Blame Canada

Illustration by mark stivers

Yes, wine-tasting notes have become a parody of themselves. Example: “A blend of warm spices and fresh woods arouses the senses. Magnetic and distinctly masculine with enticing notes of leather and suede.” Shiraz? Nope. That’s an ad for Stetson Cologne. Still, when you see the word tangy and sour being used to describe a varietal, baco noir in this instance, alarms go off. More sirens a-blaze when the appellation reads “Ontario.” As in Canada, which, despite its rich French heritage, is better known for socialized medicine and Wayne Gretzky than fine wine. Still, always excited to try a new grape, I had high hopes for my bottle of 2007 Henry of Pelham Baco Noir. What I found was a flat, sour wine overwhelmed with acid. Perhaps better with food, this definitely was not a “sipper.” With respect to the wordsmiths at Stetson, my one word tasting note: “Gross.”