Beer, Wine and Spirits – Mark Cochrane

Posted on: January 16, 2017

The partying is over, the leftovers are finished, your pants are fitting a little too snug these days and the bills are starting to arrive. Now you have to make good on those New Year’s Eve promises you made while the champagne was flowing. Maybe you’ll try to start that diet and exercise program you read about in the paper, or work on getting that darn budget under control. Well, I can’t help you with counting calories or making sure you exercise but I can help you with pinching pennies.
There are lots of great wines out there at a good price and you don’t have to sacrifice taste to save a few bucks.

Instead of purchasing well known wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from popular areas like California or France, which can be expensive, try picking lesser known wines with grape varieties like Tempranillo and Granacha from Spain or Touriga Nacional from Portugal. These wines are typically lower priced and offer great value without sacrificing good taste. They pair well with hearty dishes that are served during the cold winter months like roast beef or stews with root vegetables.

2007 Anciano Gran Reserva Tempranillo – Valdepenas, Spain

This is one of those wines that you say “Wow! This is a gem.” Grapes from 30-year-old vines are matured for two years in oak and then another five years in the bottle, which produces a smooth full bodied dry Tempranillo with flavours of dark fruit and some balsamic. You can see the aging in the colour of the wine, which is more of a medium red changing to a garnet colour at the edge. A really good Spanish wine for under $13.

(LCBO 464214 – $12.95)

2015 Yalumba (The Y Series) Viognier, South Australia, Australia

Viognier is one of those wines that doesn’t get a lot of recognition. It’s texture is soft like a Chardonnay with the minerality of a light Riesling and aromatic but not overpowering. Yalumba produces a quality Viognier with flavours of apricot and a nice soft citrus finish. If you are not into oaked white wines you might like a Viognier for its soft refreshing taste.

(LCBO 470062 – $13.95)