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Tags: andrew rich, calgary, chateau guiraud, conde de valdemar, domaine huet, north of 9 fine wine, rabl, restaurants, tyler philp, vin room, wine by the glass
Categories : Calgary Wine Life
My real life, my wine life and my Twitter life collided awesomely this weekend, as I was lucky enough to spend Saturday afternoon tasting and discussing various wines with fellow vino blogger Tyler Philp over meat, cheese and tapas at Vin Room, located just south of downtown Calgary. Tyler is the founder of North of 9 Fine Wine and its corresponding wine blog, an official Sommelier, and a prior PnP collaborator: he’s the other half of the Tasting In Stereo simul-review posting that appeared on both our sites back in August, something that will hopefully be a semi-recurring PnP/North of 9 joint feature. Outside of his vinous pursuits, Tyler is an Airbus pilot, and it was thanks to his day job that he had 24 hours or so to kill in YYC. Given the chance to put a face to a Twitter handle, I jumped at the opportunity to meet for lunch. But where to take a wine-obsessed visitor to my fine city?
Foreshadowing Cork Rating: 8/10 (The cork for our dessert wine below - love the horizontal writing, love the lion, love the cork.)
I opted for Vin Room on 4th Street and 23rd Avenue SW, partly because I’d never been before and wanted to try it, and partly because they’re probably the best bet in the city for getting a wide range of wines by the glass. Even better, as we discovered, is that all the by-the-glass wines are also available in tasting-sized portions, which meant that instead of having 1 or 2 glasses over the course of lunch, I got to have 5 or 6 (without having to stumble home). This “small glasses” approach worked amazingly with the small plates that made up Vin Room’s food menu: you don’t normally expect to get to pair every dish of a tapas meal with a proper wine match, but believe me, it’s a treat.
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Tags: andrew rich, ciel du cheval, columbia valley, klipsun, Syrah, vignes en face, washington state wine, wine reviews, wine scores
Categories : Wine Reviews
What a difference a day makes. I first cracked this wine last night and was sort of ambivalent about it, despite the fact that it represented my current ideal red wine region and grape (Washington State Syrah); as a result, I was fully gearing up to write a “nice try, but…” 85-86 point review tonight. But then I had the rest of the bottle tonight and everything changed: the rough and rustic edges had softened, the fruit was better balanced, and every component of the bottle was suddenly in harmony. How cool is wine, that 24 hours in the fridge can make that transformative a difference?
Ridiculous name, but give it time...it'll grow on you.
Let’s back up. I was tremendously excited to try this wine because it was simultaneously recommended to me by both my favourite Calgary wine shops (Ferocious Grape and Highlander Wine & Spirits) and because it was a good-quality Washington State Syrah for under $30, not a common combination. The grapes for Les Vignes En Face came from two of the better Syrah vineyards in all of Washington, Ciel du Cheval (the vineyard that spawned my poor cork-ruined Andrew Will wine a few weeks ago) and Klipsun. Even better, it was a 2005, so it had already had some time to settle down in the bottle before making its way into my greedy hands. The only downside was its unfortunately pretentious faux-French name, which as far as I can tell roughly translates to “The Vines In Front” (note to producers: if you’re not in France, don’t name your wines French names), but questionable nomenclature notwithstanding, I still had high hopes. Read the rest of this entry »