20061003

What a bottle of wine can tell you about a person

list of red organic wine saq searchIt was that red wine from Provence again. The one with the unassuming label in hues of gold and red. And it was in Eric's hands, yet again. What on earth is this fellow trying to say?

People gravitate to a certain wines for various reasons. I wondered why my friend here had gotten in the habit of buying Château La Lieue, but its affordable price and wide distribution in shops across the city -- not to mention the way it tastes -- made for easy answers to the question. Until one day, when Eric led me to the agrobiologique section of the wine store:

"Which ones of these are good?" he asked me.

I recognized some bottles standing before me and tried to be of some practical use, but the real recognition that washed over me at that moment was that Eric purchases wine based on its status as an organic product. Wine sleuth am I.

Well, of course! Eric had shown me and my friends quite the sustainable summer, eating crate-loads of organic vegetables delivered each week from a nearby farm. I wrote about the appeal of it twice: Once in a post about a quick-fix dinner and then again in another post about a full-on feast for vegetarians. Why wouldn't Eric's wine of choice be biologique, as they say in French?

From Coteaux-Varois, Château La Lieue 2005 is a nice light and fruity expression, but even someone who's concerned about the planet needs to switch it up now and then. So I want to help more than I did that afternoon in the organic wine section. I've determined that the SAQ carries 56 items deemed organic. Use their advanced search to generate the list.

Of those listed, some are quite out of the everyday price range for me and my friends, and Eric much prefers red than white, so I've pared down the full SAQ listing to a dozen reds coming in at or under $18. It turns out that over the past year or so, I've tried all but three brands, which I've indicated below with a question mark. Of all that I tried, there wasn't one that I wouldn't take a gamble on in vintages to come, and I can even produce notes on some of these bottles like Domaine de Petit Roubié as well as Château Gaillard and Dominio del Arenal. (In fact, tomorrow I'm looking forward to uncorking the 2004 vintage of a past fave -- Domaine de Torraccia -- and will comment back on it in the space below.)

P.S. Not available widely -- though I know it once was in Ontario -- is the Domaine Les Grandes Vignes "L'Aubinaie" that I wrote about here. It bears the Terra Vitis designation and is certainly worth keeping an eye out for.

Affordable organic reds available in Quebec

Château La Lieue coteaux-varois 2005
$12.75

Les Cigales l'Esprit de la Terre Leroisier réserve rouge (?)
$13.20

Dominio del Arenal utiel-requena 2005
$13.30 NOTES

Pont Neuf vin de pays du gard 2005 (?)
$14.15

Château Gaillard touraine-mesland 2005
$14.85 NOTES

Dominio del Arenal utiel-requena Espagne 2004
$14.90

Château Roubia minervois 2002
$15.55

Château Le Barradis côtes-de-bergerac 2004 (?)
$16.10

Syrah vin de pays de l'hérault Domaine de Petit Roubié 2003
$16.20 NOTES

Clos de La Briderie touraine-mesland 2005
$16.55

Domaine de Torraccia vin-de-corse porto-vecchio 2004
$17.65 NOTES

Château Lionel Faivre Prestige corbières 2001
$18.20

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