February 13, 2009

Cheap Wine Night

Well, cheap wine night has come and gone, and basically we all had a blast. Ten people blind tasting ten bottles of wine, all under $20. We scored them on a 100-point scale, but some of us had a larger range of scoring than is usual for rating wine; this isn't a problem, since each person ranked consistently. But it does mean that the average scores might be a couple of points lower as there were a few 60's and even a 50 out there, which you wouldn't normally see.

Here are the results by average score:

87.3 - Finca Los Primos Malbec 2007 (Argentina) $9.99
84.6 - Peter Lehmann Shiraz 2005 (Australia) $16
83.3 - Henry of Pelham Baco Noir 2001 (Canada) $17.44
82.3 - Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (USA) $19.69
80.9 - Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (New Zealand) $19.99
78.0 - Lagarde Altas Cumbres Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2007 (Argentina) $10.99
74.8 - Montecillo Crianza Rioja 2005 (Spain) $13.99
74.1 - Calona Artist Series Merlot (Canada) $7.99
73.7 - Peller Estates Proprietor's Reserve Dry White Wine (Canada) $6.49
71.6 - Santa Rita 120 Chardonnay 2007 (Chile) $8.99

Hopefully we'll have another wine tasting night sometime soon. Some suggestions for the future are (a) have a more focused theme - say a specific varietal or country, (b) be less strict on the price, but perhaps set a total budget for each couple to spend, such as $40 max for two bottles, and (c) pour less - this ensures nobody is overserved, and more left over after the unbagging to share depending on who is driving and who liked which wine better.

February 4, 2009

Pascual Toso Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

This one wasn't on our list, but was recommended highly by the lady at Grapes and Grains where we ducked into between periods of the Oilers game. (We shouldn't have hurried back. Fire MacTavish.)

I think this wine really needs a little breathing time. Our first reaction was that it was a little too fruity, heavy on the plum or maybe some grape jelly. But after about half an hour out in the fresh air it seem to settle into a more mature, even powerful wine. Fantastic aroma - deep and rich. It's a pretty assertive cab sauv, not a superstar but an Ales Hemsky of a wine: very, very good. We drank some with chicken dinner tonight, but it would really click with red meats or pasta. Or some sharp Dubliner cheese.

We agreed on 88, but I got the last glass and it's turned into 89 points. $13.23 at Grapes and Grains.