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"Go To" Wines

Tried and True, Classic Quaffs

 The other day a client emailed us, asking for a few “reliable” wine options. Some red, some white, under $20, and always available so that he could pick them up in a pinch and know what to expect. It’s reassuring to have an arsenal of ‘go-tos’ on your wine shopping list when life takes over and you don’t have the leisure of whiling away hours in the LCBO. Here are a few of some of our tried-and-trues.

 

The Whites:

 

Light & Fresh:
These bottles make great aperitifs, and can be sipped solo or easily paired with hors d’oeuvres and lighter meals. 

 

 

Anselmi San Vincenzo Veneto, Italy 2011, $14.95
A blend of Garganega, Chardonnay and a bit of Trebbiano, this is aromatic with  ripe stone fruit, ginger spice and lavender.  Perfect for vegetarian curry, or seafood pasta in herbed olive oil.

 

 

Racy & flavourful:
You can’t go wrong with a Riesling. They are among the friendliest of wines to pair with a variety of dishes: everything from a rich pork cassoulet, to spicy pad thai or simple grilled chicken breast with mango salsa, Rieslings can stand up -- and compliment -- nearly anything you can throw at it.

 

 

 

Megalomaniac Narcissist Riesling, VQA Niagara Peninsula 2011, $16.95
Just joining the Essentials list this past summer, look for an edgy Riesling with floral notes, honey, lemon-lime and classic mineral notes.

 

Full Bodied.
You always need a bottle or two on hand to pair with those "bigger" lighter foods like BBQ salmon, roast chicken, pork loin, pâté and grilled shellfish like lobster and scallops.  

 

 

Cono Sur Oragnic Chardonnay, San Antonio Valley, Chile 2011, $11.95
An unbelievably good wine at only $11, this is rich and creamy with mango, pineapple, mildly oaky butterscotch notes as well as a bit of mineral.

 

The Reds:

 

Refreshing.
Ontario really excels at Gamay -- the main grape of Beaujolais. A lighter bodied red that still offers delicate complexity, it’s one of our favourite red grapes.  It pairs equally well with all the Chardonnay foods listed above plus "red wine foods" like BBQ.  

 

 

Malivoire Gamay, VQA Niagara Escarpment 2010, $17.95
Look for plum, red cherry, earth and leafy notes.  Quite a lovely wine.

 

Mid Weight & Versatile.
When you are enjoying a heartier fare that demands a bit more oomph, medium bodied reds can go a long way. Merlot, Sangiovese (Chianti), and Valpolicella are all good bets here, but for something cheap and always available.

 

 

Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone, France 2010 $15.95
Mostly Grenache with some Syrah, Carignanne & Cinsault in the blend, this is a lighter CdR, but very approachable with juicy red fruit, floral and wild herb notes and a touch of spice. Enjoy on pizza night or with rustic pot roast & root vegetables.

 

Big, Bold and Beautiful.
You want something big to go with steaks and ribs and roast beef?  Head to Chile, where wines of grace, power, and finesse are easy to find for exceptional prices.

 

 

Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Aconcagua Valley, Chile, $18.95.
It's always in General List (as is its equally delicious brother the Max Reserva Syrah) and is filled with cassis, mocha, black cherry, eucalyptus, sweet tamarind spice and cedar notes.

 

 

Courtney & Erin Henderson are The Wine Sisters, specializing in custome wine events and tours. Visit them online at thewinesisters.com