by Don Cook
For my fourth column, I have selected 3 wines that are best in the autumn and even for the Thanksgiving holiday. The fall season is all about cooler nights and shorter days – sweater weather! Physiologically we turn to white and red wines that are richer in flavour and texture and higher in alcohol to keep us warm! In terms of pairing with cuisine, these wines will complement slow cooked or roasted meats and game as well as soups and root vegetables side dishes. I have selected a Canadian white wine, a Spanish red and an Australian Shiraz. Enjoy!
1) 2011 Strewn Niagara Peninsula Gewurztraminer Dry VQA (LCBO code 65359 – $12.95). The Alsace region in France is seen as the home of rich, dry, full flavoured “Gewurztraminers” (pronounce guh-VOORTS-truh-MEE-nur). This wine is modeled upon this classic style. The wine is medium bodied with aromas and flavours of spice, lychee, pineapple, lemon and rose pedal that finish clean and dry. Serve chilled and pair with Asian fare including sushi as well as root vegetable side dishes and vegetarian cuisine.
2) 2010 Faustino VII Rioja Tempranillo from Spain (LCBO code 315 – $12.65). When I think of the fall – I think of the red wines from Rioja because they pair with hearty fare. They are usually made from 100% from the Tempranillo grape which is indigenous to this region and is then aged in American oak barrels, as is this wine. Tempranillo wines can be rustic, tannic and astringent filled with cherry fruit and“gamy” characters. With that being said, this wine is medium to full bodied with aromas and flavours of ripe cherries (from its ageing in American oak), dried berries, tobacco, spice, and a little vanilla. Will pair with Mediterranean starters (roasted nuts, olives and cured meats) as well braised ribs or roasted chicken and root vegetables. Very good value!
3) 2012 Rosemount Estate South Australia Shiraz (LCBO code 302349 – $15.95). Shiraz is Australia’s version of Syrah from the Rhone Valley in France. It is an interesting fact that Australia did not have prohibition like we did here in North America and that parts of its reputed wine regions have been growing Shiraz for over 100 years. This wine has a dark purple colour; it is medium bodied, with intense perfumed aromas and flavours of ripe dark berries with a white pepper spice. This would be a perfect accompaniment with Thanksgiving turkey and dried fruit stuffing. Enjoy!