This is the Canada Day weekend here where I live, as well as the Independence Day weekend with our friends South of the Border in the United States. What that means is Hello Long Weekend, and who doesn’t love a long weekend. It gives you more time to drink more great wine. And for this Canada Day weekend, I want to salute our Canadian wine makers and take a moment to say thank you for some great wine.
Let’s start our Canadian wine journey right here in Nova Scotia. A friend of mine at work tried Tidal Bay Wednesday night for the first time. Anthony is mainly a red wine drinker and tried his first Tidal Bay and loved it. Tidal Bay is specifically made for the terroir of Nova Scotia and was meant to go fabulously with seafood. However, there is a wide variety of foods this wine pairs well with, for example appetizers and salads. Although all the Tidal Bay wines I have tried have certain characteristics in common, they all also have very distinct personalities. Launched in 2012, these wines can be a combination of approved grape varieties, and have a characteristic mine reality. Tidal Bay wines must also be relatively low in alcohol and no more than 11%. They are bright and crisp and very reasonably priced.
While here in Nova Scotia I would like to take a moment to talk about one of my favourite dessert wines Benjamin Bridge vineyards puts out the spectacular wine called Borealis, named after the northern lights, Aurora Borealis. This wine is rich and decadent and perfect if you want a little something sweet after a big meal but don’t want the full dessert!
Speaking of dessert wines, let’s head to Ontario. Another favorite is the Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine from Ontario. Canada is getting noticed around the world for its incredible ice wines. It’s Canada…. we have the perfect weather for growing the perfect ice wine grape. Ice wines are picked at a later date, when the temperature hits around -10 degrees, and the sugars and solids don’t freeze, but the water does. This leaves behind a very concentrated sweet wine, which in my opinion, I would rather have for dessert than chocolate any day. It’s like a piece of heaven on the palate with rich apricot, honey and candied citrus notes. Ontario puts out a fabulous array of wines, and I wanted to mention the ice wines, because I hear a lot of people say ‘I don’t like sweet wine’. Well you don’t drink it in a wine glass as such. You have to think of it as a little piece of dessert, and it tends to get served in a small sherry glass.
British Columbia is putting out spectacular quality wine and I have highlighted two of my favorites here. The Mission Hill Merlot is a fantastic expression of Merlot wine, juicy with hints of spice on the palate. It’s interesting and a great BBQ wine… it is after all a long weekend. And the one on the right is from Sandhill, and wine-maker Howard Soon. It’s a Cabernet Merlot blend and you won’t be disappointed in this Bordeaux style of blend. It’s got those wonderful black currant flavors with hints of black pepper and toasty vanilla. Another great steak wine.
And my wine of the week…
Was a gift from my sister, who went to Ontario last year to see her daughter get married. Her daughter lives in Beamsville Ontario, which is where this vineyard is located. And she brought me back a bottle of the Pinot Noir. The grapes for this particular wine come from 3 estate vineyards in the region and made to very strict standards. This wine was so elegant and interesting, with beautiful cherry and herb flavors. I loved the lingering finish, which you don’t always find in a Pinot Noir, but this was so well done. I loved it, and I’m a bit sad, because you can’t buy it here in Nova Scotia.
I’m putting out my wine blog a day early because it is after all Canada day! I hope all my friends in both Canada and the United States enjoy the long weekend.
Take care, and till next week, Cheers