Summer is in full swing and there are more dinner parties, functions and backyard BBQs than you can throw a cheap depanneur bouteille de vin at. Finding the right wine, or especially a go-to wine, can be difficult; with so many different varietals, regions and flavour profiles, how do you know which wine to pick? Well, the best way of knowing whether you'll like a wine or not is by analyzing your own taste buds. Do you like a wine on the sweeter side or more acidic? A drier wine or more full bodied? This can be your starting point in a sea of tasty wines. And then there are those among us (whom we won't judge) whose only question may be... is it red... is it alcoholic... then fill er' up! -- and that's OK, there's a wine out there for everyone. Whatever your tastes, when heading to your local SAQ or wine purveyor, being armed with an arsenal of knowledge on what you like and don't like can help guide you to the right wine.
When it comes to my tastes in wine, I'm a robust, oaky, full-bodied, red wine kind of gal and always seem to find my way to wines with tons of character and big, bold flavours. After heading out to the local SAQ Selection last week with my husband, Nick, we brought home a few bottles to try and this wine was our favourite. Below is the review I did for my new, go-to red for the summer and my thoughts on what it would pair well with.
SEE THE REVIEW BELOW:
The wine: Les Calcinaires 2015 by Domaine Gauby
Les Calcinaires is a great French wine from the Pays d'Oc region, specifically the Languedoc Rousillion area, and it is composed of a variety of grapes, primarily: Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Carinena. It was highly recommended by the staff at the SAQ Selection in NDG and it didn't fail to deliver. Delicious, complex and at $27.90, it packed a great punch without draining the bank account. Today, I'm going to break down the flavour profiles, palate notes and what I think it would go well with. Give it a try and see what you think, it might just be your new favourite wine!
To start we are going to break this down into 3 portions:
**Nose notes: what you smell or the bouquet of the wine.
**Palate notes: what you taste or the flavour profiles.
**What to pair it with: what would bring out the inherent flavours and what dishes might complement your wine best.
Strong Floral notes, with a bright blueberry or black raspberry, undertones of baking spices and bacon.
When first opening this wine, we were hit with strong floral notes of dried violets or rose petals. Then came the juicy berry notes, with aromas of ripe blueberries, black raspberries and jam. Rounding it all out were soft, warm undertones of baked pie or toasted spices with a golden, buttery, bacony, meatiness.
ON the palate:
Tasting notes: Deep jammy blueberry, baked black cherry pie, wood notes of cedar, medium acidity, dry finish, round on the palate.
The sommelier at the SAQ recommended we let this wine decant for a few hours... and while we tried to follow his advice, we weren't successful! Its juicy, ruby-red siren's call beckoned us...and no later than 30 minutes after opening it and pouring it into our best decanter, we were sipping its deliciousness with little remorse!
The first flavours to hit our tongue were of deep, dark, jammy, blueberry compote, or freshly baked, warm, black cherry pie. Then after those first notes faded came the smoky, incense-laden aroma of burnt cedar, with a touch of acidity and a nice lingering dry finish. It was a flavourful, nuanced wine, with tons of roundness and a balancing acidity and dryness that kept it from being too flat.
What to pair it with:
This wine would go great with any foods that mirror its spicy, dark fruit flavors and would also be a hit with the smoky notes of a BBQ. Here are a few recipes that I love and that I think would pair well with this wine. Click on the link below the image for the full recipe.
Bacon-Fig & Goat cheese tartlet
Mocha rubbed beef brisket
Smoky spice-rubbed lamb
This was an excellent wine, with a rich and long-lasting palate, that kept revealing new flavours and profiles as it decanted. It will definitely be a regular feature at our table.