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Wine Review: Pasiteo Fassati Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2005 ($25)

Thursday, May 28, 2009 by Michal The Joggler Kapral

Vino Nobile – this is a Tuscan wine that never gets its due. Less well known than Barolo and Barbaresco, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano deserves to be recognized among the best wines in Italy. Primarily made from the Chianti grape – Sangiovese – and blended with some other local varieties, Vino Nobile is not to be confused with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, which is a different kind of a wine and a different grape.

I reviewed a Vino Nobile last year that was decent but nothing special. This time around, I’ve found a much better example of this treasure of a wine, and at a good price. The Pasiteo Fassati Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2005 ($25) has an exotic nose of violets, cocoa, leather and concentrated cherries. The palette is equally enticing and complex, showing rosemary, plum, campfire smoke and tart cherries. The flavors linger forever. This is a powerful wine that could use a few more years of aging to soften the tannins, but still drinks well now. Vino Nobile won't appeal to everyone – it’s not an easy-drinking wine – but the Pasiteo Fassati is a delicious slice of central Italy.

Quaffability Rating: 90














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Wine and Cheese Pairing

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 by Michal The Joggler Kapral

Renato Ratti Torriglione Barbera d’Alba 2007 ($20) and Parmigiano Reggiano

Welcome to the first in a series of wine and cheese pairings on this blog. I decided to launch into this project in style by matching up a sour-cherry-flavored Barbera from northern Italy with some aged Parmigiano Reggiano slices. The Renato Ratti Torriglione Barbera d’Alba 2007 has a tart acidity that stands up to the sharpness of the Reggiano, and the bold fruit and licorice flavors complement the spiciness of the cheese. It’s sometimes assumed that you need an expensive wine to pair with pricey cheese, but this combo disproves this myth – at $20 a bottle, the Barbera is both affordable and easy-to-drink. A good chunk of Reggiano with cost about the same amount, but trust me, it will be one of the best $40 you’ve ever spent.





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"Wine-tails" for Mother's Day

Friday, May 1, 2009 by Michal The Joggler Kapral

The immensely gluggable Yellow Tail wine line is now producing two sparkling wines – a white and a rosé – that are sure to fly off the shelves of wine stores. I tried the sparkling white a few months ago at the wine expo in Toronto, and while it was the dead of winter, the simple, bright flavors immediately made me think of sun, beaches and patios. The people at Yellow Tail have taken the summer fun idea one step further and commissioned mixologist Trudy Thomas to come up with a series of “wine-tails” – cocktails based on wine – to serve for Mother’s Day brunch or spring and summer parties. I haven’t tried these out yet. If you do, let me know how they turn out.

SPRING & SUMMER WINE[TAILS]

ORCHARD TEMPATION
2 oz Yellow Tail Sparkling Wine
1 oz Absolut Pears
1 oz Apple Juice
1 oz Monin Vanilla

In a Cocktail Shaker with ice add all ingredients except Yellow
Tail Sparkling Wine
Strain into a Chilled Champagne Flute or Martini Glass
Slowly Fill with the Yellow Tail Sparkling Wine
Garnish with a Pear Slice or Mint Spring

EXOTIC TEMPTATION
2 oz Yellow Tail Sparkling Wine
1 oz Absolut Apeach
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Lychee Syrup or Puree

In a Cocktail Shaker with ice add all ingredients except Yellow
Tail Sparkling Wine
Strain into a Chilled Champagne Flute or Martini Glass
Slowly Fill with the Yellow Tail Sparkling Wine
Garnish with a Strawberry

FLORAL TEMPTATION
2 oz Yellow Tail Sparkling Wine
1 oz Skyy Vanilla Vodka
½ a Lime Pressed
1 oz Cranberry
1 oz Rose Sence Nectar

In a Cocktail Shaker with ice add all ingredients except Yellow
Tail Sparkling Wine
Strain into a Chilled Martini Glass or Champagne Flute
Slowly Fill with the Yellow Tail Sparkling Wine
Garnish with a Vanilla Sugar Rim and Edible Flower (Optional)
or Strawberry

SPICY LOTUS
2 oz Yellowtail Chardonnay
1 oz Zen Green Tea Liqueur
1 oz Monin Spicy Mango or Mango Puree
1 oz Lemonade

Shake and Strain into a Martini Glass
Garnish with a Strawberry
Note:For less Spicy Version Substitute Monin Mango Syrup or
Finest Call Mango Puree

LEMON MYRTLE
2 oz Yellowtail Chardonnay
1 oz Caravella Lemoncello
1/2 oz Monin Mojito Mint Syrup
1/2 Cointreau
1 oz Sour Mix

Shake and Strain into a Martini Glass
Rimmed In Sugar Garnish with a Lemon Wheel
Note: Could also be served on the rocks in a Wine Glass
rimmed in Sugar

BLUEBERRY WATERMELON
1 oz Yellowtail Sparkling Wine
1 ½ oz Stoli Blueberry Vodka
1 oz Monin Watermelon
2 oz Fresh Lemonade

Shake all ingredients in a Martini Shaker with Ice
Strain into the Glass (Chilled Martini Glass or Collins Glass with
Ice) Top with Yellowtail Sparkling Wine
Garnish with Fresh Blueberries

TRIPLE CITRUS
1 oz Yellowtail Sparkling Wine
1 oz Absolut Ruby Red
Spl Simple Syrup
½ oz Cointreau
2 oz Fresh Lemonade

Shake all ingredients in a Martini Shaker with Ice
Strain into the Glass (Chilled Martini Glass or Collins Glass with
Ice)
Top with Yellowtail Sparkling Wine
Garnish with an Orange Twist





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About

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.