Sunday, June 3, 2012

Now for something completely different ... wine.

If there's something that pairs well with politics, it's wine, or scotch. So, I'll review both here.

Back story: I'm getting married July 27. Eggs and I decided to host the show at Hawrelak Park. Note to city council - it's a bummer that you don't allow booze in the park. So in lieu of an open bar, we'll be treating our guests to wine as a takeaway gift. Really, take it away - we've seen teenagers get ticketed for open liquor at Hawrelak. Please don't behave like a teenager at our wedding.

So with a little help from my sommelier friends, I'm endeavoring to test a few reasonable bottles.


- Costs about $15, or less. Less is more easy on my wallet.
- Must impress upon first sip. And not in a "I knew Richard was cheap, but wow" way.
- Must be available in Edmonton.

So, the first edition: El Petit Bonhomme - Man wine.

- Price: $15.75
- Purchased at: Bin 104, 5454 Calgary Trail (that one classy strip mall, next to Bonanza and Tony Romas)
- Could Richard have designed this label: Yes. It's a stick man.

Apparently Nathalie Bonhomme, the wine's producer, is a good ol' Canadienne made good. Born in Quebec, she started making wine in Spain, via England and South Africa. What a life.

I'm going to intentionally try not in these reviews to produce wine tasting notes that look like the grocery list of a very hungry person (Vegetable stalk? Compost? I may not be a sommelier, but I know which part of the vegetable to eat).

This is a man wine - smoke and meat. You can taste the plans for world domination. Huge presence off the nose - didn't they ban smoking indoors? Upon taste: enough tannins to pucker a bit on the first sip, but by the third it has mellowed out and presents steak, blackberry, and smoked or roasted spice. Lovely smooth finish, with a bit of juicy steak presenting again. Eggs says it smells like A535. But she just got back from working six hours on a Sunday. And she clearly doesn't know alcohol is an acquired taste.

I go back to the idea that this is a "man" (in the gender stereotypical sense) wine. The scotch drinker in me doesn't feel like he's betraying himself in enjoying this without a meal. The wine drinker in me, who lives Zin, missed the berry sweetness on the first sip. But that's a nice turn - a wine that's not berry-centric but doesn't taste like dirt (I'm looking at you, Italia!).

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