steak grilled small

Sommelier Astrid Young has selected our Wine Review of the Week to celebrate the Victoria Day long weekend.

Contrary to appearances in the prim picture to the left, Queen Victoria adamantly opposed abstinence from alcohol, calling it a “pernicious heresy.” Her Queen Victoriamajesty’s favourite tipple? A tumbler filled half with red wine and half with whisky.

No wonder why she reined so long; she was completely “preserved.”

Astrid, an International Sommelier Guild (ISG) graduate and candidate for Master of Wine, has a much more modern and palatable suggestion for the long weekend, especially if grilled grub is on the menu.

Astrid knows whereof she speaks as she currently manages the wine program at several Ontario restaurants that have Astrid Youngwon awards for their wine lists from the Wine Spectator and VQA programs.

Here is Astrid’s review and rating of the wine she recommends for you this weekend:

Zinfaquotation-marks-leftndel is one of my all-time faves when it comes to barbecue season, and nobody makes them much better than Easton Vineyards in Amador County, California.

This one has everything you want in a zin, and it’s affordable: deeply colored, opaque with purple glints, densely packed nose of blueberry compote and blackberry jam with a nudge of black pepper and tea spice; the palate is rich, velvety and textured, like biting into the middle of a jam-packed confection.

Cardamom and rooibos tea notes round out the finish, which echos with lingering creaminess offered by barrel aging in new wood (French), along with black berry and black cherry fruit and elegant oak tannins.

Enjoy this with saucy ribs, burgers, grilled eggplant or medium spicy middle eastern flavors. don’t skimp on flavor though, as it’s a powerful wine which couldquotation-marks-right easily overshadow subtle flavors like braised pork or lightly grilled fish.

Or have it all on its own, like I often do: Easton Amador Zin + ‘You’ = Awesome Remember though, Zinfandel is best in its youth: if you’re going to hold some back, it will reach its peak by 2016.

Rating: 93 points

Here more wines for your long weekend.