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Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

Contents 4 Introduction 6 Basics of Wine 8 - 9 Proper Tasting 10 Storage 15 Chardonnay 16 Gewürztraminer 19 Pinot Gris 20 Riesling 23 Sauvignon Blanc 24 Viognier 29 Reading Labels 30 Cabernet Sauvignon 33 Gamay 34 Grenache 37 Malbec 38 Merlot 41 Nebbiolo 42 Pinot Noir 45 Sangiovese 46 Syrah 49 Zinfandel 50 Alberta Liquor Laws This guide is published by

Publisher Rob Lightfoot Creative Team Creative & Design Charlie Biddiscombe Photos Brenda Lakeman Words Mel Priestley Riedel Stemware provided by The Wine Cellar © 2013 Postvue Publishing

All Rights Reserved, Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the written consent of the publisher.

Postvue Publishing

#200, 11230 119 St. Edmonton, AB. • T5G 2X3 Ph: 780.426.1996 •

Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


INTRODUCTION I’m often approached by new wine enthusiasts who want to learn more about wine but just aren’t sure how to go about it. Given the huge amount of information available and the sheer size of the world’s wine industry, it’s not surprising when novices are completely overwhelmed – and even experienced wine drinkers will occasionally find themselves in need of a quick reminder of some of the details. This guide offers a solution to both dilemmas as it is designed to be an efficient, handy reference for wine drinkers of all levels. It is essentially a road map of the world’s major grape varieties, as well as a brief primer on (or reminder of) wine basics. While there are literally thousands of grape varieties in the world, the sixteen included here represent the majority of those most commonly found on the Canadian market. Each page provides some important details about that particular grape variety along with food pairing suggestions; there is also an image of the proper type of stemware to use for that variety along with the correct pour level and ideal serving temperature. It is my sincere hope that you will use this guide as a jumping off point for your further exploration into the world of wine. There is so much to learn and the wine world is always changing; I’ve been a wine writer and certified sommelier for over five years and I’m still constantly discovering new things. Above all, I hope you find this guide useful, practical and entertaining. Cheers! Mel Priestley




Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide




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ANALYZING WINE Wine is comprised of several components that greatly impact its flavour. Being able to recognize and analyze each component is crucial in deepening your wine tasting expertise.


Most wines smell and taste fruity, so it’s important to narrow that descriptor down. Start general and get more specific: first try to identify a particular group of fruit (tropical, berry, citrus, tree) and then go through specific types: if it is citrusy, is it more like lemons, oranges, limes or grapefruit?


Not all wines have oaky aromas or flavours because not all wines are subjected to oak (during fermentation and/or barrel aging). Two types are commonly used in winemaking: American oak, which gives pronounced vanilla aromas; and French oak, which gives toasty spice aromas.


Earthy flavours in wine include damp gravel, forest floor, pine, mushrooms and sometimes even barnyard. Earthiness is usually a secondary characteristic, but sometimes it can dominate – particularly in European and older wines.


A wine’s acidity causes a rush of saliva in your mouth and is necessary to balance any residual sweetness; low acid wines can taste flabby and unfocused. High acid wines are usually food-friendly, as the acidity cleanses your palate and makes you want another bite.


Tannins derive mainly from grape skins and seeds, so the wines highest in tannin are dark, full-bodied reds; they are not usually present in white wine. Tannins are responsible for a wine’s dryness, as they literally suck all the moisture out of your mouth and leave it feeling raspy and dry. As wines age, the tannins mellow out and become softer.


Alcohol is perceived as heat on the palate, leaving your mouth feeling hot and boozy. It also contributes body, making the wine feel fuller and richer and giving the impression of sweetness.


All wine has some residual sugar, though it’s usually unnoticeable in dry table wines. It is important for the wine to have enough acidity to counterbalance any detectable sweetness as otherwise the wine will be cloyingly sweet and leave your mouth feeling unpleasantly fuzzy.


Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


Pairing: The caramel notes joined with the stone fruit flavor of Peller Ice CuvĂŠe, creates a harmonious marriage of flavors with a perfectly salty finish.

