Feature Wine

Agustí Torelló Mata
Cava Kripta DO Gran Reserva
Spain, Penedes, Cava
$83.50 / bottle

Feature Restaurant

Bertoldi's
London, Central
Italian

TWC Blog

Here we'll provide you with information to help you discover incredible wines from around the world. Join us on our travels and learn more about our latest finds. We'll also share with you tips and tricks for selecting, storing, and enjoying your wine.

Archive for the ‘Wine Tips’ Category
Mmmm…Burgers!
Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Burger PhotoWe thought we would give you an amazing recipe we found for — get this — Mocha Burgers. We use our outdoor grill all year round so it’s always a perfect time to grill some up.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef, or mix of ground beef and ground pork (better)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 oz bittersweet chocolate, grated
  • 1 tbsp finely ground espresso or coffee
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin seed, crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together, form into four large patties, and let rest in fridge for about one hour before grilling. Grill until meat is cooked through, then top with caramelized onions, fresh tomatoes, herbed mayo, and your favourite toppings.

As for the wine match, look for something not too tannic (the meat is cooked through) with darker fruit notes (think cherry or plum) and smoky/chocolate notes. The Finca Losda wines from Spain’s Bierzo region (El Pajaro Rojo in particular) would be great matches, as well as Tribolo from Poggio Stenti or the Geoff Merrill SGM. If beer is your preferred choice, look for something darker, like a Porter. I just tried some interesting beer from Collingwood’s Northwinds Brewhouse, if you are in the area.




Grechetto’s Coming Out Party
Friday, April 16th, 2010

Grechetto (pronounced greh-KEH-toh) is an Italian white-wine grape of (likely) Greek origins. The grape is planted throughout central Italy, particularly in the Umbria region where it is used in the region’s most important Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wine Orvieto.

Todini-BiancoDelCavaliere[1]As is often the case with indigenous Italian varietals, Grechetto is also known as, among other names, Greghetto, Greco Spoletino, Stroppa Volpe, Greco Bianco di Perugia, and, in Emilia-Romagna, Pignoletto. However despite having a synonym with a similar name, we are told that Grechetto is not related to the Greco Bianco grape of the Calabria region in the south, (where it made into the amazing Greco di Tufo). You would think there’s a link if they both have Greek origins, but there is research so suggest Grechetto is more closely related to Pignoletto than previously thought, and perhaps Ribolla Riminese, which would suggest Slavic roots.

There is consensus that it was brought to Italy, from Greece, by Etruscan traders some 3,000 years ago, but record keeping seems to end there. We’ll have to wait for more conclusive ampelographic research to confirm Grechetto’s origins.

What we do know is the Grechetto vine is low yielding and able to produce grapes with concentrated aromas and flavours. It is also a hearty vine and the grape’s thick skin provides good resistance to downy mildew, a fungal disease which can attack the vines late in the growing season. On a more positive note, this thick skin also makes Grechetto a suitable grape for the production of late harvest dessert wines, and in particular the famous Tuscan vin santo. In making this heavenly nectar (vin santo literally means “wine of saints” or holy wine), the grapes have to be air dried for 3-5 months to increase sugar levels, and grapes with thicker skins are prized for this purpose as there’s less risk of loss due to rot. But we digress.

In the past, Grechetto was primarily used as a blending grape for making dry table wines, often with Malvasia and/or Trebbiano, where it adds richness and structure to the wines. But because of the higher proportions of Trebbiano, Orvieto DOC was usually considered a somewhat bland wine, and popularity was dropping. By increasing the proportions of Grechetto in the blend, wines like Orvieto seemed more interesting, and therefore more marketable.

As winemakers began to see the potential for the grape on its own, more varietal-labeled Grechetto wines are now being produced in Umbria. The DOC of Colli Martani, for example, allows, and is often made from 100% Grechetto grapes. The key for the grape seems to be (low) temperature-controlled fermentation to enhance the unique aromatics of the wine.

Straw-yellow colour, with greenish tinges, typically, the aromas and flavours of Grechetto are reminiscent of apples, pears, white peaches, wild flowers, and lime citrus, with notes of almonds. Usually made in a medium- to full-bodied style, there’s sufficient acidity to make Grechetto a very good food wine – with seafood, chicken, Asian-style dishes, and mild hard cheese like Pecorino. Simple pasta with olive oil, garlic, and peppers is classic Umbria, and a perfect match for Grechetto.

Grechetto is certainly deserving of the attention it’s getting, and if you want to join its coming out party we have Todini’s Bianco del Cavaliere DOC back in stock: from the winery’s own clone of the grape (Grechetto di Todi) and one of the best versions of 100% Grechetto we’ve tasted.




