Love at First Sip tasting – February 12, 2015

Have you ever had raclette? Similar to a fondue pot, the electric raclette grill makes for a fun communal dinner party – guests gather round the grill and cook small tasty dishes for themselves. The top hot plate is ideal for grilling vegetables, potatoes, meat and more. Cheese is melted in individual raclette pans (coupelles) under the heating element that’s beneath the grill top and then scraped out of the pans with small heat-resistant spatulas.

That’s what guests enjoyed last night at our annual ‘Love at First Sip’ Valentine’s Day tasting. I decided to switch up the format, as I’ve done the same sweets and bubbles tasting every year. I’m glad I did because it was an absolute hit!

The wines of the evening were indeed, Love at First Sip! Every wine I chose had a love story. Our favorite was the story of Casa de Oleiros Vinho Verde NV. The wine label is inspired by a romantic tradition; a love story lived through the regional popular “Valentine Handkerchiefs”. Young girls in love embroidered these handkerchiefs with a variety of love motifs for the beloved man on a cotton cloth. It is a piece of craftsmanship typical of Minho, the heart of Vinho Verde. Inspired by this tradition, this wine was born as a call to love as an act of sharing Vinho Verde with your loved ones.

Dumangin Rose NV (3rd favourite of the night) is another love story that we adore. As one of our longest standing exclusive wines in our store (for over 15 years!), Gilles Dumangin’s wines are only getting better. It also was the Champagne of choice for Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell wedding back in 2011 – we say they have great taste!

The clear favourite of the night was Bussola Amarone BG Classico 2008! This gorgeous wine is an intense red blend with a combination of old vines and ancient clones: Corvinone (which helps to give the wine depth), Corvina Grossa and Rondinella.

Second was the Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Magnum 1.5L 2011! Don’t let the word magnum scare you! It is only two bottles and it is lovely for dinner parties! This wine is a forward, perfumed example of the cuvee that has classic Rhone black fruits, tobacco leaf, pepper and leathery notes as well as medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. A great choice that is in between Old World and New World and we are very proud to say that we

Items for the Raclette:

Murcia al vino
Spain – pasteurized goat’s milk – supple aged
This drunken old goat will leave you smiling in your glass of wine

Le 1608
Canada – pasteurized cow’s milk – washed rind
A little nutty but mostly just sweet, this youngster is the epitome of a favourite child.

France – pasteurized cow’s mik – washed rind
Traditional, dressed in Chanel with an air of class and old world charm

France – raw cow’s milk – supple aged
Sweet & gentle, she makes your heart melt

Switzerland – raw cow’s milk – firm aged
Old for his age, this teenager brings depth and perspective to any conversation

Secret du Compostelle & brandied cherries
France – raw sheep’s milk – firm aged
Having seen the world, he is always drawn back to his basque homeland,

Wensleydale & wild strawberry jam
England – raw cow’s milk –firm aged
He smiles impishly at you, melting your heart in a single moment

On the side:

Drunkin Figs

Largely, the evening was a fun interactive format which we will be running again, so keep an eye out for classes in our next session. Below is the full line up of wines along with the cheeses served for the raclette from Peasant Cheese Shop. Please do not hesitate to contact us for questions or requests online, over the phone or in-store.

We hope that you drink something delicious on this lovely Valentine’s weekend! Cheers to you!

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