Everything Wine And More

Ruth Blakely
 
March 13, 2019 | Ruth Blakely

Tuscany: Beyond Sangiovese

Many of us grew up buying a cheap bottle of Chianti that came in a basket and college kids turned into a candle holder.  As the decades passed fantastic wines from the Chianti region made their way into the Alberta market.  The wines made primarily from the Sangiovese grapes remain some of the best food wines in the world.  

In the mid to late 20th century, some maverick wine makers scoffed at the strict Italian wine rules and began making premier wine with grapes that most people associated with France.  Fantastic wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot started to garner rave reviews and loyal fans.  Wine critic Robert Parker is often credited with coining the term ‘Super Tuscan’ to describe these special wines.

The Italian DOC and DOCG rules meant some of Italian wines commanding the highest prices had to be called Vino da Tavola – or ‘table wine’.  The rules changed in 1992 when the IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) classification was created to accommodate them.  Now some of the premier DOCs include Super Tuscans.

Wines such as Sassicaia, Masseto, Ornellaia and Solaia come with big price, but deliver consistently spectacular wine.  They age incredibly well and are often a trophy holding pride of place in a fine wine cellar.

There’s good news for the rest of us though.  You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to enjoy these wonderful wines.  Antinori’s Tignanello is an opulent Tuscan superstar at less than half the price of the others - blending the traditional Sangiovese cherry aromas with deeper darker fruit from the Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Castel’In Villa’s Santacroce is another massive Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Sangiovese that delivers fruit, structure complexity and depth. It’s not priced like most people’s everyday drinker but is less than the cost of a gas fill-up for a big SUV.

Even more budget friendly is the Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo which is both Sangiovese and Merlot resulting in a wine that’s bursting with flavour without completely blowing the budget.  

Sangiovese still accounts for more than half of the vines planted in Tuscany, but they are not the only game in town.

Viva Italia!

Time Posted: Mar 13, 2019 at 2:07 PM
Ruth Blakely
 
January 19, 2019 | Ruth Blakely

Wines of the Rhone Valley

Winter – the Perfect Time for Wines from the Rhone

The Rhone valley in Southern France is one of our favourite regions here at Everything Wine and More. The full bodied multi-layered wines pair perfectly with a winter stew or a nice roast.

The Rhone is divided into North and South.

The north is dominated by Syrah, the rich blackberry, clove and pepper finish shows exceptionally well in the premier wines of Cote-Rotie. Producers such as Guigal and Cuilleron (among many others) make wine that show both power and elegance. While some can be consumed young, many really shine after years in the bottle. If you are drinking your Cote-Rotie young it will improve with decanting and something meaty to pair. 

Also from the north comes the rich black pepper and smoked meat aromas from the stunning Cornas. The region itself is very small but it produces some of the ‘biggest’ wines in the Rhone. Cornas is known for grippy tannin and is another wine that is at its best after some time in the bottle.

Affordable ($40 and under)  tasty options from nearby Crozes-Hermitage are a great introduction to the region.

White wine lovers have much to celebrate in the northern Rhone as well as it’s the home to Condrieu, arguably the best expression of Viogner anywhere in the world. The tropical fruit aromas play well with a hint of citrus and some will find gingerbread and allspice. Keep these in mind for upcoming Easter dinner. 

In the hotter south Grenache is dominant. From the well-priced Cotes-du-Rhone to the powerful Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache is king of this sometimes underappreciated region. In Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the Grenache is blended with Mouvedre to give it structure, Cinsault for bouquet and more than a dozen other grapes producing a bold, well-balanced wine. Look for Beaucastel at the top of the market, but there are dozens of other excellent producers in the region. Cotes-du-Rhone is a bargain hunter’s dream.

The whites in the south are most often Rousanne and Marsanne. Often blended together the fatty rich mouth-feel of the Marsanne is well balanced by the more acidic and elegant Rousanne. The wines are medium bodied and often exhibit apricot and mandarin notes.

The next time you think of French wine – think Rhone!

Time Posted: Jan 19, 2019 at 8:09 AM
Katrina Schlegl
 
March 31, 2018 | Katrina Schlegl

Ciders for the Summer!

My go to cider is usually Strongbow Original Dry.  It is always crisp, dry, and refreshing! I decided to try some new ciders and hopefully find a new summer drink.

