“Why aren’t you writing your own wine reviews?  You certainly drink enough of it.”  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that!  I have more than my fair share of friends that continually ask me just that.  “Found anything interesting lately?” …and I enjoy sharing my finds …

Some of you have asked for it, the rest of you well… I hope that you will enjoy my finds as well!

So what can you expect from me in my wine reviews?? Well I am certainly not a Sommelier, hell, I can barely spell it.  Thank God for spell check.

The Traveling Golfer Wino

I do know a little about good corks should you be one that likes to put good reasonably priced wines down for a few years and turn that $20.00 bottle wine into maybe a $35.00 – $50.00 tasting bottle with a few years in a wine cooler or better still a crawl space.  Out of sight out of mind.

I have been doing that for years and have had up to 400 bottles in my basement cooler and crawl space at one time.  A vintner’s bottle presentation, label, cap and how far you can stick your thumb up the bottles butt is a sign.  The further up the butt the better.

Pictures included, of course, but most will have the tops off and corks out after all, how else can I express to you about what we are drinking?

I have been pretty much a red wine drinker for the most part.  I do drink the odd white but would generally consider that an alcohol free night.  I promise to change that!  In fact I have already bought a few whites.  And of course because I am buying my own wine I can say whatever I like about it.  If it is crap I will say “NOOOOOO, stay away! It sucks!”

I do like bubbles though, breakfast bubbles and pre dinner bubbles…thanks to a friend and we will just refer to her as my Miss Bubbles.  Champagne is great but you can get some pretty good bubbles in Processco and Brut’s that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for.  Many in the $15 – $30 range.  Look for bubbles with a good percentage of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and you will figure out for yourself what you like.  Keep trying, what is the worst that can happen – you get a little tipsy!

I was totally shocked a few weeks ago at a dinner at the Niagara Parks Invitational dinner where a Riesling was the highlight of a dinner with wine pairings.  Not often that you would hear that from me.  Very unlikely that I will ever tell you about the so called aromatic white “Gewürztraminer” not even spell check can fix that one.  If it was any good they would have call it something else.  With all do respect Rick Van Sickle our retired wine expert!

I do love my Port after a good dinner and with some cheese, fruits or desert. LBV or Late Bottle Vintage are my favorites.  Yes they are sweet but to me they are the closest to that last good bottle of red at dinner.  Tawny’s and Rubys I generally find have some sort of a hazelnut and or too much of a vanilla scent for me, but again, I’m willing to explore.

And we will stray occasionally – a little whiskey, bourbon, rum and maybe even some tequila – sorry can’t do scotch…maybe someone can tell me about that.  Or if anyone has a great find – please do tell!  I don’t need to be the only blind squirrel out there.

Enough jibber jabber here are a few of what the Traveling Golfer has been drinking lately!

Bottoms up! Enjoy!!

Claudio DeMarchi the Canadian Traveling Golfer


Lagar De Robla Premium 2012 – $12.95 (LCBO Vintages)
Wine Spectator gives it 91 Points
Leon, Spain

Just stumbled across this one and it is a steal at $12.95.  Excellent hard cork so I bought a bunch and am hiding them away, try a couple in each of the next 4 years.  At that price why wouldn’t you?  Or just drink them.  Leon is in the Northwest of Spain on the famous route of “Camino de Santiago.”

Solid and well balanced on the pallet, intense dark cherry color.  Have it with anything you like it will like you back!

Fuentespina Roble 7 2013 – Ribera del Duero – Tempranillo – $15.95 (LCBO Vintages)
Grand Gold Award – Mondus vini 2015

Here is another steal at $15.95.  Lighter ruby in color but don’t let that fool you.  Very dry, hint of cherry and black pepper to give it a little spiciness.  Opens up superbly with air so decant if possible.  Another with a good solid cork, so yes 8 to the crawl space to be enjoyed over the next 4 years.

Sanford Pinot Noir 2013 – $44.95

The Pinot that turned me on to Pinot a number of years ago.   OK many years ago sitting outdoors at a steak house in Palm Springs.  Fell in love with it immediately and as a matter of fact it turned out to be the wine that we broke out of the 1990’s with.  Back then it was $65.00 a bottle.  Much better deal now.
A flavourgazam of red fruit, have a good sniff before the first sip.  Enjoy it all.

Irony Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 / 2015 – $24.95

The one we had the other night was a 2008, but this being one of my favorite cabs I often like to buy a bunch and put down pairs for consecutive years.  The 2015 will be smooth, rich and definitely full bodied.  Put some down for a few years and it just gets smoother and more flavourful.   Ripe red berries and cocoa provide a succulent finish.  Enjoyed with BBQ lamb on Miss Bubbles B-day celebration.


Copper Moon Pinot Grigio – Moonlight Harvest – $10.95
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

I confess I did not buy this, left over from a dinner party.  It was one of those parties where I needed an alcohol free night but I knew the leftovers were going to be sooo good and when I opened the fridge door, there it was staring at me.  Barely a glass missing from the bottle…I was thinking that one glass of Pinot Grigio could still be considered alcohol free?  Right??

Damn, it was pretty good.  Smooth, refreshing, hints of apple and melon and some body to it. I hate to say it but I polished off the bottle.  I might just have to pick up some more for one of those fish dinner nights.


Antica Vigna Prosecco DOC Extra Dry – $15.95
Product of Italy

Every once in a while you come across a wine that you just can’t buy at the liquor store.  I have been known to buy through private distributors – go figure.  The only problem with that is that you generally need to buy an entire case.

This was the case one night at a dinner party at the Dobson’s where they introduced myself and a few other bubbly drinkers to Antica Vigna Prosecco.  Delicious, fresh and soft – yet dry with only a hint of sweetness.   Oddly enough it came from my friends at Tre Amici who I have purchased from a number of times before.  Needless to say a case was delivered a short time later.  Split with a friend – good way to do it!

For more information on Tre Amici www.treamiciwines.com

Graham Beck Brut Rosé 2011 – $21.95
South Africa

Becoming a big fan of this South African wine producer.   A delicious sparkling rose 80% pinot and 20% Chardonnay.  Pretty damn close to champagne, fresh fruits, peach, orange and apricot notes, soft on the palate yet maintains intensity to an elegant finish.



Fonseca Porto 2011 – $22.95 (LCBO Vintages)
Late Bottled Vintage – Unfiltered

This is the best follow up to a dinner with some good solid reds.  No hints of vanilla or hazelnut that you find in Tawny’s and Ruby’s.  Just a concentration of richness of the best bottle you had that night.  This is why I love Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) over the other two types of ports.

Bourbon & Whiskey

Woodford Reserve – Kentucky Straight Bourbon

It was love at first sip!  How appropriate to be introduced to Woody after coming off the prestigious Dye Course at French Lick Resort.  Every foursome that comes off the Dye Course is presented with a beautiful metal container, with images of the course on it.  Inside you will find a mickey of Woody, 4 shot glasses and 4 cigars.  How good is that!

A brilliant honey amber in color, full bodied and smooth, hint of orange, maple syrup, maybe some vanilla, a little citrus, cinnamon and cocoa.  Long and warm finish!

The Woodford Reserve Distillery has been around since 1812.  It’s no wonder that they got it and got it good.  So many awards and acclaims.

The love affair continued…

Double Oaked Woodford Reserve – $72.95

Of course I try to get mine at the Duty Free at about $40.00 US.  All of the yummy flavours from above but with a twice barrelled process just makes it richer, smoother and even more flavourful.   Enjoyed my regular Woody and would not hesitate to have it again but if Double Oaked is available it is the one for me.  Soooooooooooooo good!