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  • The Canadian Wines

       It is best advised to buy only wines that have a VQA neck seal (Vintner's Quality Alliance). These wines are not only strictly controlled in respect of their guaranteed origin but are also quality tested for taste, colour, bouquet etc.

    Canada WinesThis gives assurance that you have bought one of the better Canadian wines. Canada also has two levels of guarantee of origin: the broad Provincial Designation Wines category i.e. British Columbia or Ontario, and the more precise Viticultural Areas Wines which originate from one of the recognised wine districts su'ch as Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, Fraser Valley, or Vancouver Island for British Columbia, and Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore, or Pelee Island for Ontario.

    The strength of Canadian wines is their firm and fresh white wines and the sultry, overripe sweet wines. Some wine-makers and growers though, mainly in Ontario, can also make excellent rounded and full-bodied reds. Most ofthe Canadian red wines though are very light in structure and a bit shallow. The same goes for Canadian wines as elsewhere: do not choose the very cheapest wines for a little more money will yield far better quality. The following types of white wine are generally recommended.

    VIDAL DRY CANADIAN WINE

    This is a fresh and firm dry Canadian wine with a bouquet of green apple and sometimes, with the better ones, hints of citrus fruit. Drinking temperature for this Canadian wine is 50-53.6°F(10-12°C).

    SEYVAL DRY CANADIAN WINE

    This wine is less severely dry than the Vidal and it has a nose containing grapefruit and the occasional hint of flowers and spices. It has a good balance between acidity, alcohol, fruit, and sweetness. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).

    RIESLING DRY CANADIAN WINE

    This is a very elegant wine that is quite fresh but not harsh and it possesses interesting floral notes in its nose. Most of these wines are of the 'off-dry' sort with some sugar residues which enhance the delicious taste.

    The best of these wines are drier but they have seductive bouquets in which pear, apple, and spring blossom appear. Late harvest wines have a touch of botrytis, which makes them more complex and attractive. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).

    CHARDONNAY DRY CANADIAN WINE

    Canadian WineMost Canadian Chardonnays are fresh and a touch green (unripe apples), partially full-bodied, with a subtle bouquet of butter, wood, and citrus fruit. The best Chardonnays (bottled sur lie, reserve, and barrel fermented) are more complex, full-bodied, and creamier.

    These wines also possess the elegant hints of toast and croissants of the better Burgundies. There are also typically hints of butterscotch, toffee, or caramel which are more Californian and Chilean in nature.

    Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C) for the simpler wines and 53 .6- 57.2°F(12- 14°C) for the better examples.

    GEWURZTRAMINER CANDIAN WINE

    This wine that is generally vinified as 'off-dry' with sugar residues, is full bodied and slightly spicy. It has a seductive bouquet in which lychee, melon, peach, and spices can be detected. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).

    GEWORZTRAMINER MEDIUM DRY/ LATE HARVEST CANADIAN WINE

    This one is fuller and more seductive than the 'offdry' version. It has a good balance between sweetness, alcohol, fruit, and acidity.{jcomments on}

  • Tolna Wine Region From Hungary

    Tolna Hungarian wine

    Tolnai Wine RegionTolna is a new Hungarian wine area that was part of Szekszárd until recently. Although the name of Tolna is little known outside of Hungary, the area produces wines of exceptional quality. The Hungarian wines were better known for a long time under the name Bátaapáti, but these days the better wines bear the Möscényi Kastélyborok name on the label. The company of Európai Bortermelök, which is a joint venture between Piero Antinori and Peter Zwack set up in 1991, is a typical example of what can happen elsewhere in Hungary. Hungary has the capability to become a top wine-producing country. With good insight, plenty of foreign investment, government help, and good wine-making skills, everything is possible. The wines from this company are the fruit of bringing together the Hungarian wine traditions with the latest technology, combined with ideal climate and geological conditions.

  • Vaud Wines

    Chablais Swiss Wine

    Chablais wine RegionThis Swiss wine area comprises five places of origin: Bex, Ollon, Aigle, Yvome, and Villeneuve. The Chasselas white Swiss wine are fresh and lively while remaining elegant and rich. They can be recognised by the relatively high mineral content (magnesium in Aigle and Villeneuve, other minerals in Ollon, lots of flint in Bex, and gypsum in Ollon and Bex). This Swiss wine also reflects their terroir in the bouquet. If you take the wine route you will be confronted with a tremendous assortment of different aromatic nuances.

