Lots of news – and a monkey too!

November 16, 2005

Not a real monkey, but a cute cartoon on the label of a tasty new wine. Anyways, it’s been a long absence for me and there’s lots of news in the Winnipeg wine world.

First of all, an astute Wine in the Peg reader noticed that the Liquor Mart in Madison Square was selling the Seven Deadly Zins (prominently featured in an earlier post) for $25ish. I’ll be picking that one up as soon as I can get down there.

In other Winnipeg wine news, Wine,Wine,Wine has called it quits and packed in his keyboard. I will miss his contributions, but I hear that he is moving on to bigger and better things. On that note (hmm…), I see that the Winnipeg Free Press has hired a new wine columnist. His column (Uncorked) made its debut in last Wednesday’s paper, and (from the sounds of it) went over very well.

So it’s time to welcome another wine blogger to the local pack. I’d like to introduce my loyal readers to Sunday Afternoon Waste, where Big Roddy dispenses his own unique brand of wisdom. And he writes about wine more often than not – be sure to check out his port tasting notes.

As far as my own wine tasting goes, a couple of good wines have crossed my path lately. First of all, I tried Nobilio’s Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc last weekend. It’s full of everything you expect from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc; lots of grapefruit, gooseberries and tropical fruit goodness. The finish is a bit shorter than I’d like but that’s my only complaint.

At $14.82 before taxes, this is a huge bargain and I think it’s much better than both Stoneleigh and Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush – the other two NZ Sauvignon Blancs at this price range. And the wine rep tells me that it’s named after an actual geographic area, and isn’t just hopping on the animal-name bandwagon.

My other wine find is the Columbia Crest 2001 Reserve Syrah ($24.97 at the Kenaston Wine Market). I’m not sure if the other private stores carry it, but this is worth the trip to Kenaston.

It’s more Rhone than Australia, although you might have clued into the fact that it’s called Syrah rather than Shiraz. While it’s more restrained and less jammy than your typical Shiraz, this is still a huge wine. But huge in a restrained kind of way (more Andre the Giant than Hulk Hogan). Lots of plums and leather in the glass, with a surprising blast of spices as it hits your mouth. The spices quickly make way for some chocolate-powered goodness, and the finish is very long and smooth. There are plenty of tannins in there, but they’re kept under wraps. I am a big fan of Columbia Crest wines (and I’m not alone), and this is probably my favourite one to date. It’s well worth the $25 it will cost you.


  1. What a strange coincidence.

    I must pick up this Winnipeg Free Press you speak of more often.

  2. Yes indeed. I hear they have a great new wine writer with good taste in Pinot Noir. And good taste in music.

  3. Wow – it’s like you two know something the rest of us don’t. Actually I agree, so far the 2(?) columns have been informative and have a focus on wines and not, well I’m not sure what the old column focused on.

    Anyway back to wine – Monkey Bay, not bad, for the price. For $5 more I really enjoyed the Thornbury Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – check it out, I’ve seen it at a few places around town. I’ll blog it next week – there is a 2nd bottle waiting to be drank this weekend.

    Sunday Afternoon Waste, eh? I’ll take a peek.

  4. There are many secrets in the wine world. Not the least of which is the secret of how fantastic the Chocolán 2003 Reserve Pinot Noir is. Darn that new WFP columnist for spreading the word…

    Thornbury Sauv Blanc? I’m curious – and I look forward to your review of it. I had the Kim Crawford SB recently – which was excellent but a little overpriced.

  5. I agree with you on the Crawford. I had the Pinot Noir in Halifax and I thought it was delicious so I looked for it here and was dissapointed at the price. The Vicar’s Choice Pinot Noir from St. Clair was just as good and 6 or 7 bucks cheeper. Whoops! Off topic and time to go shopping (ugh…)–>

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