Not sure which wine to choose? Let us help you.
Every week, Bill Zacharkiw identifies his top wine picks available at the SAQ and offers ideas for food pairings.
Pinot Noir 2018, Organico, Rapel Valley, Cono Sur, Chile red, $15.95, SAQ # 11386877. Organic. Has almost a syrah feel to it so as a pinot noir, it might disappoint the purists. That being said, for a lighter styled, less tannic wine, very well done. Filled with cherries and raspberries, nice aromatics and a dry finish. For the price, pretty impressive. Grape variety: pinot noir. Residual sugar: 1.8 g/l. Serve at 15C. Drink now. Food pairing idea: Aperitif, pork roast with fruit compote.
Costières de Nîmes 2017, Les Galets Dorés, Château Mourgues Du Grès, France white, $19, SAQ # 11095877. One of my favourite whites. Difficult to classify as it cuts the median between refreshing and textured perfectly. Stone fruits leaning tropical, with a delicate honeyed note on the finish. Let it warm a touch to get the most out of this. Residual sugar: 1.8 g/l. Grape varieties: grenache blanc, vermentino, roussanne. Serve at 10-12 C. Drink now-2020. Food pairing idea: aperitif, shrimp brochettes with lemon and herbs.
Castel del Monte 2013, Riserva, Il Falcone, Italy red, $23.70, SAQ # 10675466. The region of Puglia is much more than primitivo. In its northern reaches you find the nero di Troia grape, and it’s a stark contrast to the sometimes sweet wines of the south. Very refined tannins, delicate nose of red and black fruits and florals. This is very Bordeaux-esque, as it shows its true worth next to some meat. My kind of powerful red. Grape variety: nero di troia, montepulciano. Residual sugar: 2.1 g/l. Serve at 18C. Drink now-2025. Food pairing idea: Lamb chops with mint jelly.
$25 and up
Valpolicella Ripasso 2011, Trabucchi d’Illasi, Villa Trabucchi, Italy red, $32.75, SAQ # 13574775. Organic. Almost more Amarone than Ripasso, with its rich texture and long finish. Aromas of dates and figs, but followed by a very lively brightness on the palate. It’s as if the fruit gets fresher as you drink it. Finish is spicy. Big wine that’s still very refined. Will continue to age and get even more complex. Grape variety: corvina, corvinone, rondinella, osleta. Residual sugar: 7.3 g/l. Serve at 18C. Drink now-2025. Food pairing idea: hard cheese like pecorino, rib steak.