Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Banishing the November blues

If it weren't for BoJo day, I'm not entirely sure how I would get through November. It's the worst month for me. Daylight savings time ends. No snow yet, just rainy, cold, blah. Not quite ready to embrace the gaudy glitz of Christmas, but realizing that I really should start on my shopping. Sigh ...

It helps that Beaujolais Day lands smack dab in the middle of this brooding month. Last week I took a little trip to Mommy's Favourite Store for a few samples: Georges duBoeuf Beaujolais Villages Nouveau (France; 12.2% abv; V932780 $14.95) which was all bananas and bubble gum, candied cherry and just a touch of effervescence. The other two I have yet to open: Reif's The Fool (Niagara; 12% abv; L220483 $10.95) and  Chateau des Charmes Generation Seven Nouveau (Niagara; 12% abv; L318600 $11.95).

From what I've read and heard, the Gen Seven Nouveau (which also goes by the Twitter moniker #jesuisarrivé) is killer and disappearing off the shelves fast. Better go get some.

PS - in the process of tidying up my desk, I came across some tasting notes from a Hobbs & Co Wine Merchants event back in October. Here are a few faves that come *very* close to being worth ordering direct.

Gauchezco Plata 2009 Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina)- Small production from old vines. Muted violets and plums with an exquisite mouthfeel. This is one of those wines you can sip on for ages, curled up in front of the fire on one of those notorious foul-weather November nights. This malbec will warm your soul.

Tinpot Hut 2012 Grüner Veltliner (Marlborough, New Zealand) - This is Tinpot's second year for grüner; there are only nine wineries producing it in New Zealand. Much more complex than others I've tried, this had a summery scent of orange blossoms that led into citrus and crisp minerality before ending on a chalky, flinty note.

Tinpot Hut 2012 Sauvignon Blanc - I love it when the colour of a s.blanc is silver. Almost colourless, but so bright it could be poured out and forged into earrings. Classic grapefruit-and-herbs nose, but well-balanced and quite smooth on the palate. Tangy lemon zest lingers on the finish.

Tinpot Hut 2011 Pinot Noir - Mushrooms, pepper and rose water in the complex list of aromas. Classic flavouring, nice structure; dry and dusty finish with a whiff of red berry.

La Crusset 2010 La Bella Fernanda (Rioja, Spain) - Tried this one after numerous strangers walked past me with eyes rolling in rapture as they moaned, "go try the white Tempranillo!" Lived up to the hype with a sumptuous opener of vanilla cake frosting and then white peach with a hint of sweetness on the palate. But wait, there's more: the tree fruit changed into a smoky and nutty flavour, evolving long past the last drop. It kept me guessing and made my mouth swoon (if a mouth can do that ...)

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