smoking Loon was quite delicious, being that I have always loved the taste and sent of blackberries and coconut, though never really thought of them together, it was very interesting to smell, and really lovely to the taste.
This Cab Sauv is also available at the LCBO for only $14.95.
The Vintners Blend has a somewhat smoky and savoury character at the core of chocolate, peppery spices and blackberry aromas. In the mouth, the entry is smooth and then it picks up some texture mid-palate. The finish is long and trails berry and mocha flavours.
Pair well with steak and also with a hearty chilli.
Now I’m not about picking favourites, but this one really called to me, what did it say “Mark, drink more” so of course I being a true gentlemen couldn’t say no. The taste was bold, and since I have a deep love for pepper, this wine was the perfect way to end a wonderful friday evening.
You can pick this up at the LCBO as well for 17.95.
So the next time you want a great glass of wine for an amazing price, maybe you should show a little California Love. Until next time!