Wine Of The Month
Pasquera Crianza, Ribera Del Duoro, Spain
In the mid-eighties, few people outside Ribera Del Duero had ever heard of the viña Pesquera wines of Alejandro Fernandez. Enter an American merchant and some influential American wine writers, one of whom compared viña Pesquera to a fine Bordeaux, ‘…and the rest, as they say, is history.’ Today, it has become one of the most prestigious bodegas in Spain, and is appreciated worldwide. Tinto Pesquera crianza is made of Tempranillo grapes. It is a dark ruby-coloured that exhibits fragrant plummy-tobaccoey, violet, cherry, and spice on the nose and palate with excellent concentration and length.
Spain’s best native red grape is grown widely over the northern and central parts of the country. Tempranillo (also known as Ull de Llebre, Cencibel, Tinta del Pais and several other synonyms) is a black grape variety widely grown to make full-bodied red wines. Tempranillo is an official variety of the DO of Ribera del Duero. Tempranillo grapes are very low in the enzymes that help to cause oxidation (browning and spoiling of juice) so the grapes are easy to handle at harvest time. The wines also keep well, and are very suitable for ageing in oak barrel.
Price: $32.99 + tax.
Find this wine at BC govt liquor stores, and selected private stores
FaLaLa… Tis’ the season of festive parties. Wine will be served, and what to do with the left over?
HOW TO KEEP AN OPEN BOTTLE OF WINE?
I am asked the question, frequently. Left over wine has never been an issue in my house. A Bacchus commandment “Thou shall finish an open bottle of wine”. In the event that you have some wine left at the end of your party, here are some tips on how to seal your open bottle and where to store it to get an extra day out of your left over.
White wines will last 1 or 2 days depending of the style.
Red wines will last about 3 days depending of the style.
Full-bodied wines will retain flavour and freshness better than lighter wines.
Younger wines will retain flavour better than older wines.
Refrigerate, left over wine, will help to preserve its lifespan. You should refrigerate white and red. Don’t forget to pull out red wine about 30-40 minutes before serving.
Reduce the amount of oxygen in the bottle by putting left over into a smaller bottle. Use an air tight closure, it helps slow down oxidation.
Try a wine saver gadget. The 2 most popular ones are:
1 – VACUVIN ( a vacuum sealer ) from $18.00 to $22.00
2 – PRIVATE PRESERVATIVE ( gas) from $16.00 to $20.00
FREEZING LEFT OVER WINE
How about freezing left over wine? The experiment had good results according to the ‘Shopping Bag’ and a few other web sites. The wine tasted as good as the one day left over wine. They said that the wine tasted fine. Unfortunately, they don’t talk about the type of container used for the experiment. Have fun doing your own experiment, and let me know the result.
COOKING WITH LEFT OVER WINE
Using a bit of wine in sauces and stews enhance flavours. In restaurants, we use cheap wine for simmering dishes such as lamb shanks, and we use quality wine for sauces. I always have a bit of left over white and red in my fridge. The left over will last about 2 months. You can freeze wine in an ice tray. It is really practical, you take only as many cubes as you need. You can keep chicken and beef broth the same way.
Putting wine in a refrigerator for a few hours to chill is alright. It is not recommended to store wine in the fridge for days or weeks because it draws moisture from the cork which increase the possibility of oxidation. Also, the constant motor vibration is not the ideal condition for the wine.
A bottle of wine ’breathes’ so don’t put it close to a strong smelling product because the smell can permeate through the cork. Store the wine away from the fridge light bulb. Remember, keeping bottles upright will allow any sediment to settle.
December, the season of frosts and new activity in the vineyard as pruning begins, and of tasting in the cellar of both the new and the older wines. Apart from a few very late picking of grape for iced wine or late harvest styles. The vines will now be bare and looking very bleak and grimy in most areas. Depending on the regions, pruning begins in the second half of the month where you can find a bunch of people working away with clippers.
Every region has its own distinctive style of pruning, usually related to the grape variety grown as certain grapes respond to being cut hard (back to one shoot) while others do better with two or more. Very abbreviated pruning is known as spur pruning to form the ‘goblet’ shape of the vine and is the areas where the vines are not grown against wires or poles. Cane pruning allows the vine to grow fairly high against a support of wires or poles. Cane pruning allows the vine to grow fairly high against a support of wires or poles with one or two long spurs for next year’s fruit.
Talking about practicalities brings the question of planting the vines. The traditional gap between vines used to be about four feet, but this distance is being increased to cope with machine ploughing, spraying, and even harvesting. For machine harvesting the vines must also be allowed to grow taller. Vineyards are usually ploughed in December to break up the ground before the frosts come. Regions which specialize in very light, fruity wines will prepare some bottling by Christmas to keep the intensity of fruit flavours. Bur, remember that all wine should rest for a short while after bottling.
Wine Of The Week
Moreson Hoity Toity Miss Molly
Another great value wine from South Africa. 85% Chenin Blanc, 15% Viognier. Splash of oaked Viognier adds interest to fruity and smooth white.Fruity and biscuity nose with hints of butter. The well-balanced sugar/acid ratio ensures a full, round palate with typical citrus flavours. Miss Molly, the beautiful Môreson Weimaraner, is the love of all the lives on the Môreson farm. During the afternoon Miss Molly is most often found sunning herself in our finest leather wingback chair. Here she devotes her time to relaxing – receiving visitors, love and adoration at her leisure. Hoity Toity is designed to capture the taste of Miss Molly’s lazy, sun-filled afternoons.
Find this wine at BC govt liquor stores and EverythingWine stores.