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“The Cork Grove” Castelao/Shiraz

February 14, 2006

A neat little wine from Portugal, the Cork Grove Castelao/Shiraz blend is mostly (65%) Castelao with some (35%) Shiraz blended in for balance. I’ll be the first to admit that I have never tried Castelao before (apparently it’s a regional grape native to southern Portugal). For that matter, after some bad experiences with cheap Portuguese reds in my early wine-drinking days, I’ve avoided Portuguese wines altogether.

Turns out that my earlier prejudices were my loss, as this is a great little wine for the price. There’s nothing fancy, just lots of pure fruit enjoyment. The nose showed a bit jammier than I would expect from a European wine, but in the mouth, it was very tasty with a nice long finish. There weren’t a lot of tannins there, but there were enough to make this a nice match with food. In fact, I’d probably be happiest to serve it with food, perhaps an oilier fish or a richer meat dish (lamb stew anyone?). I plan on making this one a house wine.

Surprisingly enough, this wine held its own over time. It was still holding out well nearly two days after I first opened it. Well worth the $12 and change it will set you back. You can find it at your local MLCC, although be aware that it seems to be placed in the Fine Wine section as opposed to the general listing shelves.

In other news, the Kenaston Wine Market has reopened its doors after a long-overdue renovation. It looks very sharp indeed even though the renovations aren’t quite finished. They are the third of the “big three” private stores in Winnipeg to undergo a facelift. Unlike the other two though, they have chosen to stay in the same location, and have done a very nice job of freshening up their look. Be sure to check them out.

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