(36% caramelized milk chocolate with Fleur de Sel)


Pairing: The Audrey pairs well with big fruity wines. Try it with a jammy red like the Molly Dooker Boxer 2011 Shiraz.

(64% dark chocolate from Madagascar with tart cherry and toasted pistachios)


Pairing: Try this beautifully balanced dark chocolate with your favorite port for a classic combination. Our pick is the Colheita 1989 Port.

(70% dark chocolate from Honduras with 24 carat edible gold)

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Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


HOW TO TASTE WINE There’s no magical secret to tasting wine and you don’t have to possess superhuman skills to do it – you just need to pay attention to all five of your senses. Grab a glass and let’s get started.


Note the wine’s colour, then tilt the glass over something white and check out the variation in hue between the middle to the edge – the greater this variation, the older the wine usually is. Both white and red wines turn brownish with age.


Give the wine a sniff and note the most obvious aromas. Then give it a swirl (keep the base of the glass against the table if you’re nervous about spilling) and take another whiff. Compare the difference: not only does swirling greatly increase the intensity of aromas but it also releases new ones that weren’t detectable initially.


Take a sip of the wine and use it like mouthwash to rinse out any residual tastes on your palate. Now take another sip and draw in a bit of air as well, which will make a funny gurgling sound. This is the classic wine tasting move that’s parodied in movies and television, but it actually serves a real purpose: 75% of taste is contributed by smell, so sucking in air fully engages your nose and reveals a wider range of flavours.


The feel of a wine in your mouth is as important as the wine’s flavours, as several components of wine are actually tactile sensations: acidity, tannins, alcohol and sugar all have very different effects on your palate. Refer to the opposite page for further information on these components.


Review the descriptors you picked out at each previous step and compare them with the comments of your fellow tasters or a wine reference book. Ultimately it’s your own opinion, but keeping your mind (and ears) open will increase your knowledge and tasting aptitude.


Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

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WINE STORAGE It’s easy to overlook the place where you store your wine, but you should avoid a few terrible spots that can damage a bottle of wine before it’s ever opened. Avoid exposing wine to heat, light and rapid temperature fluctuations, and try to keep the bottles lying on their side so that the corks don’t dry out and let in oxygen. Here’s a brief overview of the best and worst places in your house for storing wine:


The kitchen is the worst place to store wine, yet it’s probably the default choice for many people. Kitchens are too hot and bright; never put wine above the fridge, stove, dishwasher or any other appliance as they give off lots of heat, which can oxidize or otherwise damage the wine. Even countertop wine racks aren’t a good idea because kitchens get very warm when you’re cooking, plus wine bottles should be kept away from light.


A cool, dark basement is a very good place to stash your wine. Just make sure to keep them away from drafty windows, the furnace and other appliances.


The temperature in a garage fluctuates too much for it to be a good wine storage place. They are also usually unheated, which means if you forget the wines over the winter you’ll end up with a bunch of frozen (and probably broken) bottles.


It might seem strange to stash wine in your bedroom closet, but this is a pretty good spot since it is dark and typically remains at a comfortable temperature.


Investing in a wine fridge is a great idea if you’re an avid wine drinker, as these fridges keep bottles at a constant optimal temperature. There are several expensive versions available on the market, as well as many very reasonably priced ones available at housewares stores.


Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide



Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide



Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


Many Chardonnays also undergo malolactic fermentation, often in conjunction with oak aging. This is a secondary fermentation (the primary being when the fruit juice was initially converted into alcohol) that converts the wine’s tart, green apple-like malic acid into creamy lactic acid, giving it a buttery quality. Because Chardonnay is made in every major wine-producing country in a wide range of styles, be sure to check the label for the identifying terms: oak, barrel aging, malolactic fermentation.

