Gurvinder Bhatia is the wine editor for Quench magazine (Canada’s most widely read food and wine publication), wine columnist for the Edmonton Journal and Global TV, an international wine judge, wine educator and consultant, wine buyer for UnWined boutique, and one of six Vinitaly International certified Italian Wine Experts in the world.
WHERE: What type of wine would you recommend for someone who likes bold flavours?
Bhatia: It’s important to distinguish between flavour and weight. Often people mistake weighty wines as having a lot of flavour. Flavour is something you taste, while weight is something you feel. Lighter wines can have bold flavours, just as wines that feel heavy, could have very little flavour. A grape that I am extremely fond of that I think more people should experience is Tannat. It is bold with lots of dark fruit, firm tannins and a great edgy quality, but it is still juicy and fresh. Try Finca Decero, Colome, and Don Rodolfo from Argentina; Artesana from Uruguay; or Madiran wines from France.
W: What types of wine are better for those who are looking for something light?
B: Some of my favourite lighter red wines are COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria from Sicily (which can pair with just about anything) wines made from the Gamay grape like Cru Beaujolais from France and Tawse, Orofino, Haywire, Cave Spring, Chateau des Charmes, Malivoire, and JoieFarm all from Canada. I also love good Pinot Noir from around the world. For whites, I love Verdicchio from Marche, Italy.
W: Restaurant wine lists can be overwhelming, do you have any tricks for people trying to choose what to drink?
B: Go to restaurants with knowledgeable staff and good quality wine lists. I recommend Corso 32 or Rge Rd here in Edmonton.
W: When buying a bottle as a gift, is there a type of wine to go for that is guaranteed to impress?
B: I would suggest giving something different, not the same old commercial brands or large producers. Staff at a good wine shop will be able to help you find something from a great small producer. It’s always great to give someone a bottle that they’ve never tasted before, or might not buy for themselves, and have them fall in love with it.