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Food & Drink Magazine | Summer 2014Bollini_F&D2
thursday february 27, 2014 | now magazine
writers tears irish pot still whiskey

 

LCBO No. 271106; $51.05

Sarah Parniak

Drink Up

 



There’s only so much monochrome grey a gal can take in a single season before whiskey becomes a valuable creative resource. If ever an inanimate object could sympathize with crumpled piles of tasting notes and baleful staring contests with computer screens, it’s this bottle of Irish. A blend of pure pot still and single malt whiskies, Writers Tears is light and smooth with a complex nose spanning ginger, honey, delicate citrus and fudge and a curious, tongue-tickling finish – like fairy dust or superfine Pop Rocks – to kick-start the creative juices.

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saturday february 22, 2014 | The globe & mail
villa ponciago beaujolais villages

LCBO No. 325134; $15.30

Beppi Crosariol

Beppi Crosariol

Wine & Spirits

 

Quality French wines that won’t break the bank

Ponciago, in the Beaujolais town of Fleurie, is owned by the esteemed, large Burgundy producer Bouchard Père & Fils. This is expertly crafted gamay for the money. Light and bright, with a floral aroma, it doles out playful cherry candy and herbs, lifted by crisp acidity.

Rating: 89/100

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friday january 24, 2014 | the grid toronto
bouchard pÈre & Fils beaune du chÂteau 1er cru 2009
LCBO No. 325142; $36.90

food & drink


The LCBO has rounded up 23 first-rate wines—many of them new to the general list—under the Signature Collection. Here are three of the best.

A terrific example of the warmer 2009 vintage, this bottle comes from Beaune, the unofficial capital of Burgundy. Pour when coq au vin is on the menu.

Ponce notes: Let it breathe for 90 minutes and experience a complex, balanced red with a gorgeous floral nose and cinnamon-spiced cherry flavours. It’s a bit pricey, but for Pinot-philes, it’s worth it.

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saturday January 18, 2014 | The globe & mail
Bouchard pÈre & Fils Pouilly-FuissÉ

LCBO No. 56580; $27.90

Beppi Crosariol

Beppi Crosariol

Wine & Spirits

 

Warm up to winter with these 10 wines

Dangerously drinkable, this is a beautifully balanced medium-bodied Burgundian chardonnay with flavours of apple, crunchy pear and lemon supported by that classic regional nuance of flinty mineral that keeps things interesting. $32.99 in N.B.

Rating: 90/100

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Saturday January 18,2014 | The toronto star

beronia viura 2012, rioja
vintages no. 190801; $14.95

Gord Stimmell

Gord on Grapes

An exciting white from the legendary red Rioja region. Beguiling lemony floral peach aromas and slightly sweet flavours showing floral golden apple and anjou pear with hints of slivered almonds. Food suggestion: Snapper or sea bass.

Rating: 90

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saturday december 21, 2013 | the national post
Hine homage cognac
vintages No. 285973; $158.50

Margaret Swaine
Margaret Swaine
Spirits Picks

The only early landed cognac in our market; this is must for collectors and for lovers of cognac. To honour Thomas Hine, the cellar master Eric Forget, created Homage, a blend of three Early Landed Grande Champagne vintage cognacs (from 1984, 1986 and 1987) matured in oak casks in the UK and some extra old cognacs – ten years old and more – from the Hine cellars in Jarnac. (Since the 19th century, Hine has always shipped a small portion of their vintage cognacs to mature in Bristol, England where slowly aging in damp, cool temperatures they acquire characteristic notes of orange peel, citrus and florals.) This has a lively, spirited, floral bouquet with bright notes of fruit. There’s delicacy and elegance on the palate with a touch of citrus and orange along with old wood and a hint of mushrooms. Oriental spiced and exotic, Homage haunts and lingers sensually.

Rating: 95/100

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thursday december 12,2013 | The toronto star
beronia reserva 2008, rioja

vintages no. 50203; $18.95

Gord Stimmell

Gord on Grapes

While lacking the usual Rioja sandalwood notes, this is rich, with vanilla, mocha, black cherry and cedar aromas. The flavours unveil smoked meat, cigar-box, blueberry and black cherry finesse. Food suggestion: Grilled butterflied leg of lamb.

Rating: 91

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saturday december 7, 2013 | The globe & mail
champagne henriot brut souverain n/v

vintages No. 959643; $59.95

Beppi Crosariol

Beppi Crosariol

Wine & Spirits

 

Twelve wines to help celebrate the holidays

Among the prominent old names in Champagne, Henriot is one of the few still in family hands. Founded in 1808, the company also owns Bouchard Père & Fils, one of the oldest and largest producers of table wine in Burgundy. This entry-level non-vintage bubbly delivers more depth than most famous-brand competitors that cost $5 to $10 more. There’s honeyed, creamy richness supporting green-apple and yeasty notes. $64.99 in B.C., $69 in Man., $59.99 in N.B.