Broken Ladder
Okanagan, British Columbia
4-pack for $15.49 (cans)

This premium craft cider is made from six different kinds of BC apple varieties. It has no added flavors, colours, water, or sugar. It is also not made from concentrate. This means it classifies as a “real” apple cider. You can immediately tell it is made 100% from apples because of how flavorful and bright it tastes. While considered a dry cider it does have a bit of natural sweetness making it the perfect summer drink. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a sweeter cider and wants to try something new.

 

Savanna Dry Cider
South Africa
4-pack for $12.99 (bottles)

This premium cider is able to perfectly balance the crisp apple flavors with a dry mouth feel. It doesn’t have that overwhelming sweetness or syrupy texture that ciders with added sugar have. Try with a lemon wedge to top it all off!

“The cider equation: Apples + fermentation + micro-filtering + chill-filtering = Savanna Dry” - Savanna Cider

 

Pommies Original Cider
Ontario
4-pack for $17.49 (bottles)

Pommies Cider is made from 100% Ontario apples from the Pommie cidery in Caledon, Ontario. I found this was the lightest of all the ciders I have tried. This makes it very easy drinking and refreshing. It is also nice and bubbly without tasting overly carbonated.

While browsing the Pommies website I also discovered a great recipe to try this summer!

POMMSICLE
This Pommies Popsicle is sure to do the trick this summer.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

355ml bottle of Pommies Cider

Mint Leaves

Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

Greek Yogurt

Strawberry Purée

DIRECTIONS:

Layer one

- Pour 20% Pommies Cider, 80% strawberry purée with freshly squeezed lemon (mixed) into mold

- Let sit for 30 minutes before starting next layer

* A tip, add a splash of honey to your layers for flavour

Layer Two

- Pour 20% Pommies Cider, 80% Greek yogurt and mint leaves (mixed) into a mold

- Let sit for 30 minutes before starting next layer

Layer Three

- 20% Pommies Cider, 80% freshly squeezed lemon

Once everything is poured into the mold, put mold in freezer and let sit for 3-5 hours. Once complete, enjoy an adult-friendly booze Popsicle!

Time Posted: Mar 31, 2018 at 12:47 PM
Katrina Schlegl
 
March 5, 2018 | Katrina Schlegl

Who Doesn't Love Sauvignon Blanc

Most people start drinking popular New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs such as Kim Crawford or Oyster Bay. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary,  try one of these recommendations instead!

Sea Breeze Sauvignon Blanc $17.99
Marlborough, New Zealand

This is a great inexpensive pick if you are wanting to try something new! This light Sauvignon Blanc has a balanced acidity and excellent flavour characteristics. It has herbaceous notes as well as fruity flavours such as passionfruit and gooseberry. Pairs perfectly with pasta and seafood.

Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc $20.99Marlborough, New Zealand

If you are looking to try a great quality Sauvignon Blanc this is for you. Astrolabe makes incredible wines that express New Zealand's long, cool growing season. This particular wine is medium-bodied with a variety of citrus and fruit flavours, which creates a complex mouth feel. It has a gentle acidity and a minerally finish. Pair with chicken and a light salad.

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc $27.99
Marlborough, New Zealand

Last but not least, we have my favorite Sauvignon Blanc. The 2016 vintage of Greywacke was awarded 91 points by Decanter and 93 points by Wine and Spirits. I was not disappointed when I tried this for the first time and would definitely spend the $27.99 all over again. It has surprising fruit flavours such as peaches and cantaloupe. You may also notice light floral notes or elderflower.

 

BONUS

Casas del Bosque Sauvignon Blanc $19.99
Casablanca Valley, Chile

New Zealand is known for its Sauvignon Blancs, but other countries have created notable Sauv Blancs as well. If you are feeling adventurous and want to try something quite different this is the wine for you. The first thing you might notice is the stronger jalapeno pepper notes on the nose. In the mouth, some of the jalapeno pepper notes will transfer over along with flavors of ginger and citrus zet.

Time Posted: Mar 5, 2018 at 11:58 AM
Locklin McDonald
 
February 13, 2018 | Locklin McDonald

Natural Wine: Nature as the Wine Maker.

The most excellent wine is one which has given pleasure by its own
natural qualities, nothing must be mixed with it which might obscure its
natural taste.”
(Lucius Junivs Columella, Roman agriculture writer. Born 4. A.D
                           Died 70 A.D.)

