Thursday, February 3, 2011

Heart Smart

It is now the first week of February 2011.
Besides the intense snow storm we received yesterday, 2011's winter has been fairly sunny and bright with fair to moderate amounts of snow. For Canadians, this results in a lot of out door activities. If your one of my friends your outside snowboarding and tobogganing but for those of you too timid to brave the storm there are a few things you can do inside that are amazingly enjoyable and great for the heart. After all Valentines Day (the best day of the year in my opinion) is right around the corner and there is no such thing as being too sweet for this lovable holiday.
Did you know that Pinot Noirs from Niagara have the highest levels of resveratrol? It is a known fact, Resveratrol is the natural antioxidant found in the skins, seeds and tannins in red wines that lower cholesterol and are good for your heart. What a great excuse to crack open a few extra bottles this month! If you would like your full bodied reds to be as smooth as you are this up coming holiday, pour into a decanter and let rest for about an hr. Just wait, it gets even better, chocolate also has the natural antioxidant which is good for your body so a pairing would not only be extremely satisfying for your taste buds but healthy too! Eureka!

I personally plan to enjoy a few bottles of Pinot Noir this month with the roommates and a few favourites. However, 6 ladies in one house means I'm going to supply at least a case of the good stuff. Being realistic for a second, I do not have that kind of money to spend on wine just yet so I have found a few bottles that I can enjoy without having to break my budget. I have come up with 5 local picks that are reasonably priced without sacrificing the great healthy flavours I am looking for.

Lets Break It Down;
1) 2007 - 20 Bees Pinot Noir.
This easy drinking red is something great for my white wine drinkers who find the tannins a little on the offensive side to enjoy. Great to have on its own or paired with soft cheeses, grilled meats, veal or vegetable lasagna. At $10.95 a bottle its hard to just buy 1.  (Bottle is 750ml)

2) 2007 - Dan Aykroyd Pinot Noir.
This wonderful ruby red has fresh red fruit on the nose and palate that include sour cherry, raspberry and cranberries. Not only is it being consumed by our troops over in Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan but it is widely enjoyed by the staff who produce it. $14.95 a bottle is a small price to pay for such a well structured VQA red. This wine will compliment a variety of delicious foods from mild sea food dishes to turkey and pork loin.

3) 2006 - Megalomaniac Sonofabitch Pinot Noir.
Subtle aromas of Cherry, wood spice and vanilla make this medium-bodied red very enjoyable.
John Howard's "heart break grape" is featured at the winery and in the LCBO for $24.95.
Marinara pastas, herbaceous salmon or a simple mild cheese and fruit platter would be this red wines best friend for an evening full of memories.

4) 2007 - Konzelmann Estates, 4 generation Barrel aged Pinot Noir
This full-bodied Burgundy style Pinot Noir has fresh and clean character. Spicy, smoky, Black cherry jam aromas accompany the good firm weight of this robust red. At $30.00 a bottle, this bold red would stand well to a perfectly cooked steak or lamb.

5) 2004 - EastDell Estates Pinot Noir
This beautifully aged pinot was my personal favourite. Tasting so close to a glass of welches grape juice, hints of vanilla and wild berry flavours lingered on the tongue after the smoothest finishing pinot Ive drank so far.
On sale at $12.00 it is no wonder that the smooth earthy library wine sold right out of stock.

This brings me to my final conclusion for pinot's in the Niagara region.
Taste a few before the good ones are gone. Not only are they good to taste but are good for you.
Understand what you like in a wine and take a tour to a few vineyards to find something better. Is all I ask is for you to make it your mission to get to at least one winery in NOTL, Beamsville or Pelee Island and see what they have to enlighten your senses. If not a red maybe a white, a port or perhaps an Ice Wine.

Once your done your tasting I would love to hear if anyone has hit a gold mine and found a wine that I should consider taking a second look at. Even if its a wine you had a month or a year ago, just like good people wines make an everlasting impression on the mind.

~ Here's to freezing cold nights, warm friends and a good drink to give them~

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