MichaelPinkusWineReview is pleased to bring you the OntarioWineReview Newsletter:

A bi-weekly newsletter dedicated to helping you discover Ontario's best Wines, Wineries and Events while keeping you abreast of issues that affect the wine industry in Ontario and around the world.


Newsletter-0002 What's that smell?

17 Aug 2005
OntarioWineReview Newsletter -02
April 2005 

  • Ontario Wine Review: What’s That Smell?
  • Grape Guy’s Pick of the Bunch: Chateau des Charmes 1999 Cabernet-Merlot
  • Beautiful Bottles: A look around the liquor store at interesting bottles, labels and designs
  • Wine Event Spotlight: Wine and Herb Festival

ImageOntarioWineReview: A Note to our Wineries: What’s That Smell?
(Print a .pdf version of this newsletter)

I know what’s good and I know what’s bad – to me anyway. I like to think of myself as the common man: I have a cat, I own a car, I owe the banks (who in turn own my soul). I look through flyers with the perverse joy of finding a “deal” on something I probably don’t need, I do crosswords with a pen and then blame the pen when I make a mistake, and I do most of my reading while sitting in the smallest room of the house. On the other hand I have used words and terms like “corked”, “sherry-nose”, “bouquet”, “legs”; “cloying” and “blech” when describing wine … some of these terms are technical and some are not as technical; and I will admit to one other thing: I have never smelled “barnyard” in a glass of wine – nor would I want to drink it if I did. The same applies to petrol, tobacco and pencil shavings … yet all these words have been used to describe wine – I have seen them in reviews, I have even sniffed and tasted those wines – but truth be known I have never picked up those smells. What I have determined over the years is what I like and don’t like. What puts a smile on my face and makes me reach for the bottle again, or what causes my face to scrunch up and lament the fact that I really could have put my 10.95 to better use at McDonald’s. While I rightly admit each wine has a different smell and taste, I can’t always distinguish what it is. I have smelled strawberries in Pinot Noir and raspberries in Gamay; I have picked up on green pepper in a Cab Franc and yellow pepper in a Cabernet blend. I readily admit to you, dear reader, and I will say it again: I’ve not always been able to distinguish different flavours in a glass of wine (unless “yuck” and “yum” are now on the flavour wheel); does that make me a bad wine taster? No. I have been influenced to taste something that I personally could not pick out during a tasting because somebody else claimed it was there? Does that make my palate
inferior? No. Wine is subjective, you taste and smell whatever you can in each wine.

The bottom line should always be whether or not that wine compels you to reach for the bottle again and pour yourself another glass. If your lips smack and you say “yum” that does not make you uncouth … it means you enjoy wine for yourself and not to impress others. Afterall, wine drinking should be about personal enjoyment. Cheers.

Image Grape Guy’s Pick of the Bunch : Chateau des Charmes 1999 Cabernet-Merlot

This time ‘round I have a marvelous wine for you (not that I don’t always) – Chateau des Charmes’ 1999 Cabernet-Merlot from Ontario’s Niagara-on-the-Lake region. This red wine is fantastic … smooth, easy to drink with mild tannins. It should continue to age gracefully for the next 2 – 4 years (according to the winemaker); but it is drinking beautifully right now. And as luck would have it, the LCBO has just added it to their Vintages Essentials list – so there’s plenty available for all … until I get there.

Visit www.chateaudescharmes.com for more details or to purchase this great wine. Also available at the LCBO.

Image The Grape Vine : Submit your opinion and become a part of the OWR tasters circle.

Should this wine be a candidate for our OntarioWineReview Crystal Cork Awards? Chime In!

Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Image Beautiful Bottles : A look around the liquor store at interesting bottles, labels and designs.

Sometimes it’s the bottle or the label that sells the wine – as one person said to me at a wine show … the label will sell it once, if the wine inside is no good it won’t be bought again. Colona Vineyards in B.C. has a beautiful labeled Syrah – the bottle is standard green glass but the label shows an Inukshuk standing proudly against a purple sky – which makes this one of the most striking labels on the B.C. shelf … now it’s your turn to determine whether the wine inside is any good … leave your comments about the content for me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - who knows, your comments could appear in our next newsletter.

Image Wine Event Spotlight : Jazz and Blues at Hillebrand

Here’s one I’ll definitely be attending: The Wine And Herb Festival in Niagara on the Lake … each weekend in May all 16 Niagara-On-The-Lake wineries will be pairing their wines with different foods based around a specific herb … passports are $20 in advance or $25 during the month of May. For further details visit www.niagaraonthelake.com.

Image Contact Michael Pinkus Grape Guy

A bi-weekly newsletter dedicated to helping you discover Ontario’s best Wines and Wineries.
Enjoyment comes from understanding - Passion comes from understanding more.

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to other wine lovers!

To contact us with feedback, article ideas, comments, concerns or questions – email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We look forward to hearing from you!

© OntarioWineReview.com 2005 . All rights reserved

Get Our Newsletter

* indicates required

Follow Us on Social Media

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube

RSS feed