The Grape Count

In Vino Veritas- "In Wine there is Truth"
Grapes to try to date: 200

Grapes tried: 104
Grapes to go:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#104- Longyan

On the 12th day of Wine-mas my true self gave to me, a bottle of wine from China.


Uh huh. China.

I kind of find it surprisingly fitting that my final wine of the year and for the 12 days of Wine-mas is a Chinese wine. I have no idea why but it's just fitting.

It's also my first Chinese wine. And I liked it!

Next year is Year of the Dragon and I happen to be born in the year of the Dragon. 2012 is gonna be my year so be forewarned that 2012 is Erin's year. Not yours; Erin's.

All because of a bottle of wine. Yup.  The wine is called (funnily enough) Chinese Happy Wine. It is made from the Longyan grape variety. They describe it as a sweet full bodied wine; a delicate blend of white wine and Osmanthus flowers making it a floral and floral aroma. It also comes in French but is surprisingly absent of any Mandarin or Cantonese, please excuse my ignorance of where Chinese wine is grown in China.

But I really do like this wine. The colour is hard to describe so I've taken a picture in case I can't do it justice. It's pink, it's copper, it's orange- it's interesting. I was very unsure about this wine but I'm three glasses in and this is considered a dessert wine so imagine my surprise that I continue to drink it!

I did not drink it with dinner I'll be honest though I like to think it would have gone well. I made myself a turkey salad and with this wine being practically a rose, I'm sure it'd be a winner. In any case, the wine was my dessert. I am officially done with turkey for this season as this was the last of the leftover turkey my mom sent me home with. I had a turkey sandwich at lunch. I can now look forward to Ramen noodles for lunch again....

It is my first Chinese wine as I mentioned. And again, I liked it.

I have read that China is an emerging wine nation among other things. Up until yesterday when I picked up the wine, I had yet to see one from China. I was pleasantly surprised to find this one at Liquor Depot for a whole $12.99 in the dessert section. I didn't care how bad it was, I wanted to say I'd had a Chinese wine.

I did think it would be awful.

And I stand corrected.

The Longyan grape comes from the Zhuolu County in China. 104 tastings- I have always found a write up on Wikipedia about the grape. This is the first time that there is no write up- though in the description of Zhuolu County, they do mention the grape. But that's about it. So I'll check back in a few years and see if they have more to say about it. Right now, know that it's a grape grown in China. And it's yummy.

And with that, I have completed not only the 12 days of Wine-mas, but I have completed week 52 for 2011 and week 104 for the Weekly-grape-- in week 104!

I'd like to think I'll continue this pace into 2012. But I do know that I'll be moving on to blends as trying to find single varietal wines in Albert has tested my patience and my abilities these last few months. There are many more grapes to try but I will now try them in blended variety. And I can't guarantee that it will be every week either. But knowing me, the perfectionist, I will do my best. I must get a hold of that wine where 110 varieties of grapes are used in one bottle- then I'm good until 2014...

until then, thanks for being loyal readers, all five of you! May 2012 bring you nothing but love and happiness. And may the next glass of wine that touches your lips bring nothing but joy and good flavour.

All the best to you my friends.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#103- Refosco

On the 11th day of Wine-mas my true self gave to me, a bottle of Refosco!

I have been cleaning my house all day today and on the surface it would appear I am the slowest housecleaner there was. I was pretty ambitious and thought I'd be able to get my kitchen and front hall done. Well, I haven't even made it through the kitchen yet and I swear I've been at this since noon. You do forget how much you have in cupboards and if you're sorting and throwing stuff away, what you thought would take minutes has suddenly become hours. I am mostly done the cupboards and have managed to clean the stove and oven as well. Tomorrow I'll finish the rest and get the sinks, dishwasher, floors and fridge cleaned. And hopefully the front hall as well. I was originally aiming for a January 2nd completion day. But now doubling the time I thought, I'll finish just in time to go back to work.

I keep telling myself this is not my vacation. Today I booked my 10 day vacation to Hawaii at the end of January so this is just my second unpaid job.

That and I'm hosting January's wine club meeting so the house must be spotless. Hard to believe we have been at this a whole year. We're going to be celebrating our one year anniversary and I can't wait.

The last couple of hours have been painful so I made some dinner- some nice spaghetti sprinkled with fresh parmesan cheese. I paired it with an Italian Refosco wine.

The wine is from Fantinel Vigneti Sant Helena in the Fruili region of Italy. The wine is absolutely fabulous! It is quite oaky which I love in a red and it's got a bit of spice to it. One thing I did notice was that it was a bit effervescent on the tongue. I'm not sure if I liked that or not. I didn't have to decant the wine long. It was basically ready to drink right out of the bottle.

The Refosco grape is native to Northern Italy. It is very dark skinned as is the wine. The colour is a deep garnet, almost showing purple hints. It is also known to have a very berry taste and indeed this one does.

I do enjoy this wine a lot and can't wait to finish tomorrow in between cleaning the fridge and floors. Admit, you're very jealous of me right now. Ha!

My last wine of the year is tomorrow-- and guess what? It's a Chinese wine!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

#102- Grechetto

On the 10th day of Wine-mas my true self gave to me, a Grechetto from Sportoletti.

