Sunday, December 15, 2013

Old World New World Wine Tasting

Getting ready for this year's Winter Solstice Wine tasting.

My theme this year is Old World/New World, and guests will be bringing sparkling, riesling, merlot, pinot/burgundy, shiraz/syrah and fortified wine. We will pour a glass of the new and a glass of the old, and have a chance to sample the two styles of wine making side by side.

When I first chose the wine list, I thought it would be fun to do an old world chianti and new world sangiovese. Maureen came back with the news that trying to buy a new world sangiovese in Ontario is like insisting on buying a banana grown in North America. Possible, but not likely to produce good results. Argentina grows a good sangiovese and there are pockets in California, but yields are so small they are generally not available in our LCBO. So chianti is off the list.

I'm debating whether to mix things up a bit and serve something made in the style of the 'New World,' but from the Old.

Maybe a Super Tuscan?

The term is a bit scoffed at on some of the sites I'm googling. I guess the category was over-marketed a bit, or perhaps some of the more traditional producers saw it as a passing fad. Imagine, mixing French grapes with Italian!

Cabernet – Merlot – Sangiovese is the composition of many of the 'Super Tuscan' wines of central Italy. The one I chose for the tasting is Rocca di Frassinello. The consultant I was speaking to suggested it, partly because it was in my price range. Doing due diligence at home, though, I see mine was bottled in 2009, with the release date November 26. It will be 'just' ready, with the recommendation to drink between 2014 -2021. I think I'll wait a couple of years for this one to mellow.

Interestingly, 2009 was the first year we went to the Mediterranean, and we almost didn't make it because of a volcanic eruption... which also made it a fantastic year for old world wines. When we were in Tuscany in 2011 we went to a tasting and enjoyed the chianti, brunello, and Super Tuscan right at the vineyard. Loved them all!

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