WYKwinos Report No.3

Date/Time: 11th Feb. 2010, 7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Place: Fantaxia Restaurant 樂逍遙



Varietal: Shiraz Winery/Producer: Vina Errazuriz S.A.
Type: Red Wine Year: 2007
Cost: $ 15.85 Region: Chile
Food to match: 皮蛋 LCBO #: 614750
Remarks: Dark purple in colour; aromas of spice, wood & cigar; full-bodied with flavours of black cherry & spice; tannic finish.


Varietal: Shiraz Winery/Producer: Concha Toro S.A.
Type: Red wine Year: 2008
Cost: $ 12.95 Region: Chile
Food to match: 清炒露荀 LCBO #: 568055
Remarks: Medium ruby red; Ripe blackberry, plum, spice and cocoa aromas and flavours; Dry, medium bodied, ripe rounded palate, with sweet fruit centre, moderate length.


Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc Winery/Producer: Pernod Ricard Pacific Pty
Type: White wine Year: 2009
Cost: $ 16.95 Region: New Zealand
Food to match: 乾燒明蝦 LCBO #: 293043
Remarks: Pale straw colour; gooseberry, herbs and a hint of tropical fruit on the nose; dry and medium-bodied with a crisp finish.


Varietal: Chardonnay Winery/Producer: Concha Toro S.A.
Type: White wine Year: 2008
Cost: $ 12.95 Region: Chile
Food to match: 公保雞丁 LCBO #: 433938
Remarks: The 2008 Trio Reserva White Blend from the cool Casablanca region is composed of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc. It exhibits an aromatic array of poached pear, melon, mineral, and peach leading to a dry wine with exceptional concentration and depth for its humble price. This lengthy effort should be consumed over the next 12-18 months. Score – 90. (Jay Miller, www.erobertparker.com, April 2009)

I have a certain liking to the taste of Syrah ever since I was introduced to Penfold a few years back. Syrah comes with a very distinctive tannic taste and it is light, aromatic. You can drink a lot of it without sliding under the table. (Don’t take my word for it – try it sometime yourself.)

Initially I picked 2 Chilean Syrah of vintage 04 and 05. But when I arrived LCBO, I found those guys were all liars. The do not have them and they gave me the run around claiming those were vintage wines and they were discontinued. But these wines all appeared on the LCBO inventory list. So their computer is not up-to-date or simply put, someone is not doing their job. When I mentioned this, they got all defensive and the union is going to step in anytime to defend whatever is left with the staff. I knew when to stop. So I picked up the ones you will be tasting to-night. I apologize. I saw on their computer there are still 3 bottles in Ottawa. But getting there and coming back will be a problem. So, let us enjoy the selection.


Reserva is the term for reserve in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Latin American countries, such as Chile and Argentina. Spanish red wines with such label have received a minimum of three years ageing prior to release. At least one year must be in oak. Those from Portugal must be from good vintage and need an extra half a degree alcohol but the term is increasingly used for premium bottlings. In Italy, reserve wine means that the wine has been given more ageing before release and has a higher alcoholic strength by a half or full degree than the non-Riserva wine. The word Riserva can only be used for DOC or DOCG wines and it indicates the wine is of superior quality and has been aged at least 3 years before being released. In Chile and Argentina, the term isn’t legally-defined so it can mean what the winemaker wants it to mean, from the producer’s highest quality wine to simply a marketing term to help sell the wine.


Shiraz and Syrah are both originally from the same clone, but various regions have chosen one name or the other. They both create rich, robust wines with a smooth texture and signature aromas of spice, pepper, clove and liquorice leading, followed by dark fruit such as blackcurrant, blackberry, plum and black cherry, as well as truffle, earth, violets, vanilla, smoke, sandalwood, cedar, cigar box, earth and leather. The greatest of these wines can age for 25 years or more.

The grape was originally believed to be from Persia, now Iran, from the city of Shiraz, but has since been proven to be indigenous to France, where more than half the world’s Syrah vines are planted. The legendary wines of the Rhone Valley’s Côte Rotie and Hermitage are made from 100% Syrah. Syrah is also part of the blend in other Rhône wines, including Châteauneuf-du-Pape that often includes Grenache, Mouvèdre and up to nine other grapes.

This wine is also the flagship red wine of Australia, where it’s called Shiraz (easier to pronounce than Syrah), and is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon. Australia’s Barossa Valley is particularly famous for its complex, multi-layered Shiraz. It is also becoming South Africa’s leading red. California grows it successfully in Paso Robles where it’s usually called Syrah.

Shiraz and Syrah pair with robust dishes such as grilled meats and vegetables, beef stew, meat lover’s pizza, barbecued ribs and hamburgers, beef wellington, bison steak, brisket, meatloaf, peppercorn steak, grilled or spice-rubbed chicken, chicken sausage, fajitas, ostrich, game casseroles, venison stew, braised lamb shanks, barbecued pork spareribs and Mexican Mole.

Our food pairing dishes                                           Asparagus & the ‘thousand year’ eggs

‘Gung Bo’ chicken                                                  Garlic fried shrimps

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