Wine Time with Aaron the Wine Guy

by Aaron Winsor

Wine Time

Hello Prince Albert!

There are literally thousands of varieties of grapes that exist in the world and while some are well known and commonly found in almost every region of the world, some grape varietals are rarely produced outside of their respective countries of origin. One such example is a light, fruity grape known simply as macabeo.

The macabeo grape is often blended with other grapes to create wines of balance with a hint of fruity character. The most recognizable style made from macabeo is the sparkling wine Cava.

 These wines are produced in the traditional method aka Champagne method and the legal aging requirements of Cava mean that the consumer will get an affordable and delicious sparkling wine with a legally defined and protected level of standards.

Speaking of affordable, a decent bottle of Cava will cost you around $20, making it one of my go-to wines for quality and value.

Macabeo can also be found blended with sauvignon blanc, verdejo, albarino and even chardonnay.

The tropical, fruity flavors and crisp burst of acidity on the finish makes this style the perfect summer sipper and companion to light fare fresh from the barbeque grill.

In Spain, macabeo often comes from coastal regions which lends a touch of saline mineral in the flavor profile.

This mineral touch and crisp flavor is the perfect companion to fresh seafoods like ceviche, squid and light whitefish.

This style of white wine can be found at quite a good price (often under $20) and is a welcome change of pace from the usual whites found on the shelves.

 Out of the two macabeo wines that I tried this week, I enjoyed the Gerberas brand the most as it had a crisp clean flavor and the cleansing acidity kept me coming back for another sip.

While not complex, the light tropical fruit and hit of citrus is the perfect drink on a hot day.

 The Sierra Salinas brand was also enjoyable but had a bit of an off-flavor funk which can be common with inexpensive white wines.

I feel that the price of both wines should be closer to $12 but alas, we live in Saskatchewan and liquor taxes are heavier here meaning we can’t escape higher pricing on liquor.

Despite that small complaint, I would buy the Gerberas macabeo again in a heartbeat! Here are my wine picks of the week!      

Sierra Salinas Macabeo 2019: (DOP Utiel-Requena, Spain). Off-dry white, pale lemon color. The nose is fruity and medium-intense with honey, tropical fruit (papaya and pineapple), passionfruit and citrus.

 On the palate this white is light and fruity with medium body and medium-plus acidity. Tropical flavors and citrus come through at first followed by a zippy/zingy character, hints of mineral and a decently long finish.

A touch of off-flavor is hiding in the background on the nose and flavor which hurts the score slightly. The wine is vegan-friendly but will still pair perfectly with fresh seafood dishes or chicken.

 Good! $17, 12% ABV

Gerberas Macabeo 2018: (Spain). Off-dry white, pale lemon color. A fruity nose of pineapple, banana, mandarin fruit, citrus and vanilla frosting gently rises from the glass with medium intensity.

 Delicious fruity flavors of tropical fruit and lemon greet the tongue accented by starfruit and chalky mineral. The finish is medium-length with a burst of bright medium-plus acidity. This wine has a pure, clean flavor and the acidity refreshes the palate extremely well.

The mid palate is fruity and crisp while the finish has mineral notes of wet rocks and a lingering pineapple buzz. A great example of balance between fruit and acidity.

Very good! $17, 12.5% ABV

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Aaron Winsor is a Prince Albert resident who currently holds a WSET Level 3 certification in wine and will never turn down a good cigar or whisky. Check out his Instagram and Facebook page under Aaron The Wine Guy for wine, whisky and cigar reviews.