Issue # 2 May, 2019
It’s the middle of May and buds and blossoms are busy opening. But it’s also time to welcome you back to my cellar, to get busy opening some wines that are a treat for the taste buds and pretty easy on the budget.
For those who may have missed the first issue of Jim’s Affordable Cellar, let me get you up to speed. Each month I’ll tell you about three really good but really not pricey wines that I’ve come across. Because if it’s really good you want to be able to afford to buy a few bottles.
So pull up a chair to the weathered oak table down here in the cool and dry tasting room where I’ve set out a red, a white, and an under the radar wine you may not have considered in your wine travels to date.
For my featured red this month, we’re going to the south of Australia. In fact, we’re going to Wits End for a wine made from one of the world’s most extroverted grapes. Shiraz. Actually, the name Shiraz is Australia’s way of saying Syrah, the grape variety which originated in southeast France.
Enough about what it’s called, let’s talk about what’s in a bottle of Wits End Luna Shiraz.
This is absolutely Shiraz with a robust “hello, I’m here!” personality. It wafts raspberry, black cherries and currants. And drinking it is a medium to full bodied experience of dark fruits, and spice. But in all, Wits End is brooding and smooth and leaves you with a tannic reminder that it came to visit.
WITS END LUNA SHIRAZ 2017
South Australia, Australia
750 mL bottle | VINTAGES# 311258
In the world of white wine, there’s more to life than Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. And proof comes in the form of a grape called Viognier (Vee-yoh-N’YAY). This particular one is from the south of France in the Rhone Valley’s Languedoc region. You had me at south of France. What a region! And the Paul Mas Estate Viognier is quite a wine. In this case, the clay and chalky soil of Languedoc has helped produce an aromatic treat of pear and peach with hints of honeysuckle. Pour some and enjoy a fresh and fruity, peachy vanilla glass of greatness.
Paul Mas is beautiful with roast/grilled chicken or fish or just with you and yours on a warm, sun-soaked evening.
*note: this became available a few weeks back but it is still findable at the LCBO. Search for it at vintages.com by name or product number.
PAUL MAS ESTATE VIOGNIER 2017
750 mL bottle | VINTAGES# 370098
For my under the radar choice this month, I’d like to tell you about a tasty secret that you’ll find outside the gates of Vintages on the modest, regular listing shelves of most LCBO stores.
This wine features the primary grape of the Italian region of Puglia; Primitivo. It’s deep ruby in colour. Full of fruit flavours like plum and prune and cherry. Medium bodied and dry. And if you like Zinfandel, you’ll like this because Primitivo and Zinfandel are pretty much clones of each other.
For me, Luccarelli is a great Tuesday night dinner wine. Or a nice little Monday night dinner wine. Or an any night of the week dinner wine for that matter.
It may not be one to stand completely on its own but it’s a terrific compliment to cheese or antipasto or something hearty on your plate.
LUCCARELLI PRIMITIVO PUGLIA IGT
750 mL bottle | LCBO# 253856
We’ve come to the end of this issue of Jim’s Affordable Cellar. It’s time to leave the cellar ‘till next time. I’ll be back to you in mid-June with more tasty wine discoveries.
Until then, keep your glass of wine close and your friends even closer.