Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 17, 2022
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Easy, slow-food wine

The definition of slow food can be a moving target. Is it grandma’s home-style cooking? A diet comprised of
ingredients from a prescribed and limited radius? Is it just about not eating at McDonald’s? Likewise, calling out a slow wine is not so easy.

When it comes to wine, any number of criteria could
be called to play in the “slow” arena: sustainable, organic, even biodynamic. Or maybe it’s more about the Old World (grannie’s stew and vino da tavola) versus the New World (cheeseburgers and Shiraz). Or perhaps slow wine is simply about steering clear of the plonk.

Our take on slow wine is that it should be a bevvie that sits well with your meal while showing ample character and sense of place. This may sound like a simplistic definition, but the
reality is that it’s not easy to find such an all-round performer.

Too many wines jump from the glass at first, lassoing your senses and making your tongue do a doubletake, only to fall short with flabby acidity and a scratchy astringency. Then there are those that try to flirt with greatness but fall flat on their over-juiced, over-micro-oxygenated bottles.

And certainly slow wine is not about being the vinous crème de la crème, pricing itself into oblivion (or at least out of our reach), or, alternately, being so down to earth that all we can sniff is something analogous to the compost heap
in the backyard.

Slow wine is honest wine. And honestly good wine. It’s
wine that you want to sip with your food everyday. It exists for sensory refreshment, not evaluation.

Tommasi’s expertly slow Valpolicella is just this kind of wine. From aromas of plums and cherries, orchard foliage, and dew-dropped wild mushrooms to a brisk, raspberry nectar finish, this northeastern Italian bottle is nothing short of a slow wine shoe-in. Medium bodied, with plenty of tangy acidity, this straight-up, straight-down red is the perfect foil for any slow dish, from curried chicken to steak kebabs.


BC-based wine writers, educators and vintners, Kenji and James are the authors of four national best-selling books on wine. Their most current is Had a Glass: Top 100 wines under $20 for 2008.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.