Rating: 92/100

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December 2013 | sharp magazine
double cross vodka

LCBO No. 272666; $59.95

The Sharp List

Consider this the terroir of Slovakia, bottled. And, yes, that’s a good thing. Seven times distilled from spring water and winter wheat sourced near the distillery’s estate in the Tatra Mountains in northeast Slovakia, this vodka is smooth, versatile and easily one of the best tasting vodkas on the top shelf.

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thursday november 28, 2013 | now magazine
el dorado 12 Year old demerara rum

 

LCBO No. 60608; $35.95

Sarah Parniak
Drink Up

 


RATING: NNNNN (out of 5)
WHY: Hailing from the banks of Guyana’s Demerara river (the namesake region of the famed sugar used to produce El Dorado), this smooth, aromatic rum owes its distinctive richness to original wooden pot stills – the world’s last. Just the tonic to cure rum skeptics of their sickness. Offer it on the rocks or in a mai tai to blow their minds.

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friday November 1, 2013 | the grid toronto
villa ponciago beaujolais villages 2012
LCBO No. 325134; $15.30


food & drink

 

New wines on the block

Unless it’s a big brand backed by marketing muscle, new wines at the LCBO often slip onto the shelves unnoticed. Here are three from Europe worth seeking out.

Owned by the Henriot family of Champagne, this bottle is Villa Ponciago’s first on the general list. Open with charcuterie.

Ponce notes: “This red has a lot more character than your basic Beauj. It’s light-bodied with aromas of red berries, juicy acidity, and a peppery finish. Chill slightly for optimum pleasure.”

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may 2013 | winealign.com

bouchard pÈre & Fils Meursault Les Clous 2010
vintages no. 661322; $43.95

David Lawrason

 

This is a classic, traditional Meursault that’s built on power and balance. It delivers so evenly! The nose is generous and complex with well integrated marzipan, poached pear, wood smoke and vanilla biscuit. Its medium-full bodied, firm but not austere, elegant but not soft, and the focus and length are excellent. Very impressive. Best 2013 to 2018 or longer.

Rating: 93 points

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saturday June 8,2013 | The toronto star
bouchard pere & fils meursault les clous 2010

vintages no. 661322; $43.95

Gord Stimmell

Gord on Grapes

With Father’s Day approaching, Gord Stimmell suggests wine selections for dad

Domaine Bouchard Pere & Fils Les Clous 2010 Meursault (#661322, $43.95, 93) is a stunner chardonnay, with white flower, almonds, clean mineral aromas and rich lemony flavours that take on acacia flower accents as the wine warms.

Rating: 93

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tuesday march 12, 2013 | wine align.com

Bouchard pere & fils beaune greves vigne de l’enfant jesus 2011

John Szabo, MS

A gorgeous, succulent, balanced, pretty and delicate but powerful vintage for this iconic Volnay 1er cru, with fine integration of wood, fruit and mineral components. Tannins are medium-intense, surrounded by fleshy red fruit and floral tones, and an attractive lightly candied cherry note. Superb length and depth. Really fine wine, clearly at Grand Cru level in everything but name

Rating: 95+

saturday February 23, 2013 | The globe & mail
Palacios remondo ‘la montesa’ 2009
vintages No. 674572; $17.95

Beppi Crosariol

Beppi Crosariol

Wine & Spirits

La Montesa refers to the vineyard in Rioja where the famed Palacios family sources this organic red. It’s made mainly from garnacha and reveals that soft, supple grape’s character beautifully. Medium-full-bodied, it’s smooth and ripe, with strawberry and spice-cake characters. Drinking well now (lamb would be a nice match), it should cellar well for up to six years.

Rating: 89/100

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saturday february 23,2013 | The toronto star
palacios remondo ‘la montesa’ 2009

vintages no. 674572; $17.95

Gord Stimmell

Gord on Grapes

“Five winning wines and the food to match with them

This mainly garnacha and tempranillo blend has a bright red plum core, but blackberry, blueberry, mocha, vanilla and smoke notes dance in the aromas and flavours. LCBO #674572 Food suggestion: Flank steaks marinated in plum sauce and soy.

Rating: 89

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thursday January 10, 2013 | now magazine
Volcanes summit reserva cabernet sauvignon – merlot 2011
LCBO No. 292607; $9.95

Graham Duncan
Drink Up

 


WHAT
: Volcanes Summit Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot
RATING: NNN
WHERE: Rapel Valley, Chile
WHY: You can barely get a cab ride to the LCBO for $10. This, on the other hand, will take you to Tastytown. Well-made and balanced, featuring tobacco, mocha and big fruit sensations. A fine house red for those who can’t afford a house.

