Over the course of the past couple weeks I have been training hard for a 10km race that I ran today. I have been running, eating healthy and have not had any alcohol since New Years. (16 days is a long time in my world to go without!) So after a solid performance in the driving rain today we decided to go out for a celebration dinner. We decided on the Keg Steakhouse in Maple Ridge. On my way there I got it in my head that I was going to have a nice glass of red wine with dinner.
Now seeing that this is my first wine review I will begin by saying that I am by no means a sommelier. My descriptions will likely lack the sophistication and formality of most online reviews but I have worked in the restaurant industry for several years and I know a good wine when I taste one. So what I will share with you is my own personal rating out of 10 for drinkability and perhaps a few tips on pairings.
I made a quick decision to try a wine by Blasted Church. There bottles have always caught my eye in the liquor store thanks to their odd, artistic labels and creative names but I had yet to try them out. I decided to try something I wasn’t overly familiar with and went with the syrah. When it arrived the first deep inhale was music to my nose. Not just because of the rich cherry, vanilla and chocolaty aroma but because of the built up anticipation of a hard-earned reward.
I had ordered the seared ahi tuna with wasabi cucumber dressing as a starter and found the wine to smooth out the palette nicely after the creamy kick of the wasabi. Then for dinner I had a delicious, rare filet mignon as I always do when dining at the Keg and once again it was paired up nicely. A nice full flavour with a hint of berry sweetness and no lingering after taste.
The description on the Blasted Church website has the following to say about the 2008 Syrah, “The 2008 Blasted Church Syrah is composed of fruit from five vineyards. The Syrah was harvested from Osoyoos, Skaha Bench and our own estate grown Blasted Church Vineyards Syrah. The Viognier portion was grown in Osoyoos. Lastly, the Cabernet Sauvignon was grown in Oliver. The Syrah at Blasted Church was the first to come off the vine; harvested during the cooler days of mid-October, followed by the Syrah and Viognier from Osoyoos . The Syrah (Skaha Bench) and Cabernet Sauvignon (Oliver) signaled the last day of picking on November 6th. The overall blend is 86/7/7 of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier.”
This wine has two notable accomplishments to its name having been awarded a GOLD at the All Canadian Wine Championship as well as The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in British Columbia Wines 2008
I give the 2008 Blasted Church Syrah a solid 8.5/10. A great rating for a wine under $30.
I have become a big fan of reading reviews for everything online before I make a purchase. There are so many websites out there that you can share your opinion on. I use www.tripadvisor.com a lot when I travel for hotel reviews and to find good restaurants and activities in the destination I am headed to. I have written reviews for them in the past. I also use www.cnet.com for all the gadgets I am looking to buy and for anything else, a quick search on Google will always direct you to a forum where you can read reviews on everything from socks, to fitness equipment to cookware. Anyone can log in and share their thoughts. But you don’t often get paid for doing so.
www.reviewblue.com is a website that actually pays you to write reviews. All you need to do is open an account, fill in where you want your payments made and start reviewing. I have written 10 reviews so far and made $50! Simply keep your receipt from either a hotel overnight stay or a meal out at a restaurant where you at least had an entrée, write your review scan in your receipt and submit. Once you have 5 reviews they will deposit $25 into your account. The crazy part is that the review itself only needs to be “more than one sentence in length” You can only review a particular restaurant once unless it is the same brand but a different location.
So when you go out for dinner tuck away the receipt after jotting down a couple of points from your experience. Then when you get 5, sit down and write them up. I did 5 reviews in an hour and got $25 for it. Not bad for sharing your opinion.