The Wine Times
The Wine Times

A former sommelier’s opinions/rants about the LCBO’s new vintages releases

Here are my non-Australian picks

Jun 22, 2019

Hey guys,

Like most self-respecting humans, I quit drinking Australian wines in the early 2000s and I haven’t given one single eff about them since. That’s why I just can’t bring myself to care about this week’s Vintages release. I know there are some interesting/cool/innovative things going on down there, but I can’t be bothered to seek them out. Forgive me. Or don’t.

Here are my non-Australian picks:

LOUIS DE LAURISTON POMMEAU DE NORMANDIE
Normandy (duh), France
$39.95

France is full of alcoholics. A seemingly bold/highly offensive statement, but come on…how many kinds of booze can one economically depressed republic make? Every time I think I’ve got them all figured out, I find new ones I’ve never heard of – like this Pommeau de Normandie. This stuff is, “a blend of fresh apple juice and cider with a hit of Calvados”. It’s gonna be sweet (but not cloyingly so), served cold, and apparently a great apéro. Pretty pumped to try it.

HIDDEN BENCH LOCUST LANE ROSÉ 2018
Niagara, ON
$23.95

Rosé season is upon us-ish. Before you go spending your hard earned dollars on Southern French wines in an attempt to recreate your grossly misconceived ideals of Riviera life, try this local guy. Hidden Bench is fantastic and so is their rosé. Super dry, nice acidity, with all of the tasty berry/herb notes a girl could ask for.

SANTA BARBARA WINERY CHARDONNAY 2017
Santa Barbara Co. (duh), CA
$24.95

Great ‘lil Chardonnay that I served by the glass once upon a time. They ferment half of this wine in stainless steel and the other in (mostly used) barrels, so you get a touch of oak with a whole lotta fruit. Some of the grapes are harvested from cooler climate vineyards so a nice bunch of bright acidity comes thru too. It’s really quite friggin nice.

HOGUE GENESIS MERITAGE 2015
Columbia Valley, WA
$21.95

Served this at Centro back in the day…people would order the $900 burger and a glass of this while cheating on their spouses and sneaking cigarettes in the private dining rooms. God bless rich people. God bless the 90s. 

LANGLOIS-CHATEAU SAUMUR-CHAMPIGNY 2016 
Loire, France
$21.95

Loire reds will never be super popular here. Cab Franc, from this region, is too vegetal/earthy for North American palates. But some of us (me) like this kinda crap. And those of us who like it, get to tell people who don’t that they have “pedestrian palates”. And those who have “pedestrian palates”, get to tell me I’m a horrible bitch. Find out which side of the fence you’re on. PS chill this wine a bit before drinking. 

COSTA LAZARIDI AMETHYSTOS RED 2015 
 Drama, Greece
$26.95

Waaaaay back when I worked at a shit hole greek bar on the Danforth…before anyone who wasn’t greek would even consider drinking greek wine…I served this. Mostly to an old dude named Stavros. He’d chain smoke 2 packs of Players Light and crank back ¾ of a bottle of this, leaving me the rest. It wasn’t bad back then, but with improved viticultural/vinification stuff, it’s pretty great nowadays (also 2015 was a blockbuster). Giverago.

SIGNUP FOR MY NEWSLETTER