Wines for Entertaining
Over the past week we have had some fun opening some unlikely suspects at the tasting bar in the shop. We were even successful in converting some die hard red wine drinkers to give a nod to lighter aromatic wines to have before dinner. As we escape the doldrums of January and complete our post New Years cleanses we all start to think about entertaining, dinner parties, Valentines day and upcoming bridal showers as the wedding season kicks off after Valentines Day.
The three recent wines tasted and recommended this week cover some unique varieties that are often overlooked and are worthy contenders for your next soiree or pre dinner sip.
First up is a lovely effervescent Moscato from Gomba Boschetti. Muscat has gotten a bad rap in the past and, no pun intended, started making a comeback last year as the Hip Hop scene started rhyming about this light bubble and made it a go to fizz. When done right, Muscat is an incredibly aromatic and floral wine with very low alcohol. The Moscato grape is grown all over the world and goes by a variety of names and clones. The Italian version is mostly known as Moscato d'Asti, which is generally a sweet and soft, low-alcohol, sparkling wine with typical aromas of peach and apricot.
The 2010 Gomba Boschetti Moscato (Italy, $17.95)shows a light effervescence in the glass and the initial nose is dominated by a punch of honey and apricot, then aromas of lemon meringue and soap candy push through. On the palate the wine has a sweet attack but finishes dry with a balanced acidity and lingering citrus notes. This Gomba Moscato could easily be served pre or post dinner, with lighter goat cheeses or dessert such as sweet Italian biscuits and ice cream.
Second up, and just in time for Valentine's Day, is the 2009 Zorzal Malbec Rose (Argentina, $15.95). Pouring this version of Malbec this past week was a bit of a shock to some who were expecting a full bodied Red from Mendozza but any red variety can be made in to Rose with just a tiny amount of skin contact in the initial wine making process. The Zorzal Rose starts with a touch of cranberry then opens to a fuller aroma of strawberry. The wine has a touch of residual sugar but finishes dry with balanced acidity. What we really liked about this wine was the spicy character. A great starter wine in the winter if you are serving some charcuterie and cheese for an opening appetizer (think Manchego cheese and mild chorizo sausages) or would be great with some Provencal inspired bouillabaisse.
The last wine in today's post that we served this week is a wonderful rendition of the ubiquitous Malvar Grape from Spain. You probably wouldn't think to try a wine called Malvar that comes in an orange hued bottle but the 2010 Zestos Malvar (Spain, $15.95) is an incredible value will make you a convert to this lovely brand and varietal. The 2010 Zestos is a bit of a contradiction on the palate and we think our friend, and Calgary Wine Blogger, Peter Vetsch, describes it best: "a creamy textured white with contrasting racy acidity. Citrus and tropical Fruit with hints of coconut, pineapple, grapefruit and mango on the nose that carry through on the palate." The wine also has a wonderful finish with some pretty racy acidity that might woo you away from considering sauvignon blanc for you choice. The Zestos is a great match with less sweet Thai Food, prawns / shellfish and would be fantastic with the Calamari from Crazy Weed Kitchen. Who's hungry now?
All wines are available in the shop and if we run out of stock will arrive back the following week.