FOOD AND DRINK
Bottle Shop: Wine Words You Should Know
From Albariño to Quincy, understanding these wine words will help you up your vinicultural game.
The world of wine is so vast and complex that it can intimidate even the cockiest of know-it-alls. What’s the best way to beef up your oenological prowess? Drink, my friend. Drink. Here are three bottles and three new words to add to your vinous lexicon.
Domaine de la Commanderie Quincy 2014
Quincy is France’s second oldest wine appellation (after Châteauneuf-du-Pape), and when you see it on a label it means bone-dry Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. Quincy wines are a little less refined and slightly more affordable than the whites from its more esteemed neighbour Sancerre, but their limited availability on this side of the Atlantic make them cherished by Francophiles. This bottle is a savoury example in the best possible way with herb garden aromas, snap pea flavours and rip-roaring acidity. Meant for the table, chill well and pour with raw oysters, fried seafood or horiatiki (aka real Greek) salad.
Hecht & Bannier Bandol Rosé 2015
While France’s Bandol region is primarily known for beastly, cellar-worthy reds, its rosés, which account for a third of the region’s wine production, are highly coveted. Unlike the ethereal rosés from the rest of Provence, Bandol has structure and firmness from a high percentage of Mouvèdre grapes, making it more food friendly and even suitable for short-term aging. Domaine Tempier makes Bandol’s most famous rosé— farm-to-table maven Alice Waters is a huge fan—however, there are more affordable examples such as this terrific bottle from Hecht and Bannier. Expect a nose of red apples and herbs, ripe nectarine flavours, and a dry, spicy finish. Serve with a roasted pepper and anchovy salad, seared tuna or grilled lemon chicken.
Paco & Lola Albariño 2014
A white wine grape originally from Portugal, Albariño has found a spiritual home in Galacia, the uncommonly lush and verdant corner of northwest Spain. The best bottles, like this stylish hombre, hail from the Rías Baxias region on Galacia’s west coast. If you’re a fan of Pinot Grigio, then give your palate a major upgrade with this fresh, clean, balanced white with peachy flavours and a crisp, stony finish. The best part about Albariño: it rarely tops 20 bucks. Open with spicy ceviche, grilled sardines or seafood paella.