Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot

Chateau St. Michelle Merlot

Chateau Ste Michelle is an American winery, situated in Washington state.  The wines from this area are becoming quite well-known and are carving out a name for themselves.  The vineyards have been in existence since the repeal of prohibition.

The wine we are reviewing is a 2011 Merlot, purchased at the Real Canadian Liquor Store here in Calgary, and is reasonably price at below $20.00.  We paired it with a Montreal spice chicken breast and sweet potato, all off the barbecue, and it was excellent.

To be truthful, I consider this purchase to be a steal and highly recommend it to our friends and readers.  Typical of Merlot, it was light and flavorful, with minimal earthiness. A very good pair to the spiced breasts.  There are hints of black cherry and some definite spiciness  There are many fruit flavors and it has a good finish.  In addition to pairing with food, it is very suitable for plain old every day sipping.

For more information on the winery, I have added a few links for you..

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Quails’ Gate Reserve Pinot Noir

 

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Quails’ Gate is a Canadian winery, located in the Okanagan Valley of British Colombia.  The wine, a reserve Pinot Noir, approximately $45 CAD.  As we usually find for wines from this region, it is very earthy, not something I find desirable in a Pinot.  We like our Pinot’s to be very fragrant to the nose and light and flavorful to the tongue. This is my common complaint for wines from BC.  Having said that, I would very much recommend this one for a variety of reasons.  First, many people prefer the earthiness exhibited by this bottle, so I must disqualify myself from being overly critical, just not my cup of tea so to speak.  Second, I have had many wines in this price range that were inferior to this one.  Finally, it is a Canadian wine and I must support it just on that alone.  You be the judge after you have tried it.  I give it a 3 out of 5 on our personal scale, and will stick to the French or California Pinot’s.

And How Was Your New Year’s Eve

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The last day of 2015, a year of great change for us.  An RV, with a beautiful spot to place it on Kootenay Lake, a sailboat, and continued contact with many, many great friends.  We continue to focus on the short and medium term goals and made some decent progress to those ends.  The new year will be spent enjoying what we have, and putting more clarity into our time frames.

But first, we have to close out the old year with an evening out.  We have a tradition on New Years Eve, supper with Lori’s cousin Val and her husband Brian.  The plan this year was supper at The Keg, followed by a quiet evening at our place to ring in the new year,.  How did that work for us. let’s see.

We popped in on The Keg, packed to the rafters at 5:00.  No room at the inn for us.  We decided on giving Montana’s a try, so we headed over there.  At this point, we will now consider this to be a review on Montana’s Cookhouse, 130th Ave in Calgary.

We knew we were going to have some issues as soon as we walked in.  The place was kind of full, but it was obvious that there was a staffing issue.  Lots of empty tables, not bused, and minimal staff visible for such a busy night of the year.  Put or name in and were told 30 to 40 minutes.  This was the last thing done right.

We were ushered to our table, so far so good.  We ordered drinks and appetizers, so far so good,.  Appetizers were good, the spinach dip especially so.  Then we hit the wall.  The wine arrived, a basic cab-malbec.  It was interesting that it came literally refrigerator cold.  Never had that before.  The server attempted to open it, but apparently had never used this type of corkscrew before.  I had to open it for her before she put her eye out.

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Orders placed for dinner, 4 meals all pretty much the same, steak with Portobello sauce and a variety of sides.  Let’s slow forward to the service.  In fairness, the server was trapped in a bad situation.  Understaffed everywhere, she did manage to pop by and apologize for the delays on several occasions.  Finally, after 90 minutes, the dinner was served.  Unfortunately, all 4 of were missing something, the Portobello sauce to be specific.  In addition, all the steaks were the opposite of what we had ordered for cooking time, 2 were cold, and 2 baked potatoes were basically right out of the fridge.  Being as there was no point sending it back, we asked for a manager.  He came by and did the right thing, in that he removed the charges for 2 of the meals.  Not a good dining experience.

To be completely fair, the restaurant was poorly staffed, which had an impact on our service.  The server was great, although I was surprised at the lack of knowledge on the bottle opening.  The management should also learn that bottles of red wine should not be kept in refrigerator.  The manager was aware of the situation in the establishment and did the right thing by us, and likely others.  The big question, would we go back.  Not going to happen.  One bad experience is enough to turn one off.  Sorry Montans.

Rating

1-out-of-5-stars

 

Monasterio De Las Vinas – Wine Review

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Our featured wine on this lovely Wine Wednesday is a 2006 Granacha, Tempranillo & Carinena blend created by the Spanish winery co-op, Grandes Vinos Y Vinedos, S.A in Valencia.  Monasterio is a part of this group and have created an excellent wine in this 2006 Reserva.  We enjoyed this vintage with a red pepper chicken, which complimented nicely the peppery plum bouquet and palate.  An extremely good value at 12.50 CAD.  We purchased here in Calgary at the Real Canadian Liquorstore.  If there was any downside to this wine, is that is nearing the end of its cellar life.  The vintner recommends a cellar of 6-7 years, meaning it is passing ts prime here in 2015.  Likely explains the price point.

Montecillo Reserva – Review

2009 Monticello Reserva

2009 Monticello Reserva

The 2009 Montecillo Reserva is a Spanish wine, created with their finest Tempranillo grapes. Bodegas Montecillo has been creating fine wines since 1874.  The label says it pairs well with vegetables and stews, which worked for us as we were eating Chinese.  It paired up quite well at that.  The wine is full bodied with definite aromas of oak and berries.  It is reasonably priced $18 – $22 CAD and is available at most wine stores we’ve been in.  We usually buy at the Real Canadian Liquorstore as it is normally the best value.  If the 18-22 is a bit pricey, we have also enjoyed their red label version, which is in the 13 to 15 buck range, and still a good buy.

Their website is here