Get Out of Your Wine Rut in 2014: Try These Wines

What are the best wines to try in 2014? Want get out of your wine rut? That’s our wine topic on the CTV News video clip above.

We looked at great wines to try based on what you already like, similar to how Amazon recommends books: if you like this one, then you might like that one. Let me know about a new wine that you discovered this year in the comments below.


Get Out of Your Wine Rut in 2014: Try These Wines

News Anchor: And now back to Leanne Cusack with a little more on the good stuff, this time of the year. Leanne.

Leanne: Well we’ve just learned our fair share about bubbles. Natalie MacLean is here to, well, you’re essentially worried that people are getting into wine ruts.

Natalie: Right, I’m here to help.

Leanne:  It’s the SOS.  OK, essentially, in short order, we’re going to go through a lot of wines that you would like to suggest you add to your repertoire. We have the full list on our website and on Natalie’s website.

Natalie: Exactly.

Leanne:  But if you’re feeling bored with your…

Natalie: Let’s see, if you like a Riesling which is aromatic and floral, why not try Torrontes? That’s the name of the grape; lots of producers make it in Argentina. It’s a beautiful little wine. All of these wines, by the way, are about under $25. So, if you’re going to make a New Year’s resolution, get out of your wine rut and try something different.

Leanne: I don’t know if that’s necessarily the New Year’s resolutions a lot of you are making about wines but she’s a wine writer, so… Okay, you mentioned the Torrentes and what is this one?

Natalie: Well, this is Pinot Gris from BC but available here. So if you love Pinot Grigio, try Pinot Gris. It’s got a little bit more personality. I love the fact that it’s from BC and the label is a hoot.

Leanne: The bottle does have personality as well. So moving right along, what is the Gruner Veltliner.

Natalie: Good job but I’m not going to repeat that either so if you like Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, try Gruner Veltliner.  It’s a great name, again, and we’ll put the wine names, as you said, on the site. S o Gruner Veltliner also has that herbal, sort of green in a good way kind of taste, if you’re looking for something for spinach quiche or vegetarian dishes or even seafood or salad, there’s your go-to wine.

Leanne: Fantastic, and then we move over to…?

Natalie: We’ve got a Zinfandel from California, so if you like a smooth, full bodied red like a Merlot, get out of your red wine rut, try the Zinfandel. It’s got lots of blackberry flavour but none of those furry mouth tannins.

Leanne: A very famous Zinfandel that we’ve chatted about on the program is Raven’s Wood, so would it be very similar to that?  And what about price point?

Natalie:  Yes, exactly. Think about the three Rs. Yes, this is about $19.95. The three R’s, are Raven’s Wood, Rosenblum and Ridge, that’s the other one.  All from California. This is the big 3.

Leanne: So they’re all Zinfandels?

Natalie: Well they all make Zinfandels among other wine, but yes, if you remember that.

Leanne: Those are the big 3.

Natalie: There you go.

Leanne: There’s a lot to remember, I hope we are taking notes. I told you that before. But now in the middle we have?

Natalie: Well, let’s go to Chile, so, here we have Carmenere. And again, if you like a Cabernet Franc or a Cabernet Sauvignon, try Carmenere. Again it’s full bodied, luscious and a bit smoother than your Cabernets but it’s $14.95. It’s a good deal.

Leanne: Woah. (inaudible) Syrah. Que Syrah, Syrah.

Natalie: Yes, thats right. Syrah is another name for Shiraz, it will differ based on where it’s grown. This one’s from South Africa which is a really good source region for deals. So this is a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre, another red grape and a dash of the Viognier which is a white and it just brightens and lifts the wine.

Leanne: Well, what’s so interesting is how a grape has one name in a certain region, so Shiraz is also a Syrah, a Cab Sauv is also a…

Natalie: Cab Sauv.

Leanne: A Bordeaux is also?

Natalie:  I have to take some notes afterwards.  No, you’re right, it’s a blend.

Leanne: It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon. So what do we have here?

Natalie: Okay, so on we go. This is a Tannat.  This is also from Argentina and it’s a very robust red. So if you like Cabernet Sauvignon, full throttle, got a tannic grip, a little bit of that furry mouth going, and you’ve got a rare juicy steak, Tannat is you’re grape.

Leanne: Good to know, and next to the Tannat? We are going through in rapid order but we do promise you the list is on Natalie’s website, it is on our website as well. This one is?

Natalie: Baco Noir, this is a Niagara original, one of the grapes we’re famous for. Henry of Pelham is probably the best known producer of it. This one is $14.95.  If you like Australian Shiraz, give this one a go.

Leanne: So, but it’s known as Baco Noir but it is like an Australian Shiraz.

Natalie: Yes. Big plummy dark fruit.

Leanne: Yes, you can understand why so many people go to the LCBO and just end up going to the same thing, because it’s confusing. You find your safe bet and you stick with it.

Natalie: Yes.

Leanne: But this is why Natalie is here to educate us.

Natalie: Absolutely.

Leanne: We have about thirty seconds with just three or four wines.

Natalie: Okay.

Leanne: Malbec sort of speaks for itself, tell us about it.

Natalie: If you like, again, a full bodied red, these are such amazing deals from Argentina.

Leanne: How great is the deal?

Natalie: Well, this one is less than $20 but it drinks like 40. I mean it’s just amazing. It’s smoother than Cabernet and a bit more robust than Merlot. So it’s kind of like the Amazon style. If you like this book then you’ll like that book. So go for Merlot. This is a blend from Spain. Again, there are a lot of different grapes you might not recognize but that is what you want to try to experiment with.

