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Ben Tollestrup

Ben Tollestrup

Red Icon

Painted Rock Estate Winery Red Icon Cabernet Blend 2008

Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A., Canada
3081 days ago

Ben scored this wine: 96/100

John Skinner, Bordeaux-based consultant Alain Sutre, and Michael Bartier have come together to produce exceptional wines on the Skaha Bench, which I believe to be the best terroir in Canada. Red Icon has the unique superior balance of top notch Bordeaux, while showing exactly what Canadian terroir is capable of — cult status. You’ll find flavours of dreamy cassis and plum, seductive firm flesh, and a touch of smoke.

The Cover Drive

Jim Barry Wines The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
3080 days ago

Ben scored this wine: 90/100

This deep ruby Australian Cabernet Sauvignon has an amazing lasting finish. It’s dry with medium ripe tannin and full body. Enjoy notes of black cherry, cassis, vanilla, raspberry, and an evolution of woodsy flavours including eucalyptus, cedar and mint. Rather than food, I suggest this wine as accompaniment to C. L. R. James’ memoir on cricket, Beyond a Boundary. It's an excellent read, and an excellent wine for deep contemplation.

Miraval Rosé 2012

A.C., Côtes De Provence, France
3077 days ago

Ben scored this wine: 89/100

This Jolie-Pitt & Perrin Rosé from Château Miraval is an accessible and relatively complex wine. I recommend it for spring sipping with quiche, scallops or roast chicken. The nose offers strawberry, honeydew melon, yogurt, and nectarine. The palate adds underripe pineapple, burnt toast and citrus blossom. If you were lucky enough to nab a bottle or two, I wouldn’t wait much longer. Open it on a nice warm evening.

3082 days ago

Ben scored this wine: 88/100

I always suggest this as the red wine for beginners, and remind seasoned drinkers of its simple pleasures. As a single varietal wine, it is fun to pick out classic Garnacha notes like ripe black cherry, juicy plum, and gentle spices like cinnamon. A round delicious value wine that does go exceptionally well with childhood favourites - chicken fingers, burgers, and pizza.

Ben Tollestrup

Wine BloggerVisit Ben's Website

Memorable Wine

Hester Creek Merlot 1996 changed my perceptions of wine for good.


First Wine

Beaujolais-Villages was my early go to wine.





Winner World's Best Drink Writer
WFour-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award