Did you have a good Reading Week? I hope so. But I suspect you will agree with me when I say that Reading Week is never as relaxing as it is supposed to be. I tell myself that I’m going sleep more than six hours a night. I tell myself that I am going to read ahead. Maybe I’ll even watch a movie in bed! Of course, none of that ever happens. By the end of Reading Week, I’m ready to take another break. A real break…
I dream of crisp, white linen sheets and an airy duvet that wraps around me like a cocoon. I dream of getting a foot massage while I eat fresh Alphonso mango and rewatch Arrested Development for the hundredth time. And, of course, I dream of wine…
Laid out like that, my dreams don’t seem so out of reach. Surely, no one would judge me too harshly if I hauled my duvet into school. And even if they did, who cares? I’ve got a bottle of wine. Bottoms up, in Bora Laskin Library!
I admit it: I’m fooling around. But I do think that I’m onto something with the wine. If you’re feeling worn out and it’s only the beginning of the week, open a bottle. If you’re missing someone, open a bottle. If you just need something to take the edge off, open a bottle. You know that we at In Vino Veritas will be. Below are some of our favourite comfort wines to cuddle up to.
Reading Week is over. Maybe you were away on vacation or maybe you spent the week catching up on sleep. Either way, we’re back, and now is the time you’re probably looking for a nice, easy-drinking bottle of wine to take the edge off as reality sinks in. My recommendation for such an occasion is the Beronia Rioja Tempranillo. At $13.90, this is a good value Tempranillo. It’s medium bodied, flavourful, and also quite versatile. I found it good on its own, but it also paired nicely with red meat. What I like about this wine is that it’s fairly light but still has the typical spiciness that young Tempranillos are known for. Overall, this Tempranillo is great for those on a budget and looking for a lighter red wine that’s still flavourful. I recommend enjoying a glass while curled up on a couch, watching Netflix, and ignoring your responsibilities.
Being cosy is one of my favourite things in life. So, it might surprise you when I say that I don’t immediately go to traditionally “cosy” and “warm” wines like Merlot. There’s just something about a chilled, taut white that lets me know everything is going to be okay. Perhaps it’s not the wine itself, but its effect. The cool temperature and refreshing palate remind me of winter and make my wool Afghan seem quite compelling.
A current favourite of mine is La Guardiense’s Janare Sannio Fiano 2016 ($16.95). This dry Southern Italian white has an invigorating acidity which gives way to flavours of young pineapple and d’Anjou pear. The finish is long and has a cleansing minerality to it. Drink this wine on its own, or pair it with buttered popcorn and a night at the Oscars.
Sandbanks Sleeping Giant Foch-Baco Noir is my current go-to comfort wine. It’s a full-bodied, ruby-red VQA wine—very smooth, with no tannins. It also has the barest hint of an effervescence, which, strangely, works for the wine. The palate is fruity but firm. It has a deep plum taste and a soft, silken finish that is almost like sweet vanilla. $19.95 at the LCBO.
With my selection, I haven’t so much gone for a quiet night in as I have for a tropical escape. Moulin Touchais Coteaux du Layon 1994 is older than many of our 1Ls, and it has a deep, golden hue to prove it. Apparently, 1994 was an unimpressive year for this Loire Valley Chenin blanc; it is the cheapest pre-2000 vintage at the LCBO. Admittedly, it costs $44.00, but I assure you that it is worth every penny. Uncork this wine and take in the unique aromatic blend of fresh rubber tyres, bananas, and overripe pineapple. Then dive into a pool of fruit juices: peaches, grapefruit, and even papaya make up this wine’s captivating, if unbalanced, palate. This is a very sweet wine that stands in joyous contrast to Tom’s almost austere Fiano. Even the finish dances on the tongue with notes of honeysuckle. Pair it with brioche, stone-fruit jellies, and a sense of humour.