  • Villány Wine

    Villány-Siklós Hungarian Wine

    Villanyi Siklos Hungarian CellarThis is the most southerly of Hungary’s wine areas and it consists of two parts. Both sections are sited at the foot of the Villányi mountain. Siklós is better known for its predominantly white wines and Villány for its fine reds. There are six top Hungarian wine producers in Villány. It is surely no coincidence that the six best wine-makers of Hungary originated from Villány. They are Attila and Támas Gere, Zoltán Polgár, Ede Tiffan, Joszef Bock, Vylyan. Villány wines are quite likely to develop into some of the best in Europe in the coming years.

  • Villanyi and Siklos Wines

    Villany Cabernet Sauvignon CuveeVILLANYI CABERNET SAUVIGNON HUNGARIAN WINE

    Villany’s volcanic soils and favourable climate helps to produce Cabernet Sauvignon wines of great style. Although not native, the grapes here produce a Hungarian wine that is characteristic of this southern region, filled with colour, very aromatic with suggestions of berries and peppers, with a fulsome and powerfully fiery taste with considerable tannin. These Hungarian wines of superb class have great potential for ageing well, especially those that are cask aged (such as those of Vylyan, Bock, and Tiffan). Drinking temperature for this Hungarian wine is 16-17°C (60.8-62.6°F).

     

    CUVÉES HUNGARIAN WINE

    A cuvée is generally a better class of wine. These Hungarian wine are made from various combinations such as the classic Cabernet Sauvignon,

  • Vinhos Verdes

      The wine territory of the Vinhos Verdes is situated in the north west of Portugal, just below Spanish Galicia and north of the town of Porto. The area extends between the de Minho river which forms a natural border with Spain and the Douro river in the south, between the coast and the foot

      of the eastern mountains. The area has the appearance of a natural amphitheatre in which the vines and wine­ growers play the leading roles in a mythological play.

    Portugal wine mapWine-growing in the Vinhos Verde can be traced back to Roman times but it is probable that the Celts made wine here long before that as they did in neighbouring Galicia. The wine-growing strength of this region lies in the combination of an ideally suitable microclimate, the suitable soil (granite overlaid with sand and humus) , the gentle contours of the landscape, and the excellent traditional and ancient grape varieties.

    The vineyards of the Vinhos Verde comprise about 10% of the total area of vines in cultivation on the Portuguese mainland. The biggest producing areas are Viana de Castelo, Porto, and Braga. The manner in which the vines are cultivated in the Vinhos Verdes is very striking for instead of pruning to keep them low, the vines are trained upwards to more than 6 feet high (2 metres). This is done to prevent the grape from rotting in the humid climate that rules in these parts.

    The vines are trained along trellis, pergolas, or even cruciform concrete structures and they are usually harvest from below by standing on a trailer drawn behind a tractor.

    The Vinhos Verdes (literally 'green wines') get their name from the attractive green countryside and not as some suggest because of the acidity of the wines. It is also quite wrong to believe that Vinhos Verdes are only white wines, since more red wine is actually produced but this is consumed locally by the inhabitants and many tourists. The relatively low alcoholic content of these wines (8.5% or more) makes them especially popular for it is possible to enjoy drinking   them in greater volume. These Vinhos Verdes should ideally be consumed within one year and not more than two of their harvest. The only exception to this is wine from the sub­region of Monc;ao, made entirely from Alvarinho grapes. These Vinhos Verdes Alvarinho are undoubtedly the best of their type and can also be kept longer.

    Vinho Verdes Portugal WineThe grape varieties used for the ordinary Vinhos Verde   include   Alvarinho,   Avesso,   Loureiro, Pedermi, and Trajadura for whites and Azal Tinto, Borrac;al, Brancelho, Padeiro de Basto, and Pedral for red wines.

    The Vinhos Verdes Brancos are ideal aperitifs with their slight carbonic acid sparkle. The fine bubbles are formed naturally by quickly bottling the wine following a second fermentation (malolactic fermentation). Carbonic acid gas is given off during this second fermentation and by quick bottling at this stage the tiny bubbles are captured in the bottle.

    The bubbles give the wine additional freshness in its taste. This wine is about 10% alcohol, making them tasty thirst-quenchers. Drinking temperature is 46.4- 50°F (8- 10°C).

     The Vinhos Verdes Alvarinho are better quality and are slightly more alcoholic. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (1O- 12°C).Vinhos Verdes Tinto are just as light and refreshing as the white wines but have perhaps slightly more body. Drink this wine with lunch. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (10- 12°C).

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  • Wines from Australia

    CABERNET FRANC

     

    Cabernet Franc grapes are mainly grown in northeast Victoria and blended with grapes such as Merlot. This rather rare red wine is unfortunately somewhat underestimated in Australia. Drinking temperature is 57.2- 60.8°F (14-16°C).

