Many everyday-priced local reds are perfumed with vanilla to mask the tartness, and make them more crowd-pleasing. Itâ€™s a form of wine processing that robs the drink of its true character. Tartness is a natural component in Ontario wine because weâ€™re not a super hot climate like Australia or California.
Italian reds such as Barbera, Chianti and Valpolicella have a good dose of tartness â€“ which is why they work well with foods. Iâ€™ve just tasted a Niagara red with these Italian characteristics. My notes were â€˜local bistro at lastâ€™ â€˜great summer refreshmentâ€™ â€˜too tart for wimpsâ€™ â€˜local punk thatâ€™s not Bacoâ€™ â€˜Rustic never tasted betterâ€™ â€˜Bravo Craig!â€™
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 â€˜bistro-styleâ€™ red that I urge you to try. Lightly chill and watch your appetite soar.Â Equally good with red or white meats,Â pizza or a cheese sandwich.
CRUSH Red 2009, VQA Niagara 234294 $12.95