LCBO Sale Wine of the Week: August 10

Santa Carolina Reserva Carmenère

Sale $10.05, Regular $12.05
Discount (until August 13): $2.00
LCBO #57133 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Spicy stewed cherries, red berries, blackberry and cinnamon with a dark chocolate finish. A touch of smokiness.
Pairs with: Big meaty things, burgers, grilled vegetables, beef stew, lamb and tacos.
Good for: Spicing up your love life — and your mixed grill.
Alcohol: 13.5%
Drink: Now.

Why we're drinking this
This is almost ridiculously good value at the sale price, demonstrating once again the level of quality Chile can achieve with its entry level wines. It used to be widely grown in the Bordeaux region of France, but is scarce there these days. Meantime, Chile took up the cause, pretty much making Carmenère into a signature variety. A lot of what was thought to be Carmenère up to the end of the last century turned out to be Merlot — good thing someone bothered to check. Today, we’re pretty sure anything labeled Chilean Carmenère is, indeed, Carmenère. Even though it shares Merlot’s supple texture and luscious fruit qualities, Carmenère adds a bit more spice, herbal and smoky qualities to the mix. In the end, it’s bloody good. End of story.

Tasting note
Bright and pretty fruit on the nose, lots of red berries and blackberry bolstered by some sweet spice and a touch of tobacco smoke. This is a fun wine to drink, especially given its friendly price point. Soft and supple all on its own, it has the acidity and body to take on grilled or stewed meats and will do a nice job along savoury vegetable dishes. Nice herbal touch too, which will pick up nicely with some generous sprinklings of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. (Sing along with me….)

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Santa Carolina Reserva Carmenère

This week's selection by kwäf Taste Bud Dick Snyder