Sommelier’s Notes

Chardonnay is an easy grape to like; there’s a good reason it’s the world’s second most-planted white grape variety. Chardonnay can be made into a number of different styles, from dry and crisp with flavours of apple, lemon and minerals, to rich and creamy with flavours of tropical fruit, butterscotch, vanilla and buttered toast. Much of this difference is determined by whether or not the wine is exposed to oak, which can occur through fermenting and/or aging it in oak barrels. The classic French version of Chardonnay, Chablis, is usually unoaked or only lightly oaked, in order to showcase its refreshing (sometimes bracing) core of acidity and crisp flavours. In contrast, Californian Chardonnay is often oaked to impart additional characteristics of vanilla, butter and toasty smoke.

Raw Oysters Crab Cakes Lemon Chicken Lobster With Butter

Asiago Havarti Provolone Gruyere

Macaroni And Cheese

12°C Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


Sommelier’s Notes

GEWÜRZTRAMINER Explosively aromatic, Gewürztraminer is instantly recognizable – even the smallest sniff is like plunging your nose into a bunch of roses. Gewürztraminers from the Alsace region of France are especially noted for their perfumed, concentrated aromas and exuberant flavours of lychee nuts, fruit cocktail syrup, spice, honeysuckle, vanilla and Turkish delight candies. Though all that fruitiness might have you thinking the wine is sweet, this isn’t usually true as the vast majority of Gewürztraminer is made in a dry style. The best examples are from cooler climates like Alsace, which allow the grapes to retain their naturally low acidity enough to balance their massive body and boisterous flavours. Alsace also makes a particularly celebrated, albeit rare, version of Gewürztraminer as a sweet dessert wine, either as Vendange Tardive (made from late-harvest grapes) or Sélection de Grains Nobles (made from grapes exposed to botrytis or noble rot). Germany produces a few lovely, more subdued versions of Gewürztraminer, and the variety has also taken hold in Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

Pork Chops with Apple Tandoori Chicken Tourtière

Gorgonzola Muenster Pecorino Romano

Lentil Curry

12°C 16 Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

Perfectly placed in the South Okanagan


erfectly placed on rich South Okanagan farmland, Tinhorn Creek overlooks the old gold mining creek that is the winery’s namesake. We are environmental stewards of 150 acres of vineyards: “Diamondback” on the Black Sage Bench, and “Tinhorn Creek” on the Golden Mile Bench. Both provide us with the fruit to craft the superb, terroir driven wine that we’re known for. Our top tier Oldfield Series represents the finest of each vintage. Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide



Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


The Italian version of Pinot Gris is usually a simple, crisp white wine with refreshing citrus flavours and a backbone of zingy acidity. In France’s Alsace region, however, Pinot Gris takes on a completely different personality; much like the other wines from this part of the world, Pinot Gris from Alsace has a voluptuous body and flamboyant aromas of pear and baking spices. Elsewhere in the world, Pinot Gris is made in a range of styles that fall somewhere in between these two extremes, with most leaning towards the Pinot Grigio end of the spectrum. Accordingly, North American versions of this variety are frequently – but not always – labeled under the grape’s Italian name.

Sommelier’s Notes

Perhaps the quintessential summer patio wine, Pinot Gris is well-known by its Italian name, Pinot Grigio. This variety has French origins, however, likely originating from the Burgundy region as an ancient mutation of Pinot Noir. Notorious for being genetically unstable, Pinot Noir has spawned several other grape varieties including Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier and Pinotage.

