Wines to snuggle up with

Get ready for winter fun in a bottle with these big beauties. 

Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne 2015, Champagne A.C., France (LCBO: 368415, $119.95). Louis Roederer is a full-bodied and complex Champagne with floral and bright red berry aromas. Dry with juicy red berry, pink grapefruit and bright citrus flavours with a persistent and playful mousse on the palate. Disgorged in January 2018. Food pairings: Roast pheasant, lamb kebabs, quiches, egg dishes, potato salad, a splendid salad wine. Alcohol: 12%. Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2022–2030. Score: 97/100. 

Delas Les Launes 2020, Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône A.C., France (LCBO: 701359, $35.95). From Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône wine region, Delas Les Launes 2020 is a dry, full-bodied Syrah, fragrant with ripe dark berry, red berry coulis, cherry compote, tar and pepper spice flavours savoury on the palate. Supple and smooth with fine, velvety tannins. Drink or hold. Food pairings: Rare roast beef with oven roasted potatoes, spice-braised lamb with sweet potatoes and white beans, Char grilled pork chop with braised red cabbage and celeriac purée, Muscovy duck, turnips, fennel and blackberries. Best beef wine. Alcohol: 12.8%. Sweetness: Extra Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2022–2024. Score: 92/100.

Creekside Iconoclast Syrah 2020,
St. David’s Bench, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada (LCBO: 471797, $25.00). From St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake wine region, Creekside Iconoclast 2020 Syrah is dry and medium-bodied with black currant, black cherry, plum, sweet dried tobacco leaf, savoury herbs, anise, pepper and oak spice, smoky on the finish. Very impressive! Pour with rack of lamb. Food pairings: Roast beef, roast chicken, grilled filet migno. Harmonious hard cheese wine. Alcohol: 12.5%. Sweetness: Extra Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2022–2026. Score: 90/100.

Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Paso Robles, California, United States (LCBO: 578005, $74.95). From the Paso Robles, Austin Hope 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied and juicy with ripe black cherry, blackberry, mocha, vanilla and black pepper spice all wrapped up in velvety tannins. Very approachable now. Pour with steaks from the grill. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: dark chocolate bars studded with dried cherry and blueberry fruit, roast breast of veal, roast turkey. Voluptuous veal wine. Alcohol: 15%. Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2022–2026. Score: 92/100. 

Mer Soleil Reserve Pinot Noir 2019, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California, United States (LCBO: 21177, $39.95). Floral, earth, strawberry and blueberries come together in this Pinot Noir from Mer Soleil and Wagner Family of Wines. Juicy red fruit and lightly toasted oak. Food pairings: Seared duck breast and grilled meats, roast chicken, grilled wood planked salmon, mushroom burgers. Remarkable roast chicken wine. Alcohol: 14.5%. Sweetness: Extra Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2022–2029. Score: 90/100.

Brüendlmayer Ried Loiserberg 1 OTW Kamptal Grüner Veltliner 2017, Kamptal Dac, Austria (LCBO: 25722, $34.95). From the Kamptal wine region in Austria, Brüendlmayer Ried Loiserberg 1 Otw 2017 Grüner Veltliner
is brilliantly fresh with lemon-lime zest, dried fine herbs, earthy and citrusy flavours with a mouth-wateringly long finish. Produced from organically grown Grüner. Drink or hold. Food pairings: Veal cutlets, pork schnitzels, chicken Kiev, crispy pork belly. Plush pork wine. Alcohol: 12.5%. Sweetness: Extra Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2022–2025. Score: 94/100.

Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne, Champagne A.C., France (LCBO: 36962, $74.95). One of the consist-ently best producers of non-vintage champagne at this price point: excellent value here in the bottle. This French sparkling wine is lively, fresh and toasty with persistent mousse and finish. Very balanced and elegant. Food pairings: Caviar, quail, lobster thermidor, fried chicken. Sensational shellfish wine. Alcohol: 12%. Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2022–2025. Score: 93/100.

Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, California, United States (LCBO: 17807, $25.95). Josh Cellars 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon is a dry, full-bodied and rich Cab with charred dark fruits, cassis, mocha, cedar spice, caramel and smoky vanilla flavours intense on the palate. Caramel and Bourbon notes in the wine are a result of two months ageing in charred Bourbon barrels that give a lovely toasty complexity to the wine. Food pairings: red meats from the grill, meat pies, roast beef, turkey. Best Beef Wine. Alcohol: 15%. Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2022–2026. Score: 90/100. 

 

Natalie MacLean offers Ontario’s most popular online wine and food pairing courses, tasting classes, expert reviews and mobile apps at nataliemaclean.com.

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