Wine Picks

Shari’s Picks® for November!

When daylight saving time ends, along with an extra hour of sleep, it’s a reminder to replace the batteries on the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. As exciting as that is, I am more interested in the natural move from light and zesty wines to those with more body. The declining temperatures make red wines feel more comforting and pair better with heartier foods. 

Given this transition, I have two picks for you to consider this month.

I understand not everyone, like me, always chooses heavy red wines. There are many options for fruity, less intense red wines. Bachelder Wismer-Foxcroft 33% Whole Cluster Cru Gamay Noir 2021 fits that bill. The truth is, I have never had a wine crafted by Thomas Bachelder that I didn’t enjoy. And he is turning me into a lover of Gamay! This Gamay was released in VINTAGES on October 7. Unfortunately, unless you order your wines online or can visit one of the 10 flagship stores, inconveniently located if you live outside urban Toronto or Ottawa, you might not get a chance to try it. Luckily, I am close to the Oakville flagship store and was able to pick up a few bottles. Bachelder Wismer-Foxcroft 33% Whole Cluster Cru Gamay Noir 2021 has a translucent red colour, forward fresh berry aromas, spicy flavours, balanced acidity, low tannins and a soft lingering finish. Enjoy with braised duck, pasta with creamy mushroom sauce, pizza and Camembert cheese.

Bachelder Wismer-Foxcroft 33% Whole Cluster Cru Gamay Noir 2021| VQA | Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara | 750 mL | 13,5 % alc | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES +33994 | $29.95

As a sidebar, I want to say how proud I felt seeing Ontario Chardonnay and Pinot Noir featured and recognized in the November issue of UK’s Decanter wine magazine. Our local wine region is gaining more and more praise and is definitely on the world wine stage!

Shrinkflation is rampant. Reducing a product’s size or quantity, while maintaining the retail price has become commonplace. Did you check the size of Halloween chocolate this year? SMALLER. 

Fortunately, wine bottle sizes are standard, so it is more difficult to fool the savvy wine consumer. However, wine prices are rising. My sister-in-law recently pointed out that one of her favourite wines had jumped almost 50% over the past two years. 

One way to find good value in wines is to search for older vintages. Wines from earlier vintages often offer good value for your wine dollar. And since the winery has done years of cellaring for you, the tannins tend to be more integrated and soft, with more nuanced aromas and flavours. All at minimal extra cost to you!!

With that in mind, I recently enjoyed a red wine missing from our market for the past few years, from the highly recognizable Bodegas BeroniaThe Beronia Gran Reserva 2012, will be available at VINTAGES locations starting November 18. This wine offers is a rare opportunity to enjoy a red that has been corked up for many years! As a bonus, the 2012 vintage in La Rioja, Spain, is considered “very good”. Beronia Gran Reserva 2012 has a deep red colour, rich aromas of vanilla and cherries, good acidity and balanced tannins with tastes of spice and ripe fruit with a soft lingering finish. I paired this with lamb sausages. It was perfect! Try Beronia Gran Reserva with Chorizo, roast beef, Manchego cheese and grilled vegetables.

Beronia Gran Reserva 2012| Rioja, Spain | 750 mL | 14 % alc | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES +940965 | $39.95
*Releasing in VINTAGES on November 18

Shop early! At $39.95, you may want to stock up or consider it for the red wine lover on your list. Since the holidays tend to creep up, it is never too early to start planning! 


Shari 🥂

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