Buyers’ Guide to VINTAGES January 25th, 2020

Classic Food & Wine Matches, Time for Icewine and WineAlign Updates

By Sara d’Amato with notes from Michael Godel and John Szabo MS

Welcome to January: blistering cold winds, unpredictable melts and a penny for your shovels. Whether you become a hibernating homebody at this time of year or are a snowy adventurer, you need to eat! As the thematics of the release this month are centered around food and wine, we’ve included our thoughts on food pairing matches that are likely to trigger your appetites. When it comes to food and wine pairings, simple wines are most versatile with food. Thus, uncomplicated, honest wines that won’t break the bank are most recommended from this smaller, post-holiday, VINTAGES release. We have also included a few more upscale gems to round out the selection. As an added bonus, we have included a few of our top Icewine picks from the annual gala that took place on January 10th.

(Jump straight to Icewine.)

We have been reflecting of late on how we can deliver the most accurate and helpful advice to you while maintaining your trust and our integrity. As a result of your comments and our own brainstorming, we have come up with two new items of analysis that you will begin to see on our website as of now. The first is the qualifier “NR” which will take the place of individual scores of 85 points and below. The “NR” signifies “not recommended”. The “NR” rating will be accompanied by a review that is both constructive and informative so that you are equipped with information to best make your own purchasing decisions.

Value ratings are now being included in addition to our scores. WineAlign scores reflect the quality of each wine and do not take into account their price. In the past, we have individually highlighted wines of good value in our reviews, but we are now incorporating a star value to wines based on price-quality ratio. Each reviewer will assess value individually and thus you will start seeing 1-5 stars given to each wine at the end of our reviews. As always, we are all ears to your comments and questions and look forward to your feedback for improvement.

Spanish Wine Tasting with Canadian Master Sommelier Élyse Lambert 

Food for Thought: Wine Finds that Whet our Palates

Buyers’ Guide January 25th:  Whites

Castel Firmian 2018 Pinot Grigio, Trentino, Italy ($16.95)
Michael Godel – A historic property supports the story behind a really solid, well-made and even complex pinot grigio at a really smart price. Packaging and quality meet at a twain where those who know and those who want to learn can both enjoy the spoils.
Food Pairing: Filetto di trota, fave novelle e zuppa di vongole (Trout fillet, fresh broad beans and clam chowder)

Paid ContentThere are seventeen other VINTAGES Release recommendations this week that are currently only available to our premium members. This complete article will be free and visible to all members 30 days after publication. We invite you to subscribe today to unlock our top picks and other Premium benefits.

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I hope you’ve found a match this week and be sure to comment on the results of your own food and wine matches below or on Instagram using the hashtag #WineAlign. Stay-tuned for a flurry of travel pieces from our globe-trotting correspondents including Michael Godel’s report on The Rise of Vinho Verde.



Use these quick links for access to all of our Top Picks in the New Release. Non-Premium members can select from all release dates 30 days prior.
John’s Top Picks
Michael’s Mix
Sara’s Sommeliers Selections

New Release and VINTAGES Preview