A growing interest in natural products is sweeping the world, from grains to leaf vegetables to fish and meats, less is better. The new kid on the block is “Natural Wine”. This blog will help you understand the process of making a true natural wine and offer specific ones to try and some food paring ideas.

The microbiological life of the vineyard is what enables both successful fermentation and the creation of the wine that is able to survive without technological crutch. Sustaining a healthy habitat in the vineyard for these microbes is fundamental for the “Natural Wine’ grower. The microbiological life follows the grapes into the winery, transforms the juice and even makes its way into the bottle. Natural wine is literally, living wine from living soil.

The concept of “Natural Wine is so new, that there is not as of yet a legal definition of what is or is not natural wine. Old world growers from France, Spain and Italy self-regulate charters of quality far stricter than regulations imposed by official organic or biodynamic certification bodies.France has the strictest self- imposed rules of all participating countries allowing no additives, even the yeast must be either air born or living on the grape skins. Some filtration is allowed, but not encourage. Simply put, Natural Wines use Mother Nature’s recipe with the guiding hand of a dedicated wine maker.

Try our newest Rose wine from Pierre- Olivier Bonhomme for only $22.99! His ‘KO’ 2015 Cab Franc / Gamay Rose from the Loire Valley is a Natural wine with light to medium bodied with notes of tobacco leaf, dark spice, white strawberries, dill and a hint of maritime saltiness. Pair with chilled salmon and goat cheese salad.

http://www.everythingwineandmore.ca/product/Pierre-Olivier-Bonhomme--KO--Cab-Franc-Gamay-Rose-750ml

Time Posted: Feb 13, 2018 at 12:42 PM
Katrina Schlegl
 
May 26, 2017 | Katrina Schlegl

How white wine drinkers can transition into red wines!

Lots of people first get into drinking wine by starting with sweeter whites and then working their way into drier styles of whites. To transition into red wine a great place to start is with sweet reds, then move towards lighter bodied Pinot Noirs, and then finally to bigger richer red varietals. If you start with a full-bodied, dry Cabernet Sauvignon right away it may taste bitter, so start by developing your palate slowly. Here is a few great lighter red wines to try!

Casa Bella Vino Frizzante $14.99
Veneto, Italy
This is a sweet sparkling wine that is a great pick for any wine-drinker who enjoys Moscato. It has red rose aromas and tasting notes of wild berries. This wine is very easy to drink with an alcohol level of only 7%. 

Conviction Pinot Noir $14.99
BC VQA British Columbia
This is a perfect red to start off with because it is light bodied, fruit forward, with very soft tannins. It has a medium acidity that pairs great with food. Try with roast chicken or pepperoni pizza!

Fantini Farnese Sangiovese $13.49
Puglia, Italy
The Fantini Sangiovese is a medium bodied, dry red. I found this to be a fruity forward with tasting notes of black cherry and cranberries. Great on its own or try with pasta!

Time Posted: May 26, 2017 at 10:17 AM
Katrina Schlegl
 
May 24, 2017 | Katrina Schlegl

Inexpensive Rieslings to try this Summer!

Landlust Organic Riesling  $14.99
Mosel, Germany 
“It needs not much: a few friends, a lovely wine and a tree on which we can lean on..." 
This beautiful organic Riesling is perfect on a hot day! It is a wonderfully balanced wine that is not too dry or too sweet. It has delicious citrus flavours of citrus, peach and pear. These delicate flavour notes leave a nice aftertaste and will make you wanting another glass! Serve nice and chilled. Great on its own or try pairing with a fruity salad to compliment the fruity tasting notes. 

Primo Amore Riesling $13.99
Puglia, Italy 
"Soft & Sweet"
This Italian Riesling is perfect for someone who usually drinks Moscato and wants to try getting into other white wines! It still has a little bit of sweetness and is very fruit forward. It also has a lower alcohol content of 10.5% which makes this an easy wine to drink. If you are trying to find a sweeter Riesling or Moscato you can also look at the alcohol content to help you out! The lower the alcohol, the sweeter the wine. Loads of tropical fruit notes and lemon custard on the nose with ripe pears on the palate. Try pairing with poached pears and vanilla ice cream.

Devil’s Rock Riesling $13.99
Pfalz, Germany 
“Crisp and Refreshing”  
I have chosen this off-dry Riesling for my third pick because I was very surprised at the quality of this wine for the price. It has notes of citrus and lemon making it crisp and refreshing. Pair this with a light tomato salad to compliment the acidity of this wine! 

