April 12, 2019
By Shannon Burrows
Welcome to this week’s Second Glass. Thank you for joining me.
This is a time of year when fruit wine sales, while popular all year round, literally go through the roof as wine enthusiasts prepare for summer sipping.
In addition to the extensive regular fruit wine lineup, Argyle has been able to offer customers several new flavours this season, thanks to new and exciting seasonal releases by our awesome suppliers. We’re going to review them here.
But quickly, your public service announcement for this week: If you’re a faithful dry wine drinker, please don’t brush off this blog as not for you. I guarantee I’ve had increasing numbers, more than ever before, of dry wine drinkers placing orders for fruit wines as a summer supplement. Do give me the benefit of the doubt, and have a read below.
I want to preface this by saying, A) I may have mentioned before, I have seen the staunchest of non-wine drinkers fall in love with fruit wines. They will not touch a dry red or white wine, but they are also the ones smuggling bottles of fruit wines out of a wedding/anniversary party/corporate event in their purses or under a suit jacket for later enjoyment at home. I have seen large, manly, bearded men visit Argyle and ask for the Rockin’ Raspberry Rosé by name. I have seen devout, dry-wine-only ladies ask for something fruity, tasty and sweet for the cottage, boat and/or trailer – like the delectable Acai-Raspberry – to keep them fuelled over longer summer days of socializing, sharing and sangria-experimenting; and I’ve seen the most devoted beer and whiskey lovers fall under the spell of the Black Cherry Pinot Noir.
B) I myself am a traditional, dry wine lover. When I first began seriously testing fruit wines and their delicious, tempting wiles a few years ago, I was amazed by the flavour and quality. For a second qualified opinion, I showed several samples to my mother, Brenda – Argyle Saturday staffer, wine enthusiast, former LCBO employee, fruit wine skeptic and fellow dry wine lover – and she was equally enthralled.
We literally looked at each other and said, “$#!†, we’ve been missing out!”
Traditional dry wines will always be our first love, but for two seasoned tasters such as ourselves, these fruit wines undeniably illustrated the fact we may have been shortchanging our warm-weather alcohol arsenal by discluding what we previously thought was not our type of wine.
In the regular lineup, Argyle offers about 25 different flavours of fruit wines. That seems like a good thing – until you begin tasting. Each wine you taste only makes it more difficult to choose. But what fun the process is, right?
This year, suppliers are offering three new seasonal flavours.
Brought to you by RJS Orchard Breezin’ line, White Sangria is a blend of peach, apricot and orange. I loved this wine the moment I tried it. It’s zesty, tangy and delicious, with dominating peach flavours and lovely complementing layers of a citrusy twang. If you’re a fan of Argyle’s peach fruit wine, consider the White Sangria. It’s the peach wine, with an extra zip.
Soooooo many of my Black Cherry fruit wine lovers have been asking me about the new, seasonal Cherry Sangria by Vineco’s Niagara Mist. Here’s the scoop: They’re completely different. While the Black Cherry is delectably sweet and cloying in its sweetness (in a positive way) the Cherry Sangria is about the tarter (again, in a positive way) red cherry, with a splash of pomegranate. This wine is, in my humble opinion, the least sweet of the fruit wines offered and very much appeals to those looking for a sangria-like flavour, without the overt sweetness. While fabulous on its own (do serve chilled), there’s huge potential for experimentation by mixing with ginger ale, club soda, Italian soda and a handful of fresh or frozen fruit. Side note: Frozen fruit, available in the frozen food aisle of your grocery store, adds flavour and chills your drink, without diluting it like ice cubes.
This is a wildly popular, seasonal fruit wine available for a limited time. I ordered more than double what I did last year, and it’s already selling out fast.
Customers buy it without a taste test. They grab it as soon as it’s here. They say it reminds them of a winey pina colada.
Here’s my perspective, and honesty rules: I hate coconut. Like, I would eat all my least favourite foods on earth before I would eat coconut. But this wine is good.
I remember dreading trying it. But I did (one must be educated in his or her products, after all) and it was really well done. So if you enjoy pineapple, coconut or pina coladas (which is what most clients say it tastes like, in wine form) please get yours. This sells so fast, and I sadly had several disappointed customers last season who were unable to order because it sold out so fast. I promise to get as much as I possibly can, but don’t delay. Timing is everything on this one.
The first of the Italian Pink Pinot Grigios will be filtered, on the shelf and ready to go home to their moms and dads. This means the first of the tastings. I haven’t been this excited about a new wine since – well, that’s hardly fair since I’m excited about ALL of them – but this one is sure to be a honey.
I thank you very much for partaking in a Second Glass with me, and I look forward to getting together in this same time, same place next week. In the meantime, keep watch on Argyle Wines’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds for any immediate updates.
I appreciate you all, as always.