Billy’s Online Wine School

Billy’s Online Wine School
Lesson #8 MAKE FRIENDS with RUSTIC REDS

lesson8There was a time when almost all red wines were rustic. Bone dry with a tangy bite. A bit challenging but refreshing and appetizing. Today’s fashion is for smooth, rich reds – and while these are delicious drinks they are not great companions at the dinner table. They try to upstage the food. And they tire, rather than stimulate the appetite.

So take a trip on the challenging side. Make rustic your friend and new dinner companion. Have second bottles on hand as the refreshing nature of rustic reds tend to keep us longer at the table. Italy is motherland of rustic red but some of our local wineries are not afraid to produce wines with an edge. Have with burgers, pizza, lasagna, casseroles, BBQ’d red meats and anything oven-roasted.

Creekside’s Shiraz is gutsy, down to earth and loaded with vim and vitality. An Ontario Chianti! Get food on the table and you’ll be in for the fun of a fast bottle.

The blend of Cabernet Franc and Shiraz from Angels Gate tastes like something you’d have at a French bistro. Hearty, earthy and very real. I’d love to see more local wine produced in this style.

CREEKSIDE 07 Shiraz, VQA Niagara 66654 $15.75
ANGELS GATE 07 Cabernet/Shiraz, VQA Niagara 146365 $14.75

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3 Comments

  • Last night I had the 07 Creekside Shiraz (from the last entry in your online wine school). I picked it up for a date. Unfortunately all did not go as planned!

    The evening started at the barbeque as I brushed the grill with oil, and began layering the pizza toppings on my just-risen pizza dough. I decided to cheat a little and pop the cork before my date arrived (that of course being just an expression since Creekside uses a twist cap). And that’s where it started to go all wrong!

    The wine splashed into the bottom of the glass just as the phone rang.

    “You’re going to hate me.” Five words she knows are never true. “I can’t make it tonight…” I won’t get into the details but suffice it to say next time she cooks!

    The evening wasn’t a total write off though. Since the bottle had already been opened… Inject whatever cliche you want (I myself am partial to “waste-not-want-not”) which might redeem me in your eyes (but for around $15 I’ll by my missus another one).

    Once the phone went down, the glass went up — and I was greeted with lots of aromas. I’m by no means a wine expert (not even a connoisseur — just a lover). From the moment the dark fruits (black berries and plums maybe) and oak hit your nose you can tell that this is a drinking wine! The peppery flavour pairs well with the oak and fruits — the taste of coconut lingers between quaffs. I can’t honestly say that I was disappointed to drink it alone. Had the evening progressed as planned, I might have been limited to my half of the bottle!

    I recommend serving for dinner with friends. It is a stimulating, full-bodied (but not overpowering), enjoyable wine — which may get your friends talking (even if they never talk wine)! Or for an easy after-show drink serve with bittersweet or dark chocolate.

  • Had the Angels Gate with marinated flank steak and scalloped potatoes. I understand what you mean about not upstaging the food. On its own, I would not have appreciated the wine as much as I did with the meal.

  • I was unable to find the Angel’s Gate nearby, but picked up the Creekside. What a lovely wine.n It has depth and is fruity. Definitely a buy again (and again) wine.

    It is smoother than I generally expect a rustic red to be.

    Very nice.

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