Rainbow Trout Tea-Steamed Cod Citrus Chicken Breasts Smoked Turkey

Brie Morbier Mozzarella Smoked Cheddar

Pasta E Fagioli Caprese Salad

12°C Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


Sommelier’s Notes

RIESLING Many people associate Riesling with being very sweet, owing to the past popularity of wines like Piesporter, Black Tower and Blue Nun. While Riesling does have a tendency to be off-dry, well-made versions will balance residual sugar with zesty acidity – which makes Riesling a champion of food pairing. The quintessential Riesling aroma is petrol, similar to the smell of rubber boots, beach balls, or even gasoline. While this may sound off-putting, rest assured that it is much tastier than it sounds; Riesling also has lovely aromas and flavours of apples, stone fruit, flowers and citrus fruit. Riesling’s home territory is Germany, where it is usually made in off-dry to fairly sweet styles. Navigating German wine labels is a daunting challenge for English-speakers, but there are a few key terms to learn that will tell you how sweet a bottle of German Riesling is: Trocken is dry or almost dry, Kabinett is off-dry, Spätlese means half-sweet and Auslese is quite sweet. Elsewhere in the world, Riesling is made in both dry and off-dry styles. In particular, the versions from Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys are lovely, usually dry with high acidity and a zesty lime and mineral streak. New Zealand’s Canterbury region and Canada’s Niagara and Okanagan regions also make notable Rieslings.

Goose Pâté Fried Chicken Crab Mousse Sweet & Sour Pork

Roquefort Havarti Gouda

Lentil Curry Fresh Fruit

12°C 20 Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

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Vancouver Island wine, defined. Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide



Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


The other standard-bearer for Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand, which makes a very different version of the grape; from this part of the world Sauvignon Blanc tends to be overtly fruity with intense aromas of passion fruit, pink grapefruit and peaches, along with some of those classic green aromas. Elsewhere in the world Sauvignon Blanc is quite common, especially in California where it is sometimes called Fumé Blanc.

Sommelier’s Notes

I’ve never encountered a Sauvignon Blanc that actually smelled like cat pee, but some people swear that this grape variety sometimes presents this particular pungent aroma. There’s no need to be afraid to try a glass, however, as those reports are mostly just rumours and you’d be missing out on a wonderfully refreshing white wine. Sauvignon Blanc originates in France, specifically the Loire Valley, where it is still made into a lemony citrus wine with very high acidity and a distinct “green” quality, akin to freshly cut grass, spring herbs and gooseberries. Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are the most famous Loire Valley appellations that make Sauvignon Blanc; this variety is also used, along with Semillon, to make white Bordeaux.

Citrus Chicken Breasts Smoked Salmon Lime-infused Shrimp

Chèvre Feta

Asparagus Caesar Salad Sushi

12°C Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


Sommelier’s Notes

VIOGNIER Once relatively scarce outside of its home territory in the northern Rhône region of France, Viognier returned from near-extinction in the 1990s with plantings that sprung up around the world, notably in California and Australia. Viognier thrives in these places because of their warm climate; Viognier vines are drought-resistant and require a lot of heat to ripen fully and give the grapes their characteristic pungent aromas of honeysuckle, apricot and tropical fruit, along with a round body and rich, oily texture. A curious practice involves using a dash of Viognier to red wine, especially Syrah/Shiraz. Viognier lends its exotic aromas without muddying up the palate, and it also enhances the colour of red wine. Several Australian producers have embraced this technique, though it started in France when producers in the Rhône Valley added Viognier to that region’s Syrah-based reds. French Viognier is often blended with other white Rhône varieties like Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc, though there are two appellations that only make 100% Viognier: Condrieu and Château Grillet.

Smoked Ham Chicken Tajine Crab Cakes

Goat Cheese Kunik Livarot

Roasted Root Vegetables

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Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

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Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide



With Edmonton’s first official Winter Signature Drink Contest! Get your creative spirits flowing. Brew. Concoct. Mix. Mull. Make Something Wintery Edmonton! Send us your hot or cold beverage recipes, with or without alcohol, that complement our winter social events and outdoor activities. You are hereby challenged with crafting a unique beverage that will be associated with Edmonton’s winter fun! Stay tuned. Details to follow.


Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

READING WINE LABELS Reading wine labels can be an art in itself. Labels employ terms that are unfamiliar to casual or new wine drinkers; European wine labels can be particularly challenging, even for experienced wine enthusiasts.

Classification: varying widely according to the country and region, some wine classifications are protected by law while others are not (beware of fake but official-sounding terms like “reserve”). In this example, Grand Cru indicates the top classification level of wine from Chablis, and is a protected term under French wine law. Wine Name: usually the most prominent words on the label; the grape variety or region (as in this example) is also commonly used as the name.

