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Showing posts from July, 2009

Friday Night Wine Down : Viognier

Featured wine: Viognier

Wikipedia description:
Viognier (vee-ohn-yay) is a white wine grape. It is the only permitted grape for the French wine Condrieu in the Rhone valley.

Viognier wines are well-known for their floral aromas, due to terpenes, which are also found in Muscat and Riesling wines. There are also many other powerful flower and fruit aromas which can be perceived in these wines depending on where they were grown, the weather conditions and how old the vines were. Although some of these wines, especially those from old vines and the late-harvest wines, are suitable for aging, most are intended to be consumed young. Viogniers more than three years old tend to lose many of the floral aromas that make this wine unique. Aging these wines will often yield a very crisp drinking wine which is almost completely flat in the nose. The color and the aroma of the wine suggest a sweet wine but Viognier wines are predominantly dry, although sweet late-harvest dessert wines have been made. …

Friday Night Wine Down : Shiraz/Syrah

Featured wine: Shiraz/Syrah

Wikipedia description: Syrah is a dark-skinned grape grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce powerful red wines. Syrahs enjoy great popularity in the marketplace, relatively often under the name Shiraz.
Syrah is used as a varietal and blended into other wines. Following several years of strong planting, Syrah was estimated in 2004 to be the world's 7th most grown grape at 142,600 hectares (352,000 acres).
DNA profiling in 1999 found Syrah to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. It should not be confused with Petite Sirah, a synonym for Durif, a cross of Syrah with Peloursin dating from 1880.
I've tasted: Indaba (South Africa, Western Cape) $7.95 Yellow Tail (Australia) $6.99 Yellow Tail Shiraz-Cabernet Blend (Australia) $6.99 Black Opal (Australia) $14.99
Food pairings: barbecuecheese (aged and/or hard) chili duck grilled meat or vegetables hamburgers lamb steak grilled tuna venison
Notes: Nob…

Friday Night Wine Down : Gewürztraminer

Featured wine: Gewürztraminer
Nickname: Gewürz
Wikipedia description: Gewürztraminer is an aromatic wine grape variety that performs best in cooler climates. It is sometimes referred to colloquially as Gewürz, and in French it is written Gewurztraminer (without the umlaut). Gewürztraminer is a variety with a pink to red skin colour, which makes it a "white wine grape" as opposed to the blue to black-skinned varieties commonly referred to as "red wine grapes". The variety has high natural sugar and the wines are white and usually off-dry, with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees. Indeed, Gewürztraminer and lychees share the same odorant compounds. Dry Gewürztraminers may also have aromas of roses, passion fruit and floral notes. It is not uncommon to notice some spritz (fine bubbles on the inside of the glass).
Its aromatic flavours make Gewürztraminer one of the few wines that are suitable for drinking with Asian cuisine. It goes well with Hirtenkäse, Münster cheese, and …

Friday Night Wine Down : Chenin Blanc

Featured wine: Chenin Blanc

Nickname: Steen (in South Africa)

Wikipedia description:
Chenin blanc (also Pineau de la Loire and Gout fort), is a variety of white wine grape from the Loire valley of France. Its high acidity means it can be used to make everything from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines, although it can produce very bland, neutral wines if the vine's natural vigour is not controlled. Outside the Loire it is found in most of the New World wine regions; it is the most widely planted variety in South Africa, where it is also known as Steen.

Chenin blanc (or simply Chenin) is a particularly versatile grape that is used to make dry white wines, sparkling wines, dessert wines and brandy. It provides a fairly neutral palate for the expression of terroir, vintage variation and the winemaker's treatment.

In cool areas the juice is sweet but high in acid with a full-bodied fruity varietal palate. In the unreliable summers of northern France, the acidity of underripe…

Man Does Not Live by Wine Alone

As you may have deduced, the holiday weekend's activities have pre-empted the weekly Wine Down session. However, I managed to squeeze in a trip to the local greenmarket. The offerings were not only tasty and fragrant, but rather photogenic.
This may be your only serving of vegetables on this hot-dog, hamburger and barbeque filled day, so I hope you enjoy.
Happy 4th of July!
Sweet red peppers.

These strawberries smelled divine.

Fish was going really fast (making a mental note to get there earlier next time).

Almost too pretty to eat. Almost!

I figured it would have been rude of me to totally ignore the wine.

Zucchini and yellow squash.

Garlic scapes. Possibly my favourite summer veggie.