Heritages Ogier Cotes du Rhones 2011

I’ve come to terms with the fact that our palates change. Five years ago if you were to ask me if I like olives I would have quickly answered ‘no’. Today I can eat them straight out of the bottle. I love (not like) both green and black olives, marinated and stuffed olives pretty much any olive I can grab. I don’t know how it changed, I do remember starting with dreadful-from-a -can-salty-with-no-flavour olives on subs and pizzas and now, I’ll pay up to $10 for just the right ones to compliment whatever I’m making.

This weekend I ate blanched swiss chard with soba noodles in a miso/sriracha broth topped with homemade pickled onion rings. It took me five whole minutes to prepare. This kid inside me had fun slurping the noodles, the adult in me knew it was healthy and that the kid inside wouldn’t have eaten this 15 years ago.

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As an adult, you are supposed to make your own decisions, and often you settle on the fact you really just don’t like they way certain things taste. Mom and Dad are not around to push you to keep trying, so now have the choice to try new things or not. I still go by the old adage there is no harm in trying, and I often, if not eventually, get surprised.

I love wine. I listen to podcasts, I read about wine, but most importantly I always try to not fall into the comfort zone with wine (Chilean Cabs and Italian Chiantis, amarones and barberas).Wine is truly an extension of how I feel about food. It can complement or total distract from what you are eating. It has its own flavours, textures, measures of sweetness and bitterness. Wine, it turns out can also grow on you.

I don’t drink a lot of French wine but I’m determined to keep trying. I’m on a mission in life to stay open. With wine, I want to try to figure out what it is I like, and do not like about it, regardless of it’s nativity.

Ogier Cork

For all the reasons above, I spent a long time with this wine (Heritages Ogier Cotes du Rhones 2011). I know that sounds a tad, silly but I had a much different weekend than I’m accustom to. I had an empty house, a supper of snacks and a French wine to chase it all down.

When I woke up this morning I thought I knew what to say in this review. This wine is great with hard cheeses, it holds up to salty/savoury food. It’s a wonderful winter choice for a dinner, but it’s not a drinking wine.

At first sip I would say it’s earthy, in this case what I mean is I taste the soil. ‘Wine speak’ would describe this as minerality, and in white wines I find it easier to distinguish. I usually pick up on the cold stone, river rocks, sea-saltiness of white wines, in red wines I taste dirt. This is not to say I didn’t like the taste at first, but it seemed abrupt, rounded fruit flavours and then grabbed your tonsils with its tannins. I wanted to love this wine, and food helped balance the spicy notes, so I snacked.

2011 Cotes du Rhone Heritages Ogier

This morning, I took a winter walk to the supermarket and I thought of foods for the Superbowl tonight, maybe something to pair with this wine? I came home and made some soup. With my bread sticks on the rise, I cracked the wine again. The smell was the same, earthy, oaky, big. Having sat overnight, the first taste was softer and sweeter. Instead of an oak and spice grab at the end it was smooth and balsamic. I smelled more dried fruit, less earth. Now the wine is stand alone drinkable.

My first impressions of this wine is that it’s very French. Old oak, medium bodied red blend (primarily grenache) great with food. My lasting impression is the same but like the wine, less harsh over time. Decanting is a must, food is a bonus, this wine is still growing on me.

If you are interested, this is the product details page for the NSLC, however I have to warn you a lot of the information has possibly been imputed incorrectly. This wine is listed as $16.99 and that is what I paid for it, but the alcohol is not 12.5% its 14% as well as the description doesn’t seem to help at all…consider yourself warned.

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