|We are pleased to offer you four categories of wines: |
Many of the wines listed below are available in two or more quality levels at my winery (see "About Winemaking" section for details).
Most important: Know the wine styles you prefer and use this to make your initial purchase decision. (You can experiment later!)
Amarone: At the LCBO, you would probably pay $30 or more for a single bottle of Italian Amarone. The high price is partly explained by the winemaking method and partly by mark-ups and taxes. Amarone is made from Valpolicella grapes (specifically Corvina, Rondinella and Molinera) that are picked and then dried on wooden racks. The drying process concentrates the sugars which produces a high-alcohol (15%) and rich red wine that pairs perfectly with red meats. (P.S. The Amarone you make with me does not cost $30 a bottle!)
Barolo: Nebbiolo, the grape variety behind this famous Italian wine, grows in a tiny section of the Piedmont region, around the town of Barolo. Full-bodied and dense, this wine complements steaks and roasts, hearty pastas and fine aged cheese.
Bergamais*: Gamay, the grape in Bergamais (we cannot call it by its French name), produces a light and fruity red wine that is best served slightly chilled. Enjoy with casual foods, from burgers from the grill to pizza from the local pie place.
Bourgeron*: See Pinot Noir
Cabernet Sauvignon: The most popular red wine variety in the world, Cabernet Sauvignon is grown throughout the world's wine regions, including France's Bordeaux, Chile's Central Valley, California's Lake County (Kendall-Jackson is one of this area's producers) as well as the Russian River and Napa Valley, Texas' Central Valley, Argentina's Rio Negro, South Australia (Wolf Blass wine country), South Africa's Stellenbosch and right here in our backyard, in the Niagara region. Deep in colour, medium-to-full body, Cabernet Sauvignon needs time in the bottle to soften the tannins -- and after that may be enjoyed with red meats, BBQ chicken, or many pasta dishes.
Chianti: If you have seen the motion picture Under The Tuscan Sun, you have seen the traditional home of the Sangiovese grape and its wine, Chianti. A red wine that may be enjoyed while young, it may be enjoyed with casual meals -- lasagna, pizza or veal sandwiches.
Lemberger: A German red wine also known as Blauer Limberger or, in Austria, Blaufrankisch. Noted for its deep red colour and spicy-sweet earthy flavour, Lemberger may be enjoyed with hamburgers hot off the grill.
Merlot: Well-planted in Europe in South America and the US (California and Washington states specifically), Merlot offers a soft, fruity wine that matches well with lamb, steak and prime rib or with medium cheeses such as Cheddar. Or, enjoy Merlot on its own.
Montepulciano: A popular Italian wine that is widely grown in the Abruzzi region. A robust, flaourful dry red wine that can be enjoyed young with pasta, steak or hard cheese. This wine also ages well in the bottle.
Pinot Noir (aka Pinot Nero, Bergeron): Widely planted, the pinot noir grape is gaining an enviable reputation in Oregon, where the International Pinot Noir Convention happens each year in McMinnville. A delicate, light-to-medium body wine with fruity overtones, Pinot Noir can be enjoyed with a wide range of foods, from soft cheeses to grilled salmon.
Rioja: Spain's leading wine-producing region, located in the north-east; the river Oja runs through it while the Aberian mountains define its southern border. ("Rio" means river in Spanish.) Rioja, the wine, comes from the indiginous Tempranillo grape blended with Garnacha (and sometimes other local varieties). A rich wine with flavours of cherry, blackberry and vanilla, Rioja may be enjoyed young with spicy Thai, Indian and Mexican foods.
Rosso Grande: Corvina and Rondinella (2 of the 3 varieties in Amarone) team up in this extra full bodied red wine that is fruity (black cherry and plum) and elegant. Pair with red meat or sharp cheese.
Shiraz: Known as "Syrah" in Europe and "Shiraz" in Australia and South Africa, this robust, fruity, peppery wine is enjoying much success - so much so that a Toronto Life reader suggested, in a letter to the magazine, that the LCBO be renamed "Shiraz World" because the retail giant features so many varieties. (Shiraz is the most widely planted grape in Australia.) Pair with beef, whether BBQ'd Filet Mignon or burgers.
Valpolicella: Crafted from the same grapes as Amarone, Valpolicella is a light, fruity and refreshing red wine that complements pasta and veal dishes.
Vieux Chateau du Roi*: A blend of up to 13 different grape varieties create this classic, full-bodied red wine that is deep in colour, carrying a warn bouquet of ripe berry fruit with a touch of oak. The original comes from France's Rhone Valley where the wine might lead one to think about the Pope's summer home.
Zinfandel: Not to be confused with "White Zinfandel" (which is neither white nor usually made from the Zinfandel grape), this exotic black grape produces a soft, spicy wine of medium body and a hint of oak. Enjoy with beef, spicy foods or even a fruit and chees plate. (Among the Zinfandel wines that we offer, Old Vine Zinfandel is highly recommended.)
Bordailles Blanc*: A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion grapes, this French-inspired white wine is dry, with medium body and medium oak. Enjoy with seafood or roast turkey.
Bourgeron Blanc*: See Chardonnay
Chamblais*: An inspired blend of French Colombard, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay that produces an easy-drinking wine. Enjoy lightly chilled with casual meals like chicken salad...pasta salad...Ploughman's Lunch...or fresh-shucked oysters.
Chardonnay: The most widely planted white wine grape in the world, Chardonnay traces its origin to Burgandy (virtually all white wines from Burgandy are based on the Chardonnary grape). In addition to being a grape variety, Chardonnay has become a brand as strong as many packaged goods. (Its success created the "ABC movement", wine enthusiasts longing for "anything but Chardonnay" in their glass.) Golden in colour, the precise characteristics of your Chardonnay depend on the one you choose -- we have many Chardonnays including kits from France, Australia, Chile and British Columbia. ("Bella Bianco*" is highly recommended.) Enjoy your Chardonnay with fish, pork, shellfish, soft cheeses and more.
