Happy New Year fellow wine lovers!
I hope 2016 is treating you well thus far. Have you tasted any good wines lately? I’m always looking for new wines to try, so please share in the comments!
Speaking of new wines, as I was doing some Facebook
stalking perusing the other day, I came across an ad for the LCBO’s Customer Favourites of 2015.
Intrigued, I clicked on it, hoping that Ontario’s tastes would be in line with my own. According to the LCBO, here are the supposed fan favourites:
- Best Italian Star: The Wanted Zin Old Vines Zinfandel (Italy)
- Most Surprising Twist: Beronia Rioja, Tempranillo, Elaboración especial (Spain)
- Best Shiraz: Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz (Australia)
- Local Hero: Open Smooth White (Ontario)
I was shocked to see that I had never had any of the chosen wines. Not a single one! Was I missing out? Did the rest of Ontario know something I didn’t?? Obviously, I had to find out. Luckily, my local LCBO had 3 out of 4. I am still on the look-out for the shiraz, which is dwindling rapidly here in Ottawa.
Last night, I opened the Beronia Rioja, and here are my notes:
Colour: Deep ruby red
Aromas: Yummy: Black cherry, tobacco, chocolate, strawberry
Palate: Fairly fruit forward: tart cherry, strawberry at the outset, evolving into vanilla, liquorice (Google disapproves of my Canadian spelling, btw) and cedar.
Structure: Medium-bodied, medium tannins and high mouthwatering acidity – the perfect structure for food!
We paired this rioja with a hearty beef stew, and it was a hit! When a red wine has light–medium tannins and high acidity, it often pairs well with most foods, and this wine was no exception.
Conclusion: I think Ontario bought this in such large numbers precisely because it is such a food-friendly wine. On its own, the wine is so-so, but it goes really nicely with a wintery beef roast or stew. Also, is it just me or is there an aura of mystery surrounding Spanish wines? I feel like they tend to be lesser known wines that are often surprising in terms of their price-quality ratio. That said, I’m not sure I would buy this one again. But don’t take my word for it; that is simply a reflection of my personal preferences. Remember: wine tasting is an incredibly subjective venture, so I would encourage you to try this wine for yourself to see if you like it. Plus, it is $2 off until January 31, so at $13.95, now is the time!
Post-conclusion thoughts: I was asking myself why the category for this wine was “Most Surprising Twist”. The description in the article explains “This unusually barrel-fermented Tempranillo from Spain began as an experiment and turned into a commercial hit”. Is that it then? Was the surprising twist that it ended up selling so well? I think they need to hire better category creators.
Stay tuned. I’m sure I’ll be reviewing more so-called customer faves soon!
P.S. I also bought a bottle of the Beronia Rioja Reserva, which I think is this winemaker’s standard rioja (not the experimental version). I’ll let you know how it is!