Vin Greco is well known locally for his wine expertise.
His interest in wine has been life-long.
Currently he conducts tastings, formal or informal, upon request, and twice a year partners in a tasting with Chef Ian Thomlinson Upstairs at Rome’s.
This week Vin is in the pink with Rosés (not to be confused with Blush), and he let's us know what the second event at Riversedge 'The Machine Shop' is going to be.
IN THE PINK
If the weather were warmer, such as it was a week or so ago, rhapsodizing about Rosés would be an easier sell.
These dry pink wines are usually a good choice for a summer wine, going well with many light and medium dishes.
They are also ideal sippers on their own.
The attraction, aside from the colour, is that these wines can have the liveliness we associate with crisp white wines, but also have a bigger flavour profile than we typically expect from white wines.
The Rosés to which I am referring shouldn’t be confused with “blush” wines such as a ‘white’ zinfandel.
While the blushes do qualify as rosés, generally, they tend to be made in a sweet style.
Aside from the Remy- Pannier Rose d’Anjou, $12.90, most traditional rosés are dry.
The south of France could be considered the benchmark area for rosés.
In Vintages, Mas des Bressades Cuvée Tradition 2012, $14.95 is a very good example of a Rosé with good flavours of red cherry and apple with resinous herb on the aroma.
Chateau La Tour de l’Évèque 2012, $18.95, from Provence may strike as being a bit more sophisticated.
It also carries the herbal theme along with cherry/berry notes and a satisfying finish.
Ontario is no slouch in the Rosé department, with Stratus Winery’s Wildass, $19.95, providing one of the biggest Rosés in flavour.
I have it as being as close to a red wine as you can expect from a rosé, yet still providing all the freshness you could hope for.
The 13th Street Pink Palette, $14.95, is a lively example providing a sweet and tart red currant character that is certainly thirst-quenching.
From Spain comes the Muga Rioja Rosé, $12.95.
Wine gets its colour from the grapeskins.
The longer the contact, the darker or redder the wine.
Usually only red grapes are used in making the rosés, but the Muga contains some Viura, a Spanish white along with Tempranillo and Garnacha.
South Africa’s Mulderbosch provides a Rosé based on Cabernet Sauvignon for $12.95.
This is lively and well-balanced and is said to project elements of watermelon and strawberry.
That sounds a lot like summer to me.
Things are changing for Vintages with the next release.
Until now, wine consultants would place their orders for each release well in advance, basing their selection and quantities on what they believed the traffic would bear in their particular stores.
As of May 25, this is no longer the case.
Instead, distribution will be determined by “Head Office” as it were.
Judging by what is being sent to our Great Northern road store, it appears that the breadth of product will increase, but the quantities of particular wines will be down.
We will see a lot of case lots – 12 bottles of this, 12 of that, but where in the past, three cases of this wine or four of that might have been ordered, those numbers may be down, with the exception of featured wines or ‘wines of the month’.
Apparently one of the big distribution warehouses has been sold.
Under the old system, it was possible that not all the wine designated for a particular release would have been optioned, and so some would remain in the warehouse.
This won’t happen anymore.
Less space is available, and less will be needed.
There will also be an emphasis on customer orders.
If there is a wine scheduled for release, customers have until the Tuesday prior to place an order at their store for that wine.
Every effort will be made, they say, to meet customer requests.
This means of course, that you are going to have to know what is going to be on offer, or you’ll have to take your chances on the day of release.
You can call Vintages at 1-800-266-4764 to get on the mailing list for the catalogue which will usually get to you about a week before that Tuesday deadline.
There’s more wine than we can ever hope to enjoy, even in our government-controlled system.
Still, the “thrill of the hunt” always tempts us, and so the keen ones will likely be doing a lot more homework in the months ahead. It remains to be seen how it will all play out.
For the 25th, we are receiving 74 different wines, 94 cases in all.
The “most available” wine is the reliable McManis Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, $19.95, from California, aged 6 months in new and old French oak.
It’s very approachable in style, stressing creamy smoothness and some vanilla.
For the same money, I would look to either the Cline Ancient Vines Carignane 2011, or Ancient Vines Mourvèdre, both $20.95.
They are noted for bold flavours, intensity, and texture.
You’re getting wines that are a bit more distinctive here – but there are only 12 bottles of each.
Shiraz lovers should consider the 2009 Graham Beck, $17.95, from South Africa.
The wine is noted for its big, robust flavours after more than a year in oak.
They recommend it with hearty stews, but I think it would accompany barbecued ribs very nicely.
In whites, the Laurent Miquel Nord Sud Viognier 2011, $14.95, was praised at the Decanter World wine Awards as demonstrating “lots of peach and apricot in the mouth” along with “crisp acidity.”
Happy hunting. In future, if merited, I’ll try to direct you to some good wines to order in for yourselves.
There’s always something new.
Ticket Sales have been brisk for June 8’s Saultlicious in support of the Art Gallery of Algoma and the Algoma Conservatory of Music.
Buses take you from venue to venue downtown, with stops at Dish, A Thymely Manner, Frida Café and Art, Solo Trattoria, and the Art Gallery (where you’re hosted by the Water Tower’s Pavilion).
The Finale, hosted by the Delta’s View Restarant, is at Riversedge, in the converted Machine Shop.
Each venue features live music arranged by the Conservatory.
Wineries include Angels Gate, Cattail Creek, Flat Rock Cellars, and Lailey Vineyards from Niagara, along with Norman Hardie from Prince Edward County.
You must purchase your tickets by June 1, though they may well be sold out beforehand.
Cost is $125 pr person, and a $25 tax receipt will be provided.
They are available at the Art gallery, the Delta, or the Downtown Association.