Reds of Summer

by Abigail

There is this idea that when the weather gets hot, we must put away the red wine and only drink white. It makes sense, but there are times when you just crave a glass of red, and it’s cruel to limit yourself to one style of wine. So what red wine works best when it’s 30+ degrees outside, and how can you make it more thirst quenching? Well, step one is to chill your red wine! It’s something we don’t see too much in Calgary, but trust me, it’s a life changer.

This tasting was to show an array of red wines that can be perfect for patio weather, from the lighter, fruity style, to bold and beautiful.

Tiberio Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo 2017
Abruzzo, Italy
To start of the evening, we started with a wine that doesn’t necessarily look like a red. This wine from Tiberio is classified as a red wine, but shows more like a darker rose, due to the shorter maceration period. Based in the sunbathed hills of Abruzzo lays Tiberio. A biodynamic, organic and sustainable winery that focuses on the unique beauty of their region. Their Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo is made from 100% Montepulciano, producing a wine that is fruity, fresh, with earthy notes and a touch of minerality. $29.99

Big Easy Radio Perpetual Holidaze 2016
McLaren Vale, Australia
winemaker Justin Lane worked at Alpha Box and Dice and Redheads wineries before starting up his own project, Big Easy Radio. He works with a variety of vineyards, making small-production wines from interesting grapes. Perpetual Holidaze is 100% Grenache, made in a light, juicy, and easy drinking style, making it perfect for any day on the patio. Chill the bottle down, and enjoy! $29.99

G.D. Vajra Clare J.C. 2017
Piedmont, Italy
One of the best-kept secrets out of Piedmont is the winery G.D. Vajra. Located at 1300ft in elevation and being the highest winery in Barolo they are fortunate enough to have some of the latest ripening grapes in Barolo and also providing smaller berries with thicker skins. A lot of the vineyards were planted in 1947, but the winery itself was not started until 1972 and the first vintage was released in 1978. $35.99

According to Giuseppe Vajra who is fourth generation winemaker “Claré J.C. is a Nebbiolo made according to a 1606 note from the House of Savoia jeweller Gian Battista Croce. This wine is a time-capsule into an era when Nebbiolo wines tasted fresher, lifted and slightly crisp. This is a wine for people who are young, brave at heart and curious about Piemonte forgotten past.”

Produced with grapes from younger vines, Claré J.C. is a 100% Nebbiolo vinification. In 2017, approximately 25% of the fruit was vinified whole cluster.

Light ruby colour, slightly sparkling and very fresh, eye-catching. The nose opens with red fruits, vin-nouveau like aromatics, spices, gentle incense and a touch of very unique Nebbiolo stem. Mouth is vibrant, refreshing and with plenty of energy. This wine is meant to serve slightly chilled during the warmer months (14-16°C) and can pair an amazing array of diverse food, from aperitifs and appetizers to fried delicacies and BBQs.

Du Grappin Beaujolais Village 2017
Beaujolais, France
Lancié, just south of Morgon and Fleurie, is considered by some to be the forgotten cru of Beaujolais. Fifty-year-old vines root deeply into alluvial pink granite on a south-east facing slope beneath the village itself. Whole clusters of Gamay Noir are kept under a protective layer of CO2 for intracellular fermentation (Carbonic Maceration). After a week, the grapes are pressed off into stainless steel and used Pinot Noir barrels to finish fermenting. After an additional five months on lees, the wine is bottled with minimal sulphur. $32.99

Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir 2016
Victoria, Australia
Montalto is a small scale production winery from the Mornington Peninsula, South Australia, where John Mitchell founded the winery in 1998. They lease several vineyards across the peninsula to showcase the true diversity of the cool climate region. This Pinot Noir from their Pennon Hill line shows the elegance of Mornington Peninsula, with notes of fresh blue and red berries, earth, a touch of spice, blossom, and with bright acidity to round out this complex wine. This wine sees a touch of French Oak, which beautifully complements its delicate characteristics. $32.99

Zorzal Eggo Bonaparte 2015
Mendoza, Argentina
Zorzal is a winery based in Mendoza, Argentina, but is partly owned by a group of Calgarians! The Eggo line focuses in on the terroir of each vineyard, creating an array of different varietals that are fermented and aged in concrete eggs. They believe that within these eggs, the molecules of the wine cannot detect gravity, and thus, they are thrust into a circular motion around the egg, softening the molecules out.
The Eggo Bonaparte is made from 100% Bonarda and is vibrant, complex and enticing. Colourful notes of spice, blackberries, blueberries, minerality and earth. $36.99

Majella Sparkling Shiraz 2009
South Australia, Australia
Majella makes some of the finest wines in Coonawarra. Famed for their reds, they have also gained a reputation for a wonderful Sparkling Shiraz. Using young Shiraz grapes they barrel ferment and then age it for about 9 months in American oak. In the true Aussie tradition Majella uses some really fantastic vintage port for the dosage. Great as an aperitif or a digestif, with meat, pasta or cheese, and not too shabby on its own. $39.99

Red wines aren’t just for winter. You can enjoy them all year round, and this selection is barely the tip of the iceberg of what reds are perfect for a hot Calgarian summer. Remember to play around with the serving temperature! Chill your red wines down, and see what works for you!

Thank you again for everyone who attended, and the biggest thank you to Peasant Cheese for supplying us with fantastic snacks!

- Abigail Pavka

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