Four wines to put in your suitcases when you go to the South

Four wines to pack when heading south< /p> UPDATE DAY

Even though the school break is behind us, many of you will still be leaving for a week (or two for the lucky ones) to brown your rind in the South. Shouldn't you remember to bring a few bottles of wine in your suitcases? The answer is yes!

Unless you are extremely lucky, the choices in the “all-inclusive” formulas are limited and the quality of the wines is often questionable, not to say horrible. Do not hesitate to ask to open a bottle that you have previously brought with you. Most establishments are flexible. Especially if you leave a good tip… The situation is not very good if you opt for an independent formula. With the exception of the United States or the Caribbean, storage conditions in tropical countries are often deficient. The chances of coming across a tired or oxidized wine are high. Because of the distance and the transportation involved, prices are also higher than in Quebec, even for small generic wines from Mexico, Chile or Argentina.

Of course, take care to check the quantities allowed at the entrance of the country you are going to visit in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. The majority of sun destinations are rather permissive; much more, in any case, than the 1.5 l limit of wine imposed at the Canadian border. Obviously, with the constraints related to liquid in aircraft, luggage can become heavy. So go with a magnum, a format that weighs less than two bottles and… limit yourself to one swimsuit!

Here are four wines to consider for your next trip.

Drink less. Drink better. 

Château La Tour de Beraud 2020, Costières de Nîmes

France 13.5 % Organic | ★★1⁄2 | $1⁄2 | $17.60

SAQ Code: 12102629 

After a 2019 marked by a solar year, we guess a semblance of a return to normal with this delicious red from Costières de Nîmes, an appellation located in the very south of the Côtes du Rhône. Anne and François Collard, who are also known for the excellent wines of Domaine Mourgue du Grès, offer us a red full of fruit and energy. The presence in the blend of Marselan, a grape variety resulting from the cross between Cabernet-Sauvignon and Grenache, adds character to a wine that is already not lacking in it. Pretty flavors of cherry, eucalyptus and garrigue punctuate the finish. 

J. Bookwalter, Notebook NV 16, Columbia Valley 

USA 15% | ★★1⁄2 | $$ | $21.35

SAQ Code: 14294046 

At 15% alcohol, it might not be the best option for hot countries, but for those staying here, you're in for a treat. Especially if you like rich wines like Caymus or Liano. This is a Washington State red made from several grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Malbec) from three different appellations (Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain) and four different vintages (2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019). Aged in oak barrels, the wine explodes on the nose with notes of strawberry jam, coffee, vanilla and toast. The generous body balances with the tannins and leaves a warm impression on the finish. 

Domaine Luneau-Papin, Clos des Allées 2020, Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine

France 12 % Organic | ★★★1⁄2 | $$$ | $29.30

SAQ Code: 14439495 

One of the best producers of Muscadet is back in force with a haute couture Burgundy melon vinified by the couple Pierre Luneau and Monique Papin. The vines come from a single vineyard of just over 2 hectares, which stands out for its schist soils. Aged for 14 months on lees, the result is a crystalline white with a shy nose at first, but which will prove to be fabulous on contact with air. The palate is superbly designed with full body, fine and tense acidity, quality bitterness and a length that stretches over notes of pear and smoke. Not to be missed! 

Domaine Nicolas Maillet, Mâcon Verzé 2020 

France 13 % Organic | ★★★1⁄2 | $$$ | $34.25

SAQ Code: 11634691 

Small 7 hectare property of the Maillet family, under the inspired direction of Nicolas, who offers us a pure marvel. You should know that Verzé extends over chalky and limestone hillsides often facing east, which brings more tense acidities and a more marked “rocky” impression. Even with climate change, the wines remain fresh and precise. Notes of lily, citrus, gunflint and fresh butter. A fruitiness that is both enveloping and well chiseled. Ample and airy. Long and saline. Beautiful Burgundy at still affordable prices.

Correct ★ 

Good ★★ 

Very good ★★★ 

Excellent ★★★★ 

Exceptional ★★★★★ 

More stars than dollars: well worth the price

< p>As many stars as dollars: worth the price

Fewer stars than dollars: the wine is expensive