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Wine Wednesday – I’m back and drinking

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Hi. I’m back! Did you miss me?

It’s been a while, I know. I took some time off to move. No matter how organised you are (and believe me, I am organised. Organisation is what I do for a living) moving never goes according to plan. No matter how much help you hire, there are tasks that only you can do (unpacking the wine, for example). No matter how much time you take off, you will inevitably run out and your week-ends will be devoted to boxes and paper and tape guns. That has been my life for the past two months: packing and unpacking.

But, successfully move I did and, although the wine is still in boxes awaiting the new wine racks I am incredibly grateful to have a home to call my own. With some many in our rich society struggling in shelters, on the street, or “couch surfing”, it behooves me to remember to give a bit more generously to those who have less.

On a less somber note, I made a trip to the LCBO yesterday to pick up a bottle of wine to enjoy with a spicy tomato soup. It has been decidedly autumnal in Ottawa these past few days, and hot soup seemed to be in order.

Villa Mora Montefalco Sangrantino 2006 ($19.95 LCBO) is a red from Umbria. I chose it, as I often do, on a whim and because Umbria is near Rome and I like Rome (trust me, it made sense in my mind). The Sangratino grape is a native Italian grape that produces red wines that age, in my opinion, very well. In fact Montefalco Sangrantino wines must, in order to carry the name, be aged for over 2.5 years with at least 12 months in oak.

What does all of this mean when looking at the bottle? The name told me that these grapes, although harvested in 2006, would not have been bottled as wine until late 2009 at the earliest. The name also told me that the wine would have characteristics imparted by the oak barrels: probably some vanilla and cinnnamon, maybe some tobacco flavours. The grapes used tend to produce a very dark red wine, even with ageing, with strong notes of cooked fruit such as black cherries and red berries, dark chocolate or even coffee. Although a 2006, this wine was likely still young and could probably age for another five years.

I was not disappointed.

At $20 a bottle, this might be a bit steep for a Monday night table wine, but you would not regret it if you bought it. I did find it a bit high in the tannins; decanting it lessened their drying effect. You could match it with something salty to counter this effect: salt and vinegar chips come to mind. At $20 a bottle, this is a great wine to hang onto for a few more years when I think you’ll find it was actually quite a bargain. If you like big bold red wines and want an alternative to a California Cabernet Sauvignon, try this one.

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Although trained as a sommelier, I pay my bills working as an IT consultant. I love what I do for a living and keep wine as my hobby. As it looks bad if you only drink, I have occasionally been known to eat as well. Growing up on four different continents, I love to cook and appreciate the cuisines of the world. But wine is my passion. With a well-stocked cellar, I am always on the hunt for new wines and love hearing from people about their latest find or interesting pairing. My approach to wine: Drink what you like. Wine reviews need not be stuffy. Numerical ratings are meaningless. If it tastes good, drink it! If you don’t like it, then it’s not the wine for you.

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