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saturday november 17, 2012 | the toronto star
beronia Reserva 2007, rioja
Vintages No. 50203; $18.95

Gord on Grapes

Gord Stimmell

Complex pine needles, sandalwood, violets, vanilla, black cherries and coconut nuances in the aromas, with elegant sandalwood and black cherry flavours in a deeply silky delivery. Yum!

Food suggestion: Lamb cutlets with mint jelly.

Rating: 90

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saturday November 17, 2012 | The globe & mail
bodegas volcanes summit 2,900 reserve cabernet sauvignon – merlot
LCBO No. 292607; $9.95

Beppi Crosariol

Beppi Crosariol

Wine & Spirits

 

Five dirt-cheap tipples to hoist for the holidays

 

It’s rich, with smoky plum, dark chocolate and espresso notes and not a drop of humbug.

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saturday november 17, 2012 | the globe and mail
beronia Reserva 2007, rioja
Vintages No. 50203; $18.95

Beppi Crosariol

Wine & Spirits

Raisin hell: the case against overripe red wines

The highlights below strike the right balance. Some offer a whisper of raisin-like flavour, but just enough to make them pleasing. Glosettes they’re not.

Medium-full-bodied and plummy, Beronia’s classic reserve shows a nicely evolved tobacco character over sweet berries, vanilla, toasted coconut and spice. Herb-crusted leg of lamb would suit it well. $24.99 in B.C., $21.93 in Manitoba, $19.50 in Quebec.

Rating: 90

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november 2012 | wine align.com
jonata todos 2008, santa ynez
Vintages No. 218941
$59.95

John Szabo, MS

The nose is extraordinary: massively complex, with a wild mix of black pepper, garrigue, dense dark fruit, and on and on. This has miles of evolutionary road ahead, though admittedly it’s bloody delicious now, too. A fine example of power without sacrificing balance; top class winemaking.” Value Rating: ***

Rating: 94

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wednesday october 24, 2012 | the toronto star
bodegas volcanes summit 2,900 reserve cabernet sauvignon – merlot
LCBO No. 292607
$9.95

Gord Stimmell
Gord on Grapes

The Volcanes Cab Sauv/Merlot is brand new to shelves and an exciting discovery. Stemming from the Rapel Valley, this friendly red is inky-hued, with rich summer plum and kirsch aromas. The flavours are quite tasty, with black cherry and cedar depth ending with plum notes and vanilla bean on a lengthy finish.

Food suggestion: Oven roasted prime rib.
Rating: 89+

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August, 2012 | the wine advocate #202
beronia tempranillo 2009
lcbo no. 243055
$11.45

Neal Martin

Aged for seven months in French and American oak barrels, the 2009 Tempranillo has a wonderful, cedar-tinged bouquet that evokes a fine Medoc! It is well-defined and pure, with notes of blackberry and bilberry. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a caressing silky texture. It glides effortlessly to its black cherry and plum finish. This is very fine indeed! Drink now-2016.

Rating: 90

Read More

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saturday august 25, 2012 | the toronto star
Rustenberg RM Nicholson 2009
Vintages No. 278390; $19.95

Gord Stimmell
Wine of the Week

A mix of cabernet, shiraz, petit verdot, cab franc and malbec, this blend has cherry pulp aromas and very rich layered black plum and black cherry flavours, with cassis taking a bow on a persistent finish.
Food suggestion: Spicy tomato penne
Rating: 90+

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summer 2012 | food & Drink Magazine

 

 

vina zaco tempranillo, Rioja
LCBO No. 243097; $15.00

A feature on one of Toronto’s best barbeque restaurants, Barque BBQ, and the wine they like to serve: Vina Zaco.

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june – july 2012 | vines magazine
Alvaro palacios: passion play
– a spanish winemaker follows his heart
thursday june 28, 2012 | now magazine
newfoundland’s screech dark rum
LCBO No. 4622; $25.40

Graham Duncan
Drink Up

 

WHAT: Newfoundland Screech Dark Rum
RATING: NNNN
WHERE: St. John’s, Newfoundland
WHY: If you’re looking for big, fruity, frosty, umbrella-compatible potions for Pride that will incidentally get you good and loaded, then look no further than tiki cocktails. For mai tais, lapus and zombies, you’ll need, amongst many other things, dark rum. Made in Jamaica and aged in Newfoundland, this is your best bet. When you drink tiki-style, you’re vaguely invoking Polynesia, a place that, before old whitey came along, was effortlessly LGBT-positive.

