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Here’s what’s in November’s Toronto Life Wine Club box

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Welcome to the Toronto Life Wine Club
Food & Drink

Welcome to the Toronto Life Wine Club

In November’s Toronto Life Wine Club delivery, enjoy inaugural red vintages—a malbec and a sangiovese—from two top Ontario wineries, along with a beautifully rich white made in extremely small quantities. Orders must be placed by Oct. 31.

Here's what's in November's Toronto Life Wine Club box

 

Here's what's in November's Toronto Life Wine Club box
Hidden Bench Malbec 2016

Retail $39 | Beamsville

Why we’re into this wine:

Hidden Bench was founded in 2003 by Harald Thiel, who chose to focus on pinot noir, chardonnay and riesling—which makes this malbec so unique and exciting. A small lot grows on the estate, and it’s been used in red blends, as is the norm in Bordeaux. You don’t see much 100 per cent malbec in Ontario, and this inaugural vintage is a real beauty. The hand-harvested grapes perform wonderfully in the warmth of Niagara’s Beamsville Bench. The wine is unfined and unfiltered, which really shows in its elegance, concentration and character.

What it tastes like:

This wine brims with blueberry fruit, plum, chocolate, and black pepper spice. Its texture is seductively supple. Lovely tension between the fresh fruit, subtle oak toast and spice, and complex earth tones. The finish is long and lovely.

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How to drink it:

This robust wine offers spicy complexity that’s tailor made for your earthy fall dishes. Pair with grilled or roasted red meats or poultry—the more charcoal the better—and hearty stews. It won’t say no to a nice cowboy steak either.

Tip:

Some winemakers hold that fining and filtering strip the wine of its essential character. This wine is not fined or filtered. Taste the difference?

 

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Foreign Affair Sangiovese 2016

Retail $34.95 | Vineland

Foreign Affair uses a winemaking process called appassimento. The grapes, or a portion of the grapes, are left to dry naturally to about half their original size. This concentrates flavours and sugars before fermentation. The result is a richer, silkier, more concentrated wine. And that’s exactly how this wine presents itself. It’s made with the sangiovese grape, famous in Tuscany but scarce in Canada. Winemaker Barclay Robinson studied the appassimento process as a student of oenology and viticulture at Brock University. You might say it’s his thing. This is the inaugural vintage of sangiovese at Foreign Affair, making it a doubly rare treat.

What it tastes like:

This is a delicious melding of styles: a bit of classic Chianti from Tuscany and a bit of generously rich Amarone from the Valpolicella region of northern Italy. Look for flavours of cherry, blueberry, blackberry and a nice herbal-earthy quality. Tannins are soft and smooth. This is a big wine backed with finesse and style, drinking really nicely right now.

How to drink it:

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With pizza, of course. Also other red-sauced fare, grilled lamb, mushroom risotto and charcuterie.

Tip:

Just 15 per cent of the grapes were dried appasimento style. But that’s enough to lend considerable silkiness and concentration to this wine. Compare it to a Chianti, just for fun. Same grape, but quite a different impression.

 

Leaning Post The Fifty Chardonnay 2016

Retail $22.20 | Winona

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Husband and wife team Ilya and Nadia Senchuk make tiny quantities of highly coveted wines at their modest two-hectare vineyard in Winona. Their estate-grown pinot noir and chardonnay have earned the attention of Toronto sommeliers, and U.K. wine critic Jamie Goode called Leaning Post “one of Niagara’s most exciting wineries.” This chardonnay was fermented in oak barrels and then aged in stainless steel tanks. So it’s essentially an unoaked wine, with bright and very pretty fruit making a lively and entirely delicious chardonnay. There’s serious value here. This wine should cost more.

What it tastes like:

Rich yet delicate, brimming with apple, winter melon, citrus fruit and a hint of spice. Fresh, lively and full of vitality, it’s also complex and well integrated. There’s serious depth in this wine. But really, it’s just darned tasty.

How to drink it:

Absolutely irresistible on its own, with a mild chill and a nice big-bowled wine glass. (Please, no tumblers.) Good with seafood, poultry and grilled vegetables, or a hearty vegetable soup.

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Tip:

Serve this blind to your friends who say they don’t like chardonnay. See what they say.

Here's what's in November's Toronto Life Wine Club box

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