Drink your way through Billy’s Best wine book – a bottle or two at a time. Follow the instructions and you’ll be a wine wizard by Easter. New lessons are posted every Wednesday. Looking forward to hearing about your ‘homework’!
The old wine countries create very dry and challenging drinks, while new wine countries offer more friendly, less dry wines. This is a generalization of course but it’s useful to know that the two styles exist – and that choosing the appropriate one will go a long way in determining the success of your event. Or just your own drinking pleasure.
For this lesson you will need to buy and open both red wines below. Experience them side by side (yes, two glasses in front of you) so you can see the different experiences described below. Neither wine is better of course, but there will be a better ‘choice’ once you factor in a situation/mood/food. You could have the foods suggested with the two wines – on the same evening, or spread your lesson over two evenings.
OLD WORLD STYLE Red
CESARI 08 Merlot, Italy 572453 $7.25 page 149
(alternative: Alianca 06 Bairrada Reserve, Portugal 158741 $8.50)
very dry – an edge – earthy – challenging. Very refreshing and good at stimulating the palate – making you hungry, and keeping you hungry through the meal. Its strength is being good at helping you enjoy the meal. And not knocking you out with high alcohol. Could be likened to European movies that give you something to think about.
FOODS: Plain roasted or grilled red meats with fresh herbs. Tomato sauced pasta or pizza.
FYI: The traditional wines of France, Italy, Spain, etc are known as Old World.
NEW WORLD STYLE Red
CONO SUR 08 Shiraz, Chile 64295 $9.95 page 199
(alternative: Finca Flichman 08 Malbec ‘Misteria’, Argentina 28803 $7.80)
Smooth – fruity – spicy sweet – yummy. Instant pleasure and the ‘let’s party’ feeling. An invitation to relax – with food, or without. If there’s food, make sure it has kick-ass flavours. New World reds could be likened to Hollywood movies – lots of glitz and glam.
FOODS: Ribs, steaks or chops with spicy/sweet sauces. Burgers with all the fixins.
FYI: Australian, Chilean and Californian wines are categorized as New World.
P.S. Ontario is in this group technically, but most of our best wines are Old World and cool climate in style.