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wednesday may 30, 2012 | the toronto star
William Fèvre Saint-Bris 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
Vintages No. 626523; $16.95

Gord Stimmell
Gord on Grapes

Saint-Bris near Chablis in Burgundy specializes in vervy sauvignon blancs. This rises above typical green notes with grassy lime aromas and orange-tinged grapefuit flavours. A lively, zesty white.
Food suggestion: Steamed mussels
Rating: 89+

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saturday may 26, 2012 | The globe & mail
Centennial 10 Year Limited Edition Canadian Rye Whisky (Alberta)
LCBO No. 387209; $25.75

Beppi Crosariol
Beppi Crosariol
Wine & Spirits

Looking for a more delicate whisky? Try a wheat one

Light and clean, with a delicately sweet entry that turns powdery in texture, unfolding with vanilla, baking spices and hints of rum and chocolate. A dry, cereal quality emerges on the finish. Good value.

Rating: 89/100

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saturday april 14, 2012 | The globe & Mail
Bouchard Pere & Fils 2010 Macon-Lugny Saint Pierre
LCBO No. 51573; $14.95

Beppi Crosariol
Beppi Crosariol
Wine & Spirits

Talk about delivering above price. This white Burgundy (a.k.a. chardonnay) is medium-bodied and silky, with tropical fruit and buttery nuances, tangy acidity and a subtly pleasant whiff of matchstick. Nice for cream of barley soup.

Rating: 91/100

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wednesday april 11, 2012 | the toronto star
Bouchard Pere & Fils 2010 Macon-Lugny Saint Pierre
LCBO No. 51573; $14.95

Gord Stimmell
Gord on Grapes

All the minerality possible in a fine white Burgundy chardonnay, wet limestone, flint, chert, with a lemony elegance. The flavours show crisp minerals and citrus essences, with a very dry stony lemon meringue pie finish. An ideal shellfish dish white!
Food suggestion: Shrimp or scallop kebabs
Rating: 90+

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saturday april 7, 2012 | the globe & mail
The paring red 2007
Vintages No. 218909; $33.95

Beppi Crosariol
Beppi Crosariol
Wine & Spirits

The Paring is the entry-level brand from Jonata, the acclaimed central-California estate owned by two wealthy businessmen who also control cult-wine superstar Screaming Eagle. Talented winemaker Matt Dees has crafted a lusty Bordeaux- style blend, brimming with dark fruits, smooth oak and espresso notes along with a juicy-spicy lift on the finish. Pair this Paring with rack of lamb. Available in Ontario and Alberta.

Rating: 90/100

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saturday march 10, 2012 | the globe & Mail
sartori marani 2009
Vintages no. 265405; $16.95

Beppi Crosariol
Beppi Crosariol
Wine & Spirits

 

The nose suggests orange, flowers and honey, clues that this is not your ordinary Soave-style wine based on the lean garganega grape. Made from semi-dried grapes and partly barrel fermented for extra body, it’s light-medium-bodied and slightly fleshy, with flavours of apple, orange and honey. Great for sautéed shellfish, chicken risotto or pasta/ pizza with sun-dried tomatoes. Available in Ontario.

Rating: 88/100

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saturday march 10, 2012 | the national post
writers tears irish whiskey
vintages No. 271106

Margaret Swaine
Margaret Swaine
Spirits Picks

 

This whisky evokes the type enjoyed at the time of Yeats and Joyce a century ago in Dublin. A blend of pot still malted and unmalted barley, triple distilled and matured in American bourbon casks, it’s smooth with bourbon notes on a bed of malt. It slips down with ease; a honeyed vanilla-tinged fruit and kick of ginger linger hauntingly.

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wednesday february 29, 2012 | the grid toronto
sartori marani 2009
Vintages no. 265405; $16.95

 

food & drink


Run for cover, Chardonnay—these three wily whites from the LCBO’s Vintages are sure to make an impression.

This vino bianco is made from Garganega grapes that have been partially dried—a popular Venetian winemaking technique called passimento. It can stand up to a mildly spiced chicken curry. Ponce notes: “The bouquet is like sniffing a summer peach perched next to a vase of freshly cut flowers. It’s an intensely fruity, full-bodied, one-of-a-kind white.”

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saturday december 24, 2011 | the globe and mail
vina zaco tempranillo
LCBO No. 243097; $14.95

Beppi Crosariol
Beppi Crosariol
Wine & Spirits

Smooth and fresh, this modern-style Rioja from Bodegas Bilbainas offers up plum, berry and vanilla notes and an undercurrent of sweet spices on a polished texture and medium-bodied frame. New to Ontario.