Leanne: So the most famous one from Spain is Rioja, is that the grape on that or no? I can’t really see.

Natalie: The Rioja is the region, Tempranillo would be the grape.

Leanne: See? Another thing to learn, Rioja is the region…

Natalie: Tempranillo is the grape.

Leanne: Okay, two left. We’ll be really quick.

Natalie: We got another Malbec so we’ll jump, we’ll keep going and then we’ve got Pinotage from South Africa. Again, another full body, not well known, has a kind of coffee, mocha, espresso, so if you like your coffee espresso in the morning, try it in the evening.

Leanne: So would that be a great dessert sort of pre-dessert wine?

Natalie: Well, it’s not sweet but it would be lovely with hearty beef dishes. You could drink it afterwards.  Probably not with desserts, but yes.

Leanne: Sometimes her wine is her dessert. We want to thank you so much, Natalie.

Natalie: Thanks you.

Leanne: Having you on the show is like dessert for everyone because we learn so much. Happy New Year.

Natalie: Oh, very sweet. Happy New Year.

Leanne: A little bit early …  you’ll be thinking of Natalie and toasting her with her bubbles and her Cab and Prosecco or actually Champagne.

Natalie: Cheers, Leanne.

Mil Vientos Bodega Merced Del Estero Torrontés Wine Review
San Juan, Argentina

Beautiful orange blossom and floral notes on the nose followed by perky, mouth-watering acidity on the palate for a variety of dishes. Packed with flavour yet not heavy: medium-bodied. Terrific price! If you like a floral Riesling, try wines based on the white grape Torrontes from Argentina. Torrontés food pairings … full wine review and rating

Blasted Church Pinot Gris


Blasted Church Pinot Gris Wine Review
V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Fresh, crisp and clean with lime, green apple and white tart peach. Great aperitif or companion to seafood. If you like a crisp Pinot Grigio, try this equally refreshing Pinot Gris. Mouth-watering acidity … full wine review and rating




Bründlmayer Kamptaler Terrassen Gruner Veltliner Wine Review
Kamptal, Austria

Ultra-refreshing with lime green aromas and flavours. Terrific acidity for food. Great zestiness, especially if you already love Sauvignon Blanc. This winery’s vineyards are planted in the middle of the Kamp Valley, which is 75 kilometres northwest of Vienna, and they face the Kamp river on steeply terraced plantings. The result is intense ripening during the days, with cool nights to preserve … full wine review and rating



Errazuriz Reserva Carmenere Wine Review
Maipo Valley, Chile

Herbal, cedar and blackberry-rich. Full-bodied and smooth with a savoury, chewy note for hearty meat dishes. Think of this as merlot-plus. Carmenere food pairings … full wine review and rating




Rosenblum Zinfandel Wine Review
Paso Robles, California

Full-bodied, vibrant and smooth with fleshy ripe blackberry and plum aromas and flavours. This is a great wine to try if you love shiraz. Great wine for pizza night … full wine review and rating

Vino Alicia



Viña Alicia Paso De Piedra Malbec Wine Review
Luján De Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Full-bodied with black and purple plums. Try this red wine is you love robust cabernet. A pleasantly bitter finish … full wine review and rating


Juan Gil



Juan Gil 4 Meses De Cepas Viejas Monastrell Wine Review
D.O., Jumilla, Spain

Deal of the Century! Full-bodied, juicy, savoury and delicious. Loaded with dark wild blackberries, purple plums and forest-deep cherries and cedar. This is a great wines for those who like cabernet-shiraz blends. The 4 Meses translate to 4 months and correspond to how long the wine was aged in a mix of French and American oak, which imparts the wine with … full wine review and rating

Paiman Reserva Tannat


Paiman Reserva Tannat Wine Review
Chañarmuyo Valley, La Rioja, Argentina

Full-bodied with black earthy, hickory smoke and tar. Dark fruit aromas and flavours penetrate the depth of this wine. This is perfect for lovers of amarone. Tannat food pairings: pulled pork, rare steaks, beef ribs … full wine review and rating


The Wolftrap


The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre Viognier Wine Review
South Africa

A full-bodied, juicy wonder with big black fruit and some cedar forest. Mouth-watering and delicious. Try this red wine if you already enjoy shiraz. Great price … full wine review and rating


Henry of Pelham


Henry of Pelham Estate Winery Baco Noir Wine Review
VQA, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario

A medium-bodied red with attractive dark red berry and plum aromas. Round and supple. Henry of Pelham ups its game every year on baco. This is terrific! Perfect for shiraz or zinfandel lovers. Baco Noir food pairings: aged cheddar, game meats, beef with horseradish or mustard, spicy food or the startling yet remarkably harmonious pairing of … full wine review and rating



Diemersfontein Pinotage Wine Review
W.O., Wellington, South Africa

Big oak and mocha-chocolate notes on the nose continue on the palate from generous oak aging. Full-bodied and hulky with a satisfying mouth-filling weight. This is the ideal red for coffee lovers given the espresso finish. Distinctive squared. Try this if you love well-oaked cabernet. Pinotage food pairings: wild mushroom risotto, venison stroganoff … full wine review and rating



Versado Peter Gamble & Ann Sperling Malbec Wine Review
Luján De Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Peppery and full-bodied with blackberry, some mint, some smoke and dark spice on the nose. Intriguing and robust and velvet smooth texture. Savoury, juicy and long on the finish. Terrific with a wide range of meat dishes. Good bones and breeding. Great for those who enjoy oak-aged shiraz. Malbec food pairings … full wine review and rating




Posted with permission of CTV News.



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