    MERLOT/CABERNET FRANC

    Merlot is also little used on its own and mainly vinified or blended with the Cabernets or even with Shiraz. The combination of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Pranc that is then cask aged for twelve months is quite common in Australia. This produces a fruity wine with fresh acidity and mellow taste.

    Drinking temperature is 57.2- 60.8°F (14-16°C).

    PINOT NOIR

    This Burgundian grape will be encountered here less widely than in the Bordeaux or Rhone types. Despite this, Australian Pinot N oir is proof of the skill of the successful Australian wine-makers. Anybody can make wine from the idiosyncratic Pinot Noir but to make good wine requires considerable know-how and plenty of passion. Various styles of Pinot Noir are to be found in Australia, from light, fruity and generous, to full-bodied, sultry, with animal undertones and sometimes a little on the heavy side.

    The best of them are somewhere in between these two extremes and simultaneously elegant and fullbodied with a seductive nose containing plum and cherry with a rich, almost caressing taste.

    Drinking temperature is 57.2- 60.8°F (14-16°C).

    SHIRAZ

    The Australians use the original name for this grape and not its bastardisation into French as Syrah. The Shiraz grape originally came from the Shiraz valley in Iran and was brought to Europe by the Crusaders. Australian Shiraz is a sensual tour-de-force with plenty of colour, tannin, and acidity but also a wonderful bouquet containing overripe dark fruit such as plum, and spices (e.g. white pepper). Mature Shiraz develops animal undertones with a nose of leather and Russian fur, plus sometimes the smell of freshly-roasted Mocca coffee.

    Drinking temperature is 60.8- 62.6°F (16- 17°C).

    SHIRAZ/CABERNET

    This is very common blend that produces a wine of intense colour with plenty of fruit and a mellow and rounded but fulsome taste. The bouquet mainly evokes thoughts of cherry and blackcurrant with a hint of pepper.

    Drinking temperature is 60.8- 62.6°F (16- 17°C).

    TARRANGO

    This is an interesting hybrid resulting from crossing the Portuguese Touriga and extremely productive Sultana, which is better known in its dried form. This fairly recent Australian development is causing a major revolution. People who are not accustomed to drinking wine fall for the fruity charm of the Tarrango, which can be served at almost any time if chilled.

     Tarrango wines have been deliberately inserted into international blind wine-tastings to cause confusion because it so closely resembles a French Beaujolais.

    Drinking temperature is 53.6- 57.2°F (12- 14°C).

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  • Wines from California

    Chardonnay

    Chardonnay is regarded as the best variety of white wine grape in the world and the best Chardonnay some declare comes from the Sonoma Valley.

     Certainly there are remarkably good Chardonnays made in California, especially in Sonoma Country. Californian Chardonnay is full-bodied, broad, rich, and very aromatic with hints of fig, pineapple, ripe apple, melon, citrus fruit, and honey.

    The wine is further imprived by cask maturing in oak with notes of toast, nuts, vanilla, butter, toffee, and butterscoth etc. These Chardonnays are not cheap but if you choose a good one you will find it is sumptuos. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

    Fumé Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc)

    Sauvignon Blanc in generally known as Fumé Blanc here, which is a trend started by Robert Mondavi in the 1960s.

    Californian Sauvignon Blanc often possesses light smoky aromas and is notably vegetal too with hints of green olives, freshly-mown grass, dill, and fennel, but generally is also very fruity with fresh fig, melon, and cutrus fruit etc. to be discovered. The wine is fresh but not firm like a white Bordeaux. Although most Sauvignon Blancs are dry, you may also encounter some sweeter examples. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    Chenin Blanc

    This grape is highly popular in California, especially in the Central Valley, where it is used to make fresh, fruity, and inexpresive wines. A more delicious, light, and fruty version that is ideal for a ‘happy hour’ in made in Sonoma. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    Hohannisberg Riesling/White Riesling

    Do not expect elegance and refinement here but a firm white wine. This noble grape delivers fresh and melon fruity wine for everyday drinking, say with fish or poultry, here in California.

     Only a handful of wine-makers succeed in creating very elegant Riesling, which have a passing resenblance ar great distance with thewines of Alsace and Germany. There are also several very good Late Harvest Rieslings. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

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  • Wines from California

    Gewürztraminer

    Although the Americans have great difficulty with the name this wine is certainly no joke. Most of the local Gewurztramier is made as sweet wine with floral notes, suggestions of Muscat, a hint of spice, and sultry, but Gewurtraminer Dry is becoming increasingly popular.