Rating: 87/100

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thursday december 8, 2011 | the grid to
bouchard pere & Fils 2-bottle gift pack
LCBO No. 253682; $32.95 on sale for $29.95 until January 1st

Food & Drink

Bouchard Père et Fils gift pack (2 x 750 ml), $29.95 This Burgundy twin pack offers white (Mâcon-Lugny Saint-Pierre 2009) and red (Pinot Noir Bourgogne 2009). As they both pair well with the Yuletide bird, it’s perfect for Christmas dinner. Ponce notes: “The barely-oaked Mâcon provides a yin-yang of juicy fruit and crisp acidity, and the Bourgogne delivers ripe summer berries sprinkled with cracked pepper. Now that the inferior 2010s are hitting the shelves, it’s time to camp out under the mistletoe with these fine 2009 Burgundies.”

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friday december 2, 2011 | the hamilton spectator
old sam demerara rum
LCBO No. 256180; $25.95

Dan Kislenko

What a delight. Although the component rums are from Guyana, home of the original Demerara, this was aged, blended and bottled in Newfoundland. The youngest elements spend a full two years in barrel and some parts are as much as 12 years old. Old Sam is a very dark, rich and mellow rum that has a definite buttery edge to it and offers flavours of fruitcake, tangerine, molasses, figs and chocolate.

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december 1 – 8, 2011 | vol 31 no 14 | now magazine
bouchard pere & Fils 2-bottle gift pack
LCBO No. 253682; $32.95 on sale for $29.95 until January 1st

Graham Duncan
Drink Up

 

WHAT: Bouchard Père & Fils 2 bottle Gift Pack (red and white)
WHERE: Burgundy, France
WHY: Unless you’re a home-crafting maniac, when you wrap up a bottle of wine, it always looks like a bottle of wine. So give them a box. They’ll never guess. A Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay from Burgundy, one of the world’s definitive fine wine regions, both are balanced, restrained, enjoyable renditions of their respective styles, and both pair well with a large festive bird. Convenient that.

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holiday 2011 | food & Drink Magazine
El Dorado 15 year old special reserve rum
LCBO No. 705418; $59.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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wednesday, november 2, 2011 | The grid TO
Bouchard père & Fils ‘la vignée’ pinot noir
LCBO No. 605667; $16.95

Food & Drink

Take advantage of affordable, entry-level Burgundies from the heralded 2009 vintage while you can. Pair with the Burgundian staple coq au vin. Ponce notes: “An aroma of ripe berries, earthy terroir and firm acidity, this red gives off more polish than Winston Churchill’s dome. But while it’s approachable now, grippy mouth-coating tannins suggest this bulldog needs a few years in the cellar.”

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wednesday, october 26, 2011 | The toronto star
beronia tempranillo 2007
LCBO no. 243055; $11.95

Gord Stimmell
Gord on Grapes

“Fabulous hidden values sleeping on shelves”

This new general listing is a superb red. It’s not a heavyweight, but elegant and poised. Minty black cherry, smoke, sandalwood, cola, coconut and mahogany aromas. The mellow minty flavours show vanilla, coconut, cola, red currants and plum with a sandalwood finish. Food suggestion: Lamb kebabs.

Rating: 90

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saturday, october 15, 2011 | the globe and mail
La tierra de jonata 2007
Vintages no. 221150; $84.95
Beppi Crosariol

Beppi Crosariol
Wine & Spirits

Sangiovese from California tends to be more miss than hit and is usually more expensive than a better Chianti or Vino Nobile. That’s why sangiovese acreage in the state has declined. But what a hit this is from the star producer Jonata, owned by the same two wealthy partners who control Napa Valley’s Screaming Eagle. Rich and packed with sweet cherry, it keeps serving up layers of exciting flavour, from spice to cedar to a note reminiscent of roast pork. There’s also a light dusting of tannins that suggest it could cellar well for up to a decade.

Rating: 93/100

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november 2011 | toronto life
monte antico 2007
vintages no. 69377; $15.95

David Lawrason
Food & Drink

“Under the Tuscan Sun”

With a rare (for Italy) screw-cap, plus merlot and cab blended in, this red is modern in design but old-school Chianti at heart. It’s light-to medium bodied, fresh and savoury, with flavours of blackcurrant, spicy clove, vanilla and mocha. Some sinew and greenness on the finish.

Rating: 87 points

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August 18-25, 2011 | VOL 30 NO 51 | NOW magazine
El Dorado 5 year old rum
LCBO No. 894014; $24.80

Graham Duncan
Drink Up

 

WHAT: El Dorado 5 Years Old Rum
WHERE: Demerara, Guyana
WHY: When the Drink Up South Pacific Cultural Studies Group embarks upon some field research, that can only mean one thing – tiki party! And that, in turn, means rum. You want something with a little age for depth of flavour, but no need to blow the bank on the top-shelfers. El Dorado’s notes of banana, toffee and a tropical fruit tinge (passion fruit? guava?) make this a solid pick at the price. Even works as a straight-up sipper.