First and foremost, a Merry Christmas to everyone. Hope Santa was good to you this year. Apparently I was a good girl as I got some pretty amazing stuff. I have to say though I'm most excited about my new Ninja blender! I'm going to be a smoothie making ninja in no time. I wonder if there's a wine smoothie recipe out there?

So dinner was the usual fixings- turkey, potatoes, turnip, brussel sprouts, vegetables- you get it.  Mom makes a fabulous turkey each and every year. It was just the four of us (mom and dad and the two childless kids- Craig and I) but we enjoyed ourselves and had a lot of fun. Rounds of Family Feud and this Celebrity movie matching game were played and even a dip in the hot tub!

The wine is from Sportoletti in Italy from the Assisi region.

The first thing yo notice about the wine is how yellow it is. It's very dark. Remind me of apple juice. I'm not a particular fan of this grape to be honest. There is some sweetness to it but there's nothing about this wine that stands out for me. It's just rather blah.

The Grechetto grape is usually used as a blending grape and I would suggest that it is a better option. I'm just not a fan of it unfortunately. Maybe it's not cold enough or something but it's just not sitting well with me. The aftertaste is just not great.

So I'd say pass on this one for sure.

But hey it's Christmas- there's lot of other cheer to get into, so have at 'er!

And again, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

#101- Vidal

On the 9th day of Wine-mas my true self gave to me, a bottle of vidal otherwise known as Canadian Icewine.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, all the Stevenson's were gathered...

alright that's all I got. It's been a busy few days around here and I've already skipped a day so the 12 days will now end on the 27th. It's still the holidays at least.

My sister Kristin hosted our Christmas Eve dinner. With so many siblings and with all the in-law families, not every year is celebrated on Christmas Day as a family. Instead, those years that don't happen for us, it's Christmas Eve instead.

The whole family was there- mom and dad (or Grandma and Grandpa) my brother Craig, my brother Jim and his wife Sharon and their son Liam and my sister Kristin with her husband Mark and kids Owen and Quinlan.

Wine was drunk and presents opened and dinner had. Kristin made two different types of lasagna- regular and a spinach one.

Bot soooo good!

I drank a great red with the lasagna but it was a blend so it doesn't count towards my varietal count.

What we did is have the wine for dinner.

I brought over a 2005 Mike Weir Estate Winery Icewine Vidal. If you're not familiar with the golfing world, Mike Weir is a pretty famous Canadian golfer and has one some pretty prestigious golf tournaments (green jacket anyone?)

Mike Weir Estate is in Niagara, Ontario.

I had nothing to eat with the wine so wine was dessert. It's very sweet but very good. It tastes very much like apples. My mom liked it; Kristin wouldn't try it as she's not a fan.

There's not much on the Vidal grape except to say it has grapefruit and pineapple notes. I don't get that on this wine at all- this one is very much ripened fruit.

Christmas is tomorrow and I hope to try out a new white but I'm also bringing a Tavel (rose) to dinner tomorrow to go with the turkey.

Happy Christmas Eve everyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Recapping Grape 81-100

 I still can't believe I did it- all 100 reviews. I'm officially applying for my membership in the Wine Century Club tomorrow. Well there's not much more to say except that I am humbled by all of you out there who bother to read my blog and support me on this crazy wine drinking journey of mine!

Overall, I had a another great group of wines- I liked most of them. Not all of course and I think one of the disliked wines was corked to be fair.

Like: 16
Dislike: 3
Neutral: 1
White: 10

Countries: France, Spain, Hungary, Australia, Italy, Georgia, Portugal, Canada, Greece
81. Arneis (White) LIKE
Cascina Bongiovanni, Italy
82. Grillo (White) LIKE
Noi Necociants, Italy
83. Vernaccia (White) LIKE
Azendia Agraria Le Rote, Italy
84. Agiorgitiko (Red) LIKE
Kouros Nemea, Greece

85. Pinot Auxerrois (White) LIKE
Gray Monk, Canada
86. Verdejo (White) DISLIKE
Herederos del Marques de Riscal, Spain
87. Marachel Foch (Red) LIKE
Movia Winery, Slovenia
88. Verdicchio (White) DISLIKE
Villa Bucci, Italy
89. Seyval Blanc (White) LIKE
Jost Winery, Canada
90. Periquita (White) LIKE
Jose Maria de Fonsesca, Portugal
91. Saperavi (Red) LIKE
Tbilvino, Georgia
92. Monica (Red) LIKE
Argiolas Perdera, Italy
93. Schioppettino (Red) LIKE
Sengo de Terra, Italy
94. Palomino (White) NEUTRAL
Gonzales Byass, Spain
95. Pedro Ximenez (White) LIKE
Alvear, Spain
96. Egiodola (Red) DISLIKE
Domaine de Brau, France
97. Marsanne (White) LIKE
Tahblik, Australia
98. Muscadelle (White) LIKE
Chateau Megyer, Hungary
99. Prieto Picudo (Red) LIKE
Dominas DosTores, Spain
100. Carignan (Red) LIKE
Borie de Mavreal, France

I can't wait to see what the next 100 bring me!