Category: education

Finer Points: Allegrini La Grola, Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre

February 18, 2017

by Heather Rankin

Every few weeks we feature two special bottles from the cellar and pour them by-the-glass. Here’s what’s currently open!

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15 Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre. Sancerre, Loire, France (100% Sauvignon Blanc) Sauvignon Blanc was born in France’s Loire Valley. And some would say that Sancerre is the benchmark style for the varietal. The Reverdy family has been making wine in the village of Verdigny since the 1500s. Michel Reverdy now farms the 14 hectares of vineyard and crafts the wines himself. The grapes are grown on 30 year old vines in Kimmeridgian Limestone soil comprised of ancient seashells deposited by seas which once covered the area. The vineyards are sustainably farmed. The wine was fermented in stainless steel and aged on its lees for 2-3 months with battonage. A lively nose of chamomile tea, lemon, gravel and fresh herb. The palate is rich with lemon, chalk and peach flavours, bracing acidity and a dry finish.

12 Allegrini La Grola. Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy (90% Corvina, 10% Oseleta) Allegrini has been in Valpolicella since the 1500s. They are amoung a handful of top producers making independent, terroir-focused wines outside of the strict, often limiting Valpolicella DOC laws. Their La Grola vineyard is located in Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella – a south-easterly facing majestic hill thought to be the very origins of the Corvina grape. This wine shows great character and complexity with fruity drinkability from Corvina and deep intensity from Oseleta. Aged 16 mos in oak, and another 10 mos in bottle. A dark wild berry-floral nose with blood orange, fig and espresso. The palate is medium-full and balanced with concentrated, juicy sour cherry notes, fresh herb and a pleasing bitterness. Tannins are soft and integrated.

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Finer Points: Birichino & Rebholz

January 10, 2017

by Heather Rankin

Every few weeks we feature a couple of special bottles from the cellar and pour them by-the-glass. Here’s what’s currently open:

15 Rebholz Trocken Riesling. Pfalz, Germany. (100% Riesling) Rebholz is the go-to for naturally made, terroir-driven, dry wines in Germany. Certi ed organic since 2009, everything they make today is certi ed biodynamic; everything is dry; everything is estate grown. Hansjorg Rebholz grows his Riesling in red sandstone in the Kastanienbusch vineyard in South Pfalz. This rusty red soil produces some of the greatest dry Rieslings anywhere – not just in Germany. The fruit comes from all of his top vineyards; there are no “lesser sites” designated for the estate blend. The wine is not ltered or ned. This is a lean, clean, salty-nosed Riesling with a richness on the palate offset by brightness and tension. Flavours of yellow plum and citrus dominate with a stern mineral edge.

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13 Birichino Besson Vineyard Old Vine Grenache. Central Coast, CA. (100% Grenache) Birichino , meaning “naughty” in Italian, was established by Alex Krause and John Locke. Focusing on old vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains Krause and Locke craft their wines with a light hand. These are lower-alcohol, terroir- driven wines that fall into the natural wine camp. George Besson’s 104 year-old dry-farmed, own-rooted Grenache is grown on a rocky gentle slope bordering the Santa
Cruz Mountains appellation. The wine is made with a small percentage of dried grapes added and fermented with native yeast. It’s aged in neutral French barrels and bottled un ltered. Aromas of cherry liquer, raspberry, spice, fresh herbs and lavender followed by a large-scaled frame but with marked restraint and freshness.

Tasting: Everything’s Coming Up Rosés!

June 23, 2016

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Come learn the finer details of Rosé! Taste and discuss 4 different styles from around the world alongside food designed to pair with each. There is much to appreciate about this oft underrated and misunderstood Summertime sipper!

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Current Crush: Crognolo

May 5, 2016

We love all the wines on our list, but sometimes we love certain wines just a little bit more. The 2013 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo, a Super Tuscan of 90% Sangiovese & 10% Merlot, is our current crush.

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Super Tuscan is an unregulated term established in the 70s by a group of independent winemakers who decided the rules for making Chianti (the signature wine of the region) were too restrictive (e.g. the use of foreign grapes like Merlot and Cab Sauv was prohibited, etc). They started making non-traditional, modern-style wines that were big, rich and expensive and called the wines Super Tuscans.

Italy’s appellation for controlling wine production and quality does not formally recognize Super Tuscans – DOC and DOCg are the highest quality labels, but because Super Tuscans don’t completely adhere to the established Chianti winemaking guidelines, they can’t be labeled DOC or DOCg and therefore must assume the appellation of IGT.

The IGT classification, of course, does not imply inferiority. IGT focuses on the region of origin, rather than on grape varieties or a specific wine style. As such it affords a certain level of freedom to Italy’s winemakers whose wines fail to qualify for DOC or DOCG status – because they are made from grapes (or blends) not permitted under DOC/G law.

