Tight Wad – Frugal Finds

by Dave

I remember when I first started working at Kensington Wine Market, I had a couple of different reasons. First I wanted to earn some extra money to save enough to go travelling. Secondly, I wanted to still drink good wine but also spend less on it. The store helped in both of those aspects and also sent me down a new and amazing road of knowledge and diversion. I have always been on the search for good wine but at a good price as well. That’s why we are always trying to make sure we have something new and affordable at the store. It’s not always about having the fanciest wine or the very best; sometimes you just want the best for right now and not have to spend a boatload of money on it. That is also the beauty of these tastings that you can actually try the wines before committing to purchasing them. Not only that but you get to taste some amazing cheese and nibbles from Peasant Cheese. For the price, I think you would be hard beat to find a better value in all of Calgary for an awesome night out.

Dunes & Greene Pinot-Chardonnay Brut
I love sparkling wine and if I only had to choose one style of wine to drink it would be sparkling. This wine is always a winner for quality and price. This is a great tasting sparkling wine from the Eden Valley region of Australia. Made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir it shows delicate aromas of lemon zest, fresh strawberries and cream. On the palate, look for Chardonnay flavours of subtle citrus notes and fresh acidity. The Pinot Noir complements this by adding richness and texture. The result is a full flavoured sparkling wine with a refined finish. Enjoy with appetizers, seafood, Chinese takeout or just when you feel like some bubbles. $19.99 for 750mL – also available in mini format.

Lamura Organico Bianco 2016
Sicily provides the perfect environment for the production of organic wines; in fact, most would agree that Sicily is the best region in the whole of Italy for the production of organic grapes. The abundance of sunshine combined with the sea breezes and low rainfall combine to make ideal grape-growing conditions: there are no problems with ripening grapes and there is very little disease, so the grapes from this winery have always been virtually organic, with the minimum of treatments. The result is consistently excellent quality grapes. This was a very interesting wine that would be fantastic with food. Chicken, fish, or even some light pork chops. With nice acidity and balanced with a wonderful minerality, it’s definitely something worth trying. $17.99

Ochoa Calendas Blanco Viura Chardonnay 2017
A well-priced and delicious Viura-Chardonnay blend from one of our fave Spanish wineries! Javier Ochoa has headed up this family-owned winery for the past 35 years, but his daughter Adriana is the winemaker. She trained in Bordeaux and then studied in Australia before returning to her hometown to work at the family business. The wine is grown organically but not certified as such. It’s crisp and delicious, a perfect pairing for seafood or a sunny patio with friends. $17.99

Summer Water Rose 1.5L, 2017
If you only are going to have one bottle of wine might as well make it a bigger bottle. This was a fun a bottle that is perfect to share with friends.
It’s more than the rosé of the season, it’s a state of mind — every drop full of pink-tinted possibility. Dry, light and perfectly crisp — with notes of strawberry, pink grapefruit and white peach. Drink it chilled with the ones you love. $39.99

Mur-Mur-Ium Ventoux Cuvee Anne
This was an interesting wine from the Rhone region in France. This wine is 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. Balanced and delicious. The wine matures 6 months in stainless steel vats. The nose is both very powerful and complex with a little cooked fruit aromas, with spice notes, a touch of coffee and chocolate flavours and a licorice hint. The taste is harmonious and reveals an explosion of blackcurrant and cherry marmalade, kirsch, spice notes, Provencal aromatic herbs, rosemary, licorice and chocolate flavours which are fully integrated with the tannins of the oak. The Finish is also very complex, harmonious and lively in a powerful style. This wine is delicious with grilled red meat and pork. $19.99

Heartland Stickleback Red 2015
The Stickleback blend is chosen for optimum flavour and texture, with each variety bringing a unique character to the wine. A delightful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz gives this wine a rich, savoury character and good structure. A splash of Lagrein contributes spice & tannin. The tightness and structure of the Lagrein pulls the wine together and makes this blend a perfect match with food. Great to have with red meats, stews, or just by itself. Great everyday wine. $16.99

Dominio Dostares Prieto Picudo ‘Estay’ 2014
A terrific little treasure from Castilla y Leon. You may not remember the name of the grape, Prieto Picudo, but you will remember the delicious taste. Made from 100% old vine Prieto Picudo, this beauty is flying under the radar. With many of the same characteristics as Zinfandel, it opens with blackberry and cherry aromas. The taste is very smooth, quite fruit forward and very easy to drink. This tasty red will pair with spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmigiana, or a backyard barbecue with friends. The finish is dry and long. Great wine, great price. $20.99

I really hope that everyone who joins us has as much fun at the tasting as I do. I love being able to spend time with others and chat about wine. It is not something that always able to do as not everyone really cares that much; it is definitely something that is thrilling for me to do though. If you are ever curious about wine or just want to learn more you have some good options.

Come visit us and ask as many questions about wine that you want.
Check out our tasting schedule and come to one of the tastings. It’s a great way to try a lot of different wines at once and see what might be best for you.

Take more and different wine home. It is really just homework in the end. Keep your options open and be willing to experiment. There are amazing wines out there that you have probably never heard of.

Look up some information about the wine you are drinking. There are usually lots out there.

Enjoy what you drink and drink what you like.

In the end, wine is all about experiences. It is more than just swill or something to get drunk on. It is about enjoying time with others, complimenting a meal, conversing on a patio, or being a companion on the couch. Great times can be shared with wine and it’s worth finding stuff that you love.

Hope you enjoy every sip you have!

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