I have to admit that I grew up in the tail end of an era, when people had monikers. I had to insist when my late Father passed away, that his nickname be listed in the death notice in the newspaper, because I argued that there were many people that only knew him by his nickname and not his given name. When I watch a film like “Goodfellas” and they are introducing the assorted characters that will be important in the storyline, there are names like Jimmy Two Times and Pete the Killer. I was a child of a Damon Runyon generation parents. My nickname when I hear it lets me know immediately how someone knows me, but it doesn’t compare to a Nathan Detroit, Dave the Dude, the Seldom Seen Kid or Harry the Horse. So may I introduce my latest character, who I shall call “The Messenger.” The Messenger and I went to college years ago, and through the magic of social media we have become reacquainted, though she now lives in the Toronto area.
She is a little misguided and by that I mean that she follows this blog, so she has an interest in wine. Every now and then she will send me a picture or a note about a wine that she recently had at home or with friends. I find it interesting to see what other people like in a wine, or how or why they shop for a bottle of wine. When you are into wine, as say a Blogger, you tend to look for something unique or interesting, or for a chance to find a new varietal or area to write about. The real world is interesting in finding something they will like, or hope to like, without breaking the family budget. I also enjoy seeing that sometimes people are looking for just a white or just a red wine, and that they may be interested in something on the sweeter side, as they find some wines too dry, or perhaps the tannins are over-powering to them.
The Messenger sent me a couple of photos of some wines that she has been enjoying lately. The first bottle was of Relax Riesling 2013 from Schmitt Sohne. This is a Qualitatswein from the Mosel, and is one of the most popular wines both in selection and price, as they ship for export some 2,500,000 cases, and that is a lot of wine. The wine is also easy to find on the shelves of a merchant as it is in a distinctive blue bottle, and is very easy for most people to drink as it is considered “off-dry.” The other bottle of wine would have been a great bottle to have written up for St. Valentine’s Day and required a bit more research on my part. If you are of my age group, you can readily remember writing the name of this wine on little notes that were passed back and forth in school, back in the day before instant communications and social media. She was enjoying a bottle of XOXO Pinot Grigio + Chardonnay NV and let me explain to you that I had trouble finding out about this wine. As I was searching different sites, including the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, I was getting conflicting manufacturers of this wine, and it was “curiouser and curiouser” as Alice would say. I found this wine listed as being made by Andres Wine, Roundpetal Wines and Andrew Peller Limited, and I thought it odd that three different wineries would have the same “brand.” We had been to Andrew Peller Limited winery on a trip to the Niagara Falls area, so that is where I began my research, as this company is a major producer of wines in Canada with production in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ontario. The original name of the company was Andres Wines, as Andrew Peller who is from Hungary, thought that name sounded more Canadian, and Roundpetal, as well as several other brands all come under the umbrella of Andrew Peller Limited. I am sure that it is a very easy to drink wine since it is a blend of two easy drinking varietals; I am also sure that it must be a great seller, not only for St. Valentine’s Day, but for birthdays and anniversaries as well. Who would not want to give their spouse or loved one XOXO or “hugs and kisses.”