Rating: 4 N’s (out of 5)

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saturday august 6, 2011 | The national post
William fevre Chablis 1er Cru 2008
Vintages No. 169805; $29.95

Margaret Swaine
Margaret Swaine
Wine Picks

There’s nothing like the classic, minerally, dry chardonnay of France’s Chablis region to salve thirst during a heat wave. This version from the well-respected William Fèvre has it all. It has a lovely mineral bouquet with a dry green apple, citrus flavour. Vibrant acidity and length refreshes and stimulates the palate. Enjoy with fish, chicken or oysters.

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july 2011 | toronto life
Alvaro Palacios 2008 Camins del Priorat
vintages no. 216291; $21.95

David Lawrason
Food & Drink

This classy, affordable blend of garnacha and cariñena crafted by Alvaro Palacios, Spain’s leading winemaker, is a complex, elegant compote of black raspberry with subtle wood spice, vanilla, leather and granitic minerality on the finish. Try it with pork tenderloin or chicken thighs.

Rating: 90 points

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saturday, may 14, 2011 | the globe and mail
Old pulteney 12 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
LCBOBeppi Crosariol No. 515346; $79.95

Beppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

During my university years, cash flow was tighter than the waist of my Calvin Klein jeans. Remember those Brooke Shields ads where she boasts that nothing comes between her and her Calvins? I fell for it because I had fallen for her. But like most poor souls, I would regularly manage to scrape up enough to indulge in small luxuries. Back then it was blended Scotch rather than the premium single malts I favour today. My go-to brand was Catto’s, not because it was great but because it was smooth and cheap. I can’t recall what I was forking out then but today it sells for about $35. Not bad. Inver House Distillers, the company behind Catto’s, also makes a single malt, Old Pulteney. While not cheap, it’s in the good-value range for a premium, robust Scotch. Malty and spicy, it shows a nicely rounded profile, with hints of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and fresh sea air. The finish is smooth yet spicy, not unlike the young Brooke Shields in those Calvin ads.

Rating: 91/100

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saturday, march 26, 2011 | the globe and mail
The paring pinot noir 2008
Vintages No. 218958; $32.95
Beppi Crosariol

Beppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

Big for a pinot, this red from the Santa Rita hills is decidedly New World in style, with forward fruit hinting at plum jam, chocolate and raspberry. A creamy texture gets lift from crisp acidity and subtle astringency in the fine-grained tannins. My pairing for this Pairing: seared duck breast.

Rating: 90/100

saturday, march 19, 2011 | the globe and mail
Villa ponciago beaujolais villages 2009
Vintages No. 207449; $15.95
Beppi Crosariol

Beppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

From the near-perfect 2009 growing season in Beaujolais, it delivers the essence of the gamay grape. Light, chewy, cherry-like and floral, it’s exceedingly fresh and almost too young. A year in the cellar could add to the charm. Incidentally, the Ponciago estate was taken over in 2008 by the Henriot family, which owns the respected Burgundy labels Bouchard Père et Fils and William Fèvre. This is a red that would pair well with fish, pork and lots of vegetarian fare.

Rating: 89/100

saturday, march 19, 2011 | the globe and mail
Jonata Todos 2006
Vintages No. 218941; $59.95
Beppi Crosariol

Beppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

A blend of syrah, cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, petit verdot, cabernet franc and viognier, this is an impressive mouthful. Weighing in at 15.2-per-cent alcohol, not uncommon with big reds from Santa Ynez, it’s lavish but well structured. There’s concentrated fruit here, but it unfolds with savoury layers. For me, it brought to mind roast beef with chocolate sauce, with good acid and spice on the back end and integrated tannins. It should cellar well for a decade. Serve it with beef, duck or game.

Rating: 94/100

saturday, march 19, 2011 | the globe and mail
jonata el corazon 2005
Vintages No. 218917; $59.95
Beppi Crosariol

Beppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

Essentially the same wine as above (Jonata Todos), which changed its name with the 2006 vintage, this offering contains merlot and sauvignon blanc instead of cabernet franc and viognier. More tannic and angular than the Todos, it shows a charred, espresso quality along with spice on the finish. Serve it with beef or lamb.

Rating: 93/100

saturday march 19, 2011 | The national post
the paring pinot noir 2008
VintMargaret Swaineages No. 218958; $32.95

Margaret Swaine
Wine Picks

The owners of Napa’s Screaming Eagle vineyard launched 101 Wine Company (Jonata) in the Santa Ynez Valley -The Paring wines are made from vines not yet ready for the Jonata label. This mediumfull bodied red is pure California pinot. Ripe with cherry-berry fruit and rounded on the palate, it’s fairly intense but balanced by nice acidity.

saturday, march 19, 2011 | the globe and mail
Ojai Bien Nacido Vineyard Syrah 2005
Vintages No. 104315; $47.95

Beppi Crosariol
Beppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

From Santa Barbara County, specifically Santa Maria Valley, it walks like a classic syrah from France’s northern Rhône Valley. Dark fruit and a hint of licorice are delivered on a seamless frame, with a subtle whiff of bacon. Chunky and satisfying. Serve it with hearty stews.

