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Wines That Would Keep a Restaurant in Business
John Szabo's Weekend Wine Picks

Chaos theory predicts that poor quality wine will put a restaurant out of business, even if the food, service, décor and location are impeccable. The psychological spillover effect of bad wine is powerful. Read my latest column, Chaos Theory: the butterfly effect on wine and why restaurants with bad wine lists will go out of business, for more details. Below are a pair of wines that should keep even dodgy restaurants in business for a while.

2010 CHÂTEAU VIGNOL BLANC AC Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux, France $13.95 #108522

Here’s a delicious Entre-Deux-Mers (sauvignon blanc and sauvigmnon gris, sémillon and muscadelle), full of zesty grapefruit, green fig, guava and citrus peel flavors, bolstered by a handful of sweet green herbs. Intensity and length are well above the mean at this price. Enjoy now.

Best: 2012 – 2013

Serving Temp.: 8ºC

Pairing: Grilled asparagus with hollandaise

2009 SEQUILLO CELLARS RED WO Swartland, South Africa $29.95 #277996

A Rhône-inspired wine from three areas in Swartland produced ‘naturally’ according to the label, though Eben Sadie is certainly well known for his hands-off, natural approach with nothing added and nothing taken away. The wine, in any case, has a terrific nose, full of spicy dark berry fruit, fresh earth and licorice in a pure and authentic expression. The palate is full-ish, neither heavy nor thin, just a delicious mouthful of crushed berry fruit, Mediterranean herbs, fennel and licorice, scorched earth and black stone. Long finish. An intense wine that you could still drink all day.

Best: 2012 – 2018

Serving Temp.: 18ºC

Pairing: Moussaka

2009 BEST’S GREAT WESTERN BIN NO. 1 SHIRAZ Grampians, Victoria, Australia $23.95 #222323

A superbly concentrated, black fruit-flavoured example of Aussie shiraz, yet one that remains lively, juicy and succulent even at 14.5 per cent alcohol. Tannins are ripe and firm, acidity balanced and finish exceptional. Thick, rich and juicy, tailor made for the barbecue. Top value.

Best: 2012 – 2019

Serving Temp.: 18ºC

Pairing: Lamb barbacoa (Latino-style)

—–

John Szabo is a master sommelier and wine writer for Toronto Standard. Follow his tweets here: @johnszabo.

More recommendations by John Szabo at www.johnswines.com

For more, follow us on Twitter @TorontoStandard and subscribe to our newsletter.

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