Traditional snail-mail may be a dying art, but I do enjoy getting wine magazines and catalogues in my mailbox every once in a while.
Today is the launch of the annual LCBO "Go Local" celebration of Ontario wines. The shiny promo magazine was enticing, showing winemakers in their vineyards, with dirty boots and dirtier fingernails, some accompanied by their four-legged vineyard maintenance crews. It painted a lovely, romantic picture of Wine Country. Somewhere, a bunch of marketers are fist-bumping: Nailed it! (They even went so far as to send a troupe of wine writers on a fancy-pants junket to Niagara. Question is, where was *my* invitation?)
But I was disappointed to see that the wines were from the same dozen-or-so producers already quite familiar to the LCBO. (Except for a few newcomers, which I'm just itching to try: two cab-merlot blends from Greenlane Greetings and Vintage Ink, respectively.) I would think a "go local" campaign would be the perfect opportunity to give some of the smaller labels and largely unknown regions (i.e. Lake Erie North Shore) a chance to shine. For the most part, it's Niagara ... as usual.
Not to slight Niagara winemakers; they lay the foundation for Ontario's success, and have earned a laudable reputation by consistently delivering top-notch products. But it strikes me as odd when the only source of alcohol in this province limits its purchases to those from the folks with the most stock.
Once in a while - like, I dunno, during a "yay Ontario" marketing plug, perhaps - I think our government-run monopoly could make an effort to go out to some of the mom-and-pop locales and bring a few cases in to select locations (Rideau and/or the Walkley depot, for example) for consumers to try. If it's a hit, if the demand is there, then why not include these small winemaking enterprises on the shelves with more frequency?
Just sayin' ...
Also in my mailbox: the Bordeaux 2010 Futures catalogue. I think that's the first time a copy has actually been mailed to me. I put out a call on Twitter for comments on why I should or shouldn't buy into futures (notwithstanding some of the price tags, like $18,000 for a nine-bottle set from the top chateaux. Oh, to have that kind of money to throw around.)
There were a few selections in my price range. But $100 for a three-bottle lot? I can't get past what else that cash could buy ... like, more bottles.
Finally, a few random tasting notes to share:
Stoney Ridge Q (Niagara) - Heavy-duty green pepper and cloves; more green notes on the palate, with peppercorns and an undercurrent of ripe berries. Firm tannins, balanced finish. (Red wine featured at a wedding at the National Gallery of Canada, K.W. Catering.)
Masi Serego Alighieri Poderi Del Bello Ovile 2008 (Tuscany, Italy) - Deep ruby, with an odd nose of candied cherry and bubblegum; licorice flavours, moderate tannins and acid. This is a food wine, for sure. Tasted much better with the lasagna we were eating than on its own.