Rating: 92/100

sunday, january 16, 2011 | the sunday sun
Monte Antico 2007
Vintages No. 69377; $14.95

Christopher Waters
Waters & Wine

“In praise of appetizing Italian reds”

A blend of Sangiovese with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this has a high-toned fragrance that calls to mind potpourri. Good concentrated fruit, plenty of complexity and nicely balanced structure makes this a winning match for a wide range of dishes.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

friday, december 31, 2010 | The national post
Hine rare vsop
LCBO No. 356857; $83.25

Margaret Swaine
Margaret Swaine
Spirits Picks

“Celebrate another year under your belt with a congratulatory dram of these ultra-smooth soulful winter sippers”

Hine cognac style is all about delicacy and elegance. The reasonably priced VSOP, a blend of over 25 cognacs from the revered Petite and Grande Champagne districts, delivers all that and more. Deep amber in hue, it’s fruity at first, tropical even; then spiced and perfumed with sophisticated elegance. Subtle and refined.

saturday, december 18, 2010 | The Globe and Mail
El dorado 25 year old rum
LCBO No. 185256; $359

Beppi Crosariol
Beppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

Just 75 six-bottle cases of this glorious nectar were allocated to Ontario. It’s the top dark rum from Demerara Distillers and may impress even those with an aversion to lesser rums. Dark amber, almost mahogany in colour, it has a syrupy, velvety texture and tastes like chocolate and caramel studded with raisins and doused in oloroso sherry. Sip it like great cognac.

Rating: 97/100

saturday, november 6, 2010 | The national post
herencia remondo la montesa 2007
Vintages No. 674572; $18.95
Margaret Swaine

Margaret Swaine
Wine Picks

“The wines of Alvaro Palacios are consistent winners in my books. He revived the family winery Herencia Remondo by reducing yields and polishing production techniques. This largely garnacha and tempranillo blend is a classic. Medium-full bodied, with smooth well-knit tannins, it has harmonious flavours of vanilla, cloves and ripe blackberry”.

 

saturday, november 6, 2010 | The Globe and Mail
herencia remondo la montesa 2007
Vintages No. 674572; $18.95

Beppi Crosariol
Beppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

“This is a good-value red Rioja from esteemed winemaker Alvaro Palacios, who is famous for one of Spain’s iconic reds, l’Ermita. The wine is full-bodied and liqueur-like in depth, with prune character reminiscent of Tawny Port backed up by clove and herbs. Good for herb-flavoured roasts.”

Rating: 89/100

saturday october  9, 2010 | The Globe and Mail
white owl whisky
lcbo No. 194878; $39.95

Beppi Crosariol
Beppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

“From Highwood Distillers in High River, Alta., this is one very unusual whisky. It’s perfectly clear, like vodka or gin. All whiskies get their typically amber hue from wood aging. The difference here is in the carbon filtration process, which intentionally strips the wheat-based spirit of its colour. Designed to tap consumer thirst for clear booze, it’s relatively light and deliciously mellow, showing notes of butterscotch and anise, with less of the spice associated with many whiskies. Think of it as whisky-flavoured vodka, only more affordable than many superpremium flavoured vodkas.”

Rating: 91/100

saturday september 25, 2010 | Toronto star
beronia reserva 2006
vintages no. 50203; $17.95

Gord Stimmell
Gord on Grapes

“All the finer classical traits of a refined Rioja red show up here. Minty sandalwood, coconut and black cherry aromas lead into rich coconut, cherry stone and vanillabean flavours with an undercurrent of mocha. Very silky texture as well.”

Food suggestion: Beef pot roast

Rating: 90+

saturday september 25, 2010 | Toronto star
bollini pinot grigio 2009
Vintages No. 951319; $16.95

Gord Stimmell
Gord on Grapes

“Italian producers are churning out tons of wishy-washy pinot grigios to fuel the global fad. But here’s an impeccable one, with pure pear, lime, melon and apple aromas and lovely floral lime blossom and apple spice flavours. Simply delicious.”

Food suggestion: Baby bay scallops

Rating: 90

saturday september 4, 2010 | Toronto star
beronia elaboraciÓn especial tempranillo 2008
Vintages No. 723643; $15.95

Gord Stimmell
Gord on Grapes

“A Rioja red custom built for smokin’ barbecue cuisine. Aromas dominated by smoky black cherry and mocha and black plum. The coffeebeans resurface in the flavours, with tantalizing cedar box, coconut and black cherry layers.”

