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