Many everyday-priced local reds are perfumed with vanilla to mask the tartness, and make them more crowd-pleasing. It’s a form of wine processing that robs the drink of its true character. Tartness is a natural component in Ontario wine because we’re not a super hot climate like Australia or California.
Italian reds such as Barbera, Chianti and Valpolicella have a good dose of tartness – which is why they work well with foods. I’ve just tasted a Niagara red with these Italian characteristics. My notes were ‘local bistro at last’ ‘great summer refreshment’ ‘too tart for wimps’ ‘local punk that’s not Baco’ ‘Rustic never tasted better’ ‘Bravo Craig!’
CRUSH is a multi-grape blend showing a lot of the pepper character of Syrah. It is made at Hillebrand by Aussie winemaker Craig McDonald. A true local ‘bistro-style’ red that I urge you to try. Lightly chill and watch your appetite soar. Equally good with red or white meats, pizza or a cheese sandwich.
CRUSH Red 2009, VQA Niagara 234294 $12.95