I love blends. Some of my favourite wines are blends… Bordeaux, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cotes du Rhone, among others. Not too long ago, single varietal wines were all the rage, but now the trend is for blends. Blends are wines made from 2 or more grape varieties. Many prominent Ontario wine producers are taking advantage of this trend and coming out with a number of blends in all price points to satisfy the needs of thirsty wine lovers. At the pricier end of the scale, there are wines such as Stratus Red and White – delicious, but be prepared to part with a few bucks. There are also many blends that are fruity, approachable, easy drinking, and won’t break the bank. I recently became curious about some of these wines as I wandered around the shelves of the LCBO’s General List VQA wines. I saw a number of new and unfamiliar labels and noticed that many were made by well-established Ontario producers – the Speck brothers of Henry of Pelham, Kacaba Vineyards, Vincor, Chateau des Charmes, Peninsula Ridge, etc, so I decided to buy a few and give them a try. All the wines I chose were under $14.
Now, these are not serious wines to ponder and reflect on, but they are tasty, and they’re ready to drink now. Have a few bottles of these wines on hand for those casual occasions when friends drop by, or you just feel like a glass of red with dinner. They’ll also be great in the warmer months when we start to fire up the barbie – they’re perfect for all kinds of grilled meats.
Here are My 3 Favourites:
Red House Wine Company 2009 Cabernet Shiraz
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Family Tree Red 2009 – by Henry of Pelham and declared it a Wednesday’s WoW, well the same producers have come out with another easy drinking red called Red House Wine Company Cabernet Shiraz ($12.95). This wine has smokey mocha, spicy cherry and blackberry notes with a round texture and velvetty tannins. There is a pleasant lingering finish of black pepper spice and smokey fruit. This wine is meant for current consumption, but will keep another couple of years. Pair with bbq’d ribs.
Generation Seven 2009 Red
Generation Seven 2009 Red is from the Bosc family of Chateau des Charmes and was created to honour the seven generations of the family who have been born into the winemaking industry. Currently the fifth and sixth generations are at the helm, and they hope that one day the seventh generation will take over the business. This wine is an unusual blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and a hint of Gamay. This wine is full of aromas of crushed wild berry aromas, sweet vanilla, and baking spice. There is enough barrel aging to add some soft oak notes. Soft and round on the palate with a good length. Meant for current consumption. Pair with pasta with a meaty tomato sauce. ($13.95)
Kacaba Vineyards Gypsy Red 2009
Brought to you by Kacaba Vineyards, the 2009 Gypsy Red 2009 is a blend of equal proportions of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon and was aged for 12 months in French and American oak. Loads of berry aromas with a pretty floral note, cedar, dried leaves, and spicy oak. Medium to full-bodied with slightly gritty tannins, dried herbs, cherry, and a smokey, spicy fruit finish. Meant for current consumption but will keep a couple of years. Pair with beef burgers or pot roast. ($11.95)