On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Montefalco White Wines (April 2023)

27 Nov 2023

Trebbiano Spoletino DOC & Superiore

I was once told (by a fellow writer) that Spoleto was a gem - but it was said with a wink, so I was not sure how to take the comment. Now I know, that writer meant it as a compliment. Trebbiano Spoletino is like no other Trebbiano out there on the market; and the more producers in the region get to play with it, the better it becomes. There are some great up-and-coming Spoletino producers coming along and they in-turn are learning how to get the most out of this indigenous grape. It's exciting to see the fruit shining through and the acidity, offering up both punch and balance to these wines. High praise indeed, my only caveat is when it comes to the use of oak: dial it back – this has potential to be such a great wine, something that screams summer, refreshment and finesse. Spoletino is best consumed, fresh, young and vibrant, not everything needs an oak barrel to make it better.

24 wines were tasted in this category, 16 made my list, that's a 2/3 ratio, and just under half get a better-to-best rating. Keep up the amazing strides with this grape. It's thrilling to see and taste.

Bocale 2022 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC  Treb Spoletino
-- Fresh and lively with beautiful grapefruit notes - seems like Sauvignon Blanc – but also has nectarine, peach, pineapple and mango - great job ... (Best)

Benedette & Grigi 2020 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - Ermes ... (Better) Glasses
Colle Mora 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - Bagnolo ... (Better)
Colle Uncinano 2022 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino Superiore DOC ... (Better)
Ninni 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - Poggio del Vescovo ... (Better)
Pardi 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - Spoletino ... (Better)
Perticaia 2022 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC ... (Better)

Colle Ciocco 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - Tempestivo ... (Good)
Colle Uncinano 2022 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - La Pettinata ... (Good)
De Conti 2022 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - Rovicciano ... (Good)
Terre di San Felice 2022 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC ... (Good)
Valdangius 2020 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - Filium ... (Good)

Antonelli 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - Treblium ... (OK)
Cocco Ilaria 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - Avventata ... (OK)
Pardi 2022 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC ... (OK)
Valdangius 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC - Campo de' Pico ... (OK)

Grechetto DOC

My fascination with Grechetto ended a long time ago; these days I equate it with boring white wine - kind of in the same basket as Pinot Grigio. I tasted 11 wines with eight making the cut, but only one wine I considered as better, and it was during this tasting I created a lower category than good ... Okay, indicating a wine that didn't tickle my spirit or my fancy, but would be okay to drink.

The Letter AAdanti 2022  Montefalco Grechetto ... (Better)

Antonelli 2022  Montefalco Grechetto ... (Good)
Benedetti & Grigi 2021 - Eros - Montefalco Grechetto ... (Good)

Arnaldo Caprai 2022  Montefalco Grechetto ... (OK)
Colle Ciocco 2022 - Clarignano - Montefalco Grechetto ... (OK)
Scacciadiavoli 2022  Montefalco Grechetto ... (OK)
Dionigi 2021 - Vigna del Brillo - Montefalco Grechetto ... (OK)
Tenuta di Saragano 2021 - Montacchiello - Montefalco Grechetto ... (OK)

Montefalco Bianco DOC

For as uninteresting I find Grechetto, Bianco are next level boring. This seems like a dumping ground for grapes not destined for Spoletino or Grechetto. It’s straight up white wine, with little in the way of having a personality. They are like tadpoles, waiting to grow up and become full-fledged frogs. For the most part, these are drink now wines, with little in the way of ageability or ability to hold interest. Think unoaked Chardonnay, without the benefit of the lees: they'll get the job done, but don't expect much. Nine wines were tasted in this category, seven made the ranking, but nothing rose above good.

Arnaldo Caprai 2022 Montefalco Bianco White Wine
(60 Trebbiano / 40 Chardonnay) ... Good
Scacciadiavoli 2021 Montefalco Bianco  
(50 Trebbiano / 30 Grechetto / 20 Chardonnay) ... Good
Tenuta Bellafonte 2022 Montefalco Bianco - Sperella  ... Good
Tenuta di Saragano 2021 Montefalco Bianco - Saragano
(70 Trebbiano / 30 Grechetto) ... Good
Terre de la Custodia 2020 Montefalco Bianco - Plentis
(60 Trebbiano / 40 Chardonnay) ... Good

Moretti Omero 2022 Montefalco Bianco ... OK
Tenuta Alzatura 2020 Montefalco Bianco - Aria di Casa ... OK


A Quick Look at Spirits 2023

20 Nov 2023

I’ve stated before that spirits ain’t my thing – but I do like learning about them – and tasting them. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t. I find flavoured things appeal to me more than the straight stuff … although I have a newfound love for Irish Whisky. Below is a list of other spirits I have tasted – and instead of stars, I rate them out of three shot glasses.