Food suggestion: Coffee-crusted steaks
Rating: 90+

September 2010 | post magazine
monte antico 2006
vintages No. 69377; $15.00

Tony Aspler
Wine

“Mission possible: five great wines for taste and value”

“Monte Antico Toscana 2006 is a Chianti (Sangiovese) with 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 5 percent Merlot blended in. The colour is dense purple with a nose of black cherries and currants. The fruit is very expressive and well structured; the tannins are soft and supple; and the finish savoury. A wine for tomato-based pastas or beef dishes.”

saturday july 17, 2010 | The Globe and Mail
william fevre chablis champs royaux 2008
lcbo No. 276436; $22.10

Beppi CrosariolBeppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

“Chablis, the northernmost district of Burgundy, is the spiritual home of crisp chardonnay. Many new fans of the grape are discovering that the variety, so often grown in hot climates to mouth-coating ripeness and then oaked till the wine tastes like vanilla extract, can in fact be crisp… look for the more widely available William Fèvre Champs Royaux 2008. It’s medium-bodied, and its flavour reminds me of sucking on a peach pit. It’s also got a slightly brittle, chalky texture and lively acidity. This is impressive chardonnay elegance for the money. Try it with salmon, pork chops or veal”.

saturday june 19, 2010 | The Globe and Mail
El dorado deluxe silver 6 Year old rum
LCBO No. 14Beppi Crosariol7892; $34.95

Beppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

And if you’re a fan of the mojito cocktail, made with rum, sugar, mint, lime and soda water, I can’t think of a much finer base than El Dorado 6 Year Old Silver white rum from Demerara Distillers of Guyana ($34.95, No. 147892). Ontario was chosen as the global launch site for this unusual product. Though it gets its mellowness and complexity from maturation in oak casks, which tends to imparts a golden hue (that’s how you get amber rums), the colour here is perfectly clear. It’s charcoal filtered to remove the colour, leaving much of the complexity behind. Exceptionally creamy and smooth, the spirit displays subtle sweetness and a notes of toffee and vanilla. It’s not grappa, but I have a feeling my dad would enjoy a shot in his coffee on Father’s Day.

saturday june 5, 2010 | The national post
broker’s premium london dry gin
LCBO No. 6Margaret Swaine05162; $24.90

Margaret Swaine
Spirits Picks

Broker’s Gin won the Ultimate Beverage Challenge’s first place Chairman’s Trophy in New York in March. Its distinctive juniper depth is perfect for an ultimate gin and tonic, but the bright forward bouqet of 10 botanicals and its flavoursome yet mellow palate make it a great martini base.

saturday june 5, 2010 | The national post
el dorado deluxe silver 6 year old rum
LCBO No. 1Margaret Swaine47892; $34.95

Margaret Swaine
Spirits Picks

This blend of six-year-old dark rum distilled in the world’s last remaining wooden Coffey still is married with six-year-old rum from a French Savalle still – all from Guyana. The dark colour from the wood is double filtered out after blending, leaving pure, clear-coloured rum that’s ultra-creamy smooth, like vanilla ice cream. It’s so delicious you’ll be licking your glass.

saturday may 8, 2010 | The national post
bouchard pere & fils macon gamay 2008
LCBO No. 164582; $13.95

Margaret SwaineMargaret Swaine
Wine Picks

“Bouchard Pere, a venerable burgundy firm, is a good source for reliable wines from the region. Treat this light gamay red like a rose and serve slightly chilled. Vibrant and lively with fresh red currant and rhubarb flavours and whiffs of spice, earthiness and peppercorn, it’s cheerful, dry and crisp. Good with grilled or pan-fried pork or veal”.

saturday april 24, 2010 | The Globe and Mail
Suavia soave classico 2008

Beppi CrosariolBeppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

“The soave renaissance is evident in another wine released this week through Vintages, Suavia Soave Classico 2008 ($19.95, No. 165654). It’s lean and crisp like the old soaves you may recall from the 1970s, but with a silky, more opulent texture and a nuance of mineral carried through on the relatively long finish. Perfect for warm-weather sipping”.

Bouchard Père & Fils Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus 2006 January 16, 2010 | The Globe and Mail
Bouchard Père & Fils Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus 2006

Beppi CrosariolBeppi Crosariol
Wines & Spirits

“One sleeper in the expensive bunch is Bouchard Père & Fils Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus 2006 ($129.95, No. 43257). The 2005 vintage in Burgundy was generally better than 2006 for reds, but this well-known premier cru from one of the region’s best large producers shows impressive balance, with pure, perfectly ripe berry flavor and an undertone of beet root and tobacco. Very polished”. Pick of the Week – “The Splurge”.

April, 2007 | Toronto Life | A Mano 2003 Primitivo

December, 2006 | The Toronto Sun | Alvaro Palacios