Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Best Wines I Can Find Almost Anywhere

Tonight I was in a liquor store to buy a Cave Springs Riesling to pair with Friday night's dinner. I know that the 2007 is sold in Alberta in select stores. Unfortunately, my local liquor store was not one of those vendors. Having to look for a new substitute passed me by some old "friends", wines I know I can always find in a pinch that taste great. Here's the list:

Whites: Cave Spring Cellars

Ok, I know that I couldn't find this one tonight, but I've seen it pretty much everywhere else I've looked. And it's always selling at a low price for when you can't break your budget. The very first white I ever remember tasting was at Cave Springs winery while in college. At the time, my goal was to get drunk on a school trip. But I do remember how light & fresh that Riesling tasted, easy drinking! Wine Spectator rated their 2008 Riesling CSV a 90, their 2008 Riesling Estate a 90 and their 2008 Riesling an 88! Try it for yourself!

Reds: Robert Mondavi

Whenever I am in a restaurant and have trouble deciding on a wine, a Mondavi is usually in consideration. All the reds I've ever tasted have been flavorful and paired well with the dish I'm eating when I need a good red. I've seen Mondavi wines in almost every liquor store I've ever been in, and they are usually priced moderately. A good, reliable pick but try it for yourself.

All Types: Sumac Ridge

We toured this winery, and played it's golf course, over Easter weekend 2010. Although I got really frustrated and walked off the course (it's a tough par 3 9 holes!), the wines inside were phenomenal. Sumac Ridge was one of the official sponsors for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and supplied gold and silver medalists with their Tribute and Pinnacle bubblies. I myself have a bottle of the Tribute here at home just waiting for a good celebration to pop it open! Here in Calgary one can find their wines on almost every restaurant menu, as well as in every liquor store, all reasonably priced. Some of my personal favorites are the bubbly, and the 2007 Gewurztraminer. The reds are good as well.

A Good Almost Anywhere Wine: Australia's Jacob's Creek

I first found them through one of my iPhone apps-their 2005 Reserve Shiraz got a rating of 89 and I thought "If I can find them, I have to try them!" I can usually find at least one bottle of their wines in a liquor store, tasted and liked some later year Shiraz blends, and even picked up their 2009 Chardonnay in place of the Riesling I couldn't find (it's a very sweet Chardonnay with fruity notes, not like a regular oaky Chard). Take a look at their website to see how many awards they've won and then try one yourself!

Now that I've spent the last hour or so writing and thinking about wine, it's time for a glass for myself! If you have any other easily accessible wineries that you know about, please leave a comment! :)

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