In Tuscany, vintage is important – the temperature, weather, humidity etc. all play a role in shaping the resulting wine from that growing year. 2013 was a slightly cooler than average year so we see less concentration and more elegance in this wine, as opposed to sheer power.

Tenuta Sette Ponti is located within the Chianti Classico zone. They are known for their premium Super Tuscans and Crognolo is their “second label “ – their entry level, “everyday” wine. Many Super Tuscans lean toward a modern, polished style, but the Crognolo is quite traditional and rustic in its approach. 10-14 months aging in French Oak barriques. Plus 6 months bottle age before release.

Tasting Note: complex nose of bright, ripe cherry, tobacco, toasted almond, spice. Palate is medium-full bodied, well balanced, fresh and vibrant with rounded tannins.

Wines for Superbowl!

February 7, 2016

Almost as important as the game itself are the traditional snacks of Superbowl Sunday. wine helmet

Salty, spicy, fatty treats are trademark, and with them often goes beer. But a recent NYT article suggests that wine might be becoming a new football favourite. What better time to up your game with some crafty Superbowl wine pairings.

Here are some formations we seriously like:

Nachos
Heat, salt, crunch, tang… richness from cheese, guacamole or meat. Nacho heaps can hide a number of pitfalls for wine pairing, but one wine style that seems immune to them all is Beaujolais. Slightly chilled, low alcohol & fruity it can handle a bit of protein and spice and it’s not going to clobber any delicate flavours in the dish. Good bet: Dupeuble Beaujolais, Bishop’s Cellar.

Wings
We’re thinking the sticky, sweet, spicy kind. Whenever there is spice, look for wines with a bit of ripeness, roundness or jammy sweetness. The sweet will temper the heat, protecting your tastebuds and allowing you to taste the wine as it should taste. You’ll also need a wine with a bit of density to take on the full-flavours and textures of the wings. A rich and round South African Chenin Blanc would do the trick as would a ripe Zin. Good bet: DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc, Bishop’s Cellar.

Pepperoni & Cheese Pizza
Pizza can be a complex beast depending on what’s on top. To keep things simple we’ve kept it to pepperoni & mozarella – but you include any sort of cured pork (bacon or sausage) and pretty well any cheese (except maybe Blue). Our two favourite Pizza wines simple, mid-weight, old-world Reds like Côtes du Rhône or Barbera – they’re mild-mannered with enough grip to take on some meat, earthiness to handle veg and acid to offset any grease. Good bet: Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône, Bishop’s Cellar; Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera, NSLC.

Chips
Take a walk through the Supermarket today and you’ll notice the chip shelves looking a little sparse. Like Pizza, chips can span the flavour-intensity gamut, so to keep things sane we’ll suggest our wine-friendliest of flavours: Salt & Vinegar. There is no better wine match for the salty, tangy, fatty, crunch than Bubbles. The fizz scrubs the palate washing away anything guilt-inducing and the acid is a great complement to their vinegary bite. Good bet: Blomidon Crémant, Bishop’s Cellar, NSLC.

Burgers
Once you add the bun and savoury-sweet toppings, burgers are less of a straightforward red-wine/red-meat match. Add in cooking methods, seasonings and our options broaden. One thing’s for certain though – red seems to go best and preferably one with a sweet or spicy note. A peppery Syrah/Shiraz or juicy Malbec would likely tick all the right boxes regardless of what you pile on. Good bet: Longview Yakka Shiraz, Bishop’s Cellar; Catena High Mountain Vines Malbec, NSLC.

Chili Con Carne
Chili, burritos (mexican food in general) present pairing challenges. This is largely due to their heat. Too much spice can have a numbing effect on the tastebuds which can distort the flavours of wine and accentuate bitter properties like tannin and alcohol. Even without the fire, there is nothing subtle about a robust bowl of Chili. Fight back with a brawny but plush new-world Red to tame the heat. But go easy on the tannins, and a little smoke wouldn’t hurt. Good bet: Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon, NSLC; The Motorcycle Marvel, NSLC.

Tasting Class: Intro to Wine & Cheese!

January 12, 2016

WHEN: Thursday, January 28, 2016. 6pm.

In this class we taste and discuss in detail 4 major styles of wine and 4 major types of cheese. We learn how to properly assess and evaluate them through sight, smell and taste and learn how to pair them together to get the most out of both. In doing so we cover basic food and wine pairing principles that can be broadly applied to most food and wine matches! Book your ticket below!

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Nova Scotia Meets Champagne!

November 27, 2015

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It’s no secret, Nova Scotia makes World-Class Traditional Method Sparkling Wine. But how do they measure up to Champagne? Are they just as good? Better?

Come and see for yourself! Join us and 4 local winemakers for a festive and fun evening of discussion and discovery. 4 NS Traditional Method Sparkling Wines against 4 Champagnes! Each tasted blind and paired with a chef-prepared course designed to bring out the best in both wine and food.

Call or email us for tickets, or book them here!