Wine Time with Aaron the Wine Guy

Hello Prince Albert! Do you have a preference for where your wine comes from? Some wine drinkers will only drink Cabernet from California or Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand while others will primarily stick to Italy or France for their wine options.
To make things less complicated, wines are often sorted into categories like fruity, sweet, dry, full-bodied, light, soft, acidic, etc. Another way to categorize these wines is by region or style. As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, one of the biggest stylistic dividers is the difference between old-world wines and new-world wines.
The main differences between these styles are easy to pick out when tasting or sampling. If a wine is light to medium-bodied with higher acidity and has an emphasis on earthy flavors like oak, soil, tar or mushroom, it is probably an old-world wine. New-world wines usually focus on softer acidity, fuller body and rich, fruity flavors however, these types of wine often cost more money and consumers that only taste entry-level wines will be missing out.
Just to be clear, old-world wines can and are made in new-world countries like Argentina, Canada, USA, New Zealand and Australia and fruity, new-world type wines are also made in old world countries like Italy, Greece, France and Germany. Typically, however, wines will stick to the style of their origin. Take for instance many of the wines from Italy; These wines are often made with regional grapes following the rules of their respective designations.
In Canada, you will find many wineries creating world-class wines in the old-world style like the famous Osoyoos Larose which closely follows the structure and flavor profile of the wines of Bordeaux, France. That being said, most wines will reflect the area they come from. Two great examples are the Clos de los Siete (Argentina) and the Naoussa Boutari Grande Reserve (Greece).
Argentina is best known for its extremely fruity grape Malbec but the country also produces incredible Cabernet Franc and fantastic blends (often using Malbec as a fruity base). What I loved about the Clos de los Siete was the combination of intense dark fruits mixed with delicious spices. It has a blend of grapes usually found in old-world wines but brings a wallop of fruit. A bit of earthiness creeps in but overall, this is a juicy, fruit-forward wine which tastes slightly drier on the palate than the nose would lead you to expect.
The wine from Boutari is a completely different beast than its Argentinian counterpart. The fruit is incredibly crisp and fresh on the palate and its almost as if the drinker was in Greece picking the fruit and eating it on the spot. The earthy flavors also come in quicker and more aggressively and linger on the finish as well. The acidity is noticeably different in both wines as the Argentinian wine sits around medium (softer) and the Greek wine easily hits medium-plus or beyond (sharp or higher acidity).
You’ll have to taste for yourself which wine you prefer but for myself, I’ll almost always choose the old-world wine. Another thing to consider when picking your wine is the foods you may be pairing it with. This is where regional dishes can give us a clue; roasted lamb or souvlaki? Go Greek. Juicy burgers or grilled rib-eye? Choose the fuller, fruitier option like an Argentinian red. Here are my wine picks of the week!
Naoussa Boutari Grande Reserve 2016: (Naoussa, Greece). Dry red, medium-ruby color with garnet-colored fading near the edges. Fresh cherries and spices abound from the bouquet. Bright red cherries, soft cloves, pepper and cinnamon are accented by freshly picked blueberries on the enticing nose. To the taste, tart, fresh plum skins, blueberries, red cherries and hints of sour strawberry are complimented by a soft bite of baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon and cloves). You can really taste the freshness of the fruit and the forefront of the palate is a delightful reminder of biting into fresh, tart plums and blueberries right from the bush. High acidity makes the mouth tingle and water and cleanses the palate while high tannins grip intensely on the sides of the cheeks and teeth. This red is meant to go with roasted lamb or crumbly cheeses. Medium body with black grapes, hints of earthy bark and a long, gripping finish of spicy clove, bay leaf, wet rocks, tar and traces of earthy moss. Very interesting and stimulating! Very good! $24 (Regular $35), 13% ABV
Clos de los Siete 2019: (Uco Valley, Argentina). Dry to off-dry red, deep purple color. This red has an interesting bouquet which opens up with a bit of decanting time. High-intensity cooked plums, juicy blackberries, black currants, wild strawberry, cracked pepper, mint, cloves and ocean spray greet the nose. The palate carries a burst of dark fruit from the first sip which moves into gentle pepper/clove spice and finishes with long notes of cooked meat, smoked leather and earthy dark chocolate. A savory, saline note runs through the wine and hints of lively mint pop out from time to time. Medium body, medium-plus acidity with high, mouth-coating tannins. While not as sweet or fruity on the palate as it is on the nose, there is some interesting complexity to explore if you give the wine the time it needs to breathe properly. The perfect option for grilled steaks or hearty roast beef with gravy. Will age well for a few more years at least. Very good! $24 (Regular $34), 14.5% ABV
Cheers and thanks for reading!