Plan your weekly wine drink­ing

Montreal Times - - NEWS -

My wife likes to plan her meals on a weekly ba­sis. It's a good thing, be­cause it saves you time and gives you a sense of struc­ture for your week­days.Why not do the same thing with wine?. I pro­pose this idea to my wife over the last week­end and she looked to me quite per­plexed. She ar­gued with me, that it was not the same thing since I could just pull some­thing from my cel­lar ac­cord­ing to my fancy. Ac­tu­ally, it is kind of the same sit­u­a­tion be­cause how to plan your wine drink­ing can save as much time as your weekly cook­ing. You will spend less time at the SAQ and by hav­ing a wine pro­gram, it's is a good sys­tem to learn about wine.

A mat­ter of com­mon sense, your wines should match the sea­son and the din­ners that you are cook­ing. Also, for the weekday, you should spend be­tween $10-$25 for your bot­tles leav­ing the pricier bot­tles for the week­end.

Here is a sam­pler wine pro­gram with sug­gested meals for you week. En­joy! Mon­day: Start your Mon­day with a black bean and beef chili with a hearty south­ern rhone blend. Reg­u­lar read­ers of this col­umn know of my fond­ness for the re­gion. A mag­nif­i­cent wine to have is the Lirac 2015 by

Chateau Mont Re­don ( SAQ # 11293970, $24.75).

Per­fumed and ex­pres­sive with a pro­nounced com­plex­ity. Red cur­rants, gar­rigue, gauloise tobacco with mint. Fresh and el­e­gant with ripe and round tan­nins it will el­e­vate the cumin and co­coa notes of your chili. Tues­day: How about a baked cod casse­role?. With every­thing pre­pare in advance, ar­rive home and put your dish in a pre­heated oven. En­joy it with a Catena Za­p­ata Chardon­nay 2016. ( SAQ #00865279, $20-LCBO # 918805) A steely and struc­tured Ar­gen­tinian chardon­nay with ripe trop­i­cal fruit aro­mas, but­tery palate and neo clas­si­cal style. This wine has enough flesh to han­dle the creamy and pun­gent fla­vors of the dish. Wed­nes­day:Take an in­cur­sion in Bordeaux with the Mar­quis de Bordeaux 2015 ( SAQ #13364807, $18.65).A dom­i­nant blend of Mer­lot ( 65%) and Caber­net

Franc ( 35%) will be out­stand­ing with pulled pork que­sadil­las. A brood­ing mix of red and black fruit flavours, plush palate with firm and grippy tan­nins. Rich enough to han­dle the smoky bbq and pro­nounced cheese flavours of the que­sadil­las.

Thurs­day. One of my all time Asian style dishes is a chicken and cashew nut stir fry. In the fu­ture this dish should be won­der­ful with a Cana­dian Ries­ling. I re­cently tasted the 1765 Cave Spring Cel­lars Ries­ling 2015 ( SAQ # 10745532, $18.45-LCBO # 10745532, $15.95)This Ries­ling show pretty aro­mas of lime jelly,stone flint with a pro­nounced flo­ral side. On the mouth, fleshy with a zesty acid­ity and pro­nounced flo­ral side and a pas­sion fruit af­ter­taste.

La Grande Dé­gus­ta­tion of Mon­treal is com­ing very soon just in 4 weeks.Two ma­jor themes of this year edi­tion will be Wash­ing­ton state wines and Ries­lings. At la grande dé­gus­ta­tion, which will take place on the com­ing 3rd and 4th of Novem­ber, you will able to meet 180 pro­duc­ers and taste more than 800 prod­ucts both avail­able at the SAQ and in pri­vate im­port.

Wash­ing­ton is an im­por­tant wine­grow­ing state that's is get­ting mo­men­tum for its high-qual­ity reds and whites, Wash­ing­ton trails Cal­i­for­nia in pro­duc­tion num­bers but is less pop­u­lar than Ore­gon. Slowly but surely, this is be­gin­ning to change as Wash­ing­ton’s wines con­tinue to get praise from wine lovers alike. Pro­duc­ers draw in­spi­ra­tion from the Napa Val­ley, Bordeaux, and the Rhône.

