Uncorked: The Liquor Control Board of Ontario Vintages $14.95 and Under Corner: And The Winners

Here is a red wine called Hécula from the Yecla appellation in Spain.

Black cherry in colour. Aroma of black cherry, blackberry, lavender and ripe strawberries. On the palate fairly solid tannins that leave a nice fruity ring encapsulated around the tannins. No doubt about it. This is a full-bodied wine but being a big boy wine means you have some responsibilities and that is delivering some flavour! In this case there is flavour and it is tight and there is no jamminess nor flippancy. It is tightly held old big and fat strawberries with black cherry nectar clinging on for dear life. I would say this wine will sail nicely on for the next 5 years and improve. Nice long finish. If General Franco and his big ego were still alive today this might be a wine he would relish as it is big and strong like the Spain he always wanted.

I would think these needs something meaty on the grill or something with a very rich tomatoe and wine sauce like osso Bucco.

(Hécula, Monastrell 2017 DO Yecla, Bodegas Castaño,Yecla, Spain, $14.75, LCBO # 718999, 750 mL, 14%,Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me Blog Rating 92/100).

The further you go in France well the cheaper the wine gets. At one-point southern France supplied the working class of Paris with their cheap and not so tasty wines but they were cheap and my goodness sometimes blended with Algerian wine. Well they have cleaned up their act but it make take a few more years to get the glowing reputation they deserve.

In this case we have a white. It has a golden colour. Rapunzel Rapunzel let down your hair! On the palate it tries to convince you it is an off dry wine with a very quick vaccination like prick of sweetness but it finishes mostly dry with a bit of sweetness left in the after palate. In fact it is a full bodied white with class! On the nose some apricot, peach and honey which if it wasn’t for its initial jab of sweetness just might make you think you were trying a Viognier. A blend of gros manseng, petit corbu and arrufiac. Now how is that for local! The label state this wine is good with seafood, fish and salads a well as cheese. Now that makes sense but I think you would have to be in Southwest France where this wine originated from to make the perfect choice. As for us Canucks this would go well with poultry and I include turkey for that lonely COVID-19 inspired Christmas party you are going to have!

(Plaimont Témoignage Saint Mont 2017, AOC Saint-Mont, Plaimont,Saint Mont, France, $14.95, LCBO # 16208,  Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me Blog Rating 92/100).

Published by Robert K Sephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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