It’s Festival of Wines Time!

Image result for nslc port of wines Image result for old world vs new world wine

It’s one of my favorite times of the year – the annual Port of Wines Festival, is now being called the Festival of Wines.  To wine lovers, it’s like Wine Christmas.  And I was very blessed to get a sneak peak this past Wednesday night of some of the wines they are featuring.  Halifax has a brand new Port store downtown and it is spectacular.  A gorgeous layout with an out of this world selection of wine.  This year’s theme for the Festival of Wines is ‘Old World vs New World’ and quite a few spectacular wines are being showcased.


Here’s the first wine I tried that evening.  The Inniskillin Ice Wine from right here in Canada.  Our country is putting out spectacular ice wines, and this is a shining example of the brilliance that is Canadian wine making.   A past vintage of this wine won the Grand Prix d’Honneur at Vinexpo and put Canada on the global wine map, especially the global ice-wine map.  Rich and luscious with fabulous flavors of honey, apricots and citrus notes.  This is a wonderful mouthfeel on the palate, and is an excellent wine to pair with pate, blue cheese, cheesecake or any other dessert.    In my opinion, this is dessert on its own.  One of my favourite things to do after a big meal is to enjoy a little ice-wine,  it satisfies the sweet tooth and is not heavy on the stomach.

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This is the second wine I tried, and I’m also going to use a stock picture, you can get a better view of the label.


The 2000 Chateau Coutet AOC Sauternes was another spectacular treat of the evening.  Sauternes is a sweet wine from the Graves region of Bordeaux France.  Grapes have been affected by ‘noble rot’.  It’s hard to believe something with the name ‘rot’ in the title, can produce something so sweet and delicate.  This was a fabulous wine with gorgeous flavors of vanilla and marmalade.  It’s $65.99 a bottle and worth every penny.  A great treat wine.


I have to tell you about another Canadian beauty I tried at the show.  The 2012 Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin is from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and is a fantastic expression of a Bordeaux style of wine.  Here in North America,in both Canada and the U.S., we tend to call Bordeaux style of wines as Meritage.   So whenever you see the word Meritage on a label, you can rest assured it’s a Bordeaux style of wine.  2012 was a warm dry Summer in the Okanagan Valley but provided excellent growing conditions for the grapes.  Other than to watch vine water stress and irrigation levels, it was a great year for this wine.  It is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.  The grapes were picked at different times during October and November for perfect ripeness.  This resulted in a wine with delicious plum and vanilla flavors with notes of cigar and black pepper.  A great wine for meat.


It’s not that often I get to try so many wines of this caliber and to say I enjoyed my evening would be an understatement.  Here’s a flash at one of the tables… look at the prices, it was an absolute treat of an evening and I’m very grateful to the NSLC for the opportunity to attend.

And my wine of the week has to be this one…..


The 2013 Gerard Bertrand Clos d’Ora Minervois La Livinière was quite a treat.  I know, it was $242.29 a bottle, so it’s not a bottle I’m going to get to try every week.  From the Languedoc region of France, it is a fabulous blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mouvedre and Carignan.  It is a perfect blend of fruit, minerality and spiciness.  I did enjoy this wine, but if you’re not up for a $242 bottle, you can still enjoy wine from this vineyard at a price which is a little more friendlier on the wallet.


This Gerard Bertrand Tautavel is one of my favorites and it’s around the $20 mark.  This is a Syrah with yummy fruit and spicy notes.  And here’s another one….

Gerard bertrand bottle

Here’s one from Gerard Bertrand that won rave reviews at the Port of Wines Festival 2 years back.   It’s called Corbierres and it’s a fantastic wine.  It’s $20 as well, and is a Grenache wine.  Grenache is the same grape they use to make Chateauneuf du Pape.  This is a great wine at a great price.  Some licorice notes on the palate but rich dark fruit.  With the cooler weather coming, we tend to serve more stews and heartier food.  This is the wine for all those comfort food meals.


Great times, great wine and great friends.  It was a great evening.  Thank you very much to Rick, Rayell and Dave from the NSLC for the tickets, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated them.

More wines to tell you about next week, so till then Cheers





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