Region: the specific area in which the grapes were grown. Winery / Producer Name: the place that makes the wine and/or the company that owns the vineyards/ winemaking facilities.

National Origin: the country from which the grapes are harvested.

Geographical Indication: a guarantee that the wine came from the specified region; each country has their own version – France’s is the Appellation d’Origine Controlée (AOC).

Vineyard: most wines do not indicate the specific vineyard name in which the grapes are grown, often because multiple vineyards supply the grapes for many wines. However, this is a common practice on high-quality wines from the world’s most famous regions and vineyards, such as in this example.

Grape Variety: If stated, you can assume the majority of the wine is comprised of that particular variety (the exact percentage varies by region and country). Traditionally, European wine labels do not identify the grape variety, only the region – so it’s up to the consumer to know which grapes belong to which regions. In this case, Chablis is a region in Burgundy that produces only white wine from Chardonnay.

Vintage Date: the year the grapes were harvested, not the year the wine was bottled. Sometimes the designation NV (non-vintage) will stand in place of a vintage date. If no vintage appears, the wine could be a mix of several vintages; this typically appears only on very cheap bulk wines and Champagne (though vintage Champagne does exist). In this example no vintage appears because this is a standard label template, but on the actual bottle of wine this label will always include the specific vintage date.

Back Label: this is where winemakers and producers wax poetic about their product, as well as provide additional information (of varying usefulness). Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


Sommelier’s Notes

CABERNET SAUVIGNON Cabernet Sauvignon is dubbed the “king of grapes” for good reason. No other grape can surpass its vast range of quality, structure and longevity – it can be made into everything from mediocre table wine to richly-structured powerhouses that age gracefully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon embodies the quintessential aromas and flavours that we’ve come to associate with red wine: blackberry, black currant, plum, eucalyptus, cedar and leather. Cabernet Sauvignon’s traditional home is France, where it is most famous as the predominant variety used in red Bordeaux. It can also be found throughout the Languedoc, Loire Valley and southwestern regions of France. We wouldn’t call it king if it wasn’t celebrated everywhere, however, and accordingly it has spread throughout the rest of the world. It is particularly beloved in California, where it is the most planted grape variety and is made into high-octane wines with powerful jammy flavours and high alcohol, though top wines will also display a similar finesse and elegance as top-quality Bordeaux.

Lamb Shank Braised Veal Steak Au Poivre

Sharp Cheddar Aged Gouda Comté

Root Vegetable Stew Dark Chocolate

16°C 30 Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide



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Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


The rest of the Beaujolais region, which is located in the southern half of Burgundy, manifests Gamay’s full personality, with the best examples hailing from ten specific villages, called crus: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly. These wines are still low in tannin and high in raspberry fruitiness – that’s just Gamay – but they are more structured that Nouveau, with a velvety texture and lovely secondary characteristics of violets, roses and spice.

Sommelier’s Notes

A grape that’s virtually nonexistent outside France, Gamay has nevertheless achieved both fame and notoriety as the basis of Beaujolais Nouveau, a super-fruity wine that is released every third Thursday of November in celebration of the year’s harvest. Though Nouveau accounts for nearly one-fifth of the Beaujolais region’s total wine production, its flimsy structure and bubblegum flavours of bananas and strawberry candy only hint at the true potential of the Gamay variety.

Cornish Game Hen Foie Gras Grilled Salmon Roast Rabbit

Brie Feta Camembert Mild Swiss

Raspberry Panna Cotta

12°C Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


Sommelier’s Notes

GRENACHE Grenache is the most widely planted grape variety in its native country of Spain, where it is known as Garnacha. Grenache thrives in hot, dry climates like the interior of Spain and southern France, but because it tends to lack acidity and tannin structure while possessing high alcohol and a big body, it isn’t usually made into a single varietal wine. Instead, it is a valuable part of many important blends, contributing a velvety body and ripe flavours of red fruits and spice. Grenache is part of the most notable Spanish wines from the Rioja, Priorato and Navarra regions. In France, Grenache grows throughout the Rhône valley, forming an integral part of the everydaydrinking Côtes du Rhône wines as well as the renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A French fortified wine called Banyuls must be comprised of at least 50% Grenache (75% if it is labeled as a Grand Cru); Banyuls is made in a similar method as port and comes from the terraced slopes of the Catalan Pyrenees, just north of France’s border with Spain. Australia also uses a fair bit of Grenache in their GSM blends, which is the southern hemisphere’s version of the classic Rhône blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre.

