| SPICY WINES ARE HERE FOR FALL |
from the wooden barrels infuse with the wine. French oak imparts soft spice notes along with roasted coffee beans or dark chocolate. In contrast, a wine that ages in American oak barrels is more likely to have vanilla spice character or perhaps even caramel. How to Pair with Spice in Wine For wines deemed spicy, try food choices that complement the spice rather than try to pretend they’re not there. For example, a subtle note of black pepper spice in wine can help elevate peppercorn-crusted steak. Or wine with a flourish of baking spice aromas can fit perfectly on the holiday table alongside a roasted turkey with a side of cranberry sauce. Be warned, however. Complementing the flavours too literally can quickly turn bad. For instance, a spicy Thai dish or Indian curry is better suited alongside a glass of wine with low alcohol and a hint of residual sugar, which helps counteract the spice. Matching high acidity or alcohol with a red-hot spicy dish is a flavour disaster waiting to happen. With any wine pairing, the goal is to find balance. Piquant in wine should be balanced with fruit characteristics and other structural benchmarks, like tannins and sugar. It’s the same with pairing food. It’s not all about a single component, like spice, sugar or fat. Find balance in your spicy wine journey.
QUARISA JOHNNY Q. SHIRAZ VIOGNIER Australia $14.99 340075 Black pepper spice bolsters the inviting nose of ripe blueberry and mulberry, while the flavours are dense, with mocha and toasty oak providing structure to the plush tannins.
TINHORN CREEK OLDFIELD RESERVE MERLOT BC VQA $29.99 153213 Black cherry aromas mix with star anise, leather and baking spice notes in this Merlot. Eighteen months of oak aging provide compelling depth and structure through a well- integrated finish.
VIÑA CHOCALAN RESERVA MAIPO CABERNET SAUVIGNON Chile $17.99 262535 Dark berry notes mix with cigar, pepper and eucalyptus on the nose and the spicy accents continue on the palate. This is a juicy and grippy wine with sound structure.
MONASTERIO DE LAS VIÑAS GRAN RESERVA Spain $20.99 618355 Exotic and intense aromas of redcurrant, tobacco and jalapeño support a medium body with touches of oak. The flavours are robust with an enduring finish.
RAVENSWOOD LODI OLD VINE ZINFANDEL USA $22.99 599381 This robust rendition exudes ripe raspberry and cherry aromas. It’s a full-bodied wine with layers of fruit and spice and notes of licorice and vanilla leading to a smooth finish.
LE PETIT CHAT MALIN ROSÉ France $14.99 823229 This juicy and flavourful Grenache-based rosé embodies sweet fruit and savoury herb spice. The cheery red fruit aromas mix with dried garrigue and white pepper.
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