A few years ago I received word of mouth about a private dining experience in Toronto known as “Charlie’s Burgers.” Fast forward to present day, many trips north behind me and an ever changing palate that seeks new culinary delights, and I’m now relying on Charlie’s Burgers aka Franco Stalteri for wine recommendations.
Conveniently delivered into my inbox, here is a list of what the elusive host of guerrilla dinners is suggesting we pour this summer.
Bubbles to keep the summer time sadness at bay
Prosecco, Canti, DOC, 2012, Veneto, Italy- $14.95
One-hundred percent Glera grape. A fun and easy wine. Dry, with slight hints of fruit, light straw yellow with fine and persistent pearls. This is a vintage Prosecco, which is somewhat of a rarity. An absolute must for pool side lounging, lake side lunches, picnics and world cup shenanigans.
P. Diddy’s Hampton white wine party
Alhabra Bianco, Spadafora, 2013, Sicily, Italy- $18.95
Dry, tangy, mineral, fresh, with hints of fruit. Perfect with caprese salads, Saturday afternoon seafood towers, grilled fish and seafood. Made by one of Sicily’s oldest noble families. Certified organic.
Testarossa Passerina, Passerina Terre Aquilane, Pasetti, 2013, Abruzzo, Italy- $23.95
One-hundred percent Passerina Campolese grape. Straw yellow, with greenish highlights. Floral notes with hints of citrus fruit and spice.
BBQ wines for the grillz
Rosso Salento, La Nova, IGT, Tenute Mater Domini, 2010, Puglia, Italy- $15.95
Blend of Negroamaro 60 pecent, Syrah 40 percent. Notes of blackberries, raspberries, dried roses. Great finish.
Aglianico, Eubea di Sasso Eugenia, 2012, Basilicata, Italy- $19.95
Notes of cherry, raspberry and violets. Cult wine from a passionate, tiny, organic producer.
Malbec Gritos, Otero Ramos, 2008 Mendoza, Argentina- $25.45
Great award winning wines from a family producer in the heart of the Mendoza region of Argentina. A lively and intense wine with aromas of cherry and strawberry, toasted coffee, spices, vanilla, cloves and notes of oak.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Gritos, Otero Ramos, 2011, Mendoza, Argentina- $25.45
Great award winning wines from a family producer in the heart of the Mendoza region of Argentina. Intense and brilliant ruby red colour. Aromas of plums, figs, chocolate and vanilla hints.
St John Rouge, Chateau de Lascaux, 2011, Languedoc, France- $28.00
This wine is from famed nose-to-tail Chef Fergus Henderson’s Michelin Star restaurant, St John, in London, England. The only place outside of St John restaurants in London where you can get this wine. This Cabernet, Syrah blend has the warm fruit you would expect from this southern region, dry soft tannins, with a hint of rusticity. Certified organic.
A wines to leave the Joneses in the dust on holiday weekends
Rocket Science, Caldwell, 2009, Napa Valley, USA- $68.99
Varietals: 45 percent Syrah, 26 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 19 percent Merlot, 8 percent Cabernet Franc, 2 percent Petit Verdot. The layered nose is highlighted by raspberry, plum, boysenberry, vanilla, cloves, mint and a hint of dill. A black cherry attack leads to a full mouth of juicy red raspberries, red plum, licorice, and chocolate. The wine finishes clean with a lingering ripe cherry. A wonderful wine form the man responsible for introducing the most prized Bordeaux rootstock and grapevine clones to California.