Braised Oxtail Lamb Stew Chorizo Sausage

Aged Swiss Banon Jarlsberg

French Onion Soup, Chocolate (with Banyuls)

17°C 34 Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

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Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide



Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

MALBEC Currently one of the most popular red grape varieties, the craze for Malbec started in the early twenty-first century and is still going strong today. Malbec originally hails from France’s Bordeaux region, where it is still one of the six permitted varieties for red Bordeaux. However, it usually only comprises a tiny percentage of those wines, if it is used at all – frost destroyed 75% of Bordeaux’s Malbec vines in the winter of 1956 and the variety was never replanted to the same extent.

Sommelier’s Notes

Instead, Malbec found a celebrated position as Argentina’s flagship wine. Here it is made into a true crowd-pleaser with ripe fruit flavours of plum and blueberry, with herbal spice undertones and a full, velvety body. Malbec still dominates in one region of France, Cahors, where it is made into wines that stand in sharp contrast to those from Argentina: in previous decades the English referred to Cahors as “the black wine,” so named for its inky dark colour and teeth-staining rustic tannins. However, the popularity of the easygoing Argentinean style of Malbec has caused several producers in Cahors to craft wines that are a bit lighter and more approachable at a younger age. Elsewhere in the world, a handful of wineries have also started experimenting with the variety, but so far none have captured that same degree of instant gratification that makes Argentinean Malbec so satisfying.

Grilled Sirloin Steak Bison Burgers Smoked Beef Ribs Grilled Kielbasa

Cashel Blue Manchego Taleggio

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Black Bean Chili

16°C Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


Sommelier’s Notes

MERLOT Merlot means “little blackbird” in French, though “little Cabernet” might be more appropriate – Merlot can taste very similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, which might be why it also finds its most famous incarnation in France’s Bordeaux region. Merlot is usually softer and plumper than Cabernet Sauvignon, with flavours of plums, blackberries, baked cherries and mocha. The two grapes make natural partners and are often blended together in wines from regions throughout the world, from Bordeaux to Australia. However, plenty of Merlot is also made as a single varietal wine, especially throughout North and South America. These wines can be banal but are usually enjoyable for their easy-drinking straightforwardness. California produces gallons of Merlot, both as a varietal wine and as a part of various blends, including the New World’s answer to Bordeaux: Meritage (which is a blend of the red Bordeaux grapes: Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot and, rarely, Malbec and Petit Verdot). Chile has also emerged as a leading Merlot producer, where it is sometimes blended with that country’s signature red grape, Carménère.

Roast Chicken Prime Rib Pork Tenderloin

Gouda Gruyere Brillat-savarin Cantalet

Veggie Burgers

16°C 38 Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

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Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


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Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

NEBBIOLO Sommelier’s Notes

Nebbiolo is responsible for two of the world’s most revered cellaring wines: Italy’s Barolo and Barbaresco, which hail from the mountainous northwestern region of Piedmont. Nebbiolo takes its name from nebbia, the thick fog that shrouds the Piedmont hills during harvest in the late fall. Its aromas are as delicate and ephemeral as the fog, with whiffs of rose petal, fresh spring violets and earthy truffles – which make the punch of espresso-bitter tannins on the palate all the more shocking. Nebbiolo is one of the most tannic grape varieties in the world and can cause a complete shutdown of your taste buds, especially when the wine is young. With age, however, those tannins mellow out and become beautifully supple and elegant, and this is why Barolo and Barbaresco are so celebrated and sought after by collectors: these wines can continue to evolve beautifully for decades.

