Category Archives: Grenache

Dinner with Faugères

2007 Château St. Roch de Laurens , Faugères, France LCBO# 223865 $18.95

Autumn is the season for the rarest of wine snob events…the wine tasting dinner. You know, the dinners you see advertised on the LCBO’s Vintages website touting amazing wine paired with incredible food for what many consider too high a price. Too many times we have passed up these events as been the bastion of the über wine snob. I say enough! We, the wine drinking masses, must invade this last outpost of the snobby elite for the simple reason that these tasting dinners are the best way to taste some pretty incredible wines at a fraction of the price of buying the wine yourself.

Think about it. The average wine dinner might cost you $250 per person. I agree, that’s a pretty high price for just a dinner, but if you factor in that many of these dinner feature super-premium wine that cost upwards of $100 a bottle at retail (or $200 off the average restaurant wine list) how could you not see this as a deal.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not advocating that attending a wine dinner as a regular event, but going to one that features a producer or region that interests you is well worth it. Often these dinners are attended by either the winemaker or the winery owner, which is always educational and frequently entertaining. I guarantee that not only will you come away with a new appreciation of the wines that you have tasted (plus a full belly), but you will undoubted meet people at these events who share your interest in wine…and drinking wine with friends is never a bad thing.

Ok…now I can get off my “wine box” and get to this week’s wine. The 2007 Château St. Roch de Laurens hails from a warm pocket of the Languedoc called Faugères. This is a rustic blend of the three grapes Syrah, Mouvèdre and Grenache. It has big flavours of red berries, prunes, red cherries and classic notes of dried sage. I would recommend pairing it with grilled meat or even meat lasagna. As for cheese, you can try it with Manchego or any other sharp hard cheese.

At $18.95, 2007 Château St. Roch de Laurens is a great wine so share at your own “home-cooked” wine dinner. This is definitely not a snob wine…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think by commenting below.

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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in France, Grenache, Mourvedre, Red Wine, Syrah


Cheap and cheerful from Spain

2008 Castillo de Monséran Garnacha, Carinena, Spain $8.95 LCBO# 073395

Sometimes wines are meant to be drunk on a Wednesday. Not sure what I mean? Think of it this way. On any given Wednesday, I will bet that as you saddle up to dinner comprised of a mish-mash of leftovers you don’t necessarily want to pop the cork on a fancy bottle of wine.

The 2008 Castillo de Monséran is the perfect Wednesday wine. It’s a versatile food friendly wine that has just enough punch to spice up that two-day-old piece of roast chicken staring back at you from your dinner plate. This wine has strong flavours of red fruit, strawberries, and a hint of cedar. Being a Granacha (a.k.a. Grenache), this wine has relatively light tannins that will allow you to match it with a ton of different foods. As for cheese…I would take a pass. Seriously…who eats cheese on a Wednesday anyways?

The best part about this Wednesday wine is its price. The 2008 Castillo de Monséran is an amazing low $8.95! I would definitely pick up a few bottles for this, next, and the following Wednesday…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

I will recommend trying one trick with this wine. About 1 hour before dinner, dump this wine into a pitcher. I have found that this aeration caused by decanting it seems to bring out the fruit a bit more. Try pouring a glass and then decanting the rest. See if you can tell the difference.

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Posted by on June 22, 2009 in Grenache, Red Wine, Spain


Value Alert!!!!

2007 La Vendimia, Rioja, Spain $15.95 LCBO #674564

It’s always exciting when you find a wine that exemplifies the essence of the elusive price-quality ratio. That holy grail where the price of the wine is rock bottom while the quality of the wine is sky high. The 2007 La Vendimia is one of these wines.

Made from a blend of Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache) and Tempranillo, both of which are classic Spanish grapes. This easy drinking red has flavours cherries, strawberries, and spice. It would go great with light dishes like baked chicken breast. As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with a good sheep’s milk cheese.

At $15.95, this wine is an amazing value. I recommend picking up a whole bunch of this wine. You won’t be sorry…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on March 9, 2009 in Grenache, Red Wine, Spain, Tempranillo


There are good things afoot in the South of France

Domaine Cazes “Alter de Cazes”, Côtes du Roussillon, France $19.95 LCBO #097576

When most of us think about French wine, the historic regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy usually jump to mind. Now we might need to add one more. There are wonderful things happening in the south of France! The vineyards of Languedoc and Roussillon are fast becoming one of the most exciting regions in the world. Unlike Bordeaux and Burgundy, these upstart regions are not saddled with the same traditions and rules that govern winemaking. Some of the most exciting and drinkable wines in the world are now being produced by a new generation of young and inspired winemakers. This week’s wine is a great example of this new spirit.

The 2003 Alter de Cazes by Domaine Caze is a well-made blend of the Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre grapes. (Popularly known as GSM wines.) It has smooth flavours of blueberries, blackberry jam, and pepper. According to the winemaker, this wine goes very well with game meat…so everyone grab their shotgun! As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with an aged cheddar.

At $19.95, not only is this wine a great value, but it represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding excellently priced wines from the South of France. I strongly recommend that you begin to discover what this great region has to offer by picking up a couple of bottles of this wine…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on February 9, 2009 in France, Grenache, Mourvedre, Red Wine, Syrah


Adam likes this little French gem

2005 Château Pesquié, Terrasses, Côtes du Ventoux, Southern Rhône, France $14.95 LCBO #652313

This week’s wine is all about value…or in other words…finding a well priced wine that has the feel of one that is much more expensive. At $14.95, this wine is just that.

This southern Rhône wine is full of black cherry and black currantflavours with a pleasant peppery finish. It will go very well with BBQ chicken.

This is the kind of wine that I would buy 3 bottles of. One to try now and the other two to drink over the next 3 years…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on May 5, 2008 in France, Grenache, Red Wine

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