Tiffin Project

From Italy, New Zealand, and Argentina: 3 wines with Gregor Mowatt

by Hans Peter Meyer on April 3, 2013

Post image for From Italy, New Zealand, and Argentina: 3 wines with Gregor Mowatt

“We’re starting with the Prosecco because we all need to be drinking more bubbly.” And that’s how we started the second in this series of wine tastings with some of the people I rely on to teach me about wine. Gregor Mowatt was talking about how most of us treat bubby – Prosecco from Italy, Champagne from the Champagne region of France, Cava in Spain, Sekt in Germany – as reserved for “special events.”

“That’s an old-school cliché,” says Mowatt. “Sparkling wine goes well with almost any meal or occasion. Prosecco, for example, is a ‘peasant’ sparkling wine. In Italy we’d be sipping this with a bowl of almonds, olives, or even potato chips at hand. Here at Crown Isle we’d serve this by the bottle – with brunch, lunch, in the afternoon, or for dinner. It’s very versatile.”

Before assuming his position as Director of Operations at Crown Isle in 2011 Gregor Mowatt was very active in the wine industry: a managing partner in Terrarosa Imports, BC Fine Wine Manager at Maxxium, and long before that Generarl Manager and Wine Purchaser with Cin Cin Ristorante in Vancouver. Wine is now only a small part of his job, but it has a big place in his heart and he is keen to introduce people to new experiences. At our tasting he’d pulled three bottles from the current Crown Isle list: the Prosecco, an 2012 Oyster Bay Pinot Grigio from New Zealand, and a 2009 Argentinian “Barrel Select” Malbec from Bodega Norton.

As he poured our second sample he remarked how the Oyster Bay is very different from what many may associate with characteristic Italian treatments of Pinot Grigio. “Lots of the Italian entry level Pinot Grigios are one dimensional – zesty, lots of citrus. This isn’t. It has stone fruit and bracing qualities, but as this bottle warms up, the wine opens up and you’ll get apple and pear flavours as well.” Gregor recommended pairing this with Crown Isle’s crab, brie, and salmon salad. “It’s a special wine by one of New Zealand’s great houses, and we’ll be featuring it for April and May by the glass.”

Our third pour was the Norton Malbec. “This is uncharacteristic of how most people understand Malbec,” Gregor says as I sip. “I like it because it’s got a complexity that most similarly priced Malbecs just don’t have. Yes, it’s got the dark, brooding quality. But the style is more Old World. There’s some structure in the tannins, a sense of the terroir – the soil and place. It’s not an ‘entry level’red. You have to think about it a little bit.” It is, nevertheless, from Argentina and a natural pairing with red meat. “You could put this together with any steak, but I’d like to see it with one of our burgers. It’s something we could do more of in this country: have a good glass of wine like this one with lunch or dinner.”

Your turn
Have a glass to share with us? Please tell us what you’re enjoying on our “good food” page.

Wines discussed
Il Follo Prosecco
Oyster Bay Pinot Grigio 2012
Bodega Norton Malbec Barrel Select 2009

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: