Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Late to the Beaujolais ball
It seems like I always start these blog spots with apologies, so I'll just skip it and say I was sick with both a chest cold and a regular cold, both my kids were/are sick, and so I've been out of commission for a spell - at least on the wine tasting front.
Sadly, that meant missing the boat on much of the Beaujolais Nouveau - while there are still a few stores that should have some stock, two Liquor Marts I hit (Madison Square and Grant Park) were both out. Having said that, don't give up if you're looking for some Beaujolais Nouveau - there are likely a couple of Liquor Marts and private wine stores that should have some on hand. In particular, I know Fenton's Wine Merchants at The Forks Market always brings in a very healthy selection in good quantity.
Since I'm not limited by the a word count like I would be in the paper, here's a fairly detailed review of one of the Beaujolais Nouveau bottles I actually managed to track down - it was one of the last two at Kenaston Wine Market:
Bouchard Pere et Fils 2009 Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau (Beaujolais, France - around $18, available at private wine stores)
Medium-dark purple in colour, this Beaujolais Nouveau is a touch darker than I would have expected. Not surprisingly, strawberry, bubble gum and banana candy are most prominent on the nose, with some mint and fabric softener (?) notes in there too. It's also slightly heavier than I would have expected, although no more than medium-bodied at best. A yeasty component (not unlike wine straight from the barrel) is evident, along with fresh strawberries and raspberry tea notes, where light, thin tannin makes itself known. Quite juicy and with light acidity and a short finish, Yanks will find this to be a more-than-decent Thanksgiving wine, working well with turkey and cranberry sauce - think Christmas, Canadian readers. 2009 was a far-better-than-average vintage in Beaujolais, and I wouldn't be surprised if this drank nicely for the next 6-9 months. 87/100
I've got more stories coming on my adventures as a wine columnist (see last week's column for a few), including how a $12 bottle of California Cabernet Sauvignon cost me around $1000. A sad tale, to say the least.
Tomorrow's column includes some drinks to bring to your Grey Cup party. Have a great weekend!
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About Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
When he wasn't bashing on a drum kit in local punk rock bands, Ben spent the mid '90s hucking cases of wine around to pay for two English degrees. Now he's the Winnipeg Free Press wine columnist and blogger.
The extent of Ben's wine experience in the mid-90s was memories of accidentally leaving a bottle of White Zinfandel in the freezer overnight, and the ensuing mess he was left with. Between 1996 and 2005 Ben absorbed all he could about wine while working at wine shops to pay for school. Meanwhile, he was churning out papers for his BA and MA in English (from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, respectively).
Ben became the Winnipeg Free Press' weekly wine columnist in 2005, and two years later joined Wine Access magazine as a contributor, a member of their national tasting panel and a judge at the Canadian Wine Awards and International Value Wine Awards until the magazine closed up shop in 2013.
In 2013 Ben joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a copy/web editor.
Blogs that Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson follows:
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