    Many Americans drink the sweet of slightly sweet ‘off-dry’ Gewurztraminer as an apertif. The dry Gewürztraminer is excellent with chichen and Oriental dishes. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10-12°C) for dry, 46.4-50°F (8-10°C) for off-dry, and 42.8-46.4°F (6-8°C) for sweet.

    White Zinfandel/Blush wines/white grenache

    Zinfandel and Grenache are famous blue grapes but there are also white wines made with them. The wine is of course not truly white but a light pink. These are quite recent creations which are mainly aimed at the younger market.

    Most wines are not wholly dry and some of them are even slightly sweet. They have a nos in which vanilla ice cream with strawberries can be found in the White Zin or res fruit in the White Grenache. Drinkling temperature is 50-53°F (10-12°C).

    Muscat

    There are sultry, sweet wines that in addition to the recongnisable Muscat grape nose hane apricot, peach, and ripe pear in their bouquet. The wine is often served with goose liver in California but it is better suited to serve with a fruit dessert. Drinking temperature is 42.8-46.4°F (6-8°C).

    Cabernet Sauvignon

    The name is often unceremoniously shorted to ‘Cab’. This classic is one of the better wines of California. It is dark coloured and very aromatic with grassy and vegetal hints here, plus suggestions of green tea and leaves.

     
     The wine is quite full-bodied. The wine can be undrinkable when young through an over-exposure to new oak. After a few years it develops its full beauty with a nose in which cherry, berries, herbs, currant, cedarwood, tobacco, vanilla, mint, pepper, and chocolate can be discerned. It is very much a wine to serve wiht haute cuisine. Drinking temperature is 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C).

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  • Wines from California IV

    Merlot

    Somewhat similar to a Cabernet Sauvignon but much softer and more rounded. The Merlot is approachable much sooner than the Cabernet Sauvignon.

    It is real seducer with nose of black cherry, plum, toffee, chocolate, orange, mint, cedarwood, green tea, and violets. The structure is full-bodied and rich while the taste is velvet smooth. Drinking temperature is 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C).

    Pinot Noir

    The Pinot Noir is able to combine complexity and elegance like no other grape. It requires some courage to plant Pinot Noir in California bur perhaps not in Los Carneros.

    The desired results will not be achieved every year but when the weather permits, the results are overwhelming. Californian Pinot Noir are quick seducer that are fresh and fruity with a hint of herbs and mushrooms, but also a sensual nose containing coffee and cedarwood. The texture is full-bodied, elegant, complex, and velvet smooth. Drinking temperature is 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C).

    Zinfandel

    This is the Californian grape. It porbably originated from the Italian Primitivo and certainly not from the Hungarian Zirfandli.

    Zinfande remains recongnisable for the suggestions of vanilla ice cream with strawberries or raspberries in its bouquet, whether made as white, rosé, or red wine. The wine is fairly full-bodied, rich and tannic, with a peppery undertone. The whole of America loves its ‘Zin’ and Europe is also now starting to enjoy it too. Drinking temperature is 57.2 – 60.8°F (14-16°C).

    Petite Syrah/Syrah

    These are two different grape varieties which both originate from the French Rhône. Both produce substantial and firm wines that are deeply coloured and very aromatic with hints of blueberry, raspberry, fruit jam, pepper, and herbs. Drinking temperature is 60.8-62.6°F (12-14°C).

     

    Gamay/Gamay Beaujolais

    These are very fruity wines that are very fresh and mellow with little acidity or tannin. They are a aperfect introduction for a newcomer to wine drinking, with chicken or turkey for instance. Drinking temperature is 52.6-57.2°F (12-14°C).

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  • Wines from Valais vineyards

    ARVINE SWISS WINE

    Petit Arvine Swiss WineWhile the previous two white Swiss wines need to be drunk within three or at most four years after they are made, the wines of the Arvine and Petite Arvine grapes aged well. These are Swiss wines with a strong personality that are seductive, possessing a fruity bouquet, and are often high in alcohol (13% or more) and sometimes sugar residues. These unusual grapes thrive on very steep rocky ground.

    The yield is quite low but the price of these gems is not untoward. Arvine and Petite Arvine Sèche (dry) has a characteristic salty taste and nose of citrus fruit. Arvine and Petite Arvine Flétri (partially dried grapes) is sweet and superb. Drinking temperature for this Arvine Swiss wine is 8-10°C (46.4-50°F) for the dry wines and 6-9°C (42.8°-8.2°F) for the sweet ones.