Lamb Chops Wild Boar Braised Beef Short Ribs Venison Stew

Gorgonzola Fontina Asiago

Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Truffles

16°C Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide



Sommelier’s Notes

Pinot Noir is infamous as one of the most difficult grapes to make into good wine, as well as the grape behind some of the most revered (and expensive) wines in the entire world. The grape’s classic home is in the Burgundy region of France, one of the world’s oldest wine regions – Pinot Noir has been cultivated here since at least the fourth century AD. Because Pinot Noir is so dependent on the climate and weather to grow well (even a bit of rain during harvest can ruin the entire vintage), there are fairly big shifts in Burgundy’s quality from year to year: a great vintage will age for upwards of 20 years, while a bad one yields wines that are mediocre at best. Outside of France, Pinot Noir has found a welcome second home in New Zealand, which has a maritime climate that makes for much greater consistency between vintages. Pinot Noir’s characteristic flavours include warm cherries and plums with a signature earthy, sometimes gamey quality akin to damp earth, mushrooms, worn leather and even sweat; these characteristics are most common in Burgundy, however, and New Zealand versions tend to be very fruit-forward with bright flavours of fresh strawberries predominating. Despite Pinot Noir’s notoriety, many producers around the world have tried their hand at growing it and certain small pockets have found great success. In particular, Canada’s Niagara and Okanagan regions makes lovely, elegant Pinot Noir, as does Oregon’s Columbia and Willamette Valleys. No matter where it is grown, Pinot Noir usually retains its naturally high acidity, which makes it one of the most versatile, food-friendly wines.

Cedar-planked Salmon Duck Confit Breaded Veal Cutlets Coq Au Vin Pork Tenderloin

Goat Cheese Brie Smoked Gouda Boursin

Wild Mushroom Terrine Beet Salad

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come to think of it...

Sherbrooke has that, too.

Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide


cheese • wine+beer • espresso

discover us on 104 st. promenade

2, 10169 - 104 street, edmonton, ab t5j 1a5 780.455.1336 | | monday to thursday: 7 am to 9 pm sunday & holidays: closed


Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

friday: 7 am to 11 pm saturday: 8 am to 11 pm


Increasingly, Sangiovese is also being partnered with French grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, both in Chianti as well as in the sought-after “Super Tuscan” wines – however, in order to be labeled under the Chianti name, the wine must be comprised of at least 75% Sangiovese, while Super Tuscan wines are an unofficial designation and therefore can include any amount (or none at all) of Sangiovese.

Sommelier’s Notes

Literally meaning “blood of Jove,” Sangiovese is Italy’s most famous grape and is planted in abundance, especially throughout Tuscany. It is the grape behind three of the greatest Tuscan wines: Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese has many different genetic variations (called clones), which makes for a wide variety in style between bottles, especially in conjunction with Tuscany’s huge array of microclimates. However, most Sangiovese presents flavours of fresh-baked cherry pie and dried plum, with firm tannins and high acidity. With age it gains additional characteristics including dried leaf, tea, mocha and dried orange peel. These secondary characteristics are most prominent in Brunello di Montalcino, which is arguably Sangiovese’s finest expression; Brunello is earthy and rich and capable of cellaring for many years. In contrast, Chianti tends to be fruity and bright, ready to drink at a much younger age. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, one of Italy’s oldest wines, walks the line between the style and flavours of Chianti and Brunello.

Pepperoni Pizza Penne with Chorizo Sausage Lamb Kebabs

Parmesan Reggiano Asiago Pecorino Piave Vecchio


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Sommelier’s Notes

SYRAH They may have different names, but Syrah is actually the very same grape as Shiraz. Syrah originally hails from the Rhône Valley in France, where it is blended with other red varieties to make wines with a spicy black pepper streak and earthy aromas overlaying a core of ripe blackberry fruit. On the other side of the globe, Syrah found a welcome home in Australia when it was brought over from France in 1831 by James Busby (the so-called “Father of Australian viticulture”) and christened with a new name, Shiraz. While it’s a very different beast than French Syrah, there’s no denying the mass appeal of Australian Shiraz’s intense fruitiness and syrupy texture; this grape variety almost singlehandedly solidified Australia’s position in the wine world ever since its explosion in popularity during the 1990s. All this attention caused winemakers around the world to make their own version of the grape, and it is now a common fixture in dozens of different wine regions. Depending on the producer’s own preference the wines are sold under either of the grape’s two names, though Shiraz tends to be more common on North American wine labels.