Bombay Bramble (Blackberry & Raspberry Gin)
$35.95 – England – #19388
This is a layered Gin with a juniper-raspberry start a little violet and sherry note on the mid-palate with some blackberry on the linger. Not sure what to use it for, but I'm sure somebody will come up with something.  1 ½ shots (out of 3)

Bombay Sapphire London Dry GinBombay
$34.95 / 750ml – England - #316844 (comes in a variety of sizes)
Look this is one soft and almost “chuggable”; lovely floral notes and really clean drinking. There's a reason why this Gin is in everybody's liquor cabinet.  2 ½ shots (out of 3)
Georgian Bay Gin
$35.95 – Canada – #448597
Total juniper nose with clove and cinnamon on the palate. “I like it,” said one of the Gin fanatics I tasted this with, warm and lingering with a lemon zest finish.  2 shots (out of 3)

Guy Lafleur Gin
$29.95 - Canada - #22887
Tons of cedar and juniper notes. This is a mixing Gin for the Montreal Canadien fan in your life; but this is more Pat "Burns" than the smoothness of Lafleur’s skating techniques - there's also quite a spicy linger.  1 ½ shots (out of 3)

Romeo's Gin
$41.95 – Canada – #635466
Lovely orange peel and subtle floral notes. Pleasant with hints of cucumber and spice. Yes, the juniper is there, but it's almost like it's playing a backing role to some of those other notes.  1 ½ shots (out of 3)

GlenlivetSCOTCH …

Aberfeldy 12-Year-Old
$74.95 – Scotland – #255281
Smooth entry, still with a little flair of peat and smoke, but there's also a little bit of peach pit on the finish and that helps prolong the linger and alleviate the “burn”.  2 shots (out of 3)

The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve Single Malt Scotch
$74.95 – Scotland - #21309
Say what you want, but I still have not found “my scotch” until now … silky smooth, probably because of the rum barrel addition. Notes of vanilla, golden delicious apple, tropical fruit which included guava and mango skins, and passionfruit – these are just some of the baffling notes I found in this Scotch, and I like it; you should too.  2 ½ shots (out of 3)


Georgian Bay Vodka Georgian Bay
$34.95 – Canada – #446559
A spirits company established in 2013, for vodka this one comes across as almost creamy, easy and smooth. It’s straight drinking vodka – but you can also mix it in your favourite vodka-based drink – if that’s your thing.  2 shots (out of 3)

Grey Goose Vodka
$54.95 / 750ml – France – #95935
What I said about Bombay Gin you can say about Grey Goose:  It's clean. It's clear. It has no aftertaste. It has a great finish. Sure it's fairly non-descript, but that's the whole point of great vodka, it's not supposed get in the way, it’s there to enhance. There’s a reason it’s popular and has won so many awards.  2 shots (out of 3)


1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon
$52.95 – USA - #496729
This hard to get your hands on Bourbnon is named after the date Kentucky joined the union we now call the United States: toffee, smoked vanilla, peach pit all make an appearance with a lasting finish and a smooth burn on the throat. It’s finish is peachy and floral.  2 shots (out of 3)

Angel’s Envy Bourbon - Whiskey
$79.95 – USA – #21465
This is a Kentucky straight bourbon finished in Port wine barrels. Vanilla and smoky, with cinnamon/clove and other spices. It has floral undertones, but it's “awesome” according to many, and I enjoyed it as well, and I’m not one who enjoys the bourbon “burn”, so that is saying something.  2 shots (out of 3)

Georgian Bay Canadian Whisky
$39.95 – Canada –#13909
There's a nice little butterscotch note here with some heat or “burn” as they say; but there's also a nice little spicy vanilla note that sits on the finish and makes it great for straight shootin’.  2 shots (out of 3)

High River Canadian Whisky
$32.95 – Ontario - #481366
On the bottle, there’s a notation about this being recipe no. 9108 and bottled in Kentucky – yet it is a Canadian whisky? That does not stop it from being smooth and silky with notes of vanilla, caramel, and spice with a lovely richness across the tongue. This one’s a “no mixin’ just sippin’” kind of whisky.  2 shots (out of 3)

Magnum Scotch Malt Whisky Cream Liqueur
$40.05 - Scotland – #561720
Coffee and chocolate with a hint of maple butterscotch, creamy and smooth. This is really tasty stuff; The packaging is really cute too; it looks like an old-time metal milk jug - this could give Bailey's a run for its money.  2 shots (out of 3)

SpiceboxSpicebox Canadian Spiced Whisky
$31.95 – Canada – #258954
This multi-layered offering has vanilla and cinnamon, but it's the vanilla that really takes center stage. There's a subtle “burn” on the finish, but this is really simple stuff ... And on the second sip the burn is gone replaced by caramel and vanilla - yum.  2 ½ shots (out of 3)

Wolfhead Cinnamon Whisky
$36.95 – Canada - #29193
This one's got a bit of a weird mid-palate, but there is definitely cinnamon here and it makes it rather interesting, but I’m still confused whether the “burn” comes from the whisky or from the cinnamon.  1 ½ shots (out of 3)


Cabot Trail Maple Cream Cabot Trail
$34.95 – Quebec - #462424
This is one of those cream liqueurs that’ll have you wanting more because it’s totally sweet but … look, imagine if Wether’s candy, maple sugar and butter tarts had a liquid baby. It’s delectable, tasty and maybe a nice addition to your morning coffee, or a bed time hit of something sweet.  2 shots (out of 3)

Niagara College Chocolate Porter Liqueur – (Spirits 101)
$28.50 – Canada – at Niagara College and online
Delicate chocolate flavour mainly on the finish. This would be perfect in a chocolate martini.  1 ½ shots (out of 3)

$35.45 – Canada – #250134
Pure maple sugar taste, with a very subtle lingering “burn”, but it's the maple candy that sticks around well after you've swallowed - silky and smooth.  1 ½ shots (out of 3)

Sortilege Maple Cream
$22.85 – Canada – #352021 … clearance
Maple seems to be all the rage this year and putting it in cream never hurts either. This is smooth and silky. Nice whisky base, but it has maple to spare, which hides the whisky well.  1 ½ shots (out of 3)


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