Nepenthe ‘Tryst’ Red

May 1, 2007

Even though it’s been nearly a month since my last post, I am still alive and kicking. And occasionally enjoying wine. I spent last weekend in Toronto, but the demands of moving prevented me from getting to any decent restaurants. I’ll save the Jamie Kennedy’s visit for next time. 

On to today’s wine of choice.

Nepenthe ‘Tryst’ Red (2004 vintage, $16.94 at the MLCC)

When I came across this wine at my friendly neighbourhood MLCC, I couldn’t resist. It’s an Australian blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo (!) and Zinfandel all wrapped up in a pretty package (yes siree – design does count). And sealed with a fancy screwtop Stelvin closure.

That night we ordered an enormous curry dinner with some friends and everybody brought good wine. This was my favourite red of the night, bar none. And it faced some stiff competition (as you’ll see in future posts – if I ever get around to them!).

It was big and juicy, but with a really interesting core of earthiness and a hint of spice (no surprise, given the varietals). I found lots of Cabernet fruit on the nose (blackcurrant and a wee little bit of minty-fresh goodness), but the flavour was much earthier than I expected. If anything, the Tempranillo took over in the mouth, with a nice structure of fruit and tannins provided by the Cabernet. Considering that it’s mostly (70%) Cabernet, the dominance of the Tempranillo surprised me. It finished long and smooth, with a little Zinfandel spice bomb surprise at the very end. This has ‘BBQ wine’ written all over it.

Now these aren’t varietals I expect to see in an Australian blend, which is what attracted me to it in the first place. I know that Australia grows some Tempranillo, but I didn’t realize they had any Zinfandel as well. The folks at Nepenthe have done a great job at putting this together. My only minor complaint is that the price has risen by nearly a dollar since I bought in at the beginning of April. I got it for just under $16, and now it’s coming in at $16.94. Having said that, I would still happily recommend this one, even for $17. 

Check out their website for more fun stuff, including what ‘Nepenthe’ means.

 (Edit: Damn, I have got to work on my picture-editing skills)


  1. Welcome back! Did you manage to visit Jamie Kennedy’s in Toronto?

  2. Nope, I’ll have to save that for my next trip out East. Having spent some time on their website, I’m really looking forward to it!

  3. How is your back after the move? I am curious about your wine posts on the rest of the wines from Curry night.

  4. I timed my flight perfectly to miss the actual physical movement of boxes and furniture but the trip to IKEA and subsequent hauling around of a bookshelf did me in.

    More notes to come soon (once I find them). I seem to remember a certain Australian Riesling that stood out.

  5. You’ve got gmail

  6. Too bad you couldn’t make it this time.

    BTW, I will be in Winnipeg June 1-June 9 (except for a couple of nights up in the interlake area) and be happy to hear about any wine friendly dinner destinations or new wine shops I should seek out. Kenaston Wine Market is my fave so far.

  7. Lots of wine friendly dinner destinations to be had. I’ll come up with some ideas and put a list together for you.

  8. OK – if you’re looking for wine-friendly dinner destinations, you have to check out the following:

    Mise (22-222 Osborne: Best chef in the city. Buried underground in the tall building behind Confusion Corner, great menu including caribou popcorn and Buffalo frog’s legs. New late-night menu from 10 ’til 4AM)
    Fusion Grill (Academy at Lanark: Expensive, but very good with an all-VQA wine list.)
    Oui Bistro (Old Market Square: almost-but-not-quite-there-yet French bistro with an excellent French wine list)
    Mirlycourtois (Princess Street near City Hall: real French bistro with OK wine list)
    La Fiesta (Ellice Avenue. Crappy wine but great Latin American food and generous drink pours. Go on Fridays for the Salvadorean rhinestone cowboy sing-along show).
    Bonfire Bistro (Corydon at Waterloo. Small wine list but a new wine special every week. Good pizza and neat daily specials, but no reservations & they fill up fast.).

    As for new wine shops, it’s still the same as always. Kenaston is good and so is Banville & Jones in St. Vital. DeLuca’s (Portage & Ruby) is a local favourite of mine and the MLCC at Grant Park Mall is as good as ever.

    And Manitoba liquor laws now let you bring home an open bottle from the restaurant (provided the resto folk allow it AND pack it up for you). Very handy if you’re out past LC hours. Not that I’ve ever ordered a bottle of wine for the sole purpose of having one drink and bringing it elsewhere, but it’s very appealing.

  9. Thanks a bunch. Don’t suppose Mr. Scotty is still running Fusion Grill??? The rest are all new to me, so will try to check out what I can.

    Mise sounds like a hoot.

  10. Scotty and his fabulous ‘stache are still running Fusion, which is as good as ever. And Terry Gereta (ex-Fusion Grill) is the chef at Mise.

    Enjoy your stay – be sure let me know how your restaurant visits turn out.

  11. Heh heh… I worked with him before Fusion was even a glint in the eye…

  12. Oh the stories you could tell! I do like Scotty a lot, he’s always been very good to me. And I’m glad to see Fusion doing so well.

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