Friday evening wine club – November 7, 2014

Dear wine clubbers, On November 7th we explored red wines, as you requested, and you presented an interesting challenge: pair red wine with cheese.

People want to drink red wine with cheese and it’s such a long-held belief that the two go together that it cannot be easily  dislodged. Avoid disappointment by choosing your wines and cheese very carefully.

High alcohol reds (14%) electrify the acidity in cheese making it spicy although it is not; and high alcohol in wine fights with cheese leaving an acrid aftertaste.

We must choose reds lower in tannin and higher in acidity also. Tannin in wine lends a mouth-drying feeling, almost like drinking steeped tea and can produce a metallic flavour when combined with the fat in cheese. White wines are high in acidity and pairing-wise, it’s the lively acidity in a white wine that has the ability to cut through that cloying mouthfeel of cheese.

We will be tasting and exploring 6 international red wines varietals with well-paired cheeses and savories.

We can also discuss several factors of why I choose these particular wines (low alcohol at 12.5%, cost, cool climate grapes, thin skinned grapes, fruity etc).

The varietals will be: French Beaujolais (Gamay), Italian Sangiovese, Ontario Merlot, Spanish Rioja (Tempranillo), a French Bourgognon (Pinot Noir) and a LBV ruby port










Beaujolais-Villages 2012 George Deboeuf AC

#122077          12.3% alc               4 G/L sugar           $13.95  Varietal: Gamay

Dark Ruby/garnet colour; young berry fruit, blueberry,cherry, bubblegum, pear; low tannin with a light body, sour cherry and red fruit on the palate. short finish and well balanced. good to very good.

Very food friendly: poached salmon, pulled pork and roast chicken. Cheese pairing was with feta and chevre       ( salt in cheese heightens perception of sweet in wine)





Sangiovese Farnese IGT;  Abruzzo, Italy     Primary varietal in Chianti

#512327     12.5 %alcohol     16G/L sugar  $7.99

Medium bodied and fruity style

Deep ruby colour with tart red fruit, cherry cranberry, raspberry, leather, violets, plum, tobacco and earth aromas, tea, mushrooms, dried green, rosemary, tarragon, tomato leaf herbaceous with a velvety texture.

Thin skinned, high acid, medium tannin and medium bodied.

Pairs with sun-dried tomato bruscetta (brings out the fruitiness), pasta sauce, salty smoked proscuttio. cheese pairing was Parmesan.






Bourgognon 2011;  Louis Latour Pinot Noir

#69914   12.7 % alcohol   4 G/L sugar   $22.

Medium bodied and fruity

Light ruby red colour; Aromas of cherry, raspberries, spice with an earthy smoky notes, barnyard, leafiness dusty, coco, gamey, fig, sweet pipe tobacco. With strawberry and red fruit flavours. Sour cherry finish with good acid balance.

with lighter meals: pizza, salmon/tuna steak, patties, duck, lamb, beef, wild mushrooms. Cheese pairing was aged sheep’s cheese: Manchengo and aged-Canadian cheddar (hard).





Featherstone 2012 VQA varietal: Merlot

Beamsville Bench @ Jordan Station

#131540   12.5 (online) or 13.5 % (on bottle) alcohol

Medium bodied and fruity style

elegant with soft round tannin, black cherry, plum, cassis, violets, vanilla, mocha, licorice, cigar box, roasted green peppers with a long finish.

Pairs with pork tenderloin (with cherries), burgers, stews, steaks, pizza and grilled game. Canadian,

aged-Gouda (hard) was the cheese pairing.



Campo Viejo Reserva 2009 DOCa  4th year release-18 months in french and american oak

#137810   12.4% alcohol     5 G/L sugar      $17.95

Full bodied and smooth Deep garnet colour, aromas of black cherry,  licorice( herbal fennel), currants, plum, pepper, leather, spice, wood-(church pew), mushroom, forest floor. Ripe red fruit flavours: cherry, vanilla, oak, pepper, toasted mushroom and tobacco leaf finish

high acidity with dusty tannin flavour and fruit driven.

Chiorizo sausages, proscuttio, pimento, and Manchego, aged sheep’s cheese (hard).

Would pair well with dishes with red pepper, paprika, pimento, roasted leg of lamb (dried cherry, mustard and herb crust) paella, moroccan tagines, lamb moussaka. chicken with preserved lemons, boneless leg of lamb (mint, pinenut and currant stuffing)





Grahams LBV Late  Bottle Vintage  2008 Portugal

#191239   20% alcohol    95G/L  sugar    $16.95

Opaque purple colour; spicy plum raison (jammy), dried fruit, orange peel, chocolate, black cherry, bramble, cranberry and fruitcake aromas and flavours.

Full-bodied, lush, ripe and lingering fininsh. Good balance and expresses character.

High alcohol, medium intensity, 4-6 years on cask and not protected from oxidization.

Paired with Stilton, dark chocolate, orange and fig compote, grapes, almonds and dried figs.

Would also pair with casual dinners of pulled pork and burgers,  roast meats and stews and rich cheeses: Gorganzola, Blue, and beautifully with sweet deserts for ‘afters’




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