 

 

 

Time Posted: May 24, 2017 at 2:01 PM
Samantha Torrance
 
March 4, 2017 | Samantha Torrance

Delicious Alternatives to Classic Favourites

Many people have a go-to spirit when making a drink. Whether it is rum, vodka, whisky, or a liqueur, everyone has something they use more than anything else in their cupboard, and usually it’s always the same brand. I’m going to highlight some spirits that are fantastic alternatives to the mainstream spirits everyone uses, which also stay within the same price range.

Rum

Rum and Coke is one of the most iconic drinks in North America. Everyone has heard of it, whether in a bar, from friends, or in a movie or TV show. Chances are if you have ever had a rum and coke it was with Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum ($26.99/750ml). Captain Morgan’s has aromas heavy with vanilla notes and baking spice. Overall it is smooth and sweet.

A brand that I highly recommend as an alternative is the El Dorado Spiced Rum ($28.99/750ml). Their use of natural spices; cinnamon, vanilla and hints of citrus created a complex and well-rounded rum. It is not overly sweet and it is so delightful that you could sip it neat or on ice if you wished.

Whisky

The most common whisky that moves through our store is Crown Royal ($28.99/750ml). Everyone knows the name, it’s popular with the bar scene, and it’s advertised everywhere. Crown Royal has a rich nose with hints of vanilla and orchard fruit. The flavours show more vanilla and hints of oak with a long finish.

Instead of Crown Royal I highly recommend trying Forty Creek ($28.99/750ml). The nose is similar to Crown, aromas of vanilla and apricot fill your nose, followed by honey, toasted oak, walnut, and spice. Overall it is a more complex aroma. The palate follows through with that of baking spice, vanilla, and an incredibly smooth bold finish. Forty Creek is also a whisky that you can drink neat or on the rocks.

Amaretto

To most people Disaronno ($32.99/750ml) is the only Amaretto! It is sweet on both the nose and palate, has a wonderful almond aroma, with softer almond and some marzipan on the palate.

However, if you are someone who drinks Blueberry Tea, or would prefer a stronger nut flavour in your drink, I recommend Luxardo Amaretto ($28.99/750ml). Luxardo’s Amaretto has a delightful almond aroma, much stronger than that of Disaronno. As well there are some sweet fruits and a hint of zest on the nose. The palate is softly sweet with an intense almond flavour. It moves into candied almonds and has a smooth, long finish. This amaretto is perfect for those who want a more natural nut flavour to their drinks or recipes. Also it is $4.00 cheaper than Disaronno, which will make you and your wallet happy.

Overall all of these are all great products and we always strive to find the best product for you. At Everything Wine and More we are always happy to assist you with any questions you may have about any of our products. Next time you visit, please ask any of our associates about any one of these products that I have recommended.

Time Posted: Mar 4, 2017 at 5:19 PM
Jarrod Lackey
 
September 13, 2016 | Jarrod Lackey

Great Gift Wines for Under $30

I was recently asked by a friend to select a favourite wine under $30. Being fortunate enough in my position with Everything Wine and More, the staff get the opportunity to taste different wines throughout our work week. I chose three wines to help with my decision making.

Maverick Breechens Shiraz $27.49 - AUSTRALIA
Maverick Wines operates with biodynamic and fully organic viticulture. Using carefully selected estate grown fruit from small lots and vineyards across the Barossa.
2013 was a dream vintage for this region, a cool summer allowed for perfect ripening conditions. The bouquet is layered with sweet black fruit some dark spices, & subtle oak notes. Silky and supple on the palate, with elegant balance and moderate weight, this wine finishes soft, clean and dry. Very good strong persistence of boysenberry and blackcurrant flavours. 
This wine is delicious, it sat in our glasses for a couple hours, even after dinner was over, every sip revealing more layers and complexity. The alcohol was so balanced which just contributed to a very pleasurable and soft mouth feel.

Viña Chocalan Gran Reserva Pinot Noir $27.49 - CHILE
Chocalan produces some great wines from the Maipo Valley region in Chile.
This Gran Reserva Pinot Noir is a shining example of the quality of the fruit that comes from the region. A slightly deeper colour than expected from a Pinot Noir, but with a bouquet that hints at blackberry, cherry and oak, with subtle baking spice notes. On the palate, dark red fruit notes burst through with red cherry and finishing with toasted oak and lingering tannins.
I would pair this Pinot Noir with an earthy mushroom risotto, or with roasted chicken and rustic vegetables.

