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day drinking:

dispatches from the wine aisle

by Barbara scheed

· wine,reviews,Barbara Scheed

Wine descriptions and fleeting moments on the proletariat palate.

The three wines that I'm reviewing this week all evoke strong childhood memories for me, or maybe in these pandemic days I am simply feeling nostalgic.

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DÃO Adega De Penalva 2018 21$ and change at the SAQ Orange

At first whiff, this wine smells like the inside of my violin case that I had to bring on vacation to my grandparents' Alsacien farm; there, I would practice in the hopes of getting accepted into a school orchestra that I would never be talented enough to make. Fun, childlike desperation and strong warm notes of resin set the stage for a full apricot mouth feel. A tart, clean start evolves into bitter oaky apple, oat and caramel notes. Tastes like drinking the end of an over diluted sweet bourbon on ice. Easy drinking, this wine has me ending on a black pebble beach in Nova Scotia in front of a hot campfire on a cool summer night.

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Beaujolais Les Marcellins Christophe Pacalet 2018 17$ and change at the SAQ Red

Presents itself like a bold old person wine. Impressions of wood panelled walls and a red velour couch. In the 70s this basement would have been hopping! First smells are oaky smoked salmon with cilantro/beet fullness. Starting minerally and meaty, it transforms into a halloween night eating candy and gives you a mouth feel of eating all the Starburst found in your bag. It agitates your gums, dries your mouth, but leaves you with a fun pleasing juicy tart feeling. Thinking this wine was going to be old and bold it turned into peppery, dancing, light sugar high happiness.

Finally, a fantasy wine, or wine I can’t afford or access but maybe one day I will:

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A&A Durrman Crémant Cuvé Nature Pur Jus 2018

First, I should reveal my bias toward Crémant d’Alsace; these sparkling wines are, in my opinion, truly the funnest bubbly wines out there. Like we call a tissue a Kleenex, we should call sparkling wines Crémants and not Champagnes. This private import wine is popping all over my instagram; described as zippy with thrilling bubbles, a dry wine, ‘Pur Jus’. The wine bottle has me fantasising of the long walks I used to take on my grandparents’ berry farm in Alsace when I was 10. Fresh cut hay placed at the bottom of strawberry bushes, crumbling hilly terrain, walking under almond trees and seeing red tile roofs of the far away village in the background. Smells of sticky berry jams always slow cooking on the stove in the kitchen. This idyllic portrayal would not be complete without the constant city kid fear of being run over by a naughty escaped sheep or an overtly proud goose. Dreaming of this fizzy beautiful wine day and night.