Monthly Archives: January 2013

Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Scholssberg Riesling Spatlese 2009

Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Scholssberg Riesling Spatlese 2009

 

Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Scholssberg Riesling Spatlese 2009
Germany, $39

Thai food is notorious for being difficult to pair with wine. It’s spicy, it’s sweet, it’s savoury. But at a recent lunch at Vancouver’s amazing Maenam, one wine shone for its ability to pair and complement almost every dish Chef Angus An brought out: this bottling from Selbach Oster. Crispy Pork Belly Stir fry? No problem. Panaeng Curry of Beef Chuck? Squid Salad with Chili jam dressing? Bam and bam, good. It’s not cheap, but as one of my dining companions said after a sip, “Is there a better desert island than this?” He might be right.

Psst: Try the German wine for yourself at Maenam’s (admittedly thematically inappropriate) Chinese New Year’s celebration. Get one of their limited tickets here.

Cedro de Noval 2007

Cedro de Noval 2007 
Portugal, $35

Portugal’s been taking it on the chin in the world financial markets of late (Greece exists so they can say “Well, I suppose it could be worse”), but their wine industry is doing remarkably well. Port prices are steady (and expensive), and while they’ve ceded a huge portion of the under-$15 market to Argentina and Chile, they seem poised to make a serious move into the premium red wine market, especially with wines from the Douro valley (where port is grown). And while the wines are relatively new, the vines aren’t—they’re easily some of he oldest in Europe and the wine they produce has depth, structure and intensity that belies the young pedigree of some of the wines. Take this week’s pick: Cedro de Noval. The label is relatively young, and at $35 its the winery’s entry red, which seems a tad ballsy until you realize the winery is Quinta de Noval—arguably the world’s greatest Port producers (they’ve been making it since 1715). The wine has a dose of syrah to go with its native grape varieties, Touriga Nacional, Tintao Cão, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz. The result is a unique blast of plum and cherries but a good wallop of acidity and structure. In a world where wines are all starting to taste alike, this guy stands out.

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Wolftrap White 2011

organic sparkling wine

 

Wolftrap White 2011
South Africa, $15

David Platter is the Robert Parker Jr., James Suckling and Stephen Tanzer of South Africa. Being lauded by his eponymous tome, Platter’s South African Wine Guide, is the crown jewel of vindom, so when Boekenhoutskoolf’s (the front runner for the winery with the most fun name to say) Wolftrap White recently snagged the “Superquaffer of the Year” award, I immediately sourced out a bottle. The red Wolftrap has been one of the perennial under-$20 stars in our market, but I confess that I had missed the white’s arrival (though it’s truly a case of better late than never). The Viognier (57%) Chenin Blanc (32%) and Grenache Blanc (11%) blend has the lovely fruit blossoms you’d expect but an acidic balance, zip and long finish that belie it’s under $15 price tag. And it would go amazing with gravlax. Or on its own. Or frankly on your breakfast cereal.

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Anna Spinato Organic Prosecco

organic sparkling wine

Anna Spinato Organic Prosecco
Italy, $14.99

2013 should be the year you make 2 wine commitments: 1. Seek out organic/biodynamic producers; 2. Drink more bubbles (not necessarily Champagne—unless you had a really good 2012, then go for it). And this week’s wine delivers on both counts. It’s an organic prosecco from Anna Spinato and it’s a winner. It’s light and fruity (expect strong peach and tangerine notes) so I’d personally drink it before dinner, not with the food. The package sort of screams good times, and the price is under $15. I saw the same bottle on sale in England for over 15 pounds, so it’s landed on our shores as a serious bargain and a great way to start 2013 on the right foot.