Luigi Bosca De Sangre (Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Merlot) $28.99 - ARGENTINA
Luigi Bosca produces wines from vineyards that are over 100 years old.
This opulent blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot is a deep, complex and layered wine. Deep red colour with violet hues, aromas reminiscent of ripe black fruit, eucalyptus and stewed fruit. The palate opens with robust spice notes and subtle vanilla from the oak, finishing with velvety smooth tannin.
Rich and layered texture with a lengthy finish. I would pair this with beef stew and fresh baked bread rolls.

I picked these wines as great gift wines, or as a special bottle to bring to a dinner party, which is what my friend wanted the suggestions for.

Head over to our Facebook Page to see pictures of these three wines.

Time Posted: Sep 13, 2016 at 3:10 PM
Samantha Torrance
 
July 6, 2016 | Samantha Torrance

How to Make Trying New Wines a Fun Game!

My boyfriend Alex and I have an agreement when it comes to wine. I buy a wine I think he will enjoy and  if I’m right he pays me back in full, but if he doesn’t like the wine I only get half back. I enjoy it because it’s like a game for me; I get to use my knowledge of wine to pick out products I think he will like and Alex gets to try delicious wine. Win-Win. His preferred flavour is big, bold, juicy full bodied reds, below are my most recent selections for him.

Jost Vineyards Marechal Foch - $16.99/750mL (Nova Scotia)
Wine from Nova Scotia, who knew? The cooler climate terroir of NS is the perfect growing grounds for Marechal Foch. The nose of this wine is savoury with aromas of leather, cigars, chocolate, with hints of anise and fruits such as figs, dates, and even more subtle hints of strawberry and raspberry. The palate is medium bodied with smooth tannins. This wine has big flavours of rustic earth, dried red fruits (that strawberry and raspberry from the nose), and finishes with a slightly spiced, chocolate covered raisin flavour.
Alex’s Approval Rating: 9/10, he loved how savoury this wine was. It still had the fruit, but with more meaty, savory characteristics than he’s used to. His favourite so far.

Comoloco Monastrell - $16.99/750mL (Spain)
Comoloco, the bottle with the zany label to match the wine inside. Monastrell is the same grape as Mourvedre, which you may have seen on French wine labels. The nose on this wine is robust with deep, ripe fruits, and exotic spices.  The palate is medium bodied with soft tannins. There are flavours of deep, red fruits such as raspberry, cherries, and plum, with savoury notes and a soft acidity on the finish. This wine is best paired with steak and barbeque.
Alex’s Approval Rating: 7/10, he thought it was really easy drinking, great spice and smooth tannins.

California Square Red Blend - $19.99/750mL (USA)
This was one of the first bottles I had bought for him. I like the funky rectangular prism shape and I knew it would be a good wine to use to get to know his palate better. This blend is made up of five different grapes: Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, and Syrah. Each varietal was harvested, crushed, and fermented separately to get maximum flavour and texture from each of the grapes. The Petite Sirah and Syrah give notes of blueberries, cherries, chocolate, and spice to the blend. The Sangiovese and Zinfandel give way for big blackberry and raspberry jam and the Merlot fills the palate with ripe plum and a juicy finish. Medium in body with soft tannins this wine is really easy drinking and a great starting point for people wanting to get into red wine.
Alex’s Approval Rating: 7/10 he enjoyed how it was smooth and fruity.

Finca las Moras Paz Malbec - $18.99/750mL (Argentina)
This one is my favourite Malbecs that I’ve ever tried. This wine has an intense violet colour and aromas of blackberry, black cherries, plums, and baking spice. The palate is intense with flavours of those dark blackberries and plums with a lingering finish of warm spice on the end. The tannins are evenly balanced with the acidity and the flavours of the wine linger on the tongue for a very long time. I cannot stress enough how crazy the flavours are in this wine. I personally have never tried a wine that was so juicy and fruity while still having so much complexity. I would pair this wine with grilled red meats and barbeque.
Alex’s Approval Rating: 8/10, He thoroughly enjoyed how intense and flavourful it was. 

Time Posted: Jul 6, 2016 at 4:53 PM
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