Favourite wines from Chris Waters. (Photo supplied)
Given my occupation, I’m routinely asked what my favourite wine is. My response is usually something to the effect of “Let me check my blue box.” The real answer, however, is I don’t have one. The world of wine overflows with too many options to settle on a sole favourite.
The wines I select often depend on my mood or the season. Whether I’m drinking with a meal or sharing a glass with friends. Depending on the day, there might also be open bottles left over from tastings for the magazine, this column or educational classes that I want to revisit to finalize my notes for publication.
So, what’s in my glass might not be a bottle of wine that I wanted to open, but one that required my attention. Tough life, I know.
Some people I know consistently buy the same wine, week after week, month after month. It’s a pattern for them, like purchasing the same brand of shampoo, pasta or coffee. They know what they like and see no need to change.
As a moody wine drinker, I’m forever on the hunt. I am as inclined to enjoy red wines as much as whites or rosés. This month I find I am typically leaning towards richer white wines, such as oak-aged Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, and robust red blends from Canada and California.
Looking at my cellar, it’s clear I buy a lot of Riesling and Pinot Noir, especially homegrown ones, as well as red wines from California, South Africa and Italy. At least, those are the wines that I like to see mature and evolve over time.
I sometimes wonder if the wines that don’t last in the cellar might be a clearer indication of my preferences. Using that logic, a case could be made for domestic Chardonnay and Gamay Noir, which never linger long in the collection. There always seems to be a reason to open a bottle.
That’s why I believe the recycling bin is as good an indicator of my preferences as anything. I suppose only the friendly neighbourhood sanitation worker who collects my recycling knows if I have a favourite wine or not.
Wines of the Week:
*** 1/2 Lindeman’s 2012 Bin 65 Chardonnay, South Eastern Australia
BC $11.99 (142117) | AB $10.95 (142117) | MB $12.45 (142117) | ON $10.95 (142117)
The best-selling Chardonnay in Canada isn’t resting on its laurels. Made in a bright, fresh style, this makes the most of its simple charms. Much leaner and lighter than the Bin 65 style of the past, there’s still enough juicy fruit and buttery flavours to give it mass appeal. Solid value.
*** Bodegas y Viñedos Pascual Toso 2011 Malbec Estate Bottled, Mendoza, Argentina
BC $12.99 (129163) | AB $13 | ON $13.05 (035170)
Here’s a smooth red wine that’s packed with cherry jam and savoury and spice notes. The 14% alcohol content adds a warming sensation to the character of this easy-to-appreciate red that works with grilled meats or baked pasta dishes.