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Wine Review: Château Pesquie Les Terrasses 2006

Thursday, January 15, 2009 by Michal The Joggler Kapral

At $15, the Château Pesquie Les Terrasses 2006 is a major steal. For starters, this wine has an appealing color, a rich, royal purple. The nose is somewhat restrained, but I caught notes of herbs and spice. What it lacks in aroma, the Terrasses makes up in flavor. Blackberry, cherry, bouquet garnis, coffee, liquorice and roasted nuts all come together in an elegant package. This Rhône blend of 70 percent Grenache and 30 percent Syrah comes from the Côtes du Ventoux region, which has been pumping out consistent value wines for some time.

I used this bottle to test out the new Vinturi wine aerator. I wrote about this nifty little device in my stocking-stuffer column before Christmas, and found several credible reviews that raved about its ability to bring out the aromas and flavors in wine. So I drank a glass of the Terrasses with no Vinturi, wrote the review above, then poured another glass through the wine aerator to compare results. First of all, the Vinturi is just as cool-looking in real life as it is in the product shots. Secondly, when you hold the aerator over your glass and pour the wine through it, it makes this crazy sucking sound that is guaranteed to make you laugh. The result? For this wine, it worked, especially on the aromas, which as I mentioned were subtle on the regular pour, but really jumped out in the Vinturi glass. The palette was also far more pronounced and rounded.

Quaffability Rating: 90

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Wine Review: Humberto Canale Malbec Gran Reserva 2006

Friday, January 9, 2009 by Michal The Joggler Kapral

Malbec, originally a blending grape from Bordeaux, is enjoying its spot in the limelight in Argentina, where it thrives sunder the hot sun of the day and cool nights. Most Malbec-based wines are full-bodied, dominated by dark fruit, oak and spice, and, fittingly for meat-loving Argentinians, pair well with grilled beef. This week's featured wine is the Humberto Canale Malbec Gran Reserva 2006 ($20). As someone who enjoys big, meaty reds, this reserva really caught hold of my taste buds and didn't let go. The blackberry and plum flavors are almost overcome by the wine's charred wood taste. Despite the bold aromas and flavors, this Malbec has a satisfying balance and zip to it.

Quaffability Rating: 89

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Post-holiday Drinking

Friday, January 2, 2009 by Michal The Joggler Kapral

Now that the craziness of the holidays is over, you can finally kick back and enjoy some wine without the distraction of noisy relatives and hard-partying friends. I’m going to suggest something radical here – how about a post-New Year’s glass of bubbly? Chances are that when the clock struck midnight on January 1, you were too busy celebrating to detect the nose of pear and apricot on your glass of sparkling wine. So now’s your chance to make up for it by popping open that extra bottle of brut you have left over, or even buying a new one.

There are some great deals out there on sparkling wines if you stray outside the official Frnech Champagne region and head west to Spain, south it Italy, or across the oceans to Australia, America or Canada. One of my longtime favorites for value bubbly is the Spanish Cava, Segura Viudas Brut Reserva ($12). The Cavas from Spain are made using the same method as Champagne, but often sell for a mere $10-15. I bought my first bottle of Segura Viudas Brut about 12 years ago after it scored 90 points in Wine Spectator. The quality and price have stayed consistent ever since. The fine bubbles create a creamy taste. It’s a dry, refreshing wine, but is graced with complex floral and mineral notes that tease the senses. Give it a try, or crack open whatever else you have sitting on your counter, and enjoy the true flavors of the post-holiday sipping experience.

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Michal Kapral has been enjoying wine at home since way before he was of legal age. The editor-in-chief of Canadian Running magazine runs marathons to burn off all the calories he consumes on wine and cheese. Kapral spent some time living in Italy as a teenager, solidifying his appreciation for all things wine-related. In his days as a journalism student, he was likely one of the youngest – and poorest – subscribers to Wine Spectator magazine. In 1999, Kapral turned down a job at a winery to work at Captivate, where he spent 11 years as a news editor.


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The Quaffer

Highlighting the best new wines from around the world, in the price range of $10-40, Michal "The Quaffer" Kapral reminds viewers some of the finer things in life are most definitely within their reach. This feature focuses on North American wines and includes reviews, food pairings and news from the world of wine.