Some people like to stick to familiar food and wine. Other people like to try different things. Me, I walk right down the middle. On any given day, I can decide to go with the known or unknown depending on how I feel. After that, there are other criteria that inform my choice. You know that old saying: don’t judge a book by its cover? Well, I always judge a book by its cover. The artistry (or lack thereof) intrigues me. Right now, I’m playing catch-up with my reading. I picked up a copy of Douglas Coupland’s Generation A. I love the cover. There’s a bee in the top right side corner; an A made from flowers and leaves in the centre, and the word Generation cutting right across from it. The art suggests hope, calm and angst all at once. Too cerebral? Fair enough. But, like art, wine labels (and the wine, itself, too) speak to me.Here’s what I think they might be saying.
2009 Velenosi Villa Angela Passerina, Le Marche
Bouquet – loads of floral notes (chamomile) and grass, with some green apple and a hit of minerality with slight spice.
Flavour – balanced acidity with a nice citrus and mineral bite. A good clean finish.
This is a perfect sipper on its own. It would also work well with comforting roasted chicken or shrimp and goat cheese risotto.
2007 Fess Parker, The Big Easy. Santa Barbara County
Made from 95% Syrah and 5% Grenache. 14.9% alcohol
Bouquet – loads of crushed berries (Boysenberries, black currents), vanilla, hit of pepper.
Flavour – big and bold (definitely no shrinking violet here). Look for dark cherry and chocolate with some coffee and a slight note of anise. It has very nice structure with a solid finish. It could probably continue to be cellared for a another 5 to 8 years.
Pair with grilled lamb or a juicy pepper steak.
2009 Pèppoli Chianti Classico, Antinori
Bouquet – deep cherry (Morello) with a hint of anise and some spice.
Flavour – rich cherry and ripe berries. This is a very well balanced wine with good assertivness and a finish that lingers at the back of the tongue.
It’s a great match with pasta & tomato sauce or any Asian dish that incorporates hits of cinnamon, ginger or coriander.