Chenin Blanc (aka Chenin, Pineau de la Loire, Pinot Blanco): Widely planted throughout the world -- Separately, the US and South Africa have more planted than France -- this refreshingly crisp and dry white wine is as versatile as it is popular. Enjoy it own its own, with light cream-based pastas or with spicy foods (although, generally, we prefer Gewurztraminer with the latter).
French Colombard: Widely planted in California, this grape variety originated in Cognac (where it is known simply as Colombard). Soft and smooth, French Colombard may be enjoyed -- lightly chilled -- on its own or with most fish and poultry dishes. This wine may be consumed while quite young.
Gewurztraminer: This wine, which literally means "spicy traminer" is my husband's favorite white wine -- but, he has an iron stomach and loves the spicy foods that perfectly complement this wine! Native to the Alsace, "gewurz" is also grown in Germany, Austria Switzerland, the US and Canada.
Johannisberg Riesling: See Riesling
Libfraumilch: The first white wine that many enjoyed -- remember Black Tower or Blue Nun -- this slighly-sweet wine is a blend of Riesling, Silvaner and Muller-Thurgau grapes. Enjoy Liebfraumilch with pork, turkey or veal dishes.
Piesporter: See Riesling
Pinot Grigio A best seller month after month, Pinot Grigio is a soft, dry white wine with a hint of peach. Enjoy with seafood, shell fish or poultry, or on its own. This varietal is also grown in the Alsace (where it is known as Tokay) in France (Pinot Gris) and in Germany (Rulander).
Riesling Germany is known around the world for its white wines and in particular its Rieslings. Slighly sweet, Riesling complements pork, turkey and veal dishes. The Riesling grape flourishes in cooler climates; you will find it in Austria where it is known as Rhine Riesling, in France's Alsace, in the US (Washington, Oregon and New York States,where it is known as Johannisberg Riesling) and in Ontario's Niagara Region.
Ruisseau Blanc: See Chardonnay
Sauvignon Blanc: The trademark of Sauvignon Blanc is its "grassy" aroma. Native to France, the grape for this dry wine is also grown in New Zealand, South Africa and the US. New Zealand has gained an enviable reputation for its Sauvignon Blancs -- according to the LCBO's Fall 2003 Price Book, 6 of the 9 listed New Zealand white wines are this style (average price $13.48 for a 750mL bottle).
Soave: A blended white wine -- predominently Garganega with some Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and/or Trebbiano -- from Italy's Veneto region. Straw yellow in colour, this wine is light and delicate -- enjoy it, well chilled, on its own or with casual cold meals, a summer buffet, for instance.
Trebianno: See Soave
Verdicchio: One of Italy's best known white wines, largely through the marketing efforts of Fazi-Battaglia (It introduced the amphora-shaped bottle and scroll-shaped label; LCBO product #24422, $9.95 for 750mL). Grown extensively in The Marches region, Verdicchio is a pleasantly fruity, light-to-medium bodied white wine that pairs well with pesto- and marinara-based pasta dishes. Of historical note: The Mondavi family comes from The Marches, although they emigrated to the US in the 1920s and have been making wine there since the 1960s.
Viognier Native to France, Viognier is a white wine that is best consumed young. Deep golden in colour, this dry, full-bodied wine has a powerful, rich and complex aroma of ripe apricots and orange blossoms. Enjoy with grilled salmon or roast pork loin.
White Zinfandel: A blush wine that may be made with the Zinfandel grape (but not necessarily -- Muscat and Riesling are also used) and which was introduced by Sutter Home Vineyards in the early 1970s. (Reportedly, its sales increased from 25,000 cases in 1980 to 1.5 million in 1986.) Light and refreshing, with flavours of raspberry and strawberry, it should be served well chilled on a hot summer's day.
Most winemaking establishments (including us) call these "fruit wines", although this a bit of a shortcut. By definition, all grape-based wines are fruit wines as is wine made from strawberries (or any other fruit).
These are "fruit flavoured" wines, that is grape-based wines with fruit flavours added.
Whatever you call them, these are popular summer beverages...pure chilled refreshment with less alcohol than traditional table wines. Many varieties are less sweet than coolers and some -- Cranberry Shiraz, for example -- are year-round favorites.
This year, you can choose from 10 different varieties of fruit-flavoured wines ...
Blackberry Merlot — My top seller in 2005
Black Cherry Pinot Noir — Deep red berry flavour
Citrus Ice — New last year and an immediate hit
Cranberry Shiraz — Not just for turkey!
Green Apple Sauvignon Blanc — Like biting into an apple
Kiwi Melon Pinot Grigio — NEW FOR 2006
Peach Chardonnay — An orchard of flavour in your glass
Pink Grapefruit Blush — Sweet, yet slightly tart
Strawberry White Zinfandel — Pack some for your picnic
Tangerine Pinot Grigio — A winning variety from 2005
Tropical Fruit Riesling — Pineapple, mango and kiwi
You can also make Ice Wine Style, Sherry Style and Port Style wines -- each selection makes approximately 30 375mL bottles.
I look forward to helping you select some perfect wines for your home cellar...and to helping you save substantial sums of money at the same time!
You will find me at
Bloor West Winery
2869 Bloor Street West (at Prince Edward Drive)
Etobicoke, ON M8X 1B3
P.S. Avoid an extra trip -- if you know which wine you want to make let me know. I will hold it for you (or get it in, if I do not have it in stock).
* Denotes a trademark of the CCWA.