Beef Bourguignon Lamb Burgers Sirloin Steak Elk Sausage

Smoked Cheddar Herbed Jack Roquefort

Cassoulet Braised Root Vegetables

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The “Beer Store” With So Much More.*

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Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide



Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

ZINFANDEL A red grape variety indigenous to Italy, Zinfandel features red and black fruit flavours that are so ripe it’s almost like drinking jam. Typical flavours include sun-warmed cherries, ripe plums, blackberries and raisins, along with cocoa and sometimes even caramel nuances. Zinfandel also tends to have the highest alcohol content of all wine as it loves to grow in warm climates; this causes the grapes to become very ripe and high in sugar, which translates to higher alcohol in the finished wine.

In Italy, Zinfandel is mostly grown in the Puglia region (the heel of Italy’s boot). Here it is called Primitivo and was thought to be a separate variety until DNA profiling in the 1990s revealed that it was identical to Californian Zinfandel.

Sommelier’s Notes

Zinfandel rose to fame in California as one of the first European varieties that were planted there in the early 1800s. It eventually fell out of favour and Prohibition almost eradicated it completely until recent years, which have seen it return to prominence as one of California’s signature red wines. Zinfandel also gained notoriety as White Zinfandel, a low quality blush wine popular in North America but which bears very little resemblance to the true red version of the grape.

Beef Spareribs Glazed Pork Chops Spicy Sausage Roast Turkey

Blue Cheese Aged Cheddar Parmesan Asiago

Grilled Bell Peppers Pizza

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ALBERTA WINE LAWS BYOW (BRING YOUR OWN WINE) Some restaurants have obtained a licence allowing patrons to bring their own bottles of wine. A corkage fee is typically charged and homemade wine is not allowed. Under this licence, patrons are also allowed to take half-empty bottles home – this applies to BYOW bottles as well as those ordered at the restaurant. Therefore, I highly recommend calling the restaurant beforehand if you plan on ordering wine, because if they have this licence you can order a bottle (usually a much better value than a single glass) and not worry about finishing it.

SHIPPING Alberta does not permit consumers to directly purchase and ship wine from other provinces or countries. Admittedly, it seems ridiculous that Canadian citizens are not permitted to support the Canadian wine industry if they live in a different province or territory than the winery from which they’d like to order. There has been a lot of political discussion about this issue, and some have argued that this ban actually isn’t supported anywhere in the province’s liquor legislation, but nevertheless you will likely encounter problems if you attempt to buy wine from other provinces.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE In 2012, Alberta lowered the point at which a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) triggers legal consequences. A BAC of .05 results in a three-day licence suspension and three-day vehicle seizure for the first offence; the time limits increase for repeat offences. A BAC of .08 or higher results in a criminal charge, immediate licence suspension and vehicle seizure. Drivers with a graduated driver’s licence (GDL) cannot have any alcohol in their system. Each individual has a unique set of factors influencing their blood alcohol levels, including metabolism, gender and body fat percentage; food, medication and rate of consumption also affect your BAC. While there are many theories (and even phone apps) about estimating your BAC, the bottom line is that you should always err on the side of caution. Be responsible, Drink and Cab.


Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

vivo ristorante dove l’italiano e vivo “where italian comes alive”

Hawkstone Plaza, 18352 Lessard Road NW, Edmonton, AB, T6M 2W8 P: 780.756.7710 E: Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

@vivoristorante 51


Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide

Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide  

Edmonton 2013/14 Wine Guide