"For love of everything that is wine"



As much as some winemakers (and experts, critics, and enthusiasts) will deny it, big fat alcoholic and fruity wines have never been more popular among consumers, especially on the North American continent. In my opinion, far too many critics make a big deal out of this so-called 'undesirable phenomenon' --- if one thing history has taught us is that peoples' taste in wine changes over time (though some conservatives might also try to deny even this). In other words, what people crave today might not crave several decades down the road from now.

At present, however, many people seem to want big and bold wines, so l am more than happy to recommend some that foot the bill!


(1) Sebastiani
      -Sonoma Coast, California
Pinot Noir
      -Vintage 2005 (DRINK NOW OR HOLD)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $25.15

COMMENT: Compared to what one finds in Burgundy, Pinot Noir from California can be quite concentrated and filled to the brim with fruit. What impresses me about this wine is that its awesome concentration and thick berry-fruit flavours are matched by an excellent structure and almost-velvety texture; there are also some lovely chocolate notes to be enjoyed, as well. Give this wine a try --- I was very impressed.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Marinated duck with herbs --- enjoy!

(2) J. Lohr Winery ('Seven Oaks')
      -Pabl Robles, California
      -Cabernet Sauvignon
      -Vintage 2004 (DRINK NOW OR HOLD)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $20.15

COMMENT: For the past several vintages, this wine seems to be getting better and better, with an indisputably smooth personality and lots of fruit flavours. Though relatively high in alcohol, there is no mistaking the quality of both its structure and youthful finesse. While this wine is really not meant for cellaring, it can hold for a few more years.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Barbequed ribs --- enjoy!


(1) Beringer ('Private Reserve')
      -Napa Valley, California
      -Vintage 2004 (DRINK NOW OR HOLD)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $45.15
       (Widely Available - "Thanks, Dad!")

COMMENT: Beringer is probably one of California's best-known wine estates; and, though gigantic in size, the quality of its wines is remarkably decent. For its part, this Chardonnay of theirs has a very 'full-throttle' feel to it, with lots of buttery fruit and a great degree of overall toastiness --- this is a wine for people who love big and bold whites!

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Veal Scaloppini (trust me) --- enjoy!

(2) Viña Casa Lapostolle
     ('Cuvée Alexandre ')
      -Casablanca, Chile
      -Vintage 2005 (DRINK NOW OR HOLD)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $33.95

COMMENT: Thought I was only going to recommend Californian wines this week, huh? Think again! Without question, Casa Lapostolle is one of the most successful premium winemaking estates in Chile, and their upper-end Chardonnay bears witness to this fact. Carrying lots of mellow fruit (with a tropical twist), some toasty oak, and a little butterscotch, this wine a one 'minivan' of a drink!

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Chinese-style shrimp --- enjoy!


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