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Valentine Wine

Thursday, February 12, 2009 by Michal The Joggler Kapral

Is there such a thing as a romantic wine? I think so. Certain wines just have an allure that makes you want to share them with your significant other. Champagne is good, but there’s no reason to limit yourself to one style. For my first of a few Valentine wine picks, I’m going with a decadent Shiraz.

3 Rings Shiraz 2006 - $25

This wine really surprised me. At 15% alcohol, you’d expect a bit of fire on the tongue, but no, after taking in aromas of fresh-picked wild blueberry, blackberry, cut grass and cedar, I took a sip and found the wine’s tannins rolled over my palette like silk. It’s unexpectedly soft and supple, while maintaining an enticing complexity.

Last night, I went to a tasting put on for wine bloggers by the Lifford Wine Agency here in Toronto. I’ll talk about that soon, but wanted to mention that Steven Campbell, the president of Lifford, spoke about enjoying wines without having to rate them with arbitrary scores. I agree that you shouldn’t pick a wine solely based on whether Robert Parker gave it a high mark, but I also think it’s fun to think about how much I like a wine. My Quaffability Rating simply represents the degree to which I enjoyed the selection at the time I tasted it. As Campbell pointed out, it’s been shown that the same tasters will give identical wines wildly different scores on different days. So, without further ado:

Quaffability Rating: 92



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.