Does wine go with Chocolate?
Saturday, June 20th, 2009

freeimages.co.uk food imagesMmmm, yes. Try sweet Muscat wine (Italy, Greece, Hungary), late-bottled vintage or tawny port (Portugal) or Banyuls from the south of France. Cabernet Sauvignon and dark chocolate brownies are also a good match – contact us if you want a great recipe!




Buying Wine With Confidence
Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Welcome to TWC Imports’ new Web site.  If you are a new customer we hope it makes it easier for you to find an interesting new wine. If you have purchased from TWC Imports before you’ll soon notice the ordering process is more seamless.

If you haven’t already done so, please take a few moments to register on the site. When it comes time to order a wine, all the important details will be captured. We will not sell or give your information to anyone else, except the LCBO who requires it by Law in order to process your order.

At the top of every page is our wine search tool.  All our wines have been categorized and you can search by location (e.g. Spain, Galicia), type (e.g. sparkling wine), producer (a pull-down menu of all our producers), grape type (e.g. Barbera), and style (e.g. fresh and crisp). You can narrow your search by moving the tabs at each end of the price bar to only give results that are in your desired price range. We also have a quick search by food match (e.g. sushi), to provide results we think best complement that food. If you’ve tasted the wine somewhere before or had a recommendation from a friend, and know the wine, simply type what you know in the keyword Wine Search and it should show up in the results.

Once the results show up in the Browse Wines section, you can click the link to find out more about the wine. There is a description of the wine, with tasting notes from The Wine Coaches, information on the producer and any awards, and best of all links to the restaurants who have chosen to carry that wine as part of their wine list. That way you can try the wine with food to see if you really like it.

If you like what you see, all you need to place an order is indicate the number of cases you want to buy and click buy. If you have already resgistered with us, this action will generate a Pdf Order Form that you can check and fax into us for processing. If you are undecided, simply click on add it to You Cellar and you can revisit your selection at a later date. If you want to discuss your choice with us, send us an e-mail or give us a call. We have tasted every wine in our portfolio — most with the winemaker in the winery — and stand behind every one of them.

Don’t forget to visit the Learn page of our Web site to see other Blogs from The Wines Coaches, or to be linked to other places we’ve found interesting along the way.




Ideal Cellaring Conditions
Thursday, June 18th, 2009

The elements of wine storage are simple:

Temperature: The most important factor in wine storage is maintaining a constant temperature.  Ideally, keep your wines within a range of 10-15°C, and make sure any temperature fluctuations are gradual – monthly rather than daily.  “Passive” cellars, like a corner of the basement, are fine, but the most reliable way to maintain a constant temperature and humidity is to install a climate-controlled cooling unit.     

Darkness: Wine likes to be kept in the dark, away from direct sunlight or fluorescent light sources. While it’s dark inside your refrigerator, the temperature is too cold and the humidity is too low for long-term storage.

Humidity: A high, constant level of humidity keeps corks moist and protects your wine when you plan to store bottles for more than five years. Anything within the range of 60-80% humidity is fine, but any higher and you risk the labels becoming mouldy.

Clean Air:  Wine breathes. Slowly, over time, minute amounts of air pass through the cork, making contact with the wine.  So make sure your wines are away from anything that gives off odours. Cardboard, in humid conditions, can contaminate your wine.  Instead, use wooden or plastic crates. Even better than crates are racking systems that help to keep air circulating around the bottles.

Peace and Quiet: Think of your wines as “sleeping” in the cellar. Keep them in an area that is free from vibration, well away from the furnace, washing machine, or any other motor. 

You can read more about cellaring wines in our best-selling book, Clueless about Wine available in better bookstores.




Red wine and fish
Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Looking for a red wine to match with fish?  Try a wine that is lighter-bodied, with good acidity, and low in tannins. Acidity in the wine acts like a squeeze of lemon with the fish. Low tannins avoid the nasty metallic aftertaste you get when components in the fish clash with highly tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. A cool climate Pinot Noir (Burgundy, Oregon, New Zealand, Canada), Gamay (from Beaujolais), or a Cabernet Franc from the Loire would all make a better match.




Versatile Wine Picks
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Sometimes, when ordering wine in a restaurant, you’ll need to find a wine that matches a range of dishes, say salmon, red meat, and a vegetarian entree. You’ll want what we call a crossover wine – able to bridge both red and white meats. Try Pinot Noir (from Oregon, Canada or New Zealand), Beaujolais from France, and Chianti, Valpolicella or Barbera from Italy. All have good fruit flavour and enough acidity to make a great match. Another option is to forgo the bottle and have everyone go by-the-glass.