In the lat­est press tast­ing of the AQAVBS, as a pre­view for La Grande Dé­gus­ta­tion in Mon­treal, I had a chance to taste some of the prod­ucts avail­able for the Que­bec Mar­ket. Here are my top picks:

In the ap­pel­la­tion Walla Walla, L’Ecole No.41 was cre­ated in 1983 by Jean and Baker Fer­gu­son and is now run by their daugh­ter and son-in-law, Me­gan and Marty Clubb. The school­house af­ter which the win­ery was named was con­structed in 1915 in French­town, a tiny com­mu­nity just west of Walla Walla whose de­rives from the nu­mer­ous French-Cana­di­ans who set­tled there in the early 1800’s and planted the orig­i­nal vine­yards. The French name of the win­ery is in homage of their ef­forts (the num­ber 41 is the num­ber of the precinct to which the school once be­longed).

Chenin Blanc 2015. SAQ

# 11416950. $27.60

On the nose de­li­cious notes of pas­sion­fruit and white grape­fruit with soft herba­ceous un­der­tones. On the palate, rich with round edges, medium acid­ity and well bal­anced. Pair­ing nice with a well sea­soned salmon tar­tar.

French­town Mer­lot Syrah Caber­net Sauvi­gnon Mourve­dre 2014. SAQ # 13234210.

$30.25

Pow­er­ful nose rem­i­nis­cent of tobacco leaf, dark cherry with cola and gunpowder. On the palate, full body with an en­velop­ing mouth and ripe tan­nins. Good bal­ance be­tween acid­ity and power. This could be a good can­di­date for braised beef short ribs.

Syrah 2014. SAQ # 10709030. $41.00

A san­guine and earthy nose rem­i­nis­cent of smoke, red meat, black pep­per and laven­der. On the mouth sweet tast­ing, ripe tan­nins with dark black fruit, co­coa and aro­matic fine herbs.Very long fi­nale. Ex­cel­lent choice with braised lamb shanks.

Ste Michelle WIne Es­tates

Ste Michelle wine es­tates is the third largest lux­ury wine com­pany in the U.S. Head­quar­tered just out­side of Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton, they have a track record go­ing back to 1934.Wines un­der the Ste. Michelle la­bel were first in­tro­duced in 1967, and since that time the com­pany has ex­panded its vine­yard hold­ings to more than 3,700 acres in both Wash­ing­ton and Cal­i­for­nia.These are good in­tro­duc­tory wines to ex­pe­ri­ence the Wash­ing­ton wine style.

Ste Michelle Wine Es­tates Chardon­nay 2016.

SAQ # 11416116. $19.55. LCBO # 232439.

$21.95

Very aro­matic with co­conut, pineap­ple and other trop­i­cal fruit aro­mas. Dry and quite tight with a palate dom­i­nated by wood aro­mas. An af­ter­taste that bring to mind cit­rus fruits such as lime. Pair­ing it well with grilled pork or veal chop.

Ste Michelle Wine Es­tates Caber­net Sauvi­gnon 2015. SAQ # 11882221. $19.55. LCBO # 269357. $20.95

Clas­sic caber­net char­ac­ter.Well sea­soned aro­mas of prunes, cas­sis, bell pep­per. On the palate, full body, quite ex­tracted with mus­cu­lar tan­nins, gen­er­ous acid­ity and a rav­ish­ing fi­nale. A wine like this needs a thick T-Bone steak.

Week­end wine Osoy­oos Larose Le Grand Vin 2014. SAQ #

10293169. $43.60

Osoy­oos Larose is a joint ven­ture be­tween Con­stel­la­tion brands and Groupe Tail­lan, a french com­pany that owns many Chateaux in­clud­ing Chateau Gru­aud-Larose of St. Julien. Larose is lo­cated 80-acre bench over­look­ing Lake Osoy­oos in the South Okana­gan, Bri­tish Columbia.

Osoy­oos is lo­cated in Canada only desert.The cli­mate here is in­flu­enced by the Coast Moun­tain Range that pro­tects the re­gion from the Pa­cific weather sys­tems.The end game is a spe­cial mi­cro­cli­mate which is arid with cle­ment tem­per­a­tures

Vin­tage af­ter af­ter, this Cana­dian Bordeaux blend de­liv­ers con­sis­tent re­sults.The grand vin is usu­ally bar­rel aged for 18-20 months on bot­tle and a fur­ther 6 months in bot­tle On the nose mar­velous aro­mas of dark choco­late, espresso with black­ber­ries and red morello cher­ries. Beau­ti­ful palate with a silky and el­e­gant tex­ture. Struc­tured and bal­anced with a good acid­ity and well en­dowed tan­nins. Hard to re­sist drink­ing it now but will age for a decade or two. En­joy it with Tourne­dos Rossini style.

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